Friday, December 31, 2010

sin-ster

okay..so this song is like a terribly sexy song. and ever since i heard it on the soundtrack of "love actually" it's driven me crazy. it's what inspired me to write the piece below. i hope it reminds you of that someone or something that reduces you to nothing. i say something, cos right now in my life, sin and temptation only pertains to oreo cookies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAwFFRd8xO0&feature=related
listen to it while you read it :D

It's sin and you know it very well. And you know better that you're going to give into it. There could be hell to pay. You dangle the choice like loose change in your pockets. Your breath is a demented prisoner, caught somewhere, tangled and mangled in its own delirium. The blinding flash of desire. You let your self melt away into the moment. Doubling over with want. Your fingers chase the restless spiders in your hair and an icicle makes its slow, painful progress down your spine. Deafening pounding in your ears and your chest tightens till you think you'll explode with what you contain within yourself. sweet lust. the buzz in your head and your silly palpitating heart, flailing like a fish out of water. that delicious moment. words reduce your stomach to water. will becomes a weak would. knees made of melting wax and veins flowing with white heat. better than chocolate. better than ice cream. better than the warm amber of whiskey. forever waits like a foolish lover in the rain. the moment is all you know and you care. and you felt alive, like never before! The moment you touched.

Hell hath no fury like the types of me scorned

I'm in trouble. Big trouble. No I'm not pregnant with the immaculate conception. Christmas is over people! Enough with the falalalala spirit, already! Ok-hey….this is how it goes.
Recent events have seriously jeopardized my status as chief family rebel. Okay maybe not chief… but certainly vice-president rebel. i, who was supposed to make people gasp their entrails out by doing something scandalous is now being looked at askance by the younger lot. My parents are just waiting for the cue to breathe their sigh of relief. Well they have been holding their breaths for three years now. And now, with some people doing the i'm-a-rat-i-desert-this-ship act, my folks have all the reason to see hope in me. OH NO. how does that make me feel? it makes me feel THREATENED. Like a tiger who's misplaced his dentures. What will they expect me to do next? Jump over hoops of fire? Oooh ..that appeals to the dramaqueen in me. Like you know, hoops of fire being a metaphor for arranged marriage, into which I'm expected to make the leap of faith …..ooh too much! And then what? Fall flat on my face? WHAT THE HELL! JesusMaryJoseph..what have i become? There's every chance that I could wind up being a shining example!! Like the conduct-chart superstar I was with. And that is quite mortifying you know! Mum holding the ex as an example to be emulated. Suddenly the enemy is the golden boy? "See look at him. Such a nice boy. Listening to his parents and giving them no grief" Ooohlalallala….rub it in my face like it's a facial, won't you? See the thing is, when a boy or a girl comes across as a family boy or a family girl, there's every chance that they're a HIS FAMILY guy or a HER FAMILY girl. Which means D.U.M.P.E.D for those foolish enough to be in a relationship with them.

So what went wrong here? The person or the event that was supposed to make my dad turn around and glower like the armless dude in Sholay (with the requisite jang-jang-jang music in the background) and make my mum put her hands to her head and cry out "Naaaahi" like Hema Malini, turned tail and chickened out. Squawk Squawk. And is now brand ambassador for the matrimonial columns. Soon we might be subjected to the privilege of seeing his mug (with the missus, of course) with curly-wurly fonts proclaiming them to be a success story in the newspaper. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Mr. and Mrs. Dutiful son. Such a story for a film! NOT.

Things have come to pass that even my friends have dared to mention the "A" word to me. Not adults-only, you dimwits. ARRANGED MARRIAGE!!!!! and some more exclamation marks, if you please. My little cousin, she asks me straight out, "Are you going to embarrass us all by going for a typical manoramamatrimonials marriage? Nanakaedu. (which translates into For Shame! Only thing is, in Malayalam, like most things in Malayalam, the effect is multiplied by the gazillion - that it's strong enough to peel paint) Arranged marriage are for wimps, man. Marriage should come with plenty of drama. "No certainly not" "She's older than you" "He's younger than you" "I won't consider it..not with someone who doesn't belong to our faith" "Whaaaaaat? you want to marry an infidel?" "Are you saying you want to marry a terrorist?" "But she's of a lower caste!! Certainly not..especially when the sun shines out of our caste's ass." "Out of the question..she's a she and you're a she!! HAVE YOU LOST IT!!" (I don't know why, but as i'm writing this, I've got this eerie deja vu. I suspect, that it COULD be because this has been my pet subject for a while now… nah i don't think so.) So my problem is…. I have a reputation to maintain. The scalp scalloping red indian CANNOT turn into a missionary priest. the very thought gives me diarrhea. All of you dear people..appeal to the gods and the forces that be…that such a cruel and mortifyingly embarrassing fate will not be mine!

Sorry about bringing up the tiger example again. It IS getting a little repetitive, I know. But as long it doesn't lead to more dwindling tiger numbers, I don't see what's the harm in using its name in vain…which by the way, isn't in vain, cause i'm making a parallel to myself. That would make me vain, wouldn't it….. eerrrr…where were we? Oh yes, the tiger. So all these years, I've made a lot of noise and gung-ho and played the you-can't-tame-me-cause-i'm-a-feral-feline act. And now after all that dolby-effect, mighty roaring and show of claws, if I meow like a little kitten and jump on someone's lap waiting to be stroked? How am I supposed to live that down? (Speaking of which, I wonder if a grown cat ever gets over the childhood trauma of being a playful little kitten)
So if i do end up this way, this post is my anticipatory penance slash bail. Cause, like they say, Que. sera sera! damn you sera..whoever you are.


P.S: And yes, after a brief sabbatical, the sarcastic bitch is back!

Monday, December 6, 2010

i miss the sea

The sea reached out to me like a benevolent mother. The ebb and surge of the tide were notes of her ceaseless lullaby. Somehow she knew where I hurt and she reached out to those places with certainty but without presumption or brashness. Standing on the promenade, I was a hesitant child – knowing well that my precious hurt was but a particle in her dark fathoms. But when the sea sings, you cannot but listen. She holds the burden of livelihoods, the demands of plunder and the prayer of hope. And the infiniteness of death.
Her constant disquiet can still even the severest disturbance. With the mellifluousness of poetry, she awakens the deadened soul, thaws the numb heart and restores the sense of wonder with her cache of simple treasures. The whiteness of the sand that meets the water with open arms, the exhilaration of the sweet-tinged breeze as it skims the sea’s surface, the inviolate, creamy hearts of the sea shells. The purple flowers that grow silent and voluptuous – a sensuality of which sweetness hasn’t been drained out yet. The silence that only the sea gull’s cry, distant foghorn echoes and fisherfolk sound can be. They go on around you, but all you hear is the sound of stillness inside you as your distraction folds its wings like a bird retiring to roost. The sea always heals. And I left her side with the taste of her salty kiss on my lips.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

blindness

The bat is blind. It nevertheless traverses the night sky, swooping from tree to tree in search of nectar, it sucks the flowers dry of. Unfeeling, they settle upside down, violating the flowers in their 69 positions with the insufferable stench of their breaths. Their rat claws imprison the flowers in a dirty old man’s caress. The flowers wilt and die. But the bats see nothing for they are blind.

The lamp post is blind. It stands with spectral stillness, unseeing and unfeeling. Outside the pool of yellow, viscous light it sheds, unmentionable things happen. It casts shadows outside its territory. Shadows where the sadness of events long past lurk like dangerous men in alleyways. Woe be you if you step into the night alone. The lamppost sees not the shadows it creates. It’s oblivious to the medium it becomes to the darkness. For can there be shadows without light? Outside its halo under which moths fly like disoriented owls blinded by the sun, infinite hurt forms an energy field that nullifies even the smallest happiest thought. It presses against your chest and rings in your ears. The black clouds your eyes and permeates into your soul. They stick to you like leeches, slipping into your shoes, into your collars, inside elastic bands, inside you. Going straight for your heart. Yet the lamppost sees nothing. For it is blind.

Love is blind. It is sometimes a blind samurai. Brave, proud but still blind. Sometimes it’s a blind whore. It sometimes reveals its tits to the most inappropriate people, like the priest, the adolescent schoolgirl or even other blind people. Then, love goes purely by the sense of smell. It can smell the pink of vitality, it can smell the purple of a bruise and the red of lust. Sometimes love is a blind whore, who opens her body wantonly to anyone who can pay. It doesn't matter if they are not in her league. She cannot see. But most times, love is a blind thief. A mean, old blackguard who steals things when you aren’t looking and breaks you when you’re asleep in its arms. A thief who takes without needing. One who takes whatever it can lay its hands on. It stuffs hair from drains into its bag, it pockets stale flowers, it steals hearts right out of people’s chests and forgets where it left them. Leaving behind an empty, vacant void of a void. Hearts it has no clue what to do with, but steals them all the same. A blind thief who goes by audio cues. It listens with the ear of an animal. Keen to every sniff that punctuates a paragraph of tears, pouncing on every sigh and grabbing every piece of a heart as it begins to crumble. Vulnerability. Weakness. It strikes in the giddy blindness of a kiss. It drops a blanket over your head. Knocks you senseless and very carefully carves your heart out. You’ve lost it forever. And you try to fill the void of a void with tears. But even if he so desired, it cannot restore your heart back to you. Love knows neither who you are nor which heart belongs to you. For love is blind.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

who moved my processes?

One day I died. And I found myself in front of the pearly gates with nothing more than a rosary and a whole lot of “I’m dead now, I’m so cool” attitude. I marched right over to St. Peter who looked like a frazzled flight attendant and less like the HR head of Heaven that he was. I had every reason to expect a grand reception in heaven. In my opinion I was nothing less than a perfect angel, an example-to-be-emulated daughter, a wonderful friend and so on and so forth. That other people begged to differ was and is of no relevance to me. I didn’t pore over those self help books and morale-boosting literature for nothing, hell-oo! (I should find a new way to spell that. Won’t do to mention hell in heaven and all. Not very politically correct.) So when St. Peter gave me a surly look and asked me if I had my papers in place, it came as a rude shock to me? “It’s very well that you’re dead and all, but there are processes to this place.” he said with a smug government-official face. PROCESSES-o? Shock was to my inherent malluness, what super-effective laxative was to unrelenting bowels – a sudden appearance situation and a lot of embarrassment. How did processes find me in eternal life? I have evaded processes and successfully so, most of my life. That would make me something of a helter-skelter with less organizational skills than a spilt bag of marbles. But still! It has no business following me to paradise. I heard somewhere that hell is living through your one mistake or failing or whatever, day in and day out for the next one million years or so also known as perpetuity (apparently, I should have listened more to this know-it-all) So if someone with ice-creamophobia is judged to eternal damnation, his hell would be filled with giant ice cream scoops of pink and white and brown and honey nut crunch and all the 31 Baskin Robbins flavours. That sort of a thing. But I’m in heaven. What’s processes doing following me to heaven? I must meet the redressal forum.

