Saturday, 30 January 2010

a song for mercy.

It was a beautiful night, the sort of night when the moon is larger and more luminous than the eyes that stare back at you from the mirror called hope&fervent desire. On such a night, beauty itself could be overlooked for something more profound and hopeful. It was a spring night, strange music wafted by. The night was like a sigh.

The night was like a teardrop on the cheek of Venus. It was beauty that made it both sad and desirable. She wanted to freeze the night and store it as stardust and hope that the jar that would contain this night as immortal&sparkling stardust would never get lost. It is the custom of jars like this to get lost because you can never label them. You stand risk of exposure and ridicule if you dare to do such a thing.

She, observer of this night, of the rare&curious blue moon, of an impossible depth of horrified emotion. This night, the night of depraved&delicious lust, the night of a terrified love, the night of a thousand moans and a single tear. This night is the night to be broken and powdered into glistening memory, a single jar of promise. Promise that would sustain several lifetimes.

Standing alone at the edge of a lonely pool, staring at a distorted reflection, knowing only the simulacrum of this night. So much more desirable than the real, so much more necessary than the ideal. Forever Narcissus, forever young, forever sad, forever in anticipation. Such is the necessity of desire&knowledge.

Overhead the stars exploded into a million constellations of ever-expanding proportions. The universe cannot be contemplated. She is nothing, what she feels may perhaps be something, who can be sure? Stardust is merely another idea, the jar is a fancy, the poem is a whimsy. There is no truth, there is only the horror of realization.

Play for me a Nocturne for Violin and Piano.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

IIT KGP springfest trip.

Part 1: The Plan and Its Pitfalls.

Never go on a trip with three men if you're a woman. And a woman whose digestion is not quite decent and regular. Do not guzzle rum throughout the evening with milky tea. Do not go running towards a makeshift stage after hastily pulling on mismatched socks hoping for a Monte Carlo shirt.

Prayag goes rock climbing.
Sanjukta goes tight rope walking.
Arnab goes about pleasantly smiling and looking pleasant.
Sion grumpily glares.
Sanjukta has a legion of IIT-ian friends of friends.
Panda has acidity.

Accommodation- is 65 bucks a day in a seedy hotel called Hotel Decent. Well, actually not. It's called Tourist Lodge and has a stinky communal loo. People vomit out their innards while brushing at communal basin and fart all the bloody time. They knock on your door, you open it and find a trail of aromatic yesterday's dinner leading up to the loo. The common loo.
The Manager is called Grouchy and Prayag Ray is my brother. Of course we sign "Ray" and "Panda", having recently met at the Kumbh Mela where we had 21 years of catching up to do. Grouchy likes son papdi (I was carrying 1 kg fortification) and so I bribe him to not do his grouchiness with me.

Part 2: Stains.

I gawk at the bedsheet provided to me. "Manager kaku, ei bedsheet ta toh cholbe na! Eitaar opore yaa bodo bodo daag!" Manager Kaku to Prayag: Go to a better place if you want fancy bedsheets!
Manager kaku to Carrier-of-son-papdi: OK, I'll change it, but these stains are nothing but hair dye. (Ahona Panda was not pointing to murky black stains but dry whitish horridly suspicious stains.)

Sanju's mommy to Sanju: "You will not go to their hotel in Golbazar!"

Ahona's mommy to Ahona: "You stayed in a room that cost 65 bucks a day?! How seedy can you get? How could you do this to us?!"

Ahona while crapping alcohol+curd crap: "Why am I shitting in this loo? I want a clean commode where I can flush! I hate this! I hate this!"

Prayag: I am such a fart bomb! I was perhaps a sex bomb, but I am mostly a fart bomb now.

Sion: I am kipte first and then a hygiene-freak. I can also digest everything because I am a teetotaller.

Arnab: Life is such fun if your mindset is simple. Oh look, Sion's got a darling dimple.

Sanjukta: Poor, poor Ahona. Hmmm- now how do I manage to fit in that group of friends?

Part 3: Digestion.

