Tuesday, October 19, 2010

and so it was...

'She smiled...and life happened.'

Sunday, April 26, 2009

eight 100 words.

this is an experiment that i embarked on a couple of days back. i'd caught up with a friend of mine who blogs, and came across a series of her posts, where she writes short stories in 100 words. (thanks, S!)

i found this idea supremely cool, and tried a twist on it myself. here are a set of eight short stories where i've tried to tell a tale in a hundred words and a single sentence each time. in most cases, i've tried to involve as much of the past, the present and the future as possible to give the story some semblance of totality. in some cases, its an instance from a life-time, in others, its a life-time in an instant. i've tried to leave a few loose ends here and there, but the endings are mostly final. i found this literally little literary experiment immensely enjoyable...trying to tell a lot by saying very little...

1) there is no connection between the tales, no continuity, no common thread. no, nothing to the order either.
2) if you detect any cynicism, its all just me and just found its way into the story. wasnt put there to drag you down into the dumps.
3) the usual crap about all characters being fictitious, yada-yada...
4) i dont judge you. you dont judge me. thank you.

anyways...here it goes.


In the darkest hour of the night, she suddenly sat up in bed and wondered when was the last time that she had snuggled closer to him in semi-somnolence and finding warmth and the comforting smell of him in the nook between his arm and his chest and faintly feeling the reassuring beating of his heart against her face, she’d let herself throw an arm over his chest, a leg over his waist and curl up into a comfortable, smiling slumber that he said reminded him of a purring cat for the absolute bliss that it conveyed to an onlooker.


He stared at the screen of his computer as it hung for the umpteenth time that day and cursed that day two years ago that he quit his job as an animal-trainer just because he thought he was making more friends in the animal kingdom than progress as a professional and traded in flexi-hours and a stress-free environment filled with furry, non-judgmental non-humans, in return for endless pots of bitter black coffee to keep him from dozing off in front of an excel-sheet that contained data that contained trends that contained the rent and the next installment on the car.


If he had never loved, he would have never learnt that he could cry so much to see someone walk out of his life just because the time was wrong and so things between them would never be right, someone who was already inside his walls by the time he remembered that he had forgotten to build them and therefore someone who had seen him as he truly was under the tough exterior, in all his needy, naked vulnerability and still someone who had never seen him cry for he’d found the meaning of true happiness with and within her.


As she watched the sun setting on the lonely beach and the evening of her long-lonesome life, she wondered what it was that she would regret most on the day of her very last sunset, the fact that she let her son walk into a disaster of a marriage without a word of advice because she felt that she shouldn’t interfere with an adult who was capable of reasoning for himself, or the fact that she walked out on her parents because she felt they weren’t treating her like an adult when they advised her against marrying her son’s father.


The two of them gazed at each other from bus-stops on opposite sides of the road, two strangers in a strange land, each wondering if the other knew how incredibly lonely they felt when they returned home night after night to their reheated, ready-to-eat dinner eaten in solitude and to their empty beds, dreaming restless dreams of finding that someone, only to be shaken out of their reverie by the honking of their buses which they boarded to let life take them away from each other in opposite directions, remaining strangers but sharing a memory of what might have been.


She racked her brains with increasing frustration as to why the middle-aged man in the train was smiling sweetly but stupidly at her with his hands folded neatly over the neatly-folded newspaper on his lap when she’d asked him whether Bandra was the next stop four times in row to no response whatsoever from him, and was actually considering calling him rude and asking him whether he’d never seen a woman in his life before to have taken leave of his senses as he seemed capable of nothing else but that stuck smile, when she suddenly realized he was stone-deaf.


The young boy cycling home, lost in contemplation of how his parents would react to his joyous declaration of finally having triumphed over his academic arch-enemy after two disgraceful years of having finished a close second to her, and the young woman driving home, lost in contemplation of how she would finally quiet her parents’ misgivings with the plum modeling contract she had just landed which was vindication for her two struggling years in this cruel city where no one gave without taking much more, took the same corner at the same time, their lives respectively stopping and changing forever.


In the middle of the battle-zone, crouched behind the still-warm, burnt-out shell of a car, the shell-shocked major from the Gorkha Regiment gently lay down his automatic rifle, out of ammo and surrounded by spent shells and the still or groaning bodies of his dead and wounded comrades, and wondered if his only daughter would realize her dream of becoming a veterinarian and whether she would marry a fine, responsible young man, as he slid his khukri out of its sheath and steeled himself for the forty-meter dash to the enemy’s machine-gun nest and the posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra.


that's all, folks!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dont look back in anger...

