Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A troubled soul, Facebook and three agony aunts

If this world is really a stage, my role is very much of the troubled character.

This time, an indescribable trapping of my own mind, had me caught unaware. I had braced up for the final moment of truth. Reminding that the nature of certain relationships is to find joy in the momentary togetherness. And not looking beyond the end.

Remember just the good old times, I had bolstered up. But in vain.

Memories can be soothing as well as torturous. It can make or break your day. Sadly, the latter ruled my circumstances.

As it might appear, easier said than done, the heart triumphed over rationale. And I slumped into depression. Loneliness. The pain of missing her. The vacuum created by her absence. The objects that kept reminding me of her. The feeling that you do not belong anywhere but to her. My heart was troubled. Very much.

For the sake of distraction, I logged into Facebook, the social networking site that has given a new leash of life to people who are bored. My status: down with a heartburn!

And as usual, good Samaritan friends, ever helpful, with loads of free-of-cost advices thronged my way. I was touched. So many of them came and dropped feel-good words.

At least three of them left behind a piece of their philosophy pie for me to chew.

Buddhism can be a huge relief but not in this context. She, my dear friend, is an avid student of Buddhist philosophies. Although she is doing her masters in some techno-engineering stuff, lately she has realized that Buddhism is the calling of her life. Her next stop-enlightenment!

“You are sad because of insecurity. That insecurity arises from the reason that you cannot live without that person. You are dependent on her, emotionally and physically. You are absolutely attached to the idea that she is almost everything to you,” she said, in a matter-of-fact air.

“You have to give up this myth, and believe that everything is impermanent. You will find happiness when you come to terms with reality-that dying, partying, sickness, and aging-is just the order of the nature,” she added, before swiftly leaving Facebook saying she had some guests coming for dinner.

Romanticism still lives in the books. And of course in the mind of one of my friends. A self declared romantic, who is pursuing her masters in journalism, was quicker enough to term my condition ‘the beautiful pain’ of loving and missing some one.

That way, it was just to feel what I was going through. I was lovelorn. I better start writing poetry. How, thou changed my life?

But my friend was herself quite unsure. She wished if she could also feel the same beautiful pain like me. It seemed love had left a bad taste on her. However, Nicholas Sparks’ novel was helping her find the lost chords.

The next friend, who listened carefully, was equally if not more, hurt by my pain. Sympathetic words streamed out one after another
“…….but you know right…this is life…” she said and left.

I changed my face book status from ‘down with a heartburn’ to "Silabi! (Spell check)."

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

No bragging, M damn self righteous!

Nothing is too early. Except dying. And if death comes early, we got to know that perhaps life wasn't good. Not too good enough!

But when you are living, have you got any choice? I guess not. And that’s why we go on doing what we go on doing. For a long time to come.

We get sick and tired. Exhausted, we run out of steam. What’s the point? This absurd drama plays and replays on this stage of life over and again. You are a spectator one day. The other day, you are a prop. Next time, you are a funny actor.

You have to amuse the crowd. Make them feel good. Keep the show running. That’s your job.

I don’t think I deserve to be this way or that way. Let me put my record straight, I too want a good life. Or how did one famous personality just put it-I have a dream, too. Who’s not got one?

At the end, dreams are all we have got. Our only prized worldly possessions. I am my own fortune teller. I don’t need a crazy psychic to predict my future. I built castles in the air. I am not bothered. Reality may suck but who cares! What counts is my ability to dream!

There’s a huge chasm that separates real from unreal, dreams from truth, fact from fiction. And in every possible utopian situation, I am there thrust right between. Don’t mistake me for balance. I am just too confused. Lost in the wilderness of life. And finding myself has been a hard task.

It vexes me. It’s making me go mad. I want to blame, point my fingers at all people possible.

God first! The holy mighty one. He’s a prick, big time, if he’s around. But for sure I know, He wasn’t there, at all. Never once. Funny God isn’t he? It’s a reflection of human ingenuity to create a greater force to depend on. With or without rationale….so they say do what you can do, what you can’t do, pray for! God bless their souls if you are there!

Oh, not my parents. They have been good. All this time.

But what about the system? It’s a crappy system, through and through. From the education to the heavily colonized western mental system. The West is cool. Their lifestyle awesome. Their money better. It’s now about NYC (Wazzat!) that mumbo-jumbo, borrowed ascent! OH ma gad! How well an American she’s turned into!

