Friday, March 21, 2008

Broken but repairable

Life isn't life if its not an overslept, underachieved mess.
-Shruti Sardeshpande.

Something in me broke today.Or I prefer the word, snapped.Yes, snapped like a cinnamon stick.I think it was my spirit.Spirit.Or in college talk, the happy-go-lucky charm I had that people envied.Snap!

Monday was the last day for submission of assignments.The lecturers set a bunch of questions, very predictable and expected ones and we're supposed to write down the answers in an ordered manner and submit them before/on deadline.I had five assignments to complete and a month long time to do so.I did not/could not submit a single one on Monday.And that's what broke my heart.Or if you remember the mediocre, previous lines, snapped my spirit.

Normally, this does not/would not have bothered me.I, to be very crude and yet honest, don't give a fuck anymore about marks and evaluation.So I would have probably worried for sometime, making up arbit(blame you Kriti!) excuses to explain the late submission or most likely be of the take-em-or-leave-em mentality.But this situation of mine took the life out of me.How can I be so anarchical?There is absolutely no order in my life.I follow a routine just because my college follows one.My life is as indisciplined as the parthenium growing in the field which overlooks my locality.Its absolute piss, the way I live.I was never this irresponsible.I turned out to be that way and if I think about it real hard I realise that the turning-out thingy wasn't quantised.It was like an evolutionary process and gradually, I started this vicious cycle of cutting classes, making up excuses, being happy with a math score of 50% and fell into this pit of my overused writing capability of almost every mundanity in my life that can extend to a page and an intense disregard for rules and responsibilities.I can probably wade right now but I believe the damage is done.

Its going to be a lot more difficult when I'll start working because obviously my employers won't buy the* looking down on the ground* I-wasn't-well-sir excuse for crossing a deadline.I'll be straightaway fired!Without references to say the least.

A few days ago, I was in love with the word 'procrastination' and I diligently acted accordingly(how ironic!).All the lethargy and last-time-I-swear were frowned upon but passed along as the student life vagaries.And now I'm shifted 180 degrees(or 270 if I began at 90!) and I have lost every ounce of control and purpose in life.I'm in some techni-coloured motion picture but it ain't glossy, cinematography neat.Its some sordid, fluidy, scrubby mass and I'm just surviving here, disoriented to the maximum and as directionless as a paper signboard in Thar!(or some other windy place).The sense of control I used to derive from the ultimate, second to none joy of riding my black Honda Activa was all ruined today as I narrowly escaped banging into a motorist.And in that racing hearted, adrenaline scented, profane moment, the ride was my life or life was my ride, both pretty much the same, I had an epiphany of how wrong the ride was and how meaningless my life is turning out to be.Of course, there are supposedly bigger truths(plural?) to think about but(to quote Rhett in the most inappropriately shameless manner) 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!'I finally know my problem and can work towards a solution and somehow today with all its mundane cheerlessness and commonplace stink, may very well have shaped the course of my future.So I've made a vow to myself(which otherwise I would not have kept up but as this is an emotionally and what I'd like to believe an intellectually charged moment)I shall not write until I rejuvenate my broken but not shattered spirit.As much as I love to write and have every reason to believe I live to do so too, I will find my purpose and work my way up to the highest position of my self evaluated pedestal.Once I'm there, I can look down or rather back at my past and ridicule it and feel a million times wiser and/or better.I will be a better person and a sincere one and will then probably deserve the pen with which I write and the paper on which I write.Till then, I'm lying low with the writing.So long then.It might take a lot of time.............

Then she asked me:"When do you know you've overdone it?"
And I replied:"When you italicise something as stupid as this!"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Scarlet fever.

I had a fever last night.After a long time.I mean, I don't keep falling ill at the drop of a hat but once in few months is considered normal.Even healthy.I hadn't had a fever(like with temperature and all) for a long time.I have had sinus problems.The hacking, wheezing cough, the runny nose and the face-paining headaches.Fever was something so forgotten, it seemed new this time.

I don't what it is about fever that makes me think about the word 'rosy'.The rose tinted windows near the roof letting in the now red sunlight at churches, the colour, the heat associated with the colour, some colour of a rash, a blush.Just rosy.And it was rosy this time too.First the heat, inside the body, the heat outside the body; no strength to even lift up your hand to take Vicks from the other side of the bed, no strength left to even turn on the other side.And then suddenly it all changes.Its 2 am and you feel like you have been wrapped in layers and layers of wool.Someone is holding you down and smothering you with so many clothes you can't breathe.You keep pushing the invisible layers off you and they just keep growing.And there are dark shapes all around you, with many more blankets and many more layers to cover you.And I woke with a start, my top wet with sweat.I had been sweating like crazy because the fever was getting reduced.And the minimal strength I had is wasted in throwing the blanket and the extra pillows away.And the panting for breath doesn't stop.Even if all I have done is sleep.

