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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chicken and Conversation...

Its a late Saturday evening and I am sitting before my beloved D-boy…..the lights are twinkling all over Glasgow’s West end and I can see them from my lounge window as I type.

There’s a pot of chicken cooking on my stove and the lid is clattering against the pot as fragrant steam tries to make mad attempts for independence and freedom…

It’s a simple chicken curry….a new recipe or perhaps an old one…..sai says I should note down my recipes here…..for posterity’s sake, I presume!!!

Chop up onions (2 large ones per kilo) finely diced and quarter some potatoes (4 per kilo)….please wash all ingredients and yourself if possible, before cooking…..some chillies (6 I believe) also roughly chopped……1 packet of chicken thighs (8 medium sized pieces) the skin ripped off and washed …….dump the skin, the onions and the chillies into a large pot and pour in a generous dose of garlic sauce/paste and mix it all up….you could use other sauces if you like, I had only garlic so that’s that….finally dump in the chicken pieces and mix the whole up and put it on the burner……add a dash of oil…..on a low flame, let the whole simmer….stir every 4 minutes….as you can see, I am a lover of even numbers…..oh, and add salt

The onions and the skin and the chillies give off oil and water….and so does the meat…..after a while, the whole broth like thing starts smelling delicious and bubbles away quite merrily, which leaves me to simply do the rice, which is easier and quicker to do than it’ll take to write it here, so skip that……after a while the onions melt and the chicken juices combine to make it a sort of broth….which is where you can add the potatoes and if you want a stew, just add some veggies and you’re almost done….

But not quite…..I have just added a generous helping of masala paste so the whole hue of the chicken is now a rich reddish-brown in colour and also half a can of tomatoes that has been feeling rather forlorn and neglected in my almost bare fridge…, there you have it….stir and stir and stir….simmer, simmer, simmer…..always on a low flame…..

Makes me feel like a witch in a Shakespearian production in my own ktchen….boil and bubble, toil and tubble, cauldron boil and brew trouble and so on and so forth…..

And as the damn chicken and rice bubble and boil, so does my brain……I like cooking because with a cigarette epoxy glued to my lips and my hands busy, my every churning mind takes stock…..hehehehe, forgive the silly pun…was not intended….

I wonder what the hell does one get stuck in conversations, get stuck in belief’s and also in honour and sensibility……I wonder why my ever agile mind and facile tongue have suddenly found themselves stuck in the quagmires and quicksand of conversation, simple easy conversation with someone…..

Its hard enough to do with disabilities of looks and a rather pugnacious and idiotic personality that like karna, I am stuck at the end battle without weapons and without abilities…..

Recently, someone from my past, a friend who I had met about 6 years and more, and since been good net friends with declared that she had feelings for me……

After a long hiatus, it was as if my heart suddenly realized its existence……must have been shock value to even find that someone could even find me bearable, much less like…..well, not as in like like, but as in like MORE than a friend…..

Sounds pretty soppy and juvenile perhaps, but…..

Damn, my curry just got a little stuck to the bottom of the pot….I HATE THAT….I have to scrape and suddenly black bits appear in my gravy….hmmmm, multi-tasking does have some drawbacks……anyway, give me a minute here…..need a cigarette now that the damn curry’s done as well as the rice, I can chill and have a smoke ….

Anyway….leaving aside my petty sentimentality and perhaps senility of accepting a fate of being singularly lonely and idiotically possessing large groups of friends who eat my rubbish and drive away my blues……the point here was that I had honestly never expected this….

Expect, hell, I had specifically even stopped myself from even daydreaming about ever being liked enough to be considered even the least bit romantically….

I mean, my whole life I had fought, schemed and planned for attention and liking…..I had become interesting so that people might like talking to me…..had learnt how to dance, cook, be witty, be savvy, smart and knowledgeable……I know, it sounds all so inane now and oh so important then……For a hug, for a look, for a kiss, I had used whatever tools god had given me and fashioned an arsenal of weapons, that was in retrospect, truly formidable….

And all for absolutely NO BLOODY USE……

You JUST cant get more pathetic than that…..

Anyway, after sairekha left me, I arrived at a crossroads of life…..I found myself, my dreams and my abilities hollow and meaningless…..and so like every other desperado and idiot of the books, I set out to find myself and perhaps some peace….

So hear ye, hear ye, hear ye……after many travails and encounters, our hero just did find that rotten and hard earned peace… the cost of indifference and perhaps even reallocation of self and baggage…..

I was boring perhaps, I was me perhaps…..simple and easy and different…..

And then to hear that someone was interested in me…..not for my food or my scintillating conversation or even my dubious abilities……I tell you, it was heady and idiotic and somehow it felt right…..even when it was wrong….

She was due to be married and somehow thought that I had found love in the unlikeliest of places…..or that I was in love and so could handle it…..I mean, what the fuck…..

I was NOT in love and nor was I looking for any….or so I told myself and had almost half convinced my errant and recidivist heart…….

I mean, I asked myself, she’s getting married in two months….what’s this, some freaking Karan Johar megastarrer ?? With myself as the reluctant khan??

Some fuckin’ bad joke, yeah ??

Anyway……so, I humour her…..yes, I am a bastard…..but hopefully an honest one…..

I liked hearing her voice, let me say this honestly…..And I thought that I would let her down easy….she’s just getting cold feet before marriage…..she’s just unsure…..she’s just idiotic, like most girls…..or so I thought….

I mean……she’s getting married to this idiot who loves her, who cares for her…..cares and loves her enough to want to marry her……would I or even could I allow her to break his heart……perhaps a bit like mine own was broken and shattered ? Naaaah…

So, I let her speak and let her spin her webs and so on……wrong move, I know, before you say it……she was a good pal and she had been there when I was broken and bruised….what was I supposed to do…..shut up and not take her calls? Perhaps I should have……

After about a month of such nonsense, I realized two things –

  • I had moved on in life, but I was still vulnerable and immature
  • These calls were getting me nowhere and in effect I was merely ruining her already confused life…

I reasoned with her and then when reason did not work anymore, I gave up…..I told her to grow up and sleep on the bed she had made….perhaps brutal, perhaps harsh, perhaps uncalled for…..but reason and logic and sense were not getting her anywhere….

And so I did…..

And then I tried to go on with my life….

And I realise that my heart aches for longing and for relations which go beyond friendships and mere talking….

I thought I was tougher than that…..thought I had banished such wants and desires from my life and my being….

I had given up or at least made myself give up the hope and the want of things more than what I have now…..for the softer things in life which I had fought and schemed for…..for the attention I was deprived of as a child and the peace of merely looking at someone and the warm shiver that would go down my spine….

I guess I am still greedy and hungry…..for things that I cannot have…..and like a lump in my throat that refuses to go away, my tongue and mind have become entangled in the same and refused to budge….

Its not wrong to want……but its wrong to want things that I cannot have……and so I tell myself as I wrap myself in my blankets and switch on the music…….for a long time, I would listen to music and rock myself to sleep…..when I was growing up, I would scheme and figure out till my mind just gave up to fatigue and sleep… that I am grown up, I again listen to music and rock myself to sleep…..

To smell the fragrance of shampooed reach out and hold a warm even know……these were not for me, I sternly told myself and worked myself to fatigue and indifference and a hard won peace…..

And yet, I realise that its still not easy……and my tongue and mind are in rebellion against my determination…..and this too shall pass…..I know….

But like my chicken and my friends and my work and everything else……it all seems so incomplete… ache that I must dominate and go past….

I guess, I must speak again or else go mute……I must think again or go mad…..

I am still me…..and I am not hungry or perhaps hungrier than ever before….

Chicken anyone?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Butts mark the way

Why is it that every time I am waiting for a bus to arrive, the damn thing never comes….and when I have finally given up waiting and have rolled a perfect white cylinder of cancer …. And mind you….JUST LIT IT…that the damn thing decides to make its grand appearance, in defiance of all British standards of time keeping!!!!

I HATE HAVING TO THROW AWAY A FRESH LIT CIGARETTE… the Scottish bus driver’s union know that specific secret of mine and conspire against me?

And so it happens that butts mark the way….

