December 29, 2003

Very very long

After a few hours of agitation it all settles down. As much as it can disturb you, the good thing is, it also tires you down. You no longer have the strength to be enraged, upset or even remember what is it that started all of it. Whoever that said "there is a good side to everything", is right in the most ironic of ways. The key to peaceful sleep is a prolonged and intense state of agitation.

What I realise is that I need a slight course correction, maybe I have already effected it. I might not know the destination, but I need to know what waters to avoid. Even if the journey's end in itself is not certain, there is no point in paying homage to that by crashing at the nearest available rock. It is thus forcing me take an honest look at my own life, what goes into it and what comes out of it. Accountability, be it just to myself even?

I am getting a bit too old in life to keep saying over and over again that something went wrong because I did not know or I did not account for it. The truth is, most of the times I do know, it is only that I do not want to accept what is there. Somehow, it feels good to be responsible for every wrong thing out there, the martyrdom phenomenon. As if what is already there is not hard enough to deal with in the first place.

The hardest thing then is to is to lay your life out like a map, because its only topography are people and memories, and study it in detail. Some turn out to be mirages, some turn out to be gold after looking for a lifetime like rock and some just do not make any impression at all. But it is never all of just one of them. And if it is a map, you better know what you are trying to describe with it.

Sans verbal decoys, what I think I am trying to say is that I want to avoid feeling like what I have been for the past two weeks. It has not been like that without reason, but the intensity is multiplied due to my own stupidities. The principle being, something concrete/positive has to come out of it and with this there is nothing but heartburn. This makes no difference to anyone than maybe my own longevity.

Memories, when allowed to linger on are like ghosts of a time long-dead. They only serve to disturb you and make you see apparitions where they do not exist in the first place. You have to move on. Everyone does. If you do not, you become to the only one to stay behind, conversing, giving and expecting with things that are not there anymore, or anything that looks similar. If you let five minutes hold the rest of your life hostage, there are no prizes for guessing who is the loser.

Since 1999 my life has been one huge adventure, one that started off from trying to not be scared of a huge, alien city which was thousands of miles away from anything familiar to me. From there I have come a long way. Life is far from perfect now, in fact I often wonder what is the point in being so much on my own based on some principle which I cannot name or describe. Why should I not take a lesser pill and settle down for something comforting, something more certain?

You know, there are times when I wonder if I have run so far ahead, in search of a destiny that I have no clue of, that I cannot spot even a single familiar thing for miles around. I can be scared of not knowing where I am, whom to turn to or even be certain whom can I trust to be there or whom I cannot. But that is not an option, I have come way too far to ever be able to retrace my steps.

Once, trying explain something very difficult I told my parents, "There is no point in giving someone size 4 shoes when you can now only wear size 8". There are certain things in life which hold value only at a particular point in time, beyond that it is of no use to anyone. Emotional dismemberment happens in the same way, unless treated in the relevant time, it just falls away, no amount of crying brings it back.

I think I finally realise what is the thing that is the most fraudulent in me. It is that I bring upon me troubles that belong to others so I can conveniently look away from my truckloads of baggage. However noble it might be, in the end it is just an excuse and if you are looking for one, there are always millions available. If causing hurt is all what stands between me and setting something in my life right, well, what can I say about it.

What you need to understand is that there is never charity on earth, there is always a purpose to anything, there is a purpose to commonplace charity too. A leaf does not stir for no good reason, no one takes a step or stay unmoved without a reason. And you would not be reading this for no reason. Baseness or the nobility of intentions is a totally different thing, it is not for me to bother about.

I know I will continue making mistakes, it is a given, but I need to understand that I need better reasons than "I have no idea" as the reasons why I made those. If what is around me won't ask or listen, it is up to me to find something else that would. Being stuck never improves anything, does not give improvement itself a fair enough chance. Holding back out of respect is one thing, being held hostage is something totally different and there is no worse crime than to mix the two.

Still, I do wonder about how it is to be otherwise at times. To have a degree of certainty in most things about you, how does it feel, how does it work and why I cannot do the same. And I wonder at times how in the world did I get here? The funny thing is I do know, I have made cottage industry of being distrustful of everything and in my own way I guess I am only trying to disentangle my own muddled knots.

