Saturday, December 25, 2010

Once upon a time...

The wrought iron gate creaked unexpectedly loud into the cold afternoon sun as I pushed it open. Shouldn't have been unexpected. Afterall, it had been shut for the past eight
years. The part of the gate where my hands touched suddenly struck a sharp contrast with the rest of the dust ridden metal. This gate used to be my airplane when I was six. I
would hop onto it and swing to faraway lands, in search of adventure. And it never failed to bring me back home.

I crossed the porch. Two padlocks later, I was inside the house. My grandparent's old house. A cloud of dust and cobwebs greeted me. A cursory cough, and I stepped inside. It was
dark. Not your normal dark. It was the kind of dark you get when a place hasn't seen light for a long long time. Its somehow, darker, as if light needs time to get reacquainted
with the place. Furniture lay exactly as I remembered it, draped with cloth that used to be white, a long time ago. A lizard scurried behind the cabinet, evidently astonished by
the sudden breaking and entering. This was where I had spent all my summers as a kid. This was the safest place in the world.

It was happy that I came, the house. It even had a present for me. Somehow, magically, it had preserved and bottled up all of its smells for me. Underneath all the layers of dust and
grime, I sensed familiar scents. I closed my eyes and followed the trail. My Grandfather's betel nuts and elaichis near the mantlepiece. The crisp parchment from the half open drawer.
The distinctive sea smell which the conches and seashells still carried after all these years. Seashells my Grandfather had picked up from the shore; once upon a time, like the
stories. The sandalwood murtis. The huge bed, where I would lie in my Grandmother's arms as she taught me all about stories. Everything had a story behind it, she said. And
everything here did. Every wall had a trapdoor. Every cupboard had a secret compartment. The bookshelf was a top secret weapons base and the wardrobe was a time machine. Oh, and my
Grandfather's walking stick was a katana. Actually, still is.

The garden, once disciplined by my Grandmother, now grew haphazardly all over the place. But still, the scent was the same. The mixture of all the flowers, whose names no one else
knew but her. And the all so familiar guava and neem trees. The swing in the porch where I would spend afternoons playing my first harmonica. Evenings would consist of the ritualistic
watering of her plants. I would trundle alongside her, half buried under the huge pipe, as she spoke to each plant she watered. Each plant had a name. Each plant had a story. I
listened intently. And implored her to tell it again the next day. Ritualistic imploring begetted ritualistic storytelling.

Nights were spent on the terrace, under the moonlit sky. As she taught me about the overhead stars. Here came the real stories. Of Gods and men and wise old creatures. She traced
them in the sky. Pointed them out to me. Somehow, the sky has never looked the same. You might not believe it, but my Grandmother is friends with all the stars.

I went around the all so familiar spots. Felt them one more time. I remembered so many forgotten things. The festivals and the reunions when the house laughed along with us. This house had seen me grow up. And now, two days after my twentieth birthday, it gave me the greatest gift of all. It made me feel small again. Thankyou. I whispered.

What can I say. We re like cats and dogs. We attach ourselves to people. We attach ourselves to places. People die. Places turn into dust. And we? We realise that we are only human.
The wrought iron gate groaned as I grabbed it and swung on to faraway lands, in search of adventure. One last time.

Sigh, December. Always makes me feel nostalgic.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hello December.

Tonight is a beautiful night. Dark, drunk and just a little bit tipsy. Beautiful. I am sober. And watchful. For tonight has put a spell on me. As she stumbles, leans to pick out a star off her path, I smell her scent, her wine. She just smiles her secret smile and turns away. Such grace she has, when she lets go. Such beauty. I jump, trying to catch her. I never can. I can just stand and stare in awe.

Someone I once knew, asked me
Why are all sad things beautiful?
Compensation.

December always makes me nostalgic. Its the air, I think. It just makes you look back at what all happened and try, try to find, somehow, somewhere, that place where you went wrong. For you did, didn't you? I know I did. And I can't find where.

A friend of mine once told me to be grateful that I could be nostalgic. He said it was the worst feeling to not be able to. To be numb of that feeling. Alienated. Anesthetized. To accept, once and for all, that we might never again be the way we were. A look in his eyes, he was telling the truth.

I wish I could go back to that hill with that lake where floyd sounded so good. Tonight would have been perfect for it. Or that spot behind the football field from where you can see the bright burning lights of the dockyard in nights like these, and you can lie down on the road and do nothing, just watch stars. And the occasional airplane. Or in Panjim, next to the river, like when I first took a walk there with Moonbeam, and watched the city lights from under a street lamp.

Or the sea, which has become home, a companion. Sometimes, the only listener. But most of the times, the only one I can share my drink with.
...Some for the sea, and some for me.

Tonight is a beautiful night.

Shame its such a waste.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

...maybe I was talking to myself.



Trying to talk to my Hendrix poster is one thing. But ending up spending a whole night having a meaningful conversation with it is a totally different story.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pathetic, really.

Can a song change a life?

God I hope so. Sometimes, a song is all you have. A song someone else wrote, for someone else. You intrude. You make it your own. Borrowed words for borrowed feelings. Like using someone else's toothbrush. You fall in love with those words and loop them in your headphones. And me? I pick up my guitar and make believe it was me who wrote them in the first place. Pathetic really. But then, like I said, we are little people, you and I. Aren't we?