Its been almost two years since i walked into this place. And as cliched as it might be, it still feels like yesterday. As i look back on my life here, what is it that i see? What will i remember most of my time here? What will i leave behind? And what am i taking away?

Premature separation pangs, you might say, but i think its a little more than that. I'm trying to join the dots, like i tell a lot of people to...apparently, your life makes sense to you only when you look over your shoulder and see the pattern. I'm just talking to myself here...i'd have loved have had this conversation with anyone else, but who are my friends here? I asked myself that question today evening, and i couldnt really come up with a ready answer. The question pre-supposes that i have understood the notion of friendship, and thats something i'm not very equipped to accept. Are my friends the people who i go to class with, eat my meals with, and share this campus with? Are they the people who i smile at, crack a joke with, and walk away from? All around me, i see people with their little groups and gangs...bunches of friends who do everything together. I'd consciously stayed away from making something of the sort because i didnt want to limit my experience here to just what i saw and heard, of and with, a few people. I thought i'd be richer from the diversity of my friendships and i'd develop a better perspective...has that happened?

I guess we're genetically programmed to flock and this mechanism gives us not just an illusion of safety but also a someplace to anchor ourselves to...an affiliation to something. But do we really need to define ourselves by who's company we keep and how quickly we rush back to the fold if we find ourselves in any sort of trouble? I have an odd theory, and its called "every man for himself". Not meant to be sexist, but 'man' there is to be interpreted as human being, male, female or otherwise. Yeah, so like i was saying, i believe that each one of us develops a personality by interaction with other people and reflecting on these interactions and learning little lessons about what to do or what not to do and how best to go about either. All the same, we're never really supposed to limit our scope of interaction to the little clique we lord over from time to time (yup, definitely a lotta power games in those)...we roam this earth and interact in different ways with different people. Family is just a starting point it seems...some sort of a parachute...breaks your fall into life, and as soon as you reach a certain age, you hit the ground running and you're fumbling with many different modules and levels of relationship-management. Anyways, going on like this, after a while, you've kinda seen a lot of what there is to see and been to and through a lot of where there is to be, and voila! You're an independent human-being. You can carry your own cross (read: life) and you wont emit more than an occasional whine.

Far from it. I'm just an oddball with a lot of theories, which explains why most people who have the misfortune of knowing me for long enough cant get away quick enough! I think we've only just begun to get close and they say they've had enough...familiarity must breed some brand of contempt when it comes to me! I like being alone, when i think of it sometimes. It gives me clarity of thought and there's a lot of those to think about. At other times, i kinda exist like a fringe phenomenon. On the periphery of these groups...looking in, laughing, being concerned, sharing an opinion, taking a jibe, but never really involved. Is this a good thing? Its not really a nice thing, by the book in which rules for being best-friend are written, but it suits me just as well. At least, unlike others, i dont have to bother about having a place to land on before i jump from one place. And this way, you can say pretty much whatever is on your mind without thinking of the implications of a number of people in the vicinity getting disappointed/hurt/enraged. And you dont have to justify everything you do as a retaliation to some imagined grievance inflicted on you by one of your closest (Oh, you Brutus, you Judas...how could you?!). You just go ahead and do what you feel like without fear of censure.

I guess i really am better off on my own. That way there's only me to contend with and i'm pretty predictable, so i think i get by :P So then, do i have friends? Yes. And do i have friends? No. Make any sense? No. Does it matter? Definitely not!

I guess that what i'l take away from this place. Its just let me be. And i realize thats how i like it.

[p.s. If you detect even an iota of what seems like self-pity in this post, plz let me know...i'l nuke the post.]

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

why i must write...

Because words once spoken
can never be revoked...
I try not to cut, bruise or harm...
all the scars betray my inefficacy.
To wound is not my prerogative,
try, as I might, to heal...
I must not give what I cannot take,
I cannot give what I must not take.
Are all equals equal?
Are all deals fair?
I have been as fair as I have been unfair...
is that a fair and equal deal?