That’s when I noticed a longer line than I had seen at any passport office or embassy or ration shop or BEVCO outlet extending all the way from the Pearly Gate No. 2 to kingdom come. What’s more..this line had a strange homogeneity to itself. There were only women in white bridal gowns and men in monkey suits. It would have looked like a mass wedding if it weren’t for their noses stuffed with cotton. So then I stopped and asked an attendant angel who looked as bored as a government office peon, “It’s true then? God is a Catholic God after all?” To which he gave me a “Where the hell are you from anyway?” look, followed by a “What else can I expect from a stupid mortal, anyway!” look. With exaggerated patience that DID NOT become a seraph, he tells me, “This is the Catholic gate, you fool.” He then took a look at my white gown “Oh Catholic, eh? Did they like give you last rites? Personally, to me these duds who have their last rites in place are worse than prima donnas. They think they can just wave their certificates in our face and we’ll be impressed. As if! It’s not like they donated an organ or something. Now that would speak for something! They just don’t get it that we have processes (there’s that horrid word again) in this place.”

Considering that there wasn’t much love to be lost between us, I ventured, “So why do you have processes in here?” He glared at me and I honestly thought I had received a look that COULD kill and would be burnt to a crisp. But I remembered that I was dead and I couldn’t be crisped and so I glared back at him. “Because of the way He is. Don’t you know God’s schizo, man? The old fellow’s been around for a really long time. And you dimwits on earth don’t make things easier for him. You silly mortals think ‘aah my God is THE GOD. My religion rocks. blah blah blah’. Conveniently forget that you’re supposed to know that there’s only one of Him around for several billion intergalatical eras, which, by the way, is all of space and time. So you go about inventing new religions every week. One day if He’s wearing his strange Yahweh nightgown, the next day He’s got his Buddha cornrows, then the next He’s all thou-shalt-this-and-that and then He’s all Holy Spiritey and then yet another day He’s the great Jihad propagandist, then sometimes He’s an absolute nuisance dancing all over the place and spouting rivers from the top of his head. Sometimes He just gets silly and wears His Elvis suit. The devil, lucky devil, he’s just the devil. Always was, is and always will be the Devil. Our Dude has so many names. It’s confusing” The angel’s sounding really resentful here and I’m thinking “I’m screwed. No way he’s going to let me jump the processes. A resentful angel will not give me a processes break. And as if he’s read my mind, he says in a voice that reminds me of being deep fried in coconut oil, he continues, “So why don’t you get in line? Please remember that we process only one entry at any given time. We have over 15,000 gates, one for each religious sect. Ha ha… our revenge for your schisms. One entry would require a complete assessment of the life they’ve lived. Then our computer of computers will tally their numbers and we’ll slot them on the basis of credits and discredits. Then St. Peter will review their papers. And we decide if they go to heaven or hell or get recycled and sent back to earth. Recycling is tricky, cos sometimes memory isn’t erased properly and they remember things from their past life and end up institutionalized for being delusional or a schizo. But then again, you mortals deserve it all that’s coming to you. For making us up here look like complete jackasses who can’t implement the greater good. The Devil can’t get his smirk off and that’s just embarrassing. That Perry pastor incident was such a dreadful fiasco. It was an evangelical pie in our faces. And you know what He had to say about it? “THIS I’ve got to see”, that’s what He said. We even had some minor disagreements in here. Muslim souls vs. Christian souls.” I think my eyes must have glazed over cos his voice gets all clipped and he says, “So why don’t you get in line, hmmmm?” “But this could take forever” I wailed! To which he said “like you’re going somewhere huh? FYI (for the record, I don’t like angels who FYI me) this IS forever. Oh imagine an Afghani with a skull cap and a beard and speaks no English trying to clear immigration at Newark? Multiply the time he’d take to do so into 10. That’s about the time you’d take to enter the pearly gates. My dear child this is the heaven of heavens and belongs to the God of gods, what else can you expect here but the process of processes?”

*the word processes gets my goat, cow and my entire barnyard. I CAN’T STAND THE WORD. It drives me insane when someone brandishes the word in my face. I’d rather have someone call me a ditzy mindfuck than have them tell me mind my processes. Therefore this post.
** God here, is all those versions of God people seem to have. My God on the other hand wears no nightgown, yawns while He listens (attentively, nevertheless) to mass, inspires people to do cool things like invent Bose speakers, write songs like Stairway to heaven, make awesome movies and fudge and cheesecakes and stuff like that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

tragedy!

I am going to find each and every filmmaker of the late seventies, eighties and early nineties. Separate the ones who have made love stories from those who have not and kill the former. Yes, you heard me. Kill them in cold blood. Why? They’ve fed our parents a whole lot of ill-fated love and unhappy endings that parents believe that all love stories must end in tears. Thus the drama unfolds at home. “Mother, father I love somebody” “Whaaaaaat?” Mother bursts into sobs. Father growls so well that the Doberman considers retirement and starts to squeak instead. “What did you say you wretched thing? Is this what we sent you to college for? Is this gratitude for all that we have done for you?” At this point the mother hits her chest and then hits the girl/boy in question. “Whoa, let’s get a grip here shall we? I just confessed to being in love. Not butchering the priest and wearing his intestines around my head cos it’ll make me immortal.” If parents react like this to a confession of being in love, how would they react if I HAD butchered the priest and wore his intestines around my head because I thought it would make me immortal? I bet it would make for a scene in some Ram Gopal Varma movie. Hell, I'm not even in love with the priest! Now I know why directors thank their parents over and over again in award acceptance speech. “Thank you for filling my life with so much drama that has always kept me inspired to make all these movies that fill the audience with so much hopelessness that they want to kill themselves with a pencil sharpener.”
This is all the influence of the movies. Ironically, while I was growing up I heard a lot of “life isn’t what you see on TV.” “Really now? YOU don’t say!” is all I can say, in retrospect, of course.
So now that the confrontation is over and it all looks pretty much useless, I must now cry and throw myself on the bed and bawl my eyes out that I look less like me and more like a basset hound. These are very important lessons. Pay attention. There is a method to everything. So all these movies. I was watching a perfectly wonderful movie the other day. Chithram, for all you Malayalees out there. It kept me laughing throughout. And finally when the heroine and hero take the trouble to fall in love, we discover the hero is a fugitive and he’s slated for, not surgery, not imprisonment, but for fucking capital punishment. The end. Finito. Ever got a resounding slap after being ticked to death? Same feeling! Now what was the point of the movie? Other than leave you with the same feeling a balloon feels when it discovers it’s got a hole somewhere. Inevitable deflatedness.
My mum used to love “Ek dujey ke liye” as a young woman. That horrid, lurid Romeo and Juliet-esque movie where the heroine gets raped and dies and the hero goes and dies as well or something, gets her all dewy eyed. Till date. If that isn’t bad news for me, I don’t know what is. And she speaks absolutely NO Hindi, mind it. So what is it about the whole movie that’s gotten her fancy? ILL FATED LOVE!! God and all the residents of heaven, ..whatever happened to the 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 thingamajig on love, huh? Like love is forever, so all who stands in its way fries KFC-style in hell, hmmm? Not in the Bible? Dang! Just when I thought I was getting somewhere with the scriptures. All the fault of these stooopid film makers. They should have stuck to their “Meri paas maa hai-dishum dishum” routines. All the shaking flowers and the butterfly wings and lovers behind them should have NOT happened. And while I’m at it, I’d also like to ask, why are the modern-day heroines falling in love with either terrorists or vampires? Whatever happened to normal men? Oh, I forgot, they don’t exist. Might as well fall in love with a tyrannosaurus rex in Jurassic Park. Now that would appeal to the family, I bet!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

lessons for a second woman

Scene 1
You. Me. She.
I. We. She.
She is the on
ly thing constant in this relationship, isn’t she? You and me, we’re just variables. Even when it’s about us, she takes predominance and precedence as the first person and we’re pushed into the third person. But that’s just how it is, isn’t it? It’s never going to be about us. It will, and always be, she and you. She’s always going to be the one. And I with be the other woman.
But ‘we’ happened. Deny it all you want. But we still happened. We weren’t supposed to, but since when do we go by the supposed to’s? Supposed. Suppose. A hypothesis. But we were real. A fact. History recorded. So all the pain I’m left with isn’t a theory. Nor is it imagined. It does not get less legitimate in the jurisdiction of all factual events. I’m entitled to this hurt. It holds valid.

Scene 2

“Do you love me?” “You know I can’t answer that.” “It’s a straight, honest question, isn’t it? Do you love me? Can’t you dignify it with a straight, honest answer?” “Sigh! Why don’t you just get it, woman? Why do you have to complicate things so? You knew what you were getting into. She was first. Before you. As much as I want to, I cannot change that. I can’t possibly hurt her, can I? And what she doesn’t know can’t hurt her, can it? You won’t tell her, will you? If you do, it’ll make her terribly sad. I’ll lose all I have that I call my own. How can you possibly be that selfish? Now why are you crying? You’re saying all this is my fault then? You didn’t seem to want it any less then. Now two years later, you’re acting so strange. You knew I was committed. But when you came into my life, I couldn’t help myself. Mistakes happen. No. I’m not calling you a mistake. Please be okay. Oh god! Please don’t cry. Please. I’m not calling you a mistake. It’s a huge mistake that we can’t be together. It’s a huge mistake we ever happened. But now that it has, I need you. But I can’t be with you. No, I can’t let go of you either. No, I won’t. How can you possibly do this to me? You have to be my good friend, someone I can always call. But I can’t give you me. Why are you complicating things so? Can’t we just let it be? Stop crying please. Or I’ll leave now. God, stop crying dammit. Fuck! My head’s about to burst. Stop it. Please. I can’t take this. Please. You know you mean a lot to me. Please. But I can’t be with you. I must marry her. I must be with her. I want to be. I don’t know. I must. God, my head is breaking. Must you be this difficult?”

