Wednesday, February 28, 2007

(The Glimmer Twins with the Simpsons)
You know there's a point in everyone's life when they feel old. Every morning is a hangover, the days endlessly longer and you spend the evening getting stronger. Now a long time back, when I entered this place, I was young and impressionable. My work seemed simpler, I was paid to write about music shows, whisky to wine launches, author interviews, travelling to Bangkok and Macau for fuck all, fashion shows and other fancy stuff you don't mind getting paid for. Now you must understand that this term was short-lived -- nope, there were no fuck-ups on my part. Its just that there's a time and place for everything (what a fucked up cliche), and thus we must always carry on and on. We musn't get carried away into thinking that life's all about the limp-wristed (woe) men, 40 old ma'ams who claim '32 pleez', seriously weird DJs, men blow jobbing cigars, slurring Martinis and painted models and of course the feminist/NGO-type (shy lesbians, I think) Fab India clad blowing corrugated smoke and sharing dirty SMSs -- in believing that their nice, they don't give a shit about you.
The real test for a Page 3 reporter is to do the job: not get sucked into that life. It's quite cool while it lasts: important people from hotel owner to the guy who gives you a towel in the loo -- all sound sweetly pretentious. But before you smirk-grin and give that Madhur Bhandakar film Page 3 flashing on your TV-mind screen, I ask you to pause. Of course its true, as it strings many real episodes -- but damn, not everything happens in one party.
It's largely the same circuit that does round, no matter where you go. The same smiles, the same drills of air-kissing, the same one-liners, the same 'sweetheart, don't call me a socialite. I'm an entrepreneur', photo options, designations and writing a stupid 150 words.
Over the years, I think I've managed to enter every fucking whisky bar in the city. Interviewing their owners about how close they keep to the law and what people they let in to hang in and about. None of what they say is true, of course. But there's coolness in asking a question to hear a fucking lie.
There's also a clear-stupid law that exists in all drinking holes of our sweet fucked up city -- if you're 18 you can step in to one. If you're hanging around for a considerable time -- say 25 years old in there -- you get a permit to drink. It doesn't make sense, but who follows it? I get drunk, and in my unapologetic drunken stupor make faces at the admittance board that's framed in every place. Guess what everybody respects that.
Boy you should be there. Hookers, pimps, peddlers, wannabes, sluts -- there's a designation for everyone. But you have to keep level-minded, then there's trust. You have to build that with the guy who lets you in. You can't fuck around -- trust me: you don't want to fuck around.
'Clubbing' is as mixed up as the darn thing sounds. You need company to go with you, the company you will get will be a buch rich-spoilt idiots who will like to blow their folks money and despite the stubborn world they'll put forth, will chime 'mumma & puppa' on the breakfast table next morning. You have to willingly part with some Rs 5,000 grands to not even get drunk and keep a few hundred spare for the cop who sits right outside, on the bend of the road, to charge you for drunken driving.
Few places exist -- the trauma-drama life of a watering hole lasts for only 9 months. If it manages to outlive that then, then the village mafia of the neighbouring states make sure it comes crashing. Women hunting -- I mean, of course, harmless-teasing-hunting, means you're waiting to be hung like a cut up goat. Whoa, no chances.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Its 3 in the morning. From what I recollect, I have had three glasses of wine, one neat gulp of beer, two cigarettes, one milk-less tea, Neil Young's Old Laughing Lady, a book that has just passed me by -- all in the course of this evening -- to leave me all alone to write.
At this moment, I know that apart from me, the only awake is the colony night guard. The sound of the metallic thud and those shrill whistles as he does his rounds.
It's Saturday evening again -- evening, I would still like to call it.
They rubbish words; they fill their sense; they create pain; they pass a drink; they find it unacceptable; they ensure process of death and stop; they ask what's wrong; they reassure when down; they bring the night; they kill in the morning with ink.
It shouldn't be happening now. But if it must, it really must.

Friday, February 23, 2007

After a while
You can't tell
If it's missing
A woman
Or needing
A Cigarette.
And later on
If it's night
Or day.
Then suddenly
You know
The time
You get dressed
You go home
You light up
You get married.

(Leonard Cohen, A Book of Longing)
Its quite late now, as I sit to write. Perhaps not too late, but late enough. I didn't intend to write this evening -- and as I write, I'm wondering. Wondering why I'm still writing; now, despite knowing that I wasn't meant to write tonight. It's strange, I think, as I sit to write, on a late evening, with a mind that couldn't write, on not wanting to write, but still writing.
So many things running on my mind -- perhaps like shadows falling on huge stones, before those dreary afternoons. Too many distractions. Too many unpleasant realities hovering around. It's all sorted though in a twisted sense. Will tell you when it comes into one story, albeit there's nothing to tell. Not even a Morality Play with Philip Marlowe in the end.
Hmm... so what were you saying?

