Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The shadow walker

I mistook the gravel on her breasts for goosepimples. I thought she was nervous. That is a good sign. It felt like I am not the only one. I saw a time-lapse change of moon's shadow on her face as the lightweight ones flowed by. ... Have you ever been controlled by a pair of eyes? It is not hypnosis; it is a voluntary state of being without any reason. You cringe because every moment pricks you. Often it tickles. I can not forget that heavenly bejewelled pair. I was floating like a feather on the tip of a gesture. They speak to me while those pearly whites distract me into concentrating on every part of her. It was the darkest hour of the night.

*****************************

It is still a dark night. I am surrounded by a multitude of buildings, with absurd lighting. It looks absurd, I do not think it quite is. Despite this being really a civilised place, there is not a single soul around. Can't people sleep during the day so that they stay up during the night?

******************************

I still remember me walking through joiner tunnel, flamboyantly. I was stoned, a bit, and a bit too intoxicated on a magic bug. It was like doing ballet without any form of elegance known to mankind. Joiner St has a perfect setting for any opening for a film. It has water splashed, all the time and there is a sodium bulb at the end. There is normally little traffic so it was easier for me to frolic. I am not your man, I am just leading you to him. It was not easy attracting you though.

******************************

The room was dark as always. The two corner lamps were on though. the blue bulb in the orange shade and the purple one in white. He still has not finished the two James Headley Chase novels. Rum Diaries was also crying for respect. He is sitting encumbered within the smoke. On a black and white reel, he'd appear noir. He is also very calm. I have never seen a much more vibrant and monochromatic face at the same time. "You found me." "Yeah!"
It was evident that the game was over.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Viva Santiago! (Probably in Santiago?)

Viva Santiago
Colin Fernandes

Penguin: New Delhi, 2008
Rs. 199


After a lot of deliberation, I decided to pen this review in first person, and in the manner I could, freely, express. What was initially planned to be written in a formal tone turned out to be a confusing affair; it would seem that lack of surprise, dismay of the lowest level at the banality of the tale and that Delhi urge to be cool killed my excitement of a new book. I now write this as a blog entry which will not only review the book, but take into consideration various accounts of the same, and, of course, display my devilish grin as I rip apart few things in my genuinely insulting tone.

I was eagerly waiting for Viva Santiago! My excitement was displayed in my congratulatory mail to Colin which I had sent as a token of appreciation for a former colleague who had taken the brave step of coming out with a book in such a short span of time. I am glad it was all short lived; not because of any personal differences (there is no place for that here), but it saved me the embarrassment of anything positive that I might have said earlier. For all the popcorn relish it offers, Viva Santiago is abysmally low in its attempt to be "that" thing (read that cool thing) in contemporary Indian literature. I share this sentiment with Sharanya who makes a good point -- a jovial, light-hearted read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I saw the cover and felt let down. It is not Colin's fault at all; these publishers, who definitely lack the brains to do anything in publishing, tend to do this all the time. They did this with Chetan Bhagat's One Night at a Call Centre, Tushar Raheja's Anything for you Ma'am and Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss. These are all laboured works that definitely do not lack ambition but are highly anaemic, given their insincerity towards writing. Lest we forget, they were never serious. Someone like Jabberwock might like them. He is equally confused, except that he knows he is and others do not. Desai's justified award still finds a hater in me. This piece is about Colin's work however.

See, this is one of the problems I am facing. Despite reading it sincerely, I can not dissociate the author from his book. My Derridian ideas stopped me from doing so, initially; in the later stages, it was as if I am reading Colin's
blog or any of his contemporaries' (including mine). Anyhow... The story is about Alonso Gonzalez, a typical Delhi University lad who embarks on an impromptu and treasure to his hometown in Goa (Ah, will the ever surprises end!). He is aided by Yvette, a Canadian, (will the western conformism ever stop? and please do not wonder why is she from the white Northern Americas) who claims to know his grandfather. You see, the ol' man is the dude here: He mouthed the most over-abused cliche, that I personally dislike, of life being a roller coaster and mojito in one hand, and some jane in another, and there is a woo-hoo. Ok, my bad, I know the line like the back of my hand and it is not the coolest thing. It is like "I live my life a quarter mile at a time" or you know, "Life is a box of chocolates, you never know which one might melt". Oh again, my bad. You see, that is the problem with these cool lines - they can always be modified, just as Colin does, and cheaply, in his book. The original line has been read in numerous mails and those profiles that are either pretentious or just for "frandsip". Those guys can use it, not you dude. Oh, the grandpa! You see, the womaniser or the women-loving man lives in a purple haze, is addicted to Dylan (or so it is portrayed; you see, more coolness is spelt with things like these) and indulges in religious banter ((un)surprisingly, he is quite blasphemous at times).
Something is amiss here. He has left a treasure for Alonso. There is a gold chess pawn, a map and Yvette who discovers him in a Paharganj (Am I smiling at all the deliberations or what?!?), and, yes, there is lots of pot and umpteen references that make it so uncool from something that could really have been cool.


Everything is so Da Vinci here that one does not believe it to be real. Secondly, this unrealistic ability stems from the convenience with which the book has been drafted. After all, Viva Santiago ends with the line that it was written in three weeks. I remember going through Colin's blog at that time and reading the 2-sentence entry before the book and the one that followed. I was interested in his book since then. I just did not know that he is hell bent on disappointing his readers to that extent. Everything is picture perfect: friends, family, hippies and a woman on an Enfield attends Grampa's funeral. The transition from student-life in Delhi to rolling joints in Goa happen with such an ease that you wonder whether there exists an understanding of intertwining and parallal narratives. Narrative, it seems is a paralysed entity here. A premature birth results in long scars till the end of the book.
Everything is touched on; it is as if the Penguins asked Colin to write a travelogue of his home state, heavily intoxicated and put in every modern cool film in it. So there are pig-killing rituals, Grampa exhibits traits of Col Kurtz, Paul Newman and, very annoyingly, Bruce Dern and Walter Mathau packed in one. And all of them are smoking pot. You can imagine Lee Strasberg would have killed Elia Kazan and then hung himself upside down.

In Hindi, there is a proverb that goes, kahin ka roda, kahin kee eent. It means pebble from somewhere and the brick from somewhere else. That is the recipe of this book that uses random photographs (and anecdotes, many of which are doctored heavily) to suggest something - that everyone is on a trip. Hence, I wonder, whether in an annoying manner, Colin brilliantly weaves a tale that probably exists in his stoned world and could be real in some parallel universe. But then, sadly, Mr Fernandes, your readers are well aware of such fables... Or the existence of their thought for that matter. So yes, dude, it is a brilliant story if it were narrated to me on a corner in one of the old towns of Goa or Rajasthan and we were two strangers whom pot brought together. In that sense, I smile. But I know, this drug-induced bliss is momentary. Unfortunately, your book does not even provide that. Probably in some other universe, some other time.

***************************

I presume Ridhi Kamal Parekh of DNA needs to get her head examined and same goes for the retard called Amarinder Sandhu. I wonder if they are Colin's friends because that is how things in Delhi and Mumbai are moving these days - because of these cool chuts. Last I heard, Complusive Confessor is already on her way to become India's Carrie Bradshaw.

Ridhi is from DNA and her review is horrible. Same goes for SAndhu. Both these writers present an extended version of the jacket, which I must admit is so not cool. It destroys the reading by raising the reader to a pedestal with drums beating and hearts pounding and it is as if Girls in the US are awaiting the arrival of Beatles for the first time... And then, Poof! The first lines tell you that this is a hurried affair by a good writer who has hardly put in any effort apart from watching a couple of DVDs and indulging in useless banter with his accomplices.
Ridhi's review is titled 'Da Vinci Code for those who love Goa' and the Tribune reporter calls it 'Dylan code deciphered'. Hmm. I wonder if they even deserve my insults. I think they should be fired immediately. For instance, Ridhi writes, 'Fernandes peppers the story with interesting (some might say useless) anecdotes about the family'. What is this diplomatic (read two-faced) line? Sandhu goes a step ahead by using phrases like 'joyous wit', 'whacky humour', 'vivid story', but the funniest bit is this - The reader is taken on a roller coaster ride while reading. The book is fast paced and easy to read. The writer has caught the sights, sounds and smells of Goa.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No offence Colin, but are these your friends? Did you pay them anything? Because if you did not, then I suggest, make them pay you immediately for writing such reviews.

Most importantly, the only thing kaleidoscopic in the novel is its cover artwork, which I do not see as creative. It draws heavily on LSD-induced scribbles that still line some of the ol' shops in Camden or Goa for that matter. Because if the twists are hailed as kaleidoscopic, then I have to say something - the mystery is known to everyone except the reader who has his own mystery as to why he chose this book. It is not bad. It is readable but it is purely bad fiction as Sharanya observes. There is nothing worse in the world than bad comedy and bad mystery. And you can not be forgiven Colin because mystery and innocence are not akin; hence you can not escape with the argument that this is your first book.

Now, the insults begin. You see, people like Colin in modern, urban India are led to believe that they are the first ones here to be cool. The protocol increases with terms like - smoke loads of pot, act cool even if you are not, listen to Dylan and Cobain at the same time, act cool even if you are not, talk about everything that has a cult following and lest we forget, act cool even if you are not! Hence, when he got the book deal, I was just wondering whether he deserved one. It is not him who generates kind hate in me, it is his form, that specie which generates so much of love inside my heart for these bucketheads. These are the people who call themselves hippies, yet work with rigid conformity to Americanised ideas. They might be reading Kerouac and Ginsberg and treating themselves (thanks to their proximity to local bands trying to create 'music') as the Gen Next for these tough globalised (?) times but are hardly anything global or modern in their outlook. They hail themselves as kids born in wrong time and they rightfully deserved to be in the flower power era and all that jazz; their lifestyles and thought processes speak something else. And in these times, it is absolutely essential that they are told that they are wrong and their supposedly cool ideas have been here even before they were just eggs. Unfortunately that does not happen and they end up doing this.

