June 28, 2003

Walk

One of the sinful pleasures of going to walk or jog at a park in the morning is to observe the multitude of fellow joggers that gather there. Even more interesting is the vast range of shapes and sizes they comprise and their conversations (when you can steal snatches of them as they pass by) is like the icing on the cake. Generally, I do not like to walk in a group. I either slow down to let people behind me pass, if they are too fast for me or I try and break away from them with a burst of speed if they are too slow.

The best time for the walks are when the park is mostly empty and the very few people who are there are spread out over reasonable distances. But this does not happen often since I live in a predominantly residential area and unless it has rained earlier or it is going to rain again soon. The usual numbers are often large enough to make me feel that more than a good pair of running shoes, I would be better equipped to jog there if I had a horn and an indicator.

It is quite amusing to realise how you tend to miss people that you do not even know anything of. Of particular interest to me is a man over six feet tall and probably aged on the wrong side of sixty who pops in about the same time that I do. I do not know who he is, what his name is, where he stays etc, but I had not seen him for the past two days and strangely it made the morning walk sort of incomplete. Thankfully he was back yesterday and I happily went and thrust my head back into my own little cloud.

The key to persisting with jogging or similar things is an overdose of narcissism. You have to believe that the very vision of you in the park is sheer poetry in motion and that the rest of the world is totally awestruck and rendered immobile watching you move, shot from Oscar-winning camera angles. A work of art moving at 15 frames per-second, with the New York Philharmonic playing in the background and every muscle on your body, toned and firm, jarring with each step, set to the progression of the score. Staying fit is just a fringe benefit.

Of course, the truth is an entirely different matter as you might have guessed by now. And I do believe that it would be really horrible to have everyone watching you jog, be it for reasons good or bad. There is something so very peaceful about walking alone in rain drenched paths, with lots of fallen leaves littering the place and the odd delightfully cold drop of water falling on your face from the trees as a reminder of the just concluded rendition of rain.

But rain is not quite the same when you are in North India. The architecture in urban areas here do not have as many eaves or allow for open spaces where one can stand and watch the drops fall, make little pools and puddles and then the ripples that form in them. There is something about the muted sounds that border on silence that happens just after the rain stops, the creaking of the odd cricket, the faint chirp of a distant bird and the solitary walk with mind buried deep in a could of thoughts and hands firmly entrenched in the trouser pockets.

On a parting note, please welcome another newborn blogger - Preeti.

June 24, 2003

Inert

The seasons are changing again. They come and go like birds that flock from one tree to another. I am familiar with some of them, their hues and shades and their temperament and then there those that I do not know of. Like yesterday morning when there was a thin veil of fog towards the end of the road, or was I just imagining it?

I am really tried of all of this shit. Been spending so much of time these days on the fringes of sanity and what is funny is that it is not amusing anymore. I do not want to be the one on guard constantly. But it cannot happen in any other way, this is the way it is meant to be, but for what? Why? I have no idea.

I am tired of finding explanations, rational interpretations, neatly labelling everything that happens into perfect little containers. I want to let go, even if it is for just a while. But to let go you need to trust and I just do not trust enough, anyone or anything. I know what I want, but I know I can't have it.

Have been experiencing a gradual sense of detachment from everything of late. I feel like disowning my own words for the feeling that I do not mean them or do not care enough to mean them at all. Everything is so conditional, I can't just be myself, that brings us to the question: Who am I?

Frankly, I have no idea. I just wish I knew, like so many other things, but right now I am backtracking so much that it is not inconceivable that even language might slither from my grasp. I am way too lost in fighting my own self. I am my own worst enemy.

June 23, 2003

Endgame

I would flinch, if you were to touch me. I would flinch, if you were to speak to me kindly. I would flinch, if you would remember me at all. I would flinch, if you were to thank me. I would flinch, if you were to care. I would flinch, if it were to matter.

All I have to offer is a kind smile, few words of comfort, neither of which I might not mean at all and the occasional refuge. I do not want any payment, nor gratitude, since it does not cost me much, nor do I need solutions to problems and mysteries large or small.

Since I am now face to face with the malady and fixing the terms of engagement on a race of attrition with a foregone conclusion, the symptoms have stopped being of any significance. The same goes for labelling, platitudes or any other overheads accruing from social interaction.

Maybe the intent does matter, but I cannot be sure of it. I could dissect it further, take it apart and examine it to the last atom, but what does it matter when as a whole I cannot make any sense of it? But honestly, I do not have an issue with you, it is just me whom I do not want to give any quarter to.

