Thursday, October 26, 2006
I feel privileged that my friends tag me.
Because it shows how they’d like my [evidently indispensable] opinion on several things apart from and in addition to those that I already eruct in these parts. Honestly. I feel like Grace Kelly being tippity tappity tap-dance-tagged by Fred Astaires up on stage. Like a real star.
Getting down to actually completing a tag task, increasingly I find is beyond my capacity to…
Let’s face it. Most tags are tailored like goodwill group-therapy exercises. They force you to think of things-about-yourself that haven’t already occurred to you a million times since you started your blog. [Or else you’d have written about it already, right?] They make you delve into those inconsequential parts of your personality that didn’t even engage your own interest. [Or else you’d have blogged about it already, right?]
This tag is from my dear [and slightly-annoyed-with-me-now] friend HB. He wants me to spill on nine reasons why I’m weird.
But I’m not weird.
I’m normal. As normal as normal gets. The average-est person that could exist. Falling directly and squarely at the centre of all means. Statistically speaking of course. [I’m not mean like that. Just averagely mean – like anybody else I pinch helpless babies, make grown men cry, swerve my car within inches past old people on roads, torture little animals, get arsey about completing tag tasks and instead of just shutting the hell up and letting my 'tagee' friends believe I'm lazy, I write nasty posts about the tag etc… basically nothing out of the ordinary that comes even remotely close to the extreme recesses of ‘weird’].
When I first heard of this tag, I thought gleefully. Ah. Fun. This should be interesting. But then as I thought about it more and more, it dawned on me – isn’t trying to define one’s weirdness a form of extreme self-adulation?
As in: Oh look! I’m so weird. And that makes me different. Which means I’m so special!
It’s that particular, irritating italicised kind of highlight – like exclamation marks in excess, or that thing people do with a smirk while speaking with their fingers to say ‘quote unquote’. [I just did it].
So, here’s something to ponder over:
1.) We’re all struggling really really hard to fit in.
2.) We’re all depressive at time.
3.) We’re all twisted.
4.) We’ve all felt (at least at one point in our lives) that we were adopted or/ and the only secret alien life-form-designed-in-emulation-of-humans left behind on Earth by the Tralfamadorians.
5.) We’ve all got moments that are devastatingly sad.
6.) We’ve all laughed at seriously non-funny non-jokes (for days sometimes).
7.) We’ve all got quirks, talents and non-talents.
8.) We’re all clueless about why we’re here and why we wake up every morning.
9.) And ALL of us do stupid things so we can tell ourselves each morning just how our life is so much more seriously purposeful than the next person’s, while we believe just the opposite.
And that’s just plain old bloody boring-as-it-gets normal.
There. I said it. Nine reasons why I’m [not] weird.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
With Her love
For the beautiful soul, the only one
Who’s made me try to be a better person
My beloved muse
For whom I’ve only always written terrible poetry
I wish endless beauty, love, peace and joy…
With all my heart
Happy birthday, my darling.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I have something to tell you.
About winter in Delhi.
A time when beautiful birds migrate to the equator and spring is buried under the dreariness of cold days and long nights.
[Waitaminute! We ARE at the equator and we don’t even farkin’ have spring in these parts… lying bastard poets.]
Let’s start again.
Winter in Delhi. Detestable dastardly season [dumb damned non-alliteration].
A time when clichés abound and alliterations run amuck. Evidently.
So here’s cutting straight to the point:
I am poikilothermic.
I’m feeling particularly torturous, so I will let you take in this word, marvel at it, marvel at my vocabulary, and then perhaps just a few unnecessary words more… and yes, okay, I’ll let you in on what it means.
Poikilothermic. That’s what it means.
Yes yes. Go on; make those connections about loving lyrics on three-limbed-two-tailed lizards and such.
So. Getting back to the point of this post, to dwell somberly upon what happens when the temperature drops below 25 degrees:
1.) My extremities go stone cold [how’s that for a lousy-arsed cliché eh? Not bad.]
