Thursday, September 21, 2006

Around the same time as QT 158

My story - a counterpoint to hers - is here :

“Yes, I have it, Flamenco Flamenco”, the older one wanted to scream, like Archimedes out of the bathtub. But of course he couldn’t. That would spoil everything. After all catching a mouse is hardly the ultimate in cool. Any idiot can do it. But how many of them know to enjoy their kill, get the most out of it. Cain and Abel, yes, that’s what we’re like, he mused. Look at him, the duffer, screwing up his face, trying so hard to get this simple word. The focal men shifted, moving around the bird. He can’t even get that. 3 minutes and 56 seconds, let me give him another four before I go in for the kill. He doesn’t have a job, his car is a laugh on wheels, and I know no girl is ever going to marry him. But at least he wasn’t foolish enough to get infected and become HIV positive.

The older one shouted, “Flamenco, you idiot, flamenco. However long you live, you are never going to be half as smart as me!”

Monday, September 18, 2006

Networking Love

Do you like fairy tales? You do? Good, you’re like me then. When I was young, my father bought me a book, Grimm’s Fairy tales, not realizing that some of it was grim indeed. Still, it didn’t do me any harm, as far as I can see, and no one had yet invented political correctness, so I was allowed to enjoy them. When I was much older, I realized that fairy tales are not just tales, they are real. Are these the ramblings of a somewhat, how shall we put it delicately, unhinged person, you’re wondering now. No, really, fairy tales are real and exist in our lives, except that we don’t think of them that way. They are everywhere, even online! So then, if have folded up that disbelief and suspended it from a high enough place, read on.

Once upon a time, I met a young man, charm_ing,
Literary élan and limpid eyes, disarming
Manner with all kinds of nice things
To say and mean; Of course that brings
In a horde of romantic women a-swarming.

Naïve woman seeking romance? Falling for him so easily in this day and age, you say. Impossible. Oh orkut, myspace, ryze and others of your kind. Surely you’ll bear witness to the possibility of the soulmate appearing in the online avatar, intriguing persona and snatches of real life accoutrements to match.

He dazzled then, in vers libre, sonnet well rhyming
Or sometimes, a good critic he would be, chiming
In to point an error, gently;
Bent over the page intently –
I pictured him, a sexy Shakespeare, a true Ming.

Aha! Sex! Is that what all this is leading to, I hear you shout. Be patient though, gentle reader. (Much patience is required of he who reads poetry, or she, though the poets would never admit to that, but let us leave those old arguments about prose and poetry aside for now).

We stalked each other’s work, conjured up love, roaming
Freely on the body written, Passion foaming
Up through our sturdy keyboard wands
Messaging private but the bonds
Visible to all, from Worli to Wyoming.

So, it’s not just a you-and-me love story then. There are others, and oh, what glorious others, much in the manner of the sleeping beauty’s thirteen good fairies, clustered around the message board, nodding wisely, drinking their potions creative, seeing everything in gulps of quiet little hints.

On one fine day though (unlike the movie cloying)
The persona fled, its romance shed, left toying
For an owner, on the clueless
Board, but everyone was blameless;
Who never was named could not be called annoying.

This fairy tale ends rather abruptly, as prince charming rides off alone into the real world darkness. There is no sunset no happy no ever no after. Still, it is a fairy tale with all the ingredients of one. Love, magic and inexplicability. What more could I ask for?

Note : Mahendra Rathod's Love in the Caferati bushes acted as a kind of stimulus to this piece. However it was intended as a sort of commentary on relationships that develop online; It is not directed at any individuals per se.

Monday, September 11, 2006


We had this recent writing exercise on the message board at Caferati, based on a recent occurrence in the literary world -where an author was tricked into using a fake letter in a biography he wrote - More interesting, the letter was an acrostic , not too complimentary to the author himself.

As self-respecting writers, ofcourse, it was proposed that we all try our hands at it... So here is my contribution...

In every way that they could think of, people felt that that Raghav was the perfect man for Monika. Not all the time, ofcourse, but occasionally, Monika would think about this. Driving home everyday, on the Gurgaon-Mehrauli highway, with the FM blaring in the background, she had enough time to think, analyse, dissect, then add on a fresh layer of thought and churn it some more. Each human being is so different, she would think, each individual steeped in the juice of himself, a concoction wearing thin in places, yet unique. Could any one person then ever be perfect for another, and what did it mean anyways, to be ‘for’ someone else. I am not talking about things like tastes and habits here, she would explain to her friends, but deep down, isn’t my first concern in this world myself, my own happiness.

Shut up, yaar, they would say, stop thinking so much, you want to become a philosopher or what. Indeed, most of her life, Monika had been chided by her family for this too much thing she had, reading too much, thinking too much, just doing too much of nothing worthwhile. Only the fact that she had finally landed a job at a prestigious advertising firm and then fallen in love with Raghav, had finally redeemed her. No one knew better than her though, that there was still opportunity to fall, there was always a chance, to fall back on indecision.

Friday, September 01, 2006

That time of my life

At that time, I would finish lunch and have a nap until four. It seemed to me then, that I had never had such restful sleep before. It was the sort of sleep where, if someone had come in and looked at me while I was sleeping, they could have assumed that I was dead. Don’t ask me how I knew this, I mean, its not like I could look at myself sleeping, but I just knew. All my life, I had slept with a kind of sleep that only left me wanting to sleep more. If I slept for two hours in the afternoon, I would complain of how I needed three. If I got three the next weekend, I would want four. It never seemed enough. But now, I would sleep exactly for two and a half hours, and wake up at four, without even an alarm waking me up.

From four to six, I would listen to some music, playing my favorite CDs over and over again. I would listen to Isaac Stern playing the Mozart violin concertos or Richter and the Borodin quartet on the Trout Quintet. My tastes in music were simple. I had been introduced to western classical music as a child, but my knowledge was limited to the most well known of pieces. I didn’t know how to listen, or what a coda was or how allegro was different from andante. I just picked up pieces at random, borrowing them from friends and acquaintances. What I liked, I stuck to. At this time, I hadn’t yet ventured into Sibelius or Bartok. Even Beethoven seemed incredibly complex at the time, beyond comprehension at any time of my life. Perhaps the pastoral symphony, but nothing more adventurous than that. Especially not at this point in time, when I was trying so hard to keep everything simple. Yes, it was a simple time of life.