Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Other

Following trails, reaching
hearts shivering with
animosity

To touch would
be pure

Violence

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tautology (A New Story)

R loved playing with scissors. His mother called him a BadBoy, perhaps owing to her sparse vocabulary, and his best friends were half-scared of the fact, however they might want to deny it. R was never violently playful or playfully violent, he did not damage any property, human or animal or inanimate. R loved moving the tip of his fingers across the surface of the blade and occasionally pressed the tip of the blade, usually with his right forefinger, always knowing where to stop. Tingle prick. It was pleasure, happiness, a perfect experience, a perfect state-of-being. Sometimes he held scissors vertically over his face, the handle-holes replacing his eyes, the middle of the scissor his nose, the space between the blades the space between his lips. Then the scissor talked, senseless jabber, or bits-of-wisdom, or nothing-at-all, but as R would think and say and feel, it was beautiful. Otherwise R wasn't particularly dreamy or distracted, as other so-called creative kids were supposed to be (are all kids creative and do all kids believe/live in la-la-land and neverneverwhatever?); he was quite pragmatic, straightforward, and constantly alert of the so-called real world around him. R was not precocious (after all he couldn't solve 356X345 without pencil-and-paper) and his memory was not abnormally high, but R seemed more mature than his peers, maybe because he was methodical, precise, and not absurdly imaginative.

So, as we see, R was a great man in the making, a rich man, a normal man. But why did he play with scissors? It was because, and this is the only answer to this (/that) question, it was because R loved playing with scissors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New Story

Nothing could stop her, or so she thought. She ran up the stairs, she ran down the stairs, she ran up the stairs, she panted. Oh nothing can stop me, she thought, nothing nothing nothing at all. She ran down the stairs, she ran up the stairs, she ran down the stairs, she collapsed. She thought, nothing can stop me nothing nothing noth

ing, nothing nothing can stop me. She got up. She ran up the stairs, she ran down the stairs, she jumped.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A New Story

1

Rosie was a little girl with a headache. She went to school, she had icecream with her friends, real and imaginary, but she always had a headache. It can't be said she was born with one, because people are born with a head, not a headache. But then again, Rosie was a special girl: she could balance deflated footballs on her forehead and plastic dustbins on her fingers. Rosie liked to walk on dry leaves and talk to her own shadow.

2

John was a shy little boy, who hated his name and his shyness. He went to school, he had icecream with his friends, real and imaginary, but all of his friends were imaginary, or maybe he could not distinguish between the real and imaginary. His teachers, especially the gentler ones, pitied him, without knowing why. John did not lisp or stutter, however, and he liked making geometric shapes with matchsticks.

3

One day, there was a bomb blast near the school, and everyone was afraid. Parents were calling up teachers, teachers were calling up news reporters, news reporters were calling up politicians, and overall, it was nothing short of pandemonium. What parents and teachers and news reporters did not realize, not immediately at least, was that both Rosie and John had not come to school that day.

4

Rosie and John had never talked to each other, although they used to live close to each other, and walk through the same half-grassy route, which some people called a shortcut. On the day of the bomb blast, fifteen minutes before it happened, John and Rosie stopped at the same icecream man and ordered the same icecream. At the same time. Both of them looked at each other, the van separating their bodies but not their eyes, and both of them recognized each other. Rosie and John studied in the same class, and Rosie was secretly jealous of John's new four-doored blue pencil box. For the first time, John found a word slipping up his stomach and wriggling out of his throat, and before he could feel shy, he said Hello, distinctly and wonderfully. Rosie said Hello, came over to John's side, enveloped his closed fist with her palm, and said, Let's swap icecreams.

5

The bomb blast happened near the ice-cream man, so near, that the ice-cream man burst into pieces and his right eyeball could never be found.