2.) My nose, as I know it ceases to exist. It becomes a cold, non-osmotic runny appendage connected painfully to my sinuses.
3.) I eat too much and become fat.
4.) My car won’t start.
5.) I have to wear at least seven layers to keep me minimally warm; which makes my back ache and restricts movement.
6.) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 have a dire effect on my overall sense of well being, which in turn adversely affects the fine balance of humours in my body.
I have every reason to be a crotchety bastard/ bitch/ blossoming farkin’ chilblain.
Oh. How I hate winter! [And that’s just too farting poetic for how I’m feeling right now.]
So, for all of you who’ve known me as a happy bright sunny creature, gamboling in the sun, making light of adversities, sharing joy, spreading love, picking posies ya da ya da… take note: sunny days on Shout are numbered.
Perhaps you can tell; it’s already getting nippy.
Oh and. I’m talking Celsius. 25 degrees Celsius.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Confession 2: I didn’t draw this.
Thanks to HB, he-da-man, super cool graffiti artist, I now have a wall that Frank of FoxxyFyrre has so kindly accepted and put on his own blog.
So please don’t get fooled by that ‘By: H’ on the wall. That’s just HB being modest. [and H wishing it was true].
People. Please admire it.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I don’t know where this morbid tag originated, but what the ho! I shall roll up my sleeves and plunge in.
However all ye who enter here, please note that there’s a precondition to attending my funeral.
Everyone must wear something pink. EVEN if you attend from your private haven, via the Ethernet in spirit and all that, and it so happens that you’re one of those who like surfing the net in the buff… don’t worry. You could suck on a pink candy. That’s good enough. But PINK it must be.
Okay. So now that you’ve all agreed in spirit… here goes:
Songs I’d like played at my funeral:
1.) Build me up Buttercup – The Foundations. This is to be performed by all Exes – first to last, in ring formation. Around the pyre.
Suggested costume: fishnet stockings, apron strings, pink cheerleader pom-poms and black patent hoe-pumps. [There’s an extra pair (of the shoes only) in my closet for anyone to borrow].
2.) When the Saints go marching in – the Louis Armstrong version. With a slow Russian [or was it German?] march up to the pyre.
PS: don’t be lazy, raise ‘em legs high. I’ll be watching yooooooooo.
3.) Gypsy Eyes – Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix, ‘cause that’s the only way to send off a gypsy girl. The only ONLY way.
Pay your respect people.
4.) Shanti Paath [shanti = hindi for ‘peace’, Paath = hindi for ‘prayer’]
Yeah well ok guys, ‘tisn’t exactly a party-starter, BUT. You do realise that eventually we all have to be some-nebulous-place else, where tanpuras play in CFL lit tunnels and all that... SO, much as I love y’all, and “thanks for all the music, fun and gaiety”, ya da ya da… do me a favour – Just say the damn prayer and wish me luck on my journey, ok?
Come to think of, I should be past caring by then.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
There was once a large-hearted lady who had a wonderful big family complete with a farting dog. Each day as they sat around the table for breakfast, she would put in a prayer for all her little ones, her husband and her dog.
But most of all, she would pray for her little boy with hair that shone like the Sun when it’s about to burst forth on a brand new day. Bright flaming red.
Like for any mother, each of her babies was special in their own way. But among them all, it was the little boy with flaming hair who has that unpin-able something that made everybody think to themselves – there’s something about him, I wonder what… Which is not to say that he wasn’t a normal little boy. He was very like all the other children. He laughed and he played and he didn’t do his homework sometimes.
But he also had a special little corner in his heart that seemed to wait for something. He didn’t himself understand what it was. Sometimes he would catch a glimpse of it in a book, or hear it in the refrain of a song or feel it well up in a poem that he needed to write. But he could never quite tell what it was.
Perhaps it was a piece of the flaming morning Sun.
So he spent a lot of his time staring up at the sky, looking for an answer. Then one day, as he was squinting at the setting Sun, sitting by himself as usual, he saw a bent old man approach him framed against the distant ruby horizon like a ragged raven descended from the twilight sky. He watched on mesmerized as the bent old man made his way to where he sat.