That’s alright. We accept, people pick up ascents, genuinely or just to show-off! But you can’t beat this. One RJ in our many budding radio FMs just got a new found ascent without setting one foot out of the country. Where do people pick-up all these…these jazz, wanabe, outlandish attitudes!

And your unique culture, your GNH will go to the dogs. Things are falling apart. And the consequence: I am the anarchy.

But this tribe is indifferent. Solidarity walk! Remember guys. It was just too funny. The few people who volunteered, took troubles to organize, question the government, and assert their constitutional rights…were attacked with a barrage of criticisms from left, right, central.

They called it bad precedence. They said it was a demonstration in disguise. They called it strike, protest, name it! They were too reminiscent of events in the past with their pseudo patriotism and misplaced sense of nationalism.

Gutless chickens, bloody ones, I call them! But the precedence is set…chickens can go die! This is our time. A democracy. Feudal left overs can also go die!

Change must come... the adventure of ideas, the revolution of thoughts too…Slowly. Gradually. Not marauding haywire without a plan. I am talking about growth here. About development. About progress. Not instant mutation. May be we should leave those to stem-cell scientists. God knows how they do what they do. But should I care? Hell, no.

For in my cloister, I live each day, like I did the other day. Nothing else matters but a smoke, a drink, and a book…

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Thursday, August 13, 2009


The train journey wasn't that bad. The waiter in the Rajdhani kept feeding me continuously from the time i boarded the train in NJP till i got off in New Delhi. And in between hallucinating and a game of cards with total strangers, i bumped into an old school mate.

When you meet people from school no matter how long the gap, especially if it's a boarding school you've spent eight or so years in, there is an immediate sense of bonding. It doesn't matter that the guy you are bonding with was a total asshole back then.

We chatted while the waiter, a guy from some remote place in Nepal, kept bringing us food and soup and ice-creams to eat and non-alcoholic drinks to drink. We spoke of this one and of that one and of this incident and of that. And while the day turned into night as we chatted, we took occassional breaks to light a smoke in the loo. In the loo, because, a lady had announced that anyone caught smoking would have to pay a hefty sum or de-board the train. Neither did i have the money for the penalty nor the inclination to walk. My friend too, perhaps, was on the same boat as me. The loo seemed the safest bet for a risk worth taking.

It was only when i bid my friend, who's transformed from an asshole to a nice guy, goodbye and stepped onto the platform in Delhi, did i realize the wonder of the air-conditioning inside the Rajdhani. Delhi was like a tandoor and i was being roasted alive. No one else seemed to mind the heat. They were more concerned, i think, of contracting the swine flu virus. The streets somehow looked abandoned. The very few people around had their noses and mouths covered with everything and anything they could lay their hands on.

Chaotic Delhi felt quiet and strange. It wasn't bustling with people and cars and activities like it normally does. Everthing seemed weird suddenly. And as weird as it was, i did the unthinkable too. I pulled out my scarf and tying a knot around the back of my head, covered my mouth and nose. Just in case...

A couple of hours and a cold shower later, sitting in this internet cafe sipping whisky and coke, i can't help but wonder... First, sleeping around can give you some deadly diseases...i guess, all of us have come to terms with . But breathing...breathing can kill you! Oh Fuck!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I am sweating profusely. Why won’t I? It’s mid afternoon in Phuentsholing. The heat has not only taken a toll on my being but has also subdued my hunger.

And as I wipe the sweat on my brow with the palm of my hand, there is something else that is tormenting me inside. I can’t put a finger on it. I don’t want to put a finger on it. The truth, I know, I cannot handle. I am a softie on the inside, think what you may.

Instead, I walk into a small joint, smoking a big joint, trying to appear calm and composed on the surface. The sound of the ceiling fan I can overlook as long as the woman in bright red lipstick dabbed on her lips behind the counter serves me cold beer. Well-rounded and short, she greets me with a red smile.

Smile intact, she knows I am an outsider. I think my vest drenched in sweat, gave me away. “Sit down under the fan,” she says. I oblige.

“A beer please,” I say, emphasizing on it being chilled.

