Monday, August 26, 2013
Monday, June 03, 2013
Monday, January 07, 2013
“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyse and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there.”
― Bob Marley
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
I've been reading a lot online recently. And for some reason I've been reading a lot of blogs of people based out of Chennai. They are like a slap in the face. Like that advt. The Hindu made in response to TOI's nonsense.
But then I'm not opinionated like them, have nothing to crib or rant about too. Everything that worries me gets figured out in my head or ...erm ...gets taken out on people around me.
This guy above is Raghu Dixit. Kannada folk/pop artiste. Wonderful performer. Breaks strings on his guitar through the show. Does a fat guy dance with his bassie and guitarist to show the crowd how they shouldn't sit on their rear-ends.
Below is the most disjointed creature I've ever met. She is a question motor-mouth, a doubt-a-moment verbal monster who bent your mind into so many colourful shapes you'd wonder why you were born with thumbs.
I was wing man to this guy below and vice-versa as we set upon the fest with the one camera we shared. Introduced Gollum to the standing-and-putting-HoneyBee Kodava style. He stayed up awake for three days and two nights ...almost. I'd retire like a nun to our tent once sleep hit. Many moments of such poor sportsmanship by yours truly.
Some other pics I have to put up to make this post the all-time longest.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
un sueño dura lo que dura un sueño
el tiempo dura lo que dura el tiempo
curioso elemento el tiempo.
El tiempo sopla cuando sopla el viento
el tiempo ladra cuando ladra el perro
el tiempo rie si tu estás riendo
curioso elemento el tiempo."
Friday, July 29, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This one's o.k., Too square. Too thick. How do you read the time on that one? Too flashy. The numbers on that one are very neat. I'm sure this one can pull every hair off my wrist with those steely-hinged straps. O.k., that's the price tag, not a serial number.
It's not like I haven't tried. I did. From the Tissot my classmate in school let me borrow, to the digital one that remembered ten phone numbers for you when I left India for the first time, to the I-can-take-on-pain rugged one my brother gifted me. I've tried them every now and then - consider a few years' gap between now and then.
I just couldn't work out the fascination. I know I can't wear a watch, try as hard as I can, for more than half an hour. I'm a little claustrophobic. Very, when it comes to strapping time on to my wrist. Suffocates me. But still I want to own one. I had no clue why the fascination. Until one day, recently, June came by and showed off her grandmother's watch she had inherited. It wasn't working when her grandmother handed it over, so we dropped in at one of those road-side stores that sold and fixed watches. Standing there, watching the guy bent over the counter, replacing a battery, it struck me. Nothing hard, but it slipped into my head.
My grandfather, after whom I'm supposed to have taken, and the one person my mother dreads I'd take after, was my childhood hero. He was loud, well-read, very well spoken and loved me to bits - at least I thought so. I would sit at his feet and listen and try to understand everything he'd say. I'd ride with him to the poultry farms near home, pick a bird and get back home to watch him kill, clean and cook it for lunch. Same with fish. He loved to cook and could rustle up food for the entire household. The most awesome Ceylon-style 'sambhals' with dry fish in it, fiery rasam, his own vadagams/sandiges from kilos of vegetables he'd buy. He pointed out poisonous mushrooms from the edible ones when we went mushroom-gathering once near Ooty. He'd stop the toddy nungu seller on sweltering Tirupur summers and have him shell fresh nungus for the cousins. Only my elder brother could stand, and actually liked, his special dishes from offal. Every time the doctor came by (yes, there'd be house calls) for his check-up, my grandfather would listen to his warnings of high blood pressure and the need to cut down on his drinking and smoking. Fifteen minutes later, we'd peep into his room to find him sharing a quarter and a smoke with the doctor. His booming voice caught us when we tried to sneak in after an evening walk to the temple (mostly to get some of the delicious 'sundal' prasadam) and have to listen to a small lecture on atheism. I always picture him sitting on his easy chair or riding his ancient Hero Majestic.
All the while, I noticed his wrist watch. A very simple one, silver-faced with simple etchings. And a velcro strap. That cinched it for me, the velcro strap. I guess that image got stuck in the back of my head. I called up my father the same day to find out if anyone has the wristwatch. My father, amused by my usual eccentricities, humoured me enough to call up his mother. That turned up a dead end. The only wristwatch that remained was the one my father gifted him - an HMT, self-winding watch that he last wore.
