Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't Kill Me For This

With heart and with soul, he sings. A rich tone emanates from his lips, and his words are proud with a head held high.

He sings of might and of strength. He sings to inspire warriors and march armies.

In my mind, he is standing upon a ship's mast, back erect and gaze directed towards the horizon. He sings loudly, stretching out his lungs. Breathing in great gulps of air, he sings into the wind. In a voice so clear that the wind cannot break it. In a voice so commanding that the wind must indeed carry it, wherever he instructs it too. He commands a fleet and he goes to battle. He leads them on as only he can. The wind is his instrument, his string section, his orchestra. It amplifies his voice and it beats against wind-breakers to his rhythm.

He sings of poetry and of true answers. He sings to make the stones weep and the walls believe.

I see him stand upon a road, walking slow and alone. His head is bowed down but his feet march quickly and swiftly. In a straight line, the shortest path to nowhere in particular. His hands are in his pockets, he looks not to any horizon. He looks at the ground if anywhere, but he sees only inside himself. He sings softly, cajoling and persuading. He calls out for peace and ease of mind. He searches for answers inside himself. You see, he feels everything to know is already there, in front of him. We just have to ask the right questions, to find out. If we can't find out anymore, it would be time to leave. He strives, to seek, to find, while his feet march on. To shelter. To oblivion. To the mouth of a waking volcano.

He sings of beauty and of seductive wit. He sings to charm fairies and woo fair damsels.

In my mind he sits at a table. He sings to only her ears. No one else is to hear any of this. He doesn't really sing. He whispers, he murmurs. Softly. Sweet nothings into the ears of a beloved. He asks for her love and promises her his life, his money, his everything. Or if that doesn't work out, he adds wryly, there's always her sister too.

He sings of the sun and he sings of the mankind beneath it. He sings of long nights and of shivering and of no respite.

He sings of butterflies and zebras, and moonbeams and fairy tales. He sings of death and of destruction, and how he's become so numb.

He sings of you and I, in this beautiful world.

At which point I snap, open the bathroom door, and ask if he would stop it already.

My room-mate gets emotional sometimes, while washing his clothes. I tell you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fetch Me My Pencil

We should make a list of things to do before we turn a certain age, an age to be accepted as a threshold beyond which the listed points would hold little or no consequence. Or at least wouldn't be as much fun anymore.

Say 30 years.

Because then wouldn't it be extremely depressing? To reach age 30? And not have a tattered, ticked-out list to look down upon?

It would.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Rubbing his eyes, he wakes up slowly. His arms ache and his back hurts, like they always do whenever he does anything. Which is exactly why he doesnt't want to do anything! Ever! But would they listen? No! Get up, they say. Go to school, they say. Pay attention. Do your homework. Get away from that TV, how dare you!


Strange this life, he thinks. No doubt things will get simpler and rosier as time passes on and he grows up. But for now, nothing seems to quite work. Does it?

Getting up is such a pain!

There's just the one bright spot in the entire worthless exercise, and he prays it works right now. It's a better wake-up than coffee even. Or milk! Ugh!

Eyes brightening through the resistance of morning sand, he lifts his right index finger and gazes upon it. Like King Arthur himself must have gazed upon his sword every morning. Excalibur, that is.

Examining the tip of the nail for sharpness and exercising all relevant joints for agility, he shoves it into his right nostril. Turning it this way and then that, he maneouvres expertly, feeling for his prize. For extra yield. A dash here and an inspired strike there later, his finger climbs out with its rich hoard.

Mouth dropping open in wonder, he stares upon the golden yellow matter poised grandly on the tip of his index finger. It shines in the morning light, it does! He looks at it closely, this natural produce of his own. There is a certain translucency in its body - the golden yellow blending with light yellow in some parts and turning distinctly brown at the edges. The center of it is so distinctly translucent! Tenderly he reaches a left index finger, to poke it gently. Very gently, because he doesn't want to disturb the texture.

It's soft. The surface has a certain amount of "give", so to say, when he presses down on it. Nice and soft. The piece itself is round, or almost spherical. The bottom surface is flattened since it rests on his index tip. But the rest of it quite spherical, yes. And extremely large too. It's a Kohinoor, he would have said, had he but known of the famed diamond.

