Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stories in two sentences

She started crying mid-sentence.
‘Why do you put up with that bastard then?’, he put a hand tentatively over hers, eyeing her tits and wondering if this might mean that he get to hold them some time soon.

The old woman seated beside him briefly laid a palm over his hand, and pressed it, as she grunted up to her feet.
His eyes blurred and his hand flinched when the woman released it.

No, she screamed inside.
Yes, she smiled, and felt the faces staring at her relax.

A day at the office

A woman jumped to her death from the floor above mine yesterday, her office floor. I was in a meeting and somebody got a message and told everyone that one should avoid going through the front of the building for some time till they removed the body – it was the evening hour and everyone was on the verge of leaving. The meeting resumed tho’ some clucked and gasped – but they were few.

I took a smoke in the corridors at the stairwell – it must have been only a few minutes since the suicide as a lot of people were still rushing down – the lifts had been closed. As I finished the cigarette, some people started climbing up, including the police. A few women climbed up weeping and one colleague quashed the cigarette and left. I and the other colleague continued smoking – tho’ we moved a little back from the stairwell. The colleague told me he had seen the body being moved in a bag from the window – it was lying face down.
I left after some time.
Today, the morning paper told me she was 35, in HR and had a ten year old daughter. There was a grainy black and white picture of two constables standing around a space splattered with blood – the spot is directly in front of the place where we smoke downstairs. I wondered what it would have looked like if I had been standing there looking at that very spot?
The front was still closed when I entered the building in the morning but it opened in the afternoon. Since our appraisals were just announced, some jokes were passed.

The incident didn’t register an iota of any emotion in me – not even a senseless numbness – but I have been aware of it most of the time.

Two friends from last year are hitching up :)

Photos clicked by me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Haiku for the moment

Who can fathom
The ocean from the ebbying tide
Touching the feet?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't skip the funerals

When I search for a contact on my mobile handset, two names pop-up: an erstwhile friend and a mentor – one of them is dead, the other probably so. Since their names appear at the top of many frequent contacts, I see their names and remember them at least once a week.

In my opinion, to truly believe that someone is dead, you have to see his/her cold lifeless body. Otherwise, a part of you will never believe. You have to see the slight tinge of blue on the skin and feel the stone-like coolness to close chapters within.

It is not a surprise that most funerals end with a feast and even celebration. It is only when you have exorcised the fact of the person’s existence within that you can celebrate it. And in celebrating that life, you’re actually celebrating your own life – the life you spent with the person – even when he/she was not around.

To sum it up: Skip the marriage or the son’s first mundane, but go for the funeral.

Death to Roadies

I think they should let people die sometimes in Roadies. It’s killing all the fun – all the ropes attached to the waist, the cranes, the extra large float jackets.
I am serious. It’s killing the show. If I had been in the show I would know whatever happens, I can’t die.
And in real-life adventure sports, the thrill, and the biggest fear you have to face, is the proximity and the possibility of death – or at least serious injury. Someone I know used to run on the parapets of the hostel’s terrace – I personally only managed to mount it once and trying to pee which I couldn’t. It’s quite not the same thing (the running) as doing it with a cable attached to your back and connected to a giant crane atop, right?
Imagine what the show would have become if Palak had been eaten by a crocodile or Sufi would have drowned. Or the balloon collapsed on Pradeep and he would have been shrink-wrapped to death. Now that would end the TRPs soaring.
If it’s not illegal for people to be stupid in real life, why is it so in TV shows?

And this was not a sarcastic post.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mid-year resolution

47 minutes past the stroke of midnight, I am penning this resolution which will probably peter down like a bad dream in the morning: I will try to be more socially active. No, I will pen it more humanely, I will be more involved with people.
For those who don’t know me, I live alone – absolutely so – and I spend eight hours in the office, ten sleeping and the other six lying on my bed, reading or watching movies. I sometimes get up to make myself some tea and many a times I skip making dinner for the sheer labour involved. After two years of this life, I have noticed signs of dementia creep in – I speak to myself and sometimes the two of us have such a row that we refuse to sit in the same room together, and my back’s starting to curve into a J with my lying on the bed propped on a pillow. The last time I exercised was in 1992. Luckily, I get to walk a lot since my office is within walking distance (yes! I pay pretty high rental to afford the luxury) and the place where I get the milk for my tea is at the other end of the earth; or at least a kilometre, whichever is farthest.
So expect a shake-up tomorrow as I plug back into life. Expect strains of conversations like these:

