Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Being Twenty-Something" ------------------------ They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like.
You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.
You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.
You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you.
Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life.
You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.
You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person.
One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic. You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!
What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out. Send this to your twenty something friends.... maybe it will help someone feel like they aren't alone in their state of confusion.....
Bless You. Bless You. Bless You Sweetheart.
Friday, November 6, 2009
You cant call Mommy anymore and cry your heart out. Coz you’ll get Mommy worried.
If you are 25+ that means Mommy’s growing older too.
Mommy has finally let go of the apron strings. So even if you want to, you can’t go weeping and whining to Mommy.
Daddy doesn’t insist that the boys you go out with, come home to pick you up so that he can size them up.
Daddy cant set every thing right. Daddy is not Superman anymore.
Daddy cant beat the Bad guys away.
Daddy’s gonna be retiring soon. He is still the Hero but a little flabby. Daddy gets senti more often than usual.
Daddy and Mommy yap about Kalyanam.
Daddy and Mommy yap about “Varans” in the waiting.
At 25, you are shit scared of loving and loosing again.
At 25 you are still stupid enough to love again and not strong enough to loose again and be K with it.
You gotta start on them Age defying creams….
Visits to the parlour become necessary rather than a luxury.
You are finally aquainted with cynicism in bits and pieces.
They harp on the “Independent” crap a little too much.
Your contemporaries’ inquisitiveness is not related to who you are doing, but whether you are getting to do it or not.
Being single is automatically equated with, “Independent Power Crazy, High Maintenance woman”
If you cry and throw a fit it gets related to, “Oh that time of the month, ha?!”
You cant cry in office. You start understanding the nuances of Managed Behavior.
It becomes important to have a career.
Its not longer “Coool” when you don’t have any idea about what to do in life.
Worse still you have no idea what to want in life.
Tapri ki chaai becomes the rare occasion and watery Iced Tea is sipped more often than not.
Friends start getting married.
Friends start following the calendar to plan their family.
Friends start telling you, “Abhi tu bhi settle ho jaa. Khub kar li masti”
You are in two minds about making it to the School reunion……you are not that thin…. Not as successful as you hoped you’d be, not that active a social life….. but you cant wait to see the other losers on the same boat as you!!!!!!
You start grocery shopping alone.
Living in a hostel cramps your style.
The “live in” relationship that you thought you will have when u’ll turn 25 is replaced by a desperate plea for permanent acceptance in someone’s life.
Your sentences begin with, "In my opinion....."
You begin to realize that even flings can have repercussions.
It begins to hurt a lil when every guy just wants to get into your pants. (It still gives the best high tho….. 25+ and still got it just as good :) :)
TV becomes the faithful companion…..
Roommates the family….
You begin to realize that you have such few friends…..
Birthdays are looked forward to with the same enthusiasm as dental appointments.
You need to have a Gynecologist, a general physician, a dentist, a masseur, a beautician existing in your Phonebook.
Crank calls are way tooo juvenile.
You stop partying and go clubbing…..
Instead of checking the price tag on clothes, you first check out the size…..
The “elders” are not elders anymore…..
You actually begin to take them seriously when they go the, “Switch to Olive Oil, reduce Salt content….. start meditating” way.
Desperate efforts are made to pump up the Bank Balances.
And what else……..
Please guys add on more..................
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Isn’t the absence of Hope called Dystopia? But how does the presence of it bring utopia? Utopia does not exist. Hope seems to make you think that it does. I might hope for a gazillion things and even work to achieve them but when I am left bereft of them wouldn’t it have been better had I not desired them in the first place. I think the root cause for hope is Desire. Desire is the fucking whore who gave birth to Hope.
Well, this turmoil in my head has taken a more poignant form. I continuously hear voices inside me all the time. They are mostly self deriding, self depreciating, mocking with an ugly sense of humor. They hurt. They mock. They curse.
But I want them to. That’s the penance for not being brave. That’s the salvation for not looking truth in the eye and moving on. It is almost as if you Believe you are growing mad but you Know you are not. It is that you actually Want to go mad because then your world will be separated from theirs. Then you would be inside the shell of a stigma. The label of Madness, Mental collapse would not let you face up to the truth of your emptiness. Go mad. Go mad.
I need to, I want to, I have to run away.
I need to, I want to, I have to lick my self inflicted wounds in isolation. I cannot be a friend to you, to the very few of you who are left in my life.
These voices, my voices, they are not alien. I have had them inside, I think, since college or from the third year of college. Before that hedonism was still attractive enough to make me dream and consider current imperfection as temporary or unimportant.
Sometimes I could, very correctly identify the other lesser mortals like me who were burning in their own anguish, who were fighting against themselves everyday, every minute. We naturally got attracted to each other.
One of them is dead. She is the late Ms Raunak Tyrewalla. I have never, never written your name Raunak after you killed yourself. I am so doing so today unashamedly. And save for the quickening of my heartbeat, I am experiencing nothing. Not even guilt at vainly taking your name after fervently wishing for your soul to rest in peace.
Why am I doing this? Attention. I want the people reading this imbecile excuse for wasting time to consider it non normal. I want the fucking sympathy. I want the pity. I want the falsehood of “oh you poor troubled child!”. I hate, I abhor the crude, cruel, callousness of “Everything is alright. This will soon pass. Do not think so much.” “Do not take life so seriously.” That’s the anathema, I recoil away from. The few friends who could see thorough the façade were candid enough to say so. I could have ripped them apart. I hated them. I hate them. I go out of the way to showcase my indifference.
I Want people to feel sorry for me and my life and for what it could have been. Their pity would give my “could have would have been life” the respect and notice that it deserves. The respect, which my actions have never been able to perpetuate. Today, in a place where I have not risen to conspicuousness through deeds or words…..how do I attract attention? How do I ensure that even I am worth being considered, discussed, pitied or admired? I shun company so that my solitude is noticed. I drive my body to the limit, so that my weakness causes concern, I run till I drop so that obsession can be associated with me, I abuse my body through alien substances so people can call me a rebel, I feign indifference towards work so that my ineptitude cannot be seen, I proactively declare that I shun success so that they don’t come to know that success only kindles those who deserve her.
