December 11, 2006

The End

Just a final update if you'd missed the devil in the details of the conclusion of the last post, this little five-year-old experiement is over for good. The same fate is applicable for the work blog, you won't see any new material in either place. I do intend to write at the Wordpress blog, though even that's not been updated for close to two months now.

I have made some great friends from this little joint, I'd not list them down because I do talk to them fairly often even without using the blog as a platform and I know almost all of them in real life too by now. Looking back, that's the best part that I get to take away from this. My life's been all about people and I've had the pleasure of knowing some really good people because of the blog.

Otherwise, I don't feel bad about the closure and I can't bear to read most of the older material anyway. Guess I could safely say that I won't miss it much. So this is one big round of thanks for the tiny handful who still bother to keep dropping by and the friends I've made from this place.

Shyam/Codelust

p.s: for the majority of the visitors here these days who are misled by Google, I do not have naked pictures of Deepa Sahi or inside information about prostitutes in Noida.

December 02, 2006

The Walk

There is certainly a lot of magic in Delhi’s winters. Of course, it is hard to find and hidden away from the hours that we get to normally see, when we honk and snake our way through the working day, lost in our thoughts, arguments and other worries that plague our mundane daily existence.

And when it turns up, like at two in the morning today, while walking back from a late night movie with only your own shadow, an empty soul and the empty road for company, it is indeed sheer magic. Places filled otherwise with noise and people now welcome you with the most silent of appraisals. There is almost a feeling of mutual acknowledgement, but that’s just my imagination speaking.

Regardless, it is like a slow sigh of relief expelled by the day, now an unburdened soul, dark and widespread, breathing quietly into your being, and gradually resuscitating life back into your near-dead self. It can’t speak, but it does talk back. It can’t feel, but it does touch you. It is meant to be asleep, but it certainly is wide awake.

During the day, there is colour everywhere. The mushrooms are back on the shelves of the roadside shops. Hands dig deep into pockets, mufflers tie gentle knots of warmth into every other body you can see. It is a season I dread and look forward to at the same time, for things inevitably go wrong, in the worst possible manner, around this time, every time.

For most parts I am rediscovering silence. I am rediscovering nothingness and discovering its value for the first time. I have a million memories to let go of and thousands of instances to step aside. Strangely, the story has never been about me; but it is and it is not at the same time now. Does that make sense? I guess not.

It was inevitable that the seasons would change again, like how it is inevitable that I must finally make a move. This is not home for me, even when I’ve called this place home for the past seven years. This is not love for me, even when I have, arguably, been in love for the past four years? But, honestly, I have no complaints, no regrets and not even a fleeting sense of loss. I’ve felt and done all that. This time it is for good.

I see glimpses, of myself and feelings that I’d thought I’d long lost, every now and then. Sometimes it feels like childhood all over again. There is a familiarity I yearn for. There is that elusive smile I wonder if I’ll ever see for real. There is the warmth of an unknown embrace that I know by heart and one that is familiar to every inch of my skin. I know exactly, inch-by-inch, what I am looking for.

Sometimes I think I have a lot to say, that I will write once again those thoughts out here. Then I realize that this is a conversation that I am having with myself. I am explaining, putting into shape and form my feelings that I probably never tell anyone, maybe not even myself. After 27 years, I’ve realized that I’ve never listened to myself with even half the care or concern I’ve always given others.

I do not know what value this blog will ever hold. It is a twisted logbook of my life since 2001, played out as elaborate game of metaphorical hide and seek. But for all practical purposes it is an endless repetition of the themes of loneliness, sadness, desperation and longing. I’ve threatened to quit doing this on numerous occasions, for varying reasons, but as the updates dwindle to the odd missive credited to the force of habit, I think I am finally willing to let this too go, but this time without regret, pain or anger.

November 17, 2006

One times one

When your latest resolution in life goes something like “try and not sleep with friends and people who mean a lot to you,” the connotations are staggering since you could not sleep with strangers in the first place anyway. In a way, you can consider this more as your own sanity’s spaceship (the other one – morality – exploded mid-flight long ago) sending mildly panicky messages back to earth.

“Houston, we have a problem.” And a mighty complicated one at that too. It could have been termed as a life so interesting, only if it was not half as funny as it sounds. Seriously, there should be a default number of attempts at solving a problem available to all of humanity, after which, even out of pity, the problem should resolve by itself. I think that’s a fair enough deal, don’t you think so?

It is not the easiest thing to step back or stand aside from the only meaning, be it transient or misplaced, that you have to cling on to interpret your actions in life. Thankfully, robust and important players, like objectivity and purpose, have returned to the stage. Anger, in the meantime, has played its important part and what a stellar performance that was too. I guess the drama is indeed quite a spectacle; only that it is anything but that when the stage is your mind and the players are elements that constitute your self.

