Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In My Room

In my room, it’s always sunshine
With the lights off; I don’t need them

The back door is always open
To squirrels, and strangers
Who walk by, saunter in, use it as a second entrance

I wheel about in my chair often
To meet a few raised eyebrows
I look up and turn back, and sing a song
With my voice touching, and soothing

Someday even they will be gone.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seeing

You are sitting at the crossroads of the world - one block to the left, you can see a maze of cars. A shiny revelation, display of steel - cars forming a sea - unbound. Out on the street, there is a crowd - apparently, all of us are together. All around the cars, there are rising buildings, housing mothers and young writers. All of us thrown into equality - we share a common something.

But in every house looms a dense, and lean smell of post-modernist loneliness and confusion - a hunger for contact - a dearth of interest in life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"I Don't Know"

When I think of an English phrase for showing off, or mimicking some accent, there is a phrase that comes to my mind before all others. It's as if the words are just below my forehead, in the folds of my skin. The words "I don't know" ring clear in a few different intonations, with various stressed syllables and intake of breath pauses. And a few times, I end up saying them out loud. And it is then that I realize that I am so stereotypical, so predictable. I am reminded with a sour pinch that I am a sham after all, and probably always have been. How could you know a language and still be stuck on one silly phrase for all your life? How can it be, that you cannot move on to something more mature?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Mondays

We were sitting in the midst of about three hundred million people, most of them smiling or laughing. All around us, we could see colourful posters advertising products offering happiness in different forms. The air was conditioned and super-cool, the ground beneath us shiny and clean. We were clad in comfortable, completely sweat free, in-fashion clothes, and were holding an ice-cream cone each. My flavor was chocolate, his vanilla.

Tough scenario to get frustrated with. Some would say impossible. But no, I was downright irate. Man, I was all ready to yank my ice cream cone into the face of the toddler walking past us, and have his mommy yell at me. Somebody, please, call an ambulance. They’d have a nice stretcher, which would take my weight and I’d swim past these happy shoppers into oblivious sleep amidst beautiful nurses.

“Why don’t we go to the bookstore again and lie on the ground with our faces down?”

“I don’t wanna. Anyway, they’d throw us out.”

“They wouldn’t. They know we love the place.”

“We do? I don’t even know why we go there.”

A’s face contorted into “What the fuck is up with my brain?” and I landed my head on the table with a thud.

--

We were now walking in the sunshine, beside a highway carrying about 30 million cars per second. God, I came so close to some of them I could see their seatbelt hooks. Of course. I missed the faces all together.

You know, there are just too many people in this world who are crazy about cars.

--

Coffee was sending steam into the chilled air between us, adding further haze to an already unclear premise. We were sitting in a café chock full of men in ties and black shoes (and of course, more clothes besides). They were talking (all of them together) in loud voices. They were clicking their laptop mice and tapping on their laptop keyboards. They were chatting with the pretty girl sitting across them in the short white satin skirt. They were munching cookies. They were ordering more lemonade with extra honey. They were calling their drivers up to tell them to bring their cars up the driveway.

They were doing stuff. We were not.

I stirred my coffee with a plastic spoon. “A,” I mumbled, “How about…”

“How about?”

“How about we become writers?”

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the Tall Grasses

I could take Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony
To the grasslands beyond the airstrip
And lie among the grasses
And feel the madness there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

minimalist, utopian hippie, street punk, romantic poet, urban hermit, medieval mystic. What am I? A flit? A bum?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Convict

Whispering paranoid secrets to the wall
Paranoid utterances under the breath
To the wall
The convict sat up in sleep
He scratched his groin
Inspiring confidence in his balls
He was still man.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Knowledge is prickly

Knowledge is prickly, and gets under your underside.
And wisdom is an unwelcome fruit you’d rather be watching from a distance.
And nothing is short of commendable and hate-worthy.
And everything contains juice, which you can drink.
And knowledge is prickly, and goes right inside, flying.
It flies like an arrow.
Knowledge pierces, pierces. Getting in the way of knowledge, is
Inadvisable.
And oozes of notions, of super-shiny things, are unwelcome.
Please, do not bother me.

Just give me a place to sit in the corner, a place.
Wandering all over the surface, squirming
With people, I’m done with it.
Just give me peace.

They cannot do without me, they even need me for some things.
But I don’t see how it is possible to satiate the need I have.

Just give me a cool breeze, and all those strange little things,
That appear in paintings, and that appear in music.
Just give me a cool breeze.