I have faith in Colin's writing but look what conformity to the thought that he must pen a book that can sell, did to him. I am not insulting him because I hate his luck, but because it is a sad state of affairs in contemporary creative India where "how cool" is something that determines the creative quotient of any product or idea. I do not think MTV Roadies is good Reality Show programming or Get Gorgeous and its BitchDiaries is anything interesting to watch. Mouthing "fuck" and "gaandu" do not show that your programme is not laboured or it is downright real; Bani had to become a VJ and it was obvious by the 4th episode to everyone in Roadies 4. So do not insult the intelligence of the audience, whosoever they might be. Again, over there you have cool people like Nikhil Chinnappa, who let me tell you is one of the most obnoxious and phoney people you will ever meet. Seriously!

This cheating of audience is not healthy, nor is it new. I just wonder if Colin takes a serious clue from here because the one good thing about his book is - it can easily be made into a cool film. (I do not use the term movie as it is a slang.) Yes, I assure you that anyone with an interpretative method can create a nice silver screen adventure. But, the operating word being interpretative, which would mean that Viva Santiago will have to undergo a lot of changes and get rid of its phoney and deliberate character. Probably I will, when I have the money because some of the stuff in this book is just so cool Colin!

(A detailed version of this post appears on my other blog where I elaborate more on the dialectics.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The last resort

I remember sitting in a room full of people and feeling as if I am the only one.
There are voices all around me but I am not able to comprehend anything in general. It is like nothing said exists with any relevance in the world. Not to me at least. You see I am not the first person here, hence this conversation seems out of place to me. Yet it gets narrated by me. Now I go from active to passive, all of a sudden.

You see, life's first phase is over. It is the last night... or so I hope. Today I have learnt that the ol' chapters are all coming to a close. One after other, they start rolling in to a cul-de-sac, peacefully and not with a bang but with a whimper. I am the snail who has learnt crawling on the edge of a razor, somebody please tell Kurtz.
Yesterday when Sur told me about her getting married, it was like, I was surrounded by an overwhelming air that I am still not able to define. On a parallal track, T was telling me, happily, about hooking up with her pals-in-arms. Fuck, I was confused; I did not know whether to tell them exactly how I feel or display affection and warmth that is genuinely present as well. I am happy and immensely disappointed at the same time. How cool is that? I did the latter, as always.

Lets see the list: Prajakta is dead; Aditi is an ol' jewel; Ayesha is gone forever and would never really see me; Sur will be married and even though I severed few ties of communication, it will continue to hurt; T* is happy with Sahil. Anyone left... yes, and for the obvious reasons. Wow. In one day, every form of realisation is happening, without permission. And I have to accept them all. I am so happy for Sur, I am just too sad for myself. I am happy for all of them, I am just too sad for myself. Everything, and I mean every damn thing, is coming to an end. I am not kidding when I say this but I just can not understand going on to the stage of the second phase of life. It all seems zero to me. Because I think it is. Because it is meant to be.

I have retreated into my own spa - Dawg's crib here at London Bridge, my last resort. I came here for 3 days and it has been two weeks. I eat, sleep, live here. Simple. And I smoke, and play the PS2. I am disconnected from everything possible in the physical universe we exist in. His housemate Viraat has a major problem with us staying in all the time and just smoking and playing the PS2. He expressed his surprise at my being a writer and away from reality when I should not confine myself to the cream walls around me. The trouble: I have met too many people like my stoner type. There is Bhalla, Manish, Kabir, the cute Sahil, The Tango and countless others who walk in and walk out... of my life. And then there is of course Dawg, one of my favourite stoner buddies. You know the best thing about him - he is such a loveable human being. Simple, chilled out and frank. Over here, I listen to Tiesto and The Ghost Song at the same time. I co-exist with them, smoothly.
But this won't last. In fact, it has come to an end almost. I am the one who is lingering it on and on. It ends tomorrow as I write this soliloquy.

Now, beginning Monday, it will be time for reconnaissance, some serious one. That is like four commas in one sentence with twelve words. Ptch! (I obliterated one)

I have a question: Is it alright to carry forward with the past besides you, and experiencing two or more emotions, without any prior information, at the same time? Like is it normal?
I mean, can all this happen at the same time? What is it?

DP: Allah ke bande, hans de, jo bhi ho woh kal aayegaa!

I hope so dude. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Rattler

It all began that night... I still remember the moments of agony and pain that were unbearable. What was I thinking and why was I thinking what I was thinking? It is like I am in a constant state of denial about accepting. What the fuck am I writing?

**********************************

Now, I very well remember that there used to be a certain meaning attached to my kind of living. I am not too sure if I still know it. This is the problem: the absence of the thought and the motive. If I do not sort this out any sooner, it will accumulate its loose ends and create a much bigger problem than me... This has been the case in the past... This should not be the case in the future... This means I need to work out my present.... .... ... Wow..., I feel enlightened!!!

***********************************

My life is not going to be sitting on the pavement all the time. I think way too much time has been spent there. And, deliberately, for everyone else's benefit other than mine. It is was a different tinge in the sky when I learnt that ordinary paves way for the extraordinary.
Now, it might just be the case with the right moment. And this comes from the person who disbelieves in the virtue of patience. Imazzine!

********************************

It is a matter of deliberation of thought; it needs to be done when... erm need be. See, that is the whole point of existence, evolution of thinking. No closure here for sure, never. Although, I find it hard to draw the line between ambition, desire and greed/lust. This is the conundrum which sucks, you know, like a vaccuum cleaner, all your sensibility. I strive to go beyond this. Is it possible? The question we normally ask, 'is it necessary?', bans the path.

**********************************

I have just written my first man. This is where it began. (Watch this space)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lets talk about her darling

I have often thought about the people in my life regarding their connections with me. The other day my teenage wasteland buddy sent me a text as to how she was just thinking of me. You know if she reads this, her apt reply would be, "Don't think too much into it." Oh how much I love her!
But then that took me back to the day while I was walking on the sands, all by myself under the full moon of kartik poornima, wondering where am I going. I prayed for her (perch that eyebrow down, you know who), thinking... they say when you pray with an open heart, it comes true.

Hazaaron khawhishein aisi kee har khawhish par dam nikle
bahut nikle mere armaan, phir bhee kam nikle

Yes, the proverbial fear of living a desire come true! It scares me, you know.

Tu ek kaam kyun nahee karta, sab kuch bol daal. Kya faraq padta hai woh kya mehsoos karte hain. Sur ko bhee toh kaha naa tune. Bahut himmat chahiye uske liye. I am glad you at least said it. It wasn't easy and all I can say is that I know you will die loving her, but then, in your words, that is what I call being human.

... yeah... you may say so.

But I think we are digressing. Hum toh kisi aur road par the, nahee?

... Yeah, her and the poornima night. Thats one of my most significant nights you know. I have not prayed like day, normally I do not. I still have this little hope, a flinter that will glow. I'll die loving her too. Anyhow, I am not talking to you about her, exactly. I started thinking of all the women in my life. Those I met, some whom I loved and others who just walked away or out or as time extended, they fizzled as memories. Then those, who lived time with me. You know, there are moments when you just feel something and it gives you the courage to do it, to live it.
I still don't understand. I had bought the earrings so that I could wear them. But I ended up gifting it to Mary Jane. And now Cobain is my best friend and a brother. What, it has been like 7 years since we first met, MJ? I think so. Or if I had not acted like a desperate prankster, I would have missed out on Aditi. WHat a glorious time we had? How can I forget the soul who gave me the idea of them? The first one. You know how I still draw parallals?

Human again!

IF it were not for her, I won't even have known the presence of women in my life. Of course, this is incomplete without the first ones at all - my dearest mom and my darling sister, she is like a daugter to me. I miss them every day and every moment. I miss our petty squabbles and countless charades. But they, alongwith the woman for whom I have the highest regard, nani, are a different post altogether. They can not be here. This is about the significant others.

Ptch!

Sorry, I am still in the frasier mood. Anyway, getting back. So yeah, she, dob 4th or 8th of August, I think. I am so thankful to her for every passing day, makes me heal the wounds. And then she happened. Prajakta was the greatest and the best. I still feel connected to her. I worked hard at wooing her. You remember the time my entire group of friends at BIT was scared to death because I was not back home in time and was significantly late to be so.

Ah, yes. Shashank had a big problem with you the next day. Hahahha, you used a soppy story of how hard you were working for the annual function that you forgot the time. She came out after an hour or so, right?

Oh, I have waited for her like anything. Sometimes I think the love was just too much, it was some high level intensity that humans normally wont understand or experience. I still do not know how she was just taken away. But I know, that wherever she is, the love is still alive.

I am sorry Kirit. It hurts me too. You were just discovering me at that time.