What’s even worse is that I am surrounded by people with character, strength and resolve. People, who sort of ignore the enormity of life and make peace with everyday mundanity. People who have sacrificed a million what if’s for one Now, because of love. It is unfortunate that I am born of such people. I cannot even run away to oblivion because of their ungrounded, unjustified faith in me.
I know these voices are fickle. They are vain and temperamental. I know I can make them go away as easily as they had come to set shop. I first of all need to face my mediocrity, my ignorance, my incapability and make amends with them. I must learn to make peace with this Now. Because it is this Now, that has put a roof over my head, money to spend and the luxury to obsess about my depression.
My “what ifs” are purely a function of my dissatisfaction of being a cog in the huge wheel of Now. My “what ifs” are not grounded in reality. My “what ifs” are not backed by recognition. My “whats ifs” will again start changing form when I start striving towards some of them. You can never give a tangible form to dissatisfaction.
Yes, I work in a huge organization where I have no talent to show, no intellect to impress, no initiative to be appreciated, no discipline that can be recognized. I cannot make sense of numbers and yet that is what I am required to do. Everyday. Yes, my finances are not planned. Yes, people would never approach me for an opinion. Yes, I am almost always silent when discussions take place at meetings. Yes, the part that I like about my work is the part which requires me to replicate the dumb perseverance of a mule. Yes, I feel safe when I am just replicating the tried and the tested and processes or methods are never put to question. Yes I like being told what to do and doing it. Yes.
“So what?” is what I need to ask myself? So what if you are mediocre? So what if you do not outperform? There are billions who wake up with every sunrise and embrace each day in the same manner that they had embraced yesterday. Billions wake up everyday to provide for the family, to work to earn money, to perform to get promoted and go to bed everyday seemingly satisfied with the intransigence of routine. I shall do so too. I shall inculcate attention to the detail in the smallest of mundane tasks. Four years have been enough to make me realize that I haven’t got the talent or the knowledge required to excel in this field. Well then I wont excel. I will exist. Why is that bad? I am not even too fond of this line of work. But, I will learn what there is to be learnt. I will cram up for the next promotion. I will put on a brave face in the event of my failure. I will pretend that not getting that promotion did not hurt. I will be silent but absorbing during all meetings. I have existed for four years. I will continue to exist for many more. When I do not have the balls to take a chance on me and chart my own future, I must at least have the balls required to accept the present that has been shown to me. And Its not that bad a Present.
But, you know what? I cannot do this. I cannot just exist. I will invariably come up with poor, pathetic, desperate attempts at attracting attention or conspicuousness, I shall contemplate a fainting spell in a few minutes from now……
I will never be satisfied without taking a chance with my “what ifs”. I can never be secure in my mediocrity.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
An entire year. An entire year. An entire year……. One millionth of a miniscule part for space….but an entire lifetime for me. All I can come up with is a list of “Did nots”
Did not take FRM.
Did not take that stupid CAIIB.
Did not apply for MA.
Did not travel enough.
Did not write enough.
Did not love enough.
Did not find The Guy.
Did not work enough.
Did not even cry enough.
Did not figure out the Plan.
Back from Ahmedabad, last night, sitting in an auto rickshaw drenched to the skin and taking in huge gulps of the adulterated rain kissed air, I was happy to be back in Bombay. Stuck in traffic for what seemed like eons, I started to think of the numerous “What Ifs” 2009 had shown me, which I have been incompetent enough to give form to.
Jolting me from this reverie was a BMT bus that rushed past drenching me with muck. I screamed.
“Kya Hua Madam?” asked the rickshaw driver.
“Arree who Bus ki wajah se cheeta padh gaya mere pe.”
“Arre madam, Baarish hai toh Cheeta toh padega hi! Humko bhi toh poda! Aap aise chillaye, humko laga kuch ho gaya hai…….”
I think, this is what people have come to call the “Spirit of Bombay,” Plain complacence with everything around you. Quiet resignation to imperfection. Mass impotence to change things around you. A million people who share a communal state of constant melancholy that just accepts traffic jams, road blocks, open gutters, acres of ugly slums, destitution, filthy trains, overcrowded buses, muck and slush, air pollution, water scarcity, corrupt leaders, inept teachers, avaricious bureaucrats as permanent fixtures in their existential existence.
“Haan Ji. Baarish hai toh cheeta toh padega hi.”
See Bombay, after two of years of living with you, even my life has come to imbibe the “Spirit of Bombay”. I no longer live. I exist.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I want to go back to the time, when This was White and That was Black.
There is anonymity in Gray, there is ambiguity in Gray….
I want the safety of, This is Good and That is Bad.
They are so well defined. Why did Gray creep in?
When did Gray creep in? When Black and White were being defined, how come Gray creeped in?
Wrapping me, wrapping all of us in its comfortable shroud....
Surrounding us with its officiousness.
Gray doesn’t allow any judgment.
Gray doesn’t allow you to be judgmental.
Gray accommodates everybody, everything.
Gray always forgives.
Gray is what everybody is, everything is…..
White and Black, Good and Bad, True and False, Beautiful and Ugly are all so exclusive, so sure of their definition, so elusive, free from association with commoners.
What is it to be Brave?
It is to be:
Gray, well that’s for all of us, who just….. Exist.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I dont know whats with me and posting incomplete blogs these days.... it almost looks like I consciously try to leave them unfinished. Anyhows, this was written just before they burnt up the Taj.