A chilled beer is what I get and a few glances and giggles from the girls, probably all her age, who’ve gathered around her, and I don’t know from where. Not used to such undying attention, I smile, looking at them, but to no one in particular. Six faces smile back at me in choreographic precision.

I look at myself – feet to chest. Nothing seems unusual. Why on earth then could I be generating so much interest? Their glances and giggles begin to unnerve me.

I continue drinking. And my thoughts rove back to the events that had transpired in the last few days. It is the past now and, those events have turned into memories, but unpleasant memories nonetheless. I feel cheated and let down is all I can say.

I want to drink some more beer than step out to be molested by the heat again, but the girls and their whispers are making me feel uneasy.

“How much,” I ask, looking at the woman wearing the red lipstick.

“Fifty,” she says.

So 50 bucks I pay and head for the door. And as I am about to step out into the hot, mean sun again, I hear one of the girl’s shout ‘excuse me’.

Women, and their ways…and their promises…and their unfathomable appetite… I continue walking…

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A sleepwalker's dream sequence!

That sensuous, cold autumn wind is in the air, drifting like a fleeting melody sung by a damsel faraway. It must be a solitary reaper, red-cheeked highland lass, singing with music notes flying out from her lips. I forgot the poetry, a long time back. But that imagery still lives on, even now in a dreamy translucent state of the mind.

A waft of air brings across the nocturnal fragrance of jasmine, that purple and violet smell like a deep shade of fog meandering into my nostrils. A quick flashback takes me to a street lit by lamp posts, strange shadows brushing past. Where is she? I try to figure out those vague faces. Memory it seems is fading away, into a white, blinding shaft of light.

I find myself standing at the edge of a hundredth-storey-building, with one leg dangling in the air and trying to balance my posture with the other, heedlessly gazing into the space below. Down there, minuscule looking people and cars parade like tiny ants through the travesty of man-made lanes and by-lanes. All of them, moving in a helter-skelter direction. The groves of trees look like patches of green here and shades of yellow there.

With my arms swung wide open I stand tall on top of the world, a burning cigarette sandwiched between my fingers and my other hand firmly clutching a whisky bottle. The cold wind incessantly lashes on my brittle, frost bitten face. Standing there, I stare into the endless expanse of the horizon, painted with hues of red and yellow. Luminous clouds stretch across the end of the sky.

A queer flight of imagination invades my nonchalant mind. The desire to fly coupled with an instinctive temptation to be free, plays weird hide-and-seek games with my thoughts. The moment is perfectly thrilling until a suicidal feeling makes me tremble. I shudder at the thought and an icy chill runs down my spine. Goose bumps sprinkle on my cold skin.

At a distant in the air, a flock of birds sing their way home. I wish for a gun to shut them up. Their squeaking exasperates me as though a man in deep contemplation of god has been stirred out of his reverie. If I had a gun, I think, I would hide like a sniper and bring down each flying bird.

Smell of rose.

The images of the flower vase with decaying roses, the photograph lying by my bedside, her undergarments that she had left in the drawer, the ear rings and the necklace that lie on the dressing mirror, rushes past my eyes in a split second. Her lonely pink bra still hangs on the balcony flapping in the breeze. Why does the color pink never stop fascinating women, I wonder?

I am sitting by the window side of a fast moving train. I catch a glimpse of a tall woman dressed in a black skirt with a knee length overcoat. Her head is covered with a black scarf and her eyes with a dark pair of shades. I try to capture that transient face. But before I can photograph the image into my memory, darkness engulfs, as if the train has moved into a tunnel.

I am alone.

I swing to and fro, but this time I let go off myself. I close my eyes and fall free, headlong down. I swirl round and round. Gravity is at its best. I can see the blurring lights, and feel the air desperately trying to keep me buoyant. I hit the ground hard. My head splatters, my brain oozes out of the skull, and a pool of blood flows down the road.

I hear people screaming, a child crying, and the ambulance siren at a distant. The sights and sounds fade out, gradually. This scene is a reminder, a replay of a movie I had watched. Lights go off. I lie there in peace. Forever.

The next morning, I get up from my bed with a terrible hangover. I follow the daily ritual. I sip the little remnant of whiskey left in the bottle and light up a cigarette. It’s a new day, here I come. I joy walk to my office. My editor, grinning halfway through his teeth, hands me my story. Three men had committed suicide the last night. All of them jumped off a building to their death. Déjà vu!

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