June 17, 2003

Numbers

A single lifetime, lived through two different lives, three voices that never listened
and a love that spanned four years
Five different ways to deal with six different people, through seven personas,
in eight dimensions with nine lives to expend
Twenty different ways to make you laugh, multiplied by twenty one to make you cry,
and by the twenty second hour your boredom overwhelms
Twenty three worthless burnt-out candles, while the twenty fourth mothers
another still bigger, better lie called the 25th
In a million ways I could lose my soul and mind,
and yet there is not a single way I could redeem it

June 09, 2003

Penning for your thoughts

If I were to look at the way things are, through the eyes of good humour, I spend most of my time flying between little islands of various distractions. When one becomes way too hot, I run to another and then another and so on. For instance, smoking was never something that gave me a high. Other than the odd drag after having not smoked for a while and the frequent flirtations with it becoming a vice, it was always something that gave me another issue to populate my thinking cycles. When the distraction becomes a bigger problem than the original one, quit and run.

The blog also creates similar problems. It is, most often, a distraction from a number of things that I have to deal with on a daily basis. And after a while it starts consuming too much of my time, especially when I start to run out of metaphors and new ways to describe feelings that often appear to be re-runs of old episodes. The differentiating factor is always so tantalisingly elusive. Moreover, consistency has never been my strong point, transgression from point A to point B in time for me is littered with contradictions, confusion and at times unintentional dishonesty. Quit and run, remember?

What speed would you choose to live in if you were given a life shorn of accountability and responsibility towards anyone else but yourself? Bigger, faster, better, more? Or slower, cautious, measured and enough? After all, you have only one life to live, even if you live till 80, it still is too short, especially when you have to take into account potential run-ins with problems related to red corpuscles and other irritants like arthritis. Who or what are you saving yourselves for? A hypothetical unknown face that is the manifestation of all things denied or things that went wrong or a hypothetical golden period in time that might never materialise? I think I would make a good advocate for the devil.

Can't wait for summer to end. It is so unbearably miserable. Can't wait for winters to be back with its understated and subdued calm. I am sure the voice of Eva Cassidy singing Kathy's Song and Autumn leaves, would sound a million times better in my head during those long silent walks in landscapes curtained by sheets of grey coloured fog. I need to buy a new book to read, for I am through with Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, need to buy a new pair of trainers and a pair of rugged running shoes. And most of all, I need a new distraction too.

I wonder why is it that I feel so out of place most of the time. The answer is as simple as I really did not want all of this. I was never a kid who wanted to conquer the world, be a world famous doctor or be anything for that matter. It has taken me almost three years of working the media industry to become comfortable with introducing myself as a journalist. Like most things that I am getting used to, it was something that happened to others who were ambitious, systematic and meticulous with their aims in life. Which is why even when I manage to cover significant distances, it is covered and interpreted in baby steps. As a result, the scale of things and the bigger picture often evade my grasp, but it is okay, because as far as baby steps go, I have come quite a long way.

June 02, 2003

I can't help but feel most times that I am just someone who tries to write an elaborate novel with the most limited of vocabularies. There is so much I want to say and there is so much I want to do, yet what I can is limited by what I know and what I know is always changing and always limited.

Ideally I'd like to be remembered fondly and a lot by those whom I'd consider as close, in a way that I want to be remembered. But realistically, I'd just like to do my best and hope that I'd not have a very lengthy list of to-dos to to contend with when it is all over. In the past two months I have kicked smoking, hopefully for good, redefined my the meaning of my existence fit a new purposeless endeavour, now I need another distraction.

Still, I am prone to the same old maladies, I still get drunk on the same 300 ml of vodka, especially when it is consumed on an empty stomach, why then? Does a more civilised and stable life justify the travails when deep inside I am more uncertain and even more shit scared than when I was at my worst.

The truth is, I do not know, nor do I think I will ever know. I can only pick from a list of what is known. Yes, I do goof up even when I know that is what I should not be doing, I do have to fill my routine quota of regrets, though ideally it should be otherwise. But I do not whine about it anymore, it is now my favourite bastard child.

To be honest, I am happy. Which should explain the lack of entries here, for I am one of those who spew out reams when there is a lot to whine about. But, there is no purpose even in this happiness. But since it is such a rare feeling to be content within oneself (the regulation negatives accounted for), I am just glad it is there.