Friday, July 14, 2006

a short fuse and a long memory

A short fuse and a long memory; a poisoned stream and many plants of hatred along its course; a moment of madness and long years of stoking. This is all it takes. That is what it took. The RDX exploded but only after the timer in a few twisted minds, possessing the energy of vindictively coiled springs, had been set off.

After every attack the clock starts ticking; while we’re haplessly busy cleaning up the mess of the last blast the next one is on its way. What we think is the aftermath of a tragedy is actually the deathly calm before the next one. Before the past is sutured and stitched up the future arrives yet more spectacularly with grander manifestations of a million grudges – ancient and new. And the present? Oh, it’s just too painful to talk about.

All we do is tend to the effects on the surface while the venomous causes have percolated into our blood. Right now in madarsas young minds are being fed rancour; in open fields a hundred minds are being closed shut (while their torsos parade in saffron and khaki); some vengeful hearts are being born.

Without doubt, across generations, our people have evolved into stupider societies. Such a society can’t tell black from white, let alone distinguish between shades of grey. So many bio-datas today read in bold : Educated and Stupid. Whoever accused poor, old illiteracy of all problems! SIMI is a students’ organization; RSS, Shiv Sena, VHP comprise of a reasonable proportion of literate participants. The peaceful morningwalking Shiv Sainik who was outraged enough by the soiled bust of Matoshri to call upon a mob of dangerously indoctrinated, unthinking men (instead of just wiping the mud off and carrying on) was, in all probability, decently schooled and colleged too. I wonder if the defilement had been caused by a wandering, disrespectful pigeon what fatal reverberations would have savaged the avian world.

While the victims’ (of any of the many tragedies halting our busy routines like festivals) families wipe away tears, or, being too spent, just let it dry, a few others are savouring a bitter taste in their palates and looking for reasons, ramshackled and recent, to justify and map out a destructive course of mis-action. Are some terrorists being born out of 7/11? And did anyone keep count of how many popped out post Godhra?

Amidst the hiss of a billion sobs of a brave city a few millions are already bandaging their hearts in readiness before the next blast.

What our progeny is going to remember of our trauma will be encompassed in a few death tolls and dates. But some sons will carry the legacy of their embittered fathers as worthy torchbearers and satiate inherited vengeance. God save us. Amen.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

here I go!

When you stare at a blank screen and write just about anything and everything that comes to your cognisance its scary and exciting... whatever I'm going to write from here on in this post will be without a break taken, or pause here it goes

Right now my mind is blank and I'm typing slowly so that some thoughts can be gatherd without breaching the clause that I've laid down at the beginning..and I've this tremendous urge to lengthen my sentences to buy time which I'm so evidently doing as anyone can see from the redundant phrases and clauses... My grammar has gone haywire..I'm not obsessed with it but I'm particular about it and it makes me squeasy if I come across a wrongly, or badly, put sentence...and so you see as thoughts grow older add some wings and either fly away beyond memory or land onto the penned runway..right now I escaped a mistake..I was just about to spell it 'runaway' but some agency told me it was wrong..this is getting too difficult with every strained out word dropping off the tip of my fingers..lethargy and inertnesss are beginning to emboss themselves onto my grey cells and I'm reeling under its weight..Aha.. I got it..I'll talk about hallucination, elevated plane of thought, reveries and stuff... When you smoke pot the most engrossing activity is linking up your thoughts..I mean to every untrained mind there is no logical sequence to thoughts, mostly..we just meander here and there and hop and skip between the fanciful and the rational..but try remembering what comes to your head one by one as they come and go..the chain of thoughts keep growing longer until your brain runs out of space to stash them..the cache overflows..(ok the last sentence was to buy time:))..and then you bamboozle yourself and can hold no more...but when you've had 'bhaang' it's slighlty or maybe more cant think normally..which is good cos most of mormal thoughts are random and fly, scream,sail, soar, run, gallop, swear, roar, and i 've run out of verbs..and ideas too..
i got something for you..the feamle praying mantis is known to bite off the head of the male after the males run off as soon as the mating is over..some of them are lucky while some 'veergati ko prapt ho jaate hain'..
I can talk about Zidane also and it would be a lot easier but I feel too sad to think about him...Instead I'll talk about this one time when we were playing an Inter house match in school..I was at the non- striker's end when the batsman, a good friend of mine, slammed the ball straight back and it hit my balls..I've never ever felt like that..It wasn't awesome..
When someone asks me about my favourite movies I'm at a loss for words cos I don't want to choose from among them..its unfair and unreasonable too..
When i think of all those people who've changed the world, and the people in it, for better or worse, its the common trait of conviction which shines through..A dictator like Hitler or an activist like Martin Luther King or Albert Einstein or Gandhi - all of them believed in what they did and they did so till death.. maybe we, the masses, miss out on that..cos I think if we firmly believe in something there's no way we can't make a difference...
I want to write about bombay blasts but again its too disturbing..
so i'll end my breakless monologue with whooooopppppp:)
and shit I didnt note how long it took to pull this off:(