No, it was not your fault. I am still trying to decode few things. And then as if that was not enough, Ayesha struck. Then Sur, Aditi... I explored new dimensions of love with each of them. So they are up there in a different cloud. But on a different note, see who all I met. Butthead, inarguably one of my simplest, most adorable (and hot) and charming, and indeed a great friend. You know, she said one of the sweetest things one day. Shreez dreamt that I raised a toast at her wedding and amusingly referred to her as Butthead. Thereafter, everybody forgot she was called Shreya. I was ecstatic. I do not remember anyone uttering something so beautiful, about me. Umm, actually it would be unfair to put all the remarks under the same sunshine. Shreez, by far has been one of the greatest things in my life and I love her everyday.
Tilottama still haunts me. She is one of those very few women. Remember that priestess in Kumbhalgarh? My god, she knew about me even before I had entered the fort, let alone the temple.
Lets talk about those I have not even met, at all. Deepa, one of my most adorable younger friends. I mean, I almost treat her like a sister. Or SiM, who was the first one to include me on her reading list. Or was it Jerry? Well, she was the first woman to do so nonetheless. Or lostlittlegirrl... and Ruchika, another scorpio from another continent. Isn't this a sweet bunch? And yeah, the mother of them all, Misfit, my wicked little darling. I so wanted to meet her before coming here. She has been a constant support and someone who, in the same vein as Shreya, has that bumchum quality. Just like Neha. What instant connection we had? Like, with these great people, it just happened in a minute that we learnt that we are going to be great buddies. As if we were born to be so! Isn't this fantastic? Richa, how can I forget my biggest debater in journalism school? She still hates me, I know it but then she is such a woman!!! I can not believe she has a son now. Wonder what mischief he would be upto when he grows up, given his mother's A+ credentials. Some benchmark she has set!
Mischief reminds me of Noopur, my greatest enemy. I think till the day she is alive, her entire family will be jealous of me for having that connection with her. I hate her because I love her so much. And one of the things I really miss is pulling her leg alongwith Sid and Nandy.
Poor Devika, who bears the brunt every damn time. She is like this pesky soul in my life without whom, living here would have been hell. Oh, how much I torment that poor girl all the time. People have already begun asking how she tolerates me. Losers! Just what do they know great friends are! Quite often I end up calling her and asking her to bring me food because I am either stoned or high or lazy. And they think why are we not seeing each other or romantically involved! Again, losers.
Ashi Hansa is another one. But then she deserves it. And I do not know if I can be thankful enough to these two little idiots called Ash and Sush for being there in the shithole called HT. Both of them are too much and two sweet munchkins. We are fondly called the three stooges, considering our antics. I am so glad for both of them considering they are at great stages in their respective lives. Ne plu ne plah! (Something only Sush and I can understand but so are the other statements for those respective people)
Then there are those whom you meet once or just know them, and you never know if there would be any other communication. Because chances are, there wont be any. Isha for her... life; she is just so full of it that it makes me envious. Anuradha for her charm. Noor for her mystery.
Maya for the enigma she is (I havent even met her). Pihu for her silly cuteness. Saadiya for the kindness. She is a great gal. Brave, beautiful, talented, and just the person she is.
Penny for her sensibility. See again, I do not know why I gifted her the book. But after a long time, I found a companion who enjoyed my chats... or well at least listened to me. I really enjoyed learning that she loved her bike ride with me. And she is a great gal indeed. Deep yet chirpy. An antithesis, Payal, PB! She is amazing. Like so much like a bully to me. I dont allow people to bully me, but PB, Shreez, and few others, have that right. And it is my privilege. She also has a son now. ANd I am so happy for her. Harman (another Noor), what a sweet woman. I dont have many friends from Amity you see. I do not keep in touch with her that regularly but she continues to tickle my funny bone with her SMS and forwards. ANd yes, there is Gowry, what an amazing woman! She still compliments me on my facebook profile pictures.

Boy, and you still complain?

I do not complain, Ok! Do not interrupt me in this.
See as I am thinking about all of them, it is all popping up. And I am so loving this whole thing of remembering my sweet women. So, right now I am not complaining. Ok.
Oh when I mentioned Isha, I forgot, Ambika Muttoo. I wished I had known her more. She seemed so nice. Well, she was nice. I wish she had told me that we were friends on hi5 before we met, by chance. Another capricorn like Ambika is Mireya. I never heard the words respect until she told me. What a trapped little genius she is. Knowledge, wit, she has it all. I just wish she is happy, every moment. If it weren't for her, Devika and Dimitris, I do know if I would have survived here in London. What an amazing person she is. Ayesha was a capricorn too, you know.

Yes, I do know. You have also dated an Aries, right?

I have not dated her, alright. T*, with the star. So far, the only woman I remember whose ambition struck a chord with me was Durba. I am still waiting for her to realise what she is worth. I want to see her being famous. But then, yes we are talking about T and Durba is anyway a Libran. She is like a great flame. Achiever, ambitious, hot in her own way and sweet and... innocent. Thats why I was drawn to her and probably still am. She is like this great incandescent a soul. I wish if hazaaron khawahishein aisi came true as per our wishes. Sigh! What a great woman she might be. Lets not go the road of "I wish". I am happy for her and will always be wherever she is. I just hope she is too. She is also bold, the way Surabhi Gupta was, my only girlfriend in school days (not the hot one I mean, the other one who only came for a year). God, I should have kissed her on that day. Ah, from school. Vidyashree Di, who still considers me a junior from school and loves me the same way. Ummm, Aditi, the little girl for whom I used to get chocolates. She must be 19/20 now. WHat a sweet little cupcake she and her sorority gals were. I got her a chocolate when I went back to school on one of those annual functions. I cherish her and our memories so much. I never had young admirers. Come to think of it, I don't have any one apart from those cute little toddlers.

Yes, you do!

Ahhh, My dear ol' Sassy!!! Of course, she gave me a reason to live at that time. WOw, what a gal! I mean of all my friends, she is definitely the most different, with few notable exceptions of course. I was on the seventh sky when I met her. Ah, my fatal allure. Hahahha
But then, just how many people have had good library tales to narrate? Again, something only she and I can understand. She gave something to me that is priceless. It can not be valued because like I said, it is priceless. I adore every moment with her and I am so protective of her that I am keeping tabs on her poor and sweet boyfriend. But most importantly, she made me understand the beauty of physical chemistry. And a connection that literally can not have any conclusion or meaning or even a depiction. My first big fan and on one of my most (stupidest) and adorable pals ever.
Adorable are few of my greatest girlfriends in my family, apart from my sister and mom who are the best ever - Sonu didi, without whom living in London was not even a possibility and Rakhi bua, whose intelligence, wit and humour still astound me (she is adorable); Prachi didi for she was the first one I called Didi; Priya Bhabhi for the wonderful friend she is; Kinni, Simmi and Neha, who are my other daughters apart from Mickey; Manu Mausi for the favourite childhood friend she is; and countless others...
Oh, the Devika I mentioned in the beginning is different from the one earlier. The teenage wasteland buddy is in a different league altogether. She is like one of the coolest women I have ever known. Like Beth from Germany with whom I shared that great night in Pushkar. Or Helena, the biker babe! No, this girl is different. She talks only through her eyes and her deep words. I wish I had dated her. All these women, they are aces in my book. I do not know if I would have come this far if it werent for them.

Here is wishing all the happiness for these great women and as I raise a toast, I wish God bless them all. I love you!

P.S. I love you too! At least we are always together.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Scornful!!!

Hypothetically speaking, if I were a woman I would have published a sex book or an ab-diet book and made myself famous. Well, the other day I was reading a blog whose despicable author has always irked me and Cobain. For long I had wondered what was this woman's ambition that she writes full load of crap and I discovered that one of her first assignments in 'journalism college' was to write an article like none other than the heavily imitable Shobha De. She now has her own column where a lot more crap is published by the very same newspaper I once used to work for. Isn't that lovely? Like wow! I remember me and Abhijeet once remarking how she is an intelligent woman but uses it in the worst manner possible. That is sad... like fuckin' sad. When you have the gift of knowledge and intelligence that is earned, it is advisable to use it properly. But then, ye hai Dilli meri jaan! When Colin released a book and had a problem with my remark on him being a capitalist slave, I could just smile, for reasons more than one. If I was in Delhi and a part of the ratrace, I too would have had done this:
1. Got my own column much like Sushmita Bose's Single in the City or JB's From the blog cabin
2. Or would have been the features editor of an esteemed magazine like Maxim!
3. Produced 5 crappy but immensely popular plays with celebs like Sonam Kalra, Sita Raina et al and that would have happened after sucking their arses for long.
4. Be a part of the cool crowd!
5. Most importantly, I would have become snobbish, arrogant in the hollow manner, and one of the most hated people.
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Arrogance is not the forte of the unintelligent or the banal. Nor is it inherited. It is to be earned and exhibited properly, not in the manner these idiots I just mentioned do. You talk to them and you can understand the Delhi virus. It bites you and it fuckin does a good job. Only few can survive that. But anyhow, we are talking about arrogance. People have told me how nasty I am when displaying behaviour that is either termed pretentious or arrogant. Well, I say this - You do not know me. So the only way you can possibly remark on me (since humans love doing that; they just can't stop themselves, can they?) is terming me that! Again, really sad. It is like when someone talks to Cobain and calls him so damn arrogant that it pisses me off. I am like, you don't even know that he is talking at level 9 and you are at zero perhaps or even far removed from the discussion. Like the time we took JB's trip on facebook, I was just surprised that she just could not come up to our level. Pathetic!
Oh Cobain, let's start fuckin these mongrels; you know it is time.
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I am immensely scornful of the current media trends in India. The commissioner's dog goes missing and it becomes the breaking news. There was a time it was fucking me up big time. And the sad thing is, intelligent people like Jhoomur Bose fan this horrible shindig. It is like a colossal event in our current times and we need people to voice out. Where are those motherfuckers now? I feel really hopeless when I can not make out the outsiders from those frolicking inside. Just who is who? Fuckin hell, innit! I know these people won't learn unless I get inside and be more verbal than ever. I am already inside not that I was outside. No Cobain, we were never trying to fit in; we just wanted our identities and let ourselves be, which unfortunately has never been allowed. So what do we do? We use the very system that has destroyed us, to destroy every one else. The rules were always there in front of us; so were the moves. We just didn't pick them up then. Now we should and we will. I know when I say there is nothing you can invent anymore because this is the age of improvisation. Nothing exists in the purest, natural form that we could shape. We could however, rethink!
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I just hate it when told things about my character without any argument or example. It is like, oh look at that lovely sunset. Oh, Kirit, you know you are like this. What? Dude, if you make a point, at least make it correctly. But then, I can never stop people from talking, can I?
Anyhow, the recent developments have been really shocking. It is proven that I am not worthy of a relationship in life. I just broke ties with three girls in the span of a day. The first one had a distance problem, the second was getting too tough to ignore and third and the longest one had almost resulted in a haemorrhage. Lest we forget, there is still the old flame of which I am totally sure that it is not going to work out in the longer run. Wow, I know a lot. See how happy I am. That has to be a killer day because at the end of it, I even ran out of stuff to smoke. Icing on the cake! About the third one, I finally told her that even though I love her and will continue to do so and that there is nothing wrong in that, we'll never realise this daydream of mine. And knowing her, I could take the chance of telling her how much I adore her and it hurts to see another man experiencing the same, albeit a bit more realistically. So, why keep it bumbling inside when you can say and at least feel not that choked. And I did let it out. It has helped me a little and the dissociation will only help it a little more. Obviously, now things won't be the same... not that it is going to make much of a difference. The second girl is like my partner in the teenage wasteland. Frolicking, breathing and alive. But surrealism grins with evil eyes. And don't even talk about the first one. Like it was some sort of flash in the pan, a meteor in the sky and I like a lovefool wished over a dead star. So it came, it happened and it VANISHED!
Ah, that leaves the ol' flame. No, it is not going to happen. I know that. I think I have earned the right to be a bit selfish and think about myself for a change. It is not going to work out because it won't ever.

