Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Champion Rat

I crawl on my belly as fast as I can. I'm trying to feed myself with the dust which was stirred by the feet of those who have left me behind in the rat race. I witness dark clouds overwhelm the skies.

The torrential rains wipe away all the footprints and leave me bereft of the grim comfort of following the beaten track. The downpour lasts for what seems a lifetime. But when it clears, I look all around and grin, when I see that rats really can't swim.

Need I repeat that even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat at the end of the game?

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Believe I Must Die

I believe that I must die. It is important to do that now. There is too much going on. There is too little sleep. There is too little time for myself. There is too little of myself to make time for.

What would be enough to get started would be to first end it all. I shall slit my wrists, but only with a blunt axe. So that my manicured hands can start to look more natural again. I shall bleed ever so slowly, and the muddy mundaneness of my life will be washed away by the vibrancy of my blood.

I shall be remembered by those around me as the bubbling effervescence of depressive reality. I believe that I must die. And I must do as I believe. Only by my death will I assert the vivacity of my chilling existence.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Coffee Mug

I saw a new born baby with wild hyenas all around it. I met a young child wailing beside a dead puppy. I saw guns in the hands of the young, and hatred in the hearts of the old.

I heard a hundred children singing and nobody listening. I heard a thousand people starving, and ten thousand laughing. I heard the jester crying in the shadows, and the song of a poet dying in the gutters.

I met one man who was wounded in love,I met another man wearing a bleeding glove. I'll swim to the depths of the deepest lake,where the assassin's face will always be well hidden. The harsh notes of the coffee mug stirring, and I wake to a reality worse than my wildest nightmare.

Friday, August 11, 2006

All I Have to Do is Dream

I woke up this morning feeling like a real loser. I had a real bad headache, and just didn't want to wake up. Why wake up when dreams are more psychedelic and infinitely sweeter than the technicolour realities of life?

Was it my hangover? Or was I just too tired? My dreams tire me out, since I run a lot in my dreams. Maybe that's because I seem to have a purposeful life in my dreams at least.

The head spins with the effort to out-think my inner demons. Maybe I should just stop bothering, the demons seem to do a better job running my life than I seem to do myself!

Monday, August 07, 2006

White Noise and Black Cross

Funny how life has a way of taking things away from you when you least expect it. Funnier still, that you never had much in your life to begin with.

Goodbye, see you on the other side of the barbed-wire fence. Only if you manage to break on through to the other side. I want to break free, but more than that, I want to break that self-satisfied smile off your face.

Another black cross to the mirror. White noise is all the mirror has to offer these days. As it is, objects in the mirror are closer than you think.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Beautiful Day

Life moves too fast. The month inches closer to an end before I realize, and half of the year is already gone. Where did it go ? The same is true with life. I have lived more than one-third of it already.

Was all of this planned? Or did things just happen to me? Some things were planned, and some just fell in place. I sometimes wonder whether even those turned out the way they did because I planned them well, or because they were meant to be.

I look around me, an unlit cigarette in my hand. A few drops of rain, a small bit of sunlight. Sometimes the weather distracts me from my morbidity. The smell of the wet earth is soothing. It is a beautiful day, the monsoons have come. Will tomorrow be just as beautiful ?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Onion Patch

Of all the sad stories that I've ever heard, the saddest is the story of the lonely flower. The lonely flower was a rose that stood next to a patch of plants. An onion patch, to be precise.
The air around the lonely rose was so very strong that it literally took your breath away. Normally that kind of privilege was reserved only for roses. Especially because a rose by any other name was always supposed to smell sweet. Always, that is, unless we are talking about this particular lonely rose.

The lonely little rose cried all day and night because it was oh so lonely. Nobody would ever come and play with this lonely little rose. So all the rose could do was question the wisdom of he who had planted it in that bed next to the onion patch.

If one bad apple can rot a whole barrel, why can't a little rose, no matter how lonely, spread sweetness and light in the air around the onion patch? Is that because badness and sadness are easier to spread than goodness and happiness?

Let's test this out. Come and bring your happy souls near me. Let's see if you can cheer me up or I can spread gloom in your life.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Middle Age

But how can you live for just what you want? You can't. We are the choices that we have made. I made my bed, and now I lie in it.

The whole emotional tone of any romance depends on it belonging to the lost past. Anything looks rosy when viewed through the amber-tinted glasses of time.

I can weave a spell, and it will be based on that particular knowledge of love and self that comes with middle age. A younger man would have just run off. An older one might not have dared to examine his own self so mercilessly.

The story of my life is about a person who understood, with great sadness but infinite acceptance, that the most important things in life are not always about making yourself happy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Blunt Hacksaw Exercise

Spoken words are beautiful, but they die out in the air like the transient lucency of smoke rings. Who says smoking is harmful? Each time I smoke, I have the primordial creative spark at hand. It also helps measuring my days in cigarette butts.

