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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Life goes on.....

Birth, childhood, adolescence/teenage, adulthood and so on, all the way to death, life in all its relentless impetus moves ahead, a forward movement that defies all stops and halts in the journey of inhaling and exhaling and we puny humans, believing ourselves to be the master and commanders of our own destinies are caught up in the slipstream of this massive momentum like wisps of fluff….

Life moves despite all that we do to stop its movement, all our prayers, pleadings, heartache’s and all the joys, pleasure, happiness, ecstasy cannot stop this progress.

Well, is it said, that this too shall pass……

This ….. this glorious day with the sun shining and the wind whistling in the eaves of 26 Winton Drive, the warm smell of fresh tea brewed by Jassi, positively dripping with sugar and milk, the funny aroma’s of Jaja’s Chinese cooking, the clean and much rubbed table top, khan attempting industriously to make sense of my rambling notes on an even more rambling subject, Anand too tired to actually study anymore, lounging around and yelling at the rest of us to cut up and dice the bloody cauliflower that he got for a pence at the Sommerfield sale to make aloo-matar-gobi, me with my eternal companion, my beloved D-boy lappy recording all this……this too shall pass…..

So many days, so many seasons… much has passed ….. and yet we all go on…..

I went through five years of lawschool and five more years of practice and it all went by in the blink of an eye…….and not a memory that I regret or cherish……

Or maybe, a few too many of both…..

Lived a hundred lifetimes, or so it feels…..and yet each day a new adventure, a new day arisen freshly churned, freshly made, unrepentant and unforgiving….

I had thought I wouldn’t have the strength to smile again, to venture forth again……but the human soul, the relentless heart will not give up, will not admit defeat even when the bitter taste of ashes is still redolent in my mouth…..

And so I live, and I dance and I laugh and I fight and woo and court……

Life goes on……

I once thought I would be enslaved by a set of warm honey coloured eyes for the rest of my life and here I am…..done with penitence, done with repentance…..finding life once again, in a pair of blue cerulean sea foam eyes that look at me with askance for my insane devilry and forgive me at times with a twitch and a pretty blink……a pair of eyes that don’t yet haunt my dreams, but lighten my heart when I see them, a pair of eyes, vulnerable and yet defiant at the world…..ah, pretty eyes, I still fall for you….

They say that this too shall pass……and I have learnt to live in the moment… make nimble my feet and my tongue and tie hard my errant heart with the steel chains of remembrances and memory…….to feel the sulky wintry sun and the brisk clamorous wind both together and wish for neither while preparing for either…..

Life goes on…..with promises and offer’s of money, fame and mayhap’s even love and caresses……of whispers of goodnight kisses that still feel soft and inviting and the softer smells of freshly shampooed hair and skin smelling of fragrances and musky undertones….especially when it stays on your skin the next day......

For hands held today are worth a hundred caresses promised for the future and call me a chauvinist for all you are worth, but I have what it takes to be a man and look for a woman, not another man to satisfy my needs, or even for empty words and betrayals for the future…..

I was asked what’s aim, my objective and I found my answer…….maybe a bike, maybe a dog, maybe an open road, maybe someone to ride that road with me……

The answers are simple, as long as you understand the questions asked of you……

And the questions are simple as well, we just make them complex and overly important…

Doesn’t matter where you’ll be employed next, doesn’t matter if tomorrow exists, doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you, doesn’t matter what you think of yourself….

All that matters is what you KNOW of yourself and what you can MAKE of it….

There is no past, and the future can take care of itself…..the present is what that matters….

And if the present contains “kheer” made by boys and fit enough to make the girls salivate…..well, what can I say…..we just rendered another possible weapon useless…..and trust me, 3 liters of milk, 300 grams of rice, assorted nuts, cardamoms, and raisins with ample amounts of sugar and cooked with enough patience, enough beers and enough stirring on a slow flame are enough to render most issues useless and get the bloody female juices flowing….
The way to a modern woman's heart is indeed through judicious use of sugar ...... everywhere !!!

As my aunt says, we’re all fit for marriage or rather unbelievably unfit for marriage, considering our skills within the homes and without… much as the antics we all get upto.....

Life does go on……..What we make of this all is always upto us…..


The name’s Jenny….. :D

And this too shall pass.....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lack of belief...

We were watching a movie, a Hindi one of course and a sudden and vehement reaction caught my notice…..