We lip sync. Unknowingly; together. We smile at the same parts and we close our eyes and try as hard as we can to push everything else but the music away. For those twenty six minutes and five seconds, it rains novocaine. Then the song gets over. Like a crash landing plane, it all comes back. It all comes back.

I always think that the happiest man on the planet doesn't need music. I always wish my favourite song was silence.

One day, I will write the most beautiful song in the world. And keep it to myself.

Ha.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heh.

How cynical can you get?

For I am real cynical right now. As cynical as can be. So much that I am secretly proud of myself about it. I mean, I have achieved the prowess of taking anything from innately mundane to extraordinarily beautiful and twisting it in my mind to make it look like my cousin's pet dog's excreta. Nice no?

Shit man. I can't write for nuts. The funny part is I've known that for so long and I still keep going at it. Thats also the sad part. Most lame ass attempts at poetry in the history of blogging; for that matter, history of literature; of the world; of everything. Another funny thing is that I will keep going at it. And some time later write another angry rant about how I, in general, suck. Write. God, this is so hilarious already. Please let me die of laughter.

No one reads it though. Thats a consolation. There is a very dismal satisfaction in the fact that the world does not see your worst. Not much of it anyway. Why, then, am I not writing all this on a notepad file?

See what I mean? Hilarious.

Poor blog though. What rubbish it has had to digest. My only listener, my so called friend, you moronic piece of pathetic web-shit, I am sorry. So sorry.

The problem with being a lonely cynic is that you have no one else to criticize but you. The problem with living life is that it does not come with a backspace button. The problem with being me is that I cannot get the heck out of this place. This nightmare. The problem, my dear blog, my faithful reader, is yours.

All literature is consolation. Sigh. This is not literature then.

My only listener, my so called friend, is this cynical enough for you?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Such is life. And its only just begun.
I write blue. Sitting next to the golden purple night.
And the droplets of light which used to be stars, sometime ago.
The lamp posts shining a dull bleak white;
they used to be warm, sometime ago.
Cold black wind blows from across the river.
Brushes against my arms. Taking something away with it.
leaves me cold. Paints me black.
It used to be a friend, sometime ago.
Yesterday, even the guitar string broke.
She's given up on me too. Hadn't. Sometime ago.
As the first little rays of the sun open their eyes
I will walk through yesterday night's frost.
In search of that lost part of the past.
I was nothing, sometime ago.
...still am.

Friday, October 1, 2010

All literature is consolation.

An inevitable sense of impending doom.
As I wait for the seventh wave to strike.

Kill the lights. They re of no use anymore.
Just the firefly, perched on top of my guitar case.
And the rain, gently knocking on my doorstep.
And my life.
Push something white hot into the flesh.
Hold it there.
Now Breathe.
Breathe. For its the least you can do.
Hold it there. Compare.
The reflections. The kohl. The songs. Despair.
For again, like about everything else in my life
I remain clueless.

An inevitable sense of impending doom.
As I wait for the seventh wave to strike.
..For when it does, I will stop writing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stalemate

I sit, crouching on Saturday night's back. Holding on tight. Holding on to the coffee cup, and all that could have been in it. Then the rain comes and goes, an old friend. And deserted, I sit under the deserted flickery yellow street lamp. Three raindrops in the coffee cup. One on my nose.
Me, waiting for my old friend. Me, afraid of silence. Me, straining to hear the night's conversations with the street lamp; the sea's conversations with you. And you, can't you feel your fingertips, too?
Stalemate.
But its worth the wait.
And how could I forget, that burning cigarette among the other eighty seven things waiting for me, across the sea.
....Lets paint yellow outlines to all the shadows in the world.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

...burning room.

Overtly chewed up, stretched to the limit; just not quite.
Am just, tired tonight.
Spasms of mirth, punctuating the blue blue monotonicity of life.
And the relentless chase to bring them back in sight.
Am just tired tonight.
Tired of it all. I feel...incompetent. Bored, more so.
What can I say, classic me.
Bored of hope; that son of a bitch.
And wave after cold wave crashed at my feet.
As I asked, is it still complicated?
And she smiled and she said, it always is.
And she smiled, she smiled when she said that.
So, tonight, I am bored of complicated.
Maybe tomorrow, we ll see.
But tonight...
Am just.. tired tonight.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

City don't cry

I love going to the city. Its a small city. More of a town. Cozy. Like a grandmother.
I love that about it.
Even the road towards the city is beautiful. A prelude.
I ride. With my instincts, more than a sense of direction. And yet, I am so confident.
The front brakes don't work. But who wants to use them anyway?
I ride.
I race against the wind. I race against my pain.
I ride.
I always win. And the city is my reward.
A walk by the river. Fleeting thoughts. Of what should have. Of what could have.
Butterflies and zebras and Moonbeams...
She's known me for a while now, the city. Knows my pain too.
What can she do? She has her own to tend to.
She offers respite. I scramble for it.
But mostly, she just makes me feel at home. I can stand next to her river and watch the sun set for ever. And then stay more. To watch the city lights reflect in the waters.
I think she likes me for that.

And then the time comes to go back. I have to. No, I haven't won her over yet.
I would go back and play away her blues. But I am not good enough.
One day I will call her my mine. No. One day, she will call me her own.

