Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Observation 0100

Two people who bond really well - best-friends, mentor-protege or a couple - are more likely to share a liking for the same jokes, than the same poems or movies or books or music or political parties.
Corollary: They're more likely to like the same sitcoms than the same poems or movies or books or music or political parties.

Observation 1000

Sophistication (when not of machines or mathematics) is hypocrisy.

Observation 0105

'Bored' is fast becoming the slang for 'lonely'.

Observation 0005

At the very extremity of sadness, the plea to cheer up offends.

Observation 0597

Few things please men more than their joke getting loudly laughed at, particularly so if it was an original. But even when it is not, the observation holds.

Observation 0690

Dating does a whole lot of good to one's self-confidence, and undoes it too.

Observation 0975

This store of cotton garments at Lajpat Nagar is so good and so reasonably priced that it leaves buying Fabinida the only reason for buying Fabindia.

Observation 0008

Even when people know inside that their qualms are dishonest they get very hurt at their qualms not being taken seriously, because they know that only they know that their qualms are a lie; others who don't, ought to still take them seriously, they strongly feel.

Observation 0360

The act of missing people (miss-able ones, of course) starts a little before they are actually gone.

Observation 0144

Truth is an addiction, fortunately the rarest of all, unfortunately the deadliest.

Observation 0500

The contribution of metaphysics to the world: vast numbers of trees felled just because some shallow people wanted to write vast amounts of sham for some hollow people in order to fail to help them understand some really critical issues that do not exist.

Observation 0025

If you love yourself too much, others will not; if you hate yourself too much, others too will.

Observation 0099

Few things in life are as pernicious as a second-rate dictionary got for a child.

Observation 0099

Few things in life are as pernicious as a second-rate dictionary got for a child.

Observation 0022

Those who are fervently into the business of speaking only the truth (very few, yes) are seldom into the business of trying to make people believe them.

Observation 0746

You frequent bad jokes or poor puns or pseudo-witticisms not so often from people with an undeveloped sense of humour, who in time normally realise their inadequecy and suitably abstain from much joking around, as from those whose well-developed sense of humour makes them think they should pun all the time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Of Our Times: The Zero Zeitgeist

HEYY! WATSUP?? Nothin much. OMG. BRB. ROFL. TTYL. LMAO. UR NYC. AWW. UR COOL. U2. LOLZ. GTG. TC. CYA. BBYE. WTF. HEYY! WATSUP?? LYF SUX. OMFG. WOT HAPP??? ROFL. HAHA. UR 2 MUCH. LOLZ. BYE. WTF. HI! ....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Psychological Laggards

Dear page, your emptiness and mine
correspond, so I guess we're fine
when we bond. Bond we can't very
easily with others, can we? Merry

making of kids as a cracker burns,
we see, smile at with observant glee,
but we mostly can't partake in turns,
you and me, in that fun, can we?

This world's too fast for us for whom
a quick flutter of a cuckoo's wings
can mean a day's musings, or a room
opened after ages with a broom, brings

pictures of wilderness to mind to stay
for longer than with each other lovers do.
For now distractions galore, people stray,
and it's not even that their love isn't true.

Let's face it that we're from some other age,
that it's natural for us to be alone, or let's lie
to each other that our rage, dear page,
is a matter of mood, is a whim cap-a-pie.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Late Summer Afternoon

The afternoon was hot; the ants had lost their paces, he observed as he looked blankly down at the raggedness of his old shoelaces. The leaves on the trees that surrounded the open air cafeteria were leaden, motionless, as were the squirrels on them that looked golden to him the last time he noticed them a few minutes ago. The place was mostly empty: an odd motorbike would pass at intervals. Every few minutes a distant laugh could be vaguely heard, or was it just the hiss of the cafeteria stove. It was hard to tell. The birds hadn't been chirping; their collective silence didn't stun or shock, but was conspicuous all the same. Yesterday had been busy: hurrying roads, hurrying people and hurrying he, and competition and race and ambition and blah. Suddenly, now, as he found himself in the midst of unusual quietitude, the incredible world within his sight seemed to him a vast oil painting of itself. As if in some other time-zone, he wondered. He couldn't tell whether all of this was ordinariness in the extreme or extraordinary, but was sure that it was one of the two. The bottle of water in front of him was softly warm by now, and an unremarkable uttapam was being slowly consumed by him and an unremarkable other. The afternoon was sleepy, or maybe, sleeping, when she walked in, and they conversed for the first time. Soon, much had changed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From Yellowing Pages

Closed Clone Cubicles [15th January, 2009]

Four feet by four feet, can forfeit your sanity ;
can make feel like beggars those earlier full of vanity.


