Monday, January 19, 2009

My plan

I plan to take myself
by the scruff of the neck
turn myself upside down
shake myself
until the last drop of poison
spills on to paper
and soaks it

And after that
who cares.
There’s absolutely nothing beyond that.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My hands—brothers in arms—keep adding bogeys to this toy train called continuum. The hands are three: the long and short, and the frenzied. Together, they keep ticking. They keep everything running.

When early resplendence slides in through doors ajar, I am there to witness musty corners shrug off their wimpy edginess and mingle with the smooth whole. The world as a brave whole…aah…where does it begin?

When the silence of after-lunch siestas eats the day’s vigor, and activity gives in to abeyance, I stand moved. I continue my merry-go-round. Lending substance to naps and dreams that appear and vanish like meteors. When lurky servants pinch off sleazy magazines from under mattresses and spill themselves on Persian carpets, I am there. When they remember the spots of spillage and smile at having stained a rich master’s possession, I am there too.

When shadows make two of each, I am there. When old memories return with long shadows on deserted walks, I walk too. When aggrieved patriarchs rant endlessly in after-dinner outbursts, I do not pause to stop them. When the socially respected take off their contraptions and defenses for others like them before retiring, I bear testimony.

When my hands meet—seduced by coterie—I egg them on. And they start all over again. And they make you start all over again.

Mine is just a job. I don’t know why you do it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

witness to life

I read somewhere that one of the reasons people marry is that they want a witness to their lives. Like much later after things have happened, a married man will have someone to testify what had happened. In conversations, he will not be the only one rambling; there’ll be someone to finish his sentences, to furnish details of the past, to lend credence to his claims.

Which is partly why long-distance relationships are difficult to sustain. Because there’s no constant witness. Witnesses change, and more importantly the ones that are there don’t pay much attention. Or else your work friends would be your best friends.

Solely as proof, the “marriage” kind of a permanent association isn’t worth it. Photographs and home videos should suffice. That marriage rewards you with a guaranteed history is a given. But exactly what sort of history?

I dislike the kind of history that paints pictures in broad, sweeping strokes. I find it irrelevant. There’s just very little detail. It follows then that I don’t particularly like to know about what couples have to say when they sum up their lives together in a few pithy sentences. Such remarks are more like comments fit into a small box in a report card. Like you had to deliver a judgement, so you did it. The judgement is not the truth. Truth is in the details. And at different points in time, truth is different. And part of the truth is that when you do choose to marry, you’re offering yourself as a witness to your partner’s whims and fancies, his vices, his unacceptable traits, his irritating habits. And also his absolutely adorable qualities.

The question I ask myself is whether the virtues redeem the vices. Whether it’s only the sum that counts—not what goes into the final figure.