Sunday, March 30, 2014

Frames


She stared at the picture frame, looking through a window to the past, at a single moment frozen on Polaroid. Two smiling faces- blessed with ignorance. She held up her hand and looked at the new picture. The same woman, laughing with another man, but the laugh was more muted- hopeful but guarded. She looked at it for a long moment and then moved to the desk. She picked up the old picture and kept the new one in its place. She opened the drawer and kept the old one inside gently, but her hands shook when she tried to close it. She took it out again and kept it on the desk side by side with the new one. She felt herself ripped in two but fused together violently, unnaturally. Time did not seem to flow from one moment to the next. The past and the present seemed to exist together but not in peace with each other. She leaned with both hands on the desk, with her head bowed, as if in front of an altar.

After what seemed like a lifetime, she wiped her face and picked up the new picture frame. She took the photo out and tossed the frame into the trash. She moved to the old photo frame and ran her fingers delicately around the ornamental edge. Carefully, she lowered the new photo into the old frame on top of the old picture- the muted laughter of one moment superimposed over the carefree joy of another, a man’s face slipped over another’s....and walked away from both

Notes:
This was a writing exercise. The theme was supposed to be to write a scene which shows a character preparing for something significant. I took a female character for a change. The scenario, or the thing that she is preparing for is remarriage. Her first husband has been missing for years- presumed dead. She is about to start a new life, but has to do something which seems insignificant but is painful. Her house, her room and everything about it is a testament to an old life, a shrine to memories. But it cannot be that anymore. How much of the past should she let go of to start afresh? How much of letting go would be an insult to the past? How do you reconcile a glorious past with hope for a different future?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alive

I sat next to the hospital bed with my head bowed and watched my friend breathe. The once mighty chest rose and fell with a meekness he never showed in life. And yet, the monitors with the squiggly lines and the beeps said he was alive. Was this life? I remembered how he had behaved when someone tried to mug him. I was there, but a few seconds into the intended mugging, you couldn’t understand whowas mugging who. The only explanation he gave later was “When life comes at you with a knife, you go at it with a pickaxe”. I smiled at the memory, but mourned the present. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

I pulled the cables. I turned off the monitors and knocked over the IV trip. His eyes fluttered open and looked at me, even as his body shook and struggled. But his eyes stayed fixed on me, till it glazed over in the end. Eyes that had remained closed for the past two weeks, reopened to see the end. I kept looking back, even as they rushed in and dragged me away. They would not believe it and I did not say it, but I knew what I saw in his eyes. They saw him die helpless, unassisted. I saw him die just as he had lived, just as he had wanted- defiant.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Depth

Waves broke the stillness, foaming horses glittering in the sunlight. The horses galloped and pressed ahead, but one after the other they all sank into the stillness. He skipped across the water, leapt over the cresting waves. He staggered and went to one knee and got up and moved again. He ran on the surface, he ran on the edges of whirlpools and breaking waves.


Why do you run? They asked. Why do you move? He could not catch his breath for a while. The waves were too high. The water stilled for a fraction of a second. A pleasant break, but he kept moving. “If I don’t move, I will sink. It’s hard to stay afloat”. 


“What happens when you sink? What’s under the surface” The boy’s face turned wistful. His footfalls slowed down a moment, then picked up again. “Leagues and leagues into the depths, colors swirling and changing, deep hues and shimmering greens. A world with no end and no beginning. Running under every wave, every runner on the surface. Connecting everything but nothing”. “How does it feel when you go there?” “Elated,humbled..Like you pulled the world aside like a curtain and understood you were blinded till now. That when you run on the surface and look ahead and back and to the side, you think that’s all there is but under your feet there is eternity and endlessness horizons.."


"Why do you fight it then. Why stay here. “Its not a place for us. It’s a world that is somehow ours but yet not, a world where we cannot live our days and nightsI go down there and I am raptured but lost, enchanted but terrified. For the depths are too vast, too timeless for me to do anything. I am a grain of sand on a beach there, a speck in the sky. There are shadows there. Of everything happening on the surface. Only the shadows are longer down there than the ones who cast it. And every hint of movement on the surface ripples down there, magnified. Insignificant acts on the surface sparks off chaos down there. The butterfly flaps its wings and this is where the storm builds”


Sometimes I wish I never saw the deep, never knew it was there. For once I knew, the pull was always there. But it is a pull I must resist, for there is no living in the depths. Only giving in.But yet I must visit from time to time, for to deny it is to lock away a part of yourself, to close your eyes and pretend it is dark. But each time I stand still,, each time I sink, I fear I will never come back up again. For once you’re there; everything on the surface seems insignificant. Reality seems inconsequential. But then I have to remember that reality is beautiful too. That imperfect as it is, there’s joy there, there’s sorrow, there’s music…and the chirping of birds.


“So they why go down there at all. Why go to a world where we can't belong, where you cant survive? Why do you visit the depths?”

His footfalls slowed down a bit, the water rose up to his ankles, his knees. His eyes glazed over and a wistful smile formed on his lips. ”For a touch of wonder..."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Whispers in the dark

When you sit in a dark room, with your phones silent and your mind alone, you start hearing things which you didn’t notice before. The sound of cars on a nearby street, how a frame of light separates the doorway from darkness to light and eventually, whispers of a consciousness long buried by everyday life, your own.