Scene 3
Me in the mirror: You know you’re pathetic, don’t you?
Me on the outside: (Mumbling) “Yes, I do!”
Me in the mirror: Did you just admit to that? God you’re worse that pathetic, you know! You’re so far gone. (Mockingly mimicking) “Yes, I do!” Indeed!”
Me on the outside: (Begins to cry piteously)
Me in the mirror: “Stop crying, you wimp!”
Me on the outside: (Blubbering) “But I love him so much”
Me in the mirror: (Disgustedly) “You go cheap, don’t you? God! Don’t you have any self respect?”
Me on the outside: (Crying) “What’s with you? You want to kick me when I’m down? Is that it?”
Me in the mirror: (Softly) “You call yourself the other woman. Why would you do that? Get up, girl! You had nothing to lose. You aren’t the low life here. There are rules to this game, you know! You need to know that before you go baiting someone’s man.”
Me on the outside: (Interrupting) “But I wasn’t baiting. He came to me.”
Me in the mirror: “Yes! Yes! I know! The typical one thing lead to another. Yada yada. But Rule No.1 is never fall in love with somebody else’s man. Take him. Use him. Leave him. He’s nothing more than a condom. Now, who gets sentimental about a condom?”
Me on the outside: (Horrified) How can you call him that? He’s more than that. He’s a good person, and wonderful and kind….
Me in the mirror: (interrupting): “..And, yes… That’s why the two of you have first class tickets to the sunset, I suppose? My child, Someone gets used here. You or him. Your choice you gets to be the condom. No sense in turning a feel-good exercise into a crash course in self-loathing. So you are desirable! Great. Wow! Good for you. Believe me, a man like that isn’t a keeper. He’ll never know happiness if it spread its legs in front of him.”
Me on the outside: “Ugh!”
Me in the mirror: “Oh, now you want to go prude on me? You’re welcome to your heartache, Miss Prim, I’m-just-a-piece-of-flesh! Sit and cry for your douche bag for all I care. But I’m telling you, you need to get your lovely ass moving. There’s greatness to be achieved in this time you waste moping around. Look at you wasting your lovely but inevitably disappearing desirableness on this loser. Move on. Move on. Get your groove back on girl! Break some hearts, already?
Me on the outside: (Hint of a smile) “Thanks, I needed that. I try to tell myself this but I never listen you know.”
Me in the mirror: “Well I’m going nowhere. You know where to find me when you need some sense knocked into your head.”
Me on the outside: “Hey babe..we never got to rule no. 2.”
Me in the mirror: “Rule No. 2? I thought you’d never ask. There’s nothing much to Rule No.2. Show us some love, lady? Lean over and give us a kiss, hmmmm?”
Me on the outside: (To herself) “And just like that, as I leaned over to kiss my reflection, I learnt to love the person in the mirror before anything else.”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

holey moley

This morning I faced considerable amount of difficulty trying to down my breakfast. Without too much announcement, it just got lodged in my throat and unpleasantly so. I was like Godzilla with the Empire State Building stuck in its esophagus. I was grunting and groaning and making a noisy nuisance of myself. Not that I’m not a noisy nuisance otherwise, but why go into irrelevant details here? I tried all the conventional methods. Drinking water, stuffing my face even more, even tried gluing myself to those agonizingly mouthwatering cookery shows they have on Travel and Living so that a giant tidal wave of a gulp would send it down. Nothing.

Then I went online. And the headlines of the day knocks the bejesus out of me and my rest of my breakfast down my gullet. Ah, the magic of the daily headlines. It clears a safe and clean passage down your throat, so that food may be ingested the way it ought to be. Such, my dear friends, is the power of the daily headlines. So what was this all important piece of news that was of immense consequence that its ignorance threatened to make havoc in my breakfast’s normally predictable route to my tum tum? The state of Kareena Kapoor’s thighs. Yes you heard me. No, it’s not a new state in India, but the condition of her thighs. She’s got, .. Wait a minute, the dramatic gasp should come AFTER I tell you what the big deal is about, right? Not before. Sorry about jumping the gun there! Anyway.. she’s got cellulite! Now you may dramatic gasp here, if you please. Can you believe that? Can you believe this? Such decadence. Thank goodness for such eagle-eyed journalists who keep abreast with her thighs. Why give a damn about the ridiculous amounts of taxpayers money that will go as salary to those jokers we call MPs? Aaah…trifles, my dear, trifles. And boring trifles, at that. Some stuffy old men who are always dissatisfied. The bottom line is that Kareena’s Kapoor’s bottom is out of line. She is answerable for this and it’s our duty to bring her to book for such irresponsible, errant behavior. Shameful. That’s what it is. Cellulite, people. Of all the things. After all the time we spent praising her size zero. Think about the insult she’s giving yoga. So many centuries of our culture and heritage she’s defaming. Where is the culture police’s number? I have to call them now. Isn’t the credibility of yoga in pieces now? What will the foreigners think? How many of them must be cancelling their tickets upon seeing those cheese thighs up for brazen display in a miniskirt, crossing her legs too. The selfish, inconsiderate hussy. I shudder to think about the cataclysmic drop in tourism this is going to bring about and the consequences on our economy. Who wants to spend a lot of money and effort to twist themselves into a pretzel only to end up cheesed off? Not flattering and far from healthy, I say. The sheer callous irresponsibility. I’m thinking she should be debarred from the society of yoga. At least till she’s willing to face the pivotal role she has in endorsing our nation’s cult export. Thank God for Yahoo headlines. I could have missed out on something so important and relevant. To quote the worthy journalist “it’s not done for someone who claims to practise yoga”. Tsk tsk.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

girly love

Love is impatient. Love is unkind.
Love is a poison that weakens the mind
!



“No balls, that’s what it is!”, they snickered. They called him an indulgent lapdog. They mocked him and said that he was kept. They said he was a sissy and that he was bullied by her. They whispered behind his back and called him hen-pecked to his face. He couldn’t care less. When they felt threatened by her they told him that his bitch was out of control. They laughed at him for being indulgent and scoffed at him for not "keeping her in her place". They said he was foolish for trusting her. A wimp, her obeisant servant, her keep, her toy. Oh, what did they know? They ridiculed what they couldn’t have or understand. They questioned his manhood because he respected her and unlike them, didn’t keep his woman in a cage. He knew better. Insecurity was the eunuch's disease. Not his.



Him

He loved her. A demented sort of affection. Everyday his soul grew more gnarled and twisted with his love. It spilled into his breakfast cereal and burnt his dinners. It filled his soul with the smell of roses and touched him with the sweetness of a child's laughter. It began and ended with the simple wish of wanting to be a part of her life. To him, she was the possibility of knowing how much a man he could be. Any guy could take a woman, but she would only keep a real man. It kept him real. She kept him alive in ways he dared not count or scrutinize. It was his touchstone. It made him wretched with desire and yet, blessed. He could not keep his mind off her. No, that wasn't necessarily true. He very well could keep his mind off her. But he'd rather not. What was a couple of missed deadlines and jumped stop signals next to a thought to return to? It kept him focused and it distracted him. It kept him company during long journeys. It kept him going. It was his grace. He remembered his dreams with her. It made him smile. It gave him strength. It gave him something to look forward to. It was worthwhile. It kept him in good humour. It kept him happy.




Her

She loved him. An almost-complete, feral sort of affection. She could count the number of ways she loved him on her fingers and her toes. And then she would smile smugly to herself. Every day was alive with possibilities, ideas; buzzing with the potential being complete offered. He made counting her blessings a rather delightful exercise and she smiled rather smugly (again) after taking inventory. It made her smile smugly many times a day. She believed she’d earned it and she’d make the person who tried to ruin this for her very sorry. “Don’t you lie to me, or you’ll be sorry.” A contract of trust. Both undersigned. She was his equal. His other half. Soul mates. Partners. Better-worse. Patience-expectation. Anger-forgiveness. Love-love. It was her precarious balance. The closest she had come to prayer. It was her risk. It was her saving grace. It made her ridiculous. It kept her coming back. It set her free. It kept her grounded. It was good. It was bad. It was wicked. It was perverse. It was pure. It was foolish. It was absolute genius. It was wonderful. It was mundane. It was magical. It was the pits. It kept her sane. It kept her sweet.



Love is jealous. Love is a lousy bum.
Love is love and that’s fucking awesome!


Eve would have envied her. She knew that much. They hated her guts. The philistines. They called her vamp. Short for vampire. Shrewd, sexy, dangerous. Unattainable. Out of your league. So they came to drive a stake through her heart. Chop off her head and fill the mouth with garlic. They came with their holier-than-thou protests. "Witch. Witch. Bitch. Burn her at the stake." They grudged her his love. They grudged her his trust. They ridiculed him for standing by her. He did, as he always would. Yes, Eve would have envied her. Eve offered Adam the apple with hopes of him finding his manhood. Instead it lodged somewhere in his throat. Adam's apple. The legacy of denial, bequeathed to his kind; God's condemnation and damnation for not standing by woman. They shall know that you've not done right by your woman. So much for balls!

Friday, August 20, 2010

of axe murderers and crows nests and other strange things

Let me get this straight. I believe in the power of Gray skull and I believe in the power of Axe. But where do these guys get the idea that spraying themselves silly with enough deodorant to fumigate up to 10 sq.ft. of farmland will make them He-man (Or He-men? Or should it them-men? Oh, whatever) Yeah where do they get that silly idea? Oh, I forgot. They got that from the ads. Silly me! And I’m supposed to be in advertising. (For shame, Dannie, for shame!) But I wish these ads came with a teeny-tiny writing below “Stunts tried out by experts. Please don’t try this at home. Or at least before going to office.” Why do I wish this wish? Because of Axe abuse. Because I hate getting stuck in the lift, first thing before office with two (or, heaven forbid, more) morons dunked and drenched in f*****g Axe. It’s an ambush of the bloodiest kind minus the blood. It’s a veritable assault. It’s like being bludgeoned by an invisible, Axe-smelling bludgeon (duh!) right on the back of the head. So far the back of my head has proved to be the Axe-smelling bludgeon’s equivalent of a Viking helmet. I’ve not passed out till date. But it’s left me reeling and feeling rather lightheaded. It’s more like being stuffed headfirst in a sack (that’s not even very big, to begin with) and far, far from frenetic, rabid desire. Unless the desire to puke my guts out counts, of course. Now if you axe me. I beg your pardon.

Now if you ASK me, I have no idea why men like smelling like each other. Like cattle. How much variety do you think they could have? Why bring democracy under the armpits, in a very nonmetaphoric sense? Go on, experiment. It’s very, very confusing when you smell like each other. It’s worse when the whole world, right from the chaiwallah to the bus conductor and the creepy neighbour and the hunk in the ad smells the same. There you are minding your own business and then this invisible grenade blows your olfactory senses to bits. From there on, it’s a minefield, with Axe bombs going off at every corner. The Axe effect or should I say, the Axe trauma, begins right from high school, when boys stop running away from girls and start running towards them. At this tender age, they slowly turn from nice boys into mutant air-fresheners. Now how many of you girls get turned on by Odonil, hmmmm?

Today I saw an ad with a lot of boys sporting what can be best described as very-badly-made crows’ nests on their head. Looked like they slept on their hair all funny or like their hair was making rude faces and gestures. It turns out to be (surprise, surprise) an ad for gel or hair spray or something. Why would anyone want to consciously invest in bad hair days? Why? Why? Why? Maybe if I found the answers to these questions I just might find the secrets to conjugal bliss the wives in the detergent ads seem to know. And have college girls gasp at my youth and vitality as my neighbour’s kid (whom I have bribed, of course) comes running to me with arms wide open calling me “Mummmmmmmmmy.”