I had started smoking way back in almost my pre-teens… mom still blames a far-off cousin who introduced me to the then forbidden pleasures of tobacco …….that poor fellow quit long back but the white rice paper cylinders never quit on me…..and the butts started dropping…..

Throughout my adult life, my smoking has always been a part of my life…..especially in times like this when I’d sit all alone at 3 am in the morning and just stare at the screen…….and wait for the words to tumble forth….while the ash grows longer and the coffee colder….

They say that a man has three teachers, three lovers, three enemies and three friends and he never quite knows when he meets whom and never realizes who was whom for him till its over….At the great and hollow age of my late twenties, I do believe that I have either met all the sad bastards life can throw at me or else I am possibly the greatest fraud still alive…..

This blog for me is not a mere point of existence for incoherent ramblings…..or so I tell myself and through me, the world….Unwilling and yet driven I find myself in need of articulation and expression of all that I perceive and observe and to hope to put all of that down in paper… the hope of someday committing to a plotline and characters, these very same desires, belief’s and thoughts…..

Like my butts, these blogs too mark a wavering, shambling route to my own self…..crusted with bitter indifference and worn over with cynical attitude, I wearily let my educated fingers wander over the keyboard of my chosen addiction……signposts of a life, hopelessly lost in the mundane truths of being, searching for the grail or even grain of truth which makes up for the rest of the idiotic rambling (both of life and blog)…..

A start…..all it requires is a start….and hopefully an end…..

You need a start to start…that much is but obvious…..and one needs an end to define the start….the rest is all adventure….and sometimes there’s a mis before the adventure and another s at the end….but then, that’s all there is to it…..

A swashbuckling, swaggering, hard-rock sound tracked filled… times wry, at times tragic….mostly idiotic, mostly nonsensical….to continue from the beginning and continue to the end….and as the old saying goes….a large piece of prose with something definitely wrong in it somewhere….or so I think…..but then thoughts are one thing, dreams another, nightmares again different and reality a complete new set of crockery all over….

I am presently hunting for gainful employment….of any sort….to tide me over till I can start applying for jobs in mine own field….FTS does not allow us to sign any contracts till our student visas expire….and then again there are various other incidents that happen which make our life a not so monotonous journey….and like life, a lot happens in the cracks of time and space…..

Shantanu has left and Gayatri has arrived…….its like an era is over……the Maratha has left to join his office in Derby and undergo graduate training in Rolls-Royce and yet another set of characters have arrived in these far off shores, searching for education, belief, employment and god-only-knows-what-else…….Gayatri has somehow come into the large and rather shambling debris of our lives…..a little pipsqueak of a character with a grin larger than her entire being and almost like a lost waif, she has been taken in and accepted by my rather large and extended family of urchins and claimed as one of their own……especially by khan….

Shantanu’s leaving has hit perhaps khan the worst…..for over a years they have abused and maligned each other in their own ways and now that the Maratha is gone, the Pathan is well nigh inconsolable…..there’s no one to fight with, he says….

My house has been a din and a cacophony for so long that the sudden silences sometimes worry me……pranay, rishab, asim, jayant, kartick, taimoor, umair, murli, priyanka, joydip, atty….the list is endless…..ramzan is still on and the stories are simply piling up….I wonder what to put down and what I could leave out…..this delay is caused due to this and I don’t regret it….

Of pranay and my encounter’s with keeping roza….which lasted all of 3 days….

Of the hindu’s like rishab and me feeding the muslims like jahanzeb (jazzy) and khan and so many others….

Of the time where umair and shantanu both smoked grass and then finished off a kilo and a half of ice cream by candle light, imagining themselves as gods and the ice cream as the world, while the rest of us were asleep….

Of Joydip and how he would play “jumma chumma” for 3 hours and would have gone on further just that we put a stop to it….

Of poor Atty Rizvi, the ever enduring one, who would smile his shy smile and endure all our crazy antics and still keep his calm and all of us in line….

Of my blanket invitation aftari parties where I would cook like a demon and feed everyone in the vicinity and how they became legend….

Of the crazy antics of all the great “character’s” of Glasgow that pranay ahluwalia would take so much relish in enacting and making us laugh… the time nitin ran off with jajali drunk or of the time anand mishra and tikku got into a slanging match in hindi in the MBA class forgetting anyone and everyone else in the class….or of the time khan managed to lure jenny into my flat in the student halls and suddenly like a dog chasing cars, didn’t know what to do once the damn car stopped….

Of the way rishab would take everything from an economic perspective and the way atty rizvi and joydip would eye each other every so often or how shantanu would home in like a homing pigeon on the nearest pair of mammaries after two pegs or how taimoor would behave in a completely different manner with females and with us……..

Of how shantanu and taimoor would abuse each other from the minute they’d open their eyes till they closed their eyes…..and sometimes even with their eyes closed in the middle of dreams or nightmares……

Of how murli would despair of the lot of us and blast us in the kindest possible language and finally how he went into exile in desperation and in protest against all drunk hindi speaking idiots inhabiting the flat……

Of how 20 boys and sometimes more would inhabit the flat and the original owners would either sleep elsewhere or on the floor with all clothes and shoes on….

Of the number of movies murli, shantanu and myself ripped from the net, regardless of taste, language or whatever and watched as a community and the amount of arguments over the movies and anything and everything…..

Of the pakistani’s and the Indians who called my flat as no man’s land and each was the other’s brother….and yet I kicked them all out of my flat the day the india-pak twenty20 match was on….I was mad, legally not medically…..

Of the incessant job searches and the “hausla-afzai” that kept us together….not to mention my coffee grounds, milk and sugar !!!

Of the interviews and the crazy hours of waiting for a call to come through……

Of the calls that did come through and the ones that did not….

Of the celebrations and the mournings and the talks that went on and on and on….

Of youtube and youporn websites which made MTV and anything else redundant and the much abused 20 mbps net connection and the even more abused lappy’s in the house which were used beyond their capacities and were then taken apart with kitchen knives and spoons and brushed clean with toothbrushes and aftershaves…..of IC boards ripped apart and of frantic cable wiring and ebay hunts….

Of ebay hunts for weird stuff…..

Of the never ending search for cheaper and cheaper access codes to call home and near and dear ones….possibly at no cost…..

Of the tremendous amounts of energy expended for the search of trust, truth and love….and their denunciations….and yet the longing for the same…..

Of the girls chatted up to in chat forums, the advice sought, the dates planned and never fulfilled….

Of the girl who called and called and said those words I thought I will never hear again…..and how I bid her adieu and set her on her own way…..

Of the desperation of life and its responsibilities and duties…..

Of the alcohol drunk, the weed smoked, the abuses hurled, the food shared, the beds shared, the lives shared…..

In a year, I have lived 5 years of college and have changed beyond all else and yet not…..

I wonder how I can actually subscribe all these people and their every detail in words and letters. It is not enough to merely write, it is perhaps more important to feel, to know and to experience.

My novel or the large piece of prose with something wrong in it, is nearing completion….I think there’s enough wrong with me and enough in my blogs to actually sit and write about…. I have my characters and I think the plotline will take care of itself…..nothing worth doing is ever easy and each has been hard won…..

My bus comes along and I have to leave the stop or the bus will leave without me… does life, as does everyone else…..I have stood, been counted, weighed and hope I have been not found wanting….and sometimes, the butt has to be thrown away, even if I don’t like it, merely to mark the way I passed through….

Friday, August 17, 2007

Conversations and Observations

To call oneself a writer, one needs to write….perhaps even to write well enough or at least better than most so as to define one above and beyond other scribblers…

And yet in the shallows of the night, self-realization drives in the honesty of the fact that there is not any difference between the scribbling of others and that of a writer’s…

So, then, what defines a writer……??

A few thousand more words and phrases in your vocabulary…..perhaps a keener wit…..perhaps lucidity and empathy…..and yet even these singular abilities aside, it is still not enough to define someone as a writer….

A writer is perhaps set apart by his observations and understanding of people……more of others and less of his/her own perhaps……and an arrogance to set the same down on paper or screen with a justification that the same cannot or could have been observed or concluded in any other manner….and then to wonder whether it was worth writing at all or not……

Did I mention self-absorption and delusions of grandeur? Writers often give psychologists a reason to call their mumbo-jumbo a profession usually…..