A pair of extremely dirty socks lie at the corner of the bed. A worm, a silverfish if you were to ask me is exploring the contours of the sock. Clothes are strewn about in a disarray. A pair of stilettos, sandals with a strap missing in one of them, flats and the laptop bag are to the right of the bed. To the left you have two huge pillows with dust patterns, a VIP skybag with a layer of dust and a suitcase that has no claimant. The bed houses clothes, towels, a face scrub, a comb, a mobile phone with its charger, a purse, a handbag, a clutchbag, Virginia Woolf’s greatest literary classics, a Rajastani bedspread, a half eaten bar of chocolate, a cigarette lighter adorned with a voluptuous Minnie Mouse and a girl who is blowing spit bubbles.
There must be some intelligibility even in this anarchy as the girl seems to be thinking. Smile just flirting with the corners of the mouth, she is counting the number of times He used the word, “pedantic”. I used to be a part of her but now the thought of being inside her and watch her bite one more nail is unbearably odious. What would you call me? Her conscience? Maybe Yes. Maybe No.
I am the voice that keeps talking inside her head. I laugh sometimes when she is in the company of the pompous and the vain, cry out loudly when she experiences injustice, weep when she sees a dog and a man sharing a make shift blanket in the footpath and nag when she passes the slum school where she intends to teach one day but never brings herself to. I was strangely quiet today when she met this man. I observed the décor, recognized the fact that she was dining in Taj Mahal, my observations were more directed towards the woman who had dreadlocks and was immersed in a Thomas Hardy classic sitting alone in the restaurant, when I got bored of the ambience, I started obsessing about every new entrant into the “Masala Kraft”. I didn’t say anything to her……..the evening was perfect, He was perfect and here I am sick to the core with her commitment to the non committal.
I stand in front of her and yell. “You brazen hussy! Slut! Unfeeling, indifferent debauched woman! How many more times are you going to do this? Don’t you want to be happy? Why the hullabaloo about marriage when all you can manage every single time with uncanny precision is an, “I am not ready for a commitment yet!” Doesn’t she want the love of a good, kind, principled, honest man who is ready to do everything in his might to make her happy?
“Why do you do this to people, to men, talk to them, lure them, make the heady concoction of resist and yield, yield and resist, implore and argue, beseech and squabble, bat the eyelashes, thrust the breast, pay rapt attention to any gibberish that comes out their mouths, till any man in his sane, red blooded, dick driven mind is ready to assume heck conclude that this woman is mine. And then, Phatt comes the realization that Her Highness just cannot settle because she doesn’t feel anything for the guy. Why go out of the way to please them then, you excuse for a human being? What perverted paroxysms drive you to such manipulations? Is this your vengeance on the emptiness in your life? Is this how you shroud loneliness? Or is this escapism from wanting to accept reality?”
“You will end up rejected, desolate, hopeless, indifferent, sad, sad, sad. You know you will.”
She doesn’t say anything. The eyes that stare back at me are vacant and resigned. Suddenly I know that it’s my fault. It’s completely and irrevocably my fault. I had a liaison with hope and imagination to acquaint themselves with her. When love came, I shrieked, I sobbed, I laughed, I hated, I envied, I distrusted, I seduced- with her, through her to such an extent that upheaval meant solace to her. I asked passion to come sit by her. I tricked restraint, comfortable mundanity, modesty, practicality (oh she is the most odious of all, practicality) and the arcane to associate themselves with some other looser.
It was my hand that painted pictures of mountains and beaches and sunsets and sunrises. I got pleasure and advocated its presence. I talked her into seeing the magic that can exist between man and woman. I got her the intoxicating adulation and adoration of men. I made her love and I made her loose. I made her want and want till she hurt. Never even realizing it myself I always made her put herself before anything else. To be loved, to be wooed, to be sought, to be helped……Selflessness is so modest, she never comes by if you don’t beseech her to. I never did and the girl never learnt.
I am the reason she judges every guy with a microscope…. I made her equate dependable with mundane. I come up with a gazillion reasons to not like a guy. I made Him seem larger than life. I filled so much hate in her. And now look at her. I pity her. She shops likes crazy before every family wedding she attends, tries to play nonchalant only to expose her obvious vulnerability, smiles and congratulates every colleague on his/her engagement or marriage (the smile doesn’t reach the eyes though), starts planning her wedding trousseau and quickly erases away the image, looks at herself every morning in the mirror eyes illuminated with unanswerable questions, unfair questions. This is how she will be, if she cannot befriend the ordinary. She wont befriend the ordinary. So she will live, unhappily untill God knows when.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I guess it was just those times when you look at something, someone or suddenly a thought flashes by of the past and you are left with a strange kind of ache in your chest and it becomes difficult to swallow.
Six years ago.... we had gone to Poona station to see off (i dont really remember who) some friends to Jsr/Ranchi... (im not even sure of that).
He told me that He was taking me out for dinner. My immediate reaction was profound skepticism. Had my nagging finally brought him to a uplifted plane of realisation? Why was he being so sweet to me? A guy who never even had money to recharge his mobile phone, why was he going the "woman i'll woo you off your floaters clad feet" way? Nevertheless, I got really excited. When He asked me to pick a place, like every mesmerised idiot who comes to a metropolis, my first reaction was something akin to "Taj Blue Diamond, Bombay Brassierre...".
However, a sudden gush of mush for that Old Monk and Classic Milds consuming perennially broke darling, prompted me to blurt out the name of "Monafood"- a joint I had seen in Camp.
It was crowded and very dirty in Poona railway station. We held hands as we walked among the crowds and his arm used to brush against mine now and then. I couldnt stop smiling. DINNER PE JAA RAHE THE HUM!
The food was awful, the ambience even more so, the waiter's uniform was frayed, the corn in the soup was as hard as pebbles and He was upset that the place served only vegetarian food....
But I was so Happy. He took me out. He did it without my throwing a tantrum or nag show. I dont remember what we did after dinner. Mustve fought. Men get very cranky when the taste buds complain....
Its been six years... I have wined and dined in places that would not even consider places like Monafood as worthy of existence. Yet, this little memory, locked in I dont know what recess of consciousness came and held me by its grip for those five minutes. Probably, it wanted me to say, "Thank You Mr. K.P. for that dinner. Coz many, many and yet too few dinners later...... Monafood would never see the two of us together again.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
But that’s not the point.