Please. I beg. I plead.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Some days, I’m living a hard life.
And the lights are off, and in the dark,
It’s slimy, cold.
And the rain spattering,
Spattering! Crashing down!
on the steps.
And Queen Jane!

Some days, it’s just as simple as that.
As silly as that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

adjectives

Sensuous – producing sensation
and
touching and alluding
non-crazy – half crazy in
a sane shell.
And maybe prodding at rebellious
pleasing to eyes of all sort
and perhaps too distant
for a close peek.
Hopefully not worthy of praise
nor equal to hanging
on the wall.
And frequently funny – and lots
of sugar.
Complacent, perhaps naïve
because of innocence.
With a fighting chance, maybe
with a half-smile, descending
an airy flight of stairs.
Perhaps cornered into a room
full of baggy choices
and tearful and perhaps
definitely conservative
conversational.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

School Time and Time

I hoped school will be nice. It was way outside town, and some fields ran nearby and you could see the hills from the school.

During the assembly on my first day, under a nice, chilled out cloudy sky, I stood in a perfect mood. And a girl came on stage. She began singing a song; it was something that sounded very Welsh. I stared out into the fields, and in my head were some good, Welsh people with drinks they were raising to each other. And the girl finished her song and bowed to the school.

Sometime during my second week, my desk partner passed a chocolate to me. I did not smile, I held my smile tightly, and I took the chocolate gingerly. And I put it on the table in front of me. He quickly snatched it back, and I moaned something and he laughed like a demented madman.

The last period before the bell rang; it was a very long hour. I was idle, and I looked out of the window. Sometimes, I yawned, and other times I stayed shut. Humility and humanity made me crease up my forehead, and my shoes lost all signs and all importance. Please, I uttered. Then, I turned a side, patted my friend on the shoulder (lightly), and I coughed, and I told him about my mom. He did not listen half the time, but I kept talking.

How would it be if I kept roaming the streets of London throughout my life? It would be a long walk, wouldn’t it? And I would see half-deserted streets, and busy shoppers, and I would stand with my hands laid out open and inviting and some old motherly lady would smile from across the street. The sun would also light up her oiled hair, and she would be a complete lady.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing

But what can I do? Can doing do anything for me?
I cannot be anything but my own writing style, my own voice.
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony’s third movement is not a foray into romanticism, and it is not a flowery, peaceful praise for love. It is just the apple of my eye, and it is the thing for me, and I just cannot exist without feeling that existing without it is futile.
And the dark is not crystal clear, but it makes some things very clear.
How can I become anything worth becoming? Because it is very worthy – being yourself. You cannot and must not escape. For real, at least.
And music makes sense of the world, and it follows written commands of destined grace.
And music.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We were children once, yes we were children. And now we have outgrown the children we were, and now we are not children. And now, we are different people from the people we were as children. It has all changed. We were children once, and now we are people. Yes, we are not children, we are people.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sushi

In the last few moments before the bell rang, Sushi stopped being desperate. She just let go, and she let the world go fuck itself. It was all over, and she refused to pay attention.

But the more important part of our story is the minutes and hours she spent worrying.

She sat in the last row of the classroom, and she sat with a sweaty neck, and a sweaty hand. She never knew what she should do with her hands. They were always asking to help out, to make something move, to push something out of the way, to make some room for her to think, for her to relax.

But, now, in this moment, they hardly had anything to do. They just lay in her lap, staring up into her face with a forlorn look. They were saying they won’t always be around and they had no problems if she thought she was better off without them. They said they were more than comfortable with leaving. Right now, if possible.

But they held on nevertheless, they just lay in her lap.

Sushi worried and knit her brow and dangled her feet in the air. She was overcome with something. It was like a big round-snouted pig was sitting next to her. Not that it was a dirty pig, but that it was a pig. It let air out, it moved with strange solemnity, and it basically made her go crazy.

And then the teacher herself descended on the scene. And she made Sushi stand up. And she made Sushi go away. And then it was all going to get over. It was all suddenly getting over.

***

After the lunch break, she preferred to make a move with things and meet Jyotsna immediately. She was not going to let any delays torment her, and drill holes in her back, and she was going to be cool-headed, and it was obviously going to be alright, and she was right on track to recovery, and then she went up to Jyotsna’s class.

Jyotsna wasn’t there; she had been sent to the library by a teacher just before lunch and she hadn’t come back yet. So Sushi went to the library.

The library was another affair. It was full of these little kids from first standard or second standard, and they were fighting over books. They wanted to kill their friends because their friends would not let them take the books they wanted to read. They would strip one of their friends, and would unbutton another friend, and would kick yet another friend in the butt because their books were being taken away, and they just couldn’t sit there and watch, could they? They had to take action.