For DCE [23rd April, 2009]

Goodness, I am the river just before its coast,
the inexorable destination of most.
Now my bed will be bigger
and waves will spread.
So calm I will trigger
some deadly dread.
It proffers: riches,
sundry bitches.
I will be free,
and not me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Only William Zinsser Thing I've Ever Liked

Where did the summer go?

I thought it had just begun.

Somebody tell me I counted wrong

And it’s really still July.

Somebody tell me the sun

Isn’t really so low

In the sky.

Where did they all get lost,

The things that we somehow missed?

Somebody tell me it’s not too late

To cross them off our list.

Somebody tell me . . . but who am I kidding?

I feel that chill in the air.

Somebody tell me,

I’d like to know

Where

Did the summer go?

- William Zinsser

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Bicycle Story

I was in the seventh standard and beginning to lose interest in studies. Yes, that was the beginning of what’s now well realized. We had just moved into our new house, not big in itself, but twice the size of the hovel I lived in before. Excited initially by the possibility of spending time privately in this new house, away from the eyes of my parents, I had taken ardently to watching a lot of television shows that were forbidden, I knew, earlier, even though I was never explicitly told that they were forbidden. It wasn’t really this, either. What I had actually been putting most of my time into now, was daydreaming in a secluded corner about the girls in my school and around my new house: not the ones who were the most coveted since I’ve always kept away from crowded scenes, but the ones who were still cute, and, let’s face it, with whom I stood a chance. Was there any one girl I had grown particularly fond of? Yes, but mostly, it was just the idea of being boyfriend-girlfriend that fascinated pre-eminently. Now days would pass languorously in wondering about their likes and dislikes, and working out ways to mould myself into whatever they would like, and away from what they wouldn’t. Sometimes, I’d gather some aplomb and call up one of them, only to end up talking about assignments and projects and the eccentricities of our teachers, or bitching about this guy and that girl, and that guy’s fascist father, and this girl’s vain victorian mother. For six straight years I had been standing second in my class, but when the half-yearly results were declared that year, I found out that I was seventh, and from the bottom.

In my locality one lame, lanky boy had brought a really awesome bicycle, with gears and everything, and in those days, the concept of cycles that we children rode having gears was a little novel and somewhat awe-inducing. Everyone seemed impressed, even, sadly, the ones who mattered. Ever since this new bicycle had been got by Sudhanshu, for all the rest of us it was the cynosure, and he the eyesore. I went after my Dad to get me one. Not this, not really. It would be no special to get this one now that he already had it. I wanted one to trump this one. One of those days, I happened to visit a fair with my family where the cycle-makers Hercules happened to have a stall. I immediately rushed in to have a look at all of them, and closed in upon the best looking – Hercules Mongoose – yeah, this is what I am going to have, I decided. I told my Dad that I wanted it, but he said that I should take more time to explore other options elsewhere too, to find out which one I really want, and then go about it. It was really expensive, he said, and he wouldn't want that it be bought on an impulse, and then be forgotten about a few days later. That would never happen, I insisted. He stuck to his stand. Then all of us moved to a different corner in the fair where my family members all had ice-cream, but I didn’t want any. Mango Shake? No, no mango shake either, I want nothing.