This is the problem with that higher level of consciousness. Tolerance is made to skyrocket. Courage is given new dimensions, things only people like me can see, not every tom, dick and Jhoomur. Haha! I have even forgotten that the drug peddler exists anymore. I just wonder if he is my reflection or vice-versa.
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I have decided to draw the list of people I am going to fuck up badly in the coming few years. One of my goals is to send them into oblivion. Have you heard that word, oblivion? It is like... magic. A very potent serum that sends your brain into a state that not many can think of dreaming about. So, here it goes:
1. Gaurav Parasher: That bloke has to have it from me. Like I have remembered all his moves and facial (fucked-up) expressions. One of the people I really want to kill. And soon I will. He deserves it more than anyone else.

******No enemy is worth fighting over Maniac. You know that none of them deserves it, not even Gaurav Parasher.*********

2. Ayesha Sharma: (Are you kidding me K? Her, of all the people?) Yes, she needs it. I mean half the destruction happened after that, didnt it? She ought to be taught a lesson. All these people need to be.
3. Shweta Dudeja: Poison-Ivy! Need I say more? With her, I am going to destroy her very existence, malign it so that no one in her family (I'll destroy them too) can ever dream of saying ill of anyone in the world.

******You are changing K, drastically!**********

4. Colin Fernandes: He needs to understand he is NOT cool, just a plain damn lucky sonofabitch.

********Ha hahah, that is so low standard. Of all the people, COlin! He has not done anything to you, and you know it before I say it. You just hate him, that's ok. I think he shares your sentiment. What's wrong in that? I mean you are willing to give up your great life for an asshole like him. Wow! Some ambition****************
For fuck's sake, I have never given it back to these people. I have never been scornful in my life. I have let my work do that talking, always been the nice guy. You want me to be fucked all the time. Why is it so hard to imagine me being vengeful? What the fuck is wrong in that?
********Do it at your own risk, Kirit. I am with you always. But, something here is just not right. (Because I know Kirit sucks ass at hurting anyone.) Hey, do I remember correctly that you once shared two joints with him?********

5. Arjun Sen: The youngest chap of the lot. He needs to be beaten black and blue.

Oh, my god, it is so fuckin tough looking for adversaries. There are so many names, and after a lot of thinking, these are the names I am coming up with. Imagine.
Oh Yes!

6. Aditya Sinha: That fat ass will be one meaty enemy. By the time I will be ready to fuck him, he would have risen few more levels. But wait, you ludicrous poppinjay. One of the good enemies. Hell yeah!
7. Sonam Kalra, Bubbles Sabharwal, Sita Raina and the Dilli theatrical brigand: They are just too much for me and unless someone like me nails them in their own city in their own line, they will never learn.
8. AB: One person I would really like to fuck and no, it is not Amitabh Bachchan idiots.
9. Aswathy M: How could I ever forget you? Of all the people from Amity, I hate you the most and for all the right reasons. Enough of your attitude babe. You fuckin married fat ass, wait till I get to both you and your husband. I am not sorry if he gets it from me. I would love the fact that because of you, he got nailed too.
10. HIM/HER: I still need a great adversary. Someone who can scare me looking in the eyes. Someone who will never give up and stand tall despite brutal knocks and give one back. Yeah, that is what I need, the strong enemy. I thought of putting COlin there once but deemed him too unworthy of the title. Please God, I need this one!

Now I have a list and a new goal. Hell yeah! This is going to be one hell of a long decade if I were to nail all of them soon. And I don't mind if it all happens at one time.

********** Good luck, if thats what you want from me!************
Whatever!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Self-Indulgence

There is a moment in the episode Hooping Cranes of Frasier Season 8 that is made up of the stuff that weaves dreams. It is when Niles does a basket from half-court while Seattle Sonics take a break. He nails it! That is what I wish for... the moment where I nail it from far away and a million people are watching, most of them envious (I wish to experience the feeling of knowing someone is jealous of me), and few of those who are close, super excited. It is at that moment destiny is mine and I am the master of my fate. When I thump and say 'BANG! This is mine!' I wish to have that moment once in my life so I can say... that I lived.

**********************************************************

It is a weird time when I do not know how to express. And it is now. There are things happening that I daydreamt, with utmost innocence of accepting the fact that they are never going to come true. But they have and I am so shocked at the sudden boom. It goes back to my theory of every human brain as a sensor and receptor that works on this (cosmic, perhaps) energy that so far has no scientific measurement credential. So it does happen. It is like you are on your eighth drink, as always sitting alone, and wondering that there will be a day when I'll be told this by him/her. You know the stuff that fables are made of. It makes me believe in the mystery life offers... and that most of the times, we just do not pay attention to it. Sad, isn't it? Can you see my grin?

**********************************************************

I have reached a higher level of consciousness that is tremendously frightening and nauseous. It is like I can see things happening in reality before they can actually happen. And I am not sure how to handle it. It is when I can see my daydreams in colour and I fuckin know they are going to come true. The last few months have been spent in isloation, separation (distance) and self-exploration. It is the most refreshing experience, ever. I now have knowledge that is several levels higher than what they were till a year ago. I see things from a stratospheric view like the earth is laid out on a flat bed for me. Wow! Imagine there was a time I kept on asking, 'what is thinking out of the box?' I am not above humans, no I am not God; I am just close to discovering the self, completely, in the matrix!

***********************************************************

Moonstruck: Oh you know the last time I talked to you, it was not a healthy one.
Drug Peddler: Hmmm
M: I was just too fed up of the whole idea mayte. And... I think I burst out loud.
DP: It wasn't noise for me.
?
I do not see things in a worldly light. I have given up on that. Because everything is fake, justified, and amazingly monochromatic. These shouts, cries and hoarse voices are nothing but faint echos for me.
But weren't you offended?
Should I be? Was that your intention? Arrogance is never without a reason and bubbling sub-conscious. To answer your question, no I was not.
Hmm
Tell me, how do you feel?
...
You have the answers don't you. You have all the beauty and all you care about now is yourself without any benefit in mind. Bitter sweet symphony. When its sugar, it just tastes so sweet. There are no more insecurities because you know...
You have found yourself. :-) I feel like crying, buckets, and jumping with joy in my teenage wasteland. I feel like... I am free. (crying) I am where I thought I'll never be. I can not believe when I hear people telling me they love me. That I am likeable. It's amazing, like when I first learnt how to walk, or talk, or open my eyes.
Ah, the proverbial truth has come out for you moonstruck. I am glad it happened sooner. It had to happen, dreams do come true. They are dreamt with a reason. Boom!
Boom! (Thanks DP)

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Friday, May 23, 2008

A string strummed and a riff wasted

It is strange when I walk and learn there is everyone around, but no one close. As the eyes catch a glimpse of the last shining streak of the evening sky, there appears to be a piercing silence that comes out of chaos... I wake up when others are sleeping. I pay fine on books I do not read. I spend time on money that is not mine. I open doors that heard no knock. I looked around and found that small flower in the resplendent bed; there was cadmium, burnt sienna and dark cochre and some purple. Oh, how I fell in love with something that withered away the next morning.
Right about now, funk soul brother!
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I just heard a funny thing when Intellectual Goddess replied to one of my questions. The question was if she was given a chance to change two things about me to make a better person out of moi, what would they be; to which she replied that one was my narcissism (yes, yes, yes, I am so happy to hear that) and if I snore, I shouldn't be doing that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
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Have you ever been in a situation where you got into knowing it would be tough to find a way out? I do it everyday and it is such a beautiful feeling. It makes me feel human at any moment in my life.
************************************************
Pearl once remarked how it is so amazing to have heartaches! It indeed is. There are few things explaining this phenomenon, which would otherwise be viewed as forgotten or at least advised as one. Silly specie we humans are. Something happened two days ago after finishing three spliffs in few hours with the smokin buddy here. It turned out that I was sitting as lonely as ever around some lake (I am a water sign with a strong affinity for the blue). It could also mean that one of my greatest heartaches is around a big lake (wink, wink). If I ain't mistaken, there was a joint around and I was pretty happy until...
In a flash I heard one of my buddies remarking how there is a girl whom I know very well. Before I could even manage to turn around, there came this little one who held my face in her soft hands and kissed me on the lips saying "I am sorry for all the misunderstanding Kirit." The earth shook, sky had lit up and blah blah blah, all the platitudes you can think of could be remarked here. It was her - Ay. What a bloody fantastic feeling! I mean there she was, the way I would have preferred her - unkempt, naturally dressed, eyes without the dominating kohl (she always looked lovely without kaajal) and the innocence that made me fall in love with her. The last I saw of her was not a pleasant sight because of the fleeting glimpse and the hatred that comes alongwith... much like those friends that were needed in the first place. But this is not about the past; it is about the dream...
"I am sorry Kirit. Sorry for all the misunderstanding," as tears kissed those lips that said this, all I could see were those gleamy eyes (I distinctly remember the sun shining from the right hand side), and the childlike apology that deserves all the attention. My reply was not far from my conscious brain dreaming the scene; it was never about 'who is wrong where' but 'what went wrong where?' that deserved importance. I was too dumbstruck to respond, but then I was immensely ecstatic. And I knew it was all a dream. This is the best part about (day)dreaming, innit? Damn, I think me and V had finished at least 3 joints the night before.
It is ironic, the whole situation.
But I loved those 45 minutes during which this fantasy came alive... well, sepia-tinted indeed.
*******************************************