December 26, 2003


Do you know what I really want to do? I do not want a miracle, I do not want endless and pure love, I do not want people to call me up or message me, I do not want people to ask me out, I do not want anyone to tell me that they care, I do not want answers, nor do I want the slow numbness that alcohol provides, last but not the least I do not even want a warm embrace, be it from just one or a crowd and I certainly do not want a patient ear, for I have nothing to tell you, you or even you.

All I want is a high point overlooking the city, the cold breeze for company and a mug of hot coffee to keep me warm and to then look blankly with moist eyes at the city lights in the distance. Only trouble being, in this land of endless plains there are no heights as far as the eye can see and in this thick fog if you can see your hand you can call yourself lucky. As usual all I can ever wish for is only something I can never get. Consistency can be such a bitch.

December 24, 2003


What is the point in speaking if no one is willing to listen? What is the point in listening if no one understands? Have you ever wanted to just cry all day, if only it would make you feel better? Have you ever been beyond words? Beyond consolation regarding something that just disappeared and no matter how much you can talk it is just not going to come back. It is gone, took less time than it takes to snap your fingers. And all I did was to say nothing, well nothing that mattered. I was just too busy taking the blows. Bloodied even, I had to live. Towards?

Why would anyone want to compare themselves to anyone else? Are words that say precisely what you want to hear the only way to measure anything? Does actions count for nothing? As imperfect as everyone is, is there any justice in expecting perfection in me? Everyone talks about being there and so on, but very few realise what it really stands for, very few realise that it is not something that they will ever do in their lives, because it means that you put everything, including doubt, away for another's sake, with blind trust as your only companion in a dark alley. In the end, no one does it.

In the end the only crime that you commit is to not cry out loud every five minutes that the world is an unfair place, that life is tough and it is more pain than pleasure. In the end your only fault is that you lived, suffering in silence, instead of putting up all that pain as some blood-smeared epitaph that might stand a remote chance of being judged as worthy of the feelings it is supposed to represent. In the end as long as everyone else stands vindicated, the world will happily go on, as long as you are short on imperfections, you should not really care.

Everyone believes what is convenient for them. Everyone thinks they know about what the other person is supposed to feel, that is during the rare occasions when you can take the time out to grant another person feelings regarding anything. Ever stuck your neck out for anyone beyond what makes sense only in your immediate context? Ever been stupid enough to place others before yourself and walk away once the moment is over? No, it is not about recognition, it is about being treated as a human, but I guess these days even that is just way too much to ask.

December 17, 2003

Twenty five

In a few more days I would have crossed another insignificant milestone, leaving behind in the process yet another number, only to claim a different one. And the only thing that I have learnt in all this? Not much else than that there is very little black or white left, there is only grey and vast swathes of it. And yes, after years of bounding up dark alleys in search of a non-existent destination, I think I am finally getting to be at peace with my restlessness and its insularity.

As I held that photograph in my hand, enveloped in the bubble of warmth that is to be treasured, I saw her face in my hand and the face in the photograph. I felt at that moment that this is so ridiculously wrong, that is one place where she belonged and she is not there and at the same time you realise that the warmth is there only because it is wrong. How does a right lead from something that is wrong? How can you substitute one with another? I asked and I got no answer. A rebellious teardrop was bravely wiped away by her.

In all these years I have fought like a madman. I have fought giving up on people, I have fought giving up on emotions, sentiments and memories that litter places, events and silly songs that can transport you in time to the deepest recesses of a cold storage where memories toxic to your system are stashed away. Now, in this season of overwhelming changes, I am learning I have to let go, I am not the one with the magic wand to set another's life right. Hell, I cannot even find that elusive spell that would set my life right.

There was no sleep for a long while after that, a part of me just walked away. And when it walked away, it took my blanket of hope with it, leaving me exposed to the elements. I was there, alone and shivering, facing that same breeze I so dread, yet one that I am so familiar with. Strangely, I did not feel bitter, I just wished things would only revert to the way it was meant to be, the way it was. I wanted to believe it can be, even at the risk of feeding the poisonous cure of hope, I lit a low flame, I hope it would burn and burn bright.