I too observe…..and when I find that my eyes are not enough, I employ my ears and tongue…..that is to say I converse…..with people, with utter strangers, with friends, family and those of mine own and not as well….

I find solace in my feeble attempts to observe the unseen corners of the human existence that is present everywhere and yet is neverwhere….

The little old lady who always stands in the corner of the bus stop to catch the first sight of the bus, rather than taking the shelter of the bus stand…..and likes to talk about what she’s going to prepare for her dinner in the evening…..

The elderly professor who nudges empty and discarded crisps packets or wrappers on the street when he thinks himself alone……and would construct theories of brilliant communication by drawing parallels for the everyday things he does and his chosen subject…..

The father holding the hand of his son and his unconscious pride in his son’s mindless prattle as his son holds his hand trustingly and tells him of his world…..

The stray and solitary library assistant who reads books heavier than himself and digs for boogers in his nose and munches on them with relish, without realising that half the table is trying their hardest not to make a concerted rush for the door……

The affluent and most eligible bachelor with dog hairs all over his body, flat and life who feels safer with his two dogs than alone or worse in frail and undependable female company……

The lonely and well-to-do career woman……my ever-warring parents…….friends……strangers…..anyone and everyone is grist to my every-churning mill and I find myself floundering on the unending grain of people & lives from my mill…..

I find a thousand stories on the sidewalks and discard a few million on the threshold of my flat……..there are a few too many to write about and yet, I write……as many as I can, as many as I can understand and believe……

Stories are like ships, some sail and some sink beneath the waves…..but they are all true ….. at some level or the other….

The truth’s that I perceive are perhaps lies to another and another’s travesties are true to someone else all over again….and so the cycle’s revolve….

Each time I begin a story, I merely wonder where I would be going…….rather I think of the end and find myself being taken there by a cast of characters I never met before and would perhaps never meet again…..I often wish that the journey’s would be longer so that I could get to meet them properly…..

Perhaps, merely to observe them, converse with them….yet again….

Saturday, August 04, 2007


My life is boring…..

Never thought ANYONE would ever get to say that…..least of all me !!!

Finally… life is boring….

My office has gained a new health worker…..and I am supposed to show her the ropes….and one of the things I have to show her is the morning bus route and so on the route to the office, my peace suddenly gets shattered by nervous chatter…..

For three days I have taken in the chatter and shop talk disturbing my morning solitude and then the lady hits me with a zinger today…..

She asked me, so what are your plans for the weekend….and of course, I said – working on my dissertation……very automatic response, said she……don’t you like to go out, pubbing, movies, nights out......

To be honest, I just stared at her……for a full 15 minutes before realising that I don’t have a life……

This is insanely hilarious and suddenly sobering as well……Me and not having a life……the very veracity and the ludicrous nature of the situation has indeed taken me by surprise….

My life revolves around my work, my studies, cooking, cleaning and the odd hindi movie I rip from the net…….

On the days I work, I leave my flat around 7 am and get back around 7 pm…..too tired to make anything other than something quick and snappy for dinner and maybe a quick scan of my emails….

On the days I don’t work….I cook, do my washing up, catch up on my reading (for my diss) and sleep…….at odd times, when I get the time, I rip the latest movies from weird Japanese forums……benefits of living with two net techies….you start learning the basic dirty net tricks….

I realise that I haven’t seen the inside of a disco or a pub for ages now……and nor have I spent money uselessly in ages…….

I realise that I haven’t danced for months…..nor have I fought anyone…..not even brawled…..not even felt the lack of that savage rush of blood to my head that I couldn’t do without…..haven’t felt that berserker rage and the ice cool shiver that balances my nature as I set out yet again to prove I am me, cock of the walk, bruised, battered, scarred and still standing….

I realise that I don’t wear cowboy boots that crack authoritatively on the court floors, inviting attention one way or the other and nor do I swagger with the chip on my shoulder and snarl my way clear of the rush…..I now wear soft, padded sneakers which are better for my walking….and my office hallways are carpeted and I’d rather listen to music and wait my turn……

I realise that I haven’t been drunk in ages…..or at least drunk as in crazy drunk…. I am no longer on the razor’s edge…..needing equal and copious quantities of alcohol, madness and battles everyday to fight….. merely to stay alive, to feel alive….

I realise that my only contact to the outside world is through a virtual net service….and a few phone calls……and that’s it…….I shun parties, scared of relapsing into the devil I was…..I shun anything and everything that could perhaps bring out or even about the beast on my back…….

I realise that I have finally achieved what I set out to do….achieved blandness…..I have finally left my world far behind…..

A simple man with a simple job, self-absorbed, normal and just another person on the street who takes the bus to work and cooks and cleans on weekends……no issues, no hurry, no tension, except maybe to finish my dissertation on time…..but that should be possible……

I should celebrate…….and I don’t know how to…..

Should I laugh or merely wonder at myself?

Even today, when I perceive my own life from the eyes of my friends and colleagues, it is hard for me to actually accept that this transformation has indeed taken place… my dismay, surprise or happiness…I truly do not know….

If my old lawschool friends or ex-colleagues from the various High Court Bars I hold affiliation to were to observe my lifestyle and my manner of life, they might not believe that they even know me…..Antu would disown me for sure and Rajesh would take me to the nearest hospital…..parry might sit me down and ask for identification and cross-examine to assure himself that I am who I am……The others would still be dumbstuck if not outright disbelieving……

My past life, my dubious reputation and even my character has left such a wide swath on my back trail that anyone seeking to find me will be lost………anonymity has indeed been achieved……and I have no idea what the hell to do with it…..

The truth is a bizarre mix of belief and even perception… I had written before….

My usual rants are loosing steam and I have a horrible confession to make…….however the forum is too public for such, so suffice it to say that things have evolved from flickers on the screen…..anything further would be an invitation to disaster or worse…..

The last time such an evolution took place, I shouted it from the rooftops and took umbrage at anyone NOT knowing……things have changed indeed….

Hey you reading this.....the world is not so bitter and the sun does shine sometimes.....

Then again, it might just be that I am being stupid....once again....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Welcome to my world….

Hi, I am D.

I live in Glasgow and presently working part time for the NHS while completing my dissertation for my Masters in Development Economics. This is not a blog about how an ex-criminal lawyer from Guwahati, Assam, India came to be doing economics in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

I live in 66, Fergus Drive which is a rather nice address, on top of a hill and then again the apartment on the top floor. But this is again not a blog about how I ended up here in this tastefully decorated and rather messy lounge, looking out of the window and seeing the twinkling lights of the West End of the city and typing on my rather battered and bruised laptop, D-Boy…….honestly, the only way housework could be done in this place was with a shovel or, for preference, a match and a few cans of petrol…..a firebomb would perhaps serve just as well………

I live with 3 other insane roomies and this is a blog about them……

Its also a blog about the various visitor’s who walk in and out of the door’s of my flat and my life………

But basically, this is a blog to invite you to my life and friends and other animals……not because they have asked me to, but because I need to draw up the final chapters of my sojourn’s here…and as always I talk in philosophy and they listen in gibberish……
God’s first words, according to bible were “let there be light”……if my roomies would have been there, they’d have instantly yelled back, “what colour??”

With these words, I do commend my soul to any god who can find it…..

Allow me to define my surroundings like every other author usually does, one way or the other……a frightful bore, I always find it……but there you have it… HAVE to define stage space and trust me, this is indeed a stage…..

It’s a nice & sunny two bedroom apartment with a decent lounge and a small, but well equipped kitchenette. The rent we pay is £525 and though its supposed to be a two-man apartment, as is usual with Indian students, we’re fitting four in where two are supposed to exist. I guess, this somehow fits in with the entire ethos of the place…..

The flat is redolent with the usual aroma’s of curries…, spicy and meaty and potatoey….just like our mum’s kitchens would smell, which is of course what defines it as home for us and as a smelly nuisance for the rest of the rather tight-lipped and uncomplaining neighbours.

If I were to start, I guess, I should start with someone interesting…….the problem is exacerbated by the fact that all three are equally insane and therefore of interest…..lucky for me, one of them just popped his inane face through the lounge door and asked me what I was doing……so, I guess he’ll serve to start with…..