The evening after, we were both on DTC route number 450, on our way to Jhandewalan, my father and I. Jhandewalan, I had just been told that morning, was the wholesale haunt of all bicycle manufacturers. What was I to understand from that, I asked them. Hundreds of shops, all cycles, cycles, cycles! Really? No! Really? Yay! The mere prospect that such a place existed and which I would be visiting was fairytailishly inspiring, plus, to be getting a bicycle too, that was just way too much for a day. I remember how I couldn’t even have my meal properly in the midst of all the excitement. Inside 450, both of us were talking about the popular types of snakes after we’d spotted a snake charmer on the roadside from our window: Rattle snakes, Venoms, Cobras.. ‘Is cobra and Ajgar the same thing, Papa’, I asked because I remembered a similar hype around Ajgar among the Hindi-folk as I remembered the one around Cobra within English leaning circles. No, said my dad, they’re different. No, said the old lady sitting behind us, they’re different. I didn’t ask you dear stranger, I went in my head, even as she gave her opinion of us father and son. ‘You’re a good father-and-son. You’re a good father’, she said looking at Dad, ‘and you’re a good soon’, she said turning to me. She must have been a school headmistress, I thought, but her pleasant comment had served to replace the intrusive impression she had left of herself on me moments earlier, with a polite 'Thanks Aunty'.

We reached. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. With every new cycle I looked at, my decision changed. ‘This one pucca, I’m not looking at any other cycle now Papa, I’ve closed my eyes and don’t ask me to open them please, I’ll get this’, I spoke aloud finally. I got it. Hero Hawk. Gears! Dad even rode it outside the shop for a while. It was an indescribable thrill to see him riding a cycle; if it were 2010, I would have taken loads of pictures of the same on my mobile, and spent the next few months looking at them every now and then and showing them to loved ones. But it was 1998, and I just kept smiling with my twenty-six teeth constantly visible, and then took an auto back, in which he, the bicycle and I were packed like carrots inside a pencil-box.

Two weeks later, the bicycle was stolen from where I used to park it, just inside the iron main-gate. I’ve been thinking of asking my Dad to buy me an Enfield for a while now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mersault

"And yet none of his certainties was worth one strand of a woman’s hair. Living as he did, like a corpse, he couldn’t even be sure of being alive. It might look as if my hands were empty. Actually, I was sure of myself, sure about everything, far surer than he; sure of my present life and of the death that was coming. That, no doubt, was all I had; but at least that certainty was something I could get my teeth into—just as it had got its teeth into me. I’d been right, I was still right, I was always right. I’d passed my life in a certain way, and I might have passed it in a different way, if I’d felt like it. I’d acted thus, and I hadn’t acted otherwise; I hadn’t done x, whereas I had done y or z. And what did that mean? That, all the time, I’d been waiting for this present moment, for that dawn, tomorrow’s or another day’s, which was to justify me. Nothing, nothing had the least importance and I knew quite well why. He, too, knew why. From the dark horizon of my future a sort of slow, persistent breeze had been blowing toward me, all my life long, from the years that were to come. And on its way that breeze had leveled out all the ideas that people tried to foist on me in the equally unreal years I then was living through. What difference could they make to me, the deaths of others, or a mother’s love, or his God; or the way a man decides to live, the fate he thinks he chooses, since one and the same fate was bound to “choose” not only me but thousands of millions of privileged people who, like him, called themselves my brothers. Surely, surely he must see that? Every man alive was privileged; there was only one class of men, the privileged class. All alike would be condemned to die one day; his turn, too, would come like the others’. And what difference could it make if, after being charged with murder, he were executed because he didn’t weep at his mother’s funeral, since it all came to the same thing in the end? The same thing for Salamano’s wife and for Salamano’s dog. That little robot woman was as “guilty” as the girl from Paris who had married Masson, or as Marie, who wanted me to marry her. What did it matter if Raymond was as much my pal as Céleste, who was a far worthier man? What did it matter if at this very moment Marie was kissing a new boy friend? As a condemned man himself, couldn’t he grasp what I meant by that dark wind blowing from my future? ... "

Lines from 'The Stranger', Albert Camus.