No less transient but even more transcendental is the beauty of the snowflake. Hold me lightly, and I'll sit pretty. Try and grasp me too hard, and I'll melt in your palm. I'll drip out, fall on the ground and freeze again. But then I'll fly out. On a song and a prayer. Far far away, to a time that outlives eternity.

This is not a place where random expressions of grief are welcome. This is a deliberate exercise in pessimism. As deliberate, as desperate, and as painful as shredding your wrists with a blunt hacksaw. Welcome to my arena...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Desperate Laughter

Two marijuana joints. Then two beers. Then two more joints. And finally three rum shooters for the road. Totally stoned, totally free. No need to make unnessary polite conversation. Is it unhealthy that this mental state feels normal to me?

What is funny is that everyone tries so desperately to maintain their tenuous grip on sanity. Fortunately, I am a poet, so I am exempt from this pathetic attempt. Everyone knows that I am mad, they all know I am very sad. So they feel bad about it, but do not try to change my state.

When I was young, I was a pessimist. Now that I know better, I know that moments of mirth are but futile interludes in the grand epiphany of despair.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pale Rider

I woke up early today, and decided that I wanted some cool air instead of my daily dose of bread and eggs. So I decided to play "stare into the horizon".

I looked, and looked some more. And then I saw a cloud of dust fast approaching me. I looked closer, and I saw a very pale horse. The rider was paler still.

And then I understood that it was death. The lone horseman of the apocalypse who could outrun my mind. As I readied myself for my last journey, the horseman spoke to me:

"Some days just happen to be good. Today just happens to be one of those days."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

First Death Anniversary

It's been a year today that I died. A year of existing only in body, grinning at the grisly memories of my departed spirit. A year in which I have become responsible, dependable, and utterly mundane. A year in which I have continually hated myself for having become only a pale shadow of what I once was.

Is this what togetherness does to people? Or only to people whose existence is defined only by independence and nothing else?

I do not fault her. Neither do I think I would have been happier with anybody else. It is just the fundamental weakness of the premise that a structured mind and an unstructured mind could ever look for the same things.

So I shake the cobwebs off, and ready myself to attend my long-delayed funeral.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

True Wisdom

Some pearls of wisdom from that modern giant of intellectualism: Calvin

  • I say no to drugs, they just don't listen.
  • A friend in need is a pest indeed.
  • The light at the end of the tunnel may be an incoming train.
  • Life is unsure; always eat your dessert first.
  • Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.
  • If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.
  • I love being a writer... what I can't stand is the paperwork.
  • A printer consists of 3 main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.
  • The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was the genius.
  • The trouble with being punctual is that no one is there to appreciate it.
  • In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills?
  • If you tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe, he'll believe you. But if you tell him a park bench has just been painted, he has to touch it to be sure.
  • I had a friend once. Then the rope broke and he got away.
  • Beat the 5 O'clock rush, leave work at noon!
  • If you can't convince them, confuse them.
  • It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end.
  • I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
  • Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What If?

What if I had been a cowboy? Would have loved to carry those guns, but I think I prefer travelling by an AC car any day over the dirt and smell of an old horse. What if I had been Superman? Super strength and flight would have been great. But I think I'd look stupid wearing my undies over my trousers.

What if I had been a rockstar? Would have loved the attention and the money. But I'd rather not fry my brains with all the drugs that would have been part and parcel of that life. What if I had been an ancient Greek? Would have loved to have an all-round personality (remember arete?), but I can't visualize myself in a sissy skirt.

What if I had been a god man? Beautiful people would have worshipped me. But I'd have to bear a lot of people around me all the time. I'm too much a loner to love being the object of adoration 24/7. I think I'd rather be myself. At least I have the comfort of familiarity. And as they say, familiarity does breed an attempt!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Three Things

Three jobs I have had:
  1. Movie critic
  2. Salesman for Smirnoff Vodka
  3. Radio jockey
Three movies I can watch over and over:
  1. The Matrix
  2. The Godfather
  3. The Lord of the Rings (I consider them all as one movie)

Three TV shows I love:

  1. Friends
  2. Star Trek (TOS and TNG only)
  3. Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Three vacations I love:

  1. London
  2. The Andaman Islands
  3. River rafting down the Ganges

Three of my favorite dishes:

  1. Tandoori Raan (at Karim's)
  2. Mum's mutton-pilaw
  3. The wife's marchwangan korma

Three sites I visit daily:


Three places I would rather be right now:

  1. Hogwarts
  2. Phi Phi Islands
  3. Anywhere but here at work

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Road to Excess

It's OK to be clever. But only over here. Do not try it at home. Or anywhere else. Thinking is only to be performed by carefully trained professionals.