And Jyotsna wasn’t there. She wasn’t even sitting in some dark little corner behind a tall shelf of books. Sushi knew; she looked. Everywhere.

So Sushi went to the grounds. Jyotsna wasn’t there of course, but she might be. Everybody can be in the ground if they are nowhere to be found. When you don’t have anywhere to go, you go the grounds.

Jyotsna wasn’t there either.

***

Sushi went to the corridor behind the principal’s office, and had a drink of water from the little ceramic basin under the small photograph of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. And she grabbed her feet quickly, and she ran up the stairs. She went straight to the class, holding her skirt by the sides, and thinking to herself. And she took her seat.

She could feel her heart doing strange dance movements, and this scared her. She looked up and into the outside air. The mountains beyond the grasslands were visible, and they were very far away; too far away. The school ended right below her window, and then the wilderness took over, and for miles there was nothing but grass, deer and sunlight. She tucked her head in her arms.

She would kill Jyotsna when she found her. She might pull her hair down and beat her ass with a hard granite slate. But no.

She could not kill anybody.

If she ran really fast, she could jump over the school boundary wall. It was probably 4 feet tall. But she would need Jyotsna, and a couple of hours to gather the courage.

“You are taking way too much time to make up your mind. If we are gonna do it, we might as well do it right away, and be done with it.” Jyotsna would say such things to her, coaxing her, and reminding her that they were friends.

But Jyotsna wasn’t there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Telephone

I

During one of those nights, when I sat in the windy verandah of my home, gazing at the bare electric bulb. When I sat all curled up in my chair, with my back to the front door, sheepishly obscure thoughts speeding through the grass like squirrels. When either mom or dad refused to call me inside and have a fresh cup of warm tea, and I imagined them snoring to death. During one of those nights, I received the phone call. It was an affectionate call from a long distance. I trembled slightly as I heard the first few words buzzing in my ear. I was to feign a big deal of indifference about the call, but I was glued to the receiver just then.

The voice belonged to a girl. She must have been running, because she had quite a pant. Words flowed with the breath, wobbling atop the very tasteful windy sound of the girl panting. I held the receiver close and I listened to her talk. I have forgotten the words, but I have nothing to say about the panting sound. She moved on and on and on, blabbering about things I had no interest in. After a while, I sat down on the carpet to talk, curling into myself like a small baby, freshened up and frenzied into life by this sudden phone call.

She revealed quite a lot of herself to me. She kept telling me. She just knew me so well, she knew so well that I was interested in her, and that she should tell me everything. So she did, she methodically displayed everything before me, and it unfolded beautifully. About ten minutes into the call, I wanted to fly with a long, winded swoosh and land on the earth again, and give this lady a hug. I had such warmth inside me for her, and she did not know. She had no idea.


II

Gimme a number now. C’mon do it now. Umm, umm. This evil world hasn’t got one person who I can call right now. Let not to such extent this world’s affairs fall. Oh, you could give me a single number right now, and I’ll be more than done. I’ll be giving somebody a call tonight, and I’ll be telling them somebody.

The phone was such black hues and shit. It was all the blacker in the yellow, flickering light. Shadows on the telephone made it look like some giant insect preserved in a museum. I picked up the receiver, and my hands felt such quivering energy. I lunged for the numbers, I punched them in, and already somebody’s phone was ringing.

“Hello there, stranger boy. Will you please listen to me for a while?”

“Hello? Are you there? Yes? Yes? You’re there alright, aren’t you? Oh, please be louder. Oh please. OK, OK, nevermind, there’s nothing I want from you. Could you please listen to me talk for a while. Yes, right now. Oh good, I should begin? Yes? There’s nothing you have against telephone pranksters or random callers, do you? Anyway, I’m not one of them. Anyway, let’s start. OK?”

“There’s this story I was told once by my grand-dad. He had such amazing moustache hair, brown coloured. He sat me down in my little plastic chair, and I was lost in his story for that whole day. He had a gravelly throaty voice, you know, and he told me this story, and I’ll tell you the same story right now. You just stay where you are and listen…”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sitting Here

I am sitting here
I am not waiting
Just hoping
For that hour of bright
Sunday morning time
When I shall hold my pen
And write some.
And every word come out
With an unbearable
Unstoppable, orgasmic twitch.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Sat in the Window of My Room

I sat in the window of my room. I just sat there, because I did not have anything better to do. The street was a huge distance below, and everything looked strange and weird. The cars looked like dead metallic animals, the ladies looked ugly in the yellow street-light. The aspect of the whole scene seemed interesting, somehow.