On the other hand, withdrawal need not always be a spectacle, nor should it always be noticed. You can slink away in a million different ways and still be around in the same twenty different ways. And it is not like it has not been done before, but this time it is different. Bridges left uncrossed till recently are now a faded vision in the past. This, in all probability, is territory that we shall never cover again. I guess some equations were changed; a few victories were won and some were lost. The sum of all that maneuvering though remains unchanged. Is that not strange? Maybe it is not.

Meanwhile, the weather is brilliant and the rooms bask in a mildly golden glow of a new, cheap lamp that I’ve grown very fond of. But I don’t like being home much these days, even when most of life is as perfect as it could ever get to be. Sometimes I do feel like a part of me has left me, leaving this shell for someone else who is not me to live in for the rest its assigned life. There is moderation in most things and controlled excesses in others. Life is a fine balance. Life is a walk on the razor’s edge. Life is the fear of a fall on to insanity and irrelevance either side.

November 07, 2006

Reflect

10-26-06_1235I think it would be a lie if I said I was tempted on more than one occasion in the recent weeks to update this blog. It is not like I have lost the urge to communicate; it is more like I have not much to communicate that is new or interesting enough. Life has pretty much settled down into a downright predictable rhythm, even accomplishments and disappointments are factored in according to preset levels. It is not exactly sterile like a sickly green hospital gown, but it not a chaotic celebration of desired excitement either. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle.
You walk straight ahead and the road goes around in circles. Actually, there has never been a definite goal in your life. All your goals keep changing as time passes and as locations change, and in the end the goals no longer exist. When you think about it, life in fact doesn't have what may be called ultimate goals. It’s just like this hornet’s nest. It’s a pity to abandon it, yet if one tries to remove it one will encounter a stinging attack. Best to leave it just hanging there so that it can be admired. At this point in your thinking, your feet become lighter, it is fine wherever your feet take you, as long as there are sights to see. Gao Xingjian in Soul Mountain
Sometime towards the end of last month six of us headed out towards the deserts. It was meant to be my break in Goa in November, but circumstances and planning over much alcohol deemed that it be done in October, right after the folks and relatives had left after their latest visit. The picture you see posted alongside is from the same trip, shot with a camera phone atop a very young and feisty camel. It was good fun. Fun enough to have almost compelled me to do a volt face in my car while driving back to work on the Monday morning when we returned and head out on a full tank wherever the road would take me to. Only if life was that easy and simple. Maybe it is, maybe it is not. The only thing that counts is that I did not turn around and dutifully went back to my regular life.

Truth be said, I am completing this entry a handful of hours after I’d started writing it. In those few hours the hues that colour my perspective have changed yet again and I come face-to-face with my favourite rhetorical question: It does not have to be this difficult. Will it always be like this? Will it always be this hard? As much as the realization alarms me, I know that it is very much possible. Is this what I wanted life to be? Having sworn to stay away from feeling grateful for the pieces of pity thrown my way, why do I find myself back here, in the same familiar wretched situation? I can’t imagine that I ask for it each and every time. Something has to go right somewhere, does it not?

At the same time I guess I know most of this is vain posturing. The world is nice. The world is good. Everything happens for a good reason. Everyone loves you, you love everyone and the world is a place that loves each other. I have ratified the findings as much, I know. Then again, if your core being argues against it when it matters the most, do you think it is fake, it is selfish and easily discountable? I don’t know, I think I am rambling on. And I seriously think you have better things to do in life than to read this crap. Really.

October 18, 2006

Cold Love

It is that time of the year again when the shadows creep in pleasantly, much earlier than normal during the afternoons. The days have an almost-golden glow to them, it is a bit too warm now, but in another couple of weeks the chill should blunt it considerably and with that would come out the first of the winter clothes. Winter in Delhi is a heady romantic drink that affects all the senses. Veils of fog adorn the day in differing denseness, there is always a riot of colours on street and late evenings bring out the roadside fires and leftover embers that glow milder every time into their eventual demise.

Thus, it is no wonder that winter always brings with it the memories of all my past relationships - both cold and warm - drifting back into my mind. While watching Closer recently, it struck me that people who have loved me the most have also pretty much hated me the most too at some point or the other in their lives. I never thought that was actually possible till the pattern was way too obvious to ignore and too commonplace to miss after all these years. But the good part is that I don't feel burdened by them. In fact I feel quite free and it is the best I've felt probably all my life.

But what exactly is love between two people? Does "I love you" signify more the fact that I love you for loving me or that I love you just like that? And what exactly is love expressed in terms of percentages of caring and concern? And no, it is not like I don't believe in love anymore, it is just that I think a lot of people misplace it for a lot of other things.