Do not think for yourself. Do not think for your neighbour. Do not ever think for your neighbour's pretty wife or daughter. Safer still, do not think.

The world does not suffer thinkers gladly. Drinkers however are suffered gravely.

Do not blink. Do not take your eyes off the road. The road to excess. Only through the doors of excess can you venture out to open your senses.

Black is my mood. Blue is what I feel. But pink is my favourite colour.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Verbiage Most Verbose

I saw this rather unusual movie last week, and had the fortune of experiencing the most scintillating piece of cinematic dialogue delivery. I reproduce it (after much searching on the net, I must admit) for your consideration:

"Voila! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and villanous vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V..."

The movie in question "V for Vendetta", the actor who mouths this Hugo Weaving, and the guys who penned this The Wachowski Brothers. The movie manages to combine a strong socio-political message in a compact and highly intense experience. Infused with issues that pervade in the global political climate of our times, this movie belies its trappings as a mere action adventure. The acting, the cinematography, the effects, and the general vision of this film make it all very likely that it will reach cult status...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Grin And Beer It

The Delhi heat is terrible. It would have been truly unbearable (all puns intended!) had it not been for beer. For example, I spent the whole of last Sunday roaming around an amusement park just because the wife had this sudden, uncontrolable urge to do so. I came back thoroughly dehydrated for my efforts. But soon turned into a brand-new man after downing a couple of chilled beers.

There are good beers, great beers, and fantastic beers. And then there are Indian beers, those of the glycerine-saturated variety. There's Foster's that combines the taste of a lager with the kick of a stout. There's Guinness stout, unfortunately not too easily available in India. This one always reminds me of chocolate; though I don't quite know why. Then there's Kingfisher, probably the only decent beer that comes out of India, and also the first that ever touched these lips.

A few good reasons why I prefer beer to the wife on a lazy Saturday afternoon:

10. A beer doesn't get jealous when you grab another beer.
9. Beer never has a headache.
8. You can have more than one beer in a night and not feel guilty.
7. If you change beers, you don't have to pay alimony.
6. To cool off a beer, all you have to do is put it in the ice box.
5. Its okay to leave a party with a different beer than the one you brought.
4. Beer doesn't care how much you earn.
3. Beer won't complain about your choice of vacation--it goes along happily.
2. You can put all your old beers together in one room and they won't fight.

And number 1. A beer never demands to be taken to an amusement park on a blazing summer day, dammit!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Monday Morning Blues

"Monday morning blues
You know a prayer will see me through
Monday morning blues
You know I'll make my dreams come true."

Like most people, I do get my share of the monday morning blues. A common affliction for all those whose weekends are filled with action. But unlike most, I know just how to deal with the blues.

I just make sure I wear something blue. That ensures that Monday knows I'm feeling blue. And after having ensured that I've registered my protest, I forget all about it, and get to work!

Do try it. An acceptable alternative would be to listen to blues music all day long while continuing to work!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Things to Do Before You Turn Thirty

That's it! I've reached there. The significant one, the landmark one. The dreaded three-oh!

Three decades completed, and what have I achieved till date? Time to take stock. I checked out the net, looking for the most sensible list of "things to do before you turn thirty".

And this is what I discovered are my dozen most significant achievements till date:

1) Marry someone in Vegas. Well I did married, does that count? Even though it was in India, not Vegas, it was still the dumbest thing I've done till date.

2) Be an extra on a tv show. I did turn up as part of the audience at a quiz show, and did manage to pick up two prizes by answering questions that the smart ones had missed.

3) Have sex in a public place. Tee, hee...done that too...

4) Go to London and run into the wall at platform nine and three quarters. Did go to London, did run into several platforms, but did not find the train to Hogwarts...

5) Steal something from someone famous. Well I do have a weighing machine that belonged to Sushmita Sen, actor and former Ms Universe. But she gave it to me, I did not have to steal it, so I guess that does not count.

6) Buy a person at an auction. Thank god, I did not have to join the arranged marriage market. That would surely have qualified.

7) Get arrested for something stupid like indecent exposure or disrupting the peace or being drunk and disorderly. Done that...kissed a policeman on New Year's Eve. Got off with a warning though...

8) Fall off a horse. Have fallen off a mule once. And fallen off a bike too many times to count...after having one too many...

9) Use cheesy chat up lines on a stranger. Been there, done it...successful pick-ups 3 out of 5.

10) Be part of a large protest. Was there at the Hyde Park protest against the Iraqi invasion.

11) Cause a fight. Caused several. Enjoyed them all. Tremendously!

12) Have a threesome. Done that too. Both kinds. Too much fun, but too stoned to remember much. Ha ha ha...