Thousands of children floating through the night
Walking on Scholars Avenue, passing out of sight.
I want to be a scholar though I cannot solve a sum.
I am such a loser that I cannot digest rum.
I meet scholars who can solve all the sums ever known to man
And then make their own sums because only they can
My tummy rumbles because there is poetry in my tum
I think it is poetry though people call it rum.
i am linguistically enabled because I am made just so
But IIT makes me cry, it's the rum don't you know?
And when I drink good whisky
I appreciate the artist Kandinsky
But shit man mathematics I so neglected
And the more I reflected
I realized the levels to which I had sunk.
I was completely drunk.

P.S.- If you want to make a good turd, don't trust them when they say: trust curd.

Part 3: Money, honey and the funny bunny.

The room in which we stayed had graffiti on the walls.
Mr. Arjun Pandit- (in Hindi which I translate)- I want a girl who will understand me and whom I will understand. This is very important. She must love me and I must love her. If you are that girl, please call me- (number). The number was unavailable. Alas.

Another chant: Mmmmm Hari
Mmmmm Hari
Mmmmm Hari
and so on. (this number is not the number exact, but you get the drift.)

There was also a picture of a bus with passengers who (thankfully) had their clothes on.

Sanjukta and I won two thousand rupees. The event was midfuckingly banal and inane. IIT wanted us to write creatively in 8 minutes and 5 minutes. Alas, a short story is never a mathematical problem, but then we poor people with limited access to Scholars Avenue, who would listen to our lame laments?

Conclusion: memorable, exciting, and absolutely smashing! I learnt a lot. I also crapped in loos which would make JUDE ladies' seem like 5 star hotel stuff. All in all, the moral of the story: you can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you don't need to be gifted to walk down Scholars Avenue. You just have to be sloshed, stoned and sozzled.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

---with love---

Sometimes the sudden gust
of wind carrying sparkling dust
is akin to some savage lust

and the sun eclipses-
because it must.

Sometimes the sudden sigh
of the protracted long goodbye
might even be a little lie

and the leaves go flying-
because they die.

Sometimes the trees flower again
flower in beautiful scarlet pain
and blood is the colour of the evening rain

and the bees go berserk-
driven insane.

Sometimes impossible is loving and a kiss
may be the cruellest possible bliss
and then you think, what did i miss?

and the world smiles-
it is this.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

saturday rant

The cold is drifting away and this season reminds me of chhotobela and how I used to go to the chhaad of that other house and have oranges and read gopper boi and sleep on the toshok that I would carefully carry up and down with me. I wonder whether ma ever knew really, thakurma would go with me sometimes and curl up in the sun, next to me, like the smallest kitten in the world. She would sleep gracefully and I would fiddle with her snow-white hair and feel great despair and love. I wanted her to always be with me and the fact that she was growing old hurt me.

Dadu had died that year, 2001, I was reading N orM(Agatha Christie) and wondering why I would never enjoy the taste of food again. No chocolate, no orange seemed to taste palatable, edible even. Didn't realize it was grief, didn't understand what grief was. Tried to shut off things through that goddamned thriller, it was a Tommy&Tuppence book. It wasn't bad.

My other dadu died the next year, and then Arko jethu died, and then B jethu died and then S' jethima died this November. Again utter blank grief and despair struck me, food became unnecessary, clothes seemed a burden. Stopped wearing kajol. Then I started wearing kajol again, then things became OK. Now I can think of her without crying. I can survey her many gifts to me with a sense of detachment. Time does so much. I don't understand time. When I think of time, or the passage of years, (young as I am, only 21) I feel uneasy with the process called life. I cannot take the flux, the constant moving on and on, I hate not being able to remember, and I hate the idea of memory.

I want to live every moment that I have lived over and over again. I want to be able to recollect every month, week, day, minute, second. I want to freeze that eternal passing moment and extract its essence and I want to be able to talk with my dadus again. There was so much left unsaid and so much left undone. I definitely want to tell jethima that I loved her very much-I never actually did that.