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ka-ching, bling bling

People. I HAVE NEWS. I’m rich. Yes. Very, very , fabulously, enviably rich. I’ve got lottery winnings coming in from my email, my mobile, my ears and my nose. Okay not my ears or my nose. But yeah! I’ve won so many pounds (like in British currency, not weight) followed by even more zeroes in the last 30 days. A real number followed SO MANY zeroes that it would just be plain tacky to count them! I’ve won a zillion from MSN and Yahoo sweepstakes. Then some billions from enterprises right from Japan to Brazil. Then enough from BMW to fill my entire street with their cars. Maybe I should talk to them about the exchange. I rather like the imagery of my entire street lined up with cars with the registration D@NN13. Actually BMW is in this “Take! Take! Dannie, take our money. Oh Dannie, please take our money” mode. I’ve won the lottery so many times. You’d think someone offering this much money wouldn’t be so desperate and particular about ONE person claiming their winnings. I mean I feel more special than Jesus, Neo and Buddha all put together. Cos I’m tha chosen one! I must have won that particular lottery like ten times by now. But in all honesty, it does feel like a bitchslap, cos I’m sitting on all this illiquid (read imaginary) money and in reality I have no job and am more broke than a Ming vase that crashed into a million pieces on the floor.

But technically I’m rich. Cos I have won more money in the last one month than Mukesh Ambani made in the same time period. Well if he made more, life is just not fair and I’m going to sue. Someone. Anyone. I have enough money. So what do I do with all this money?

Maybe I should mindlessly spend it on Louis Vuittons and Guccis and Jimmy Choos and all those fancy names I haven’t bothered learning how to pronounce, because the chances of me asking for them over the counter is like, umm, improbable! Until now, i.e! But nyeaaah, I don’t think so. Not exciting enough.
Or maybe I should adopt Africa. That will show Angelina Jolie. Hmph. The show off! But somehow I think it’ll cost me a lot more to buy Africa. Fecking De Beers and all have beat me to it. So that’s off the agenda. But I’d dearly have loved to steal her thunder. It’s like the woman is monopolizing the weather department. Aah well!

Or maybe I should turn fundu. Oooooh I like that. With a cause and all! I could really fund a fundamentalist outfit with all this money. And I could get a bazooka. I’ve always lusted after one of those. A bazooka kicks a Hermés bag’s ass, don’t you think? Move over Osama. Danger Dan is here. Jeeez that makes me sound like a superhero with costume-related dyslexia. You know, I’ve often wondered why superheroes wear their undies over their clothes. You’d think their super brains would have figured that one out. Maybe in their hurry they always forget to wear it first when they change. And they realize it only once they’re fully dressed and then they put it on anyway for decency sake. (Superman: “Dang! Forgot to put on those damn jockeys again. Doubt if that three-eyed Godzilla timeout his city-destruction plans till I get this stooopid sticky spandex stocking I call a costume off and put it on all over again. Aaah heck..I’ll wear my undies over my costume. Batty and most of the justice troop do it as well. But I must talk to my stylist! I really should! Must get rid of my favourite flying saucer undies!!”) Talk about job stress!
Errrr..sorry about going totally off the subject. We were talking about me turning fundamentalist. Yeah. I think I’ll be fine in jeans. Maybe I’ll wear a Red Indian’s headdress. NOW there’s a plan!! I’ll get Karl Lagerfeld design one for me! Maybe in pink! I like pink you know! Or maybe not. Paris Hilton will copy me. Or maybe I should patent it and bazooka any likely copycats into the next galaxy. I think I like that plan best.
Now for the multimillion dollar question. Who wants to be in my will, hmmmm?

Monday, August 9, 2010

a place in my childhood

Childhood. It's a veritable attic of memories. And like attics, they can be really scary and daunting. I spent the blossoming years of my childhood at my grandparents' house and remember much too vividly for comfort, the cavernous garret. It was a shadowy grey place and filled with countless spooks and mice. The spooky dark wooden stairway which lead to it was eerily tucked behind a doorway. Why would it be behind a locked doorway unless you wanted to censor what went up and came down those stairs. What if something that never went up the stairs came down them? The door put such ideas into my head and made me nearly pee in my frilly little girl's underpants. I could never get over the feeling that a hundred eyes were watching me, waiting for the moment to strike and eat me up. Back then, i probably thought i was one tasty little morsel, cause i honestly believed that a lot of things wanted to eat me up. Like the monster family under the bed, for instance. Aah! The monster family - papa monster, mama monster, baby monster and the giant cauldron to cook me in. But the monster family under the bed is a story for another time. Let's go back to the garret.

Spiderwebs hung thick like ghostly festoons - trapezing the length and breadth of the attic. They hung there, invisible yet grey as sadness. walking into one of them was like remembering a bad memory. You just could not get over it immediately. And left you feeling somewhat defiled. It stuck to my hands, my face and my hair, and despite my best efforts, I could never shake it off completely. No one liked admitting that the uncomfortable shadows and the corpses of once-useful household things gave them the jeepers. I was the cowardy-custard of the gang, so I was allowed to be scared. And god, I was!! But it more than a small mercy that pigeons hadn't discovered our roomy garret, which in our untrained 5-year-old opinions, extended right into the next universe. I can imagine what their spectral moaning and crackly wings would have done for my jumpy nerves. Like I said, no small mercy.

Old dolls with holes for eyes and scalped heads lay there with their ghoulish pink grins and grime-on-porcelain complexions. Sometimes an accidental nudge would make them wail out a guttural, dying-battery "mama" in that creepy horror-movie way. But through the garret was the only way to get to the terrace. And you know the kind of attraction sunshine in high places holds for bratty children who've got just too much time on their hands and too little supervision. Siesta time, that perfect time of the day when all the grown-ups were much too busy taking their naps to boss us around. When we could be up to any nefarious deed that crept into our heads. Siesta time was when we'd hurry across the length of the attic, which went on forever, ducking at the wooden beams that traversed its width every five yards or so, sometimes bumping our heads very painfully in our hurry, wrestle with the jammed latch till it gave way and opened our exit into the welcome arms of laughing sunshine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a very sincere letter

Dear Mum, Dad, this might come as a shock to you. But i'm in love. No, the shock has nothing to do with the new challenge this poses to the established fact that I'm incapable of loving but about the object of my affection. Whom I'm in love with. Mum, Dad I'm emotionally involved with my potato salad. I've been watching too much of the Twilight saga and this happily-ever-after and falling in love with your food has gone to my head (not my stomach). If Edward can fall in love with his dinner, why can't I? I know this is extremely hard for you. But I'm a big girl now and I am in love afterall. I love Twilight. Twilight is my life. If the lion can fall in love with his stupid, stupid lambchop, why can't I fall for my spud-boy? The way I feel about it..no it's not gas. It's the real deal..butterflies..oh so many butterflies. In my stomach. I know it's unconventional and people will talk. But at least I'm not bringing home a hindu or muslim human being, am I!? That would be unpardonable. God forbid i do that. Nor am i bringing home a woman. I assure this is a rather straight, God-fearing catholic potato.

I hope you wil forgive me and find it in your heart to accept our love.


Your loving daughter

Bellady
(I've changed my name to a mallu-ised version of Bella)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

pondering, wondering and some more pondering

So my parents want me to get married. Not just want, they're bordering on harassment. And not just my parents. The entire community. Including my extended family, my neighbours, their extended family, their neighbours, the extended family of the extended family's neighbours. Or was it the extended family of the neighbours' extended families? Whatever, it doesn't merit grammatical and punctuational (is that a word?) accuracy.
"FOR WHAT?", is what I want to ask all these rather lovely people who have made my life their business. To serve what useful purpose of this very useful institution, may I ask? They won’t let me marry the only person I want to marry. Well to be honest, I'm not sure myself if I want to marry the only person I want to marry. But that's not the question. They won't let me, so ‘for love’ is out of the question.
For children and to keep the bloodline going? I’m a woman so there won’t be any Correyas springing from my loins and besides, we’re entering into an era of scientifically engineered genetically screwed up food. Hello? Do I look I want to raise my kids on three-drumsticks-per-chicken type of chicken and butter endorsed by a four-eyed moppet? Well, FYI, I DO NOT. I'd sooner adopt aliens!
Then, to keep loneliness at bay? I’m getting a husband here, people, not a lifetime validity prepaid connection. He can leave me or I can leave him anytime. There isn't even an anti-straying contract in the picture.
Then umm.. how about someone to drive the car so that you can do your nails? I think I could master driving yet and I don’t do my nails, so next?
Maybe as a sort of companion? I thought we were through this already, grrrr! Maybe you should wake up and then note what time people get back from work these days? Nobody has time for anything they don’t want to have time for, understand. And any man other than my (supposed to be) man comes under Section anything-they-don’t-want-to-have-time-for. Full marks, full qualification.
Okay, so maybe to keep the naatukaaru and the veetukaaru to shut their traps? Please listen to yourselves, realize and think about how pathetic you sound and I’ll think about forgiving you.
Cos you’re growing older, yeah that’s a real reason. My grandmother is much older, you’re going to find her a husband too?
Then maybe cause you’re waaaaay out of line and it drives us insane to watch you have so much fun? Ah-ha there you have it, the real reason huh, you people-with-terrible-envy-in-your-heart, you!! And sorry, that's hardly a real reason. Nice talking to you!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dignity

Economies can rise and fall, stock markets can crash and catapult, industries can boom and fizzle. But its been a long, long time since the world stopped to reconsider and reevaluate the market value of dignity. A personal asset of absurdly high capital value, paradoxically without currency, we've chosen to forget the role it plays in the economics of everyday life. No exchange value, no role. Short of shelf life, easily tradable and grossly undervalued, its personal cost is much too high that its upkeep is something most of us believe we can do without. A white elephant, an heirloom that's been with the family for ages, cherished but redundant. Unlike deposits or bonds, dignity does not grow by the principle of interest over time and crashes in a tizzy faster than the grizzliest of bear markets.

Lets talk about dignity's primary nemesis Ass Licking. It offers more feasible investment opportunities, likely returns and offers shareholder benefits of, well, holding something. What, is a matter of absolute discretion. An archaic notion like dignity stands as much a chance as a hothouse flower in the Arctic. The sun shines not in the sky anymore, but from scores of decision-making rearends, requiring the good people of the universe to trade their non-performing assets like dignity and originality for more speculative goods like servitude and sycophancy. Conference rooms turn into echo chambers, parliamentary sessions turn into auctions, catwalks turn into assembly lines, people turn into statistics, governance into window displays of too large teeth and shaking hands. Governments annihilate scores of lives in cold blood. We live by cues and in cages. Leftist, right wing, social worker, politico, bitch, sonofabitch, snitch, informant, performer, troublemaker (mime gesture: hand slicing across neck), pervert, opportunist, terrorist, self-righteousist, fagot, dyke. So many tags, lest we forget our roles in the grand scheme of things. All the world is a stage and we are all but backstabbers. We're all a part of a carefully formulated plan. A plan that gives only two-options. Voluntary bending over. Or forced down on your knees hands bound by your so-called dignity. You know the drill. It's your choice at the end of the day, hey!