That’s the introduction, I cannot think of a better one presently…

Take a flat of five Indian boys (boys are always boys and rarely men, especially to writers hating creeping age) in a foreign land and you’re bound to find chicken cooking and beer or a Hindi “Phillum” on the menu on any given weekend. Its cheap, it’s effective and universally acceptable at any given time, like it or not. Smokes are an optional extra, though usually and invariably present only with the smoke detector disabled in the local area.

Take my situation for example – with a mixed bag of engineer’s, software geeks, MBA’s, economists and lawyers, the group is about as good as it gets. We’re ready for almost any and every contingency as can be envisaged and pretty much sick of “phoren” land with all its amenities and facilities, not to mention assignments and exam preps.

The chicken was being cooked in Dal, my innovation on the usual curries concocted by us. I mean, half the buggers were yelling for chicken and the other half for plain rice and dal, so economically speaking, I optimalized the given factors and resources available. Trust me, it works beautifully.

The beer and vodka stocks had been raided the night before, the facts of which I’ll get to later on, so it was “phillum” night for all of us.

Shantanu, my mild mannered Maratha who’s an absolute berserker hacker in his dual life had just ripped the latest “phillum” from the net with active collusion of a similar mercenary, the even milder raghu (better known and absolutely feared online as rags) who lives south and a window below me, literally and metaphysically

Anand, the management guru was smoking his beloved B&H’s and framed against his more beloved window ledge and Khan the ferocious afghan was poised near the bloody lappy screen as if ready to just leap into the lush flowing homeland shown on the movie. Khan is homesick and the rest of us are just sick of it all.

I am stuck in front of the stove, my usual spot and peering over the pots as much as following the predictable plot unfolding on screen.

The movie was “Salaam London”, the latest release from the movie factories of Mumbai and depicts the eternal questions of love, as our hero so eloquently states to his leading lady.

Barely as the hero utters the fateful words, gazing deep into the heroine’s eyes with bass and viola solo’s in the background getting into fourth gear, and there’s a sudden eruption of snorts and expletives….

As I grin in collaboration, I wonder at the state of the guys and maybe most guys of our ages when confronted with the issue of love, its proclamation thereof and the derogation as well.

A while later, Jassi turns up sleepy eyed from the catnap’s on which we are all subsisting on these days and I ask him his opinion on love. He in turn shows me all his teeth and asks if that is answer enough.

Suddenly my world is full of men who deride the very idea of love and its associated situations. Jokes, anecdotes and stories abound of others who were in love or are and is usually followed by a heartfelt expletive which is shared with equal emphasis all around present company and usually the punch line is about how stupid they were.

In consideration of this and much more, I am forced to ask myself the question; have we become fanatically cynical and pessimistic about love and has this occurred while we were sleeping?

It seems that Love with the capital L, is for the idiots, it doesn’t exist……or does it?

If you get it good, if you don’t, better says Jassi between sips of no sugar juice. Is he being smart or merely realistic?

The ages in the group range from early to late twenties, a generation by itself, unmarried except for Anand and is as diverse as you might wish for, location wise, experience wise and even career or interest wise. So, considering that this is a good cross-section source of data, I base my analysis on their views;

Has love or the feeling in itself that a man can feel for a woman, become redundant?

Love for parents is necessary as all agree and live up to. The frequency of calls and the huge bills run up by all of us, in that regard give hard testimony to the same. Siblings, friends and family more or less fall in the same category with classifications and is acceptable.

What of that between the sexes?

We have all experienced the same in one way or the other and my surprise is the fact that all are embittered by its contact. Even me

Do I snort when I hear another lovesick swain asking for advice? I do.

Do I give him advice on how to play the game? I do.

Do I think him an idiot when he leaves me? I do.

Am I the idiot or him?

Can we exist without love?

Is it wrong to deride the very concept of love just because it’s a case of sour grapes, embittered memories or even fear of consequences?

Do we even qualify to understand love?

Our grandparents and their parents had it easier perhaps. They just went ahead and made babies and made their way into each other’s life as unobtrusively as possible. Perhaps in the years between the production of babies and the eventual end of the lives, they achieved a form of companionship which could be the closest possible definition of love.

Many of us never get the flame burn of actually seeing someone explode into their vision and complete obsession in that self, so elaborately portrayed by the Hindi “phillum” industry. Some of us do and come away from the experience much shaken and none the wiser as to what the hell just happened to them.