Inside the room, I had coffee placed on the table. I sipped it every time I stood up to stretch my legs. It was cold as stone, but I didn’t care. The carpeted floor had blotches of coffee, looking like closed owl-eyes. I was a coffee freak; my mother rued this. There had been no phones for me today. I was thankfully left alone by everybody.

I had fallen into a kind of open-eyed, breathless stupor – the kind you go into when observing the country-side sometimes – when a human came into view. He was a he, and was carrying a briefcase, and had a brusque, manly, formidableness about him. It was amazing I could tell so much about him despite the height, but that’s how it was. I was a trained spy now. I had gotten used to this windowed view of all kinds of people, doing all kinds of things.

I mentioned the man with the briefcase because I was to become very interested in him in the fortnight following my first sighting of him. But, otherwise too, he had caught my eye then itself. As I was saying, he was manly, and I could tell he was tall from his seven shadows. He had gotten off a car still parked on the curb and had disappeared from view; presumably entered my building. I had an alien internal shiver. I felt like he had just entered my life.

I got up and lunged at my cup for another sip of the coffee. It was cold. It was cold. It was cold. It was cold. Cold coffee. Cold stranger man.

I had yellow socks on. My mother had given me the pair seven years ago, and strangely enough, I had worn them for the first time only a few days ago. I had finally realized how lovely they were. My mother had always insisted on making socks thick and woolly; she knew many things about clothes. I didn’t care. I liked the warmth they held. It’s strange, right, the way socks hold some kind of permanent warmth. They never blow a fuse or run out of fuel. Wow. The things an idle mind wonders about sometimes.

I planted my backside on the bed lightly and fished inside my drawer for a book with a black cover. I got it out, and looked at its dog-eared pages. Nah, I wasn’t in the mood for reading. I left the book on the bed, and walked into the bathroom.

Shit, the toothpaste tube was thin as hell, and it had probably run out. I didn’t care. I didn’t have to brush my teeth right now. I’d see about the toothpaste tomorrow. I went across from the basin, and towards the lavatory. It had a window with translucent glass right over it. I had a sudden impulse, and ran and stood on the lavatory. I turned a handle and opened the window. A rush of icy cold window greeted me. I shivered again.

I looked out, and saw the road below had no cars on it, except the one I had seen before. The one the man had come in. It was a very plain car, and looked like it was not very well kept. I could not see much from where I was, but there was a general ill-kept feeling about it. I am kind of well versed in these general feelings of mine, and have had ample opportunity to sharpen my skills at recognizing them. I did not miss this chance. The car was ill-kept, and it just stood there, as if forgotten or left by accident or knocked there by some big vehicle. Oh, the car.

The book I had taken out of my drawer had belonged to my mother in college. She had bought it on her 14th birthday, by stealing money from her father’s purse. She had been excited about reading it, and had hardly been able to wait before she could sit down and open the first page and start devouring it until she was finished. She had been vague in telling me about why she was so enthusiastic, but it had something to do with her favourite actor talking about the book in a radio ad. Well, she started a frantic search for the book around town, and finally found it in an expensive book store near her school. She stole the money, and went and bought it.

She recalls fondly how she had opened the first page in almost a feverish, ghoulish excitement and had started reading from the top. She could not understand a word. It was as if the book was in a language she did not know. She tried several times, but could not get past the first page, and hell, even the first page was unbelievably meaningless to her. She finally lost hope, and wrapped the book in black paper, and put it away. The book was Ulysses by James Joyce.

I resumed my seat at the window, and peeked out. I could see four street-lamps. They were all in a line. They illuminated a perfect circle of the stone street. They shone bright and defiant in the cold, I wished I could swoop down from my window in one movement, and hug one of them. Oh, they were the most beautiful things in the world, the lamps.

I suddenly remembered the car and realized it was gone. Vanished from view. Left my world for some point in the darkness beyond. I knew not where it was now. The car was gone, and had taken the stranger with the briefcase with it.

I picked up the paper from my bedside stool, and looked at the bald man on the front page. He had huge eyes, and had his hand raised in the air. He has eyebrows raised; it was not surprise, but natural habit. He was a huge fat man, and those eyes floated in pools of darkened flesh, and more flesh drooped from his chin. The lady standing behind him was not intended to be in the photograph. She was apparently just walking by, and the camera had caught her in the middle of a swift motion towards something important. She was definitely hurrying to get somewhere; maybe out of the photograph. Yes, she was not part of The Photograph of the Huge Fat Man.