He does not care to understand what fixates him so much to these things. Everyone says they're gross. But why? Doesn't he produce it himself with his own nose? Do they not keep him so preoccupied while he sits on the toilet every day? Why should he hate it?

He looks at it from all sides. It's so...not beautiful, no...but so mysterious. What is it made of? How is it made? What is that golden yellow stuff? Will he ever run out of them? Will he? He really doesn't want to. But if he does?

What then? The very idea is too outrageous to contemplate! It just won't do.

He looks at it from all sides, as if choosing one over the other. But he realizes it's a tough task with no real grounds for selection. So he surrenders. And pops it right into his mouth. A slight chew, feeling for the gumminess between his teeth, and he swallows.

There. Now he won't run out. Ever.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

To Do Or Not To Do Is Not Really A Question

He wrote it all out on a blank sheet of paper. He sat first at his desk, having had a long, satisfying bath. He felt clean and untouched by every day's grime. This way made it better.

He sat at his desk. He took out a pen from the pen-stand. Upon the clean sheet of paper, he wrote the title "LIST - Sorting Out My Life". He wrote it exactly at the center of the line, the line itself on the top of the page leaving a just correct amount of upper margin. Gravely, and with conviction flowing through his very fingers, he underlined the title. Twice. With straight, uncut, neat lines.

There. It looked good like that. Even looked good just like that, with nothing on the rest of the page.

But he had more to put in, of course, so he went on. Just as neatly, he left two lines' worth of space and on the left margin wrote "1". How to frame it, he wondered. With a close bracket? Brackets enclosing it? A simple dot? Nothing at all?

Simple was a good way to go. Minimalist also. More to the point, so to say, which was exactly how he felt at this point of time. Good. A simple dot would suffice. He added it.

He knew what followed after this. It had been buzzing through his mind for a long time now. The urge to make a list had become overpowering before he'd finally found the time to sit down like this and do it.

As he put down point after point, he felt the strain release inside him. That sense of dejection in life, that feeling of helplessness was leaving him. He would sort out his life. He would make sense out of his mess, finally. As he wrote, he felt the optimism creep in. Like the sun's rays slowly entering through a dusty window on a winter morning.

There was nothing to be gained out of being unreasonable about it all, he thought midway through point number 5. One must make allowances for slight inefficiency, not only on one's own part but also the part of others. Even the minor experiences of his life had added up to leave him with some amount of wisdom. Right?

So he gave himself some more time there. He expanded the deadline a bit. No use being so unreasonable. None at all. And it would feel so much better to properly complete the list with all deadlines met. So neat.

By the time he approached the end of it, he was almost joyful. Everything looked so nice. So bright and so cheerful. It could work. It would, he felt deep inside himself. That boyish optimism, from younger days, was blooming inside him and it made him light. Sitting back in his chair, he let himself drift into it. He let himself swim in it's currents. And he dreamed.

He dreamed of a beautiful life. He dreamed of working through hardships, staying up nights to study, eating frugally, and toiling through double-shifts sometimes. He dreamed of holding money well-earned and buying himself a little something with it. He dreamed of opening a savings account, and visiting it every month to deposit larger and larger sums. He dreamed of buying a car one day. He dreamed of meeting that perfect someone one sudden day in his life's journeyings. Of letting her into his life, watching her eyes expand in wonder as she saw how much he did and how good he was. He dreamed of being one with her.

He dreamed of reaching the top of the ladder, of being an old man of many, wealthy years. He dreamed of reading great literature, speaking four languages, and advising a gathering of adoring, wide-eyed younger folk. He dreamed of admiration behind his back, of respect and of the acknowledgment of his achievements.

The list would sort it all out. It was so neatly made, wasn't it? Every point, coming one after the other, explaining the pros and the cons, letting in subtle hints of the hardships that were to follow. He could preserve this list for posterity, until it was a yellowing, folded piece of paper, slightly torn at the edges. A symbol of his young days and a symbol of his rise since them.

He lay back in his chair and he dreamed of such things. Then he got up and left for his minimum wage job. He knew it. He knew he would come back that evening, drained of all energy due to the work and the commuting. The landlord would demand his rent, and be postponed by another day perhaps. He would forget about this list. He would slide onto his slightly molding bedsheets. And he would fall asleep, into dream's oblivion. Weeks would pass like this, without notice and without greeting, before he realized he was getting nowhere.