The old man spoke in a faint distant voice, “I know what you’re looking for little one, and I can take you to it.”
The little boy was startled. The old man pulled out a little vial from his robe and held it out to the little boy with feeble hands.
“But to get there, you must drink this. It’s a magic potion I made myself.”
The little boy reached out and gingerly took a sip from the vial. Just as soon as he touched it to his tongue, something strange and wonderful happened. With that one taste the little boy was transported across oceans and mountains, beyond the bright blue sky into a dark pool spotted with luminous globes, past moons so large they could swallow the sky. Deeper and deeper, further and further yet closer to what he sought till he was finally in the center of a flaming orb of glowing warm red.
Just as the little boy was about to settle into the warmth of the orb, he was rudely pulled out of it. And when he opened his eyes, he found himself looking into the eyes of the old man. There was something unsettling about those eyes as they laughed at him. When the little boy tried to lift his head, he felt something pulling him down. His bones seemed drenched through with a weariness that belonged to lifetimes and years that he had never known.
When he finally did manage to sit up, he noticed that the old man suddenly seemed stronger and less bent.
Then the old man who was bent no more, spoke in a loud and clear voice, “I could take you there forever little one, but for that you must come back and drink some more…”
Before the little boy could say anything, the old man disappeared into the setting darkness.
That evening everybody noticed that the little boy was quieter than usual. When his mother tucked him in that night, she thought he looked a little worn. His hair though, she later remarked to her husband, shone brighter than ever as it framed his pale face. But it was only when she leaned over to kiss his forehead that she discovered with alarm that his face was covered with the faintest lines, somewhat like a fine blueprint of wrinkles.
She couldn’t believe her eyes and she shook him awake to tell her where he had been that day.
Wearily, the little boy told her the story of the old man and the magic potion. He told her about the magical journey he had been on. The beautiful colours and planets and stars that he had seen. And when he came to the last bit of his story about the flaming orb, she saw the sparkle in his eyes collect in pools that rolled off his cheeks in two big tear drops.
At that moment she felt something stab her heart and she cried out, “Promise me that you will never ever touch that potion again. Promise me that you will never go back there. Promise me!”
She took his hand in hers and held it to her heart, as she waited for him to speak. After several moments he whispered a feeble yes.
The little boy loved his mother dearly, and he really wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt her. But sometimes, when something beckons the very core of who and what you are, it isn’t easy to pull away from it even if it means hurting yourself and the ones you love most dearly. And so… soon after when he was a little stronger, he dragged his feet to the door while his mother lay sleeping on the couch outside. As he crept out, he gave his sleeping mother a loving look that said both how much he loved her, and how sorry he was for letting her down. He paused a long moment, wavering between wanting to hug her, wondering if she’d wake up and hold him back; and walking away quietly… then finally, he blew her a kiss and stole away into the evening.
He slowly made his way to the same place he had last seen the old man, and sat there calmly as he gazed up at the setting globe of fire.
Not long after, he beheld the striking stride of a dark creature silhouetted against the auburn sky. It was the same man he had met not long ago, and yet he was different. Much younger, much stronger, and a lot less human.
“How very nice to see you little one!” said the man-creature with a flicker of his eyes and an unpleasant gash of a smile. “Somehow I knew you would come!”
He ruffled the little boy’s shimmering hair like a greedy merchant caressing a bag of gold. Then suddenly and reluctantly, as if he had just remembered something, he pulled away his claw like hand and reached into his robe. This time he pulled out a big heavy flask.
“Drink this little one, and you will be free forever. But you must drink it all at once before the Sun goes down, else the spell might not work. Hurry, we don’t have much time.”
The little boy took the flask in his hands. As he unscrewed the cap, he noticed the man getting impatient and excited.
He held it for a fleeting moment, as he thought of his family at home. His brothers, his sister, his father, Baron the farting dog and finally, his lovely mother. And then he thought of his mother’s eyes pleading with him to come home…
“Oh do hurry little boy, or you’ll lose your chance forever!”