Welcome to the lap dog economy.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

confessions of a social networking site junkie

Hello honey!
I'm sure we've met before. Yes, of course, you remember my facelessness, don't you? We had a relationship sometime ago? Oh you don't! Well I forgive you. But I have to be honest. There were times when you were the only window open in my life. Like, literally. I would chat with no one else and your pings kept me alive. We've moved on of course. You couldn't keep up with the many wonders that the infiniteness of the netscape offered me.


I'm the internet's equivalent of a streetwalker. I haunt the pages. I check my mail every five minutes. Contrary to popular belief, the world CAN change in five minutes. Like, I know who is bored, who is not, who is busy, who is not, who likes me, who is attending what function, who is on a diet, who cheated on what and whom, who has had a haircut, who has just visited the can, who went drinking last night, who got soooo sloshed that they're going to have more than a hangover to deal with when the buzz is over (facebook on mobile is NOT a great idea, sometimes if you know what I mean), who is seeing who and who broke up. All this can happen in five minutes.

My need for social networking is so great. Social networking is my life. I'm such a facebook slut. Aren't you? 'Like' this, if you do. Or at least post this as your status for five minutes to celebrate the facebook slut sorority. Yes, I'm talking to you, bro! I see you online all the time, you're in the sorority. I'm on facebook. I'm on twitter. I'm on orkut. And on MySpace. and on hi5. And on Bebo. Like, thank God for internet mobile. I cannot imagine missing out on my status updates. Five minutes without my peeps. A peep at my peeps. LOL, get it? I have to tell the whole world what I've been up to. I change my status message at least 25 times a day. Oh the manicure I got yesterday? Uh-uh, not so good. Oh yeah the fudge was great. Nooo, you're getting it wrong, I'm a fairy mythical creature, not a zombie. Really, now you're just being rude! Oh my god, my chickens haven't had any feed yet. Hold on, let me do my farmville thing. Wont take long. Ha, where were we?

Or maybe i'm a kerbcrawler. You know, strike up conversations with any random person we see online? And then we have meaningful conversations and 12 am philosophy. We share secrets, only to regret it later. Sort of like, pick them up? Like, call me kerbkrawler. We rather like spelling our c words with a k anyway on cyberspace. And end words with a z. and put x's where ever they are inapplicable, cos that's what we do, right? Anyway this is what life is about right? Sunshine and reality be damned.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

price vs. prized

He came to me with magic. His purple hat with its wine satin sash whispered of rabbit ears and miracles. He said he wouldn't perform for free. I asked how much and he said "Enough". I thought, Enough was reasonable. I had Enough to give. I could spare Enough. So i asked him to show me his tricks. The first thing he pulled out of his hat was a smile, just for lil ol' me. Perfect and pouty. I tried it on. I looked good with a smile. I asked him if I could keep it and he pretended to consider it. He always knew i was going to ask and that he was going to make me pay. Foolish as i was, I thought I was getting a smile for the bargain price of Enough.
Then he pulled out laughter. It was a lovely fuchsia powder which you mixed in water and drank. It smelt like pink brandy and it tasted like delirium. It was heady. He teased me and raised an eyebrow at me questioningly. Gullible as I was made to be, I nodded my eager head giving away more than just that. I had just pawned a part of my soul. And I had absolutely no clue. Next he pulled out a puppy dog with the most restless tail. He was soft and I wanted to hold him so. Love. Beautiful, faithful love. He didn't have to even ask. I reached my willing hands shamelessly to him. The soft mass of liveliness and adoration cost me the rest of what I could call mine. I traded universes of possibility and galaxies of hope for that one instant of pure, unshared, whole love. Oh sublime love. Oh sweet love. Puppy love and a permanent leash. "What are you going to call him?", the magician asked me. "Mine. I'm going to call him Mine." "Oh that is just perfect." I liked to please everyone. It pleased me when I've pleased someone. And at moment I was very pleased with the magician being pleased with me.
He stuck his hand into his tophat again. I waited with bated breath. It was a box of colours. At first I made my premature disappointment apparent by blowing a raspberry. That offended the magician. He glowered and I cowered. But then he was just playacting. He knew he had already laid claim to my spunk. He would carry it away in a spunk-proof cage. I was so foolishly enamoured by his magical imagery, and I thought I had Enough and more. Already my tongue was making a hasty and disgraced retreat back into my mouth. I have never felt this apologetic in my life. Not ever. And here I was, dilated pupils like tulip blossoms. Pupil. Tulip. No lip from me. No sir. He liked my subservience, yes. And brought the mundane box of colours for a closer inspection. I couldn't touch it, of course. Fat colour pens, with things of wonder floating in them. Clouds and stars, fairies and kisses, hugs and stardust, friendship bands and love letters, birthday cakes and surprise presents, horses and fame, rainbows and presents tied in ribbons. Dreams. Sweet, sweet ones. Big ones, small ones, happy ones, sweet ones. Dreams. I wanted them all. I wanted more than Enough. So much more. Dreams that would keep me awake at night. Dreams that would steal the blackness of restful sleep and leave instead the branding of skeleton-coloured nights. Dreams that would make the night settle in bags under my eyes. But I didn't know that. I thought Enough would cover all my expenses. Enough included all my parent's love, all my childhood treasures, all my innocence, all my spunk, individuality, all my goodness and some spare sacrifice. But Enough was not enough. The magician made his invoice. I asked for it. He gave it to me with put-on reluctance. I think his eyes glinted. Did he register me as an infrared image of vulnerability? Eve's child. I eagerly took it from it. What a shock! I had grossly miscalculated. I was severely in his debt.

Smile, laughter, love and dreams. Those were engraved in my fate. And I was to give it my all in return for them. They were my destiny. And I would be their prisoner forever. I would pursue them doggedly. Because I asked for them and I couldn't afford to pay for them right away. Credit collector. And I was running out of time. The hands of karma completed yet another revolution. It was nearly time.

Did I strike a deal with god or the devil? I hadn't a clue. Minutes after that, my mother delivered me in a gory macabre of excessively dramatic proportions. I yelled like hell. And thus I registered my presence on earth. Destiny, here i come.

Monday, July 26, 2010

self obsession #1

In my life, I've had the privilege
of knowing both jackasses and great people
so that now, I value the latter a lot better.

In my life, I've had the benefit
of falling facedown into shit
So that I know what it takes to hold my head up high.

In my life, I've had the ability
to hate my parents enough
So that I appreciate just how much they can mean to me.

In my life, I've had the grace
to have loved in vain
So that I know I can do much better than that.

In my life, I've had the luck
To be humiliated
So that I know pride isn't all it's cracked up to be.

In my life, I've had the opportunity
to make mistakes aplenty
so that I might correct them, yet.

In my life, I've been done the favour
of being denied
So that I'm resolute about not settling for less

In my life, I've been blessed enough
to be infinitely foolish
So that I know for sure what I do not want to be.

In my life, I've been fortunate enough
to fail countless times
So that I look forward, for the best is yet to come

Thursday, July 1, 2010

the scapegoat's bloodline


the father sacrificed his son not
passing tests of faith
exemplary courage and unquestionable loyalty
the goat's blood was spilt
appeasing some far away god's thirst for his pound of flesh
the lord giveth, the lord taketh away

the mother birthed her son
legs splayed, body cleaving
for life's endless passage. a baptism of love and excruciating pain
winding roads, years and dreams hitherto
she beckons him back from lands and glamours afar
i gave you life, now give me yours.

ruby red stained the ground the colour of
acquired self-righteousness.
i did this for you. it's your price to pay
the balance sheet of life and a careless auditor
debits, credits and sacrifice
glorfied and placed on a pedestal


a lever clicks,
one man's pedestal is the goat's gallows.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a typical love story

she saw too much. he saw too little. she read too much. He was illiterate. she was heavy. He was light. She spoke too much. he was quiet enough to hear it all. She liked her eggs cooked. He liked them sunny side up. She smiled a lot. He was too awestruck by her to put his lips together. She was strong. He was stronger. She was in love. he was in love. They were in love. There wasn't anything they couldn't work out. And yet, they didn't.

from toilet to toimust

Ideally HR policy should begin in the potty. That doesn't go onto to say that I’m propagating that it should all be shit, but just the pivotal role loos play in optimum productivity and ergonomics. Consider this. You got the deadliest kind of deadline looming ahead and you got a bitch of a full bladder going on? Which one will you attend to first? Call of duty vs. call of nature. It’s no contest, really! And unanswered calls of nature have an annoying, not to mention uncomfortable, persistent-recently-ex-girlfriendesque, mind-dominating way of reminding you that you need to answer sooner than later, if terribly embarrassing circumstances should be avoided. "32 missed calls? What the hell!!" The only thing worse than being stalked by a psycho-ex is being stalked by a psycho bladder. More so, cos you and the bladder are inseparable. Any attempts would require some serious zen-shit and the telekinesis kind of power of channeling your concentration. Moving things move by looking at it is child's play when compared to taming the aforementioned psycho bladder.

Working requires sitting, sitting means putting pressure on your already under-pressure bladder, putting pressure on your under-pressure bladder means you think of very little else except the need for relief. But the loo is a living, infection-rampaging nightmare which has to be avoided at all costs. So you avoid it at company cost, choosing to hop around like a ballerina and talk in a strange, almost fanatical high pitch (the air conditioner is NOT helping) than work. If it's the monsoons, you're damned. And what's up with the waterfall screensaver, huh? Thus you do little else till the angel of mercy, read the ayah, comes with her resolute bucket and mop to do the humanitarian act of cleaning the loo.