Shrieks and shivers

with the plucks,

induced by knocks

lies a lizard

rolling. Shocked

as if

it

were…

running along dark lanes

shadows lurk as

they are lofted by streaks

mirror gaze

that would’ve ironed the dragon

caught

it

a string strummed

***********************************************

I had a terrible circle of life experience. A few weeks back, I was shooting someone's film for her submissions. Yes, it was kind of strange but allowed, it seems; I just hope the "young turk" does not sacrifice my name in the credit roll. My experience was riddled with subtle indignant expressions that somehow never got the point across. It was at that moment I saw the charming lady they call life sitting on the highest throne and smirking at me. The similarities were there, with their own disturbances. In the episode 'Kissing Cousin', Niles recollects his growing years in medical school and remarks upon the daunting nature of 20-somethings. I saw two faces of tis phenomenon. First, in the form of my partner in crime who, with her lack of knowledge and expertise, and the pinch of disdain that she sprinkled off and on without reasoning. The picture was completed when:

1. I had a sense of deja-vu (or so I say to avoid the harshness on everyone including meself).

2. I discovered that I was at a much higher level of the same behavioural pattern albeit with a much more intelligent and modest demeanour.

But here in lies the problem.

Sadly, there is no scope for any learning left for her. The other day I was surprised to see that a man who has been in the journalism industry for over four years was seeking her help/eye on his script. I certainly was not happy at the sight. You see, the problem with the self-proclaimed young turks is their complete lack of self-awareness. That is the biggest problem. Worse, if the person has an ounce of intelligence, which is true in this case, the whole picture comes out really ugly. So, I decided to severe the ties and redirect my focus on the highly starved dissertation. What saddened me was that all my attempts (I have never been so calm and patient with someone whose insolence and opinions almost made me tear my hair out) to help her concentrate her energy failed. But, as always, I took refuge in my mother's wisdom. Like mummy said, we can not expect others to come up to our levels just as we can not step down to theirs. So I was, at the end of the story, not that sad.

But, the riff was indeed wasted...


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things people say...

Intelligent words from Job 38:2
Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?

It is difficult to teach people how to talk. They talk, and without any considerable idea of a good conversation or remark. I must not forget to add their impeccable taste of English as a language and its rape on a massive level, especially by We, the people from India. We hail MS Word as the bible for spellings and presume words to be present in the Oxford Dictionary based on the Gates' creation. But then, the supreme lexicon is quite disappointing for its induction of words like lungi. It is difficult to stop people from using bad language or worse, being unapologetic about their sins. Yes, it is a sin to insult a language, be it English, Hindi, Urdu or French. When a fellow blogger decided to pen a new blog [even she won't know the number of (useless) blogs she has on the Net], I could only feel sorry for my mother tongue. But this is about Ingliss, which is a very phunny languazze. I do not feel offended or perplexed (or baffled) by the accent, unintentionally incorrect pronunciation; I do however feel like slapping the other person for horrendously putting a noose around the words and swinging them as if they were suicidal barbie dolls. Ok, bad example... but a pertinent one considering the imbeciles behaving around.

1. I am freezing my ass off: How do you do that? Somebody has to unravel this mystery for me. Any human being, in the physical universe we all exist in, is covered from head to toe and the first place he/she would feel cold are feet, nose, ears, cheeks, eyes, palms and more specifically fingers. Then of all the anatomical entities, why the bloody ass? More importantly, how does one freeze a body part that once - in infancy - had the most sensitive skin but is now covered in at least two layers of fabric on an average day. It is just plain stupid.

2. I am shitting bricks: Ahaan! What in the hell did you have for a meal and exactly how would you do that? Why could you just not say that you are scared/petrified/intimidated (each of which, in the broader sense, though mean the same, their contextual usage and specific meaning differs largely)? Another one of those phenomenons that are difficult to be described. Quite frankly, I do not intend to unravel this one!

3. Whatever!: Notice how the first three points of this post are all massively (ab)used by women at large. The last woman in my life had me literally tearing my nerves because of this one word. You can not imagine the damage this one incurs. It is a force unleashed on the male of the species from which they have no escape apart from an exile to the Congo forest or a desert.
EG: Man: Are you angry with me?
Woman: Whatever (You are doomed motherfucker!)

This is the tip of the iceberg - the floating mass of ice that is so deep that by the time a MAN has been down under, he is already a mummy. Try and tell (do NOT attempt to correct) a woman her mistake, and no matter how much she is in the wrong, the monosyllabic reply would be staring you right in the face. Women have to accept certain things:
A) They were not born the fair sex.
B) They were definitely not born intelligent.
C) They were the ones born with a stone/cold heart. God just gave them the bounty called tears and the wonderful gift - the art of acting.
D) They were never born articulate. They tend to learn this at a very later stage and even if they do, the usage is not without prejudice, bias and bitchiness.
There is a girl on my course. She has been a journalist, but then a lot of us have been. Her language is wonderfully amateurish, thought process immensely screwed, articulation at an all time perigee (and she does not intend to improve it; instead, like most Indians, prefers to be an ostrich and use the word in conversation right now) and ignorance is her forte. Her mythology is mixed up with mehndi, she is far removed from anything Indian and I hate it when she tries to impress people with her (disastrous) knowledge of our homeland... but, without a doubt, her irritational quotient (IQ) is a massive 2000 because of her usage of the word WHATEVER! Seriously women, please wake up. This is the only word apart from FUCK that can be used in every form of grammar known to mankind. (There are few women who are never going to be in conversation with this kind of a post because I would want to live. tee hee)

4. That's so sweet/He or she is a sweetheart: Oh for god's sake! I'll choke if I hear one of those sugary platitudes. This is what my mind says every time I hear these words. Earlier, I used to have a problem with humans not being expressive; and I still have the same problem. They just do not know when and how to express. Words like "Whatever", "Sweet", "Cute", "Awww", "Fuck", "Nice" and "Interesting" are the best substitutes for anything. If a person is sweet, I can see that as much as the one uttering the words. Then why the time-wasting exercise of highlighting that fact. For those who can see, will see, and those who can not, will never see. So spare me the incessantly excessive usage of these words.

5. It's interesting: Obviously, because:
a) You were unable to understand the thing at all, in which case, you should be honest that you do not know how to give the feedback.
b) You really do not know anything about expressing, which can be forgiven... but only till a point.
c) You are trying to be nice and sweet, which is again alright and can be understood. It is difficult being honest; might just unintentionally hurt someone. So use this phrase.
d) You are so stupid that this is the only feedback you have ever picked up from the television or films. You are so lame that argument and articulation were far removed from your intelligence. In this case, I would love to slap you hard and kick you out.
This is one of the most commonly heard phrases. People use it at the drop of a hat. And one can so easily make out the buffoon from the bored. The ones whose eyes roll as if they were high on a hallucinatory drug or the ones who go hmmmm, ummm, you know, ummm, but you know. Fuck you man, go take a lesson in appraisals or just go take any intelligence lessons. The ones who have a reason to use this phrase will not add words to substantiate their two-word feedback; they will genuinely have a conclusive remark or an observation that would have struck a chord or triggered a thought. Again, over here you can make out the idiots/fakers from the perceptive.

6. It's nice: Read point 5 and substitute "It's interesting" with this.

7. I partly agree with you: Ok. Exactly, which part would that be? Nine out of 10 people will never have the answer to this one. The majority is the one that never looks directly into your eyes or if they do, that is to show they are sleeping with their eyes open. It is the most common escape from any discussion. Normally, it moves in sync with the two points mentioned just above and often it ends with the sentence - But then, to each his own. Everyone has their own opinion. - which quite often displays their irritability quotient (IQ) blatantly.

8. Excessive usage of more words to highlight intelligence:
"In my humble and conscientious expression of aroused feelings of appreciation towards the Herculean effort of the central character, whose lionhearted attempt of depicting the horrifying tragedy of the weakened spirit sets a precedence, it is worth applauding that such a brave heart exists amongst all of us." WHAT THE FUCK? And this was a simplified expression that I just made up as an example of the horrors of modern language. George Orwell has written a brilliant piece on the Politics of language called English. You can read it here. Why can we not say things without complicating them beyond the sphere of a man's intelligence? I do not know who deduced that a human uses only 8% of his brain because these farts wreck their brain nerves in order to say such idiotic sentences. Why say "to put up with" when you can say tolerate? Why show someone that you have read the thesaurus while others were living their life? But the most irritable are those who use words (and the heavy ones) without a thought. They are the worst. The other day, I remembered how Ashok Sinha from my journalism school once remarked "The course got bifurcated into two in the year 2003."

A man thinks that by mouthing hard words, he understands hard things
Herman Melville

9. Different-Different/Small-Small/Big-Big:
Just how can one be so stupid to translate words from Hindi to English in this daft manner? This is the most common mistake committed by people from the sub-continent. When something is different, it is different; why add a duplicate with a hyphen? There is no point. The other day I heard someone remarking "You know, these are the small-small things I do not like." What nonsense! Just because you say the Hindi equivalent twice does not mean you could do the same in English. The girl I was referring to earlier makes these mistakes so often that I do not even feel like talking to her in Queen's language at all. "There were different-different colours"; if no two colours are similar, it is obvious each one of them is different from the other, so logically this is not a good usage. It is in fact pathetic.