Have you had times when thoughts hurt?I had it last night, as I was sweating and heating up again, my head hurt because there were too many thoughts and somehow I couldn't make it stop.They just kept swirling in and out, random and stupid and unnecessary but present in my head all the same, hurting so bad, I buried my head under the pillow till sleep, the painful, welcome sleep crept in to hush the thoughts and awaken the dreams.

Its 3 am now and the breathing is better.So is the air supply to my skin.And the nightmares are reduced as my mother is sitting next to me now, stroking my wet hair and feeling my forehead again.My parched lips feel stuck together.Mum gives me water but it tastes bitter in my mouth.And the fever is back now.I'm feeling hotter and rosier.And somehow I always associate a fever with some kind of a sexual build up inside me that lets itself out in the form of heat.My dreams are a mixture of some kind of nightmares where I'm running towards some place and there are instructions written, there are directions and signboards and maps but I can't find my way.I have had the getting-lost-despite-all-the-resources-dreams when I have a fever since I was a little girl.I'd scream for help, to lead me to the place I want to go and I'd wake up to see my parents pacifying me.Its always been the same dreams.And I always associate these dreams with fever.

Its all rosy again.Not so hot anymore though.Maybe its coming down....

Friday, March 14, 2008


For the first time, since I have started writing seriously(I mean, you can't consider the poems I wrote on 'Tree' and 'Bird', can you?), I have named a write-up exactly what its based on.Well for a moment you(the highly esteemed reader!) might think this might be a religious post.Or atleast a spiritual one.Its not.Its just faith.About it.As simple as the title.

I watched a program on Animal Planet the other day called 'Extraordinary Pets USA'.There was an interview of this guy, who owns two Bengal tigers.One is a cub, whom he bathes and feeds and lets it bite him and keeps hugging it affectionately.The other is a full grown one, a tigress in all its glory.And he was completely at ease with them!He keeps the tigress in a big, caged ground in the backyard and he enters it from time to time to feed the gorgeous chica.And when he does, he goes empty handed.No weapon, no form of protection whatsoever.You can say he is a romantic fool because tigers are by nature wild and can attack anytime even if they are non-agressive.But the fact remains that what he does is tremendously admirable.He just goes in, all by himself, and lies next to her, stroking her brilliant fur.She raises a paw and he doesnt even whimper.He knows its harmless and she will probably rest it on his back.And she does.

What I found interesting in all this is that many people would consider this an act of bravery.They'd see this and say "Wow, man!That guy's got guts!".But I beg to differ.It doesnt take guts to do it.I mean it does, considering the 600 kilos tigress can kill him as easy we kill a bug.But it takes a lotta faith to do what he does with so much ease.I cannot for sure say faith in what.Tigress in all probability.But if he's a person with broader perspectives and I have a feeling he is, its a blind faith in nature.The truest of all beliefs and faiths.Mother Nature is the only one who allows you to commit the mistake, forgives you whole heartedly and provides a chance for redemption.Pity it goes wildly discredited more than unrecognised. Sorry, I digress.(Killer man!I have always wanted to say that!Sorry, I digress.Cool!).I believe that he has so much faith in nature, her peace loving ways and her generosity that he knows for sure that he will not be harmed if he means no harm.That explains why he is alive and kicking, still taking care of the tigers and still loving what he does.There must be an instant when he enters the cage and looks at the huge pupil of the tigress dilate and skips a beat wondering 'What if...?'But a little whiff of breeze and he knows nothing can go wrong.And he kisses her mane and falls in love with Mother Nature as countless others dreamers do, much like me, all over again.

I have got to contradict myself and go against what I said at the beginning of the post.This brings me to a point where I watch hordes of 'devotees' crowd at temples, kick and hurt each other to catch a glimpse of stone or metal and feel satisfied.The mediocrity of it all never fails to amaze me.I am not saying that people should not have faith in religion or whatever it is.Maybe most part of it is ignorance.Or the Indian weakness of getting influenced very soon.But somehow their will and indifference to never question the existence of an all knowing, all powerful God when the proof, product and the future of life nurtures and dies right in front of them surprises me to say the least.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Celebrate women, celebrate Mary......