What is our purpose in life?
Our purpose in life is to find a home.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sigh

Oh am so cool! I got writer's block!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Can you stand the silence?

What will we do when there is nothing left to talk about?

Monday, July 19, 2010

No I am not in a mood to actually think of a title.

Another night. Another hill. This time I am closer to home though. Closer to my people. Its peaceful here.

It wasn't, in the city. With its harsh lights and sounds. The magic potions which would make you forget, atleast for a while. The clinks and thumps and smokes and high pitched uncontrollable laughter. The fake dreams and lost causes. Lost causes.

Even the night was unforgiving. With its tales of unrequitted love and futility of life. Amidst slow blues. Ugly. Sometimes I wish I could never have been able to appreciate the blues. Life would have been easier.

And still I slept with a stupid smile. Was it the blues or was I laughing upon myself?

Lost causes. Was I running behind all the wrong things? I nearly lost my people because of it. I nearly lost my home. I didn't. My people took care that I didn't. Thank God for old friends.
Not long ago my friend had threatened me- You try as hard as you can to hide from us, but rest assured we will find you.

I bank on that threat.

Today I wished that my life would be a bollywood movie. That they would understand. That I would jump onto my superbike and ride into the sunset. That I could make everyone happy.

Turns out it isn't. They let me go, but I end up jumping inside a Rickshaw. And it refuses to take me on. I end up not getting the girl. My playlist ends up queuing all the wrong songs. I end up hurting others and getting hurt in the process. And I end up puking in front of all the wrong people.

I guess we are not the swaggering, strutting heroes afterall. We are little people, you and I. With little dreams and little ambitions and little insecurities which seem colossal to us. And my dream is always bigger than yours. The pangs of unrequited... whatever.
Little people...!

Someday, these blues will end and some others will begin. In the grossly imperfect movie that is my life, all is not well, and never will be. And I have gladly come to terms with that. Thank God I can appreciate the blues.

It might be the blues, or it might be the subconcious me laughing upon myself.

But I guess I will sleep with a stupid smile tonight.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Please tell me you recognised him. Even if you didnt. Just tell me.





Clapton God. Because I insulted him a few posts ago. Though sucky sketches dont seem to be that good a redemption. Done in about ten minutes each with a 2B, really fast, just to get the tones right, more than anything else.
Because this blog was supposed to be about sketching and painting, more than anything else.

PS- No, one of them is not Chinese. He is singing with his eyes closed. Dimwits.

Bhains.



....Because its so black and I ve got charcoal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I am still alive.






Just to prove that I am still alive. And sketching. These are some who suck the least, which implies that they suck nonetheless. But that is okay. I am used to that. They were done in around fifteen minutes each with a 2B, in response to an extremely dull, stagnant, inwardly shameful and coal dust filled state of mind. Its the Pink Floyd, minus Nick Mason, which is ironic, him being the only one to have seen all their years. But I ll come around to him.
...I take a meagre refuge in the fact that they are just practice.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Top of the world.

Everything is fine here. On the outside. Perfect, if anything is.

There is a hill here. You can see all the lights in the world from the top of it. And more. Distinct. As if underlining their existance. Their loneliness. Their...darkness.

And a lake. And all the lights multiply in it.

The smoke from the industry chimneys stains the dark dark sky. Floyd sounds even better here. Sometimes I wonder if I am talking to nobody in particular. Just the smoke, maybe. And the smoke doesn't give me answers too.
As if I am alone in this. What is the use of sitting on top of the world if there is no one to look down and wave?

Maybe I am just a nice guy.

When it rains, it smells like home...


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bah.

Am still here.
Not gone very far. A bit ahead though. Drifted.
Not trying to swim. trying not to sink.
But still here.
Afloat.
But my dream is gone.
And my weight has gone with it.
So I drift. Nowhere in particular.
Still here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Surviving.

I read a book. I scribble something on a piece of paper. I find it interesting. Lyrical even. I read it. In my mind. Under my breath. Aloud. When I am alone. Meek pride...

I will crumple it up and throw it away tomorrow.

I believe in God. It doesn't hurt. Formless. Abstract. Omnipotent. All encompassing.
The usual.
I make up witty statements to defend my spirituality. Suit up the words and make them look good. After a certain point of time, everything seems lyrical. Even this. Everyone listens to you then. Everyone but you.

God is....

I don't tell her. I don't intrude. I let it go. The reflections. The Kohl. The songs.
Afraid for her more than I am afraid for me.

Sigh.

I need people around me. I need people around me to prove to them that I am a loner. I sit alone. Apart. I lose in my thoughts. I brood. I sulk. And I glance at them. And I hope that they glance at me. And then I look away.

I blatantly ask for pity. Blatantly. I wallow in pain. I enjoy doing that.
God is pitiful because he looks down upon my inexcusably meager existence and decides to let me survive.

I am, in essence, docile. I am, in essence, an escapist. I am, in essence, only human.

I am, in essence, surviving.

I am.




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coffee and me

It is 6am in the morning and I am sitting listening to Clapton's Cocaine after a night of leaning my elbows on the SPM textbook watching around five episodes of 30 Rock and a movie called Ninja assassin among other random stuff. Love that song, though I have never had a first hand encounter with its main subject. Call it prudence or yellow bellied cowardice, by my 'addictions' don't go above classic rock and caffeine. Yes, I am a coffee addict. Its not that I wouldn't be able to live without it, but then, that life would just plain suck. I even tried to change cocaine's lyrics into caffeine. Doesn't work. Bastards gave the better sounding word to the weird white stuff.