6

John had never talked to a girl of his age before, and strangely, he did not feel shy with Rosie, and said Yes to her demand, without even thinking. After swapping icecreams and finishing the last bit of it, Rosie and John started walking to school. Rosie said, Is your mother an ice-cream maker? John said, No, but she buys ice-cream for me when father refuses to take me to the movies or shouts at me. Rosie said, Now it's your turn, ask me a question. John could feel the tips of his fingers burn and his stomach turn and his throat dry, but he asked, Is yoah madr lev? Rosie suddenly stopped, looked at John, surprised and pitying, and asked, How did you know my mother is not alive? John gulped two spit-gobs, and said, I don't I no I don't know okay. Rosie laughed, laughed wildly and loudly, laughed so hard that she had to sit down on the half-grass and laugh, and then she stopped laughing, and gestured to John to sit next to her. John obeyed her. She said, You know, my father is a good man, he buys me icecream. John nodded. And then Rosie put her arm around John's shoulders, and said, Why don't you talk to anyone, I want to talk to you, I will be your friend. John was almost shivering, but then he recovered quickly, and said, Okay I will be your friend too.

7

In the evening, the school was empty, and people were starting to forget about the bomb blast and get on with their lives.

8

Rosie said, Take out a piece of paper and write my name on it. John asked, Why? Rosie said, Just take it out and write my name and then I will write your name on it and we will hide it under a stone. John didn't ask Why this time and did what Rosie told him to do, and after they had finished writing and hiding the piece of paper, they got up and started walking to school. Rosie let out a sigh and almost said something, but something stopped her, and she sighed again. John, getting braver by the moment, abruptly, clumsily held Rosie's hand, and almost said something, but did not, and smiled, not looking at Rosie.

9

There was a blast. Two children were injured. Two children died.

10

A piece of paper below a stone, with two names written on it, is a beautiful thing and an eternal thing, and in the future, a lot of things might happen, and everything will be forgotten eventually, but the piece of paper shall remain, with two names written on it, John and Rosie.

11

A piece of paper below a stone is a secret, like the birth of friendship is a secret.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A New Story

There she was, listening to me or not listening to me, but looking out of the window and I wanted to touch the back of her neck ever-so-lightly and let go. She turned around, telling me something with her eyes, then before she could turn back again, the littlest of smiles radiated the space between us, around us, everywhere, and it was Love.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Together, tightly wrapped, tense. In place, secure. The death of movement. The beginning of vision. Our bodies floating beyond us, catharsis of spirit. Thinking this is the perfect moment to speak, to say a word, a word eternal and limitless, but we know. But we touch with silence and know. This is it. The end of play. Understanding. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Walking alone, watching my shadow merge with a greater darkness pervading the empty streets of my neighbourhood, occasionally prodding the rotting skeletons of fruits and dogs with my desensitized boot, vaguely conscious of a song trickling out from some old, hard-to-locate, almost crumbling house, feeling my lips curve outwards, in half-remembrance of a past more romantic. So this is it, alternate spurts of disdain and sympathy, growing into a greater helplessness, the vestige of life exposing the void within. What am I, but a shadow within a shadow, a dot within an immeasurable ever-expanding chain, ambitiously and helplessly plotting my own freedom, devising my own unique identity, imagining an immortality all too mortal. So this is it. A shrug, a sigh and move on.

- Drugs? The great escape.
- Have played with it, but hey, I think sleep is better.

Friday, April 10, 2009

On Touching Space

Reaching out, so that distance
shrinks to a single point
of epiphany, our almost-
faded love is reborn :

Draped in stardust and rose,
A longing no more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hunger

This hunger, almost gentle,
lyrical and mildly intoxicating,
filling my senses in its
attempt to swallow
a greater fulfillment;

This hunger, festering inside
some deep cavern, never
exposed to the sun
of time, hidden as
darkness, absorbed
in its own destiny;

This hunger, pushing
images to the heart
that almost seem
crazy, rude and too
self-important to
be taken seriously-

Making life more real,
this hunger, with its
sparks and booms, perhaps
searching for a greater
life, a greater desire, what
less self-important and
more musical people
would call the consuming
quest for thirst.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A New Story

Softly she taps my shoulder and stands behind me, obstinate. I turn around without apologies, disdain or sympathy, and on seeing her red-nosed sadness-disguised-as-anger, I start giggling like a girl. She laughs, as if it was an infection, and for those few triumphant moments, both of us forget the crazy “I don’t need you” un-promises and ego-challenges that brought us to our knees, rolling in the dust, laughing. Exhausted, we find warmth in the once-sad coldness of our palms, look into the sky, and sigh.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Story

Full moon. Warm and milky. Wheels crunching on gravel, doors opening and closing. Shadows from the flowerbed to the stairs. Cold and hazy.

