Wednesday, January 30, 2008

anagramloverfriendshipimaginationhope: haikus


slipshod letters of
incomprehensible life,
arranged: fragmented


a touch for a look
while spent by lover’s brook
cymbals—best when paired


hiss, burnt lips: common
shared junk, dutch fares: together
moving images


on sick bed, wasted
in dreams distant, yet vivid
runs free, wind in hair


night crescent broken,
small pieces cached for weeks
like treasured toy

Monday, January 07, 2008

Delightful coincidence

Free will and imagination are entities that I’ll always hold dear. During my formative years, I rebelled against, in various measures, efforts at oppressing me. And through such experiences, I realized that I can be threatened through multifarious channels and that the adversary is a shape-shifting thing. Coercion can occur in subtle ways, through effective blackmail, via open subjugation, or by fomenting a sense of guilt. It can happen in daily conversations, by regular conditioning, courtesy public rebukes, or by demands of love’s labor. Sometimes, the perpetrators are well-meaning people—family, for example—who seem to know what’s good for you. You become an agent, a medium, that is driven to act toward goals you may not cherish. It’s not black and white. That is, you can’t distinguish between the forces acting upon you as entirely positive or entirely negative. The magnitude and time for which such forces act determine their impact on you.

When you choose your actions, you accept total responsibility for their consequences. And that in turn makes you work harder and better. Thereafter, what you’re guilty of is not some half-baked effort but a full-blooded charge. Everything else falls into line. Your priorities are arranged in a perfect hierarchy. Free will and imagination—two life-sustaining forces—act on you then. Without the influence of these forces, however, life starts to decay. You’re cut off from the wellspring of eros.

Self-preservation is the greatest gift you can bestow upon yourself. It’s the most timeless quality; yet, it is the most difficult to cultivate. People corrupt themselves all the time, everywhere. What is the average man capable of? And what does he come up with? And then he still has someone to blame for his bungling. I do not want to have lived a life that respected elders, served as a model citizen, obeyed the law, cared for family, helped friends only because it was expected to, and was commanded to. I want to choose to do any of these moral deeds or not commit any of these crimes, depending on what I hold true. No one should dispute this right to me.

From what I’ve written, it may appear as if I’m an extremely difficult person to deal with. Like I abide by a straitjacketed, claustrophobic code. Should give the impression as if I suffer people and those who stick with me merely succeed in surviving me. But that’s not quite true, at least not apparently. I’ve got plenty of friends, if I may say so myself, and my family loves me. I may not call my mother as frequently as she would like me to, but she still doesn’t think that she has lost me, or worse that I don’t deserve to be loved. And for the said intangible possessions, I haven’t had to lie or be anyone but myself. I’ve just done what I’ve felt to be right and have tried to live by it. In the life that I await, I see myself doing the same and not bothering about anything else. It’s not my business to make the most number of people happy; it’s my moral obligation to be true to myself. And free will and imagination are tools that’ll always come in handy. That they’ll also lend an exalted quality to life shall be a delightful coincidence.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I'll live like a hack

I feel like a hack—is one who exploits his creative potential to come up with dull, repetitive, menial work, for money. I don’t get that much money, and may be my professional work isn’t so trite after all. But that doesn’t make me any less of a hack. I’ve come to realize that talent means next to nothing. See me, for example. Things I have been for a living: software professional, editor. Things I can be: film critic, copywriter, scriptwriter, travel writer, teacher, columnist, cricket commentator, and may be mechanical engineer. Except engineering and scriptwriting, I’m sure I can be on the job with immediate effect. So, what should I make of it? Nothing. I only need enough money to do what I want to do. But for the money, I have to do something that incidentally files my core, making it fit snugly like a dovetail joint. May be then, I should decide on how much of a hack I’m prepared to be and how much money would fill my pockets.

One evening, about a year and a half ago—one of those evenings when my professional life was in limbo, those days of joblessness yet sheer ebullience at having given expression to thoughts simple and deep, at having distilled life into words that carried me to the threshold of a magnificent portal, that dressed up in the wardrobe of ideas and looked askance for my approval like a child up to antics for a share of his mother’s attention—on one of such days, I remember listening to Baba O’Riley for the longest time ever. And while the piano and the violin were played for me, I discovered my mojo, as if saying, “If you can make something brilliant, so can I.” And I wrote this as a part of something else.

Life in its myriad forms came forth and claimed territory. Dominions were disrespected. Fat, croaking frogs laid siege to unseen corners of houses and paid no rent. Lazy creepy crawlies stood their ground. When poked, and asked to move out, they coiled with insouciance and pretended to nap. Gregarious crickets carried on noisy conversations with aplomb. Bees hummed, guiding their brethren towards teeming hives in fusty garages. Butterflies floated from petal to petal, like promiscuous bodies, drinking from many bowls. Colonies of ants marched along damp walls in a single file like medieval infantries. Bugs formed clubs and societies and congregated with needless regularity to discuss trivial issues. Spiders roamed about intrepidly with open mandibles. House lizards preyed walls and chomped careless flies like hungry horses chomping oats. Greedy-gutted caterpillars gorged on leafy branches.

Maybe I should just fuck the money. Let everyone else take my share, if ever there was anything for me. I could not, should not, care less. You go fuck your money and lead your fucking mediocre lives. I’ll live like a hack one half of each day, and go home to create something brilliant.