Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the rainbow

What Billy thought was the magic of his birth was plainly a step-by-step procedure. His parents dated, fucked and had him. But that didn’t stop Billy from assuming for miracles. “Look for miracles and they are there everywhere in everyday life” was what a wise man told him when Billy still hadn't learnt of a new word called doubt. He found miracles in many things but when we came up from behind and booed him we found that they were all step-by-step procedures leading up to that result. So it was staid, plain, cold, hard negligible logic that was behind the things that looked like miracles and yet Billy did not cease to identify miracles.
Sometimes, it was in the not knowing.
Most of the times, it was in the not knowing. Billy never cared to know and always enjoyed a miracle or two. His auras opened up to miracles. His living became a self-prophecy of his expectations of miracles and we became a saga of a cold, step-by-step process.
We nodded over coffee.

But it was Billy who had a real, good time enjoying up each ‘miracle’ that came his way. In the end, Billy won and when we tired we started enjoying things just like he did. There were other people who went into the cold logic of why it happened. They took on the mantles of analyzing and the coffee.

We ran after the rainbow.

Aarushi's murder

Aarushi’s murder does shock me and every once in a night when I wake up I wonder how could someone be killed in the beauty and confinements of their own home? Isn’t our home the best place? It is the safest, where we store our smells, our dreams, our concerns, our fantasies? How can that be our grave or our coffin?

So I awake sometimes in the middle of the night thinking what it must be for Aarushi to lose her life on a bed that she had slept on from the time she came to live in that house or that room. Did she see a dark figure stalling in and slitting her throat in a jiffy, before she could even scream or did she know the face of the person coming to kill her – in that matter her fears even worse of mistrust and sheer terror. Of course you can’t feel death and by the time you feel the wholesome of it you are already dead but what about the minutes or hours before that. What when she ate her dinner and retired to bed? Did she read a comic book? Or watch a late night tv show? Did she say her prayers? Were her thoughts regular? Or did she had an inkling that that was to be the last night of her life, the most gruesome which could never have been imagined. If we were to ever imagine our own deaths, which I am sure we do some time or the other thanks to the powers of imagination bestowed on mankind we do imagine it to be painless and surreal maybe a mishap, an accident but very rarely gruesome, painful, terrifying and so so unexpected.

It is done in the quietness of your own home. What worse place could you have asked to die and what better place I think sometimes? The place where you grew up and knew the best and are so familiar with should be the place where you life ends in a blood-slain way. The bed in which you sleep, soaking with the blood of your body. Too much, I say and the tamasha that follows after this brings out so much of human fallacies that we mask behind glossy ‘mature’ tv serials and uniforms and protocols and proceedings and files. Actually, we are all still barbaric and so wild, almost animalistic.

Anyway, may Aarushi’s soul rest in peace. May she not carry with her the terrors of her last birth (this one) to the next and may she help all the people who loved her find justice and eventual peace. She could have been. She still is. She will never be forgotten – always remembered – for the moments of grief and acute terror she must have gone through in the confines of her own home before her unjustified and untimely death.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

book reading

After the world renowned author had clicked pictures with up-for-grabs Ms. Mammaries, they settled for dinner and a slight chit chat of books and events.
He said he took 6 hours to travel to a place of book signing.
A writer’s life involves a lot of hardwork, nods the enterprising bimbette.

They sat down and he narrated once again with a little quirkiness how he answered his fans never-before-asked questions. The girls, their breasts oozing out, looked at one another. What was it with writers? It was the duty of fans to ask. If they were intelligent, they wouldn’t ask.
They snigger. They sip.
He continues from the memory of heat, dust, crowd…

Sir, now that you are famous haven’t you thought of rubbing the noses of the publishers in the mud, those that had rejected you?
he: I have not only rubbed their noses but wrestled them down into wet sand. I have knee-jerked their groins and poisoned their wine.

Question 2: Sir, you are the best writer in English (a tapeworm squiggles within). How can my daughters write like you? They have read all your books but I want them to write like you.
Answer: There is a particular grass found on the banks of a river in South Asia. You need to pluck fresh offshoots and eat it within moments of tearing it from the soil. It will fire imagination. For further inspiration, swim naked in the Yamuna for a period of 20 days. And there you have a book ready.
[Two or three people have left the room in inexplicable haste.]

Q 3: Which is your favorite Indian book?
A: The Kamasutra.

Q4: No Sir, literary book.
Answer: Oh. A suitable boy by Vik Seth. He is a story teller like no other. I bought two of his books at the traffic signal. Those mobile boys with snorty noses sold them to me. Must say, your country has a unique cab door-to-cab door delivery system.

Q5: (a chirpy, adamant girl): So, how do you get ideas for your stories?
Answer: Oh, it’s a natural process.
I am God-gifted. Period.
I glean the newspapers – the crime and gore section. I suck on research.
I think.
I write.
I redraft (around 17 times).
I pray.
I am totally God-gifted.

q. Sir, would you like to say anything to us, your fans.
1. why do you’ll always find mistakes in my books and send me long messages on them?
2. why are there more writers than fans at every book signing event I go to?
3. why do you’ll have so many questions?
4. why do you’ll drive the way you’ll do on the roads? Why does no one follow the white lines?
5. why is cricket and sex...I mean Bollywood more interesting than literature in this country?
5. why is it so hot?
6. why are women here more attractive than men?
7. why…

[The mob closes in. There are books to be signed and the store closes at 8:30. There is only half an hour before the next IPL match.]

Friday, May 16, 2008

Proud to be whoever-that-is-I-am

I got a call from a longtime back school friend who has proudly been a tailor for 11 years. “A master tailor at Raymonds,” he said which made me sit up and think if I would ever be as proud to have a measuring tape slung over my neck, a chalk in one hand, a scissors in the next. But these are the periphery. I am sure he doesn’t look at it this way. From the outside. His gaze has long past gone over the much obvious - shirting and suiting tacks and piles - takkas as we call them to the more esoteric: the designs, fit and satisfaction in the eyes of the customer after creating a well-worth piece of stiched fabric. It is a moment to be proud. We are both creators. In fact, he can even talk to his consumer and see the glint of smiling satisfaction. I will have to make do with the dreary statistic (as, when and if). But we both hang up our wares proudly in front of us on mannequins first, a nip there, a tuck here and then see how the actual person would try it on.

Also, his pride was palpable and rarely have I come across people even with more ’sophisticated’ jobs talking with this much pride. If the people are good, the processes suck. If the processes are good, the management sucks. If the management is good, the work sucks. If the work is good, the commute sucks. We never have an absolute chime in our sentences when talking of our work. So, my first instinct to Hemant’s absolute pride was lash-fluttering disbelief. But then when I quickly came to terms with it, I congratulated him and joined in this so- rare-a celebration of one’s work.

Ah, Proud to be whoever-that-is-I-am and Completely so.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the dream

I was once taken to a Rinpoche and even his name was not available to me. We sat on wooden benches, my friends and me, and even them I couldn't retell who they were. It was a dream, which was real.

We sat. We waited. Till the Rinpoche entered the room. His eyes steady, deep. He recited his advice to us by mind-reading our problems and I got shifty thinking that my innermost problems were out in the open (because of him) for all to see, or rather hear. But I shouldn't have worried because when I checked later with the others they said the same thing. They heard the solution to only their problems. All else was hidden. How could the Rinpoche talk to one and all at the same time, in the same tongue, with the same language and yet mean differently to different people?

My head spun into the morning.

"It's the same source" my conscious mind concluded.