Monday, February 28, 2011

The turtle, the lamp and the yin yang.

(Click click click).. "Damn the pen!" She screamed and threw the pile of papers away. The room was full of paintings and framed photographs of friends and objects. For a visitor her room was an eclectic mix of art, for friends it was one of her many quirks. But for her it was chaos, an external reflection of her internal conflict. There was a pet turtle who she never named and just called turtle. Dogs and cats were too much to handle. The inherent slowness of the turtle soothed her frayed thought process.

She never believed that a writer's block could exist until that particular day. Her half eaten water melon placed in pretty transparent bowl lied ignored next to her pile of papers. She refused to use the laptop, she considered writing in her own hand more exciting. The dustbin was overflowing with papers scribbled with half baked thoughts and unsettled emotions.

Why was inspiration evading her? She made herself a cup of coffee and stirred it for fifteen minutes wondering if she has lost the "gift". She will no longer be the most sought after writer in the country. Someone new will come and steal her glory, like she once did. This thought sent a shudder down her spine.

Her neighbour came and knocked on the door. "I have forgotten my bag in the park again, can you please give me the spare key?" She was used to this and went to fetch the keys. "Do you know crows here are lovely, so shiny and black. Like that new Sunsilk shampoo ad. I know you must think I am  crazy, but they were really beautiful. I would now like to call myself a connoisseur of crows. They have a bad image, just like the Big Bad Wolf in the Red Riding Hood. I spent most of the time in fear of that creature until I saw the Jungle Book. Then I started hating Sher Khan but later fell in love with Hobbes." She gave her neighbour her keys and asked if she wanted to join her for coffee.

She made some more coffee and heated her own coffee again. She liked her coffee hot. They sat down and spoke for hours. The neighbour was convinced that the turtle could understand their conversation and would often stop abruptly and stare at him. But then the turtle was a turtle. She finally left her room after four hours.

She sat there long after her neighbour had left and pondered about the conversation they just had. Here was someone who saw beauty in crows and the ambiguity in public affection for wolves. The overflowing dustbin now looked like a giant bowl of popcorn. She looked at her turtle and thought if he actually understood what she said and hid all her secrets deep beneath his shell where no one could ever find them. She looked around and saw that her lamp actually looked like the Little Red Riding Hood crouching to look at her shoes. She too hated Sher Khan but loved Hobbes. "Was this the tiger version of Yin and Yang?" she wondered. The invisible contradictions seemed more tangible.

Her chaos began to unscramble itself.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sea shells in my mind..

I stare at the blank screen wondering what's wrong. There are thoughts inside me which want to come out in print, easily forgetting the fact the transition between thoughts and words cannot be met easily. Sometimes I wonder why people write. I still don't know why am I mindlessly typing. My mind feels like a galloping horse which has been set free in the long lush grasslands of a Savannah.
Writing for me is a cathartic experience. I write without any pretensions of an accomplished writer. I don't write to seek approval for my visions and perceptions. But giving shape and form to those countless thoughts and feelings is a task mastered by a select few. There is something unreal about what is going through my mind right now. There is this irrepressible urge to break free. Break free from I don't know what. The blinking cursor teasingly asking me to continue this uninhibited expulsion of words, I look into the deep recesses of my mind to find something fathomable. But I find nothing. Yes, its a meaningless post but certainly not thoughtless.
They say there is an order to madness in the world. Anything which cannot be comprehended is madness. The ways of the human mind is always a work of mystery. A simple thought cannot be explained by science. We all know there is much more to it than just an electrical signal and an electromagnetic pulse field.
As I look into the darkness outside my window, a cool mild breeze flows in. The senselessness of this entire exercise perplexes me and yet feels so right. I feel like Mozart playing on his piano, humming Beethoven's symphony. I feel like Frank Sinatra dancing to an Elvis Presley song.

Unrelated thoughts strung together like odd shaped sea shells.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

“A Life that never will be..”

Dedicated. Read on.

"Madam, bas chaalis rupaya, lelo lelo"...."Stupid magazines!!" saying this she brushes the guy away and rolls the window up. It begins to rain thunderously. The windshield is hit by huge drops of rain as loud as stones getting pelted at it from far away. The wipers don't seem very effective but good enough. People around are taken off-guard by the sudden outburst of rain. There is a traffic jam and chaos everywhere, the radio is playing a familiar song. "He loved the rains and getting drenched.." She shrugs the thought away and concentrates on the steering wheel at hand. " I wonder what he must be doing right now" again shakes her head and looks at the raindrops on her window praying for the traffic to clear up and her thoughts to wash away with the rain.