Phantasmagoria

In these sodden, tired afternoons with the smell of starch,
The callithumps of glee and glum in my memories march,
One footfall and I bathe with bottles emptied in ecstasy abound,
Another and I'm licking the glaring grog out of the fusty ground.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Parakhna mat Parakhne mein koi apna nahi rehta

Parakhna mat Parakhne mein koi apna nahi rehta
Kisi bhi Aainey mein dair tak Chehra nahi rehta

Hazaron Shair Mere so gaye Kaghaz ki Qabron mein
Ajab Maa hun koi Baccha Mera Zinda nahi rehta

Bade Logon se Milne mein Hamesha Faasla rakhna
Jahan Dariya Samamdar se mila Dariya nahi rehta

Tumhara Shehar to bilkul Naye Andaaz wala hai
Hamare Shehar mein bhi ab koi Ham saa nahi reht

Koi Baadal Naye Mausam ka phir Elaan karta hai
Khizaan ke Baagh mein jab ek bhi Patta nahi rehta

Mohobbat ek Khushbu hai Hamesha saath rehti hai
Koi Insaan Tanhai mein bhi Tanha nahi rehta

- Bashir Badr

The Facebook Schemer's Monologue That He Hides From Himself Too

I felt it important to prove that my pessimistic, low outlook for my future was not the loser-talk she had found it to be, or dismissed it as. Pessimism seemed - possibly, I wouldn't completely deny this, because I was pessimistic then - the only intelligent, scientific view on the future based on the past. Just as optimism seems the only intelligent view on the future when you are optimistic, I guess. I felt it very important to impress upon her that pessimism could be intelligent, but more importantly, that sometimes intelligence cannot help but breed pessimism. That some confirmed genius had said something similarly bleak and broken seemed a perfect example to rub off on her, to bring her to think the way I wanted her to. And what do I ever want, frankly, but to be admired. It was as though that example could somehow make what I had said perfectly justified; purge it of the mawkish stink she had smelled in it. I googled looking for all quotes hopeless - they have these websites dedicated to quotes of all kinds: emphatic, motivating, resilient, tenacious, as also lonely, sad, despairing and disillusioned. Probably they know, the makers of these websites, savvy businessmen, that the lonely may seek not togetherness, the hopeless not hope, the tired not resilience; that they may all be seeking just validation: something that could adequately tell those tired that they are justified in being tired after the plethora of cruel rigor they've been through, those lonely that the world is no longer a world that merits any intimacy, and, to people like me, in a ' just to tell you a little secret' way that they are hopeless only because there actually, really, frankly is no hope in the first place. So, I went to those websites looking for pessimistic things said by famously intelligent men. Or by those that she thought intelligent, at any rate. After much frantic searching I zeroed in upon a particularly dismal, pessimistic view of that particularly famous genius, and I remember feeling glad, even somewhat victorious. I spent the entire day wondering, off and on, how exactly I am going to paste it on her. I certainly wouldn't tell her that Mr.X said thing ABC, that would be too direct, as if I were asking for something, which although I was. What would be the point of proving a point if she knew that it was proving a point I had set out to. She mustn't know that, she really mustn't for the facade of non-manipulation to remain in my manipulation, which I hoped would make my point, maybe imperceptibly, but surely, stronger. After the whole day thus spent, I reached to the solution that I'd put that quote up as my status message on facebook: the whole world, at least whoever forms my world, is there. The effort put straining my head has paid off, I thought, and did a mental 'Eureka!' Rather astute of me, I told myself. Dishonestly, for I always knew that the idea was no novelty, everyone's doing it with or without their knowledge, and that it's just as trite as the Eureka expression that followed it. But I went ahead anyway. It's early morning now, and despite my realisation of the things I did yesterday as folly and silly and dishonest and selfish, I am keen to see what happens, if anything. Chances are one or two of the myriad adds on my list will 'like' it, and then, I meet my end. My life has purpose. Voila!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Echo

Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005, speaking to The Guardian:

When you are young, things like your moral stance and your political position seem very important. I'd spend long nights with my friends sorting out moral and political positions that we thought would take us through adult life. And part of that would end up meaning we despised some people not for what they did, but for the opinions they professed to hold. But as I've got older I think I've realised that while it is important to have principles, you have far less control of what happens. These principles and positions only get you so far because what actually happens is that you don't carefully chart your way through life. You are picked up by a wind every now and again and dumped down somewhere else.


John Banville, 2010, speaking to The Millions:

It’s an adventure I’ve embarked on, and whether I’m making a mistake or otherwise, I don’t know. But we stumble along in darkness. We think that we’re deciding to do things, we think that we’re directing our lives, but we’re not. We’re just being blown hither and thither by the wind.

