Friday, December 30, 2011

A drink tonight at 4S.

It takes you a while then you're lost,
In the fog, in the cold,
Looking for love, and literature,
It lets you go. You miss her,
Alone, in a bottom of a drink.
In this bar with laughter,
And failure. No one to sleep with,
But your mind
With song, smoke and sex.
Dogs and dates.
You wish to let go.
Not be remembered.
So you put on your smile
And peel the mask.
Fuck crazy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Notes from sick puppy and more

I wasn’t planning on breaking this made-up rule, but a week ago I went online and purchased my first book. The idea came to me when my mother enraged on seeing a man spit on the road while driving was reminded of a book she had read long ago called the Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen. The premise and character sounded awesome, so I immediately checked with F&F to see if it was still available, but on hearing that it’s out of stock, and being told that it wouldn’t be available in any bookstore across India if it weren’t with them, I decided I might as well click on it.
Before I tell you how delightfully funny the novel is, I ask how furious do you get when random people around you behave outrageously insensitive towards the environment? What do you do with people who litter the streets or threaten to ruin the natural flora and fauna of a place?
Not much, I assume. Most of us who care and want to do more than Facebook activism like whine, curse, fight, strike, take up PhDs or join NGOs are good with causes. But we don’t deal with issues first hand. We don’t teach idiots to be environment friendly with hard lessons and immaculate vendettas.
Not Twilly Spree though — the eco-terrorist with a trust fund. When Spree learns his uncle’s bank has loaned millions to a company to drill holes on the basin of River Amazon he bombs the place with explosives on a holiday. When he sees a man throw garbage out his car window after consuming burgers and milkshake on the highway, he not only stops to pick it up, but dumps an entire truck load of city waste on the litterbug’s hot pink BMW convertible.
Things heat up when Spree gets involved with Florida’s political big shots when he learns that the fate of an unspoilt island is at stake.
Sick Puppy is easy to read, hysterical in most parts and zany from start to finish. The week long wait for it was not the same as the thrill of skipping lunch to save money to buy a book and then doubling back home to read. It was new and different. When the book arrived by post, and that too a day before Christmas, it brought tiding of immense joy, like a gift from a loved one, except that, well, I know I ordered it. But since it came way too early in the morning, while I was fast asleep under layers of blankets, my father, Delhi’s dearest bookseller, missed the irony and paid the bill. I am yet to pay him back.
Book buying has always been awkward affair. I don’t have the liberty to pick books at my fancy, sometimes not even when I offer to pay. Once in a while I am allowed to pick one up on good behaviour or when I make that sick puppy look. Sometimes for the absolute must-haves I secretly go to other bookstores to build my private collection. As for buying books online, I’m going to tweak the rule for good now and buy only those books that are not available. Next on my list is to get a good edition of Carnacki, The Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson, my grandfather’s spooky book which I lost after lending it to someone I broke up with. (Aah, so many books to read, re-read and so little time.) As for now, I wish you a very Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

If only my words could wet your thighs. If only this song could bring you alive. If only a drop of ink could soak this sky. If only I could have you longer than a dream. If only I could sleep tonight..

It's complicated

A long time ago, in our father’s generation, when an average guy finished his education, secured a job, his parents would help him find a match. He would settle down and have children. If he grew up to be rich and successful; that is if he owned a large house, a nice car and wore a good suit, he’d be looked upon as a complete man, a Raymond’s man.
This was a generation bereft of mobile phones, emails, web chats and Facebook. Most guys then had little independence in matters of fashion, lifestyle, disposable income, travel and relationships and were confined to convention. Yet, they became men molded by experience, culture and tradition.
Somehow as time drew, narrow minds broadened, foreign programming streamed through TV screens, food got instantly heated in microwaves, travelling abroad became frequent, clicking on internet for information became faster than holding a thought — the identity of the young guy got lost in the deluge of change. He became the complicated man.
You saw his first avatar in a cold drink ad, which featured a face-off between Shah Rukh Khan and a youth with hunched shoulders, gelled hair and an attitude problem over a can. Today, that dude is everywhere: he’s in the malls, on the streets and even chilling on your sofa. This is who he is.
He is self-indulgent and vain; extremely conscious of his status, influence and affluence. Most of all, he cares for his looks and what clothes he wears. He takes most people for granted. Most of all his parents, who let him do whatever he pleases and with a generous allowance to suffice for their absence.
He has servants for every whim, who have raised him, but he doesn’t know where they come from. He doesn’t like to read books and has friends who haven’t touched one since school. He sports an ‘out of bed’ hairstyle, a designer trimmed beard, waxed chest, owns the latest iPhone, drives a flashy car and has an opinion on all things money can buy. He’s usually fun to hangout with; that is if you like going to clubs, drinking vodka, snorting cocaine and that too on weekday afternoons. His only problem is that he doesn’t know how to talk to girls. Not the ones in Thailand; the ones he meets in cocktail parties.
He wears a lot of perfume and wants to sleep with girls. Has only made out in his car. Sometimes he’ll pick up a eunuch for a blow job. His ideas on sex are summed by years of watching porn. He feels all white women are easy to sleep with. He doesn’t wish to marry, but is sure his wife will be a virgin and indulge in him the way his mother does.
His image of self is usually split into two, a virtual one — like his Facebook profile with a cool picture — and the real one that works overtime to cast this much desired image. In his mind he plays a lead role for a situation comedy show that demands recorded laughter at every punchline and a dramatic twist for every emotional outburst. And when he doesn’t find life to be so, he feels different, misunderstood and disconnected. He also feels cut out for acting.
He likes to fill boring details of his time lost in the glare of an iPod, iPad, BlackBerry and X-Box for constant stimulation, instant gratification. He wants to constantly stay connected with friends, to stay in on this private party where only those with a net connection are invited. He doesn’t care about politics, but will wave the national flag at India Gate for Anna Hazare. He lives for his friends who live for his indulgences. He is unfortunately a grim picture of the youth today. The future of tomorrow. He is the very subject of coolness that Bollywood apes, reality TV shows create, ad-men invent and village boys from across the northern country aspire to be.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On being dumped

I had no intention or design to write or call again. Your message has left me broken much worse than quitting cigarettes. It has also broke some sense in me. I know I crossed the line with you. The mortification it's caused has been unimaginably excruciating.

I wish I were cleverer to have foreseen this, however one tends to lose one's wits and become foolishly optimistic when one's drunk on affection for the other. You would know this if you've ever felt it, even fleetingly for someone else. That's the way I have always behaved with you.

In all these months you've told me how uncool, closed and old you found me. I admit to evading reality and reason for feeling close to you. The impossibility has finally caught up with me. We were on the same page once. You closed the book on me. If you truly meant about still being a friend, forgive me.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

This evening is lost to another memory of yours. The foggy streets of time and ruin don't change. Your prince of gloom hides in the shawl of darkness. He knows you're afraid to love. Afraid to give in to the moon. You're deeper than the ocean; on your surface reflects the soul of those who sink within.
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