What then, of all these words,
hypothetical bodies for fleeting emotions...
'joy' is a label on an endomorphin,
'sorrow' is a pit in my gut...
What when they fill the racks in my mind
that are sentences, expressions, emotions?
Too much data in too little space,
too much rawness in a limited place...
They overflow...with or without my consent...
revelling in, and rebuking with, their nakedness.
They tumble and roll off my tongue,
closely followed by incoherent apologies...

Thrills, chills, cheers, tears, fears...
train of thought running amok.
Derailed, deranged, dismayed, depraved,
hurtling towards Pandemonium.
Macabre mind, factory of fury,
sadistically sneering as conscience cringes...
It asks...demands, "Isnt this my right?
To vent, rage, storm and fight!
Is not my voice my weapon of war,
my mind the maker of all ordnance?"

Therefore, the part which asks, "Why must i write?"
...is exactly, why i must write.
I must write all that i see
but all that i write, they must not see.
The less said, the less heard...
the less spoken, the less hurt.
Laid bare for a moment,
then completely concealed...
the words still flow,
but my lips are sealed.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

just another day in the life of the wanderer...

sumtyms i wonder wht'd happen if i din eva wake up, afta one of those long,lonesome nights...rite from the time i was a kid,its been a morbid kinda fantasy to die n watch my own funeral frm above or below or whreva...who all attend...who's tears really flow...how many faux displays of grief...how many ppl sayin i had it comin!!lol...
anywayz...today is yet another of those days whn u wake up,n wonder wht i shud do to make today more meaningful...sumtyms i'm pursued by this fear tht i havent done anythn to justify my existence here...ppl are fallin like flies all around...if were to be next,how'd i make my peace wid my maker??post-college angst,u'l say...or maybe,existential crisis...i dunno...i'v alwayz thot a lot more thn's good for me...
i see so many ppl pass thru life widout so much as a thot about wht lies below the surface...they seem to be able to handle it all best...so am i carryin excess baggage by tring to dig a lil deeper?is it the best thin to be doin wht everyone's doin at the time,and not ask too many questions?certainly seems that way,from whr i stand...
sumtyms ppl seem false in their interaction with each other...does this happen in their "i,me n myself" conversations also?i mean,is it the best thin to tell urself tht ur doin just fine,n get the hell along with it...rather than spend tym wonderin wht u've lost to gain wht u have...i've heard tht life's like a crucible,whr ur burnt at very high temperatures to get rid of the impurities in u...and they still write songs tht go,"...take me as i am..."...lolz!!never really worked tht way,rite???
i'm not really as pessimistic or fatalistic as i mite seem,for all the doomsayin n all...lol...i guess its just "tht tym of the month"...mental menstruation!!lol..i cud hav been less gross n said,emotional load shedding,or sumthn like tht...but the 1st one is so much more on-the-spot!lolz...anywayz...maybe tomorrow will be a difren day from all these other todays...thts the die-hard optimist in me speakin...he musta managed to surface for a breath from under all that dank,dark morbidity...gone under again now..dunno for how long...anywayz...guess i'l hust hafta stick around n wait..n hope he wont drown this tym.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

about me...

i've wandered far and wide....
i've wondered what and why....
in vain,do i seek the fruit of this,my desperate,undying quest.
who am i?
why am i here?
what have i been called upon to do?
is this my fate?
what is my fate?
why is it my fate?
can i not fight,to be what i want....
can i not stand my ground,to move ahead?
what is my purpose on earth,
the reason for my existence,
my raison-de-etre?
am i worth all i have?
do i have to be worth anything?
who can tell me all that i want to know....
who has all the answers to these questions,
that gnaw at me from within the deepest recesses of my fevered mind....
a voice in my head told me to look within me....
it spoke of my conscience,
the God within me....
but He tells me what to do and what not to do,
not why to do,not why not to do.
that,i must learn on my own.
i feel alone,surrounded by voices,eyes,bodies,lives,
but still utterly alone.
i pray...
if there is a God,
whether above or below,
dont make what i'm doing,right,
make me do the right thing.
i crave,i thirst...
the song beckons to be sung,
but the words still elude me.
blaze rather than fade...
but who sees by my light?
have i made a difference?
will i ever?
i am free to fly,
but where do i go from here?
what does tomorrow hold for me?
and the day after that?
is there a tomorrow?
and a day after that?
i remain eternally...
The Wanderer.
anonymous.....till i find me.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

da beginning...

in the beginning...there was darkness...and then God said..let there be light...

and so the story began.