The West…..

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you, Shantanu, Maharashtrian and game addict……..earlier readers might remember this great individual with his rather desperate shorts and inane grin from blogs before……A personage of immense appetite and yet stick thin due to a possible hyperactive metabolism and even more possibly a stomach that reaches below his knees, this is a man who absolutely and resolutely retains his identity and amazing neighing laugh and of course the impeccable timing that goes along with his definitive laugh…..

Shantanu arrived on these far and chilly shores in pursuit of further education…….possibly education in all forms and aspects, one would suspect, but education at all costs…….A straight A student, his education commenced with my erstwhile flatmate’s sizeable mammaries and the lady did have a bosom that rose and fell like an empire…….. I do believe his education there is still in a process of fulfilment……this is of course when he finds time away from his unending war games or his dilbert-like projects in his lab….To his credit, shantanu is famous for his walk since he moves in a way that suggested he was attempting the world speed record for the nonchalant walk…. He had a unique stride: it looked as though his body was being dragged forward and his legs had to flail around underneath it, landing wherever they could find room. It wasn't so much a walk as a collapse, indefinitely postponed…..and also to his credit, sarcasm was merely a seven letter word beginning with S……

A few words about shantanu…..he HATES cleaning up and cannot cook or rather WILL not cook…….he’ll exist on bread and milk or worse, on dry cereals rather than actually do anything towards procurement of a hot meal….A past master at the art of escaping chores around the house, a fierce defender of anti-conspiracy theories and an absolutely irrepressible and horrible movie interrupter, ever since I dragged his skinny and drunk-on-two-pegs-arse to his bedroom, this great man has been a rather indomitable part of the horde…..

The North….

Taimoor…..the khan was and is still a reluctant visitor to these foreign shores…….when I met him, my first impression was that here’s finally a person who has really pushed back the boundaries of ignorance……and has almost made it an art form !!!

My views over the last year haven’t really undergone much change and the same was reiterated by one of our professors who remarked to khan, "It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever…………have you thought of going into teaching?"

For khan, the ferocious afghan, the whole wide world and perhaps even the universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) fight with, and (d) rocks….how economics figured into this equation has left both the professors and me scratching our collective heads……….

I saw him truly happy a few weeks ago when we were having dinner and suddenly noticed a council house somewhere in Maryhill, or the local Nedsville going up in flames. Khan was jumping up and down for joy and was nearly dressed to go and watch the sight before I managed to grab hold of him and sit on him………for which reason, he is still quite pissed with me. According to khan, TV and the net were subsidiary sources of entertainment to that of a raging fire or so his village folklore ran………..

Khan calls me Jiten and I call him Anwar, the names of our respective cooks back home, since we’ve donned the chef’s apron’s out here and made blood oaths to never reveal this fact to our respective would-be wives……..he makes a mean vegetable “Pilaf” and I don’t do badly at “kheer” ….. the joint decision was based on the fact that neither wants to be spend anymore time in the kitchen than necessary……Yes, we’re are closet MCP’s…….though I don’t mind the cooking so much as long as there is someone to lift the heavy stuff, do the chopping and the cleaning up after wards…..

The South….

The next man in line is the southernmost entity……Murali…….net geek, downloader extraordinaire, the “tanki” who could down 17 shots of whisky and then carry on normally and yet who drinks but rarely, fellow speed demon and a vicious, authoritative and the most insanely logically minded young gun of his ilk that it has been my pleasure to know…..

Murali, murli, MUTTU (as Shantanu calls him after getting drunk on two cans of beer) is of the generation which considers the screen to be the better substitute to pages…..this is a man who’s from a place which had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote……..Rajnikanth aka Murli in our flat was The Man and he had the Vote……and I was never unhappy to go along with him……things were rather simpler and in any case, I do suit the role of the scheming and nasty vizier than the happy-go-lucky ruler with a mind that ticked like a clock……and like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo…… I must say that NO tyrant in the whole history of the world had ever achieved a domination so complete!!!

With murli and the rest of his southern gang, barring a few notable exceptions, the subject of them and sex was a complicated one……… it does, in essence, boil down to this: when it comes to wine, women and song, South Indians are allowed to get drunk and croon as much as they like……or in my beloved Muttu’s case, snore melodiously…..that man could snore like no man’s affair and sawing wood, hewing iron blocks, or even a jackhammer stood no chance against the deep reverberations that emanated from this man’s nostrils……..Thankfully, I was in close pursuit and competition which therefore meant I wasn’t as much affected as the rest of the roomies and the rest of the building and the people living down the hill………

The East…..

Now, its hard to define myself, so I guess I’ll define the others who does not actually live here and yet are perhaps involved in ALL our activities one way or the other……if the others want to define me, they’re free to post me their thoughts…….I promise to publish whatever they send, provided they even bother to.....

The Others……..

One of the most persistent and frequent visitors of our home is P………….an inseparable part of all our activities and endeavours and a constant fountain of disgusting PJ’s, idiotic statements and yet as much a part of 66 Fergus Drive as any of its insane inhabitants……by virtue of the ever present and overworked net connection, this person is as much a part of the house and given equal status by all the flatmates…….that is to say, given status on point……..the point followed by a rather long and sharp sword, possibly…….

Now if I were to actually get down to defining, I guess this is a person who belongs to that breed of People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn't need people……talk to her and you begin to feel the acute depression that steals over every realist in the presence of an optimist……If I was ever to meet this person I guess we’d look at one another in incomprehension, two minds driving opposite ways up a narrow street and wait for the other to back up first…….but then, luck is my middle name….mind you, my first is BAD……which also gives reason to the fact that I can scream for mercy in 19 languages and just scream in another 44……I could go on and give out her name but I guess I could also cut off my own leg with a rusty butter knife, because in the long run, since it'd save trouble in the long run and probably be less painful, so I guess I should just suffice to state that its my beloved flicker on the screen………

The next pair of intruders were Jay & Karthik……presently in detention and sufferance not to enter our hallowed doors following the incident of the vodka, the camp bed in the lounge and the rather messy carpet stain the morning after…….

These two jokers would make alcohol out of anything they could put in a bucket and eat anything that could not climb out of one……For myself, I think karthik has possibly demolished what I believe to be the better part of a complete poultry farming industry here and back home……….and Jay has probably done his share for possibly quite a few Russian distilleries……both did quite a bit for rare species…….kept them rare, for one thing…..

Then, of course, there’s Umair…….now, this is a man who exudes sexuality in a megawatt range…over several miles, I’d quite believe……Umair has eyes that glitter like a saint’s downfall and when he smiled, he exuded an easy air of undistilled, excitingly dangerous lasciviousness……. He could swagger while asleep…..Umair could, in fact, commit sexual harassment simply by sitting very quietly in the next room…..a gentleman in short.

Umair generally follows a great law, which I HAVE to put down here……According to him, you never ever volunteered. ……Not even if an army general stood there and said, "We need someone to drink alcohol, bottles of, and make love, passionate, to women, for the use of." ……There was “always” a snag……. If a choir of angels asked for volunteers for Paradise to step forward, Umair knew enough to take one smart pace to the rear…You have to admire a man like that…..A guy like that always lands on his feet, or on someone else’s feet at any rate….

The list continues and will be updated at frequent intervals……keep an eye at this space….

A finale……

While I was typing out the above, I just got my phone bill and it says that I have spent seventeen thousand rupees on phone calls to India…….and of course, Shantanu has to ask “how?”……the man does have a voice that puts me in mind of a vulture who has arrived a little too late at the dead donkey's feast…….just showed him what I wrote and he gives his usual neighing laugh and is now asking why I am writing this…….you see, he is not a man to mince his words….people and onions, yes; words, no……

He reminds me that I should stop writing about him, if I wish to have people reading my blogs……says I should write about more colourful people in Glasgow, like khan for instance……my answer would perhaps be, Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum……roughly translates, if you have their balls in your grip, their minds will follow……My hands are still distressingly empty, however....