10. Contextually incorrect words:
By far, the most annoying aspect of incorrect usage of English language. We tend to use contradicting words/phrases just because their broader sense is remotely related. Alliteration aside, I am hinting at two things:
a) Using a word on the basis of just reading it in a thesaurus without thinking what it actually implies.
b) Joining two words that look connected but are disjoint in reality and, well, worse than an oxymoron combination.

For instance, I used the example of scared/intimidated/petrified earlier to highlight this point as a teaser. Petrified means scared, yes; but, it does not imply you can use this to show you were scared. The word describes the emotion of turning numb or into a stone because of fear. It can not be used when you slipped on a staircase and were scared as to what happened. Someone I know used this word in the exact manner described.
Another example. A self-proclaimed intelligent man in his article "Musical Mountain" (God, what an abominable alliteration and horrible adjective) misuses a word in one of the concluding paragraphs. The sentence reads - If you are the hyperactive sort, there is plenty of hiking, rock climbing and rappelling to be done. Somebody has to tell him the meaning of the word "hyperactive".
But would he listen, I doubt it! He is now the features editor of an intelligent magazine that has no sense whatsoever, but it is popular and COOL - another one of those things people say!

Calvin: Sometimes when I'm talking, my words can't keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak.
Hobbes: Probably so we can think twice.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The A-list of B-grade things

You know you are few years away from getting "older and experienced" when:

1. One of the B Grade Models who became Mrs. World suddenly looks decent to you.
2. You pick up 85% hot women and try to tell the world they are 150% hot and convince the world that there is something special about them that the world does not realise.
3. Every time you have chest pain, you just hope it is indigestion and not something else.

4. All cricketers who played while you used to watch cricket are all commentators, managers, businessowners, franchisee's or just plain retired shmucks with cigars and wheelchairs, or just plain unheard of blokes.

5. Suddenly the older seasons of Frasier feel good.

6. You don’t enjoy discotheques any more. You certainly can’t stand those friggin college kid rock concerts.

7. Rock music sounds like the height of metallic BS and immediately gives u a headache which only clinical sedation can cure. (Holds true for a lot of them, not for few of us)

8. You have a nose and sense to identify "that kind of ******". You know this kind of guy is good for nothing, knows nothing, just survives on very good luck but in the long term achieves nothing. You can predict what happens in his life. You can predict how he will talk and the way he talks and projects himself itself lets you know what kind of guy he is and what happens to him. This guy is harmless, has mediocre fame, normally can never provide a solution to anything he even honestly tries to solve, and is always seen hitting on a bunch of good for nothing women. Reminds one of the unusually defined, ignorant, self conscious and pretentious mid nineties social order of the big metropolis we are a part of.

9. You can predict how people will react and suddenly feel that you are beyond what people a few years younger than you, or what some of your peers are craving for.

10. A lot of things seem to be been there done that.

11. You have seen any darned inspirational sport movie even before you see it for the first time.

12. The people who were always going to be sitting there are no longer sitting there.

13. You can identify the kind of women which Tim Allen would have checked out and dated, but they are still a few years old for you to be considering.

14. You can identify if a 30 plus person looks good for her age, and whether she must have been hot in her time.

15. It is now a golden privilege to consume ham/salami cold cuts, pork rolls, pizza, phags, and liquor. You can still consume them as much as you want but if you don’t take care of yourself now, you will have health problems ten years down the line.

16. You realise that the previous generation's thinking in today’s context, despite any additional input given to them, is clearly outdated.

17. You suddenly start appreciating movies from 80s and 90s and applying their principles to current life. Wall Street, The Firm, Lethal Weapon 1, 2 and 3, etc.

18. You suddenly start appreciating films which intersperse visually arresting and modernised effects with old school stories, themes and narrative techniques. (300, and Sin City).

19. You suddenly find sense in grabbing a beer, a marlboro, some chicken wings, a pack of cards and watching all the cop / mob movies in the world (Training Day, The Corruptor, The Departed). Nothing is more relaxing than a pizza loaded with ham, salami, chicken, and this kind of movie on the side.

20. You suddenly find the really good blondes really hot.

21. You suddenly find hot extras in movies which you last saw ten years ago and are watching again now. Surprising you did not notice them then.

22. You suddenly find you are giving advice on a lot of things to a lot of people.

23. Suddenly the simple things such as having a regular sleep and exercise schedule are out of the question for you.

24. You have to have a local pub hangout. Your own retreat (Morrison, Morrison, Morrison) where everything makes sense to you, the place where you come to drink and relax and get away from the world.

25. You suddenly appreciate serials like Titus and How I Met your Mother because you are too fed up of Friends and Seinfeld. You last saw them six years ago. Even though you saw each episode only once, if it ever comes on again, you just can’t stand to watch it because you can literally predict every facial expression and every dialogue and remember the ten episodes before and after this one. Good God, was this what you were learning while you were in school?

26. You are no longer driven as much by the want of a career, as much as you are by the want of a better life.

27. Science Fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, and all the obsessions of the past are things you have not had time for since ten years. But if you do get a chance you indulge in these things, and suddenly find a lot more meaning in them. You might not watch this stuff anymore but you make sure that today your DVD collection has rare collectors edition versions bought from abroad for every darned thing you ever used to or wanted to watch, with a dedicated shelf which is the neatest and most dedicated shelf after the shelves dedicated to the Gods. You still hold fond memories of that Sunday when you saw three star trek films and finished six cans of beer.

28. You no longer have the patience to wait for and watch one episode of one serial every week, six months after its entire season gets over in the US. Today you wait till the series releases on DVD, and buy the DVD set of each damn season and make effective use of your credit card. No need to download shit overnight from the net now, since u got a credit card which recently had an extended limit.

29. Hell it has been twenty years since 60% of the sentences you make consisted of the f*** word, in any form or tense.

30. The places which used to be so amazing, are no longer that amazing.

31. You realised that the great time you had in college and some of the amazing times you had, were not pre-cursors to additional stuff like that throughout your life. In fact they might just be some of the most amazing moments which you will remember for the rest of your life.

32. One look at you makes it obvious that you used to be good looking and a real babe magnet. But today you are descending into such horrible shape that you just hope you don’t run into someone you once knew. Looks like ten years from now you will probably have to extra tip waitresses to probably even smile at you.

33. You realise that you are fortunate enough to have made some great decisions four-five years ago. Despite the considerable absence of knowledge and experience at that time!

34. You are already taking pride in things which you feel you have done well throughout your life!

35. Its all about guns, blondes, Vegas, money, outlandish fantasies, the good life, pork rolls, cold cuts, pizzas, cubans, marlboros, budweiser, heineken, a bottle of scotch, sport, anti-acidity pills, the correct set of people and so on.....................after a f*****ed up week.

COURTESY: The great Sithlord Aximuz.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Side business

Cobain: What I do not understand is why do you have to be nice to be everyone?

It is indeed a difficult task; there are no rewards and there is ample stress, at times. My old man is nice to everyone, that is the reason he is so badly hurt, by everyone. At half his age I am already racing ahead, it seems. When a friend complained for the umpteenth time, 'why do nice guys finish last?', I could just not understand the complaint. Nice is synonymous with last because there is no other category or slot in the "list". It is a universal fact. The world lives a stereotypical life and there is no reason to grumble on being last, and most of all, being nice. But I understand his pain.

Drug Peddler reminded me of the time 4 years ago. "Do you really think you can handle being nice, dude?" I am passive; ok I have become passive. "Does that help?" Look, who is talking! Or maybe he also wants an answer.

I had met this great guy called Gautam, at Kris's house. No, that was Teerth's new year night. He is inarguably the happiest man on the planet. He seems to be content with everything. He does not have great standards of happiness nor is he... He is so nice that I am always unable to describe him in words. And it has been 3 years since I last saw him. I bet he is still that same ol' nice chap. God bless him.

"I'll critic films and television shows as a side business." When I first heard this, the belligerence reminded me of my old days. And just how stupid did I feel after realising that. Although, I must add that I am not that big an idiot as this young "turk". There is this girl in my college, who is pursuing television journalism. She is this young idiot, all of 21 years of age, with zero experience and hardly any knowledge. My first impression of her was not very good, and it was not bad either. But since I hardly go by my first impressions, as I (thankfully) usually prove them wrong, I decided to listen to her. I love this exercise since childhood; proving myself wrong over first impressions. It makes me feel alive in a better way than others. Anyway, the girl who seems from a middle class background has suddenly started showing those fancy lip-smacking gestures. Like those big HIs, and a smile that vanishes as soon as you move away and most of all, the hollow warmth. She has already done that with one of her previous friends who is now my best, well almost, friend here in Goldsmiths. I am surprised because this girl knows I am a scribe, and that too from Delhi and not only am I well versed with this exercise but I am fairly experienced with the art, if I may call it so. Now, she has that air, and I somehow do not understand why people fall for this. And so I really was proven wrong when I thought this girl has some potential and decency. There is always that type, the pseudo type, that deliberately does things in order to be different. I do not understand, different than what. So my good wishes are with this Barkha Dutt (Imagine, what ambition!) in making and I hope she fits perfectly. Oh, do I remember correctly but her current best friend is the one who she called plastic when she first moved here? [God, I am such a bitch! (Chuckles) I'm loving it.] On her remark about this critic business, I wonder what is stopping her considering we have people like Nikhat/Khaled and that previously-good-but-now-inversely-snobbish Jabberwock. When asked "Why do you think Jodha Akbar is not a good film?", there were answers that would put a smile on the above mentioned luminaries' faces. Some people fail me like anything. UGH!

