I walk

June 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

I am that guy who walks with long strides and short, through cities big and small, towns with paddy field boundaries and villages with a cross road or two.

I am a small force of my own, an object small, determined to walk however far, I don’t know to what. I push through the heat, through the cold, through rain and sweat, drenched, past churches, temples, mosques and elsewhere where people go to seek the divine, but find a human in between instead.

I have no faith,

It just is.

I have hope,

It just is.

I see gorges, I see rivers free, I see the deep valley cut clean. There’s a whisper, there’s a flap, there’s a flurry, there’s maybe a prey or a predator, but all I see is a quietude, a slumber, an afternoon rain weathering away the rocks as if to measure life sans time, in a moment that lasts itself beyond reason or rime.

There are no boundaries, except those we draw on our own. And we draw, we carve, the lines that are roads, the way to homes we build in tiny geometric shapes plotted on plans and maps, surveyed and claimed as humanity’s own.

I walk under the sun, I walk under the street lights, I walk through firefly lit starry nights. I watch the match boxes come alive, at tea stalls and humongous complexes with tiny ants rushing in anxiety to fill another day with they know not what, but call a purpose.

I walk past the malls and the neon light boards that insist that the you can’t resist what is within- racks of the same, machine made and mould. There are no rats there, just spiders and cobwebs that escape pest control.

 

The five-o-clock sea breeze squeezes and chocks its way past the sepulchres of everyday life that form a maze with no end, either way. The crows scavenge and steal from the fortnight’s garbage. There’s a rot somewhere, and a nervous laughter all around, no one wants to stir the tea which is already too sweet.

I hear the music play, a coy bride on her wedding day, being apparently given away. I hear the songs of parvenu faith, blaring aloud, thumping chests to twirling moustaches, a goddess is demure when the nine-yards are draped.

I stride, and I leap, I run. There’s nothing in my mind, but the next step, and then another.

I believe in hope.

It remains alive through the dreary monsoon days, the harsh Madras sun and the opaque Himalayan cold that eats into your very bones. It lingers on, like the taste of your first lover, which you try to recount, to remember the day you were first together, young and silly, tangled limbs and messy sheets.

My strides strong and long, never weary. The feet yearn for more, a mile, or a furlong, you can call it whatever you want.

There is no corner they leave unthread on the dirty beaches in my city, with faded boats casting long shadows under which stray dogs rest, under which young lovers hope not to be repressed.

There’s no nook which they not pass by, the crevices in the jumble of rocks destined to become sand, the burrows of wild creatures which hide and prowl only at night.

I seek hope, for I believe in it.

Every road has a memory of love, of grief, of pain, of laughter and others’ memories. There are stories that speak through abandoned shoes and neglected rosaries, there’s always someone who has been here before- wanting to be set free, searching for faith in sand castles and abandoned temples. There are moonlit shadows that smell of cheap wine and rum, lovers in revelry, lost souls washed ashore who cannot burrow like crabs any more.

Some paths split, taking you afar, others which come together to bring worn shoes home, torn to be mended by hands varicose and alone. The streets cut each other at ninety degrees, but there’s always that cul-de-sac which lies forlorn.

I yearn for hope.

There’s a twilight which lingers on, like a long-lost memory. There’s a watch forever stuck at half-past three.

I walk.

I am that guy who walks with long strides and short, through cities big and small, towns with paddy field boundaries and villages with a cross road or two.

I have no faith,

It just is.

I have hope,

It just is.

 

 

A Tableau

July 9, 2012 § 3 Comments

The dreary hot days of  summer afternoons, with nothing much to remember by, except the tales of a great grandfather whose photo hung unnoticed on top of the kitchen door. The days where you drew cars racing through colourful hills and sunsets, coniferous trees  and exotic lakes, wishing for those vistas of freedom, blocked by grill doors of civilized fear.

The memory is a lamp made of frail glass, like that sold on a pushcart during the days of habitual powercuts. Games of hide and seek with people who no longer are around; charades which linger around in the recesses of your mind like the candle lit shadows which seemed ever present.

Of a swing, which has hung where it has for generations. The wild days of dauntless fury it has seen, holding your ambition, propelled by hands of love, and words of encouragement which turned you into what you are today. The simmering patterns of sunlight, dutifully falling everyday, till an apartment grew out of an old house.

A landscape festooned; A swing, which tends to the present, yearning for that story; Replaying all those tears, laughter and diffidence like the song your mother sang to put you to sleep.

A precious grasp of knowledge, half hidden in ignorance and half in childish hubris, now stares at you, frail and old, like those hands which carried you to look at the trains. As if the roads, lined with cars are a noir, for they remind you of some days which were better, some which were worse but all equally hazy, all mixed with elation and rebellion.

The duress of an archaic system pressed itself all around you, yet innocent you built ships and castles and planes, crossing seas and bombing nations with your imagination,  bridges arranged with marble lights, hoping to find the meaning of distance in a map.