Since the peeing process is by nature, a little undemocratic, the least we can do is a separate His and Hers, if you please? Natural selection didn't quite play fair. His and Hers is a wonderful idea. Let's adopt it more often. Also women have this "condition" called the period! Spare a thought, will you? It's easier to do something about that than global warming or something. Being out of circulation for an twelve weeks out of fifty-two weeks is bad enough. And makes us want to scream, pull our hair out and string the concerned HR person by their thumbs. Cos an indiscriminate EVERYONE gets 15 days of paid leave. Not even a little condition's apply star that provides for the erratic ways of the female reproduction system. Even the pacific ocean equivalent of cramps is casually and callously written off as casual leave. Insult to injury. All it takes to make life a little bit fair is a dustbin in the toilet, so that we are spared the embarrassment of carrying suspicious dead giveaway parcels furtively in and out of the loo. Not to mention, it also takes care of those weirdos who are in the compulsive habit of leaving behind "souvenirs". All things said and done, good loos make good workforce. It makes us more productivity to not have alarm bells going "I need to pee. I need to pee" in our heads. Before the almighty bladder, CEOs, clients, husbands, wives, the CIA, the prime minister, potential pinkslips, global hunger, Hugh Jackman, etc. all take a backseat. Good, proper, functioning loos can indeed make the world a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ole

(to be read after abandoning the teeniest weeniest bit of sense)

Whoa! What was that?” Lt. Mazzorb had been traversing rather monotonously through the fifth galaxy in the all new Fzzterdanlyt 2.0 when this sudden turbulence at zero gravity disrupted the course of their ship knocking both him and Capt. Bezzzoff right off their feet. "Oh that," Capt. Bezzzoff said rubbing his head, "must have been a goal." "A goal?" Lt. Mazzorb was beginning to find his co-vigilante rather annoying. The creature was all of 475 million gazos which was approximately 5 human years against his 325 million gazos of being around in the universe and the old Ennuitling believed him to some kind of know-it-all and the patronizing tone he used just then wasn't something the Lieutenant liked altogether. There had been reports of errant asteroid and they were doing their bit to protect the Beegblob intergalactic neighbourhood, when this wave of kinetic energy blasted past them. The stars only knew what or where such a powerful blast originated from. There were rumours of the cosmos beginning to implode within itself and this senile Capt. Bezzzowa shrugs it off as a goal, like one even knew what a goal was!!

"You're too young to even have been born then. Most of us Ennuitlings don't live long enough to remember one to the next." It wasn't often Capt. Bezzzoff got a chance to rub his seniority in his arrogant Lieutenant's face. "So what is this, Capt. Bezzzoff? Some kind of bipolar disorder of erratic magnetic fields? Or is it some kind of anti-gravitational pressure belt activity? It was rather strong. To knock a sturdy vehicle like Fzzterdanlyt 2.0 off its course and cause such an impact, it must be something to worry about." And worried is what Lt. Mazzorb sounded. "Nah! It's nothing." Capt. Bezzzoff said, settling back into his artificial-gravity lounge shelf. "Why are you so lax about this Captain?" Lt. Mazzorb was going purple in the face, a certain sign he was livid. Capt. Bezzzoff looked at him quizzically, "Surely you do know it's the world cup down there on planet Earth?" "I'm sorry?" Lt. Mazzorb looked more stumped than ever and a stumped-looking Ennuitling isn't an endearing sight. "The FIFA World Cup? Surely you've heard of it? Though you're much too young to have been born during the last one. It's a pity I won't be around for yet another one. It happens every 340 million gazos or so. Very special time, you see!" "Why's that?" Lt. Mazzorb wasn't sure if the captain was feeding him a whole lot of intergalactic waste but it was very interesting. "You did notice all this effervescence in the universe haven't you? The stars are ten times more luminous than normal. Yesterday we recorded an all-time high in luminosity. And there's been a lot more nebulous activity recently. Not to mention the high energy levels uncommon to this side of the universe" "You mean to tell me all this is attributed to some activity going on in that strange blue planet filled with a bunch of weaklings?" "Those bunch of weaklings are the only ones capable of the most powerful energy that exists. It's called happiness. Humans are the only living beings that can generate and are the only known sources of this powerful energy that even black holes cannot destroy or absorb. It often enters space in measured quantities and floats around like stellar dust in the cosmos. But during the world cup, powerful surges of happiness come like a tidal shockwaves from various points of the world. They all converge together and BOOM, catapult into space. What we just experienced was precisely that." "This happiness phenomenon ought to be studied." Lt. Mazzorb had his disapproving voice on, like happiness was this errant, irresponsible space gangster who had to be brought to book before it ransacked self-respecting space travellers. "Oh it's been attempted. More times than we care to count. You have to understand what this means to the human race. The entire human race which can't arrive at a consensus about anything right from how to cook eggs to nuclear policy suddenly finds some kind of strange brotherhood in football. Football by the way, is the reason for all this fuss. Let me explain how this works. It's very simple. Two teams, one spherical duo-coloured object called the ball, two goal posts and the entire human race. A goal post is allotted to each team and the entire game is about scoring points by overcoming obstacles and hitting the ball right into the goal post. And when they do that it's called a goal. Leading to delirious celebration. You have to understand the enormity of post-goal consequence. Imagine several thousand billion people standing up in unison, roaring with joy in unison, howling - sometimes with joy, sometimes in sheer pain, bellowing their celebration or their devastation. It's a whole lot of energy, proactive, reactive and counteractive, generated by one single circumstance and it defies every theory of relativity ever written. It's known that when football penalties are delivered, there have been more recorded cases of heart attack then any other individual cause. Depressive energy like that can cause some serious damage up here with its aggravated gravitational pull, shift the moon's position and cause hurricanes down there. There are more massive energy fields out here in outerspace. But human beings with their complex chemistries and reactivities, not to mention their capacity for happiness can wreck havoc with their unrestrained excitement. Our universe is just too small for its impact. There is this thing they do call the Mexican wave. That's some crazy intergalactic shit cos it's so combined in its purpose, it buzzes with teeming almost-alive potential energy. It has to be seen to be believed. These humans come up with such ways to celebrate that can sometimes mess around with the elements themselves. Anyway this Mexican wave thing, it's consequence is an insane slinky of a shockwave traversing right across the universe, thanks to the earth being round. For the briefest fraction of a nanosecond, every molecule in its path has its atom density messed with and becomes wobbly. We don't notice cos it happens one atom at a time. So by the time an atom experiences this phenomenon, the previous one has already recovered from it. But that's how it is." "But captain," Lt. Mazzorb interrupted, "Why do these humans follow this football thing at all? Don't they have countries that are segmented?" "The players, my dear lieutenant, are demigods. They are messiahs themselves. Zeus very own bloodline. This game can turn atheists into desperate believers and the prayer-generated energies churned out during this time, is unbelievable to say in the least. So all I can say is prepare for assualt during the next few weeks."


Disclaimer: many laws of physics were harmed during the making of this piece. The writer takes no responsibility, culpability or be accepting any teaching posts at Harvard. About football, my sincere apologies for my limited knowledge.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

mellow drama

do you want to talk forever
i spell the rules out, i dont say a word
the boy who made me feel most alive
was the one who left me for dead
flowers and dreams laid before feet
why didn’t someone tell me love was
just a mating call, answered.
making somebody else's story, ours.
we're everybody and it happened to us.
Theirs as much as ours. them, we. us, them. common unfriends.
when our backs were turned, someone rewrote the rules
we believed there was nothing there
and yet, we didnt know there was so much to lose
we smile at each other the smile of strangers
memories overlap each other in a violent skirmish
jostling for space. it was good. it was bad.
bad riddance. good rubbish.
would you find the scraps we stowed away
behind work schedules, dark stairways, underneath pillows
pressed between books and in secret hidey holes in each others' hearts
dirty little secrets - orange and sugary like boiled candy,
too sweet to suck. too sweet to spit out.
personal jokes, giggles and laughter
spiraling like drain water. i watch helplessly.
songs unsung and folded kisses.
traces of each other stuck to skin, clothes
in our cupboards and unwelcome dreams of intimacy
make believe postcards of places we have never been?
pieces of you and me that without the other
will never be complete.
denied out of existence.
we smile at each other the smile of strangers
pretending not to care.
pretending it was never there.

Friday, June 11, 2010

relevance

Technology is so advanced. One, two, three and voila! Right from cooking an egg to building an entire city. Press a few buttons and you're done for the day. The 7-day creation process looks like the outcome of bizarre super computer. Human effort is almost redundant. Judgement, so dispensable. The inbuilt chip will take care of it all for you. "Will that be all, sir? Very good, sir." "Apply. Cancel." Technology, such a diligent acolyte! Such a humble and reliable servant. Figure out the user's manual and you're king of everything. Life by instructions. Life by numbers. Life unmarred by sensibilities.
Take shaving for instance, such hard work, you could kill yourself from the strain. Thus electric razors. Battery operated and handy - the criteria for a perfect world. On. Off. And maybe a remote control to go with it? A remote control. That epitome of all of God's good graces, His name be praised. "Celebrate His loving mercy for he has given us the REMOTE CONTROL!" A case of constipated faith, honey? Check your TV guide for the next prayer session, to be followed by mass. Technology can save your soul! The evangelist raises his hands in conviction and faith and exaltation and melodrama. Hallelujah everybody. God's on TV!
Straight hair can now become curly and curly hair can become straight. Old women can become young and young women can become smaller, larger, taller, svelter, rounder; why, young women can become young men! Consequence is a just a matter of short cut keys. Cntrl A, Cntrl C, Cntrl V and then the penultimate choice; Cntrl S vs. Cntrl Z. Save or undo. Vibrators dispel loneliness and microwaves fill in for out-of-town wives and mothers. Up and down buttons. Warmer, cooler. Forwards, backwards. Higher, lower. Life's simpler.
Nobody needs to remember birthdays anymore. A little pop- up calendar reminds you that your dad's/mom's/wife's/husband's/son's/daughter's/dog's birthday is around the corner. "Leave your wish after the beep." They've even taken care of the surprise. Why fear when ebay is here!? Ebay has everything.

You don't have to take the trouble. There're a ka-zillion gadgets out there to do that for you. The time you'd waste in queues, you can now get your job done in a blinky, get your groceries, watch a movie (downloaded, of course) and still have enough time to spare for checking your emails or whatever happens to be on your priority list widget. Now would your postman come by every five minutes, just cos you suffer from an insatiable need for communication? Or would your newspaper man come by delivering updates, by the second minute?

Now let's talk about the amazing invention called the phone. It can make anything, right from dinner to booty and an ambulance to a blessing, appear. A regular magician. Or a super powerful wand. Take it anyway you want. This whole everything at your fingertips shibboleth never had it this good. And apparently, since punching buttons was taxing...we're all touchy-feely now. Touchscreens. Now it's actually, literally, perversely keeping in touch! Coming to think of it, old 'chit' must be feeling rather left out with his counterpart 'chat' being the only one savvy enough for these technologically-driven times. But even chat must feel violated with "Voice" being force-fitted to itself like an extra appendage. Twenty years ago it went without saying that the verb chat warranted the participation of voice. No voice, No chat! And now, this forced reinvention to suit the needs of the times cannot be without some amount of resentment.
Chats, voice chats, web cameras, second life, farmville, social networking, virtual pets, Wikipedia, blogs, emails, itunes, photoshop, livejasmin.com (which I believe is the porn site not the tearoom), youtube, piracy, ipods, kinky toys esp those disgusting inflatable dolls with their mouths open in a ghastly gasp, laptops, cubicles, intercoms, TV, microwaves, playstations, automatic teller machines, assembly lines, robotized-what-the-hell-talking sex dolls (?) and what not. Everything designed to reduce human interpersonal contact. Everything designed to bring us together while driving us apart. (Why talk when you can chat or text? Duh?!) Everything designed to keep us happy. Everything to help us deal with the unendurable heaviness of being. Everything to compensate for what we don't have. Everything to make it easier. Everything to make the nights a little warmer - loneliness is a fidgety bedfellow with terribly chilly feet. So many things designed to put a little inconvenient something called relationships out of business. Let's uncomplicate!