I come from a family of passionate tea drinkers. Their day's schedule revolves around tea times(plural; Oh there are many. so many). I still remember the whiff of tea leaves spreading around the house at five in the evening. I remember me, a teacup in hand, taking careful baby steps towards my Grandfather's bed. The small chatters and clatters as the cup moved a bit with each step, the hot red liquid threatening to fall in the saucer. And me, walking the tightrope, praying that wouldn't happen. My Grandfather hates tea-spilled saucers. He wouldn't speak until he had the first sip and then his whole face would light up and glow in the orange sun and he would laugh, crinkling his eyes and heartily pat my back before returning to his crossword puzzle. I felt like an adult the first time I had tea, albeit mixed with an ample amount of milk. I gulped it down and beamed at my Mom. How was it, she asked. "Awesome!", I said, though it was all milk. And I got the my-little-boy-is-all-grown-up look they reserve only for special occasions. I was a tea man then. Coffee was for wusses. Coffee was a distant blur.

I think the first time I noticed coffee was while watching Dexter's laboratory. Theres a couple of episodes where Dexter has coffee and he inexplicably becomes a lot more awesome than he already is. They showed coffee to be this dirty brown liquid. They showed tired and sleepy and irritable Dad gulp down coffee with the signature heaving Adam's apple and transform into fresh and shiny Dad. They even showed him sparkle, for God's sakes. And I am like, what the heck is that?( This is how the young generation made gullible. Cartoons. I remember trying to eat raw spinach after watching Popeye. Yucky stuff. And my biceps were bony as ever. Popeye's had frickin Steam boats in 'em). I don't know when I had my first coffee and whether I liked it or not. I am guessing I must have. It was made for me. From then on, tea became associated with old over-conservative English women with a pince-nez and and a Bonnet eying me with a certain balefulness and reproachfulness which I have come to associate exclusively with certain trw teachers with a dangerous reputation, thus making me acutely uncomfortable, and saying something like " And how would you like you tea, good sir?"

Coffee on the other hand became this kinda cool beverage. I read stories of Italians drinking Cappuccinos and eating Paninis on the roadside Cafes. I saw writers sitting with their coffee mugs and typing furiously on their Macbooks, brimming with ideas. And I watched movies with a guy saying to a girl 'Would you like to come up for a coffee or something?' after a date, and the girl doing a bad job feigning shyness before saying yes. Do you think girls would have "come up" for tea? And it was not like the spinach incident. It did taste exceptionally good, that bittersweet son of a bitch. And it went well with most other exceptionally awesome stuff in the world too- mint and cookies and chocolate! Have coffee with a Polo in your mouth. Delight. It even bode well with tea- I don't know if you have had a certain drink which I have only seen sold at the roadside chai tapriwaalas. Its called 'Takkar' and it is a mixture of tea and coffee and it is not bad at all. Coffee became this intellectual stimulant for me. Tea was for slobs. I became a coffee man.

And thus began my coffee addiction. Even today, as I sip on a Mongi double coffee, a Polo under my lip, I remember Dexter's Dad. And I remember him gulping down the dark dirty brown liquid, Adam's apple heaving, which made him sparkle. And I look down on that sublime nectar with a hope that it will make me sparkle too. And then I give myself a mental slap for being so corny and gulp down the rest of it, crunching what is left of the Polo. Delight!

And yeah, about the whole Cocaine situation. They say, two things would suck without Cream- Coffee and Clapton. So in your face, Eric Clapton, you tea drinking English bastard, in your face!!

Who moved my Messiah?

I am writing a lot these days, or atleast thinking about it, mostly because of the DoJMA blog. Heres an extremely nonsensical story, to be taken in the same spirit. It might lead to some deeply insightful revelation if read carefully. Tell me if you find it-
Not unlike many other stories you might have read before, this one took place in a land far far away. And not unlike them, the land had a weird-ass name. It was so difficult to pronounce that people had given up trying. Apparently, the King who named it, did so when he was on his death bed with a raging tuberculosis and a horrendous throat infection. The tubes running through his nose didn't help either. And as the subjects were hanging on to every grunt and moan of their King, he proceeded to produce varying editions of said grunts and moans when the time came for him to name it. Then, he died.

Now, the citizens of this land gave a colossal importance to the science of pronunciation. Mis-pronunciations were a punishable offence and the usual punishments ranged from severing one's head to trampling it under the feet of the royal elephant Yakuzunna. But in essence, death. After a couple of attempts which led the respective attempters under Yakuzunna's feet, people gave up trying to imitate the King's last words. Since then, no one ever spoke the name of the land. For the sake of the story, we will call it the Land. With a capital L.

Our hero is a young man, born and raised in the Land. He was an orphan. Quite understandably, no one really knew what his name was. Or whether he had a name or not. Infact, no one really cared about his existence, maybe apart from the fact that he created a distortion, albeit a meager and rather inconsequential, in the space-time continuum around him. But for some weird inexplicable reason he became our hero and the job of naming him falls squarely on our shoulders. Lets find a better solution and refer to him in his pronounic form, eg. Him, with a captial H.