Please don't get me wrong.This post is in no way affliated to Dan Brown, The Da Vinci code or any other grail enthusiasts/fanatics.Its about a woman called Mary, whom I have known personally over the last two years.I cannot say I know her very well or we have bonded.But I do have little knowledge about the fragments of her sad life

I have a cousin called Disha.She has a progressive or rather a regressive neurological disorder.As we grow up, we become more independent, gain knowledge and express what we feel.It was the exact opposite with Disha.As she grew up, she lost the ability to walk, talk and even sit up straight.She is now eleven years old, has undergone many painful tests without a whimper and still her condition has not been diagnosed correctly.She was a bright, cute and healthy kid until she was three. And it all changed, slowly yet painfully.She has excessive salivation and she has to be changed atleast three times a day.She cannot tell when she wants to go to the toilet.So she ends up soiling her pants.She cannot eat by herself, so she has to be fed.She can only be fed fluids and semi-solid food because she doesn't know how to chew.The plump, naughty Disha I knew is now trapped in a chair, stares into space, points at invisible things, has strong convulsions or 'attacks' where she ends up stiff and scared like a frightened animal.Even as I write it now, my eyes moisten.I hardly see her, maybe once or twice a month.Her mother(my aunt) has to see her in that state every, single day; the apple of her eye, her first-born child being a vegetable, praying for a miracle, hoping for a magic cure and ending up feeling sorry for herself and her daughter.My family thought it was best for my aunt to resume working, so that she will have something to look forward to and not end up feeling low all the time.So she decided to go back to work and employed a nurse to take care of Disha in her absence.That nurse is Mary.

I met Mary for the first time at my house.I saw this quiet, shy, demure woman, all smiles.She treats Disha like her own child.I have never seen in her eyes, even a momentary hint of hesitation in cleaning up Disha.She is everything my aunt ever wanted in a nurse.She even takes care of Shashank(Disha's younger brother) who is this naughty, sweet kid.She takes his lunch to school, picks him up everyday and grins everytime he calls her 'Mary aunty'.

I found out from my aunt that Mary's husband was an alcoholic, an auto-rickshaw driver who hardly brought enough money home.He died a few years ago under mysterious circumstances(my aunt thinks he probably had AIDS).Mary was left to support her two children and her alcoholic father.She took up nursing and came into my aunt's life as a blessing.Some days ago,I found out she hadn't come to take care of Disha.She had missed several times the last few weeks and my aunt, worried, asked her what was wrong.Mary complained of fever and a severe cough from a long time.My aunt insisted that she visit a good doctor and get a few tests done.It turns out she has tuberculosis.And a cyst on her heart.I have never seen my aunt cry so grievously before.She kept saying over and over again,"Why her?"

This is Mary.She is the emotional support for my aunt and her family.She is like a member of our family.She is so fragile and delicate that you'll never know the battles waging beneath her beautiful, ebony skin.She has financial problems, emotional problems and now health problems too.But never have I seen her grimace or get angry.She is always smiling and helping and spreading the joy.She is on medication now.I just hope she gets better soon.

This Women's day(I don't believe in a special day for women because it goes against all the equality principles we talk about.Do men need a special day for thanking us for giving them birth, feeding them their first meal, nurturing them, taking care of them and supporting them?No!They should bloody do it for the rest of their lives!), I thought to myself:We talk about women entrepreneurs, sportswomen, actresses (oops!Female actors!) and the other womenfolk I do not feel connected to in any way.Just give a thought about this woman I told you about.An unsung hero.A warrior in every sense.This Women's day, for a moment, forget about Indra Nooyi's Pepsico or Barkha Dutt's anchoring skills.For a minute, forget about Priety Zinta, Shakira and Sunita Williams.For a minute, just a single moment, say a little prayer for Mary.I know for a fact that if you pray for something whole-heartedly, it works.Irrespective of your class, religion or sex, whoever is reading this, say a heartfelt prayer for this woman. Celebrate her spirit and her will to move on.A woman's request to all you people. Pray for Mary.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

An evening in Dharwad....