Presently Khan and Shantanu are going at their 9 month old hobby horse………discussing the variety of sins and the possible forms of retribution either will receive in the afterlife as per Islam and Hinduism…….I cannot truly for the life of me decide who is more inane or insane……Khan is religious after a fashion…..he usually fashions where and when he wants to be religious….though to be fair, where he comes from the folks are a god-fearing lot…..they sure had a great deal to afear…..and Shantanu isn't exactly an atheist, as atheism was a non-survival trait in a world with several thousand gods and anyway, the gods back home did like an atheist …..gave them something to aim at…..

Murli just strolled in from work and khan asked in quite a passable brit accent, “oi you, you have fucked down the internet?” The bizarre statement follows a basic head turning of heads towards me…..forgot to add that I am the official interpreter of the flat…..and trust me, there’s enough to interpret indeed…..

After you'd known all three for sometime, you found yourself fighting a desire to look into their collective ears to see if you could spot daylight coming the other way……

They say hell is other people….in time you learn they’re wrong……

Welcome to my world……

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Women & Complications...

My roomie murli just asked me why women were so complicated…..

In reply, I dug through my scrapbook collection of accumulated wisdom that I found useful and some of my own thoughts on the topic……well, basically I typed “woman” on my find button in MS Word and I kept on clicking…

Some of my finds –

§ A woman is a compendium of wonders. The one thing you must never expect her to be is a gentleman, complete with honour and code.
§ No matter what any man says, there is nothing better than two, a man and a woman, who walk together. When they walk right together, there is no way too long and no night too dark.
§ A man ought to have a woman to cry for him when he goes out. And not just his mother either.
§ There are more snares and traps in a woman’s lashes than in all the poacher’s stores of the world.
§ The proper place for any man or woman is where they are needed.
§ Women are a practical lot. They get right down to bedrock about things and no woman is going to waste time remembering a man who was fool enough to get himself killed. Thing to do is to live for love, not die for it. Though most womenfolk’s would a rather see a man dead than with another woman.
§ No man can shape his life according to a woman’s thinking. Nor should any woman try to influence a man towards her way. There must be give and take between them, but when a man faces a man’s problems, he has to face them a man’s way.
§ A man he has got to get along mostly with hard work and persistence, but with a woman is mostly maneuver. Men have to maneuver too, especially so when it comes to womenfolk’s
§ A beautiful woman……shaped like music.
§ A woman who has trapped her game has a different way about her than one who is still on the stalk.
§ To fall fearlessly in fate as a man falls in love with a shy woman’s best smile.
§ Romantic love is your heart lost in the dream of a woman’s face and your soul lost in the dream of her body.
§ Nothing in the world is as soft and pleasing to the touch, as the skin of a woman’s thigh where the flesh is warm, smooth and supple. No flowers, feather or fabric can match that velvet whisper of flesh. No matter, how unequal they may be in other ways, all women, old and young, fat and thin, beautiful and ugly, have that perfection. It’s a great part of the reason why men hunger to possess women and so often convince themselves that they do possess them, the thigh, that touch.
§ A woman’s long and thick plait of hair is the rope by which a man may climb to heaven.
§ Of the many reasons we love women for, the best is the fact that a woman does what God should do; a woman sometimes gives us a reason to live and love this world.
§ The fully mature woman has about two seconds of life left after maturing.
§ The love of a woman is held in a vault of hearts while the condemning and cruel world tries to reach it through our skin and bones. They claim a hidden corner of our hearts, all those moments that stay with us, unscreamed. That’s where loves, like elephants, drag themselves to die. It’s the place where pride allows itself to cry. You can never tell what people have inside them until you start taking it away, one hope at a time. Sometimes, the worst thing you can do to a woman is to love her.
§ A good man is as strong as the right woman needs him to be.
§ Despite the misfortunes of destiny and the vagaries of fate, I always knew with perfect understanding and pleasure I would ever know was in that laugh; to make that woman laugh and to feel the laughter bubbling from her lips against my face, my skin.
§ The tender close hug that a woman gives a man when she knows she can trust him or when she is sure his heart belongs to someone else.

Other people’s writings and thoughts -

§ The door was still ajar, but there was a tentative tap on it which said, in a kind of metaphorical Morse code, that the tapper could see very well that Carrot was in his room with a scantily clad woman and was trying to knock without actually being heard. § The person on the other side was a young woman. Very obviously a young woman. There was no possible way that she could have been mistaken for a young man in any language, especially Braille.§ She moved like someone who had grown used to her body and, in general, looked like what Vimes had heard described as "a woman of a certain age." He'd never been quite certain what age that was.§ "'Tis not right, a woman going into such places by herself." Granny nodded. She thoroughly approved of such sentiments so long as there was, of course, no suggestion that they applied to her.
§ There was an advert I rather liked. Devastated woman: "I’ve just seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!" Husband: "Never mind, love, it’s not the end of the world."
§ Never play poker with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
- Algren's Law
§ That man says women can't have as much rights as men, because Christ wasn't a woman. Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with him.
- Sojouner Truth (1851)
§ It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.
- H. L. Mencken
§ A man without a woman is like a tugboat in a logjam.
- Anon
§ Love? Pah. Overrated. Here, look, these are my three wives: Pestilence, Famine and Death. Do you think I married them for their personalities? Their personalities could shatter entire planets! Arranged marriages, every one, but they worked out. They inspired me. Knowing that they are waiting at home for me is what keeps me here -- 75 light years away.
- Londo, "Babylon 5 - The War Prayer"
§ Men always want to be a womans first love - women like to be a mans last romance.
- Oscar Wilde
§ Give me a look, give me a face, that makes simplicity a grace; Robes loosely flowing, hair as free,-- Such sweet neglect more taketh me Than all the adulteries of art: They strike mine eyes, but not my heart. - Benjamin Johnson, "Epicaene; Or, the Silent Woman"
§ Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do. But beautiful women don't need to know about men. It's the men who have to know about beautiful women. - Katherine Hepburn
§ A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one. - Mae West
§ The game women play is men. - Adam Smith
§ People who get married because they're in love make a ridiculous mistake. It makes much more sense to marry your best friend. You like your best friend more than anyone you're ever going to be in love with. You dont choose your best friend because they have a cute nose. - Fran Lebowitz
§ "One of the great injustices in fiction is that on the whole people with romantic yearnings have romantic faces. But in real life it's not always like that." - Julian Fellowes
§ Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. - William Concreve
§ "In revenge and in love. woman is more barbarous than man." - Nietzsche
§ "You men do it well, tormenting a girl. You must be born with it." - Janie, in "Allegheny Uprising"
§ Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. - Mary Schmich
§ "My old man used to say, before he left this world, never chase buses or women. You always get left behind." - Marlboro to Harley, "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man"
§ What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.
- George Bernard Shaw
§ He is a fool who thinks by force or skill to turn the current of a woman's will.
- Samuel Tuke, "Adventures of Five Hours"
§ The reason why so few marriages are happy is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.
- Jonathon Swift, "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
§ Man is the hunter; woman is his game. The sleek and shining creatures of the chase, we hunt them for the beauty of their skins; they love us for it, and we ride them down.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
§ Whether they yield or refuse, it delights women to have been asked.
- Ovid
§ The happiness of the married man depends on the woman he has not married.
- Oscar Wilde
§ "A relationship, I think is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark."
- Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"
§ "The first thing to learn about a deck of cards is how to handle them. They're a whole lot like women. Usually, when you pick one up, you wish you hadn't."
- Wolf Wylie to Duke Fergus (John Wayne) in "Flame of the Barbary Coast"
§ The behaviour of lovers is oscillating like the moon, and unpredictable as the weather...
- Schuster & Sigmund
§ She knocked me out. I mean it. I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you half fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.
- JD Salinger
§ "Ladette Culture doesn't inspire a grown man to want to share his life with a girl who sleeps with as many men as she can pull and drinks until she's sick."
- Joan Collins
§ "What's up with you commitment-phobic men and women? How long will you guys and gals hide behind the word friend to avoid the two scariest words in the English language: girlfriend and boyfriend."
- Ms. Yolanda H
§ Whenever I see two women kissing, it reminds me of nothing so much as two prize-fighters shaking hands.
- HL Mencken
§ "As for kissing on the first date, you should never date someone whom you would not wish to kiss immediately."
- Garrison Keillor, Salon Magazine
§ To Kiss : An attempt to absorb the essence of the other person.
- Casanova
§ "The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before."
- F Scott Fitzgerald
§ Throughout history, adultery has had few rivals as a cause of murder and human misery. The reason we tend to resemble our mates is that many of us are looking for someone who reminds us of our parent or sibling of the opposite sex, who in turn resembles us.
- Jared Diamond, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee"
§ "Ehm, look. Sorry, sorry. I just, ehm, well, this is a very stupid question and..., particularly in view of our recent shopping excursion, but I just wondered, by any chance, ehm, eh, I mean obviously not because I guess I've only slept with 9 people, but-but I-I just wondered... ehh. I really feel, ehh, in short, to recap it slightly in a clearer version, eh, the words of David Cassidy in fact, eh, while he was still with the Partridge family, eh, "I think I love you," and eh, I-I just wondered by any chance you wouldn't like to... Eh... Eh... No, no, no of course not... I'm an idiot, he's not... Excellent, excellent, fantastic, eh, I was gonna say lovely to see you, sorry to disturb... Better get on... " "That was very romantic." "Well, I thought it over a lot, you know, I wanted to get it just right. "
- Charles & Carrie, "Four Weddings & A Funeral "
§ You see an awful lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.
- Erica Jong
§ Almost as complicated as a woman. Except it's on time. - Advertisement for IWC watches in "The Spectator"
§ A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.
- Don Quinn
§ No man should marry until he had studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.
- Balzac
§ Every woman needs one man in her life who is strong and responsible. Given this security, she can proceed to do what she really wants to do: fall in love with men who are weak and irresponsible.
- Richard J. Needham
§ When a woman behaves like a man, why doesn't she behave like a nice man?
- Edith Evans
§ If a man is standing in the middle of a forest, and he says something, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?
- Andrew Blendermann