I still can't wear a watch. But I spent a few days basking in those memories. Thank you LMS, MSE and June.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Who would have known the mischief hiding behind those eyes. He turned out to be a very witty individual, in the simplest ways. Easy going and always smiling, he'd do his thing without being intrusive. The snide and the cheek was for those within ear-shot and only for those he chose to share the mirth with. There was something funny going on all the time in his world. Except when he got into trouble which he rarely did. He turned into a very worried person, downcast and apologetic when it did happen. But then I'm here to tell you only about the happy times.
Once, the company decided on participating in a show in another city. It was one of the largest cities after the capital and was up in the mountains. A regal but dormant volcano overlooked this city of cobbled, winding streets and adobe dwellings. Very touristy.
The truck was to carry the bikes, stands on which the bikes would be displayed and some other flashy paraphernalia to make the whole set-up appealing. I was to leave with Jose and go ahead to the venue - some 380 kms, partly on the Panamericana heading north. We were packed into the cabin behind the driver and his assistant, the co-pilot and we headed out. Once we passed the customs check post at dawn, we decided to head up and behind onto the trailer with the bikes. What a trip!
The stinging cold from the desert, from 25-30 ft above a beautiful stretch of road winding its way up into the Andes. The cold got to us through all the layers of warm clothes, the gloves and the leather jackets. Jose and I held on, bracing ourselves for each curve and every fresh gust of cold air. We saw vicuña herds far away, close to the foot-hills. We saw more peaks jutting out above the desert, some volcanoes. And we saw almost no one else. Traffic was light and far apart. It seemed as if we rode the truck by ourselves, in silence.
By the evening, our trip was punctuated with a few stops to warm up, eat up and fuel up. Arequipa was magnificent as we approached it at dusk. The Misti stood quiet and cold. There was plenty to do before we rested that night.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Once I figure out what it is, it shall be resolved / deleted / amended / replaced / relinquished / exchanged / quartered and drawn.
Friday, April 01, 2011
you a long time ago.
I'd walk in on you yesterday
and ask you over to today.
Hoping to iron out those
things that have made you.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
We got around a hill that pushed into the valley, and the opposite slope seemed the closest. The road across the valley we'd come by tomorrow seemed within reach. We spoke about the possibilities of a bridge right there and wondered why it hadn't been thought of before. We noticed the debris from an abandoned construction site close by. We quickly forgot about it as the next bend caught us unaware with a magnificent sight of a range of snow capped mountains."
The story, or one version of it goes, that up in the hills, there was a new bridge being built across a valley. The new bridge would purportedly cut down travel time drastically over the old road that wound its way further up the valley. The engineer in charge of the construction, a young man from the plains, is taken in by the beauty of the place or falls in love with a damsel from a village or is drawn to the words of a wandering sage. He abandons the site and is never heard of. The construction of the bridge slowly grinds to a stop and remains incomplete.
A story like this is what you'd want to hear when you pass a place like that. But there was none.
Monday, March 14, 2011
As grown-ups, you see people pile up at the site of an accident to only watch. We are voyeurs as we stare into others houses as we walk past. You answer the phone on the bus and everyone is eager to listen in to your conversation. We aren't necessarily the stalking type, but places like Facebook puts us in overdrive when it comes to curiosity.
In wanting to know and satiate this want, we've sometimes crossed the line in many ways. There are the stalkers, the voyeurs, and the over-inquisitive neighbour. But you might step over the line unwittingly too. And then you might be hit with the too-much-information brick or the way-too-much-information wheel-barrow of bricks. Then there's no going back. Too many connections are formed, too many visuals. Etched.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
I won't tell you if it's a he or a she. Not for kicks. It's just that I don't remember. Let's just call this person Aholic (wipe that smirk off your face and go 'heh-he' or 'tee-hee' in your head). Aholic has been to the store, my store, too many times for me to remember a first or to keep count. What I do remember is the look on the face. It's the same every time. There's a hint of hesitance and unfamiliarity that's quickly overcome by a look of bravado tinged with cockiness. A playful voyeur stepped out of that dry skin and into the store.
My clients almost never ever come back. Best thing about this business. And even if they do, I'd never know if it was them. But this one stood out. Helped by the fact that I do remember what she had bought the last time and several times before that. I am in the business of masks, so I do tend to get biased. Every one of the products purchased by him were totally unlike him. Here, in my store, people come to transform. Some desperately want to hide from their pasts. Some have known to be nothing in their past. Another face would give them the freedom to be anything they want to be. It's like moving to a new city where you know no one. You open a new book - fresh, crispy, empty pages. What you do from there on defines who you are. So much so that you become that person and you forget you wear a mask.