Back from the rack

I never quite did make a new blog. No, well, I did, I did create a new one, never used it, forgot its password and everything, and blah, it's safe to say I never really made it. Because a blog is made not by signing up for a blog account and choosing an affected template and giving it an acutely affected title, but by posting stuff on it, coming back to it some times and putting down some good goddamn piece of your head on it. Anyway, I'm back here, the reasons are several, but the most important is that it's forgotten about, I hope, by people who I hoped would forget it. The last time I used to blog, I wanted the blog to be a certain type of a blog, and I was a bit of a (not 'bit of a', actually) fraud in that I wanted the blog to be a certain type of a blog in order I be seen as a certain type of a blogger. Really bad thing, I agree, and I agree that fraudulence is oftentimes called by names such as self-consciousness, political-correctness and etcetera and etcetera, by who else but we frauds ourselves, but, in the end, fraudulence is fraudulence, is, fraudulence. In the end it all gets down to the desire, the kill, the over-ambition to be seen as a certain type, the type that you saw someone else was and were smitten or awed or enamored by, or envied or liked or loved so much you resented. Anyway, so since this time, I would like to think, since I am largely free of the façade (although that's a dangerous thing to believe) I think I am likely to post a lot more frequently, because stuff that got held back earlier for reasons hideous as I just explained, won't any longer be similarly held back, like the post I am going to post right after this one. Besides, the fact that I am unemployed now means I have more time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Solitude

Two poems I've found of late and have come to like a lot:

How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breathes his native air,
In his own grounds.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

- Alexander Pope's 'Ode on Solitude'.


I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

- Emily Dickinson's 'I'm nobody! Who are you?'

For solitude to not feel lonely, art, I guess, must be on your side.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Absorption and Reflection

I am gladly unoccupied today. It’s been a long time I last wrote a post, so long that I wonder if most of you have concluded that the blog is up and away: it isn’t. It was, I should add, deleted by me once in the interim in a sort of whim that looks very appropriate as long as it’s a whim, and looks like a whim soon after it ceases to be. I have said, in some now-deleted posts, that I miss blogging and writing so many times, that by now I feel something eerie and repulsively banal about the statement. No, I would spare you, gentle reader, the trauma of the same old sad story this time. Thanks for the relieved look on your face. What won’t I do for it!

I wouldn’t pretend that I have just now read my own blog and like a possessed scientist taken observations, but I do carry a light, dragging impression that all I ever do when I am writing posts here is recounting old experiences, trying to relive memories – although they are mostly not extraordinary but just dear, however matter-of-course and familiar. Why do we do that? It’s a truly fascinating question for me, almost closing in on how fascinating the memories themselves are. After much thinking and prodding, it always opens up this interesting paradox: Time. When we’re living in a particular period of timeº we are continuously lusting for a whiff of those other periods of time, those ways of life we’ve left behind. In a pleasurably wistful manner we are aching for a loss we ourselves facilitated, and sometimes even decided antecedently. Why is it that on these occasions of memory-living our fondness for the past keeps coming back to us, almost making it seem that there's nothing we want more than that period returned, while we are well aware that in some time¹ this, which is granted to us – the present moment, too shall be characterized as Past, this too shall come back to us, haunt and tantalize us and enamour us, and we shall crave for it, much in the same way as we crave for that which we are looking back at today. Unusually enough, how rarely do we, while soaking in the memories of our past, delve for a while into that time of the past which we spent back then remembering even older times, the times that were already a Past back then. Rarely. When we do that though, it is a memory of a memory, or a memory within a memory, a second order memory, if you will. The juice to be extracted out of such higher order reminiscences is singularly special. All such memories of having reveled in other, farther memories make you pine for both: that which you once had, as well as that which you then pined to have. It’s a complicated business, the human memory, so complicated it has a semblance of the complex swapping of gifts, no gaffe tolerable, on every year’s Diwali eve.