Your dreams, let loose; You see a chance in everything, yet opportunities were as biased as the coin in your magic kit. Those glasses, which you wore as you raced to school on a fifty cc two-wheeler, are now nowhere to be seen; much like the suppressed dreams lost in reality; much like the paper boat sinking in the rain; much like the paper planes flying across the class room and landing on a despotic girl’s head; much like your favorite green and maroon pencil sharpener gifted by an aunt abroad being taken away by a heartless teacher, hoping to reprimand you for a mistake of another, whom you cannot remember.

Prayers told with half opened eyes, confused veneration- in fear, untamed by rote, by repetition into belief. The smell of coffee and the rain, folded together like the supplement into the newspaper. Chagrined balls of despair, turning to bowl you over and you remind yourself that you have a long way to turn fifteen.

Like a piece of paper with a word slipping out of a dictionary. The wonderful days, rush back to you, like your neighbour’s pet dog. And like the dog which was greeted with chains, you pick it up and shove it back into the page.

Shutting it tight

October 5, 2011 § 3 Comments

There is the point of indifference. I seem to keep reaching it only to feel the pinch again. There are times when tomorrow is already here. That feeling that it is inevitable that I have to go through my day. I crib a lot on twitter, but I am not sure if it is heart-felt any more. Probably a knee jerk reaction to everything that is happening, a vent.

I still haven’t got the hang of this friendship thing. At one moment a person is nice and smiling at you. The next moment they act like a stranger. It is confusing. And these aren’t random people you get to know on the web, these are ‘real people’. Going through random quotes on friendship isn’t going to help. There is no point really, it seems tiring to talk to people. I used to talk a lot. Now days, I have stopped talking to people all that much. A random conversation with a stranger on a train is fine but talking to ‘acquaintance’ isn’t worth it anymore.

I am afraid to talk about ‘me’. Talking about what I do is fine but I am not too sure if I can talk about myself to anyone. You think someone has become a friend and has risen beyond seeing you as weak when you talk about problems but it isn’t so. Even with people who you have known for most of your life. This probably is growing up- one needs to shut oneself in a tight shell.

It is remarkable how one has to learn not to be offended, as well. My standards for the world have almost reached 0 but not quite. Still, day by day my expectations keep falling(much like the stock markets now). Twitter helps me retain my sanity, still there are times I wonder what is the purpose of the whole site.

People may come, people may go but I go on forever.

I am not a book review bot

September 18, 2011 § 4 Comments

Howdy world! I have not turned into a book review writing bot. Blame it all on twitter! I never have the motivation to write a post any more. The blog was once upon a time where after much deliberation, I would write a clearly worded rant. But now of course, the little blue bird and 140 characters rule my life(addiction, you see).

There are a number of factors, which have led to this post. The cherry on top of the black-forest of course is that I met Brainstuck and The Alchemist. Over come with nostalgia and admiration(it was a Harry meets Dumbledore again moment), the little (kid) dinosaur decided that it was time to make an appearance again(much like a renegade school boy, I used to be).

Of course, what exactly I am supposed to write fails me. If only there was a Mississippi(yay! I got the spelling correct for the first time ever!) I would be a Huck Finn,  rescuing a Tom from the clutches of authority and helping him to escape North. As it stands, I am lost in a world of monkeys on typewriter, forever writing the script of you-know-who knows what.

Life, has turned, back flipped, somersaulted and even spun around in a Romanov influenced roulette before being dipped in the spirits of confused responsibility. One thing that hasn’t changed though is that I am still made of the same skin and blood and brains, unscathed by numbers, laws, boredom, accidents and gravity. The world as a maitre patisserie would say is like the sponge layer.

One of the reasons of abandoning ‘blog posts’ probably was that it was the vogue. But the nouveau riche of twitter have with some panache revived the Prime with All Spark-esque memes. And when a silly girl’s post became an overnight sensation much like a boy who think he can sing, it was time to contemplate a return to the not so dark art of writing blog posts.

Blogposts have gained social acceptance faster than Galileo did but twitter has gained social prominence faster than your great granddad who got a OBE did. And prominence is much more tempting than acceptance especially since it is the only way to sate your ego after seeing a 100 million likes on that stupid status update. Nevertheless, a blog is a blog is a blog. A space where your everyday trash can become priceless junk in the future.

Thus I return to being a blogger from a reviewing bot. If I fail to write a post a week feel free to fast and start a campaign on twitter. I shall without fail consider mentioning your efforts.

Until then, so long and lots of Plationic love, yours truly, V.

Matchbox of hope

September 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

The boy had a box of matchsticks in his hand. In front of him was a candle- A plain old cream-white candle. The only light in the room came from the LED street lights outside the window. The murmur of the rain and the occasional vehicle were the only sounds that made their way in. His eyes sparkled bright as he lit each matchstick and watched it die even as he tried to light the candle.

He would have been about 10 years old. His brows were in keen concentration and he smiled rarely. There was a bottle of water next to him, which seemed to never run out. There was perspiration on his forehead. His hair was unkempt and fell on his forehead. He had brown eyes and his nose was rather flat. He sat there legs crossed and kept striking the matches. His hands were slightly large for his age and the fingers showed signs of effort.