Anand is married and got married at an early age. He even has a son and misses him. I miss my bike, he misses his son – would that signify as love?

For me at least, if not many others, love is the spark that occurs between a man and a woman that causes them to believe in each other to the exclusion of all else. That spark may not last much more than a heartbeat, may last for a lifetime. However, the fact remains that it was love……or maybe it was just lust. After all the highest form of lust is love as quoted my eternally cynical buddy, Rahul, who recently got married and yes, it was a love marriage and the bastard is still as cynical as he always was. He wants to go back home for “legitimate sex” as he calls it, but I think he is in love and unwilling to accept the fact.

Love has many forms and shapes and is whatever you want to make of it. The poets say it better perhaps, but I still prefer the bollywood lyricists anyway. And in someway or the other, we all want it. Black or while, brown or green, we all seek the comfort of its shade in the burning sun of the lives we lead.

If we all want it so much, why are we ashamed to admit to it?

I love to watch romantic comedies in private, as do a lot of guys, perhaps most of us. I always root for the underdog which is exactly what the producers and directors want.

It’s stupid, its predictable, its safe and its what we all want. A happy ending, kisses et al and yet it somehow makes sense……well at least to me, when I want to unwind.

A good hug and kisses would also do the same trick, but isn’t available on my DVD store’s shelves.

Two days ago, the gang went to a Friday night party and I didn’t as I wanted to catch up on my preps. About 11 pm, the whole drunk horde came back with an inebriated female in tow. The gang were followed by two ASR’s absolutely bewildered as to what to do and finding me, the usual ringleader and patron saint of all the drunks of Winton Drive, dumped the collective responsibility on me. After levering out the biggest lummox of them all, I set about feeding and kicking the rest of them into bed, but the bloody female was another problem in itself.

Khan switched on the music on my over-worked lappy and started dancing with the lady and it was more of a vertical demonstration of his horizontal intentions than anything else. The rest of the gang refused to budge while getting a free show, so eventually realizing that it was a hopeless cause and my studies being done anyway, I unlimbered my hidden stocks of vodka and beer to the gang’s delight and joined in.

To make a long story short, the lady was soon in my t-shirt and track lowers and tucked up in my bed and I was using my jacket as an improvised pillow. The morning after was pleasant enough (especially as an ego booster and I was probably insufferable to my roomies and chat buddies alike) but the whole scene merely served to explain to myself how hungry I was for some “touch-therapy” as an old pal in law-school defined it.

The ensuing morning post mortem after the lady was dispatched to her own rooms was enthralling to say the least and especially with Jassi and Khan attempting to open up the Kargil hostilities with Jayant chewing on bread, perched on the counter and playing the male version of Barkha Dutt.

The whole scene was hilarious to me and like all funny situations had its roots in bitter truth which is made more palatable by humour.

Which in essence brings us back to my original question; who are we fooling?


We deride the very concept of love because we wish we had it in our lives and since we don’t, we pretend that its stupid and idiotic. The love of a woman makes a man sometimes try to be something more than he is, aspire to greatness even…..even unto the issue of personal hygiene and tidying up of rooms and shaving.

I do admit that I have a morbid belief in love and an endless fascination for the madness that it engenders and I do think that people haven’t stopped believing in love nor have they stopped wanting to be in love. They just don’t believe in a happy ending. They still believe in love and falling in love, but now they know that romances almost never end as well as they begin….and hence they are scared of accepting the sheer fact of love actually existing.

And more than nuclear holocaust, more than global warming or natural disasters, this is what will kill us… a generation, as much as age, cancer, cholesterol and liver cirrhosis.

The past twenty centuries have led us to an endless cycle that each generation goes through, with the same questions and the same hopes and shattered dreams and cynical attitudes and know it all belief’s.

The truth is that we all want a part of it and till we don’t get it, we are all in a position of flux and too egoistic to admit that we need anything or even that we hope for the same.

I too want to be in love, to be loved and caressed and hugged and kissed……

I too want to believe…….but I think I have forgotten how…..

And I’ll probably still laugh with derision and snort the next time I watch another Hindi Phillum with the guys……..but I wish I could watch it with someone’s hand holding mine and keep silent……

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Couldja, Wouldja, Shouldja....