And yet, despite all this progress there's nothing till-date that successfully simulates or duplicates the warmth of a human hug or a kiss. Something so ridiculously simple, you'd think they'd have figured a mechanical, battery-operated substitute ages ago. Love, anybody?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the bathroom mirror monologue

If us bathroom mirrors could talk, we'd be such terrible telltales. Such awful sneaks. Snitches. "She touches herself." "He wears his wife's clothes." "He talks for 10 minutes in the voice of Spongebob square pants. Everyday. Practising. Plans on trying out for a talent show. You’d think at 55 he’d have more sense!" "Mr. CEO is terrified of creepy crawlies and screams like a girl at the sight of one" “The priest hums ‘Like a Virgin’ while he shaves, makes moany sounds occasionally!” “That’s nothing. The other priest reads Playboy on the potty” "She might be the hottest girl in school and all, but her oral hygiene sucks. Bad breath as terrible as satan.""She hides alcohol in the flush tank. Swings" "He eats boogers. Blurgh!" "He pisses into his wife's shampoo." "She's in love with her son's best friend. They've been here and done thaaat." "Her t**s.... one hundred percent NOT REAL. One day it was like ho-hum and then barely later, it's glory! Glory!" “He fancies his best friend’s girl” “He’s having an affair.” “About Brangelina…ha ha wouldn’t you like to know!” “You’ll never guess who stayed the night at the chief minister’s place” We'd be the darling of the paparazzi. You think our worthy brother couldn't see right through old Adolf's plans everytime he carefully primped those bushy parallel lines on his philtrum with his toilet scissors as a young adult? But like I said, we can't talk. We're privy to army secrets, scandals, state secrets, orientation secrets, torrid love affairs, basically, forgive the pun, steamy secrets. We know the truth about the existence of aliens. I'm not telling you anything, oh no!! But I'm telling you, even those people you call Men in Black, they look into bathroom mirrors. And we know a Man in Black from a purple-faced large headed chrome yellow dribbling 6-footer. And we can tell a Halloween costume when we see it, thank you very much. We know which starlets take a piss standing up. Ha ha... aren't you dying to know our secrets, now? But most importantly, we know who loves you and who doesn't. What you see is never, ever what you get.

Big secrets. Small secrets. Smashing secrets. Blah secrets. Predictable-as-a-cheesy-romance secrets. Terrible secrets. Not-so-terrible secrets. Personal secrets. Scary secrets. Sweet secrets. "He asked her out finally. She just told me. They're going to be so happy together." Now, call me sappy, but I love secrets like that. I love it when they brush together in front of me, jostling for space, illict giggling, knowing they have no business being in front of the same bathroom mirror. "Her husband takes her make up off for her sometimes...awww ain't that sweet" "He's so in love with her. He even smiles when he brushes his teeth." I love it when small children choose to pray in front of me “Dear God, please make me beautiful” Then there are snide secrets. "You should see her without makeup. HORRIBLE. And she's supposed to be this hotshot actress. Sorry hon, but no photoshop available here." We even know who is standing behind you, watching you even when you can't see them. You know what I'm talking about, right?
"The boss cries in the loo as well. Just like everybody else." "She doesn't want this baby. And he's so excited. He doesn't even know it’s not his" "She stains her daughter inlaw's clothes on purpose and ruins them for spite." "She considers slitting her wrists everyday and changes her mind everytime her husband calls her to bed""He wanks thinking of his secretary's husband. And his wife has absolutely no clue!" “She lost her virginity..again. God, men are so stupid” “He beats his wife” ““He’s sleeping with his ex”. “So is she.” “Whoa! This is getting messy”.” “She’s bulimic.” It's practically amusing how people are so uninhibited in front of us. Hell, even nuns have no qualms about dropping their clothes in front of us. Practiced speeches. Nobel Prize slash booker prize slash Grammy slash academy award slash national award slash Miss India acceptance speeches. Rock concerts with shampoo bottles for mikes. Parliamentary addresses. Don't even get me started on the shutter-happy narcissists who can't get enough of taking their own pictures in front of us. Proposals. "Will you marry me? Tch...Will you please, please marry me? ...uh uh...I can't live without you. So marry me?" And the inevitable HUGE Sigh! So many dreams..all laid before us.

Happy Bathroom mirrors, unhappy bathroom mirrors, content bathroom mirrors, disgruntled bathroom mirrors, suicidal bathroom mirrors, pervy bathroom mirrors, holier-than-thou bathroom mirrors. It’s just very well we don't socialize that much. And that we can't speak.

Here's the deal. Some of us see pretty much the whole of a person's life. We're like more or less, a permanent fixture. A long term relationship of sorts. Right from when we can just about see the tops of their heads (soft curls and porcupiney straight) to when you can just about make eye contact if they stand on precarious tips of toes, necks outstretched like curious ostriches, then you see a cute little nose, then a smile, then a neck, till they're tall enough that we see the tops of their heads as they double over in grief in front of our eyes. Breaks our glassy hearts! In many ways, we're the true reflection of who you really are. We ARE who you are. Your strengths, your weaknesses, your happiness, your sadness, you dreams, your worries, your insecurities, your true beauty, your heartbreaks. We see it all. Lipstick and kisses. Aftershave and nicked necks. Tight underwear and cellulite. Sweethearts and bitter tears. Concealer and camouflage. Being taken for granted and being cherished. Frustration and prayers. Sometimes a little too much that desired. Like leaning over and bursting pimples in our faces (for the record, I hate that) and checking for breast cancer (don't do that in front of us, please. It's scary!!) It’s sometimes sad to watch some of you become such clichés of disaster. And it is wonderful when you redeem yourself. Most of you are a lot cooler when you're naked. If only you'd take the time to look yourself in the eye.



It’s very well we don’t speak. It's a good thing we don't go to town about it. It's a good thing we can't tell on you.Things are bad enough with most of you going around with your heart gaily swinging from your sleeve.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tigress

I’m dangerous they say. In zoology textbooks and encyclopedias they call me an apex predator and flesh-eating. I’m called fierce. A hunter. A threat. Merciless. Dangerous. Wikipedia confirms me to be the largest and possibly the most lethal in the family. .
Feral. Cunning. Calculative. With an acute survival instinct. Territorial. Powerful. All gone to rust.

A lazy tub of lard. I don’t need to fight for my place on the food chain. I’m fed. Cooked, processed food. I don’t even have to use my teeth. My claws have gone blunt with complacence. Fatted. I've forgotten the smell of blood, and how it coursed my veins with adrenaline. That hunger I used to know when i preyed. The rush of being my own again. Of being answerable to no one but myself. Of knowing freedom, of being in charge. Of being the one calling the shots. Of not having to retract. A change in environment. That’s all it took. To reduce me to this. It's an easy life. Yes it is. Take a girl out of her habitat for long enough, and she's lost on her own turf. Unsteady. Senile. Stupid. Insecure. Ridiculous. Suddenly I'm approachable. He has the nerve to reach out his audacious hand and stroke my neck. And i respond. The shame. The fall from grace. This is my compromise. My compromising position. I'm safe here. But at his mercy.

Respected. Feared. Revered. Now I purr and nuzzle. Playful. And played with. For the sake of a little protection, how much of myself was I willing to trade? For shelter, I have traded my battles, my wounds, my victories. I have surrendered them all. "Just as long as you will take care of me." To be cared for, was that so infinitely important? To yield instead putting up a fight. Unforgiving. And now I'm taken for granted. I was made to be solitary, have my space respected. Now i roll over and let them tickle my tummy. I used to be called wild. Beautiful. Unattainable. Goddess. Worshiped. I lick his hands with gratitude. They take liberties with me now. This leash is almost a comfort. It means security. Of not having to be afraid, a coward's comfort.

I'm dangerous they say. But I wouldn't know. Out here, I’m just tame.


**(as thought by a tigress in captivity)

Friday, June 4, 2010

doors

I know I just walked through one of them. A doorway. An exit. A vestibule into another existence. The start of another chapter. A change of events that separated this second from the last, wedging its demarcation vividly like a thin red line on a map. An evolution of sorts on an unconscious level. A fragment of soul, falling away. A snake shedding its skin. Slow and viscousy movements. Seconds, microseconds, nanoseconds, seconds halved, quartered, segmented by the hundredth. Dead skin and dust shaken off. Without too much exertion on my behalf. Escorted almost. A sense of loss overpowered by a gradual wave of giddy happiness of having regained myself, breaking over me in slow motion. So slow that I almost don't recognize it. I feel nothing of it till the water rose to my waist. Closure, perhaps? I'm almost afraid to hope. That maybe, I have put it behind me.
We walk through these doors often.These exits in the time and space of what we call growth. Like an extra inch taller - another higher marking on the wall. Like the first spot of blood which becomes a monthly ritual. The cracked voice that begins with the sound of a chair being dragged and deepens into bass and maturity. Puberty. A childhood left behind. A car license, A voter's id. The threshold of adulthood. Milestones. Legally allowed to get laid. Legally allowed to get sloshed and wasted. Legally accountable for your actions. The driver's seat is finally yours. To crash or to get somewhere is entirely up to my discretion.
Another dent in the clay that would fashion the being you are. Physical and subtle.
Somewhere an equation has changed. The balance tilted, shifting the earth off its axis and exercising its own laws of gravity. Priorities pulled off their pedestals and shelves. "Things are different now." Contentment lies beneath the debris of broken redundant would-haves and should-haves.Altering of circumstances that need straightening out. Without knowing, I had walked through a doorway. As surely as someone walked over my grave. A trapdoor opened somewhere, a part of me fallen through, smashed into a million pieces, never to be whole again. A first time. A last time. I know I have changed.

Nothing would ever be the same again. The point of no return. Exit. The end of the tunnel and into the light. Or maybe even vice versa. Curtains.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

faded

"Someone's been stealing the colour from my roses", Pip squeaked. Pit pattered down the garden muttering to himself that he was sure Pip was being the drama queen she is. How could anyone possibly steal the colour out of one's roses? But for the sheer curiousity this complaint merited, Pit decided to find out what exactly qualified as roses whose colour had been stolen. So it came as some amount of surprise, an amount only the skeptics can even imagine, when he saw that some one had, indeed, been stealing the colour from Pip's roses. There they were, in full bloom, like show girls, yet sweet with the kiss of dew. But the colour of your whites when you mix them with your reds in the machine. "Darling," he said with some uncertainty, "pink roses sometimes pale a little." "But these aren't my pink roses, these are my RED roses!", she wailed. Some one had indeed stolen the colour from the roses, Pit thought for the second time, like a typical skeptic; like he would for the third, fourth. fifth and the sixth time. He would keep thinking that till he came to terms with it, which, probably would be never.