I threw the paper on the floor. I stood up and trampled it under my bare feet. I absolutely danced on it then and there. I think I wanted to tear it into pieces. To hell with the paper! Go get your asses kicked, you sons of bitches, you losers. Of course I was losing my mind. Then and there. Then and there.

I made a quick circle around the bed, and stared into the distant haziness through the window. I could look at the night all night, I could stare into nothingness, and I wouldn’t stand a chance of falling asleep. At this point, some random saxophone riff hit my head from the side, it kinda exploded inside my head. I saw it coming, and then it was there. Oh, I wanted Coltrane. Right now.

I lay on my back on my bed, and sifted through pages of thought. I could feel my heart thumping, going on for augmented moments. It really sounded like everything was undecided, left to the event of the moment. Aflutter outside was a blackbird. Going to California would be nice, the sun is nice… there. As I was seeing the face of Robert Plant, I fell down towards a bowl of rice…

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Girl

I met the girl at the Starlight Café
She owned a bookstore behind the railway line
She was finely dressed and spat in the gutter
I got up at midnight, and followed her around
She found me reasonable and we got along

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Painter

A man with so many colours is a man with options
He does not worry about rotten bottles of paint
Red shines in the day time, and green fails, but blue triumphs!
What flexibility.

And brushes are so cool to carry under your arm.
Stacked up, smallish, and largish and midllish
And ebony wood, and oak wood, and mahogany wood
And horse tail, and ox tail, and human head hair!

Oh the painter must be so colourful, and so… vibrant! Vibrant!
Oh the painter is desirable. He’s charismatic, and joyous drinker.
His eyes see the world from ever-changing perspective, from different sides
He sees the underside of sad women, and children! Oh, the children in his paintings.

His paintings! His art-works! What majesty in his trees. Lines, curves!
He conjures up images from a third, twisted, sublime, abstract, glistening world.
He presents them on his canvas, he offers us a part of that elevated thought!
What charity in his voice! His musical presence, his benign eyes.
He’s wise. You see. He’s Wise.

And such is the unspeakable nature of the player
The sweaty, rigid, kicker of footballs.
Oh, he’s so unfit for these pages.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Dictionary

But this time with disgust
I fling the dictionary far and long
Out of my sight!

Meanings of words do not concern me
I have but a short association to make with them
As soon as they have lit the flame inside me
And have refilled my throat with gushing nectar
They can be gone and done for,
And sleep a long night of decay
Among meanings and interpretations
In the dictionary.

Strip

Scrape your outside flesh, scrape with your nails and see what comes off, look at the remains in your nails – that is not you. Dig deeper, and you shall have courage for the journey into the abyss of self-knowledge. You dive deeper, and the deep is deep, the deep is confusing, the deep is unmerciful, and the deep is just there, all around you, overwhelmingly present in everything, in the very little piece of chicken you ingest with the vaguest hope of succulent taste. Everything is blasted forth – in a deluge of iron – and makes everything else worse than it was before. That is what happens in the abyss.

But you have to head on. Straight on, and you peel your skin off. You are naked now – at least to some extent. You see inside, you see inside, you see inside – you are panting now. Whimsical creature you are. The underground network that gave you so much pain is finally in your grasp – or is it? You have eyes – but your eyes only see so much. They go beyond very much – but not beyond your very bones. Humble eyes.

Strip – strip some more. Illusion heaped upon illusion. Catapulting into the future of great moonlight dreams and sparkling headlights, you are flying above the very banks of the river soaking in your blood. You head on – through the jungle of carelessness, you have the bamboo stick of forgiveness in your hand – you head on.

And when all the lingering and stumbling and hopelessness is over, there is no product. There is none output. Gathering dust is your discarded skin – your old faulty organs – once part of your fully spiritual body. Meaning nothing. Moral nothing. Heaped beside your soul is the body you held once. The scraps of your body serve as colours and binders and and brush. Paint on the great canvas of the soul of the night. The picture you make might be bleary and unclear and uncertain and unrevolutionary and unimportant and indifferent and other things – but paint it. Grotesque masks were made in this manner. Never stop.
The truest part of you is the vagueness inside you as you shop for vegetables and gawk open-mouthed at the seller, paying him money you don’t feel in your hands, and the splinters of words joining in your head, gaining momentum as they are plummeted into the wastebin of history by your vanity and your fear, and the little ruminations you have on reading the manifesto of this doctrine or that, and the small words stuck in your throat, unable to escape to the page in veiled ink. Ink is false, bad bad ink, it is inside, the pulp of your existence. You are what you never wrote; writing is acting.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