The man-creature's raspy voice broke into his thoughts. There was something about the voice that made the little boy obey.
He put the flask to his lips and at a go he drained every bit of the fiery liquid.
Immediately the little boy with the flaming crown crumbled to the ground and darkness swept over his eyes. As he felt every drop of consciousness drain away, he heard loud booming evil laughter and the sound of great big wings flapping away. As the sound of the wings grew distant, the shadow lifted and he felt a glowing spread of warmth envelop him… he was falling deeper and deeper into the inky sky once more.
Just as his last thought fled his mind, he whispered to a passing cloud...
“Tell mama, that at every ruby sunset, when the Sun is aglow with red, I will be by her side, watching her beautiful smile.”
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
She wonders what he’s going to be like. He sounded nice over the phone. But so does everybody else in these initial interactions. Then again, he’s a charming writer of letter and … well, other writing. But we always put our best foot forward despite ourselves, don’t we?
Her innards threaten to swallow her as she nears the hotel. Somehow this meeting-in-a-hotel-lobby thing is very shady. Suddenly she wants to get out of it. She wants to turn back and run. The thought of being nice is making her ill. She feels like a scamster, a common cheap con artist when she’s being nice to new people. It also puts her off when they’re nice to her for no apparent reason but that they should be liked. It’s a farce. And in such situations a part of her self invariably divorces her body and retreats to the roof-beam to look down at shell-of-her participating in this facetious game; scoffing, putting evil thoughts in her head, gunning at her brain with an endless cynical rant. And right now, she can feel that terrible split coming on. No no no. please no. Just hold yourself together for once.
She parks her car. Slowly. Deliberately. Her hands are cold. Sweaty. Uggg. Nothing’s more disgusting than cold clammy hands. She wipes them against her denims. Everything she does is studied and slow. If she moves any faster, she knows she will jitter like a… damned cliché.
She pats her hair down. Fluffs it a bit. Licks her lips. Checks her eyes for kohl smudges. One last toss of her head, and she’s off. It helps to have long legs. There’s a lot of uncertainty that you can hide with the length of your stride. She could be marching off to file a Public Interest Litigation.
She reaches the lobby. Looks around. He isn’t there. Or at least she’s convinced herself he isn’t there. She wouldn’t really know because she hasn’t ever seen him. It gives her a little more time and something to do with her arms. She always finds that in such situations she has limbs-in-surplus.
With unsteady hands she pulls out her phone. It threatens to slip with all the clamminess and she can’t seem to press the correct digits. Damn. After a whole minute of fumbling with it she manages to connect.
R? Hi. Ummm. I’m here… errr… I mean I’m here in the lobby. Are you…? Oh ok. Right. So, yes, see you. Oh, of course! No problem! Take your time. Bye.
Her telephone-smile fades as soon as she disconnects.
“Take your time???” Haaah. She hates HATES waiting for people. What’s he doing anyway? Putting on his make-up?
I knew this blind date thing was a bad idea. So annoying not to know what you’re setting yourself up for. Blast the blindness of this dumb bloody date…
But she’s secretly glad for this breather.
She looks around, seeks out an empty sofa and settles in. Her eyes sweep around the lobby. Lots of middle-aged men. Sitting, chatting, conducting business, meeting old friends and making new ones. Sometimes they glance up and catch her eye. She doesn’t like the way they smile at her. Do they think she’s a pick-up? A…a… a you-know-what?? Bastards. She tries not to scowl. Come to think of it, how different is a blind date really? Haaah. No no no. Don’t go there stupid woman. This is a DATE. And she’s here because he has a room here because he’s visiting from another city because they decided to meet because… well whatever. Nothing shady about it. Not really. No. NO.
Have I told myself how much I hate hotel lobbies?