Here is what happened. We all got up for the National Anthem to be played before the movie began. The guy next to me looked like the ones whose attitude and looks scream, “I’m livin the good life mate!”
The sorry piece of crap first of all complained that what was the need for the National Anthem to be played at the movies, was moving about when it was being played and was the first one to sit down even before it ended. I was livid.
I wanted wild rabid dogs to spit on him.
I wanted diarrhea-ridden crows to poo on him.
I wanted his face to be mauled in scum. (I settled for spilling his coke on the ground).
Seriously guys, what sort of a generation are we? A generation that doesn’t even respect its National Anthem? What sort of a Rolex possessing, Viao handling, Blackberry scrolling, Davidoff sprinkling, Armani caressing, confused bumbling identity crisis are we in, where our Country means nothing more than two letters to be keyed in while filling out some ‘Hajaar’ application forms. All that a dastardly incident like 26/11 can get out of us is a few minutes of apathetic sympathy and meaningless candle lighting a week later.
Supposedly there is a controversy surrounding our National Anthem wherein many Hindutva zealots’ claim that the Jana Gana Mana is actually a song composed by Rabindra Nath Tagore commemorating the visit of King George V and his Queen and not celebrating our Motherland. So what? It has been our National anthem for 59+ years and will continue to be so. Why?
Because it gives us an identity.
Because it is a common thread between the Bahadur who keeps a night vigil in your society and the Ambani sleeping tight on his quilt embracing bed.
Because it encompasses all: an ULFA terrorist, an Andhra naxal, a deobandhi fatalist, and a dogmatic SwayamSevak.
Because it speaks of a common brotherhood.
Because it speaks of a common History.
And most of all because it is OURs for the taking, keeping and safeguarding.
Whenever I hear or sing the National Anthem, it infuses in me a very poignant sense of belonging that cannot possibly be explained in words. This beautiful country where only paradoxes exist, where duplicity and treachery go hand in hand with Athithi Devo Bhava, where snow capped peaks exist in tandem with arid deserts, where the worlds brightest minds interact with the illiterate and the oppressed on a routine basis, a country whose length and breadth cannot be traveled or experienced in one lifetime…..
I suppose such feelings are more pronounced in me because there isn’t a single part of India that I can lay claim to and call my own. A Tamilian by birth, a Tanjore Brahmin by descent, born and brought up in Jamshedpur in erstwhile Bihar and now in current Jharkhand, habituated to the colloquial Bihari Hindi more than the Iyer Tamil, having studied for four years in Poona, having loved and lived with Vada Paavs, cut chai and new found liberation, working for two years in Bangalore and managing with scant two words- “Kannada Gothilla”, resorting to accented English while in Chennai, getting pushed and mauled in Bombay local trains, celebrating Maharstra Day and Karnataka Day, rejoicing in day offs from school due to “Jharkhand Bandhs”, getting up at the crack of dawn for celebrating Deepawali and staying up till midnight bursting crackers for Diwali, kneeling down in genuflection at Vaishno Devi to being rendered speechless by the beauty of the Jog falls, rafting in the river Teesta to blushing at the paintings in Ellora, India seems more real to me, more mine than any of her subparts.
I cannot call myself a Tamilian, niether a Bihar born confused Tamilian ……(BBCT, cool na?!) nor a Puneri……My claim to History, in History is by virtue of my being born in this country. The sole tangible identity that I am sure of, proud of is the fact that I am an Indian. A country, whose existence far exceeds the combined sum of all its multiplicities.
I guess all that I am trying to say though the sudden written frenzy that has consumed me is that we cannot afford to be indifferent towards our Country. Cannot. Nope. At least have the decency to respect your National Anthem!!
And oh, before I end….
FYI: Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya He…..The song was first sung in a session of the Congress in 1911. This session had decided to felicitate George V since he had announced the abrogation of the partition of Bengal, thereby conceding the success of the Swadeshi agitation, the first modern anti-colonial movement that had started in 1905. The closest translation to the very first lines go as, “We sing praises of the Dispenser of Human Destiny…. Who appears in every age”. This song was then followed by another song composed by Shri Rambhuj Choudhary which was solely in praise of King Geogre V. There was no real connection between the composition of the Jana Gana Mana and George V, except that the song was sung at an event which also felicitated the king.
And moreover, why would Tagore, a Nobel prize recipient, a die hard nationalist, the founder of the Swadeshi Shantiniketan….. compose a song steeped in servitude?? Think.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Anything, Anything to break the monotony of everyday,
The eternity of my ass glued to this chair,
The infinity of day and night,
The mundanity of routine,
The helplessness of inertia,
The frustration of wanting and not having.....
Please God,Please God,
Wings, God, Balls, Fearlessness God, Please God....
Tell me do I pop a pill and will I be impervious to rejection, dejection?
Will I take off..... can I take off......
Why did you make me so.... so..... so..... weak?
Filled with anxiety, apprehension, fears, nervousness, lassitude, apathy, indifference, complacency.
Every day is torture it is..... but by the end.... you become complacent about torture as well......
How could you? Its all your fault. You are a freakin pervert!
Let me go back to screen staring.
This is dystopia God. It is for me. This second of my sitting at this chair, staring at this screen, seems endless. Seems the future. Is the present and has been the past.....
If I am to remain this way, slash away, throttle the remaining vestiges of feeling, longing in me.... so that complacency becomes me...... Please God do it. Do it.
For me please. For me please.
I dont have the balls to break free.....
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
While the Priest was astute enough to claim that it was an untouchable’s corpse that was being ravaged, he proved incapable of determining the gender.... It was a beautiful girl who lay dead there. A girl whose saga of affliction, nobody in that remote village ever heard.
It was a household that spurned her. Her unpardonable fault being that alas…She was born as a She. They had lost her mother to the illness just after her birth. The child was born mute. Nobody really knew when or how she turned deaf. Some thought that her world was so devoid of love, laughter and music that the ears just decided to shut themselves to the rest of the world. So she stayed dumb, deaf and motherless, embracing her own solitude.