Friday, July 07, 2006


today he's happy
for himself
today he can stare sympathy in the eye
and say that he doesn't want Him
today he created something on his own
and felt it
seeping into his skin
like rain

today someone can give him a million reasons
to change the world and time
but he wouldn't let the hands of time tick
nor the tides move a yard faster, nor slower

today he turns his back on the past
his old clothes are shed, as he walks around bare
today he sees his fears pass him by
as he drives his caravan to paradise

today his heart is filled with light
and he looks within for a reason why
today he closes his eyes and sees
through cobwebs and traps

today he's me
he's I
today is what I will not share
today I'm ready to walk alone
into the sunset

Thursday, July 06, 2006

passing it on...

Pj thank you for tagging me to this string..

I'm thinking about...

how people on the streets will look like Naked..and if some people'll form an opinion of me cos of this statement

if all of those who claim to have had happy childhoods have reached the peak of their lives while as a child and it only has gone downhill from there..and if this is true and someone told this to them there would be more suicides

I want to...

travel across India - everything in it.

to never forget, even a little, all those moments when I felt truly happy

stand up to what I feel is right and not complain

I wish...

to understand and to be understood by a few people whom I want to, atleast

there were no hangovers after the highs

to make a movie

I hear...

one song in a loop for hours on end

I wonder...

if retired judges are guiltier than criminals

if school teachers realise how important a difference they make to students

if movies can be a very good teacher as I feel they've been to me

if for a hero to exist there must be his evil alter ego.. and we want villains cos without them there would be no heroes

if I've wasted my education and if I'm doing something now which I've never been taught.. if self-education is the only thing worth having

if I really know what I much depends on the moment - how you're feeling, what you've been thinking - that I find it hard to believe that given a slightly different set of circumstances I would've made the same choices

if there's anything called true love and if I can ever experience it

I am...

what I think myself to be..( it's a bit of each one of you)

I dance...

almost everyday when I'm alone listening to music

I sing...

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

I cry...

at movies (thats why I prefer watching them alone :))

I write...

stuff which I'm not really, truly sure makes sense

I confuse...

roads. I've a very finely tuned non-sense of direction

I need...

food for thought and a bike trip across the himalayas

I tag Pasta and kING bONG May they spill their beans with aplomb!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

dizzying, dazzling nocturnal lights: the final chapter

At the outset, I request anyone interested in reading this to first go through part 1 and 2, and in that order. Else its better to skip the whole thing altogether.

What I wrote in the first post about my nightly activity of staring at a computer screen throwing off dazzling visual effects was the most original thing I had ever written. I had never been conditioned about it, nor had I heard anything about it that I could've repeated. I wrote what I saw and it was as simple as that. The effort may have lacking in quality but not in originality.

And then I had people asking me, with noble intentions, if I was alright. Now if I had written something about, say, Indian culture there would surely have been a more expected response, possibly a more favourable one. But thats beside the point.

I ask you this: even though I know shit about Indian culture, or heritage, or any such subject which I've been hearing about since the faculty of memory took shape in me why is it people accept me better when I opine about them. Why is it that second hand originality, if there's anything of that kind, is so rampant and appreciated? Do people revel in it or do they not realise what they claim is theirs is actually borrowed? How good are we?

2 years ago I had had a chance meeting with someone which, I can claim unabashedly, made me think. He said, "If you're not learning something right it's better not to learn at all. Otherwise later, if ever you seek real education, you've to unlearn your past, and that'll cost you time."

We're like that movie-cartoon character who has walked beyond the edge of a cliff but hasn't fallen because he hasn't realised it yet.

P.S: The story in part 2 has been taken from 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' by Robert M. Pirsig. I've modified the narration a little to help me make my point. This book holds the record of being rejected by the most publishing houses - 120 in all - before becoming a New York Times bestseller.

dizzying, dazzling nocturnal lights : part 2

A girl wanted to write a 500 word essay about India. Her teacher suggested she narrow it down to her hometown. She couldn't write it in time because she wasn't able to think of anything to write. The teacher was stumped. He told her, "Narrow it down to the a main street of your town." The girl came back in real distress the next time;she still couldn't think of anything to say, and couldn't understand why, if she couldn't think of anything about all of her hometown, she should be able to think of something about just a main street in it.

The teacher was furious. "You're not looking," he said. "Narrow it down to the front of a building on a main street in the town. Start with the upper left brick."

Next class, the girl came in with a puzzled look and handed over a 5000 word essay on the front of a building on a main street of her town. "I sat in a coffee shop across the street," she said, "and started writing about the 1st brick, and the 2nd brick, and then by the 3rd it all started . . . it all started to come and I just couldn't stop. I don't understand."