I haven’t written anything in a very long time. The last two times I did something remotely close were both in response to some interesting questions². Today, a friend’s interesting wondering on the simultaneous existence of roots and wings led me to say this:

“Roots are essential to the existence of flying, I would think. Without them, flying would be as meaningless as that of a meteoroid lost in the universe, which, the only time it is not meaningless, is when it is destructive. Besides, flying - the whole charm, the attractiveness of it - is because there are roots, I think. Do they call it the antithesis effect or anything? I don't know. Anyway, it's sort of like³ considering a prisoner prisoned at birth, so that his clogged life so clogged, almost choked, and his imprisonment so complete, that he doesn't even think or know or behave as if or believe that he's imprisoned. So completely devoid of wings that he wouldn't know that he's devoid of them. One might try, in the same way, to not be similarly, or oppositely, so devoid of roots when flying. Besides, isn't flying more perception that reality, there's a little bit of physics in there, no? If I fly* would I know that I have flown away, or should others think that they've flown away from my frame of reference.”

I feel thankful today that this was brought up, for it was only because I was impelled to muse upon it and reply to it that I was impelled, further, to write more, to write all this: blog post and all that.

I did write some poems in the meanwhile, whether they qualify as being poems, or whether they are just rhymes or scribbles, I don’t know, and shall leave that for the reader to take a call on, but for the lack a better term let’s call them poems for the time being:

The shades of the sky do not delight;
rainbows as such to me seem trite.
The gusts of air are an irritation:
the wind is heavy, my hair is light.
The rain’s a noise of falling tears,
I wonder why, but, no one hears.
You will want me to like all these,
but I can’t until our conflict clears.


* * *

In fifteen minutes, I'll leave for the workplace.
In five, I'll have shut the computer.
In ten, I'll have put my shoes on.
In twelve, I'll have combed my hair.
In twenty, I'll have broken a traffic rule.
In sixty, I'll have had a hopeless thought.
In fact, I've had it already.
In six hours, I'll have received more advice.
In ten, I'll have harmed myself a little more.
In eleven, I'll have cursed myself.
In twelve, I'll have broken another traffic rule.
In fourteen, I'll have gone to bed with unmet goals.
In twenty four, I'll repeat the process.


* * *

The depth of his sleep
is that of an ocean,

Maybe he’s got it
after eons of crying.

His swollen eyes -
big bulging waves.
Wonder what storms were they
that shaped them.

Each eyebag a beach
with countless, untold
footprints of time.

Don’t wake him up
for he may not sleep again.

Don’t wake him up,
why rob him of

his life.


* * *

It is no meditation:
Staring on into the eyes
of that little device,
Visualizing certain letters beaming on it,
Imagining the sounds, the particularly knit
voice loved by boys, the second take,
that crack in the voice you can’t mistake,
cracking from the other end,
saying what you want be said.

It is no meditation:
The mad optimism with unknown numbers;

Oh, what afterall might they entail,
that, in vain, every time, you go in your head:
“I knew it'd be from a new number!!”

Oh, really? B.S. What else did you know?

“That it is no meditation,
... On the contrary.”


* * *

I know, I know: not very lively things there. It’s quite alright, though. Serious isn’t necessarily depressing, I coddle myself. Or maybe depressing isn’t necessarily disgusting. I should change to this argument for coddling myself now, there’s no getting around from the depressing quotient I guess. By the way, these poems do have titles, they’re not unnamed. Naming things (and not only things) is always a whole lot of fun.

There’s also a painting I made recently that I am tempted to put up here. I will I suppose in some time. Anyone who says anything good about it, I am told, gets their clothes ironed by Prince Charles.

Footnotes:

0. ‘Period’ always gives the impression of a finite, well-defined interval, somewhat like the younger brother of the more lofty ‘era’, but I don’t mean it that way. In fact, it can be as short as a millionth of a moment, it can be a set of discrete, unevenly spaced moments, it can be anything, but importantly it should characterize a particular type of life in your life which is different from your present life and the other lives in your life.

1. ‘Some’ time, mind you, although can be a matter of years can also be as short as a matter of seconds sometimes.

2. Although I must admit it is very, very difficult to tell a question from rhetoric, in something written by someone else.

3. But sort of also the reverse of; but then so often whatever is a reverse of a thing is also strikingly similar in a curious, but important, way to the same thing.

