Thursday, October 25, 2007

My eyes are silly silly silly

Hawkins: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?
Griselda: Right. But there’s been a change: they broke the chalice from the palace!
Hawkins: They *broke* the chalice from the palace?
Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.
Hawkins: A flagon...?
Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.
Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.
Griselda: Right.
Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?
Griselda: No! The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!
Hawkins: The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
Griselda: Just remember that.

---------from “The Court Jester

The king smoked a Cuban cigar
And there coughed the old vicar
Cigar, vicar, vicar, cigar
What difference does it make?
A c here, a v there
What does a king care?


My eyes are silly, silly, silly
They make me dilly dilly dally
I’ve arrived in life a man
But with my moustache in the make-up van


She was hard, she brandished her might
For the kids she was an absolute fright
She never let them fly a kite, never tolerated a slight
“There, there,” the kids shouted, “there goes the woman in uptight”


------------Lines for a few of my own musicals

I’m leaving for Delhi this evening. Last Sunday, I did 15 km in 66 min. That tells me I’m sort of on track for the 28th.

I’ve a feeling I’ve arrived in adulthood whole
Only if I were shorn off this worldly parole
I should not go down without a try
Because sometimes even turtles can fly


Wish me luck, fellas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is serious talk diluted by humor?

Imagine a teenaged girl on her first trip with friends. She wants to fit each of her dozen favorite dresses into a tiny bag for just a weekend outing.

I’m having trouble keeping a reign over my choice of ideas. It’s like I’m going to author only one book ever; hence the urgency to stuff everything in it. Make it an expression of all my thoughts—everything that I’ve felt, ruminated over, understood, deconstructed. This is the Achilles heel of first timers: too much, too soon.

Sometimes, when I read what I’ve written after a reasonably long interval, I’m rather surprised for someone who’s reading his own writing. The purport appears much diluted than what I had apprehended at the time of conception, or the analogies are jarring. Words of value have the power to weather time and situations. They should make sense, carry the same punch, at all times: marshmellowish in or out of love; deeply moving before and after pregnancy; funny on bad as well as good hair days.

Or they should carry the tang of abstract metaphysical shit. Whose shit it is, then, is entirely left to your sense of smell or to how clogged your sinuses are.
I love Murakami for the nothingness that he portrays.... He’s a nihilist, yet so much of a believer.... I mean, his words say nothing, yet everything.

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I’ve always wondered about the truth in *discovering* oneself. I think its usage is clich├ęd and inaccurate. I don’t think there’s a complete, definite *you* waiting to be discovered. A more accurate word is *evolve*. It’s by putting yourself in different situations that you allow yourself to grow, in whichever way, and evolve into the person that you subsequently become.

A staunch Church-fearing Catholic is most certain to not discover her sexual side before marriage, if she abstains from premarital sex. Give her a riding crop, banish the Church from her mind, or hand her hope with batteries, and you may just trigger a perpetual hormone surfeit in her system.

You think cricketers in the 70s and 80s had more integrity than the present crop, which made them keep their hands off match fixing? No. They just didn’t have the opportunity. So, although it is commendable that they were honest, hardworking working-class sportsmen fighting to win each time they stepped onto the field, they managed to stay relatively squeaky clean because a good enough temptation hadn’t presented itself yet in their time.

You may strongly oppose abortions and have reasons aplenty to substantiate your choice. But, you still may not have carried an unwanted life inside you. Or you may not have seen a friend or your own child go through the travail of a teen pregnancy. Having experienced any one of the above, you may very well switch sides. Would you then find who you truly are?

Nothing determines us as much as the part of the human spectrum that we’re witness to.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fear and loathing

Too many people know me here. This place seems like a ghetto where everyone knows everyone else, where eventually we all have to perish. No one comes out alive. Before that, there shall be some moments of respite, but punctuating these moments will be a fierce countenance stretched taut over the hours—millions of them one after the other, like an army of ants. The thought of it makes me cower. All the tenacity melts to unmanly wuss and rises up in guttural convulsions. It sucks me out hollow and vacant. And then fills me with hunger for the same things again. I look through the same recipe again; I cook the same poison; I stuff myself with it.

And the turnstiles to the park rotate again. I make a full circle to find myself at where I began, veritably rooted. My system can never assimilate the poisonous air—I turn to smoke coarse desires, I slake my thirst with cheap money. Such a warp. The forces are at it, twisting that which has been eulogized as unbending—the spirit. But it’s dead and it’s famous. That’s why everyone is brandishing a copy of the neatly written eulogy.

I can’t fight the future. I can’t fight when I’m asleep. I can’t fight because I’m busy. People, listen! Come together and destroy each other. Let’s all fall apart because there’s a private solace in witnessing a collective fall. Damn he who doesn’t participate.