Oh yes, but the question still remains unanswered. I believe it is important to be human and in order to be so, it is absolutely essential to be nice. The trouble is we are humans and we expect, only a smile in return, which we do not get. And that is the reason I understand the pain. There is no harm in being nice; the others do the needful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

freedom

And so it turns out that it is a world of freedom where choices are exercised by an influential exercise of the choice makers. Everything in the world has become a brand, even being cool. Oh no, that is a state of being, say few, actually all the, fellow specie beings. All we have to do is that we don't belong to anyone and we are free in our own worlds. But then that has taken the shape of a ghastly fear and lack of trust on every other being. This is another discussion and I am not willing to go there as it is pessimism and cynicism at the maximum.

My idea of freedom is synonymous with Mary Jane's; there is a bit of a difference. She once said, on the topic of the significant other, where she mentions the world where "one" exists with "another" in their utopia. The whole idea is when I exist with everything peacefully in the teenage wasteland. That is indeed one utopia and I do not know if it will ever get out of the papers I once scribbled the script "My Utopia". That was something else.

I had an idea. Imagine if we were to wake up and lose complete sense of language. We can speak not that we are mute, but we do not know how to. What are the words, letters of mannerisms, no one can figure that out. Let alone the dialects and different languages. It all crumbles down and voila! Then takes true communication. We'll have to trust every other for survival. Because we can not live without speaking but we just do not fucking know HOW! Ha ha, that is some stoned shit.

Have we ever noticed how the girls of today are wearing low waist jeans that lower with every comfortable sitting position and yet, they keep on stretching their ultra-small t-shirts/tops/whatever-names-do-we-have-in-women's-fashion-for-the-upper-portion to cover their ugly butt cracks, thongs and whatever skin they have there? People tell me I write long sentences for no good; I wonder what made them say that?

Every living being is born unique. We are not only unable to realise that but help others not realise it either. This is the reason the world has words like stress, anxiety, frustration, depression and acid, lsd, hash. Hush, hush!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The glass slipped

And so it turns out that it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to have a good sleep. This has got to be the most gruelling one month that I have come across. Today as I woke up... I have changed my sleeping cycle in order to have a different method of living everyday. That did not sound right. I just changed my schedule. I wake up early after just six hours of sleep as I used to at one point of time. But then, this cycle is not without its pitfalls. One of the reasons I did so was to get out of the mode of useless dreams and tiresome sleep that has been plaguing me for quite some time.

Ironically. it has become more of a mentally tiring exercise. As I slipped into the deep slumber of sleep in the wee hours of the morning, it transported me to a future that was anything like the future; I have long believed that there is nothing futuristic. Maybe, that became the fulcrum of the dream. Ah, the dream.
How often I have had those visions of me being the ultimate loser in one go and across the years? I can not seem to recall one such... there was this deadly vision of me being the drug peddler in reality. That was horrifying as I came across the successful and the not so successful but where everyone had a greater degree of success as compared to me, because I was my alter ego - the good for nothing.

I have heard this term twice in my life. Mohit Soni said this when he told me about the opinion of our classmates back in school. I so hate that phase and the more I try and live with it and move on, the tougher it gets to get rid of it. Abhishek laid the second blow on my head when Amity was happening. And on both the occasions, I did not get the gravity of the issue that led people to believe or express such a harsh opinion. And if my fears are proven correct, I would very soon hear it the third time.

I have always had the inclination to master my fate and not be its victim as said by Kelsey 'Frasier' Grammer. Those words of his - I think it's your duty to overcome what you inherit in life. It's the David Copperfield line: Am I going to be master of my fate, or its victim?' I'm not gonna be its victim, though I've felt victimized, a lot - resound every time I am going through this phase.

Today's dream had a weird time-space problem. After a long time, I was able to bridge the time gap and put all the people from different time-frames in one go. It all started out with a healthy reunion back in Jaipur. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the city and my school days and of course, the people around it. It is a school event and as I take one good look in the mirror, there are no signs of age, except with the weird clothes - the brown corduroy jacket and those ol' jeans - adding to the disdain in my look. There were people from those days of uniform and uniformly present were all those from Amity, Delhi and Goldsmiths. It was like I was somehow deliberately putting these people in there to confirm my poor condition. And they did, in their own ways. Of all the people, I guess there were just two 'friends' present - Varun and Paulino. But they did not seem to help either; every time they appeared was either to leave me amidst a running chore or just vanish when I needed to say what happened in the previous scene. They were just being themselves; they had no idea this is a dream and that I am putting them in, like characters in my dreamy tale.
The faces that I distinctly remember were of those that for long have not mattered. Tanmay Patni, Atika Shah, Versha Singhania, Priyanka Halgali (where did she pop out from or maybe I thought it is her. Damn my good memory of faces and names. She was too tall to be that girl anyway.), Varun, Paulino, Himanshu Goyal, and many more that I can not seem to recollect at this moment. The fact worth giving importance is that everyone was constantly on the move when I was stationary and still when I was doing the moving. I had no control over the dream and yet I was able to put all the elements I needed. There was fame and with a, weird, nostalgic tone. There was alcohol and ample of it (hee hee). But each time, I tried to go a level up (it was a multi-storey setting where everything was taking place), the doors were either closed or those inside had left. From the look of me going here and there, it did not seem a good thing at all; it was as if I was moving in and out of stages of life in a transition that was not smooth, but slippery. And the fable was no Cinderella either.

At the end I was deserted, left alone in the concrete structure with no one even on the roads to give me company. I was confused whether it is dawn or dusk because the setting did not allow any time frame to set in. Yes, the continuum was bent to that extent. The icing on the cake - the jeans were split wide open. There was no way I could even walk as they were torn to such an extent. That immaculately exemplified the "light and darkness" syndrome I have been trying to emote through photographs for a long time. The structure was lit beautifully on one half and the other half was dim with some local blokes trying to fix a miniature laser show. It was as if lasers had pervaded class barriers beautifully and they had come out with these small versions which were using the power of senses. It seemed to work with the operator moving his hand over it as if there were a crystal ball! It is like someone playing the theremin.
While on the outside, there was darkness with dim street lamps that were very few in number and not that illuminated. If it were morning why did it not appear so and if it was getting dark, why were there no people. The stillness of night has always intrigued me; one can never tell the hours.

But then, I was alone and it was not a good sleep as I got tired of the dream and woke up. I am not liking a lot of facts about myself lately. There is no definitive way for me to define the whole of it. It is like as if few of my worst fears came out in a mellowed-down funny manner. That does not sound good either. Cinderella had her fable and I had my nightmare.
Thank god I do not feel suicidal anymore as I used to at one point of time. But then... I do not feel alive either!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diamonds and rust

And so it turns out that my memories are churning in the rust again. I am not liking this; sitting naked in the bathroom, drinking rum and choosing to stay away from everything is not how I intended this wake up call to be. This is hard man! This brings back all the memories I do not need at all; I was not born a loser after all yaaar!
Tears wept, some dry
other linger,
as they drip
unknowingly
and
uncontrolled
Cheers
Wolf will be back in some time!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Walking in the shadows

And so it turns out that I can't catch my breath amidst a dead storm. The rigours of living up are slowly catching up with each other within me. This is the least comforting situation I find myself in considering my current disposition of the observer. There is a physical being and then there is the mental one. However, none of them is outside the minimalist mode of action. Three weeks ago, when it was time to wake up, I had thought hard about doing so. Drug Peddler said it is going to be a tough task for both of us; and now it is. What he wants is unable to be implemented all the time and his character is overpowering for survival.
The sidewalk is not a good place to be all the time esp when there is the urge to come out of it. This is risky business... And I'd rather die young than live till my fullest without knowing the others who I think should know me as well. The other day Sush said about something going wrong on my side. Sassy has had those problems since a long time.
It is difficult for me to tell people that I am coming out of hibernation finally and my newfound demeanour is the most misguiding for them all. Sometime in the not so distant past, there was a call to cool down and relax. Absorb the world as it moves and be one with the flow. For an impatient soul, that is not a advisable preposition. Yet, it was accepted. When few of the peers here bask in the glory of their 'cool' lives, present and past inclusive, I just tend to smile, and as I have always said - I'll smile at that, and for reasons more than one. :-)
With every passing day, the desire burns hotter. The breakthrough is nearing its finale. Or the road is laid out; even if it is not, it would be laid. That is the kind of confidence I have been waiting for - the intimidating, in your face kinds. When I know it is going to happen and I see the future even before it has already happened. Those three years of sleeping with eyes open are about to take their own trip now. It is no longer the time of active inactivity or walking where faces are dark.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

As cool as it gets

And so it turns out that things have not really changed; they don't wish to, it seems. There is nothing judgemental coming out here; that is already mentioned in the preface to this series of "And so it turns out..."
Back in school there were always guys who are cool, guys who are not cool and those who are neither there nor here. Each one of these specie, especially the first one, takes on an obnoxious character that resides with them for the rest of the lives. But this first category exert maximum influence without them knowing it. They appear to be the coolest all the time. And they take upon themselves to be so wherever they are. There are few of them here; and my disdain is pretty much evident. One of them just conceived a new plan to have 'partying' in the culinary section of our residences. Aptly titled or not, the event draws a lot of attention. Now, is it with envy or pure disgust that I write this? Neither.
Now I am the outsider who is like Archie - always in the middle of the things. I only observe without being noticed; I see all the Reggies having fun being cool all the time. As Cobain said it brilliantly, it is us who are the outsiders, always trying to fit in. And this is one of the reasons why Kirit has merged with the drug peddler. That is more comforting than being an outsider for no reason.
It is clear that the distinctions people grew up with while they were preparing to be 'humans' back in school, are carried forward here as well. It becomes evident who is with whom considering they make the first impressions so damn well (no matter how screwed they are in reality) that there is no space for new impressions to set in. But, the moon is out. And tomorrow is the lunar eclipse. Moonstruck maniac will be in a heightened state of excitement. His company is out there in the world looking upon the specie with smile. Latency is such a pure thing. I'm cool Cobain, I definitely think we have it in us to be cool. It is just a matter of looking at it differently.