What is a blog?

Is it a story, a series of anecdotes perhaps? A diary even….?

Is it just a means to an end or an end to a means….

I am a writer and this is not my profession or my vocation. What I am beyond these words, these lines, is not anyone’s concern and yet within these lines, everyone is my concern...

A writer writes whatever he writes based on his experiences, on what he feels, on what he see’s and observes….

In the past seven months, I have written much about my own self and yet there’s so much else I want to write about….so many stories that it seems that I have walked onto the set of a Tolstoy novel…..and yet, I have not been able to even encompass the variety and diversity of the people I have seen, experienced and observed and befriended…..

The people of my life are perhaps some of the most interesting characters I ever hoped to find….or even write about….

I only wish I found the plotline or even a reference point where to start…..

Should I begin with the Pakistani’s and the Bangladeshi’s……two sets of people who emerged from opposite ends of the Indian Sub-continent with such diversity between them that its hard to envisage that they share the same ancestry or even that they are perhaps related…..But perhaps its just that the representatives that I observe are such…..

Would I be able to explain the meaning of waking up in a lumpy spring mattress so unlike my old coir one back home or even the much abused cotton waste filled roll that I used back in college for 5 years and then dumped on the Salvation army…and wonder what the hell am I doing on it…..

Could I write about the “foreigner’s” to whom we are the actual foreigner’s…and the look’s in their eyes which we probably mirror back home….

Should I write about the bleak mornings when I stand by my windowsill and smoke hand-rolled cigarette’s and drink coffee while watching the flashy cars below on the street and think of the dusty and hot mornings back home…..

Could I write about our own cousin’s who have lived here so long that they are even more foreign to us than the natives and even more puzzling…..and yet are a part of me as much as my own fingers which type out these words….

Should I consider mine own brethren and the changes that being in a foreign land has wrought upon them…..and perhaps me?

Would I consider explaining about the utter senselessness of the whole system of which I am a student...and yet believe that there is no other alternative to…..

Could I write about my chat pals, three females, who have never seen me and who probably, chat with me just because my insane conversations intrigue them…and thankfully never read my blogs….

Couldya, Wouldya, Shouldya….

I would like to write something that when another person reads it, they’d be able to identify themselves with at least the protagonist, if not one of the main characters….and yet I don’t know how to even create a character which is a composite of the whole…..

I wish I could start with my journey here and work my way back in retrospective, with flashbacks and linkages….kinda smart and a very much over-used idea, I know….but still interesting….

I thought I should write a blog that can define me as much as it would define my own terrain….and perhaps be understood in a context that doesn’t require merely words or status or even visibility to be thus…..and work out a book that would give me enough space to be read in…..and to breathe in….

But what would be reference point? Would it just be another college story, just another frothy, funny piece about the experiences of just another stupid arse who has enough sense to employ some smart gag-lines and have a coherent enough plot for the lowest common denominator of readers to understand and empathise with….

I wish I could write something that would cause a reader to read me, to breathe the slightly smoky, slightly musty air that I am breathing in… become a part of me and go on a trip with me….not far perhaps, but far enough that when the final page is turned, there’s a sigh and a small silence for the reader to collect his/her thoughts and breathe deeply enough…

I am not asking for greatness and nor am I asking for fame……perhaps just a bit maybe…that’s not wrong is it?

I want to make a change, to cause a diversion, to make my mark in these ever-shifting sands of time and space…..not by much, but enough to be accepted and to become part of the whole….

I want ….oh, I want….just to be me and appreciated perhaps….

But then, so does everybody else….in their own ways and manner’s…..

Can I be able to link together the various parts of these disjointed pieces and jig-jaws of concentrated insanity onto paper and into a cohesive and sane whole?

As I type here in my warm kitchen ( I have the burners on my cooking range on and its safer to smoke here as the smoke-alarm is not a smoke sensor but merely a heat sensor) and see the sickly yellow walls, the faded red nailed down carpet and the over-flowing trash bins, lined with the ubiquitous black plastic bin liners and the kitchen table over-flowing with the debris of my papers, books, cigarette papers, tobacco pouch, pens, filter tips, markers, cell phones and files folders of notes, I wonder what to make of it all….

Its 5.30 am as my watch tells me and it will soon be just another chilly April morning here in Glasgow, a Saturday morning in just another city.

Does a story start here or is it just another blog?