Aholic never went away. I thought I knew what it was that didn't work. My products had no flaws. They work because people like you who step in to buy one, desperately want to hide their flaws. They always pick what suits them best. It's the most obvious thing to do. You get it right. Simple. I never have window-shoppers who drop in on a whim. But my clients have their fancies. I think that was Aholic's problem. But I'm not sure. Why wouldn't you want to be someone you could be when given the chance? Why try something just for the sake of trying it out.
One thing was consistent. Aholic stepped into the store like it was the first time. Every time. Browsing through the galleries, Aholic's eyes lit up with child-like wonder. At the possibilities that lay waiting in the shelves. There'd be the bunch of masks towards the end to pick from. Then the confusion and struggle to make a choice. Which one looked good? What would happen with this one? Uncertainity always existed for all my customers, but they'd be thinking practical thoughts. Making the math work. This one just had problems picking a lollipop from a bunch of multi-coloured lollipops. And when that finally happened there was always the apprehension. Hesitance. A backward step towards the pile left behind, or a glance at the ones close to the cash counter.
I think nothing ever happened when Aholic went away with a new mask. Worst client ever - especially for my ego.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Another Sunday to himself. Morning, or what was left of it, reminded him of nothing. It normally felt good. An empty mind on a Sunday was a good place to build an appetite. So much he'd be able to catch up on and he knew nothing of that sort was to happen. He'd usually while away the day until he'd feel those pangs of guilt in the evening.
The watch, from under his pillow was the only way he'd know what time it was. Grey as they came, January was making its presence felt this morning. He knew it was all cloudy and cold outside, and that was because of the two blankets that were keeping him warm. The warmth that had kept him from getting out. He'd fought the urge till now.
Half an hour later, he was sitting down for breakfast. Toast with lots of butter and a tad of marmalade. Downed with some hot, milky sweet tea. Ignoring the empty bottles of beer on the table. The stale smell of cigarettes too were ignored. He'd come to that later. The opened windows and hopefully, cross ventilation would help for now.
The bottles went into the crate, the crate into the garage. The emptied and washed ashtrays lay face down, washed and dried next to the sink. His hands and feet got the work done. His mind still had to get back from last night. He usually forgot easily. It was convenient. But not this time.
He'd been the kind who could absorb anything. Pain, the physical type especially was his favourite. He hadn't know of any other kind. He'd conveniently kept himself immune from that. He shrugged it off with ease. Dealing with people was easy. The lesser attention he'd have to pay, the better. He marvelled at his own apathy. It protected him like a force field.
But not last night. For the first time he'd come to know about one small part of a different kind of pain. She'd laughed that laugh all evening. And then he'd made her cry.
He walked up and found the door to the room was still closed. He thought she'd have left. He returned to the kitchen and began preparing another breakfast. He turned up the radio so she'd notice he was up.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
It kept me from being a (add anything awesome here - rock star, leg-spin guru, tennis champ, chess grand master, computer geek and my all time favourite - super hero) when I was younger. I didn't get past playing nonsense on my brother's guitar and piano, the second level at a tennis championship (only because the first level opponent forfeited) and my manic will to day-dream when its meant to be done - all day.
I wasn't even good at bunking, whiling away what could have been awesome times dusting off whatever I could get my hands on at the local central library.
I'm too lazy to even finish this post.
The conversation is banal. It must be the loud music. That guy seems to know all the lyrics. I'm sure anyone with a mug of beer in them would get there. Its all a daze now. I realised later that I must have been staring too much... I guess. Was I that obvious? Those feelings were obvious. But then there was this whole shroud of 'friends-like-us' and 'friends-don't-do-that' that suffocated me forever. Right up to when I had to make a decision. And then I faltered. Then it wasn't the same.
I walk away from the fork in the path, taking with me what is now, and what currently is my tomorrow. The conversations seem the same, but there's the hint of something, an edge that scrapes. An itch that can't be scratched. Funny I'm this colour today.
Friday, January 21, 2011
This is about me. So a lot of I's and me's.
Its also about you and the way I feel about you.