Twiddle dee twiddle dum. Now what? She crosses her legs. Uncrosses them. Looks at her nails. Aaahhh. There’s a bit of skin along her left index finger cuticle that looks so bite-offable. Should she? Maybe just a quick nip. Nobody will notice…
She looks up with a start. A million thoughts rush in. Shit, this sofa is too sinky. Don’t get up too fast, you’ll fall back and look like an ass. Should I hold my hand out or should I hug him? He’s cute. Damn. He’s cute and I’m so goofing this already.
She stands up gingerly, taking ages at it. Smiles at him. He’s beaming back. He seems so… so comfortable with himself. Nice.
He asks her something.
He repeats himself. She responds. The entire evening she’s distracted. He notices. He asks, she smiles and says “Oh nothing”.
Blame it on the split. Bloody bloody stupid self-on-roof-beam won’t stop with the farkin’ commentary. Non-stop bloody opinion-factory.
It’s time to leave. She’s pleased he insisted on paying, but not too much. He wasn’t overbearing. He allowed himself to be taken out by a girl he’s met for the first time.
She’s happy. It’s gone, ummm, kind of well.
She of course hasn’t noticed that he on the other hand, is a bit confused.
He walks her to her car. Suddenly there aren’t any words to fill the space between them. They walk in silence. It’s that iffy moment when one must leave… but on what note?
As she’s about to get in and deliver a well rehearsed thank-you-I-had-a-lovely-time, she turns to him on impulse. She smiles. He smiles back. There’s a tiny tiny moment of now-what? Then jerkily, almost clumsily, she leans forward and throws her arms around him.
He’s pleasantly responsive. He hugs her back warmly, wholly and firmly.
That’sverynice she thinks fuzzily. She has this judge-people-by-their-hugs quirk. Suddenly she realises, self-on-roof-beam is silent for the first time.
… Not too soon after, and not too long after, it’s time for her to drive back home. Finally.
Monday, October 02, 2006
How can anyone be so oblivious to another’s adulation? I wonder. He just doesn’t seem to notice me ever.
But. That’s okay I suppose, for he’s come to be my lucky mascot over time. Not that he’s ever brought me luck really, but seeing him lifts my spirit. Makes me happy. Cheers me up. Ya da ya da.
Today, on impulse I also reached out for my Wallflowers album. After four years. Suddenly Jacob Dylan’s I’m-the-studliest voice transported me to way-back-then.
Jooooosephine, you’re so sweet/ you must taste just like sugar and taaaaangerine…
Gosh he’s something else. [All right, so slot me]. Four years ago I was coming out of my first serious relationship. And my job sucked. I was working at a corporate house as their media consultant, and this is what I listened to by way of catharsis. Day in and day out. Literally.
My day began in my non-aircon white 800, with Jacob singing at top volume, as I tried to drown out every thought of the day-gone-by and the day-to-come, the people I had met and the people I had to meet. Each day I would arrive at work, smiling. And as the day wore on, the smile would wane. The nice girl struggling to stay afloat would get drowned out and the monster would rear her ugly head. Pushy, aggressive, megalomaniac boss, his oily lazy secretary, sleazy touchy-feely colleague [who I later heard was fired from his next job for molesting a co-worker], and an assortment of other equally detestable corporate fauna were not good for my well-being. Every evening I’d step out itching to do serious damage, and then Jacob would soothe my nerves.
This routine lasted for three months. Then one day I said enough. So, I changed my job.
Today his voice brought back a rush of bittersweet things I didn’t remember existed in me – a dull nervous knot that sat at the center of my colon during those horrid days and the joy of hearing his lovely voice fill me up with hope of a better time.
I also saw S today. So casually. Like it was yesterday that we were in school, and I was silly and seventeen again. It was embarrassing to feel my heart thump wildly and loudly and painfully. I had this sudden urge to straighten my hair, tug at my faded pink t-shirt and look a lot more nonchalant than I felt right that moment. But I couldn’t, and after ages I felt like an inept idiot with my mouth gone dry and my ears all hot and red. So I just hung my head and let him pass by, without a sign of recognition.
Three crushes. Three lives. Three different times.
I can see the moon from my window. Sigh.
There’s something about it…