As you may have perceived, the residents of Land were not the brightest people in the world. Firstly because after all these years, no one could come up with a simple name for their Kingdom. Secondly, well, they used obsolete execution methods. They were also known to think that the sun was a huge light bulb and they tried to fool the guy who switched in on everyday by calling Sunday Monday, Monday Tuesday and so on. It didn't work, obviously. Everyone knows that theres no guy! Its automatic!! Obviously, the mastermind behind the plan was fed to the royal crocodile.

Now our hero was one of the queer specimens of this race. He was dumber than horse shit. I don't know what He did for a living, but the fact that He was alive said that He did eat sometimes. He lived near the outskirts of the Land, on the edge of the Great Black Forest. Everyone was forbidden to go there. Because it smelt weird and was too damn dark. One night, as always, He was sitting in front of His fire. Suddenly the wind blew harder than ever, and a few logs of firewood rolled down on the forest floor near some weeds. He ran to gather them, but as He reached them, a queer thing happened. The weed had caught fire. He stood right above them, petrified, cause something weird was happening. The fumes rose up to His nose and as if it was divine intervention in his inexcusably lame life, He got transported into another place! He couldn't help but smile. He had all the answers! The smile turned into a grin which graduated into full fledged laughter which for some reason couldn't stop. He suddenly could appreciate the things around him better, for the first time. He took a leaf in his palm and stared at it. The green leaf stared back. He stared at it harder, daring it to respond. The green leaf stared back. This was His limit. He crushed it and threw it away and resumed His laughter.

The people of the Land heard it. A lone laugh coming from the forest. They gathered together and after much debate, decided to send a bunch of expendable people to check what was going on. The sorry bunch departed and reach the place where the laughter was coming from. They saw Him. But they thought He was not His usual self. They thought there was a glow around Him. An aura. He looked so damn happy! He was sitting in a Padmasana wearing nothing but his underpants, right in front of the flickering fire. And he was grinning a wide grin. With a glint in his eyes as if he knew something the others didn't. Then he saw the others coming and thus began his first known words of wisdom-"Gee Geee Gaaaa Gaaaa.", He said,"GEEE GEEE GAAAA GAAAA!!!" raising his arms up in the air and beckoning them to heed.

And everyone was so overwhelmed by that show that they chanted "GEEEE GEEEE GAAAA GAAAA!!!" together as one. His smile widened.

The people of Land who had stayed back heard those chants and they all came running to the site. Heres our saviour, the chanters told them. Heres our messiah. Heres the man with all the answers! Just look at him. Doesn't he look like he has all the answers?!

And soon enough, every man, woman, child of the Land chanted "GEEEE GEEEE GAAA GAAAA!!!" together as one. They bowed to Him and implored Him to answer their questions. They begged Him for solutions to their problems. He in turn, gave one last all knowing grin, and snuggled near His beloved fire and started to snore. The Messiah will sleep on it, they said, and left Him in peace.

Soon enough, the fame of the Saviour grew. The immortal words "GEEEE GEEEE GAAA GAAAA!!!" were carved on buildings and door frames and any damn empty walls. And then those walls would be covered with flowers and incense sticks and coconuts which would go bad and smell in a couple of days. But more kept coming. Some brilliant guy had the idea of putting it as a t shirt slogan and became a millionaire out of it. Then he expanded the line into caps and bumper stickers and keychains and became a billionaire. They tried in vain to find out about His past, but then as I told you earlier, no one even knew his name. All this did was expand the veil of mystery over Him. And thus, He became more popular than ever.

The businessman, as a gesture of gratitude for his good fortune, decided to hold a ceremony in His honour. He was escorted in a royal vehicle into the city. People rejoiced as they saw their God walk on earth. They threw roses at his feet. They made up songs about him and sang them. He sat, taking it all in, with his trademark grin on his face. As He was being taken to the venue, He saw the Royal elephant Yakuzunna in its shed. He suddenly pointed at it and shouted "CHICHI!!!"

It was the God's will. The name of the Royal Elephant was changed to Chichi.

The ceremony began. After the kindergarten kids, school kids, high school kids, their mothers, grandmothers, girls from the local arts college, the top Rock band in the Land and a fire martial artist- clown duo performed their entertainment acts, it was time for Him to speak. It was exactly at this time, when, sadly for Him, our hero came to his senses. And the first thing He saw when He came His senses was tens of thousands of people staring at him, waiting for him to speak. So, he did what everyone who would be in this situation would do. He started screaming his head off. And thus, all the tens of thousands of people started screaming their respective heads off. And He was shocked out of his senses. His all knowing smile was wiped flat off his face. The Lord foresees a disaster, they said, and scampered around like a bunch of sea rats in panic.

And He did foresee disaster. For, at that exact moment, entered a mighty angry Chichi. And he ran through the crowd trampling random people, reached the stage, and with one flick of its trunk, flattened the frail life out of our hero. He was dead before He hit the ground. And so the elephant took its revenge.

As for the people of the Land, they saw the great powerful form of the elephant, mighty and grand. They saw it defeat their God with a simple trunk flick, the easiest of elephant killing techniques. As if to assert its awesome power over Him. They saw its huge form, towering over everybody, daring them to come forward, to retaliate.