"Isn't the rain just lovely?" says Amrita and looks at her with a big smile on her face. "I hate rains, what's the big fuss about? Its wet everywhere, muddy and messy" saying this she goes back to sipping her coffee. She was lying, trying to hide the real reason behind this hatred. Amrita just looks at her annoyingly and says "You are the most unromantic person ever!" She smiles nonchalantly with a mock approval. "Wait till you meet this I set you up with, you'll just love him." She rolls her eyes, "This is what you said about Dev, and I loved it when he left unannounced from the dinner table, it meant less torture from all the unnecessary garrulity." Amrita with a scowl on her face, "You called him a shitface with verbal diarrhoea!!" She laughed and said, "It was bloody apt, wasn't it? Give it up Amrita, its not gonna happen." Amrita gets a call from her daughter and leaves. She goes back to being her broody self.

Its 6 in the morning and she's been putting the alarm on her cell on snooze for over half an hour. Finally wakes up at 6:15, grudgingly goes to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She's again flooded by some memories. Splashes her face with cold water and begins brushing mechanically. 6:45 am and the thoughts are still there, making no sign of leaving her alone. She takes a shower and puts music on full volume. Rammstein at 7 in the morning, she laughs to herself.

"Bread butter jam, I don't cook ham.

I eat vegetables but not animals that live in stables.

I don't mind eggs but not creatures with legs.."

She sings automatically as she enters the kitchen and immediately regrets it. She had stopped making such ridiculous poems many years ago, let alone singing them. But this morning was different, her thoughts of him were stronger. "Dammit, what's wrong with me?!!" she screams at herself. She goes to the medicine shelf and takes out the bottle of anti depressants, which never really worked for her and pops 4 pills into her mouth and swallows them without having water. "Work and work alone.." had become the new motto in her life, leaving little time for family, friends or life.

The telephone rings, she runs to answer it, happy about the distraction. “We have the results, got the imaging data analysed and the significant values checked. Looks pretty much like you had predicted it. This is big you know. Congratulations. You must celebrate." She is elated and is about to start singing again but she fights that urge. She calls up her mom and tells her about the news. She is extremely happy and almost cries out of joy. She calls up Amrita asking her if she can meet her. Amrita is only too happy to oblige taking half a day off from work. They go off to a bar and have some drinks. She tells Amrita the good news, who is also very happy for her. "Hey its getting late, I promised Rajesh that I'll be back home for dinner, I hope you don't mind, I would have really loved to stay...” saying this she indicates that its time for them to leave the bar and head home.

There is something about getting drunk and being alone. Well, she wasn't technically alone if you count her two dogs and a cat. "My lovely beasts.." she would adoringly call them but not today. She is not able to exercise enough control over her mind and repress those thoughts which she'd been doing forever. She sits in her balcony with tears streaming down her face. Her loneliness had come back to haunt her. There was no one to share her happiness with and that made her reminiscent of her past and that fateful decision.

"If only.." she said to herself out loud for the first time since that day. Maybe it was her way of gifting him by acknowledging her horrendous mistake. "This is the perhaps the best gift I can ever give you at this point of time." She looks up at the night sky with a sad smile asking Him to watch over him.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just like that..

"A woman on the road wearing bright blue jeans, red top with a black bindi on her forehead, orange flowers in her hair and anklets on her feet. She is waiting on the bustop chatting incessantly on her cell. Horror, shock, disgust and then pure amazement.
Here was a woman who was caught in translation between being a typical lower middle class South Indian woman and an aspiring woman who wants to get somewhere in life. It was a quixotic mixture of traditionalism spiced with modernity. She might have failed miserably when it came to fashion etiquette but she scored full points for exerting her individuality no matter how garish it would seem to you and me."

So read one of my unfinished posts which never saw the light of the day and I lost that chain of thought forever. Maybe that's why I am blogging as someone asked me to capture the memories. Among the many other things I want to write about, this one is about a bus journey.

Lily Allen was crooning in my headphones and I was looking out of the window, cool breeze hitting my face. I had blanked out the noise around me, just observing. A middle aged woman with huge red bindi and many bangles sat next to me. She had the look of a chihuahua. In front of me sat an old woman in a burqa who was having trouble getting the change for her bus fare. The conductor was patient and gently chided her. A young college student was sitting next to her constantly blabbering on her cell and blushing. I could see people pushing and shoving and I was grateful for my window seat. In a matter of 15 minutes three very different women along with me came face to face with each other. We never spoke but we all had made eye contact at some point. I don't know and I will never know what they thought of me but I was just amazed at the radically different lives each of us led and yet we were together for some obscure bus ride. It was humbling.

As I sat there thinking, the old lady got up and walked away. And before I could notice, there was another woman sitting next to me with a huge basket of flowers. My mind began to think of their stories and lives again..