However, as wonton Irony would have it, the Girl was not without hope. Hope with its tenacious quality of seeping into the most dismal of all conditions, had touched her as well. She had once heard a flute, the notes rising in melodious harmony seducing her, enticing her, beckoning her to come and embrace the nameless. She had heard it just once. Once and never, never again. She clung to a hope, desperately; obsessively. A hope that one day, the dusky, beautiful God of the cowherds and shepherds would call her to Him. It was his love that pumped blood in her veins. It was her devotion that provided her sustenance.
Krishna, Krishna, she would meet Him one day.
She would meet Him one day.
She would meet Him one day.
When illusion becomes reality, happiness also becomes tangible. Decades were spent, yearning and waiting. That night when the Moon had waned to the minimal possible extent, she saw Him: olive skinned, broad- shouldered, slim-waisted and virile. Krishna so close, so near. He was talking to some villagers, his face lit like that of a cherub.
She could say they did not like Him. They avoided Him. They became agitated and nervous around Him. He was a foreigner, they said. A refugee. Another hapless victim from the aftermath of the war. Fools! Blundering, idiots! Ignoramuses! How could they not know…….
He was Krishna.
He was Kanha.
He was Gopal.
He was Giridhar.
He was real.
He was here.
A God, who had come to save her- from Her, from Them. He looked into her eyes and she felt longing. Longing that was familiar and yet laced with a sensation that was so alien. She danced in the rain that night, her feet following an eonian rhythm, her arms lifted while paying silent homage to him. He had come to her finally. He was standing beside her now, watching her with deep, hooded eyes.
He was Krishna. She was Radha as she danced, entranced.
He was Krishna. She was Meera as she touched his feet.
She let the cascading rivulets cleanse her. They poured in a steady stream - on her lustrous and curly locks, on her pliant lips parted wide in anticipation, on her aching and swollen breasts, between her thighs to the apex of her existence, on her numbed feet that were never stopping, never pausing. Pregnant with concupiscence, she beseeched him. He lifted her and laid her, warm and wet on the hard floor. Desire - deep and carnal - tore away the remaining folds of semblance and sanity.
After an era she heard the flute again. Kanha was playing it again. Life-giving symphony that was blending with the rain, seeping through the earth, entwining the trees, gently stroking human and animal...rising and being one with space. Every nerve, every cell came alive at his touch.
He was Krishna. She was Radha as she clung to him in blissful oblivion.
He was Krishna. She was Meera as she moved to him in peaceful submission.
He, potent and virile, plundered her softness. It was Fusion. It was Creation. Nudity, chastity, Pain and Want were offered at the altar of ardor. Every unblemished contour was tasted; every entreasured curve was explored. He surged within her as she rode the clouds and played with the waves.Fulfillment was sought in a spinning vortex of pleasure and pain. She, whose world of silence was stripped of all music, screamed out again and again and again in agony and ecstasy.
Everything faded into anonymity save for the man and woman. The creator, his creations, creating creations through their coition. One last spasm racked her as the mist cleared and light broke in.
He was gone when she woke up. There was no sign of him save for those imprinted on her body. She bore the brunt of the sun as it burned down on her, reprimanding her for her folly. The emptiness, her nakedness taunted her as the ache in her heart began to grow. He could not leave her now. Why now, when He had made her, His.
He was Krishna. She was Radha.
He was Krishna. She was Meera.
He was infinite. She…only human......
She saw him up there, his face flashing vividly amidst the limitless azure. She saw his hands, his arms held wide open in invitation. He called out to her. She heard him. He, clothed in an amber colored garment was waiting for her. He was fading into the union of the earth and the sky.
"Krishna!” she called.He kept walking.
"Krishna!" she pleaded.He kept walking.
"Krishna!" she screamed.He was but a blur in the distant horizon.
She would go to him. Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.
There was her tranquility, calling out to her.The last things she saw were the stains of red on the granite- the insignia of their union. Now her eyes were shut from the world.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
(I know there arent many of you but nevertheless……)
I want to travel and I want to read. I want to love again and this time for the keeps. And I am going to start a blog about my travels. I am so technologically handicapped that sometimes I am forced to hate myself. So once I get blog savvy, my travelogue would also be worth a read. Ahoy there, Shri Heinrich Harrer!!
You guys must read it.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
If the above title has intrigued you into reading this blog, you might be interested in attending the various Rock Satsangs organized from time to time by the A** of *i***g F********n. I have been to one of them. However, the guys with their Surf Excel caressed Kurta Pyjamas, Colaba trademark Om Tees, low waist patloons, wrists bewitched to look like a germination ground for colored beads and the girls with their clear skins, non existent waistlines, long dainty nails, rose petal like feet and cleavage exposing kurtas were instrumental in goading me to sever off ties with the human species and discover the sublime delights of vegetating through life for some time.
Coming back to the point, (I am sure you guys have written this off as random mumbling but trust me there is a point to it all…..!) this is all the blog title has to offer in the rock genre.
I want to talk about Babulnath- a mystical ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiv built by the great Raja Bhimdev, which today looks distinctly out of place in the bubbling cosmopolitan uber chic of South Mumbai; Hinduism, the religion I was born into and till now not found the intense, self consuming need to disown it and my experiences in the temple.
I go there every Monday. Yes, every Monday. Eligible, rich, good looking and single men listening- I also bathe and brush my teeth daily, cook lentil rice and potato curry, soak clothes in soap water and somehow manage to rinse them, laugh politely at jokes no matter how mind numbingly dumb, stitch, sew, knit and have no problems with onion breath or gaseous release. Interested men may please get in touch @ 99%^&@@@%8.
