Sunday, October 31, 2010

I think your bruise was understated.

As unlikely as I am to listen to a band that calls itself Death Cab for Cutie(or anything in the immediate vicinity), this song just stirs me up in a way that doesn't happen often enough these days. Not that I'm one of the classic rock/metal elitists, but this particular band usually sounds more than a little pansy-ish to me. And there are a lot of questionable things I may be into, but my tolerance for all-things-emo is far too low to be convenient.

This piece however, is different. It's the opening notes, I think, that brew-up the piping hot nostalgia.

"But you’re so farsighted that you can’t place trust
In what or who you recognize."

Yep, Nostalgia is always a dish best served hot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Don't Whiz on a 'Lectric Fence.

From the author of "When I am an Old Coot".

An anthology of such gems of wisdom as:


Indeed, inanity is BACK.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Under The Table and Dreaming.

It’s the persistent din that keeps bringing it back. The sound of too many voices speaking too many languages at exactly the same time. Usually, they have the same thing to say. Often, not one of them matter. But it is exactly that, and the silent humming sound coming from the front that is to be blamed for distorted nostalgia. It comes in waves, more often than not. One treads upon the others' heel. Washing ashore a fair number of lost and abandoned  things, leaving behind the odd shell or two, and taking down a few sand castles along the way. The city that calls itself the heart of the country, beats at its own pace. It’s the only thing it has to call its own. After all, there is nothing about Delhi that isn’t borrowed. Not even the weather.

But sometimes I get lucky and it’s night. I’m on a bus, it’s raining and it’s a dark night. Except for the gaudy light bulbs that keep shady little shacks in business. I can’t see the lights though, because all I see are the raindrops on the windowpane. And through the raindrops, all I see are a zillion hexagonal orange disks of light, floating over the busy streets, and people who are nothing if not that. But then the bus starts to move, and things whir past. Faster in the mind than on the road.

Three months later, I’m on the same bus, en route to the same destination - home. Only it’s evening, and the sky is a lighter shade of blue. There are no lights, but the din seems louder. It gets louder by the second. Part of me wishes it would grow loud enough to drown out the crackling radio and the horrid music it blares out to the benefit of no one in particular, and especially to my annoyance, but that could just as well be because of how crowded it is in here. There are three times as many people as there should be, and my limbs are contorted to fill up the little space they have to negotiate with. I’m bent at unnatural angles and feel like a broken doll, in more ways than one. But that’s just half an hour of the day spent avoiding stepping on people’s toes or having yours trampled on and cursing quietly under your breath, which is a small victory by any estimate. And once you’re walking home from the bus stop, you’ll forget. Early autumn evenings do that to you. The slight chill in the wind is a subtle reminder of the months behind you, and heralds those to come. But to me, nothing quite spells autumn in the city like the scent of cardamom. Every year, October brings life into my neighborhood, as the dozens of trees that line the pavements burst forth to present a spectacular olfactory marvel. The almost unbelievably sweet scent of fresh cardamom, from trees that have nothing to do with cardamom. Not even the rank smell of pre-Diwali firecracker smoke can overpower it. So I walk along the road, letting the chilly breeze toss my already-tangled hair around and the scent flood my senses.

A year later, I’m looking out the same window. But something has changed. Every song on the radio sounds like another I’ve heard before. Every new person I meet, reminds me of someone I used to know. I’m still heading home, but don’t think I’ll be calling it that for very long. It has all happened before, and I think back upon the times in my life when I’ve let go of "what is", with no knowledge of "what will be". The times one must let go of the ledge, without knowing what greets you down below, hoping for something to break your fall. Thrusting myself into the unknown has always been an adventure. Always looked forward to, and I always spent nights, days, months and seasons in anticipation of. But things have changed.

Today, I am here. Sitting in my room, painted red and in several shades of gray, now being flooded with wave after wave of the same cardamom scent, and I know that I’ve grown old. Because now when I look out glass windows, I no longer see. I only remember. And dread that one of these days, to remember just wouldn’t be enough.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Accidentally Explanatory Afternote.

There is an online community on Facebook, called "I was alive on 10/10/10 10:10:10". 
I will allow that to settle in.
Some more.
This is ridiculous even by standards that do the nose-dive ever so often. 
Thus, the aforementioned chafing of patience. Which, may I add, is still a valued, perishable and exhaustible resource.

Update: 6 hours later, there is now another one called " Today is 10/10/10, won't happen again for another 1000 years so you might as well like it ♥".


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thus began the *isms.

Social networking chafes my patience, despite being my only recourse in times of distress and isolation.
A green dot next to my name, is always a clear sign of desperation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Further Discourse on Happiness.

Reading through The Picture of Dorian Gray, I chanced upon a realization that had been toying with my head for years. Indeed, it is true that maleficence and the years corrupt the body. But is it also true that knowledge corrupts the mind?

Most of the happiest people I have ever known are also some of the most ignorant ones. Most of the intellectually gifted people I know are deeply troubled, in one way or the other. And it’s the existentialists that seem to be the most perturbed of the lot. Why is it that self-awareness (or any form of awareness at all) unleashes a nagging discontent upon those who may seek it? Most of us may live our lives in the pursuit of happiness, but to what end? If it is a state of mind, then do the aforementioned facts not point to the delusional nature of all human desires and their satisfaction? If yes, then the integrity of rationale and accurate perception is dearly compromised, and life is lived on a background tinted with contrition. If not, then the value of happiness itself is a grotesque overestimation. It is somewhere between these arguments that I hope to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I do, however, lean towards the latter.

I have always believed that happiness is an over-rated concept. When we have the entire spectrum of human emotions available to us, to paint our world in just one color would take a serious lack of imagination. Existence wouldn’t have much meaning, if we didn’t taste all the flavors it has to offer. Wrath, Despair, and Fear are just as crucial human experiences, if not more. After all, they are far more intense, and intensity begets exhilaration. If we were to miss out on that, then it would be a life only half-lived.

An Observation.

Rajinikanth is the new Chuck Norris. 
Edit all references accordingly.