Monday, February 19, 2007

I suppose I live in a secretive fashion. Its something I've developed over the years. I leave people close to me to wonder; some walk straight out of my life in impatience, some understand this very well. It is impossible to say if I am an introvert, I just fancy being aloof. It gets a little lonely, perhaps this is why I'm a misanthrope-of-sorts who still continues to experiment and make friends and expects wounds. Most times people disappoint me. I feel a dark moon encircling me, an inexplicable hate meandering, and as I reason, I see a little relevance in their struggle for existence. I try not being careless, I'm understanding -- but there's little commitment. Its strange, lost in my random thoughts whispering -- I think I'm a thinker, but then I'm not devoted enough to say, that it works on a very mathematical or scientific accord. Its all strange you know -- muddled up -- and then of course you don't know what I mean, would you? My fascination and horror lying in perversity. Who knows maybe you do.
Soap -- the Delhi's first child of a blues band -- is pretty close to neat. Saturday evening, and I found myself there in the Blues House. The vocalist is a cute girl with a pretty voice, sackful of attitude though somehow. I've been fascinated by their music since some time. They have their good moments and if you let them play a bit longer you might agree with me. I've been through some really shitty shows of there's though -- have been very sharp on criticism in my reviews as well -- and I think they hate me for that. I like to provoke it, I guess, I figure: they have a shitty playlist actually. They'll do good I profess.
The band has great potential -- they've got the coolest guitarist; in the years to come he will prove to be a really neat player. They do Pride and Joy and Stormy Mondays well. The harp is good to hear -- and I won't say its exceptional -- but it does make the blues sound more real.
And I stepped out after that, roamed about to find my cousin who was at Lodhi. Some party, I figures as shitty music from the background poured from the phone conversation and I pushed myself there. It was a party at Alliance Francaise, the new director they got -- naive I know -- decided to throw open a party with free booze to Delhi (some invitation though). Any respectable would know how not-good an idea like this is, anyway why do I bicker.
Got inside, the guard played the fool in the beginning, and I met the crew on the dance floor where most of their exhibitions are usually held. Lot of crowd inside I saw. A motley mix though, heck of a lot of whites and a strange lot comprising scums of Elevate let loose.
Being in this beautifully fucked up city, there were of course more men than women around -- fucking uncool. Self tried to find some eyes, but everywhere he looked a chick was taken. Was too tired, and the music was loud to even attempt, besides the drink was settling in. And even if there was a chick that was feeling cool enough to dance solitary, there were four random fuckers getting an orgasm dancing around her -- not even with her -- butt-rubbing each other in delight. And you know they weren't, evidently like that. Truly what a pity it is.
The beer was being -- for some very strange reason -- served in wine glasses. There seemed some desperation that roamed in and about the corridors. Time to leave.

Monday, February 12, 2007

In a room

Gold Flake Kings cigarettes, Dylan songs, office darn lemon tea, rickety autos, Raymond Chandler to Kurt Vonnegut to Samuel Beckett, beer drinking, obscure humour, love and those pair of eyes, late night sleeping, surreal dreams, witty unsaid quotes, random Delhi music shows, red embers of hate, English literature, sinking and blogging, the riffs of blues, flashes from The Master and Margarita, Sympathy for the Devil and Exile, castles of vanilla and clouds in the sky, card houses of hopes, visiting Kerouac, ghost of Orwell, Dickens gloom, poetically versed Cohen and Beautiful Losers, and I The Outsider, God and Nietzsche, those Enid Blyton childhood, now Elvis leaving the building, more brass tiles loosening on the wooden plank, hidden meanings in simple honesty, Howl howling, dream burning as a morning on a horizon, sad train journeys, sense of loss, suitcase but no travel, Barista coffees on hangovers, newspaper print, existentialism, the sheer fear of whores, selling souls, words, wisdom, wit, thirst of a river, lust of a green sea, rain and wind, songs, lies, thighs, mysteries, ironies and sadness, and burning with zippo, and this on and on.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Its blissful, for a moment I found eternal love on a cloudy romantic night sky. I wish you could be with me. Really. If you had stepped with me on the terrace of my home. I would have just shown you the coolest most pleasant breeze. It seemed to answer every timidest question meandering on my unsettled mind. The cigarette seemed the sweetest, lamplights torched the wet streets and I thought I saw the dreams of the sleeping colony collecting to a misty eyed cloud. I heard the music of a thousand tiny drops of rainwater dripping from the moistened leaves, while the words filled in my mind. I felt I saw solitude meeting her only friend in the most secretive fashion, in the darkest corner of the horizon. I felt I knew what it was meant to be; what it felt to be from being quiet for a very long time, to know how different a laughter of happiness could be strange and not perturbing. What a lovely evening this is, I wish you were there while I felt the oldest romance escaping the room where a lonely ray of morning hides.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A friend passed this on to me. Whenever I've had a chance, I've read Dave Barry. Now he's a columnist like everyone wants to be. Funny and read all the time. Here it goes on the women's most coveted magazine in the universe, Cosmo...:

When I'm in the supermarket checkout line, I always look at Cosmopolitan magazine to see if the editors have made any progress in their ongoing effort to figure out men. I'm sure you're familiar with Cosmopolitan ("Fun-Fearless-Female"). It's the one with the cover that always has a picture of a woman who looks as though she has a prestigious and rewarding executive career as a hooker. Roughly half the articles in Cosmopolitan are devoted to explaining how you, the Cosmo reader, can make yourself look like the cover model. All you have to do is follow the two-step Cosmo Beauty Regimen:

Using a combination of fun and fearless beauty procedures such as the Eyebrow Yank, the Hot Wax Torture, the Hydrochloric Acid Skin Peel, the Hoover Vacuum Home Spleen Removal, the Cage of Thigh-Eating Wolverines and the Industrial Drain Cleaner Enema, you remove all of the physical elements that make you unattractive, such as your fat, hair, skin, fingerprints and internal organs. At this point, you are essentially a skeleton with eyeballs, or, to put it another way, Ally McBeal.

You smear your entire self with a complex system of foundations, bases, creams, lotions, gels, powders, moisturizers, conditioners, mousses, sprays, mascaras, eyeliners, lip glosses, enzymes, lacquers, organic papaya-enhanced roofing tars, etc., until you are encased inside an impenetrable layer of beauty products thick enough that there is no way for anybody to tell, without giving you a CAT scan, what you actually look like. You could be a Shetland pony under there. Once you have achieved this fun and female "look," it's time for you to get started on the other topic that is discussed endlessly in Cosmopolitan:
Figuring out what men want. It's a tough one! Cosmopolitan editors wrestle with it day and night, and they're constantly announcing new breakthroughs. Pick up any issue, and you'll see articles like:
"23 Ways to Drive Him Wild in Bed!"
"127 Ways to Make Him Want to Get Naked Right in the Foyer!"
"387 Ways to Make Him Completely Lose Biological Control of Himself While He Is Still in the Driveway"
Over the decades, Cosmopolitan has printed literally thousands of sure-fire techniques for driving men insane with passion. If these techniques actually worked, by now the entire male population of the United States would have been wiped out by lust, literally exploding into little mushroom clouds of vaporized bodily fluids. But this has not happened, except in the case of President Clinton.
The problem, I think, is that Cosmopolitan is making this issue way more complicated than it actually is. I mean, we're talking about MEN here. You don't need rocket science to drive them wild in bed. All you need to do is to get in there with them. Or, leave them alone for a while. Because men don't need much. Using a complex, sophisticated technique to get a man excited is like preparing a gourmet French meal for a Labrador retriever.
So I think Cosmopolitan is trying too hard. In fact, it may be doing women more harm than good. For example, the August issue has a feature titled "What to Say to Make Him Ache for You-Whisper these frisky phrases if you wish to drive him wild." One of the frisky phrases Cosmopolitan advises you to whisper to men is - really - "We'd better hurry home, because at midnight I turn into a vixen." This frisky phrase might actually alarm the man, especially if he knows that the dictionary defines "vixen" as "an ill-tempered, shrewish woman." Basically, you're telling the man he could suddenly find himself in bed with Lorena Bobbitt. Another frisky phrase suggested by Cosmopolitan is – get ready – “My bikini waxer went a little overboard." Listen, women: If you actually say those words to a man, he's going to assume you want him to take you to the emergency room.
So my advice to the editors of Cosmopolitan is: Just drop this subject for a while. Trust me: even without technical advice from you, your women readers will have no trouble getting men excited, as long as the men are aware (and believe me, they are) that the women, underneath their clothes, are not wearing clothes.
And consider this: If you Cosmopolitan editors stopped obsessing about men, you could focus your brainpower on the Middle East peace process, health care, Social Security or the federal budget surplus. I bet you could give us some important insights into these issues! Or at least tell us how to drive them wild in bed.