The temple has a seductively enigmatic attraction to it. Dimly lit stairs beginning at the end of a dark alley, populated with candles and cats, flanked by a Babul Tree, take you to the main temple where the unassailable presence of a harmonium Baba greets you. The temple and the alley house many small homes. The entire area looks like a large black canvass painted with cris-crossing lights from petromaxes, candles, 60-watt bulbs and tube lights. The area remains populated with clotheslines, running children and fat women defining lassitude. I am constantly trying to pry into such houses.
(Someone once told me that the trick to making it big in life lies in putting your natural prying and curious nature to good use. Look what it did to Einstien!!)
There was this one time when while trying to associate solid, discernable forms behind a heap of dirty clothes hanging in one such house, a dreadlocks Baba made it known by his obvious looks and action that he found such behavior abhorrent. His bloodshot eyes, thread bare orange robe, rudraksh necklaces, rib cage defining torso and vermilion stained forehead reminded me of the mad man whose ‘Dhamki’ my mother used to give when I refused to go to bed or drink milk or have food or wear clothes (ha ha interested are you?). I choose discretion to be my amour the next time I visited the temple and nowadays just glance sideways at the houses.
The Harmonium Baba, (a Mr Rajendra Guha who lives in Chembur naka) ever smiling and content, nods you into the temple. Mr Rajendra Guha seemed very interested in expanding his PR and very subtly but quite often indicated that he is not averse to performing, nay appreciating music in the company of other music lovers at jagrans, satsangs or samaradhanas. I took his leave just before he ventured to give me his mobile number.
In the hall adjacent to the main temple, sit two women who take care of your footwear while you are pleading your case with the Almighty. One of them is Varsha- young, thin and shy with a tired, resigned look about her. It was one such Monday when I saw that Varsha had a black eye. I didn’t think myself capable enough to face her embarrassment or pain by asking her for a reason. I just smiled.
The other is an old hag, who is conventionally, feature-by-feature ugly. Wrinkles sort of form the foundation on which her contours are etched. Beady and small eyes, yellowing with age make you want to look away from them and towards her nose that can make an eagle consider Rhinoplasty. Semi repulsed by her dark and large mouth you look at her head for a consolation factor but there is minimal hair there. This one on a crowded Monday evening with hundreds of people coming and leaving their shoes, will always ALWAYS remember where your sandals are. The real catch is, when you show your appreciation in the form of a “Thank You Aunty”, her mouth spreads into a huge, part toothed smile, which shuts off her eyes but somehow makes her entire face light up. She looks cute. Varsha and the Old Hag want money but are not explicit about it.
The otherwise quite and serene temple looks nothing short of a “Mela” on Mondays- Shiva’s Day. The temple remains open till 11:30 at night and the presence of zealous devotees is ubiquitous during the whole day. There is a portico like structure, where devout and aspiring vocalists and musicians chant hymns and bhajans.
I do not know as to when the Temple Aarti actually begins but the drum beating, conch blowing, hands clapping and “Har Har Mahadeving” sure goes on for a long time. There is a long queue for the darshan and inside the sanctum, a self declared disciplinarian is constantly egging you on to finish your Darshan, at a quicker pace than the scant 5 seconds you spend in bowing before the Lingam. Suffering in mild paranoia, you are confronted with images of being crushed to death before you leave the inner sanctum. Walking in constant peril of stepping over coconut shavings, milk, betel leaves, lotus petals and prostrated devotees you step on wet dirty stones where you see, squatting on rough boulder, grinding sandalwood into paste, a man who can easily pass off for a Marwari Seth.
It is a very personal and intimate relationship that a Hindu shares with his God. Under the phantasmagoria, the religious fanfare, the dogmatic traditions, the fatalistic superstitions, the eonian rituals, lies a very obvious desire of giving a tangible, conspicuous form to ones beliefs, to channelize hope towards something completely alien, to obliterate the ambiguity of the self.
And I can never understand the intense, consuming desire to touch the idols. Why must we push, pull, squeeze, get squeezed, annoy, get annoyed.... just to go near the idol (the lingam in this case) and have its surface touch our forheads? What is the compulsion to touch the block of granite shaped as feet, kiss it and then place the left part of the forehead and then the right part of the forhead on it? Do our prayers become more fervent this way? Why cant we pray from afar???
We cant pray from afar. Period.
Hinduism is my faith by birth and as I move on in life, my faith by choice as well. I see nothing in common between the religious fanatics who just got up one fine morning and smashed up an eonian mosque on the behest of protecting Hindu cultural identity and myself. There are so many paradoxes this religion has shown me. The religious frenzy that sanctifies the slaughter of three hundred goats in the small temple of Chittai in Uttaranchal is no more different than the dogged devotion that never lets the light fade away from the wicker of an ordinary earthen lamp in a Hindu household.
The superstitious foolhardiness that considers crossing of the seven seas to an alien land as blasphemous stems from the same people who innocently and selflessly share food and water with complete strangers under the shell of “Athithi Devo Bhava”. Neither is it a religion with one God, one religious authority, one religious book or a set of commandments.
Idol worship is an easy way out. Contemplation of space as the supreme and channelizing faith, humility and trust towards nothingness is infinitely more difficult than imagining potency in a block of stone.
Amidst the chaos, I find peace. Surrounded by dirt, my soul feels cleansed. My head vibrates with the chanting. My feet circumambulate with the drumbeats. The central force of attention, attraction for undeterminable, inexplicable reasons for such a diverse but collective audience is a black granite stone. How can life not exist in it??
It just starts feeling right. It just starts to make sense. Collective hope gives birth to a God. Desperate desire to believe manifests His presence and the plea of a billion heartbeats for peace and joy gives a tangible form to His abode.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Thank You for setting me on this with that brilliant answer of yours.
If somebody were to ask you this question, “So, Kya chal raha hai life mein?”
In most cases your answer is akin to, “ Bas chal raha hai yaar. Tu bata.”
Ans: Life me bahut kuch ho raha hai..
- Returned from Poona, broke but stacked with clothes.
- Recently bought clothes look good on me.
- Conserving electricity by charging my mobile phone once in two days. (More out of forgetfulness than commitment to the cause but hey! Its all towards a cooler Dharti Ma!)