One of the very few things I had learnt from my father, when he was teaching me how to drive, was to never drive into something that you are not sure of or something that you cannot see. I follow it to a great extent when I ride to and fro from work, but in life and people I have never done that. I have always believed in an element of good that is intrinsic to even the most cruel of people. I owe a majority of the mistakes in my life to precisely that, but it has been worthwhile because every now and then it works and I do not give a damn if I look a fool because of that.

She fell asleep soon after that, leaving me stranded at the shores of helplessness. It is the hardest thing to come to terms with when you face another just like you. Eventually, sleep did come to my side of town as it rained heavily outside, I muttered a silent prayer, for someone who I will have to let go, to a God whose existence I do not acknowledge. Like I recently did for another. Morning had to interrupt. I charge in my usual fake currency of disposable fantasy. Click once, keep the picture in your mind, throw away the context.

Fear is not about what you cannot see. Fear is about what you can see. About what you are and where you are headed. It is about how miracles are there to happen only if you want it to happen and sad for you if you do not want it to happen. Fear is about realising one fine day that there is no "life is elsewhere", this is it, raw, painful and imperfect, without any of the finery. Fear is about having to finally take a turn in life because you want to take that turn and not because you want to avoid the other turn and not knowing for sure if this is THE turn and that there is no going back.

Miracles only happen if you believe in them. If you want to look at it, just being able to live is a miracle. I know she will have one soon. I cannot explain it. It is just a gut feeling and this time it will work and extract a huge price from me in its passing. A price that I am willing to pay. Does she know? I do not know. Does it matter? It does not. I might be poorer than a church mouse, but I am a very proud one at that. Letting go is an acquired taste. After all you do not give away parts of you without a struggle.

So, where to from here? I do not know. I am as clueless as I was before. Just that the cluelessness is kind of growing on me. The thing is, I am learning to appreciate my company and the scintillating conversations that we have at times. Most of the times it scares the life out of me. It truly does. But then, it is only me I am up against. Strangely, I am not bitter, I am not running anymore. If this is what it is, then let us face each other and see what happens. Twenty five years I have run, its time I put an end to this.

December 13, 2003


It is strange when all you have for expressing yourself are just a few blocks of plastic with a character each printed on them. Anger, love, sadness, frustration, you can name each and every emotion these plastic blocks can cough up. And in real? There is nothing, nothing but a choking silence, few words of comfort and more for making a graceful exit from the scene. It is not your turn, it is never your turn. Listen, always listen, but never speak, you are not allowed to speak.

All the extravagant statements come to naught. Words are precisely what they are, something that endless clattering of a set of plastic blocks produce. In action all of them point to the same thing. Which is nothing. They are empty, like the emotions they signify, just empty containers. You can be wrong most times, you can be wrong some times, but can you be wrong all the time? Does silence automatically imply you have nothing to say? Maybe it does, after all I am not saying much here.

I am tired of metaphors, of veiled writing and I am tired of a million other things that I do not even want to start with. Is understanding so hard? Or is understanding purely a work of fiction in the mind of the beholder? The thing that I am most tired of? It is nothing fancy, it is something as simple as telling myself time and over again that it is okay, just let it be. Even without saying anything you do deserve a chance right? Who am I trying to kid here? Wake up stupid fool.

I feel worn and tired most times, just want to get off the busy road and sit and wither away on the pavement. It is not like I am not trying. I am now a well behaved individual, I have cut down on my quixotic outings, though the prospect of getting fatally maimed on one of those windmills is always enticing. But I just do not have the strength anymore, but how much more do I cut down? Will I be pushed to the level where the only way to survive would be to be a living corpse?

But that is not the hardest thing. The hardest thing is to save yourself from pressing that button which says "self-destruct". It is not impossible to shred everything that you value around you to bits in just a few moments. It is so ridiculously easy. But remember, I am trying to save energy here. And it solves nothing, it costs me the most, you get the drill? You cannot win here, you can only lose, the only options are between various forms of losing. Shall we play eh? A round, just a round, please?