Wednesday, July 30, 2014

That dot on the world map

Earthen floors, maybe clay even. Lamplight, flickering but not eerie, casting warm shadows on uneven stone walls, smooth to the touch nevertheless. Inside the room, the lamp makes everything yellow, orange, amber, brown. Its light is bright enough to make the outlines of the objects in the room visible, but not bright enough for individual colours, textures, to be seen clearly. A thin curtain separates this little oasis of light from the rest of the world. Outside, the night hasn't yet surrendered to dawn and the sky and the world shift between shades of blue, as if uncertain whether it's time for light or darkness. There are no trees outside, only bare mountains, rock and stone, but beautiful in a hard way and not inhospitable. Inside, on the cool floor, a cold breeze rippling across the room, I sit crosslegged, covered with some kind of dark, woollen shawl or robe, only my face uncovered as I drink hot, spicy, unfamiliar tea through a small earthern pot.

For years, this image has fixed itself in my mind. Where it came from, I cannot say. Perhaps from a short movie clip watched between forty winks. Or a figment thrown up my the imagination, on reading a piece of writing somewhere. I don't know where it springs from, but it stays and fills me with a longing I can't describe. It makes me want to go to places with exotic names like Istanbul and Samoa and Casablanca. Hell, even Goa will do at this point. But I won't get that tea, will I?

I need a vacation.    

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Those few words

Everybody gets to hear them at some point. Before job interviews and first dates, while writing scholarship essays and before meeting prospective spouses. Just be yourself, darling, they're told.

Me; not so much.

I get pearls like, "Don't use long words and scare him off", "Don't make fun of anybody", "Maybe you should tone down the bitchy a notch", "Don't be sarcastic and intimidating, you know - don't be all... you."

A quick survey of my immediate social circle reveals that people think I'm loud, abrasive, sarcastic, cynical, overbearing, domineering, sapiosexual (oh thank you, sweet Jesus!), high-maintenance, blunt, semi-attractive (despite all this, apparently), not as cool as I think I am, evil, weird, a hard-assed feminist. If one colleague is to be believed, barely a woman at all*.

An overwhelming majority of people also assure me that I shouldn't worry because I will find the man, all the above points notwithstanding. They do not even consider the men I have been with so far. I take heart in that, as you can imagine. Because if so many people are saying it, then there simply MUST be a guy out there who's intelligent and charming and nice who is actually a closet emotional masochist because he prefers sarcastic, bitchy feminists who're high-maintenance and weird.

Yeah, I can believe that. What? You can't? REALLY??? Shocking.

* He once asked me, "So whom would you date in our office, if, you know, you were a woman?"

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Meena Kumari Syndrome

I've been thinking, about nothing in particular, and everything in general. The outlook is rather grim, for some reason. I'm not very clear as to what that reason is. I suspect it is more because of self indulgence than any concrete malady. So, now, I obviously have to over analyze it. Goodness, this blog must be the most mixed up collection of pap in the world. Or maybe not. Lets not be presumptuous so early in the night. I almost never blog in the morning. That's because I'm almost never up. But that doesn't mean that I can't, does it?

Sorrow, pain, misery. It has some sort of strange glamour attached to it. The songs that touch us the most are the ones that speak of loss, and unrequited emotions, and what could have been. I've heard people talk of migraines as if just the act of suffering a migraine is one of martyrdom that somehow makes them deeper, more intense people. I suffer from it. It does make me superior to others. Talking about something else just look at that very astute index of human emotions, the Facebook profile. So, what did you learn from your past relationship? More often than not, never to trust anyone ; girls, in particular, seem to be the most heinous offenders of the heart. Its a not too obtuse way of hinting at a broken heart, a tragedy that lends some texture to life. I call it the Meena Kumari Syndrome(MKS). That esteemed lady made a career out of speaking in a low, sad voice and drinking along. I've always laughed , yes secretly ,at people lost in sorrows of their own making. Laughing on their faces gives them an opportunity to feel misunderstood, and the pain just keeps increasing. MKS induces a belief that only morons are happy, that being sad is an intellectual statement. Why, though? Why must one be deep and intense? If you're inherently superficial (oxymoron alert), why can't you be like that? Why wear misery like a badge of honor?