I reached page 254 on my scrapbook …….have about 3000 odd pages more…….holler if you want more…..

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fear & Ends.....

I am on my last packet of Indian cigarette’s…..

I have also just received my results for my master’s degree exams….

Funny that both should coincide with each other….not that they are necessarily related…..I had brought a 1000 sticks of cancer and emphysema with me and bitter ashes in my heart…..

After nearly nine months later, I am down to my last 8 sticks, thanks to khan and others……not that I mind….I roll my own cigarette’s now and have been doing so for quite some time…..In fact, rolling a cigarette is perhaps a fast ending art…..perhaps it is better so…..but its an art nonetheless….you have to patient and dexterous and delicate all at the same time…..its Zen for idiots…..but there you have it….

But coming back to my original topic at hand, I find myself today down to my last few shreds of Indian tobacco and perhaps even vestiges of my past life…..

If I may borrow a rather pathetic line – I had set out to be the monk who sold his Ferrari, but then I was no monk and I damn well didn’t have a Ferrari…and moreover the damn destination was not the mystical east but the material west…..You just cant get more corkscrewed than that……..

Clutching an aching heart and mind, I had come here for penitence and perhaps even salvation…..and I did find it here, of a sort….but it was peace and slumber unaided by alcohol……it sufficed….till now…..the alcohol was and still is far too expensive to form a habit....

Within the confines of enforced education and employment, somehow it so happened that the fires flaring in both mind and heart were finally doused into cold, unfeeling ashes……and within those parameters of sodden, unresponsive flesh, I clasped the weak straws of peace and immortality….for what is immortality but unending life…..bereft maybe of soul or even of hope or feeling…..but you’re alive and life drags and crawls on…….

My final cigarette’s remind me of burning days, of flaring nights…… a wick in a earthenware lamp after the oil is consumed……black, cold and burnt out….perhaps even my cigarette butts in my soap dish ashtray….that’s my life now…..listless, detached, fearful

And I face finally my greatest enemy within myself…..fear.

After months of relentless search and analysis, I have finally drawn, quartered and divided myself into sections from the coagulated whole that I had brought to the light from the far horizons of mine own land into this damp, chilly and alien land….

Holmes had once said that no problem is unsolvable – all that remains is to unearth the whole and break it down into pieces so minute that the flaw finally reveals itself….

And diving into a 8 percent solution of morphine on my own terms, I drew up and dissected myself here, within these blogs, section by section till I have reached the end……and not too soon either….

These things have a wonderful sense of coincidence……..

Basketball players call it the “zone” – when the way into the basket is clear and nothing opposes and all lanes finally converge upon a single whole – an utter clarity of purpose and realization….and yet all to no use whatsoever…..
For what use is dunking an inflated rubber ball into a iron hoop enmeshed in a rope net or even to find realization of self and yet be unable to do anything but merely look and say, “there, I have finally found it”…….Maybe I lack a Watson to exclaim “elementary” to….or whatever…..and therein, as the bard puts in….lies the rub….

Pa says I ramble all over the world when I write and other’s choose not to notice or worse, like bro, have no idea what I am talking about…..

I fear fear…..fear of fear is perhaps such a cliché that even justifying it is senseless….

Attention seeking behaviour, rash and reckless endeavours, burning ambition, wild swings of euphoria and depression, a brutal will to dominate, fiercely defended beliefs and an unquenchable thirst to prove myself, over and over again…..

For such am I and it has taken me months of relentless searching to understand why I am such…..Why did I not care for so many and yet immersed myself in one…….and then again, walk the arid wastes of desolation…….to the point of self-obsession and beyond….

At the end of it all, the reasons are so pathetic and common that it does not even serve to consider them, much less laugh at the arduous efforts to reach them…….my mythical giants have turned out to be measly ferrets …… the beast on my back has turned out to nothing more than my past riding on my imagination and ego….not easily shaken off, but shaken off all the same…..

My cigarette’s are almost over…..and so is my course……as in my search for peace…..

I can see the end….on the horizon…..and I must face it with all that I have…..this I realise now….I have run long enough, far enough……withheld hard enough, long enough….I am not this cowardly creature that I have turned into….cowering beneath the lash of fortune like a cur, broken spirited or even disembodied……..For broken bones must knit and blood must sing……for the ashes must glow anew….the phoenix arises on its own will……and the will that I forsook is yet in me…..tempered in the chilly winds of shattered hopes, the steaming vapours of nameless agony and the icy waters of shame and undiluted rationale….

For all the shit that I have written above……all it means is this is that I have to believe again….in myself and move beyond the shell I have created……it was not enough that I broke through the cocoon of my past life but I need to break through the image that I had built for myself……

And I am finally ready to face the world…..this is not the end, but it is definitely the beginning of the end…..and so it begins…..

As the Scottish clans would scream, claymore in hand, the wild winds whistling above and beyond……

Crom a boo …..aye…… pluis dru…..

I will burn ….indeed….at the thickest…. (Gathering of enemies)

In modern day language perhaps…… Come on if you’re hard enough!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

66, Fergus Drive…..

The last few weeks have completely drained me.
Everytime I think I should write something down, something even more interesting happens…..
The earlier name of my latest piece was acquaintances, addictions, accomodations, accents, americans, etc…..

Wanted to write about my inability to give up smoking….despite nicotine gum

To write about the interesting conversation that I had with an American desi who gave me a completely new spin on the entire issue of emigration and reasons thereof…..

Thought of writing about a hilarious and binge eating weekend at Pima’s with rashes and the pretty cool time we had…..

And finally of shifting to my new place on Fergus Drive and the insane activities of my roomies…..

Not to mention the total Hindi film style repercussions of chatting with an online flicker for the past 6 months…….

So let me just paste whatever shit I had been shitting about initially and then take off from there….

"Acquaintances, Addictions, Accomodations, Accents, Americans, (in)Activity….."

Why is it that my brain is stimulated by nicotine?

Why is that when everything seems confusing and overwhelming, the slow spirals and fantastic shapes of smoke, soothe and calm me down?

Why does nicotine actually sort out my thought process to the extent of solution?

I had been staring at the screen for ages it seems, waiting for the words to come churning out, akin to regurgitation and yet nothing seems to move without that infernal puff.

For that matter, why do I have this need to put on paper, that which is inside me, a part of me……..its a painful process to even put together this damn thing. I mean, give me a plot and characters anytime….I can build damned castles in the air and lair’s beneath the ground…..