- Potty kabhi theek nahi hoti. Aur ab toh yellow bhi nahi ho rahi.
- Have been wanting to since a long time but finally did get around to buying myself a pair of high heeled slutty red peep toes.
- Bought MAROON colored sandals and worry about the fact that they wont go with most of my stuff.
- Shall wear the slutty ones even if they scream, “ What Were You Thinking???!”
- Bought purple oshos.
- Lost my best pair of boots. My first pair of boots.
- No, this is not a blog on shoes.
- Yes, Mine would be the biggest and most varied garage sale.
- Lifestyle has some good stuff if you can live with the fact that hundreds of women around you are wearing the same stuff as you.
- Appraisal money came in. Forced to believe in Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zaroorat hai.
- Saving up for the Himachal Trip. Saving up for Bali as well. Actually just trying to save. Paise bachte hi nahi!
- “Backup Guy for Marriage” # 4 has been finalized. We shook on it. (And unlike Phoebe, he didn’t want anything more!)
- Backup Guy No 1 wants a promotion to “Will pro actively consider for marriage”. Gosh! I don’t think Im ready for that commitment yet!
- Gonna learn Kick Boxing.
- As usual was rude to the “Best Man in the planet” but secretly wish that this time he would not forgive me.
- Getting used to living with perpetual guilt and incapability to feel.
- THAT GUY proved to be the biggest jerk in the history of mankind, nay even before mankind was considered being conceived.
- But still gotta acknowledge, “Great body!" "Great looks!” Not on talking terms with him.
- Currently reading Amartya Sens, "Argumentative Indians."
- Met Kay Kay Menon. In love with Kay Kay Menon. Not sure if that’s how his name is spelt.
- Get unbelievable cravings for
The new Cornetto. Cream and Hot chocolate sauce and vanilla scoops on soft melting chocolate cake.
- Cravings are more often than not satisfied.
- Praying for my sister.
- Have stopped eating rice.
- Started running regularly. Not a pushover in the gym anymore!
- Feel like a dance......holding hands..... silk and satin, moonlight and freshly hewn grass..... breeze and smell of wet earth.
- The hills are beckoning. Craving for the skies, undulating never ending hills, solitude…..peace.
- When will it rain?
- Want to get clicked. Black and white photograph, saree, kohl, gajra, choodamani, bangles…….. No I have not lost it.
- Have discovered that my calling lies in Travel and mixing drinks. I will be a DJ in motion. Modeejay!
“Ab Aap Sunao? Life mein kya chal raha hai?”
ps: There is no Erratica I.
No I did not vote.
With all the hullabaloo i create out of my...... verbiage( forgive me but what else do u call a whole a lot of words put together making no sense)... I never manage to actuate any change in life. Shucks. The "Empty vessels make more noise" adage fits the bill.
I cannot for the life of me understand as to what's all the fuss about Freida Pinto. Latest Hollywood heart throb?! Sexiest woman alive?! One of the Hundred most beautiful women today!What ya?
Sheesh! Never thought that "Girl next door" looks would actually be put on a pedestal and worshipped. She is ORDINARY looking. Just ordinary. Not above it or below it. (Cause both the former and the latter are capable of catching the limelight and attracting success and the babe in question has niether.)
I dunno. Me thinks its clearly a case of a nobody being at the right place at the right time now riding high on mass mania that has not found another subject for its attentions.
And whats with the orgasmic high the Media is receiving quoting her non fun, non interesting, non effervescent happenings?
Freida Pinto buying jewellery, lip locked in Isreal, signing up up more Angrezi productions.....Whats next?
When does she brush her teeth? When does she potty? If at all she can take time out of her busy schedule to do that? ISABGOL JINDABAD?
Just attended a presentation by two men in red ties, black suits, white shirts, black pants and shiny black shoes...... Whole lot of gas no concrete solutions, tea and biscuits later found the zeal to hmmmm and mmmhmmm with the others, though must admit that they knew a lot better about what they were hmmming and mmmhmmmming about.
Anyways what else cn you expect from a ___ grader!. Yeah appraisals ova, not exhilarated!
An engagement was broken, a marraige happened, She died and He is going to, slutted around with past and Dharamsala beckons.... what else is new??
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
H.: Soni, dekh toh hamari company se 15 logon ko nikaal diya hai. Apna Jignesh... uska bhi contract nahi milega. He was also sacked.
Me: Its is sad. We keep assuring ourselves that recession isnt being felt in India. But i guess thats really a sham.....
H.: Mere liye naukri dhoond toh. Tere bank mein koi vacancy nahi hai kya?
Me: Kya vacancy? Kya karega tu mere bank mein? Tujhe kya pata hai?
H.: I am sure you can refer me to your department heads.
Me: But Rana Pratap, I am in Risk Management which is a very specialised field. Tu kya jaanta hai Risk Management ke baare mein???
Two second pause....
H.: Soni, main Condom use karta hoon.....
Friday, March 6, 2009
We were having dinner with some guys and the conversation went from alcohol consumption to dwindling capacity for alcohol consumption to abstinence from liquor and non vegetarian food on some days to my frequenting the Babulnath temple on Mondays. (Babulnath FYI: dedicated to Lord Shiv built by the great Raja Bhimdev. A shrine whose mystery and enigma make it look distinctly out of place in the bubbling cosmopolitan uber chic of South Mumbai).
I go there every Monday. One of the guys nonchalantly blessed me with a great husband since he thought that I am following the austere custom of fasting every Monday for 16 weeks in hopes of a Sapno Ka Rajkumar whose company I would be blessed to endure for the next Saat Janams.
Me: “Hello! What the hell made you think that!.”
I was irritated by the fact that something that I do so selflessly, so wholeheartedly, for my own peace should be attributed to yet another tangible want.
Me: “I don’t go there to ask for a unknown, unseen stranger to come into my life to finally make it meaningful and justify my existence on the planet, as according to you guys, MY life as it were has been bereft of the aforementioned phenomena”
A Boy: ‘So why do you go there?’