*. This is how I would think by the way if I lived in the belief, that secretly many of us harbor, that they are the centre of the world with the world to the left, right, front of and behind them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Virtues

"Virtues are qualities or states, somewhere between reason and emotion but combining elements of both, that carry and convey us, by the gentlest and subtlest of means, to the outer hills of good conduct. Once there, we are inspired and equipped to scale these lower heights, whence we move onto the higher reaches. A person who acts virtuously develops a nature that wants and is able to act virtuously and that finds happiness in virtue. That coincidence of thought and feeling, reason and desire, is achieved over a lifetime of virtuous deeds. Virtue, in other words, is less a codex of rules, which must be observed in the face of the self's most violent opposition, than it is the food and fiber, the grease and gasoline, of a properly functioning soul."
- Corey Robin

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blah!

Down a whirlpool of wastage the years
kept floating naively, so that when they
finally looked up, they had no peers
looking at them, with whom they may
have played chase&seek, shifted gears,
ran faster, slowed down or just lay
down a furtive corner. With the seers
conspicuously absent, there was no ray
of hope up the whirlpool, so the years
added to themselves one more day
fighting that fulcrum of fierce
finishing, and then one more: to pray,
but like always, they sensed, it appears
that praying can but just add a day
which, by the time it disappears,
would add another in the same way.
But one day, we know, the heart bears
awareness that this is no way
to live on to live on to wears
that have to have to end in gray.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daily Docket

In fifteen minutes, I'll leave for the workplace.

In five, I'll have shut the computer.

In ten, I'll have put my shoes on.

In twelve, I'll have combed my hair.

In twenty, I'll have broken a traffic rule.

In sixty, I'll have had a hopeless thought.

In fact, I've had it already.

In six hours, I'll have received more advice.

In ten, I'll have harmed myself a little more.

In eleven, I'll have cursed myself.

In twelve, I'll have broken another traffic rule.

In fourteen, I'll have gone to bed with unmet goals.

In twenty four, I'll repeat the process.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sight

Sight.
In my sight a pretty face.
At first tantalizingly small,
it gets bigger in my eyes.
And then it gets still bigger.
So big only it could be seen.
The very next moment
it disappears,
like it never was there.
But, momentarily.
The very next moment,
from next to my same restless eyes,
it whizzes away like a bullet
away from me.
Farther, farther.
Out of bounds,
no matter how much I try.
Now the rear view mirror
has instead of her
a police bike, and
I am fined for overspeeding.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Taking Stock

Earlier, I wrote down posts on the Word tool, but, the blogger box serves the purpose now.

I saw my school’s computer science teacher last week, driving a Swift out of the school with his son, a teenager with a semblance of a mustache and a sporadic beard. We were all like this then. I don’t know why, but we kept our beards for the first two odd years it came to existence just as it naturally was, didn’t shave it for weird reasons, all this while knowing that it looked ugly in this rudimentary form of its’. Sir’s son was in the junior school - small hands, all glabrous cheek - when I was being taught by him. Sir had very high expectations from me, far higher than what I have managed to meet. If he had seen me, he would have been happy and sad. But, anyway, that’s beyond the point. He didn’t see me.

Sir and one another Ma’am, they were among my major sources of strength during my student days. I thought of myself as an insignificant nobody until Ma’am convinced me of the contrary. For the next few years, I felt almost as though everything I did was the most significant thing taking place on the surface of the earth at that particular moment. And I felt a moral imperative towards conducting myself with fairness, humility, honesty, and gratitude for I could not afford not to live by example, for the significant position I was in. This was when I was in school, so my cognitive balance must have been suspect since longer than I suspect.

At this time of the last year, I thought that I was plagued with as many problems as one can be. I was still going to college, and lived in the hostel with my friends. At the back of my mind was always this realization, still, that these were my last few days there with friends I had been with for years. And, looking back, I can easily say that we had a lot of real fun, whereas the problems seem as good as imaginary now. We were all laidback jokers, spending all our evenings in the park between the hostels even as our saner erstwhile friends whizzed around the park’s circumference with posters, sycophants, funding applications and made up glee. Early on, when I was new to college, I was reluctant making close friends because I feared the new close friends, by virtue of their continued contiguity with me, might overshadow the best-friend I already had in those days, from days prior to college. In some time, the best-friend, I assimilated, had new best-friends in his college, when I became more open to the friends I then made in college.