She

In the night of the stars she drove around town
Fringing the roads, getting in way of traffic
Putting her foot down
Stopping for no man

At the red light she saw a seller of a bouquet of flowers
He was clad in rags and had a half-toothed smile
She let him come near, and wait for her
And just as he was ready to gloat and congratulate himself
She left him behind; she flew like wind

She selected every turn and chose and picked
And faced every pair of headlights with a confident air
She dangled her hand carelessly by the side
And let the gale take the papers she held
Good riddance! No reading now, we’ll take the road this time

Gaudily dressed sluts walked the other way
She made her disgust clear, and pulled up her nose
She was manly with the gear
She used the electric cigarette lighter
And littered the passenger seat with Marlboro ash
Phew! Smoking in a car!

And then when she was weary with it all
And when the night was ending
She drove to the edge of town
She drove with all her care
And she drove down into the sea, she.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unused

I have an unused
Quarter in my brain
That either my teachers
Or my father couldn’t train

I’ll take him out
Show him some light of day
Sit on a stone,
Lis’n to what he has to say

“Let’s go eat a rat.”
“Witches are fun.”
“Garbled gobbledygook Mackie-roo”
“Geez! I wanna be a nun.”

“Hush!” I said.
“They’ll think you mad”
He made a face, and said,
“I wanna be sad.”

I was all serious.
“Join my school of thought.”
And thus began his story
Of use, disuse, misuse, rot.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Like It

We sat in a humid room
Our lungs enlarged with the heat
She panged from her sweat
Armpits all soaked

I had a guitar strapped on
Heavy under its weight
Trying to make “music”
Giving it a shot, finally

I began singing
Hoping she’d get what I meant
She waved her head from side to side
Said “The lyrics aren’t so fine,
and what’s that chord you’re playing?”

I gave up on the “song”
Sat down, started this New Thing
“Yappa-doodle. Dample-gampie-gum.
Volo-bolo-vinder-woo”

She, conquering the heat,
And the incomprehension
Uttered something with a smile,
“Yeah, I like it.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Joyful Delivery of Painful Thought

A paralyzing feeling of despondency is something all mortals must be acquainted with. It is cruel in its acuteness and is a very impolite visitor, which never warns of its coming. It ambles into your life, whistling a favourite tune, grinning with its yellowed teeth. You were going all fine, and thought that nothing could harm you now, that you finally had met and come to know all possible states of being in human life. But yet again, you are surprised. And both, the subtlety of how your mind cannot believe now what it once held as “the truth”, and the inevitability of the passing of this depressing “phase” of your life with due time, are lost on you. You are not tolerant, happy, relaxed, complacent, or smiley anymore. None of that fake bullshit now. You are in pain. You are depressed.

Pain has a habit of draining every bit of energy from your person. Pain, like all pure emotions, extends across the galaxy. Maybe even further out. Small, harmless things like ice-cream, pinball, sweetly smiling girls, and other niceties simply fail to lift your spirits. You are in generic despair. Ever-present gloom.

Small, never-ending alcoves of time are nasty things. They are always present on the cleanest of your days. Bang in the center of pure “busy-ness” and oblivion lands a tiny moment of listlessness. Examples include the time before the start of an interview, the small walk to the toilet (refrigerator, hostel mess), the “waiting period” before your next gol-gappa arrives. They are things that convince the human mind of the infinite nature of everything extant. They are vast worlds in themselves, gifted with their own time scales, and gilded with shiny, new physical laws. Man might have explained a great deal about planets, meteorites and semen to his fellow beings, but his consistent failure to enjoy a moment of nothingness is undeniable. Let’s paint this on our walls. Men cannot endure nothingness, emptiness. They subsist on “jobs”, on some directionality in life, a semblance of a path, a course divined by some outside force, a plan of action magneted to the refrigerator door.

Motive. It is important. In murder mysteries and life alike. All men, if they are men at all, must have inside their bosoms a specter of their ideal kind of dude, the perfection amongst men in their eyes. They observe him day and night. It is perhaps why men have been given eyes. To observe, to imitate, to keep them fixed at their ideals all the time, mesmerized by the whole possibility of somehow, some day matching them.

Creation is what both made us and makes us again everyday. We till our own gardens every morning, water the tiny saplings brimming with promise, and continue to sweat it out till dusk, cribbing every shade of weed creeping from the shadows, fearing every dry spell. Perhaps the joy of creation is unsurmountable. It indeed supplies us with an illusion of ever-spreading peace, calm and strength, of boundless hope. Creation gives us the first chance to have a peek at a part of ourselves with our own eyes. We hold this relic of our own creation in our hands, shivering under its weight, bathed in its glint. We marvel at this new-born baby, this item of mortality that unbelievingly soaks our consciousness with a glimpse of the immortal. We create, and thus we are born.