We went to Dharwad last evening.We includes me,Ma,Pa,bro and Shashank.The immediate destination was a book exhibition on KCD grounds.We parked the car outside and walked on the red carpet(!) leading to the numerous stalls.I stepped inside the makeshift gate and I swear, the air ws different.Nothing else matters around when you enter the realm of undiscovered books. The excitement of a new book waiting to be opened is not only infectious(even my parents were enthralled!),it is highly exhilirating.I scanned through books on myriad topics, in a trance-like state, caring not whose foot I tread on.All I could see was books.Now isn't that a lovely way to spend an evening?Just the feel of new pages, the smell of a new book gets me all cheerful!My mum had a hard time searching for me in each and every stall.Once she'd see me flipping pages on feminism and the next instant I'd be contemplating to buy a book on and called 'Clairvoyance'.I discovered a bunch of new Indian authors.I ended up buying two books-'The best of Khalil Gibran' and 'Contemporary Indian short stories'.Shashank bought a Sherlock Holmes and innocently asked me later "Is Sherlock a girl or a boy?"Oh!He's so darn cute!

As yesterday happened to be Shivaratri, Mum suggested we go to Someshwara temple which houses Lord Shiva.So we picked up my bro(who did not accompany us to the book exhibition as he had to catch up with an old friend) from SDM engg college(which looked inviting, but there was no time!).We headed towards the temple and found out that there was no power supply.It suited me.

I don't know what it is about twilight.Or in particular, yesterday's. Is it the picturesque silhoutte of thorny, short trees or the gradual descension of another day?Probably it was more captivating with the accompaniment of my father's mellow nostalgia as he remembered his parents and his childhood, the adolescent games with his brothers.But there was something about that twilight that I'll remember for years to come.I never really bothered the queue for the darshan and the subsequent uninspiring act.I've always been a pagan since the time I could remember.I don't believe that any carved stone can demand as much respect as Mother Nature can with a single whiff of orchid-scented breeze.I had things to pray for and things to feel grateful about.I did.But it was a one-on-one with God.I mean, just imagine how busy God must be in temples.Its a long line of devotees all murmuring some random prayer and God going "Just a sec darling, yes sir!What were you asking?Wait for your turn Ma'm.Let the man who wants the promotion finish first!"See!I din't want to add to God's busy listening schedule.So I whispered a quiet 'Thank you' and went about taking the beauty of the twilight in.On the way out, I saw three kids selling these flowers.I don't know what those flowers are called.They are white and have a yellow centre.Anyway, I absolutely love these flowers, their feel, their fragrance, everything about them.So I bought a couple of them, after overpaying the three kids as they smiled at me with broken teeth.I watched this young girl, about nine years old, handing me the flowers on a wilted, broad leaf.I couldn't help but wonder.Does she have dreams too?Does she dream of security, love and contentment?I couldn't decipher the smile she flashed as I accepted the flowers.It was a knowing smile, a sad one and a contented one at the same time.It was something that took my attention off the twilight too.

We left for Hubli and reached home at around 9.It was a nice trip altogether, though you can hardly call it a trip.After all, Dharwad is just about 20kms away!But it had been long since I had had a good time with my family, without Mum's nagging and Dad's constant worries.Bro was his usual, annoying self but everything was in good spirit and I had a smile on my face as I recollected the books, the twilight, the nostalgia, the girl's smile and the scent of the flowers as they rested on the table.

Monday, March 3, 2008

10 things I realised about myself today....

1) I like to read posts which are in points.(Practise and preach!)

2)My eyes look chink-like despite adequate sleep.

3)I like people who use 'yours truly' when referring to themselves.(in writing of course!)

4)I do not like(subtly put) people who use incorrect weak forms or rather don't know how to spell weak forms.To quote one: your instead of you're.It is not only restricted to weak forms.It also extends to words like: their and there and also lose and loose.Grrrr.

5)My mood usually depends on how windy the weather is.Directly proportional(windier the better!).And the constant is my mother's mood(which is not universal.It depends on others' moods.Sigh.It keeps growing!)

6)I have started five books and abandoned them midway, despite them being highly interesting.

Sub-list of unfinished books:
a) Little women
b) Shantaram
c) The picture of Dorian Gray
d) Catch-22
e) One flew over the cuckoo's nest.

I realised that if I want to read them, I have to start all over again and I bull crap you not, its scary.

7)I'm always on the verge of an emotional outburst(anger, joy, sorrow, mostly murderous rage!) irrespective of PMS.

8)I blame all my emotional outbursts on PMS.

9)I so wish I could sing well.Each time I have earphones singing in me and me singing out loud, I ruin the song for everyone who hasn't heard the song.And also everyone who already has.And who like the song too.Oh how I wish I could croon!