And now I have made newer.

There’s no structure to what I am writing, there’s no title I can give to this post, I don’t know what its subject is, nor do I have a reason why I am doing it. It’s not about my teachers, or my friends, or myself. It’s about this time of the day that I am spending right now, these minutes that lay themselves bare in front of me, asking to be filled with something, anything. And since anything else would have been just as meaningful or meaningless, I wrote. I love writing, but, writing does not love me. It does not stay with me much, and now and then it reminds me that it will not stay with me.

Holi is round the corner! Happy Holi!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Return of The Native

Oh. Hi. It has been some time since the last normal post came up here. By all accounts the blog has been on a declining trend for a long time now, and, honestly speaking, at one point of time in my life it was my primary occupation to write posts here. One of the more important things I did. At that point it was unimaginable for me to ignore the blog for months, but then, at that point. It’s funny how things change. And how they still remain the same. Shit! This is supposed to be a normal post, not a Buddhist Monk’s musings on Rio’s carnival. Last mentioned, I was a student of Industrial Engineering in Delhi. Since its completion, I’ve been working as a Derivatives Trader at a London based trading firm, here in Gurgaon. It’s an interesting job. We have to forecast what will be based on what has been. When you’re right, it feels like you’re God. No, really. Most of the times, you end up right. But the few times you’re wrong takes care of all the times you were right. It’ll be pointless to get into those details here, but, I am having a nice time, except that I miss the languid rumination that defined my being in the past. I miss thinking about human behavior, and about the beautiful mundane, about the smaller, simpler, lighter, useless, basic things that bring a sort of happiness that is universal and not local in its effect. Those things that bring happiness to all, peasants or industrialists, homos or straights, old or young, aries or virgo. Sometimes, I sit and wonder how all of a sudden life has become a race, where I must run faster than the other guy without thinking what place is it we are running towards and what place is it I’d like to go to. Sometimes, I sit and wonder how the useless things in life are so underrated, and how everyone tends to think of everything in terms of what use it is. Useful things have a use but useless things have a value that transcends utility. When I say useless things, I mean useless things, useless acts, useless gestures, useless endeavors, useless pain. Sometimes I feel gratitude towards the few people of this endangered species of men who aren’t deterred by the uselessness of things, who appreciate its value. Of course, the proponents of utility make the world sustain existence. But sometimes, I think that it is because of these people, the endangered species ones, that the world is a live-able place. Anyway. The thing is I haven’t been getting the time to think and wonder much. Anyway. Cheers. I hope to be blogging more often now. It brings me happiness.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The opening paragraph to a metafiction heavy postmodernist story I'm currently attempting

You almost belong to my past life. When I pore over your pages, I have a sensation of watching over someone else’s life which for long periods would remain simple and clear, or passively friendly with its impurities even if not quite clear; then a jerk here; a jolt there; and then again the settling down of mud in water. I feel like someone eavesdropping on a harmless little private person who wants to be left alone, who would be terribly bothered by my contact with him, however stealthy or seemingly sterile. When I read you today, there is a sense of inquiry about my reading, a sense of inquiry that only a stranger can feel for another, a sense of wanting to know you, as if you are someone else, as if you are a prototype, but also, as if you are real. And, vaguely, as if you still exist.

This, inside this grey sweater and these grey tracks, this, with his hands on the keyboard, cannot be you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Praying

You start talking to me in a lilting voice
And I feel as if to God I'm praying.
In the mid of the sentence you take a pause
And I feel as if to God I'm praying.

I feel as if to God I'm praying,
And if that is not too much,
The truth is when to God I'm praying
I feel nothing as such.

Rust

Once I filled this place with random
bits of my head that managed to
generate unexpected fandom
which left its mark and I withdrew

so as to see what they would add
to all of it that I had as a lad
begun with a view to pass my time
and pall my bent to put in rhyme

what I saw up, down and around,
but being away confirmed to me
that once you fade they shall flee,
so strain not ears, there is no sound,

and look no further, neither back,
for you live, still, in a rusting rack,
of a bookshelf unread and remote,
in a half sinking half floating boat.