And so it turns out...

That I am not a good person after all, has little effect on anyone including me. The definition of I, them, him/her, others is nothing more than just a farce that is devoid of any intelligent quotient. These are fluid concepts that change as per the chapters of time. Now that is where I fail to understand the disappearance of old judgements and appearance of new ones. Personal nature is a composite function of entities around, there is nothing personal about it. The word comes into play when absorption and questioning start happening.
It has taken me time to merge with my ultimate alter-ego, the drug peddler. He was the voice for sometime and now there is no distinction between the two of us. Now, I just sit by the road and observe. The response time is highly flexible and so are the responses. Actually they are quite laconic. The friday night clubbing helped a lot. I do not have any memory and it was actually a good time. Partying with rich Indian kids in an upmarket South Kensington club was just the dose I needed. Ha ha!
I feel good that everything looks conclusive to me and there are very few things about humans that I need to explore any further. Honestly, there is nothing that I can think of right now. It is within me that everything exists and I am omnipresent with a trace here or there in everyone. I have made friends who would be with me till we depart; and there are others who have been there and it is because of that interaction that I yam what I yam. Wow, blow me down!
So that's all folks! The drug peddler shall continue with his observation.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The ugly duckling

Ramesh's stall was the haunt for more than one ideas floating in the sky. Located in one of the most busy shady lanes of the Jaipur of the days of yore; yes, I am that old by a certain yardstick. The hometown had, at least till the time it was not "malled", few places that one could safely sit and drink without any interruption... or distraction. The railway track behind the busiest mall at that time, the underbridge on JLN Marg and Ramesh's stall to name a few. I could imagine a certain Romeo & Juliet hiding behind a certain bush or wall-like structure. But this is not a good post so do not imagine nostalgia. Of course the underlying theme or the platform for this one is indeed nostalgia but the story is more important given something that happened last night.
I was sitting with one of the girls who is a good friend. There was something important that she had to discuss and was pretty grave a situation. Promise is what keeps me from divulging the details.
From nowhere, I made a small point - You know (friend) I am not one of those sexy people.
Girl: Yes Kirit, you are not sexy, I am sorry but you are not.
K: Yes I just said that. But then we are not discussing me, we are discussing them.

I like my friends for they do not hesitate to talk to me the way I prefer. But then I started wondering is that one of the reasons people don't talk to me. That is just flinging arrows in the dark dust, often a self-indulgent exercise but at times crippling the mind with the thought of being unsexy!

Anyway...

Let me recount a story that made me sit up and love myself all the more. One of those many anecdotes I am carrying with me and rarely speak unless shaken. Penny knows that bit very well.

So that day, Ramesh's father was taking care of the stall. Fondly referred to as "tau" (uncle in English), he was a laugh riot because of his dialect and histrionics. Once many a people caught him verbally assaulting a dog as the poor creature had nicked a matthee (a thick cookie). Tau love dogs so he could not have hit him. But he struck a Thor pose with his spatula high in his hand and hurling abuses at the rate of 4.5 every 2 seconds while the scared canine just stared at him. So, on the road, Tau trying to be a menace, devilish fella hurling abuses at the mortal soul down below besides his feet trying to make sense of whether he should run or stay or eat the damn matthee is one of the best live cartoons I have ever seen.


OH THE STORY OF THAT DAY

Sorry for telling you the stories of Tau the great! Yes, that day was different. I just had a fight with my then girlfriend called Prajakta. It was not her but one of those ugly friends that every girl has. Ugly, devilish and the one who keeps on asking, "I do not know how or why does she like you?" She said something that annoyed me. This was the time I had gotten rid of the flab and fat. From 88 kgs in school to 72, I was pretty darn slim and could wear anything now. And I had done this, to an extent, so that I have a wider acceptance than what was bestowed upon me by the others. I was so stupid! But more stupid was this girl who told me, bluntly, that it was out of pity that Prajakta had said yes to me. I, by definition, am a big loser, average looking and most importantly, totally unsexy and uncool [sic].

Now my reactions to statements like these are nothing more than bouts of extreme silence which kill me. There are various situations I imagine in my head with different voices, all trying to create a big chaotic confusion. And so I retreat. Where? I could not go home and surely couldn't see my friends at GT. So I head for the theka (wine shop), buy myself 3 beers, and head for the railway track. Not satisfied, I go back home in a dizzy state, albeit a quiet one. (I have a bad habit of talking a lot when I am drunk/dizzy/high)

The next morning was a pleasant one; the mud was still damp because of the 6am showers. And there were my favourite clouds - white with patches of grey - playing hide and seek with the blue sky that appears all the more blue after rains. I said, this might uplift my mood and head out with Jenny (my diary) to the tea stall. No college!

I ask for a kadak (strong) adrak chai (ginger tea) and a matthee to start with as I open a fresh page of the journal with the new black sharp-tip pen I had bought on the way. And my mind asks questions that have no definite answers. What is beauty? What is sexy and cool? What makes one acceptable? And just what the fuck is unsexy? YOU, KIRIT, YOU!

Hmmm, ok, that works but I still do not understand why was I made like one?

Tau: Badee baatein likh raha hai. Kay ho gaya?
(Writing big words, hunh? What happened?)
Me: Nahee bas aise hee. College jaane kaa man nahee thaa aur aaj mausam achcha hai, isliye.
(Nothing. just like that. It is a good day and I did not wish to go to the college.)
Tau: Oye tu kavi-type cheezein mat kar, padhai kar, paise kamaa aur matthee khaa.
(Listen, don't do things like those bloody poets. Study, earn money and eat cookies.)
Tau had a point but this post is about sex appeal or beauty. And let me tell you the connection - the molestation episode in Mumbai.
So, it has been few hours, guess 2-3, that I have been sitting in the shade of the neem tree and enjoying a beautiful afternoon. Pure bliss.

Joining me now are two police constables on a fucked up Hero Honda CD 100, the maximum mileage bike at one point of time. As a biker, I have always hated that piece of shit they called a motorcycle. My favourites were IND-SUZUKI and Kawasaki. They were having a pre-evening time of their own on a good day. Within few minutes of their arrival, two fifteen-year-old girls came running to them. The two were students of a government school nearby and were on their way back home. They looked tense, unpleasantly, the sorts where you are not shaking but disgusted and a bit wary of what is going to happen next. Not the serious kind of tense. One of them was shaking a bit, but that was because of anger. A lot of people including me have this tendency.

"Those hooligans are teasing us, they do so everyday," the girl shouted at the policeman. Small towns are sensitive and there is still some civic sense. Unlike a place like Delhi or Bombay. A bunch of young, teenaged loafers used to wait at a spot for these girls. And then the usual stuff that follows is disturbing for the young girls. That day was perhaps some limit. Some physical exchange and then some verbal exchange must have pushed the girls to shrug their tolerant innocence and retort. Obviously, the police in sight helped. The boys quickly hid.

The senior policeman sends his junior to fetch the boys the girl is complaining about. He comes back with two, both of whom somehow show no remorse.

Tau: Oh teree himmat kaisay huyee in bachchiyon ko chednee kee!
(How dare you tease these girls?)
Tau was asked to sit quietly by the policemen and in their typical, relaxed style, they ask those two grinning boys what happened.

Boy1: Sirjee, nothing happened. We do not know what the fuss is all about.
Girl: He is, this is the boy, this is that sick boy who makes this road difficult for us everyday. Punish him sir, take him to the station. He and his band of leering, crass and equally loafer brothers.
Policeman: What's the matter you little romeos?
Boy: Sir, have you looked at her face? Just look at her face! Who would even give a second look to this ugly duckling, let alone tease her?

And they all burst out in laughter...
For a moment, I was frozen. There was a young girl yet to live her puberty laughed at by a bunch of foolish males. Within a moment, the policeman changes his expression and snubs those two little rotten bastards. He lets them go with a warning and tells those two girls to go back to their respective homes and are free to come back if these guys do anything. Tau gives his warning too and I just stare with disgust.

I very well remember the girl had not spoken a word since the disgusting remark. she was stuck with silence, and as her friend grabbed her arm towards the home, she treaded as if transformed into a zombie.

Something told me that she was used to this remark. I would have been frozen and in a fit of anger, thrashed the motherfucker who called me that. She did not. She just walked away. I did not see her looking up to the Almighty, nor there was a face swipe suggesting she wiped those tears off. Was she crying? What did she do when she got back home? Did she punch the mirror, smudge the kohl, or shout at anyone thereafter? Or did she retreat to the shell? The proverbial cocoon of the imagined utopia, morbid or heavenly, where wishes are spoken irrespective of their nature of good or bad. Where one can imagine the self to be a Gandhian figure or a demonic resurrection. Was she there or did she get back to the mundane chores of the world the next day? I wanted to know as much as I did not.

Tau growled and minced his words as he continued to swear, the dog continued to bark, the policemen continued to laugh and then were lost by me in the dust of the dusk. And so was the girl. The ugly duckling.

Fuck...

This incident came back, with its own learnings. No this is not about moral science nor beauty-is-skin-deep, art of life preaching. This is about someone whose identity was wiped out in her head forever because she was ugly. Or so was she called. How does it matter? The girl would have been married by now to a man no less than the one who abused her. I hope there is someone better in her life and that she has not given up the hope of looking good for herself. Or feeling sexy about herself. No, we as humans do not see what is there before our eyes, we see what is in front of our eyes.

And I am still unsexy! Let me tell you it feels great... not being one of them. And I can still find a chai and matthee and those days at Tau the great's stall. (No one has ever met Ramesh, you know.)

Sheesha dekhne se mujhmein chaar chand lag jayenge kya,
Bhagwan ne yeh shakal dee hai, main toh isee mein khush hun.
(Would looking at the mirror add eternal beauty to my face
God has given me this face and I am happy with it.)
Tau the great