Thakurma's diabetes is giving her a lot of trouble. She is the most active 81 year old in the world. She is witty, nasty, sarcy and warm. I love her so much it hurts. This house is lots larger and older and everything but the sun doesn't stay till 4pm on the chhaad. Otherwise I'd drag her and the toshok and get some oranges and run upstairs. She usually sleeps on the sofa and pretends she's actually watching TV. Sometimes she mutters my dadu's name under her breath, and I gently take the remote away from her hand, and tuck the chaador around her.
I hate time.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

kittens,winter, etc

In winter one can see corpses of dead animals lying on the road. I used to think the Calcutta winter can never take life, but now I see that some animals are more vulnerable than others. So the winter that Foxy or I can cheat, a crow or a stupider puppy may not. This disturbs me. Some time back I saw a beautiful kitten on my way to university and I stopped to admire it. Then I saw it was not curled up in the comfort of the midday sun, but in death. It looked fragile and sad, and curiously alive. The only manifestation of death was a long train of ants that crawled into the mouth. I was late, and horrified, and ran away. But the image lingered. I hoped the corpse would be soon taken care of, my para is a reasonably nice one. The next morning the little kitten lay, stiffened and ugly, neglected and forgotten. I resolved that I would be back by the evening, and when I came back, I saw it was gone.

Can the mind be in rigor mortis?

The winter sunshine is slowly becoming warmer. Seasons change, kittens die and are born, and the world forgets these kittens and us. We drink tea, smoke, and discuss and write. Some clever people solve sums, and some people become immortal. Some very clever people make money. Some cleverer people do not make money.

And everyone wails, laments, laughs and condemns.

Life is so delightfully irrelevant, nest-ce-pas? To relieve oneself of this tedium one must smoke, drink alcohol and caffeine in copious quantities, see Paris, Prague and Kashmir, learn to speak francaise, and then emulate my little kitten.

Not waving, but drowning meanwhile! ;)

Friday, 8 January 2010


one day you you who look at me now
with slinky smiles of self deception
will hate me beyond
for when cognition
catastrophe happens

the cat atrophies
and the sadness beyond human understanding
human misunderstanding
human do-they-call-it-love?

strange are the ways of strangers
strange are the ways of friends
stranger this world than strange
always this eternal change
aristotle; o friend, there are no friends!

one day, you who look at me now
and feel feel so much
may forget to feel.

may never remember
may never resurrect
may never recollect

but one day we
pebbles by the shore
though now we do so no more.

so now you smile your smiles of slinky self-deception
and i think;
the cat atrophies.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

noir et blanche

Sometimes I would dream that I was very very independent. It was a beautiful dream. It would be a cold winter's day and I would wear a black trench coat and lovely heels and I would walk smartly and alone, with a long cigarette in my hands. I would wear a beautiful scarf and look suitably mysterious. I would go into a dashing building. It would be this most enigmatic noir cinematic moment, this splendid dream of mine.

Today I was wearing this holey polo neck and a frayed and black kashmiri coat. With a stole, not a beautiful scarf. And the most horrible rexine shoes with heels. I carried a cigarette and a cup of cha that tasted like horlicks, and I was also wearing golden hoops. Was my noir moment coming true? I don't know.

Winter is rather cold in more ways than one. But winter sunshine is so much better! I get more curves through overeating and my nerves improve tremendously. All due to a spot of the sun. Strange how people equate that with insanity; touch of the sun, eh? Language makes me feel uneasy about the world. Terribly. I will no longer brood.

Except of course on why I cannot plead insanity and ask people to go away when I snort snot at them. Will they go away on their own? Must my absurdism have a deeper meaning so that your academic intellects may interpret my misery or the lack of it thereof? Do I confuse you? Do I need the horror of the rouge, blanche et noir of our sordid everyday existences?

Are these questions that keep me awake at night?
I am afraid not. I have sedatives.

But actually I stopped. With sedatives, you may sleep but you stop dreaming. And for noir but not noir addicts, what a pity that would be!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year.

Somewhere, somehow, through that infinitesimal and infinite
distance between you and you and me

there is...

There is.

Suddenly I fail to perceive that there is a difference-
That what was is now not, and that
the new year or what temporal novelty they call this:
I know not. All I know is
that there is no hope
and only hope
that there is no pain
but only pain
there is no change
but then again
There is only change.

And I know that this soul is a wretched gift.
And I know that this body is my only reality.
I dig my nails hard into my flesh. There is a slow trickle
of fickle blood. Soon it shall congeal. The sudden sharp burst of pain
Fading pain, now so real
now so mine-oh you will never know
what it feels like.

Called love.