And everyone was so overwhelmed by that show that they bowed in front if it, together as one. And they implored it to kill their enemies and destroy their foe. The fact that the elephant create insanely huge distortions in the space-time continuum also impressed them.

...and this is how the people of the Land found a new Messiah.

Gods must be crazy.

This is a post I wrote yesterday for the BITS DoJMA blog. A couple of inside references you might not figure out, but then, I love private jokes, so, suck it and read-
This blog has become my only source of inspiration to write. And when I think about it, its not a good thing at all. I mean, what will I write after this gets over? Anyways, a post written a couple of days ago caught my attention. It was about atheism. And how atheism was awesome you didn't have to care about lotuses in your stomach and cobras in your spine when you are an atheist( I am sorry man, but too serious writing gives me bad bowel movements. So let me just have my fun, no offence meant, to you and your faith :P .)

There was a time in my childhood, when to sound cool, guys would be like" I am nonveg! I love chicken!!"(read Louuuu!!). It was the time when we thought that either you are a 'veg' or a 'nonveg' and the word 'Dangerous' could be substituted by a much simpler and yet million times more effective 'DANGEEER!!'(pronounced 'dainger'), by getting rid of its clumsy appendage. At that particular time, when a guy proclaimed that yes, he did consume the flesh of a fellow animal, we would all catch our breaths in awe and look at him as if he was Clint Eastwood and/or the coolest guy on the planet. The rest of the discussion would later get into digressions of whether blood is visible in the dish and the correct way to eat a around a chicken bone. When I became a non vegetarian, even I became the awesomest guy on earth to my brother's friends( Who is seven years younger than me.) for around four and a half minutes before he decided I was stealing his thunder and landed his cricket bad squarely on the pinky of my left foot. Coolest guys in the world don't weep like little girls. Anyways, my point is, now that most of us are over the fact that yes, we are animals and we do eat other animals and that is life( Again, so sorry dude. Completely unintentional), the question, 'do you believe in God?' has replaced 'Are you a vegetarian?'. And if you are an atheist, then you are on top of the food chain. Agnostics sound a lot cooler, though.

I believe in God. I believe He has yet to find me, but I do believe in Him. Heres the thing- the question, 'do you believe in God?' is one of the most personal questions you can ever ask an individual. And as in every scientific discussion, you cannot move on unless you define the premise. So the more important question here is what is God. If you say that God is a half naked man with a chiseled body and a flowing white beard, sitting on top of the best tanning-spot-cloud in the sky and sipping a chilled Elixir of Life, then yes, I am an atheist. But then, that is not what I mean when I talk about God. My idea of God is very different than that, and thats what I mean when I say its a personal question. Not very scientific, I know, but works for me.

I believe in God because, from what I have learnt about the vastness and the diversity of the universe through science, I feel it would be utterly arrogant on our part to say that there is no entity which drives it. I believe in energy, cannot be created, nor destroyed. Formless yet omnipresent. Neither good nor bad. And I look at it in awe and reverence and I bow down before it. They say 'ekam sat'- God is one. And they think of unity in diversity. They think of Allah being equivalent to Ganesh and they swoon around about Hindu Muslim unity.They say God is present everywhere and they pick up random boulders and colour them saffron and adorn them with flowers and coconuts and incense sticks. The language of the Vedas has been dilapidated and twisted and murdered. Energy is present wherever matter is. Energy is one. And one only. Ekam sat. And this phenomenon is what I deeply appreciate. So, yes, I believe in God. This one.

The key to the puzzle is religion. Religion, though superficially is all about God, is one of the most social things you can do. It was devised for society. Basically, remember when you were a child and you were told stories about Santa Claus and the Tooth fairies and a certain 'Bagulbua' who would carry a jute sack to kidnap the children who didn't sleep on time. Society is like a naughty child. A dumb naughty child, mind you. It loves Himesh Reshammiya and Britney Spears. It 'roflmaos' on CID jokes( I love 'em!). It reveres Rajnikanth. It screens TV series exclusively about people eating bugs, snakes, shit, rodents, crustaceans, lizards, shit, amphibians and the shit of the aforementioned species among other things. How the heck are you going to explain to them the true meaning of God? Or even take their help in finding it?

Also, the intelligent folk among the people wanted society to be good, crime free and peaceful. So, what they did was, they said there is a man in the sky watching all of us, and if you do anything wrong, he will punish you, for he is God. Now heres the funny thing. The 'intelligent folk' had the liberty to decide what was 'wrong'. So they confided and wrote big fat books about what was right and what was wrong. This is what we call ethics, in philosophy. Which differ from society to society, well because they have different books. Plato has different ethics, Aristotle has different ethics, the Bhagwad Geeta speaks of different ethics. But basically, it was all for the betterment of society. A novel plan. To make it sell, they cooked up stories about these men in the sky. But then, if you look at those stories carefully, you will note one thing. God was the perfect man. Every philosophy describes a perfect man. A man who follows all the ethics laid down in the philosophy. The elephant God was given big ears and a large stomach because it was an allegory for a person who 'Gives every man thy ear, but few thy voice.' The reason behind the presence of the moon on the head of Shankar was to show that the God of destruction is not hot headed. As in, if you have power, you have to be prudent enough to use it. And religion, is man's quest to be the perfect man. To acquire these qualities.