Recently, it looked like a variant of MKS had come to bite me. This particular variety of the disease makes one angsty and blue for no particular reason, and manifests in a huge jump in the number of thoughts whirling around in the brain, till the head wants to explode and the heart wants to take a nap. The only reason that seemed to justify this bout of the blues was that my plan wasn't working out. Which plan, you ask? The Plan. The outline of what life is supposed to be like, the one that I'd worked out at sixteen, which was going horribly awry. All evening I tortured myself (and others) being listless and listening to bad music, loitering around the hostel talking to myself. Today I decided that I'd had enough. I wrote down The Plan on a sheet of paper, and threw it out in the trash. Symbolism, very profound. I don't care, The Plan can take a hike in the garbage truck. If I'm gonna be inflicted with MKS, I'm gonna own up to it and not hide behind silly reasons like The Plan. And the next time you ask if anything's wrong, and I say nothing's wrong, and continue to mope anyway, you'll know that I'm telling the truth. It is precisely 'nothing' that makes me sad most often. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to my music. Some things are sacred.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fiction, Dear All

Love is bandied around too much. The word, stupid. You don’t need to love to say the words. But I did. You remember that schmaltzy song, the one which said ‘Love was when I loved you’? I did love you, enough to know that you needed me. Even when you kept lying to my face.

Stop crying now. Don’t be a whiner. She’s gone, she won’t come back. Your tears are no magic elixir of life. I sent her away for good this time. I’m always the one doing the hard things to keep us together. But it’s nice that you need me that way.

No, you only thought that you loved her. How could you, when your heart was so full of me? I just had to make you see it. She kept getting in the way. Tenacious, I’ll give her that. Made me almost regret what I had to do to her. But then, I had to get you.

What do you mean by that? Of course this is love. Yes, it’s vengeance too. What makes you think the two are different? Vengeance is just love gone bad. You know how love feels when it changes? Like a light inside you that suddenly turns into an inferno. You’re always burning, keeping it from the world, but smouldering inside. Your heart turns black, but the love/vengeance keeps it alive till it consumes everything around. The weak ones let it destroy them. But you know how strong I’ve always been.

Yes I know you tried telling me that you didn’t feel the same way. At first I believed you. I actually felt my heart break. Spent a few days crying, thinking nothing was going to be the same. But then I realized that it wasn’t true, couldn’t be true. And the world righted itself again. Now look what I’ve done to you. I’ve turned you into what I was for those few days for which there is no forgiveness. Your tears, I’m actually enjoying them.

Let go of her hand, its cold already. Let’s sit here and enjoy the view. It’s the least you can do for me, after all I did for you. But then, my darling, you were totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spring again

I love this time of the year because the air feels like silk over your skin. The wind still retains a little bite, and the nights are perfect for long-winded stories and remembrances of a softer time. This time of the year has always been amazing, because there always was a book to be finished in the sweet sun gazing through the curtains, exams to be done away with and meeting friends again. There always was the first smell of mud and then of the spring lilies. 

I remember my mother being good with plants. Putting down new roots, adding here, pruning there. Organic fertilizer, and lots of love. Chrysanthemums and snowballs, forget-me-nots and dahlias, gladioli and daisies. Home grown tomatoes and mint leaves, flat beans from the garden in the balcony. Fragrance in spring; sharp and piquant, mellow and soothing. Bursts of color amidst seas of green, celebrating life in the only way that mattered.

Life turned brown for so long in between that I stopped looking for spring. The seasons mattered only in as much as whether to complain about the heat or cover up against the cold. There was no space to plant a bit of me, and no will to either. And then, in the year where everything else seemed to be going wrong, spring showed up. There are plants in the campus around which are beginning to sprout the first flowers of the year. The mango tree is loaded with beautiful maturing flowers, a mixture of dew green and white. I can imagine the front yard of my house is filled with potted plants, all crowned with the most beautiful blooms, my mother’s devotion. My fingers are itching to get some mud on them.

In so many ways, professionally and otherwise, this is the worst quarter of year I'm having. Looking for the ideal job is always less interesting than it sounds. The only people who know about your awesomeness and amazing work ethic are those you already know. And yet, I can't seem to get too worried about it just yet. Someone will hire me to do something I love, someday soon. Till then, the world is green again and that will do.

Why I write this ?

so you finally want to know. Well very often I have a writer's block. I am over burdened by my own thoughts. Sometimes i do take the pain of puttin them up, mostly i do not. This is a peek-a-Boo of what i see, what i feel and what i want you to know. Bear with me! Happy reading!