The colour stealer struck again that night. This time it stole the gold from the mango nectar. Pip sliced the mango with the insides of an apple. White, tawny but fibrous. Nectar that isn't gold tastes like life without laughter. Dull, flat, unsweet. Pip's face was sour as unripe mangoes and Pit hmm and hawed at the tree, who in turn basked unrepentantly, unconcernedly in the afternoon sun. Its fruit felt lighter and the flies left it alone. It rather enjoyed this detachment it felt from its own offspring. The children stopped throwing stones at it. They focused on the coconuts instead. There wasn't any colour to steal from it. By mid summer, the colour thief siphoned away the purple from the berries, the ocher from the marigolds and the crimson from the chethipoo*. The oranges that came from the plateaus and the apples that came from the hills looked like badly smudged watercolour productions. But nothing prepared them for the colour-bled konnas that flowered that awful faded summer. Golden shower cassia had petered down to an unenthusiastic drizzle. Bunches of bleached yellow hung like wasted hope from the threadbare trees. Pip swept off the fallen lacklustre sunshine petals from her courtyard with a face that grew greyer by the day. Their beloved konna suddenly became deserving of its ugly latin name. Cassia Fistula. Their beloved konna which used to be bright as children's laughter. Their beloved konna of elfin yellow. The colour thief had dulled their symbol of prosperity and wellbeing into a gutter yellow. And they knew for certain that they had been cursed.


*Ixora

Saturday, May 8, 2010

lame

What would the world have thought if type-casted, yesteryear villains like, ummm Danny Denzongpa made claims or issued public statements about fight scenes that was demanded by the script or if Gulshan Grover ever took the trouble to go blue in the face saying "That rape was demanded by the script. It's not to endorse violence."! Or Amrish Puri apologizing for Mogambo being the sadistic, no-business-being-this-happy f**ker that the script demanded? I can't help wondering cause I don't understand where these actresses are coming from with their "I have no problem exposing if the script demands it" or "it was demanded by the script" or what they seek to achieve with them. Where did this strange practice of validation and denial and all begin? Who has ever heard of actors doing any random thing they liked in a film? Not me, quite certainly. If they did, I shudder to think of what Mallika Sherwat whimsy productions would come out with.
Anyways, geting back to the point, first they leak out the good news "So and so is hitting the gym to look good in a bikini on-screen or so and so are flexing their lip muscles to do a mean liplock." And then they go satya-savithri on us by saying "the script demanded it" when they're actually thinking something along the lines of "dude, you aint seen nothing yet." It's not like I have a problem with on-screen kisses and gold bikinis. Okay I'm lying here. I DO have a problem with the gold bikinis. Oh yes, the gold bikini goddess with her arched torso and her hair flying just right like the bloody seaspray is doing a teasejob on it. I HAVE A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH HER. "Ooooh look at me! Look at me and my perfect size zero figure that slips into the tiniest, iitsty-bitsiest gold bikini!! I know a ka-zillion boys across the country are cooking in their hormones picturing me. Oooh look at me. Look at script-demanded-I-be-in-a-bikini me" GAH! Seriously!! The lip-lock was demanded by the script. The bikini was demanded by the script. Maigaaad the script demanded it, so now its our duty to appreciate the trouble they're taking to do justice to the script. They're all heart, no? Such passion.
So my dear actress whomsoever it may concern, I suppose you take us for a bunch of morons. Which we are by the way, for readily appeasing them with media space for their stupid capers and all. "Shilpa Shetty sneezed today!" "NOOOOOO, you don't say!" "Yeaaaasss and not just that Vijay Mallya gave her a hug instead of a tissue. I guess her doctor's prescription demanded it or something"! Back to demanding scripts and all. Why do they say this? Why? Why? Why? Half the populace who make the box office go ka-ching cares a hoot for their precious script. They're going there for their share of booty. Script, schmit indeed. Give us a break. I remember this one time when the release of Dhoom 2 was around the corner, my MALE friend came running up to me his face shining with the light of a thousand suns and he proclaims with ecstasy, I'm going to see Aishwariya Rai in a two-piece. Hallelujah honey, your life-changing moment is here. Embrace it!
Yes you're on a beach and we expect you to be strutting your stuff. Spare us the script demanded that you do your peacock dance thingy. Of course the director would see to it that your script would be very demanding and put you on yacht somewhere for a song sequence wearing the challenge of your film career even if the rest of the film is based in the Sahara. But why does a liplock have such screen mileage. I mean you get to catch the live show in most places. Weird. Or maybe its the steroid equivalent of voyeurism watching a star go at it. I donno. From where I see it, it's nothing to get one's blood up in boil about. Or maybe it is. But nevertheless, actresses get into such a tizzy about their onscreen kisses. Esp when you catch them do their tonsil tennis thingy aplenty in real life, MMS and all. The script demanded it, again? The agonies of filmdom. The script demands this and that, but what are they trying to achieve by boo-hooing about the script. I wish some script would demand Abhishek Bachchan to do a full monty. Now THAT i would pay good money for. Heh heh. But seriously speaking, I'm really looking forward to Raavan. I'm guessing that it was a very, very demanding script in respects that actually shows for something more than just cleavage.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

lonesome

It's evening and Beautiful Girl found her mascara running. Faster, faster, faster till a blur was all she could see. A sappy love song played on the radio. There was a love story on TV tonight, one of the American Film Institute Favourites, the blurb said. Her pekingese, Sweetheart was sleeping peacefully on the couch. A novel titled An endless love lay face down and the strain that ran down its back made it ache. Page 42. It had been lying there all week and dust settled comfortably like complacence around it. There were heart-shaped cushions piled on the sofa. Upstairs, heart shaped pillows rested below a giant pink heart counterpane. In her drawer, panties sprinkled with red hearts cosied up to devilishly pretty lace and satin. On her neat kitchen counter sat two coffee mugs who sat in companionable silence next to each other. When placed just right, they made two halves of a heart a whole. One of them hadn't been used in quite a while. It sat there alone and incomplete, diluting her coffee with guilt. Making it taste metallic and bitter. On the wall, hung a heart-shaped clock and heart shaped magnets dotted the fridge in a weird, tizzy lovefest. Oh there was love everywhere but in her heart. And try as she did, she simply couldn't find it. Under the cushions, under the pillows, on the dresser, in his boxer shorts, between the folds of her skin, in her mailbox, in her garbage, in the photo frames, in the cupboards, in the kitchen sink. There just wasn't any love to be found. Not even vestiges. It was all just very empty.
It's evening. And Beautiful Girl blotted out her running mascara. She painted her pretty mouth and wore her tightest skirt. She widened her eyes, and coated her lashes in lush, midnight black. Her reflection smiled back her. Worries forgot their lines and it felt so good not to hear their opinions for once. Love was not to be found. Love was not going to arrive. Not tonight. And even if it did, it knew where the house keys were. Inside the hollow, by the jasmine bush. Love could let itself in. Tonight would be a night for dancing. Her mascara opened up her eyes to the world. In all respects.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

witching hour

The rain fell. The rain pounded. The rain hammered. The wipers fought the tears that just wouldn't stop. Blurred vision and smudged horizons. Uncle drove the car fast, cause if he didn't, the hazy shapes that moved under the rain's blurry cloak would catch up with us. Yakshikal. Witches. Demonesses. Baadha. Malevolent sprites. Mothers carrying insanity in their ghoulish wombs. She-spiders who wove their silver webs thick and sure. Damned women. Bitter hags and nubile temptresses. They moved silently, invisibly under the sheets of rain and their breath frosted our windows. Uncle drove faster. We wanted to stop. The rain came down with steel machetes. The road was slick with their vice. Rivers swelled with black wrath under the bridges. We wanted to stop. But if we did, their outstretched arms would touch us and taint us for life, they would suck the light out of our eyes, leave their sulphur musk on our clothes and steal our souls.

There definitely was something in the air. The weather was just too pleasant and the countryside we whizzed past was alive, somehow indecently so, like a showy virgin in her prime. Vulgar green parrots with their whorish vocabulary flitted among trees, disturbingly green fields glistened softly under the sun, inviting like parted lips, waxy green leaves camouflaged the maavu's unearthly denizens, placid green mossy temple ponds, green bursting with life. Giddy with life. Red blossoms, red tikkas, red sindhooram, red sandalwood, red restraint. We'd driven into a country where everything didn't come with a logical explanation. A place that had a reason darker than piety for the countless kshethrams and masjids that made for sombre milestones within every kilometre or so. Red and green. The air shivered with magic. It was thick with spells that weren't meant to be broken. Silences that weren't meant to be stirred. The air was steeped in witchery. Every so often, an aalmaram in its melancholic solitude would reach out to us. Coconut palms stood grim like unaffected sentries. Then there were the swollen with the pungent, sweetsmelling white flowers. Palapoo. The smell of temptation. Of being lured. Bait. Possession. Inviting.

Fallen, empty she-souls. Cursed, beautiful, deprived, disappointed women. They smiled their winsome smile at us. In our single-minded pursuit of getting to Cochin before night fell, we shunned their invitation. In our air-conditioned car, where we saw the sea before we smelt it, we offended something deep and sensitive. And squealing at the happy discovery of the sea cut our affront closer to the bone. The storm clouds came from nowhere and they loomed low. The heavens growled with thunder. Without too much warning, they unleashed their fury. Lives would be claimed. Good vs. evil, in open combat. Irresponsible, foolish mortals with enraged demonesses at our heels. Demented, unreasonable, bloodthirsty spirits twisted in their white hot rage. Water blinding us. We ought to have stopped and let the storm pass. But somehow instinct got the better of rational. We were outsiders and we weren't welcome. The sooner we got out, the better. Silent, ceaseless invocations clutched closed and tight in a firm fist. Hell was closing in on us. Hell with the fury of countless scorned female-spirits with centuries of pending scores to settle. Righteous wrath, unreasonable vengeance. The haunter and the haunted. Hunter and the hunted. The rain hissed like a hundred thousand serpents about to strike, poison in its fangs. A caterpillar with icy tips made its slow and gradual progress down my spine. Eerie, unexplainable uneasiness we simply couldn't shake off. Thundering hooves right over our heads. Two hours. Racing cars and palpitating hearts. The wind raged. The road dipped and twisted. A fifth persona squeezed between Teenu and me in the back seat. Fear. Would we make it? Uncle resolutely drove on. A relentless fighter. And yet, somewhere a calm within the storm. Aunty. She held us together in a silver thread of prayer. Panic and faith.


Somewhere we took a wrong turn. Providence finally intervened. We'd outrun them. We slipped into Aleppey town. They fumbled and slowly retreated. Towns with their obtuse streetlights and insensitive grotesque structures have a way of disorienting desolate, lost souls. Mortal and immortal. The sun slowly came out from its hiding place. The worst was behind us. It wasn't our time. Not just yet. We stopped for tea and smacked our lips, milky and thick with the taste of being alive.