10)I'll make a habit of realising ten things about myself and/or the people around me.And of course share it, with the now suspecting reader!

P.S-I have no problem with attendance no more!Whoppie!

Hold on!

I don't know why I'm feeling low today.Its probably because I'm tensed(attendance!) or because I'm feeling left out again.I'm surrounded, at least for twelve hours a day, by people I love , people who love me.But the inexplicability of this loneliness kills me.Sometimes there just aren't enough reasons to feel lonely.Most times there are no reasons to feel lonely.And the minimality of alibi bums me out.

Have you felt the insane feeling where everyone around you has somebody and you have no one to hold onto?You're in a huge crowd of people, who are laughing,talking and having a great deal of fun.You join them too.You laugh along.But you still feel like a separate entity.A small part refusing to intersperse with the whole.Does everyone in the crowd feel that way or is it just you?Is it your own fault that you feel distanced from others?Is it that they do not understand you or is it because you don't try to be understood?

The most cliche line has to be 'Something to hold onto'.I've read it, heard it, sang it and wrote it.And yet I do not know if I understand it.It maybe because of the fact that I'm afraid to be completely free.Maybe I need conditional restrain.If I were never afraid of letting myself go completely,I would never feel low.But I do.I don't want to.

I am only human.I have my own dreams and expectations.The problem is I include others in them as well.I dream of somebody.I dream to be with somebody.I never dream of being somebody.I expect others to understand me,feel what I feel.I never expect myself to not need somebody.I probably experience all of these random thoughts and musings because I'm a little too rigid about the something I want to hold onto.I need that something to be mine alone. Undivided attention.Maybe I need to loosen up.Not be so uptight.And the fact remains that I'm waiting for the right person.Not just any person will do.I've made the mistake before and the repercussions were heart-breaking.I will just bide my time and wait for either the karmic connection to spark or make do with the next best.Its not that I desperately want to be un-single.I love the independence and the privacy my singledom offers me.But just some times, oh so few times, its good to fall back on committed shoulders.

This helped.Not so low anymore.Speaking of low, there's a song called 'Low' by Coldplay,which has these lines:

"You mean more,mean more to me,
Than any colour, I can see............"

Someone to love.Sigh.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What was I thinking?

Well,I havent updated in a LONG time!Just posted a comment on this guy's blog(which is nothing less than genius!) asking him to update more frequently.So thought,what if my 'blogmirers' too want me to update?(I like flattering myself!).So,despite having the worst writers' block in the history of time and writing,decided to try something.

A few days back,I was talking to Kriti about something very mundane.Something useless even.And somehow the talk centred around how some people get straight As but cannot get the most simple logic.Or lack basic common sense and general knowledge.Hello!I'm not asking you to know the capital of Cambodia(It isnt Sean Penn,any 'Friends' fans?).Atleast who Saddam Hussain is.Sorry was(May he rot in hell).Atleast frigging 4 years after the invasion.Phew!Anyway,so I told Kriti,I may not be a 9-pointer or technically well versed,but I have creative intelligence.She asked me 'Whats that?'.So I started explaining my point.

We live in a huge crowd of artists.Yes,we do.True artists are rare to discover,it does not necessarily mean they do not exist.And by artists I mean, poets(my favourite category only because I count myself in this.See!I told you I was modest!), writers, painters, singers, actors, film makers...the list goes on.Every one of these arists, once in their life, come up with a brainchild.Their very own masterpiece.I know the effort that goes into realising a thought.And once you are done,its the most sublime joy you can feel.Well,without further digression,I get their masterpieces!I get the effort behind every line,every expression,every single brush stroke.I get what the artist shouts out loud with subtle words.I get their pride,their joy,their thought.Yes!The most important of it all.I get the thought behind the realisation.And that my friend, is creative intelligence.The soft smile on your lips,the faint 'Oh!' when you read a line,or listen to a melody is an invisible homage paid to every artist,hidden or popular,critically acclaimed or commercially viable,a silent nod of approval.And being an artist myself,I would love it through and through if somebody gets me.Wouldn't you?

I do feel envious sometimes,when people understand dimensions better than I do or can apply logic before it sinks in my tech-challenged brain.But I also like the feel of understanding the human psyche behind every expression of art I can feed my senses on.This is probably why people tell me I'm cut out for humanities.And the reason why I hate what I learn presently.Life is unfair!