Dave Barry
Washington Post Magazine

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

To be honest with you, getting old worries me. On March stupid 7 I will be 21. Will soon be stepping out of college I had never attended. Now I know you sweet folks have done that and you might be tch-tching as you read this. But for me its quite worrying as I write this to you. The past 3 years have gone by quite quickly. But when I think of certain dates it reminds of endless hours. I wouldn't say they were too hard; but they weren't too easy as well.
Being the youngest in office wasn't easy. I had many frowning upon me thinking how long will this kid actually last here. All quite humbly believing that it will take a couple of months to get rid of me, but I sort of stuck around. I quite liked it actually. Being all that 30 when you're 20, smoking cigarettes and sipping sweet tea with them, talking all that Kafka to Stones. It's given a lot, I confess, sometimes wonder what I could've done with all that. Many assume amongst my age-lot that I've been fortunate. I can't for the life of me say I have not. I lucked out with time. I swear I've had hard times as well, its not easy to sustain all that pressure they overfeed you with a spoon that turns your intestines. But despite all that gray, black and white dressing, I realise that getting older is more about shaving twice as more often or appearing intelligent to lot that have read thrice as more with time.
Its pretty cool to see, over the years, older kids come knocking around the doors hoping to make a career out of print. I never even thought of it this way, I just put my head down and counted the tiles not wondering too much. It went pretty hunky-dory to guide and teach a few lessons, all that advice shit and see how they go over the drill that I learnt at 18. I can't boast that I learnt all those remarkable too fast. It took its own sweet time. I still find tears left in my eyes when I see that my stories hacked next mornings. After all they used to do that then as well, but I thought I had gotten a lot better. But that you really can't help, I suppose till you're an ed. There are still good and bad weeks. What happens if I lose it all?
I suppose the fears are concerning hopes and dreams that pile up, one peak there and you find 30 darn more one's to climb. It never seems to rest.
Now I'll have to start applying soon, as soon as college studying finishes. Wonder will I be able to pull it off, this work in the new impending age; or was it just enough remarkable that I could sustain all this then. Its a bit intimidating at the thought of it. The older you get the responsibilities pile up like shit man. Now since its a duty thing, you don't want to be a loser to run away from them.
And I thought getting older was cooler. That's a fucking paradox.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Its the usual time of thinking. After dinner, after the numbing lemon tea, after the last smoke, before getting to read -- to write whatever I can manage. Suppressing my fit of anger and unhappiness, the mindless wanderings of peaceful dreams, the women I love but never attained, those scraps of conversations replaying over the forgetting week, the resistance to restrain the belief of all existing nature. The reason to graduate and understand every difficult unattempted whim. The hopes and the fears.
I've affirmed quite clearly that an existentialist is a child of circumstances, as opposed to any noted stumbling attempts or battling philosophical situations.
Its all beautiful. The Neruda poems. The maps. Water in every literal form. The written word, even if it spells f-u-c-k. The songs and their music. This misunderstand able reason to swim through torrents of meaningless, beguiling time, and what for? But to see a smile beneath the endless sky and above the bed of sunflowers and seas. The line where only closed eyes can see. What a wonderful world. The charcoal sketch framed hung in front of me, the listless set of unread books around the room, the velvet-seeming curtains, the perfumes, the grief for Achilles' death, the dying winter outside the window, the chaos hidden in simple mysteries, the single-legged lamp with a twisted shade, the poster of Cobain fallen on a drum set, the empty bottles of wines, school-house photograph boasting forgotten pride and innocence. Neil Young and his "gone, gone, damage done". There is no hope for any of you, if you don't know what you will think next. Everyone needs a Virginia Woolf death once in a while, if not more, as I come to understand. Surely poetical, this darn ramblings. Play the blues now...
Play the blues the way Buddy Guy did, or does, your politics here is free to design. Thursday evening, the Old Man and I attended our first show together. In an extremely unfamiliar way it was damn cool.. For me to see Buddy Guy was this surrealists-effing dream. A legend that's cheated time, Guy remains the last original tribe of American blues artists today. Heard him so long through the speakers, I though he was immortal in pictures and CD covers with Johnson, Hooker, Waters and Dixon. But was overwhelmingly mistaken.
The genius could do anything with the guitar. It was a pity what I overheard, some miserable fucking hack -- some jackass, of course, while interviewing him must have made a mess by not knowing any of his music. Buddy Guy played it pretty cool, fearing New Delhi knows no blues (although it doesn't, it still does a bit). He made everyone miss Mustang Sally though, but gave the briefest introduction by paying a tribute to the blues other legends. A simple matter of intrigue what this man can do with aguitar (he played Hendrix, like Hendrix).
Watching him play a few songs, fate had me trickling some embarrassing tears, it was a dream realising to see him produce the finest blues music ever will be heard live again. Sure is a pity -- Clapton sucks now miserably, after selling his soul to the commercial devil on a effing highway in a metropolitan mall -- that there aren't many exploring this genre without not helping to die. Just to watch him convinced me, damn, 71, you're a fucking god-sent Mephistopheles with an electric guitar. All the beer in my mind, and all the traces of nicotine on my lips, alas, its time to be forced in having a haircut. But what could I do without you.
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