Let us fall in love, fuck our brains out, and fuck some more. Let’s fuck, fuck like rabbits. Fuck until we can’t even see the cobwebs. Or let’s reign in our fucks for now, and be moral. Better still, let’s save ourselves for the eventual fuck. Let’s then have kids and sit at interviews offering donations for admission to kindergarten. Let’s turn teachers and preach. Do this; don’t look up a lady’s skirt; don’t cheat in exams; don’t lie; speak your mind, albeit when mommy and daddy are in a good mood. Let’s push them to excellence; to thinner air. Let’s make educated piggy banks out of our children.

Let’s smooth all edges in hindsight. Let the obituaries of sick, devouring parasites read well. Let’s all write them in good English.

“Son,” the father said, “Do you see this?”
“Yes, father.”
“This is a machete. Learn to wield it.”
“For what, father?”
“Learn to use it on yourself; learn to chop, to pare down yourself so that you fit in.”
“But won’t I kill myself then?”
“No son, you’ll only learn to grow in ways that agree, that blend with the landscape.”

Friday, October 05, 2007

with great difficulty or with foolish abandon?

The other day, a friend, while chatting online with me, spoke about an interesting incident that had occurred about a decade ago. It was mundanely interesting—the kind of interesting some of us need to hear every day to feel a sense of amusement. So, I thought about the incident after that and made up a story revolving around it. I narrated the story, or rather my version, to three other friends. Didn’t tell them about my concoction; just recounted it with some friend of mine as the protagonist. I liberally added details (not as far as sub-plots) as I expatiated upon my story, as they occurred to me. When they asked me questions, I proffered answers that seemed plausible given the fabricated circumstances.

Sometimes, I do this; it is rather engaging.

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I’ve run a decent distance this week. More than 30 km in 5 days. Tomorrow, next morning that is, I plan to run 10 km. I’m excited about it, but I’m not too excited by the sameness in the morning sights. I hate the old woman who puts her sac down at roughly 6:30 every morning and starts wailing for alms. It beats me. Her motivation toward this daily activity seems redoubtable. There’s this hunk who runs as if he’s in a photoshoot, swinging his hair wildly. And, the aunties in salwar-kameez and sneakers who parade woodenly and gossip. All of them quite fit their respective stereotypes too, which is what adds to my miff. I like watching the kids waiting for their school buses though. They are lost, sleepy, curious, and bright. There was a phase in the 2nd standard when I dreaded going to school. A wave of melancholy would sweep over me—or rather I would allow it to do so, so as to loll in it—every morning. I used to go in a rickshaw (not auto), and throughout the duration of the ride I would be grumpy. The rickshawwala, I forget his name, had a big mole like a watermelon seed fixed near his nose. It’s funny I remember him by that. My mum used to be paranoid about him, always checking if he was drunk.

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I’ve been wanting to blog, and now I’m writing about wanting to blog. Reminds me of “Adaptation” and Charlie Kaufman. It’s about a writer trying to adapt a book into a movie screenplay. Anyway, I haven’t been able to blog because I just didn’t want to blog for the heck of it. [This is how unstructured thought reads.] So, this movie, Adaptation, has twin brothers Charlie and Donald. “Charlie writes the way he lives... with great difficulty. His twin brother Donald lives the way he writes... with foolish abandon.” Donald is the more successful writer, of course.

I’ve been on this extended movie trip for over a month. Have watched quite a few brilliant movies, the experiences of which I cannot do justice to by elucidating in a blog. Have been paying attention to a few things—most importantly, to how footage is shot and compiled.

In “Central do Brasil,” an old woman is shown working at the busy Rio central station. The camera follows her weaving her way through the crowd enroute home from work. When she reaches home, however, the camera is already inside the house. The shot is that of an observer in the house looking at someone entering it. This shot is not her point of view; it’s that of an outsider who, ironically, is inside the house. A little later, a window of the lady’s house is shown being opened, from across the street. Again, it’s the view of an observer who’s outside the domain of the lady. These scenes evidently do not showcase her vantage point.

Flip to “Le Fils.” The camera follows Olivier, a carpentry instructor, as he moves, whenever he moves. When Olivier looks around a corner, we look around the corner. He looks at a boy huddled up; we look at him too. The shots are very faithful to what Olivier sees.

Given the fact that these examples belong to different movies, it is quite interesting to understand their relevance to the themes portrayed. I don’t agree with “Central do Brasil”; I have a feeling the director didn’t pay enough attention to why he wanted his shots the way they were shown.

This is why I prefer watching films by myself. I’ve been ribbed about this habit by friends. Anyway, some of the movies I’ve seen—persona, blowup, wild strawberries, 12 angry men, bleu, the double vie de veronique, color of paradise, seven samurai, the tenant, sonatine, blue velvet, 2001: a space odyssey, talk to her, the big lebowski, central do brasil, le fils, mountain patrol.