The artist stared at the boy and in his vision, painted. Hopeless though it seemed, he couldn’t help noticing that all that the boy wanted to do was light the candle. He never seemed to run out of matchsticks. He kept trying, again and again. He probably would grow old and the water would turn into whiskey. The calm face might lose its steadiness and become wrinkle ridden. His eyes may lose their charm to the light and he may start looking up occasionally at the window. He might go on till the day in desperation, he struck a match for one last time, tried to light the candle, watched it burn out and breath in the smoke for one last time.

But the boy had no clue what was outside. All he knew was that he had to light the candle. He did not know why. But he would have to keep trying, till he succeeded.

Matchbox of hope.

 

MEMORIES OF A ROLLING STONE by VINA MAZUMDAR(book review)

August 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

Memories of a rolling stone by Vina Mazumdar

Inspirational.

There are some books which attract you. For some reason, one gets pulled towards them and then there is no turning back. One knows that it is going to affect one is strange ways. Memories Of A Rolling Stone, did precisely that. It has been over a week since I completed the book and I am still mesmerized, influenced and inspired by the book.

This is the first autobiography that I have completed. The book not only gave me an insight into the women’s movement in India but also segments of our history. One of the toughest things to do is to accept that one is wrong- the author talks about the misconception which existed prior to the study conducted for the UN report(during the International Women’s decade) and how even after conclusive facts, politicians and governments were still resistant and apprehensive in accepting the study.

The author talks with humility and confidence which gave me the shudders. In times when exaggeration is the staple and limelight is what many seek, she maintains a poise and narrates her story with calm and unadulterated passion. There are many who dismiss the women’s movement as that of the elite the author highlights the fact that indeed it was so and that rural and poor women, women who did the actual work in the fields where still riddled in the old narrow-minded society.

The book opened a new perspective for me. This is the first time, I have had the opportunity to listen someone who was part of the system. Vina Mazumdar talks about her journey from her home is Kolkatta, through independence, through Oxford, as a teacher and then as a part of the women’s movement. We learn from her life experiences and come to realize that a certain amount of tact and willpower is needed to tackle the problems in our society and country.

While our politicians and TV anchors harp away to glory, there are many who do the actual work. They are the ones who are responsible for our development, freedom and day-to-day existence. The author, inspires and at the end of the day, all I can do is thank her for the book. Well narrated and detailed, the book is like the author a Rolling Stone- the pages keep turning. It would be delightful to have a teacher like her!

Rating:- 8/10

I exist

May 17, 2011 § 4 Comments

I would love to stand on top of the tallest hill in the world and shout my lungs out and roll on the grass at that tallest hill laughing away like a maniac. But since I cannot for myriad reasons(like for eg. me being really lazy person), I just decide to think about it and end up day dreaming, rather evening dreaming while doing the chest press at the gym.

It is rather significant fact that life is so much more enjoyable when you pretend it to be enjoyable. Over a period of time it does become enjoyable. In that way anything and everything is enjoyable, including walking in 40C and sweating all over. Life is in pretense than in the actuals, simple because there are times when one has no clue as to what is real.

It is easy to say gulping down a tetra pack of apple juice is your reality but it probably isn’t the reality of a prodigal daughter sitting in a bar and drinking away or that kid in the corner of the road trying to sell coloring books for some unknown mafia. But you learn to ignore both and still fall in love with that costly car and that dark street with a single street lamp and cool evening sea breeze.

Not that you are poor or something. You have reached material contentment and it should last a while- as long as people keep making annoying ads.

I stopped calling myself a writer. Not that I can’t find time, but I don’t see the point in writing. You can feel depressed and bothered and writing does ease it, but you don’t make anything out of it. You take a stance on a topic and you can argue but you don’t achieve anything. Thinking is one thing, doing is another. I am trying to figure out how to get things done.

I will start writing stories and the like again sooner rather than later but I continue writing poems every now and then- poetry is that verse that reminds you of your joyous self. Some say I read too many depressing books, but I enjoy them. There is a part of me that enjoys being grave. There is no use fighting my love for melancholy, I embrace it, enjoy it and continue. And while it my sound bad, it was necessary to reach this point- now I can enjoy those smaller things which I couldn’t before. I am happy because I don’t have a reason to feel sad. And even when I feel sad, I know I am happy about it.

I went to North India for the first time. There are as many Indians as stars in the universe. You can never put it in words nor in pictures. It is one long motion film, never ending and never ending. The contrasts are too much but Jai ho! and corruption followed me all the way to Wagh Border. Someone told me corruption isn’t in our DNA, but I tell you it is.

I refuse to write about things that bother me any more because I know they bother me and that if something has to be done about it, I need to do it. All that is important is that I remain happy forever. And that is possible only when sources I seek happiness from exist and are happy.

I still dream and I always will, it is just that I see things differently when I am awake, but my dreams always inspire me.

I exist because I think, but more importantly I exist.

Where Am I?

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