Man’s greatest folly is perhaps his blindness to his own loneliness in this abundance of the universe. It is a feeling he grapples with on every day he lives. Every hour of his existence, man gasps for assurance of the falseness of this truth – that he is essentially alone. He experiences his own emotions. His is a solitary odyssey. While it is true that social association helps man find his ways, and guides him through the world, it is idiotic to accept this usefulness as something that justifies society as an end in itself. Gallant refusal of submission before such helplessness is advocated. You can have friends. You can also eat with them, drink with them. But knowing how to bake your own cake, and to enjoy it in tasteful solitude are indispensible qualities.

So. What now? I am still falling down a dark well. Anticipation of what might lie at the other end is a pastime I got fed up with about two centuries ago. About 47 years ago, I finally decided to drop my weapons and sit back, enjoy the show. Joyous songs are joyous, but sad songs are sweet. And I do have something of a sweet tooth. I rejoice in the concurrence between me and the maker of these sad sounds. I hold my humble cup out, and he fills it with nectar.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Musical Night

When the guitarist bends the thinnest string of his instrument, he goes higher than his listeners think. He goes into realms unknown to the unsuspecting watcher (who, by the way, is more engaged with the colour of the guitar). He goes ka-boom. Whooshi-whooshi-whoosh. And when he bends the thinnest string from the highest fret, it’s total rocka-jaggory. I can’t tell you about it and I won’t. You wouldn’t wanna know.

On the drums, Michael Monk. APPLAUSE please!

If you wanted to give the piano (OK. OK. Keyboard, for the newly-initiated) player another name, you could call him a Weaver. He weaves what? Melodies? I don’t know exactly, but he weaves for sure. Threads running haywire.

“I can’t get no Sattis-faction.”

And at final last, the great virtuoso saxophone player, ladies and gentlemen, Charles Boyd. He plays the alto saxophone and boy, does he BLOW.

What? Aren’t we gonna talk about Bach? The Bach? We are, for sure, but only after we have managed to understand why his hair looks like he washed it with mayonnaise.

Thank you, guys. We totally, totally loved performing here. We’d be back sooner than you can imagine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Togetherness

In days of need, of hunger
That’s when people come together

They may roam about all aloof
Very lost in their own
Until the night of need arrives
And they flock to different specimens
Of their own
Species

Helping each other out
In planned cooperation
And strained collaboration

But still in these processes of togetherness
Their own survives
Still in such joint projects
They refuse to be humbled
By the need of the hour
Or by the hour of need

They hold their space together
And shine in the light of their minds
And this more than anything else
Binds these people in a bundle

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Fiction Tolerated Here

Fiction is a big farce, fact is great.
In fact begins the truth of life,
The realization, the path of glory.

Fiction is a feeble support
To the weak escapist, to the dying loser.
It is but an artifice
Built as an attempt to hide the real
Harsh truth.

Fact beats the hell out of fiction.
Fact is what exists, and must exist.
Fiction is what the weak should utter
As their dying words, and take with them.
We have space only for fact,
And have no pity for fictions
Of this mind or that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sheets of Sound

Sound travels in sheets
Getting under my bed
And taking my nightly visions
By storm.

Out of the metal pores of the giant
Great saxophone colossus
It comes pouring into my nerve-ends
Glowing in the darkness inside.

Piano strokes make fine incisions
In the fabric of my skin
And my blood flows out bright
And red
Mixing with the music.

Sound travels in sheets.
Bebop. Bobob-pop.
Beeeeee-bop. Bob-bob-pop.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dreamer

What I once dreamed about, I now write about. I do not talk to loud-mouthed boasting people when I don't want to be sad and depressed. I avoid being in the midst of all political discussions. I just relax, look around at people and things, and select some of them to put into stories. Some of them fit, and some of them don't. But I never force them into fitting. It's not what I want to do. I've always felt like a fool talking to close friends about music. So I stopped. They stopped too.

I've hated the rain for about 4 years, and have loved the sunshine. It looks so beautiful in the sky, and twice as beautiful when it's in the trees. Come to think of it, it isn't too bad on yellow walls, and a white colored salwar-kameez worn by a certain girl. Days are long trips from my comfort zone. I travel far and close, always stopping at every corner where I find flowers and smelling them. They are usually sweet-smelling, but some of them smell sour. I don't know why that is.