A long time passed and obviously, the 'intelligent people' became greedy. They invented stories for their own good. The beautiful, flawless plan became tainted. They started looking at individual interests rather than greater good. And this is how religion is how it came to be. Biased, partial and seemingly unreasonable. But it has rooted itself so deep into society that there is no way they can be separated. Today people actually believe in the bearded man, the forbidden apple trees, a heaven and a hell just like they believed in the tooth fairies and Bagulbuas in their childhood. They don't eat meat in certain months because they think that their God told them to do so. They take lives of other humans, because their God told them to do so. Eh well, the Gods must be crazy then.

Bottom line- I believe in God, but not in organised religion. And belief is a very funny thing. It can bring hope to one while bringing despair to others. Its beautiful in a weird weird way, you know. And the beauty of it is that people are so sure about things they don't even know exist. Its not very scientific, but then, works for me.

Now the lotus in my stomach is screaming to be fed and watered, so I better take care of it before it grows roots in all the wrong places... :P

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Paper

There is a lot of poetry around me from the past few days. It has its effects. I had previously published four rhyming lines and called it a poem. Here are many not-rhyming lines. I still call it a poem-
The brushstrokes keep falling on the canvas
Harsh, rough, jagged strokes,
like the edge of a broken window pane
Tender like a dew drop rolling down the broken glass
So sure, so confused
waiting for the next epiphany to strike
Epiphany after epiphany
He makes a ladder out of them and climbs it
building each rung as he goes up
The water, the colours mix under his command
A bit more of yellow here, some more water there
Red and blue make purple...
He is the creator and the destroyer
and the preserver of it all
The small paper universe
What shall I create? He thinks
Something eternal, timelessly beautiful, but gruesome too
For is there beauty if there is no ugliness?
A woman? A breathtaking landscape? My own Monalisa?

Brushstrokes keep falling on the canvas
More unsure now. Less confident
He struggles on, struggles to escape from his pitiful insignificant life,
escape into something ethereal he built himself.
Like cocaine.
The more he tries, the harder he falls
Its natural, isn't it?
And like a madman he rushes on the canvas again,
only to spoil it further.
And then, the final epiphany strikes,
Harsh, rough, jagged, but tender at the same time,
'It is only paper'
And the beautiful universe crumbles down, not in front of his eyes
but inside his heart.

....And the brushstrokes cease to fall.




Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For those about to blog, I salute you!

Its been past a year since I started blogging and I didn't even realise it. On the fifth of february the last year at around the same time as today, I sat typing my first blogpost. Deja vu!( I have been dying to use this phrase for a long time!).
A big bad year has gone past and a lot of things have changed. My room is messier, if it could possibly be, my hair is longer(way longer), and there has been a steady increase in my typing speed. My cgpa has undergone a very wild roller coaster ride and is at this moment face down puking its ass off in a dumpster. The music in my hard disk drive has increased from the previously boasted 70Gb to a 150Gb. I have become a hell lot better guitarist then I was at that time. I have learnt to play the slide guitar, the harmonica and I can hold a steady drum beat. I can even limp around with a flute. I have met Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Birju Maharaj, APJ Abdul Kalam( seen, not met, technically) among others. I have missed a dinner with Kumarmangalam Birla because I forgot I was invited. I have had Hepatitis A , been in the ICU, and have had acute derision towards food for a certain amount of time. I have had a heartbreak. I have had so many mountain dews, thumsups, coffees, ice creams, chicken cheese rolls, rassomlettes and maggi that you could feed a small country with it. I have digested it all. I have painted a lot, sketched a lot and found that I am so intensely passionate about them that I wouldn't be able to live without them. I have had uncountable unforgettable conversations with my friends
( Bajju- "Who is your favourite Indian actor?" Me-" Well... I guess its Amir Khan." Bajju, fidgets for a bit and then blurts out," He is ok yaar, but what do you think about Mithun??")
I have seen the Taj. I have upholded my traditions of-
1. Always doing a Lord of the Rings movie marathon after every test in college.
2. Always having a pizza on the last night of a college festival.
3. Never going out of my room without a guitar pick on me, among others.
I have seen amazing movies. I have seen disgusting movies, probably because I never knew how they were before watching them. I have gained the best, and I am not just saying that, literally the best friends a guy could ever hope to get in his life. And I have tried hard to gain a little bit of their trust. I have also been a first rate jerk and in some cases an amazingly dimwitted buttmonkey.
And I have blogged. I have typed some of the lamest and weirdest things that have come to my mind. Seriously, I hate to read my previous posts. But, done it all with the immense hope, scratch that, immense guarantee that no one is going to read it anyways! Also as I mentioned before, for increase in typing speed.
Thus, I raise this bottle of tomato ketchup( thats the only thing within reach right now)- ...To the blogs that are never read!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Watercolour

This is my latest watercolour. A long time since I uploaded a picture. Tell me how it is!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Taj and other stories.