‘Hey, Andy!’
‘Who’s that?’
‘How did you get my number?’
‘How are you, yaar? How is – is – your wife?’
Pause. ‘I got a divorce two years back, dude. In fact, you were the one who convinced me to get it.‘
‘Do you think the Congress will win this time around too?’

‘Hey, Neel.’
‘How is life?’
‘Ok. I got married last month.’
‘Cool. How is your wife?’
‘You mean husband.’
‘You are a woman?’

Friday, April 03, 2009


Think of our Comrade brothers - CPI(L), (M), (ML) - every time I watch this scene

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Response to Goody's final letter

Read article here

Dear Goody,

I was moved to tears after reading your letter to your sons which someone, from the enlightened fraternity that forces down our throats nuggets from the lives of trash-celebrities like you, had posted in an article.

I am not your son. But you know – I was a child once, and child is the father of man, and all men are brothers, hence, I am the brother son and father of everyone you know and in a few of these associations I do qualify as your son. If nothing else, I have the right to comment on anything that is put in public space – so you better buy the son theory instead of making things difficult for both of us.

So here is my response to your letter.

“Dear Bobby and Freddie, I have asked for this book to be made so that when you are older, you can remember just how much fun we had. I thank God that we made the most of our time together and I treasure the moments we shared," the letter reads.”

Moreover, I have asked this letter to be made public (not asking explicitly for it to be kept private amounts to the same since Goody, more than any other person, understood how low the media can go for the sensational and the mawkish) so that I can continue to bask in undeserved limelight even beyond the grave.

"These are my most precious memories. Some person much wiser than me once said that if you never discovered something you would die for, then you haven't lived. Well, you are both proof that I have lived. I will love you always. Mummy," concludes the poignant letter.

A person wiser than the person wiser than you, Goody (which includes practically everybody ), said that life has no meaning. Refer to post below.
And even Hitler is proof that someone lived. The only proof there is that you fucked and conceived – period.
You can’t love them anymore Goody – you are dead. That is the purpose of death – to stop people from doing anything eternally so, and embarrass themselves by making these private letters public only once in the event of their death.
And to the drafter of this article – don’t fucking tell me what is poignant and what is not. Just write this article in an objective third person as you ought to. If you would have asked, I think sticking a red hot poker up your ass is poignant.

Glad to know that we’ll never hear from you again (Unless – shudder – the media keeps snooping and digging these precious letters from you),

Yours sincerely,

Bland Spice

Speaking to self

The more I think about it, I think I am an absurdist.
Absurdity is, as Camus explains, the gap between our innate desire for unity of answers and meaning in this world, what we see and the gap. All three are essential ingredients – there can be no feeling of absurdity without our expectation, the reality and the gap.
Another way to define absurdity is it is an objective assessment of the way things are – haphazard and meaningless, and the way we live – force of habit and rituals, elusive hopes notwithstanding. A world where values and meaning do not mean anything actually: if this is true, then so is the contrary.

I do not think there is meaning to existence, and am comfortable with it most of the times. My life is not an act of hope, an act of elusion as Camus says – I do not believe in meaning bigger than life: religion for example.

Yet, and this is where the dichotomies start: I am committed to the idea of liberalism. That everyone has the right to be whatever they are and want to be, wherever they are, with equal rights in all things, as long as their conduct is within the precepts of decency (and not morality).
Equally, I am attached to the idea of honesty – though I do not profess I am an honest person most of the times (our instincts and habits precede our idea and thoughts – again from Camus).

So, I have a value system.

A value system is different from a desire – a desire is simply what I want while a value is what I expect of others too. I expect the world to be honest – that is a value. But if I desire an apple (let’s keep this post clean), I do not expect everyone in the world to desire it too.

Is this irrational?
Having values means I imply meanings greater to what I see and know.