This is like giving birth….well at least mentally…….

Dad recently asked how I got my hand burnt…..told him to read my blog

Bro asked me why I was even considering marriage……read my blog

Friends ask whats happening…….Blog, blog, blog…..blah, blah, blah

Everything is on my blog…….so where am I?

Online, usually would reply palz……..

Now, who’s palz?

Interesting query…….

Met her online at this weird chat line forum I occasionally visit in my moments of insanity ……the more weird fact was that I have no idea how long ago I met her……probably about a year or two back, might even be more……and for most of the time between that and actual communication, I didn’t even realise that she was a girl……

It was quite a bit later that the essential facts became clearer as the chatting frequency grew higher….

Now, the how, the why, the whatever for……don’t ask me…..uh huh, I don’t deal in them …….. I was there primarily for conversation to while away my mad moments between dusk and dawn……yeah, I got bitten by a bat when I was in diapers……

As I tell her, I don’t trust myself in actual reality anymore……Or rather I don’t trust the world…..the virtual world is safer…….I had no wish to know her sex initially and still hold that I have no wish to meet her….And I do believe that the feelings are reciprocated

In a net world where the overwhelming majority of people are online for the sole purpose of creating actual reality out of virtuality, the number of people who exist for the sake of virtuality becomes a rather dominated minority……

Neurotic perhaps…….so is she……anyone else feels like joining the gang?

But am sure, as I have stated before…..this too shall pass…..

So, what do I write about?

That she’s devastatingly witty and yet with no pretensions to brilliance……naaah, the minute she reads this, I’ll never hear the end of it…..bloody female is a pseudo…or so she claims…..But then, it passes the time……

That she is too pretty to be trusted……been telling her that for ages…..but in a weird kind of bonding, I do trust her……funny that….but I still don’t….if you get me.

That she has seen far more sorrow and has handled herself far better than anyone I have known or could perhaps know……..and that I have yet to see such courage and fighting spirit……never had the guts to say such a thing in our regular chats……maybe there was no need to…..

That our conversations are meaningless and insubstantial as wisp’s of smoke that drift towards the ceiling from my cigarette……and yet, they mean the difference between existing and moving on from day to day…..

Have never clapped eyes on her, or even heard her voice…..probably wouldn’t be able to spot her in a crowd, probably wouldn’t be able to even say hi to, even if I came face to face with her…..

She is not a sister, not a friend, not a lover, not a girl, not a person, not anything beyond just a flickering name tag that shows up on my gtalk messenger board……a few pictures of a reed thin female like creature who’d resemble Gollum if it were not for the huge masses of cranial hair and a grin bigger than her entire being…..and that she’s someone I fell safe to talk to…..incessantly idiotic perhaps, unbelieveably irritatingly perhaps……but we talk…..

Enough already, that scrawny thing will be floating near the ceiling, weightless as she is……

P, to even define you would be a task I am not even ready for……..and will never be….and perhaps that’s exactly how things should be…….for now at least…..
(This was written a few weeks earlier to today…..and what is significant about today? – I’ll get to that later….)

After a rather harrowing month of exams, house-hunting, working at the NHS, I finally took a break and went off to see my cousins and aunt in Newcastle…..

My aunt is like a mom to me and feeds me like there’s no tomorrow……..Not a great definition, but I cant think of a better one presently….I love her….

Landed up there with rashes who had come up from U Man;

As Sean asked me; "……another cousin ? They’re really climbing out of the woodwork, aren’t they?"

Tony introduced himself to rashes very civilly I thought……he was like, I believe we share gene’s somehow and managed to shake her hand, before homer and max jumped on her…..homer and max are a Labrador and a Rottweiler respectively, who lay claim on tony’s gene’s as well…..both rather abundant in their proportions with a very specific agenda as to their existence – to lick anything and everything, be as smelly as possible and shed dog hair everywhere……in short be doggy nuisances and adorable……

On my trip to Newcastle, I happened to share seat space with an Americanised Indian….a transplanted south Indian gentleman who was travelling Europe with his wife and kids for their summer vacation.

Well…..that’s too much for one blog…..

(This was about as far as I got…..and then I shifted house!!!)

My new place is brilliant or so I think……not everybody shares that view!!! (pun fully intended as you’ll find out…..

Hey, I like a good view……it’s my way of recharging my batteries and of course of dreaming….

The only problem is that I have to huff and puff my way up nearly a mile to reach my apartment building and THEN drag my sorry & obviously out of shape arse up 4 flights of stairs to get to my door….nearly on the verge of collapse….

Shantanu my beloved idiot savant, who has followed me in my adventures from Queen Margaret Residences to Winton Drive to Fergus Drive derives a lot of amusement from the sight of the huffing & puffing whales of Murli & self….

Murli, the other net barbarian has also followed the damn train and taken up residence with us……

Which leaves us with the last occupant……khan the almighty who’s presently too engrossed in the pleasures of the flesh or at least the pleasures of sight-seeing flesh, to even live in the flat……!!!!

Its an interesting mixture of characters and between us, I do believe we quarter the entire bloody map of undivided India……East (self) West (Shantanu) South (Murli) and North (Khan)……

Anand recently asked me when we’re getting hold of a Chinese and opening up the South East Asia Representative Chapter of Glasgow……

Coming back to the flat…..we have a 20 mbs net connection and absolutely no dearth of movies, music or porn at a ridiculous price…….murli & shantanu hooked up the whole damn flat into a wireless network….particularly impressive in the fact that they did it without a wireless router!!!! And then they encrypted the whole damn thing so that no one else could hack into it…..

I managed to buy a telephone on eBay for 15 pounds, thinking it to be quite a bargain……when khan appeared at the flat and blasted me left right and centre for having wasted my money……and appeared the next day with a huge sack of items for the house…….the provenance of which the rest of us were a leery to even enquire about…..but we used them nonetheless……

Jay, another famous character and an engineer by profession, came to wish us happy housewarming, finished off a bottle of vodka and then disabled the entire smoke detection system so that we could all smoke in peace…..

So basically, I have a house full of items of rather dubious antecedents and characters of even more dubious abilities and character…….

Anand & Jassi are turning up this week and I am just waiting to see what those two come up with……

As I never get tired of saying…….
Glasgow just got invaded by the greatest horde of pirates, thieves, robbers, thugs, tinkers, con-men and lawyers……..Scotland had NO idea what it let itself in for when they opened the Univ. doors with the 3 year work permit FTS scheme…….

So anyway, my mornings are rather interesting presently……I usually wake up with rather long & fragrant tresses and locks of wavy black hair all over my face……which is a pleasant sensation I must tell you……I mean……its like you know…..

And then, I get rudely awakened by the amazing hippo like snores emanating from near the source level of the hair……..

Which is when I realise that its murli’s shoulder long hair on my face, since we share the big queen sized bed…….and which is exactly when I decide that waking up is a better alternative to ……well, it’s a better alternative to ANYTHING…..

The minute I wake up, I am subjected to the view of a pair of appallingly gangly legs on my path to the bathroom clad in a pair of desperate shorts on the verge of rebellion against their very threads holding them together in an unhappy coalition…..

I truly pity shantanu’s wife to be subject to such a sight every morning!!! But then I get reminded of another paid of desperate shorts which have been consigned to flames on the very first week of marriage (Rah & Panks are finally married)…….

And I switch the pity to shantanu…….those desperate shorts are definitive of the last bastion's of male freedom after all !!!! I have a pair myself.....

I also have some pity for murli’s wife……but all that in a later blog…..

My bathroom is quite decent but my kitchen is small……well, we all make adjustments…..and as of now, things seem going okay….and its kind of nice to peck away at my laptop, stretched out on my sofa and staring out of the bay windows and observing Ben Nevis in the distance being lit up intermittently by playful beams of late evening sunlight shafting through the clouds....

Ben Nevis is a famous Scottish mountain which can from my lounge windows......It’s like something out of a fable.....I almost expect to see dragons come rolling up over the horizon and the clans in their kilts and claymores standing on the hillside heather facing the setting sun………

Yeah, I have an over-active imagination, the benefits of which some of you will never know…..
But honestly now…..ever seen purple clouds, on a cerulean blue sky? And a green hill lit up in patches by golden sunlight? Shillong is pretty....but this is seriously what I pay so much for my new apartment.....The bloody view is just breath-taking....

