Thursday, June 30, 2011

Casino Carnival.

I guess its true with every city. You live there for a couple of days, understand how the buses work, remember to keep the exact change in your shirt pocket so that you don't have to fidget with your wallet inside them, find out where the nearest laundry to your home is and spend an afternoon in the fish market. Its like feeling a pulse. Now you feel more comfortable walking alone on these streets with only the curiously beautiful antique street lamps for company at midnight. The stray dogs of Nina Pinto colony know you now. Thats a good thing.
This city has always struck me as very...contemplative. It is slow, and enjoyably so. When it rains it becomes more beautiful than it already is. It sleeps like a baby, early at night. Most of it does, anyway. Then takes another nap in the afternoon. Like a baby. It is as if people decide to be happy when they come here. And God, they try so hard to be. Sometimes a bit too hard, maybe. This city was made to stop and stare. To look around, and for one moment, stop thinking. About the girl, about the job, about the money. Stop thinking. And watch the waves lap up the rocks on the jetty.
I tend to overanalyse. I tend to generalise about life and its meaning for hours while knowing that its the most pointless, and in a way, obscene thing to do. Its good not to think sometimes. Sigh. A lot more than sometimes.
"Time kya hua hai?"
The guy wore dirty white shorts and an ancient faded Goa t shirt they sell on the beaches around here. He squatted beside me looking at the river while I checked the time. Its eight thirty pm, I told him.
"Aap tourist hain?"
Are you a tourist? The guy was either a pimp or an agent. Same difference. He didn't want the time. He wanted to sell me a hotel room. Or a prostitute. Or both I guess. Not a tourist, I said.
"Oh, aap Goa se hain?"
He asked with a you're-of-no-use-to-me-buddy face. I nodded. In the spur of the moment. To avoid more questions, more than anything else.
But after he went away, as I sat looking at the Casino Carnival floating in the still Mandovi waters, I wished, no, I hoped, just for a moment, that it was true.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

The laughing lamp-post.

I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being- not seeming, but being.

Every evening at seven thirty, as the moon rises over the bridge and threatens to shimmer into the river through the dark dark trees, bats fly from one end of the sky to the other. More than a thousand of them.

At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie.

Every smile a grimace.

They glide over our craned necks. Threatening to collide. The vast blanket of talons and leather wings. And if you lay down on your back like me, you can feel them swishing past, struggling against that particularly strong gust of wind which threatens to throw them off course. I've always been in love with the shape of a bat's wing. Whats the word? Morbidly curious. They're blind, you know. Bats. Funny little creatures. Sometimes, I feel sorry for the one in the front.

No, too vulgar.
But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don't have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn't play any parts or make wrong gestures.

Or so you thought.*

Or so you thought. Because secretly, we all love to be heard while crying. Because weak and pathetic that we are, we only want to know whether we are thought about. Remembered. Talked about. Because all that remains of a conversation is not about what was spoken. But to whom it was spoken to.

The blind bats always find their way. Everyday.

When I was a kid, there was a lamp-post next to my house. It was a funny lamp-post. Literally. All you had to do was tell the lamp-post a joke, and it would shine nice and bright. And if you had to shut it down, all you had to do was scare it. You could shout as loud as you could, make scary faces or growl. Or you could throw stones at the Ashoka trees nearby to wake the huge colony of bats which lived there and make them fly around. That really scared the poor lamp-post.

But the real test would be to make the lamp-post laugh. If you told the lamp-post a joke and it didn't shine nice and bright, then obviously, your joke was not funny enough. But if it did, then you'd found a real good joke, you know. The lamp-post laughed, afterall.

I miss the laughing lamp-post.

(*Excerpts from the film Persona(1966), written and directed by Ingmar Bergman.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


It is so easy to say that everything is going to be okay. That I am there for you. Trust me? I don't know how much words mean to you but I ve never gotten over the beauty of them. Or the lack thereof. I have a bad habit of overanalysing. I also have a bad habit of perpetually trying to explain myself. I also always need a listener. For I have never gotten over the beauty of a conversation. I even tried talking to the Hendrix poster. Maybe I should sing to it the next time. Maybe not.

This town is slow and dull and drenched with memories. This town is so beautiful in the rain. I think I am done with memories for a while now. There is a certain limit to reminiscence. I don't want my life to be one rainy night in a coffee cup. Maybe three. I ll think about it. But I need to get out of this place. I think I am too young to stay in one place for too long. Only old wise people deserve to do so. I am still foolish. Like a Chipmunk. Wonder where that came from. Sigh.

Some time ago I had a conversation when I said that the thing I hated the most was disappointing the people I care about. I cannot stand that feeling.

I guess that ship has sailed now. And you have no idea how bad it feels.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2.5 million male Chipmunks die every year because of the following.

So, there was this Chipmunk who ate one too many nuts one day and started constipating. Chipmunks are greedy creatures. So constipation is not a new thing for them. Something like flu for us. Hence the wise ones generally pace themselves while eating. But sadly, the Chipmunk in this story, as you will infer as it unfolds, was not a very wise Chipmunk. Anyway, so the Chipmunk got constipated.
The Chipmunk started running around from tree to tree trying to find a suitable solution while making some obvious and unmentionable pit stops. Unlike humans, Chipmunks dont have doctors among them, which, in his time of need, our Chipmunk found frustrating. So the poor Chipmunk went around looking for some respite. Any respite. But sadly, it was not to be.
Suddenly, through a clearing, he saw a She-Chipmunk nibbling on a nut. Now, nibbling for Chipmunks is an especially attractive activity. Our Chipmunk, moreover was a big fan. So, forgetting his constipation, the brave but foolish Chipmunk presented himself before the fine young She-Chipmunk.
The fine young She-Chipmunk looked up fro her nibbling and saw our unlikely hero standing in front of her. Like all fine young She-Chipmunks, she batted her Chipmunk eyelashes, waved her Chipmunk tail and twiddled her Chipmunk incisors. Then she broke a piece of the nut she was eating, and offered it to our brave, foolish but incredibly lucky Chipmunk. Incredibly lucky because, among Chipmunks, these gestures mean some serious action. Anyway, back to the story.
Our brave, foolish but incredibly lucky Chipmunk saw the piece of nut and grew elated. He moved ahead to take it. But at that exact moment, his stomach, gave a huge rumble of disagreement. Suddenly, our poor Chipmunk managed to position himself in one of the worst dilemmas possible for the Chipmunk-kind. As the fine young She-Chipmunks incisors twiddled faster, his stomach rumbled harder. Our poor little Chipmunk started sweating.
He looked up and prayed for some miracle.
And suddenly, through all the chaos, the Chipmunk's pulmonary artery imploded and he died. Oh, he had a weak heart.

And then they all live happily ever after.

Moral- There are a very few wise Chipmunks in this world.

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