The teacher understood it the way it was: she was blocked because she was trying to repeat, in her writing, things she had already heard. She couldn't think of anything about the town because she couldnt recall anything she had heard worth repeating.

The narrowing down to one brick destroyed the blockage because it was so obvious she had to do some original and direct seeing.

The teacher got a fillip. Next class, he asked everyone to write about the back of his thumb. Everyone gave him funny looks but they did it, and there wasn't a single complaint about 'nothing to say'. In yet another class he changed the subject to a coin, and then to only one side of a coin.

What the students wrote, even though seemingly trivial, was nevertheless their own thing, not a mimicking of someone else's. He concluded: imitation had to be broken before real learning, or teaching, could begin. Little chidren didn't have it. It seemed to come later on, possibly as a result of school itself.

That sounded right. Schools teach you to imitate. If you don't imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. In college it's more sophisticated; you're supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince him you aren't imitating.

Students were completely conditioned to work for a grade rather than for the knowledge the grade was supposed to represent.

----- END OF STORY-----

Monday, July 03, 2006

dizzying, dazzling nocturnal lights!

For the past few nights a very engrossing activity for me has been this:

turning on the visual effects of iTunes player and staring at the monitor.

This is what I see:

marble green swirls revolving at a constant speed - very disciplined.

beige coloured irregular, corrugated lines like a freaky ECG report.

speckled 8s like a clip tied to the screen that whizzes around a centre.

a kaleidoscope of circles that are very jumpy. They are like children that hop along in gunny bags, as seen from above.

a continuosly propagating sine waveform or a string that has been tugged at its untied end - crests and troughs that float past.

a sequence of scarlet specks that spread from one end to another increasing in size like a jet of ink thrown off a fountain pen.

a concentric pattern of whorls that look like the colured fingerprints of a culprit who has been caught red/blue/magenta/violet handed.

gemstone blue planes above and below your line of vision that make your sight seem crammed in between.

many elliptical orbits, very close to each other, that revolve together like a single wrist band.

flower petals - oblong shaped - that are lined with veins like a wrinkled forehead.

a purple and bright green combination of concentric circles like compact discs of varying sizes that have been piled upon one another.

a sprinkler spraying crimson water that has cut out a circular garden in the screen.

a collection of blue and pink bars like an Eastman Colour bar code.

taillights of cars, of a spectrum of hues, that whiz past like on a Tokyo freeway.

There are countless other constellations which either change shape too soon or I find too abstruse and abstract to describe.

While concentrating on each of these patterns there is this constant feeling of being pulled in, of travelling along constricting tunnels, of being swallowed into the mouth of whales with funny coloured palates.

The unifying theme is that all these images exhibit a symmetry. There is a method to the madness.

You can either trash this as jabberwocky or turn the visual effects on the next time you listen to your favourite playlist. And then try to make something out of it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

of trust, heartbreak, and redemption

When Cafu handed over the Brasilian captain's arm band to Dida before being substituted, with 12 minutes to go and his team trailing in a world cup quarterfinal, he also entrusted his teammates with what was going to be an important part of his legacy. He could take no more part when his dream was being actualised.

Watching that moment I felt that was what defined teamsports: to put your trust in your teammates and ask them to put theirs in you. Maybe many years ago, this scene had been enacted but with Cafu as the arbiter of someone's destiny. And now, life was coming a full circle as generations shook hands across the touchline and a baton was passed.

When Zidane consummated a sublime pirouette over the ball ( a 180 degree turn for the football savvy), belittling 2 Brasilian defenders and commingling ballet with soccer, it wasn't just a piece of skill, or a move of brilliance. It simply could not be just that.

It was a moment frozen in time, set in stone for eternity. For me, whenever I'll remember Zizou, the European championships, world cups, world player of the year awards wont come to mind. Memory will be an ageing 34 yr old who had the gall to do something which even younger, maybe better legs, wouldn't dare to. This moment will define him in my consciousness forever.

All the heartbreak in sports (penalties, you may say going by the current mood) is more than compensated by those few specks of time when your heart speaks out through your game. There is no pressure, no doubt. Only pure, unadulterated joy. Inexorable. Unforgettable. It is for these fleeting instances that any professional sportsman goes through years of painstaking effort and carries an almost unbearable burden of public scrutiny, pressure and many a million hopes

Sometime back (in 1999 mostly) when Manchester United had won the European Championships, Dwight Yorke, their striker then, was asked about how he coped with the intense pressure, the media frenzy. He replied that his job involved no pressure. Nothing in comparison to what families in Sudan, reeling under a famine, had to bear to feed their chidren.
That statement, very much, put things in perspective.

Trivia: When Henry volleyed Zidane's cross into the back of the Brasilian net it was the first time in 56 matches that they've played together that Henry scored of a Zidane pass!!