But then as I said, the walk up to my apartment and the 4 flights of stairs also takes my breath be honest

I don’t quite know who’ll read these rambling writings of mine……well, at least until I get down and put them all together in a readable format with a plot and proper characters…..

Speaking of plots……apparently, my life is never simple…….seems like the gods above consider me an interesting case study and most of the same gods are on a steady diet of candyfloss Bollywood shit…..especially the shitty 80’s Bollywood shit…..

I just talk to this flicker on the screen……and half the world and their cousins are making assumptions and presumptions…..not to mention the true "filmi" style upset brother (I kind of get why he’s upset) and the supportive sister-in-law (Her – I just don’t get!!!) and lets not get into the entire side cast of characters from either side…..which is basically time to make a gracious and courteous exit, methinks……

So, I guess……that’s that…….I really enjoyed talking to someone after a long time…..and though I am way too confused and scared to consider anything else than talking, I realise that I will miss her and a lot else besides…….

I am still wondering if I should add something more here……the words are easy, the truth is not……and to be even more honest……I am being indecisive for the first time in my life…..which is damn irritating, let me tell you….

But if the past 9 months here have taught me anything, it is that I must just go with the flow and refuse to force things, to bend them to my will……

The one thing I have to accept and have learnt at bitter cost is that the best that any of us can do is to be ourselves and do the best that we can…….and that this too shall pass………

Pretty shitty ideology it seems to me……I am accustomed to fighting, to overcoming odds…….however, I am going to try it………material success is hollow and the only thing that matters is peace within myself……and yet, my wilful mind asks how do I know peace if I will not strive for it, if I will not fight for it, if I let peace or even happiness slip between my open fingers……..not necessarily in a specific case, but in general, you know……..

And I do not know the reply……any ideas…..

Monday, May 21, 2007

Daydreams ….

Nightmare or remembered past….

They say people dream when they are in the theta level of sleep, that they dream of the things that happened to them, of the things that they wish had happened and of course of the horrors that are feared, will happen to them…..

Daydreams are therefore safer, better and more appreciated……we exercise strict control and censorship……and as with most humans, control is basically happiness.
Which is also another reason we deride daydreams and censor it within the social preview; we say its pointless, useless and of course worthless.

Interesting lot, us humans, hey?

I used to daydream a lot as a kid……especially in algebra class……about almost everything else but algebra. My dad claims that half of his hair turned white due this great ability of mine and its consequences on my report cards. He also claims that the other half of his hair turned white due to the same reason, only caused by my younger sibling.
  • Must have been hard for him, an engineer to have sons with no aptitude for mathematics; the elder needed pen and paper to sum up one and one and the younger needed a calculator!!!

    In any case, daydreaming was coherently and comprehensively thrashed out of me by Noel sir’s cane and later on, with the advent of studies without maths, by the advent of actual interest in what I was studying.

    Life in college was too hectic to be wasted daydreaming, and after college, it was the work to make those daydreams real that consumed the time allotted to such trivial pursuits.

    After a hiatus of decade and more from the fantasy isles of my childhood, I have returned back to it and received a rather warm welcome.

    I today believe that my decision to study further was one of the best I have ever taken. And coming from a rather short list of good decisions, it carries much value. For nothing else, it has given me a chance to go back to the magical isle of daydreams.

    My usual commute to my place work takes about 40 minutes by bus and the same back. Now, for most people, a bus ride that long is perhaps too long and a hassle, but I treasure that time as it allows me to sink beyond the ordinary and into the extra-ordinary.

    Now, daydreams are not possible on buses in India, in fact, I would go further to say that once a person is out of school, daydreams are a thing of the past in India. The pace of life is far too frantic and the sheer crowds of people crowding into your personal space actually renders almost thought impossible, much less daydreams.

    Buses and public transport in the West is usually one of the cheapest and most reliable methods of getting anywhere and the best thing about such transport is the singular fact that westerners prefer not to use it. They prefer the privacy and freedom of cars and personal vehicles. Not that I am complaining.

    I love the sight of a huge bus seating a comfortable 73 being inhabited by a scant 7 and sometimes even 3. I can choose my seat, stretch out my legs and plug in my headphones and loose myself in my own world of possible situations and scenes…..

    List of probable scenarios –
  • My return back home, without informing anyone. First to land up in Delhi and shock the shit out of my brother in Dehradun and then to arrive together back home and listen to Ma’s insane screeches of delight and surprise
  • Possible extenuation of the same in relation to relations…pun intended
  • A day in the future, when I am done with my loans and with a decent job waiting for me back home, packing up the debris of my foreign travels and adventures
  • My possible life, hopefully comfortable, back in India without hassles and with some decent company to share my load of foreign alcohol and stories
  • Possibly the day I meet someone chosen by my folks for marriage and scaring the shit out of her to convince her that I am the worst possible choice for marriage and settling down
  • Maybe finding someone who’ll actually find me interesting enough to spend some time with…….though I doubt that again…..however, it’s a daydream, so what the hell……
  • My own place, paid for and decorated ( I want a bedroom with three white walls and one wall done up in fire engine red with charcoal sketches of calvin and hobbes on the wall – very minimalist, with a simple double bed and a nice copper wet bar somewhere on the side – haven’t yet decided on the den)
  • My own garage where I can keep my old beauty, my lovely thunderbird and hopefully a harley-davidson someday and a decent sedan car

Even more hopefully, a son or daughter to teach how to ride the monsters. Doubt the presence of a mom in such a scenario to be honest since I know that even daydreams have limits.

Ah, the list goes on……

The fact still remains, that even if daydreams don’t come true, they are always there for you, to be called up at a moment’s notice, to re-invigorate you, to keep alive the flame of hope burning in your heart.

Another interesting thing is that daydreams are possible here because no one wants to intrude on your private space. A few blogs ago, I had sneered at such need of space, but now I see the benefits of having space.

Space to breathe in, to dream in, to be yourself in, to recharge yourself within to fight the cold and real world outside….

Everyone here jacks in their headphones and forgets the world around them

(except for the little and big old ladies who seem to have some kind of a massive freemason’s society of their own and chatter in their own incomprehensible lingo and seem to recognise each and every one of their own – I sometimes have the feeling that the whole world might be run by the dotty looking granny with the wispy white hair and massive purse who sits opposite me in the morning bus run and her ilk. She does mutter to herself quite a bit, which increases the suspicion – she might be murmuring instructions on a hidden speaker!!)

My usual, blatant paranoia aside, the whole exercise is indeed a form of yogic healing maybe, because I feel one benefits from having a wild imagination and happy thoughts which leave you feeling at least a wee bit happier and better equipped to handle cantankerous professor’s and demanding bosses and give you a reason to smile.

The transition from daydreams to power naps (love that term) is also a probable consequent which also helps in the long term, though it can cause long walks back home when you miss your stop and land up back in the bus depot, about 3 miles from your destination.

They say, difficulties are grist for a writer’s mill and extra exercise is always good for anyone, so I usually just grin and make my long way back home quite often and see much of the neighbourhood than I would usually see. In fact, its all grist for my ever churning mill, supplying the ever increasing demands for places, locations, situations and characters.

Like the crazy NED (Non Educated Delinquent) with the horses teeth who very kindly woke me up at the bus station and pointed me home and the rather smart and kind looking ladies in nice cars, who refuse to give a lift to an uplifted thumb in the pouring rain.

You do meet all sorts and types and they all give you a reason to say, yeah, this is why I came here and whistle through the rain……daydreaming of the day I hit the hot and dusty airport back home, with enough funds to actually implement a micro-hydel project or maybe three back in the village, stop the bloody floods everywhere and generate enough electricity to bring about sustenance……man, wouldn’t that be something to see, a way of generating self sustaining resources, in fact, creating employment as much as giving the people something to be assured about……we might even be a success to try for more projects…..who knows, we might set up a whole network of micro-hydel projects all over Lower Assam, hell, maybe, all of Assam…..

And the feet pound the wet pavement, the wheels turn and the daydreams go on…..