I don't carry a notebook with me. I don't know why, but I don't. Probably because I feel too intimated outside to write. The beedi-smoking policemen, the baton-carrying policemen, the white-uniform-wearing policemen, and of course, auto drivers. Whenever I imagine myself writing in an auto, with the auto-driver busy with driving the auto, he suddenly turns back and gives me such a hard stare, I almost leap off the auto in desperation. Sometimes, I do leap, and find myself in the middle of three thin, measly women carrying me to hospital. It gives me the chills.

I borrowed a friend's harmonica the last time it rained, and carried it to my room. I took it out of my pocket, and played it as high as I could. Then, I could not hear the rain. I could only see the rain falling on the yellow lamp outside my window. And feel the soft, warm bed under my back. And the harmonica plays itself, putting into sound what I give to it in caresses of my lips. Slowly, and slowly I move my lips across the body of the harmonica, and feel it quiver under my breath. Like a lover would, the harmonica thanked me. And I thanked it, for taking the rain out. Out of my mind. The night wore on, and the harmonica wailed.

I begin days with mornings of slow speed. Mornings where I just lie on my bed, where I just lie on my bed, where I just lie on my bed. On some mornings, I run into large, sporty guys who talk a lot. I pretend to talk a lot at first, but then rush back to my room. Some mornings, I watch men in blue shirts sweep the floor I walk on. I always stand out of their sight. Some of them smoke beedis as they sweep the floor, some of them hang their heads as they sweep the floor. Some of the sing a tune. While they sweep the floor. I walk on.

Nights are quite another matter. They usually end with scribbles in my notebook. Like I once fell asleep dreaming, now I feel asleep writing. And then, during my sleep, I write some more. When I'm awake, I might write about men with muscles or girls with dimples. But when I sleep, I write only about short, skinny girls wearing white coloured salwar-kameez, and walking on a metallic surface. With the sun in their faces. Yes, old men feature in my sleep-time stories, obviously. They are sweeping floors with their chests, singing 'A Change is Gonna Come'.

And then I wake up in the mornings, with stories in my head. I switch on the light. I stand up, look at myself in the mirror. I sit, and visit Melbourne. Sometimes, it's London, and sometimes, the diner in Pulp Fiction. And then, I meet Honey Bunny, and she talks to me for three hours. We talk for three hours. We hold hands. We both start writing, and in the middle of it all, we exchange pens. I look at the cars outside the window, and she holds my hand. She feels warmer than the sun, and the engines of the cars on the hot tarmac road.

We bend our heads over the pink colored table and write. Me in blue ink, she in red. And halfway through, me in red, she in blue.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do You See?

Is there a flower on the back of the head
Of the favourite girl (serene)
In the universe you see?
Does she come to your side
And stroke your neck with her hand
When you’re gloomy as can be?

Apple carts, do they appear out of nowhere?
Are maidens in white gowns
And inkstands in your dreams?
Do you watch strangers leave your side
When you need them dearly
And a deathly life it seems?

Do words lack meaning
And your actions seem as if
Controlled by some but not thee?
Yes! Then you’re in my universe.
You just stay mum, and wait
And hope that, some day, I might see.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adventure of the Chewing Gum

Don’t ever get into bed with chewing gum in your mouth. You might swallow it sometime into the night, and die from the suffocation. Chances are, you’ll be driven to a hospital nearby. It’ll have nice green coloured clothes draped all over the place, with coughing patients behind them, invisible to your eyes. But the truth is, they won’t be able to revive you from death. They’ll extract the (chewing?) gum from down your throat in seconds. The nurse will be very adept at such things. She’ll lift your tongue towards your mouth plate for a second, and insert a slender metallic stick into your lifeless throat. Pop! The gum will be out in a flash.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don't know what it's called

Just sit on your toes in your secret room
(or wherever you are alone)
Keep quiet for longer time than you can bear to
Think about things you left behind
Bat an eyelid
Scratch your hair, if you’re so inclined

Is it discomfort? Or fear? FEAR.
Not everything in order. Not alright.
Perplexed mind, confused actions.
A standstill in life.
Life? That ever-moving, violent force.

Gotta go now. Gotta hide.
Take a crap, read some magazines, maybe smoke.
I dunno. Anything.
Natural – Pseudonatural – Copycat – Despondent.
Human – So what? I’m human too!

Wish I was born in the 60s.
Wish I was born on a steam-boat.
Wish for a wish.
Hush. Hello. Bbye. See you later.