I am jealous of the way you can carry yourself, so pristinely in control of everything. Not letting anything bother you. Not a hair out of place. Not a word I say to prick that surface. It all bounces off like water on wax.
You can say all the right things not letting your guard down. Always in control of your emotions. Always able to look past all the shallowness I throw at you. I want to riddle you with questions. I want to uncover your past. I want to know. Find out about every joy and all the pain. I want to be immature and intrude.
I wouldn't know where my instincts end and blind jealousy begins. I push it all down and try to be you. I can only try.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Monday, December 06, 2010
Que se quedan atrapado entre pensamiento y mi lengua.
Me cierro los ojos, placido el sonido de tu voz.
La energia empieza a correr por mis venas,
al verte, burbujiando por las valles.
Sin parar, sin descanso.
Correre junto, hasta tu sonrisa me deja,
antes que te aburres, me paro.
Los verdes y los tiempos calurosos te esperan,
en los llanos fertiles.
Lejos de mi altiplano.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
A light blue glow was gently overcoming the safety and coolness of the night sky. Hues of pink and orange were lapping around the edges. Shapes and contours of the countryside began to reveal themselves. A tethered buffalo mutely turned to watch him roar past. He remembered growing up in a place like this. And then the memories flooded back, surging past the morning.
He was never in class to begin with. His mother regarded it as something to add to the family heritage. A high school pass to present at the next gathering of relatives. It only gave him more reason to rebel. It wasn't his age, watching too many weekend movies at the tent or bad influence. He went looking for the bad influence and got into plenty of it. He was constantly being told on by his teachers at school and relatives who caught him playing truant. His anger only barely covering the fact that he was the least interested in sitting through a class. Studies were not for him. He resented the fact that he couldn't do well.
One morning he woke up well before the others, collected a bag with a change of clothes and left. He stopped only at the junction where the dirt road from his village met the highway and decided which way to go. He trudged on through the day, not looking back, until his legs couldn't take him further. He looked up and realised he had reached a halfway place for truck drivers. Trucks lined the sides of the road with dhabas filled with hungry and loud people.
He began as a help at one of the dhabas. Serving, washing, cleaning after the truck drivers. He was fascinated with their lives. All they had to do was drive across the country. Regular ones met up and exchanged stories of income tax check-posts, better routes to common destinations, a pretty new prostitute at the toll gate, growing up children and tiring bosses. It all seemed like adventure after adventure, every driver's story unique.
In six months he went on his first truck ride to a city. The driver had grown fond of him and his helper was about to become a driver himself. The strong, young village kid was a perfect replacement. He was hired by the owner of the trucks with a lot of reassurance and praise from his driver friend. The boy didn't let him down once. The moment he could pay off the local authorities to get him a driver's license, he walked up to the big boss and asked for a truck and a route of his own. Again his old friend was there to convince the man.
In three years, he made it big, and then went on reckless sprees of indulgence. He believed he had earned it all - the money, the fine clothes, women and merriment. His friends lasted as long as they could walk away sane and stayed far away as they watched the young man drown himself in drinking bouts that lasted weeks. Angry employers and a spiraling reputation amongst the community left him grasping for very little. His subsequent anger and the to-and-fro between binging and work almost ended where everyone expected it to - in a gutter or a hospital pallet. Some where, something made him turn back.
There was no elation on knowing he was getting back. He had no choice. There could be no better humiliation in the eyes that stared back at him as he passed each village. He wanted to tell them that he wasn't going anywhere other than back to where he started. The blues had moved away to the other horizon, making way for a searing white. Closing his eyes seemed such a pleasant option, but he knew he had to keep his word. Pressing down a little more on the pedal to fight off the tiredness that was spreading across his body, he realised he'd hit a lonely, straight stretch. Any other day this would have been a trucker's joy. Now, it looked like hell.
A form up ahead broke the monotony and it irked his senses for a moment. It seemed out of place. As he drove closer, he saw that it was a young boy walking along. He seemed lost between purpose and indecision. As he got closer, more features were lit up by a blazing dawn, the bare feet and a small travel bag. Not a speck of cloud. The yellow, searing sun lit up hell diligently. The truck swerved across the road and toward the boy.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
He walked away from that instance that went on to become another memory;
with a merry jingle and tinkle of fragile items from his heart.
He wanted to go home, if he knew where that was.
He'd have loved to come home to its comfort and warmth.
If he could ever stop, turn, and make it home.