After weeks of fidgeting trying to find something to write about, I landed squarely on one topic; and thank God for that. I wonder what writers with deadlines do. The funny thing is, when I started to blog, it was sort of a medium for me to express my thoughts, however insane they would be. No one would mind; it is not like you can force someone to read your blog. Interested weirdos can dig in! But now, I have started to feel guilty if I haven't blogged for a long time. It is something like thinking for hours and hours for something funny that you can put up as your facebook status message. I really envy people who can be brilliant and funny at the same time. I don't mean pjs, I mean real comedy. Good stuff. Some people can say just the right things using just the right amount of words and most importantly at the right time. I can't do that. I have to really sit and think about all the ways I could say something and then try to find which one is the wittiest. For Gods sake, I spend hours building up an sms. So, for the past couple of weeks, as the voice at the back of my head grew louder and louder I started opening the blog and staring at the blank 'new post' page. I read my previous articles for help, and man, do they suck or what! Writing for me is like vomiting. It doesn't come until it is supposed to. ( This was written in desperate want of a better sentence.).
This december, I was in Agra with my family. The whole trip was not bad at all, except for the following conversation I had with my mother-
Me looking at the non veg dishes in the menu card of a restaurant. Mom, eyeing me suspiciously-"Kaushal, can you not eat your chicken-shicken while you are with us? God, the smell is disgusting."
Me, admittedly appalled for she called it 'chicken-shicken' and said that it smelt bad, "Well, if you want me to eat grass and roots and twigs for the rest of the trip, fine by me!"
I thoroughly hoped that I had put enough sarcasm in my voice when I said this, but apparently it was not enough. She took it quite literally and proceeded to order harabhara kababs for all of us. Like, are kababs even supposed to be harabhara? Anyways, that was how I became a temporary vegetarian.( I got rid of it as soon as I came back home. Barbecue chicken. :DD) But being in the home of Murgi and Tandoor and not having it was insanely disconcerting. Also, with due respect to my Punjabi friends and readers, there is nothing much left in Punjabi cuisine if you take away chicken except, maybe paneer. And there is a limit to how much paneer you can eat. I secretly vowed to go back there again just to eat Murgi and Parantha in a Dhaba.
Anyways, being in Agra also meant being in the land of the Taj. The whole city revolves around the monument. I have no idea how they differentiate between places because I have seen so many 'Taj residency' and 'Taj view' hotels that after a certain point of time you start questioning the imagination of the people around there.
After a tiring six hour journey from Jaipur which consisted of a not so fulfilling experience of reading 'The lost symbol', I admit I was not very keen to actually make an effort to go see the Taj on the same day. I was dazed and tired and on an all-paneer diet. I needed my rest. But that was not to be, so I sat swatting flies and stifling yawns in a green rickshaw on the way to the Taj herself. After around ten minutes, the guy stops the Rick and looks at us as with part amusement, part pity." Aa gaya sirjee Taj!"
I get off and look around. There is a narrow street further narrowed down by lines of small-time shops selling marble articles, Kachori houses, laundries, phone booths, travel companies, photo studios, clothes shops and hotels- Most of them 'Taj View's, one 'Taj retreat'. It looks like you could cut off the whole section, scoop it up and keep it in any Indian city, and it would make no difference. Where the heck is the Taj? I look at the rickshaw driver. He is sitting, left palm full of gutkha, mashing it with the right index finger, the idol of indifference. I ask him, where is the Taj? He looks at me with a poker face before pinching up the gutkha in his right hand and depositing it in his underlip. Left hand points up to the lane straight ahead. A bunch of Chinese( or an oriental counterpart; I can't really spot the difference.) tourists seem to be going that way too, so we follow them. We come to this small doorway and buy our tickets in. Now I get a view of the first archway towards the Mahal, but the whole thing is blocking the monument. As I slowly jostle through the crowd, I get pearl white glimpses through the arch; like a teaser, or more so, a Parda- a veil; like the fingers of a beautiful woman peeking through a veil. As I get closer, I get a better view. When I get under the archway, time stands still.
The lady reveals herself. The pearl white skin with a pink tinge shrouded in evening mist, the sheer size of it and the grey-blue skies providing the perfect backdrop for the most beautiful landscape. I stand there taking it all in. For a full minute I don't move. Around me, the incoming race of people has stopped too, all eyes on the Taj. You know, you have seen it so many times on tv, in pictures. Even done a virtual tour on your encarta encyclopedia. The four minarets, the huge dome- the crown- the taj, the glistening white marble and the walkways. You think you know how it is. But, boy, it is way different. Its like the difference between guitar hero joystick and a Fender Strat. That moment I made a vow- I am going to see all the seven wonders of the world. I have six left now...
The rest of the evening passed in standing in a huge queue waiting to get inside the Mahal. We stood outside for two hours to get a thirty second tour of the insides, which were so dark that you couldn't see anything. But I loved the Taj the first moment I saw it.
The only other time I loved it was from the top of the Agra fort the next day. Shahjahan was supposed to be in a house arrest here and he had requested it to be at a place where he could see the Taj. When I saw it from there, I knew it was a perfect place. The yamuna snaked in front of me as I stood there. The evening mist skimmed on its waters. Suddenly someone shouted- " Look, the Taj!"
All heads turned up and people from different nationalities, colour and race held there breaths as one. Up ahead as the river bended out of site, it loomed, peeking out of the mist, the orange rays of the setting sun giving it a halo. Vivid and impressionistic like a Monet, with the mist giving a sfumato. Cameras flashed. The mist grew and as the sun finally dropped out of sight, the fog covered it beyond our gaze. The Taj retired to sleep.
And then all went dark...

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