Then he would make another list. And he would dream again Like today.

It feels so good to plan a life, he thought. To structure a path to success. Execution is just such an anti-climax.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Travelling Man

I am going to apply for certificate of vagabond.

And I think I could prepare a doctoral thesis on travelling by the West Coast Express. Not to mention arriving at train stations early in the morning, groggy and irritated, to be greeted by indistinguishable languages reaching for my luggage. Yes, yes. Once I'm done with all this, I will.

Oh, yes.

Till then, off I go again.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Three Fat Ladies All In A Row

I still write the date on the top left corner of my notebooks, every day in class. Which is why I noticed yesterday was 8/8/8.

Minute (and not to mention extremely suspect) as the joy might seem, it was quite cool to me.

I can't wait for 9th September next year!

I like number plates that add up to square numbers. And I subconsciously add up the numbers in every car that passes by me. I feel let down if it sums up to a prime number at the end.

Does anyone else do such things?

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Joke's On You

There is...a key...for everything. For everyone. You won't like to hear of it. But I know.

Should I tell you what it is?

They look at me like that. They stare. I didn't do nothing! It was...my father. He made me...smile...this...way. I hated my father. But I like this. I like to smile.

I don't know what to do. I can't sleep. I can't breathe. I can't LIVE like this. I have to get out. I have to do more than just burning ... papers ... and ... boxes. My hands look at me with expectation in their eyes. So I give it to them. My hands make for me little...devices...from garbage.

A little joke?

I like that. They go tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Then they stop. I like that...

I don't want to kill innocent civilians. Nobody's innocent. You need to grow up and see it for yourself. Nobody.

Innocent? Ha.

Freaks... Running around everyday, locked in little lives in little houses with little kids and little troubles. All. The. Time. Everything is so boring, it's repulsive. How do they stand it?

Courts and judges. Cops and jails. Lawyers and cases. Men and women. Little children in big yellow buses going to school. With books and pencil. All of it! Your lives are so locked in. You don't move around. You don't change. You don't play. You have these...these rules. About everything!



I am a man who breaks rules. I am going to live. And for that, I need to break your rules. Your rules. Into little pieces, floating in the air, ripped apart by an explosion. A freak. Like me.

Blood oozes. Blood oozes out of little faces, twisted in shrieks and screams. In their last moments. I can imagine it now. I can dream it. Blood will call for blood. Screams will call for screams. For something so meaningless as a life. Like an ant in its hill, walking in line with a million others. Ha!

I will give you what you need, you normal people. I'm the entertainment program, every evening when you turn on the telly.

Laugh with me now.

The city will suffer. Pain. Horror. Loss. Oh, the usual riff-raff, you know! Its no....biggie. And I will watch it burn. When all of you, all of you, see yourselves in those last moments. All of you. You will realize what I know already. That deep down this pretense of normalcy, this charade of civilisation, this show of humanity is just that. A charade. A pretense. A show. Deep down, you're all freaks.

Scavenging off your neighbors, killing your children, burning yourselves - every single day. No? You dont believe me? I don't expect you do.

I'll show you. The fireworks. The burning smolders. The melting metal. The strewn bodies. And all your screaming, snivelling, primal bloodthirst.

Think of it as an experiment. A social experiment. Anthro-? Anthropology. And you...you are the white mice! Let the games begin.

I have your key now. I will turn it. Soon. I will be ready. I know how to turn you. I can see you all. Right now. Balanced on a knife-edge, trying to walk the thin line. You can't win it, you know. But you insist, you persist, on trying. The order, the stringent protocol, the red tape, the binding rope of your lives...that's what is keeping you sane.

That's not who you are.

Can I show you? The key? How with one turn you will turn to animals? To monsters, screaming for blood and blood and more? Just one turn. To break this system. To break this rope. To introduce an element of chaos in the universe. That is how everything exists.

Chaos is fair.

Laugh now. Laugh with me! Its a show!

There will be rolling hoops of fire, thin balancing ropes high in the sky, rampaging animals. Men and women will jump through hoops, dodge fire, balance themselves high in the sky, and try to tame my beasts. To stay alive. To live. And if that gets too boring, we have - a joker! To cut the ropes. To pinch the beasts. To bring more fire. Ooh, I can't wait to get started!

Let's put a smile on that face!