Me: Because…… I like Shiv Bhagwan. He is innocent to a fault, brave, powerful, kind, forgiving, generous, gregarious, virile, strong, tender, esoteric….. I like that place. I like…..it.
Another Boy: So you go there hoping and in anticipation that you would also find someone like him. Rite?
Me: Well semi right……Id love that my “utopian” guy be adorned with all these qualities but that’s not why I go there.
A boy: The why go to Babulnath Mandir. Why not any other temple?
Me: Oh for Chrissake. I like it there!. I don’t know as to why out of a three million Hindu Gods, I choose to go to a temple dedicated to one of them. It just makes me feel good. I like it there! (I have started getting rhetorical and they have started loosing interest. Fergie and her number “Shut up, Just Shut up Shut up” is now occupying their attention.
Another Boy: And why go there on a Monday? Why not any other day?
Me: Because a Monday is supposed to be Shivas day.
Another Boy: ‘Crap! Any day is Shivas day. You just go there because you feel that going there religiously every Monday, practicing abstinence, climbing those umpteen number of stairs is the right thing to do. A customary feel good “Prayashchit (Penance) that you do to assure yourself that you are still a good girl. (Why the reassurance?) Unaware but still rooted to image of the traditional Indian Girl who follows customs and rituals to the letter. The middle class, virtuous Indian girl whose mind since childhood has been fed with ideals like: “A pious life = Presence in Heaven. Good Deeds, service to the poor = Road to Nirvana, freedom from the cycle of birth and death. 16 Somvaars = Great Paati, Rich Pati, Great Shaadi, Khoob Saare Bache and Happily Ever After.
You want to be a Power Woman, the sole definition of a perfect woman. The woman who delivers Sales presentations by the day and the parties hard at night. The woman who jet sets from one client meet to another and yet manages to look fresh as a Daisy. The woman who has had twins but still had the bod of a Hoorie. The woman who seduces her guy clothed in satin and silk and the next morning takes his Mom out for shopping. The woman who argues for freedom of sexual expression by quoting examples from our scared texts. Don’t you ever get tired? So many roles, so many facades……
You are a hypocrite. You know why? On one hand you parade for sexual freedom and on the other are miffed when a guy does not find you “marriage material”. On one hand you dress to give every guy on the scene a hard on and on the other hand want respect and mutual liking to be the foundation for initiating any kind of relationship. Sipping a Dirty Martini, flicking ash from a Benson Lights, in clothes that leave little to the imagination you maintain that you don’t want to be judged. Why bother about being judged if you are as liberated and as independent from peoples opinions as you think yourself to be. You want a guy to get into your pants, seduction, enticement, manipulation, coerced attraction all play a part to get you what you want If a guy wants to get into your pants and God forbid you want to “hold hands only”, then He is labeled a Dickhead and You the injured party. Forget the fact that for majority of Indian males, “letters to the Penthouse” and “playboy” have been the major if not only outlets of suppressed sexuality.
Bull crap that you go to Babulnath because……. "You like it there!”
Sorry. I didn’t mean to get personal. I am four drinks down and am just bitching about the fairer sex in general and for the record, I like my women on top!’
Star Movies that was airing Psycho saved the remainder of dinner. He has however set me thinking.
In a perennial battle of values and ideals am I forgetting to be ME?
Torn between being a rebel and the perfect daughter do I even stop to think of what I really want?
Mouthing F*** You, MC, BC at the slightest pretext, would I get uncomfortable if I were judged as loose?
I do want Shiv as my Husband. By wishing that, do I stand downgraded to the status of a “confused, desperately wanting to fit in wanabe?”
My life is on the fast lane. But I don’t want to be judged.
Am I really free??
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
In the train-Mumbai Central, Grant Road, Charni Road and Marine Lines pass before I reach Churchgate. There, among the multitudes, I walk head held high, shoulders erect, stomach sucked in and a practiced smile on my face. I see tired eyes and eager smiles, hunched shoulders and hastening heels, mobile phones and silent stares, aimless loitering and purposeful strides. How many of them are hurting inside I wonder. For how many millions is the hysteria just bubbling beneath the surface? I have established camaraderie with the routine and the mundane, you know. They dont irk me anymore.
If it werent for them I would be celebrating my depression every morning with addiction and escapism. When there is work to attend, trains to catch, reports to be prepared, meals to be had, indolence and lassitude to be embraced, bills to be paid, maids to be worried about, gyms to be visited, facials to be had, temple Gods to be appeased, the idiot box to be satiated; unhappiness and unfulfilment do not knock with the same persistence.
Iam happy, I have the boring to fall back on. Yes it is my support system.
And then, there are the good times..... when I ran with thousands from the city, cheered by thousands in the city, when we just talk till wee hours in the morning, when S makes dal and i make the curry and we have it watching melodrama unfold in the idiot box, when friends come over and decibels and spirits both run high, when I get to watch dreams woven in technicolor every week, when I saw that I lost 800 gms in one week, when choclate can be had guilt free, when i saw the sun rise in Daman, when we got lost in Goa with stray dogs and empty fields for company, when i cuddled baby Shaurya in my arms, when I saw sun light breaking on the Nanda Devi, when I dipped in the gorgeously green river Kosi, when I bought the amazingly hot saree...... when I know I can pen down my mania.....
I am jubiliant in bits and pieces, dispairing in shards. This city.... has jolted me so upright, i can never slouch anymore!!!The city gets on to you... like no other does.... takes u to the precarious and brings u back saying, "Its ok kid... lifes not that bad!".
You Know, my necklines have got deeper, my collar bones more taught, my curves trimmer, my nights longer, my addictions wilder, my cheekbones more pronounced but my eyes..... drier.
I dont have the nook of your arm to sleep on.......but sleep still comes, a trifle later than usual but nevertheless it is blissfully peaceful.
Strange as it may sound, I like going to bed with Baali by my side and Psychedallic trance blasting my eardrums!!