They say that human beings are social animals. Is that why we constantly seek companionship? Is that why we don’t like eating alone or going to a movie alone or going for a walk alone? Or is there another reason too? Do we stay connected all the time so that the lines between ourselves and the world blur, and you can’t tell yourself and the world apart? Does it comfort us to join ourselves to an incomprehensibly large whole, so that in the ignorance we can find bliss? Do we avoid keeping our own company because we are afraid of looking in the mirror and seeing what is really in our eyes; or sitting in the dark in an empty room and hearing the whispers of our own souls, unburdened by the noise of the world?

The universe asks you difficult questions when you walk a bit off the road. It asks you where you’re going and who you are. Questions you once heard asked, once tried to answer. Questions I hear again when I sit in the dark. Questions I know I haven’t answered and maybe never will, but questions they remain.

I have been lost, because I feared being lost. I stopped looking for my road because on the roads all wayfarers walk, no one asked for directions……..and ignorance was bliss

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A rant against supermarkets


I have a theory why. See, in prehistoric or pre-cookware times, human beings were hunter-gatherers. Some did the hunting, some did the gathering. Now I’m not an evolutionary biologist and I’m not a male chauvinist either (ladies please note) but I’m guessing mostly men did the hunting  and the women did the gathering. I present this thesis on the basis of observing how 98% of my female friends love shopping and 98% of my male friends hate shopping. @Sherman, if you are reading this, by the remaining 2% I mean you :) Ok so my theory is that I hate shopping coz I’m a hunter by genetic makeup  (suck it Bambi. I’m coming  for you).

Do any of you like supermarkets? I find them scary, especially the big ones, the ones in which you need directions to get to a 6 pack of eggs. I got lost  in a supermarket once. OK actually more than once but that one I remember coz I had a hand drawn map from my  brother in law to prevent exactly this scenario. It was very simple. He drew it exactly like what I would see when I walk in. But cabbages screwed me. I had an epiphany when I stood clueless in the middle of the vegetables section…I HAD NO FREAKING IDEA what a cabbage looked like pre-cooking!!! Oh wait that was the minor epiphany. The actual one was that supermarkets are unnatural places.
See for a hunter, a supermarket  is a very confusing  place. Suppose you want to buy some Goodday biscuits (One of the tasks my brother in law had assigned to me in the earlier mission). You go to the biscuits section and look for Goodday and what do you see? Goodday lite, Goodday fluffy, Goodday white, this, that what the hell. Immediately my hunter’s instincts screw me. See in the wild, my ancestors had it easy. You walk into the jungle with your badass bow & arrow or sharp sticks or whatever, the prey sees you, gets spooked and runs. As soon as a dumbass prey decides it’s the prey and runs, you recognize that it is the prey and run after it shouting with joy. The roles are clearly defined. But here…they hide in plain sight, alphabetically, mocking you.
Hence we get to my initial proposition. Supermarkets are unnatural. Of course, I know it makes things easier (if you have an aisle-wise sense of direction) and we all need to save time in our fast paced life. But I read somewhere that the biggest joke on mankind is that we keep inventing new things to make things we do easier to do and yet we end up working just as hard or harder, having as less or lesser spare time than before. 30 years ago someone would work a 9 to 5 job making manual entries in a register and now we work a 9 to 9 job even though we have computers. Coz with computers came SAP and all kinds of nonsense.
Just  food for thought. Talking of food, let me head to Safa supermart.
What??? Never seen a hypocrite before?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Declaration of intentions

For a long time this blog has been dead. Why? A combination of the authors laziness + fear of lack of perfection and reluctance to open up.
When I think about writing, the procrastination goes something like this.
Step 1: I should write something.
Step 2: Who will read? And if I decide to spread it to a wider audience, do I want  them to read what I really have to say?
Step 3: If I write it has to be awesome. I should think of something awesome to write. Or at least as good or better than stuff I’ve already written here in this space.
Step 3: Hey look a cat doing flip flops in youtube.
The end….

This is me breaking out of the shell. Or trying to. I say screw the typos, screw the lack of a well defined title. Screw coherence, screw sequential thinking. Embrace the madness. Insanity can be rather fun you know, provided you’re crazy by choice. I have no idea what  the hell I’m talking about but you know what? I don’t give a damn. It’s my blog and I’ll ramble till I make some sense.

This is me, shouting into the night. I don’t know if anyone’s listening. And even if they are, I’m not talking much sense anyway. Lol. Hey this is the first time I said lol in bloggerspace. (screw victorian fukking written english)
Ok ok woosah woosah.
Let me try to make some sense. Where was I? ya. I’m reactivating this blog. Why?
Because I have things to say. It’s kinda like the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). Those dudes beam messages through radio signals into space. Reason? To see if anyone can get them, then ‘get’ what the hell they are talking about and reply. So far they are still talking one way into outer space but have they stopped? Hell no. From that I draw my inspiration. Maybe some froods out there will get this. Maybe not. And as for waiting for perfection, that’s like a batsman saying he wont go out to bat  until he’s sure he can get a century if he does. “Don’t play the game if you’re not willing to lose”
This is it. For now.
If any entities out there are receiving and comprehending this, peace out!

oh and stay tuned for more as well.