- Well I'll be off then.

- Stay a while.

A telephone rings from somewhere within the house, a ringing that seems to have it's own time and space, it's own sense of lethargy, a ringing that seems aged and musty, felt and understood only after it stops, like an echo trapped within silence.

- You should go in and rest. And he's probably calling. He might get tensed. I mean, in your condition..

- Kiss me.

- No.

- Kiss me.

- Don't do this. I don't deserve this. You don't deserve this.

A teardrop glistens, the moon inside it. I was calling you a long time back, pushing startled shoppers with my heavy, strong hands, running and slipping and recovering on the carefully scrubbed floor, shouting your name, consciously enjoying the fact that every eye was on me, and following mine, every eye was on you. I couldnt suppress the laugh that came from nowhere I was aware of and could control, some never-to-grow-up part of my heart, and watching your face turn a comical shade of red as I came nearer and nearer only helped it grow. I laughed and laughed and fell on my knees and catching my breath, amidst dozens of baffled, amused, curious people, said I wanted to marry you.

- It's a strange world, isn't it? I still call you my bestfriend. I still call you my bestfriend and my husband buys it. He didn't even feel jealous for a moment. He thinks jealousy is a scar. He thinks jealousy is against his rules of integrity. He will not allow himself to feel jealous or angry or whatever that spoils his ideal of perfect love. I don't understand. I wanted to torment him, I wanted to make him beg for my love, for whatever he wanted. Why couldn't I make him need me? I've been there and he's been there and we've been together but why couldn't I fucking make him need me?

- Don't cry like that. Don't cry like that..

Words become needless entitities sometimes, not because gestures and unsayable emotions replace the necessity, but to make way for a greater want, the desire to hold close and smell every word that has been said before, every word that has led to the moment of realization. She gestured outside, and I followed her, not saying a word and feeling a million soft pinpricks on my forearm, till we hit sunshine and she stood on her toes and kissed me. Kissed me to tell me that all past and future had merged to a present, a wholesome, complete present where all expectations and plans were laid to rest, and all we had was us. Raw, stinking in bits, and happy.

Ten years can seem like a lifetime, but it's always that one moment, the intitial spark and clang and blow and fire that every day holds on to, every day building itself holding a mirror to that first upheaval, the grandest and scariest and fiercest of all. I imagined that she cried beyond exhaustion to satisfy my sense of justice when I left without a word, when her father refused to hear my well-constructed arguments, my insistent promises to keep her happy and prove myself and work harder. It all seems so stupid and adolescent now when I think of it, being a grown-up, practical man with the knowledge of the future in numbers and figures, not something as vague and misleading as words. I rationalize my present by thinking that I tried to toy with presets, I put my heart into changing what was always, and almost pitilessly, not in favour of change. I invested too many emotions into a present that never was, I thought, and I became a practical man, day by day, sleeping dreamless. But it all seems so wrong and meaningless now, her tears falling without a whit of self-restraint, asking me to kiss her. I leaned forward and put my lips against her warm forehead and let it remain there for a moment. Without thinking at all, I fell on my knees, and put my lips on her bulging, animated belly. Past the slightly stretched black cotton T-shirt, past the soft coverings that protect the life inside from the imperfection and the dust, from the absurd injustice destroying and ironically reinventing lives and consciences and priorities, I kissed it. Raw, pure and complete.

- You should go now. My car's getting lonely.

- Come back sometime.

- I'll try.