I willed the bus to go faster.
I wasn’t in a hurry, the couple, standing in the space for the buggies and the wheelchair, really needed to be elsewhere. Eventually, they got down. I was happy. For them and for me. I wouldn’t need to count tile-flakes on the bus floor, avoiding eye-contact.
I was reminded of “Duncan”, by Paul Simon:
Couple in the next room
bound to win a prize:
they’ve been going at it all night long!
Well, I’m tryin’ to get some sleep
but these motel walls are cheap:
Lincoln Duncan is my name,
and here’s my song, here’s my song.
It was an interesting day, I had had. One thing led to another and all that we were led to, was proof of life; tomorrow was worth all the troubles of today.
One exciting and animated conversation was aborted when we arrived at Victoria. People must have been watching me, my mate was probably relieved at seeing the doors open (for me) at Victoria. Thirty-six free newspapers lay on the floor on the connecting tube on my way home. News isn’t the purpose anymore – when most people don’t pay for news. The problem with free, is the problem of choice – the lack of it. Paper is environmentally friendly, waste it as you please. Waste anything that’s bio-degradable.
A fellow blogger and I have had arguments about translations. Which reminded me, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mahalaxmi Iyer’s song, “Bol Na Halke Halke” is in-translatable. Yet there was this question of how I would tell you the experience of that moment.
I wouldn’t dare translate it in English. Watch it.
If you don’t know the language, just think of the moon, its light, how you would steal it; light threads on a beautiful night, of being shy, in your lover’s arms, speaking softly, kissing softly. Trading all night with the currency of dreams, how two-three words took ages to be uttered, their simplicity not withstanding. Perhaps, asking her why I took so long to say the most simplest of the phrases – I love you. She saying, I always knew.
But, suffice it, for now, that even a tomb is a possible sign of love. A signature. The final expression of a love that has been and will remain forever. I have seen many benches in parks in the UK that I have treated with respect. So small in structure, so heavy in expression.
So, while, “Bol Na Halke Halke” (Say it, softly, softly) rings in my ears, I pick on of the thirty-six newspapers on the floor. The newspaper is an instant flashing view of the world around me. Personally, I have been too disappointed with newspapers to give them any credit. Yet, out of habit, I pick this one newspaper that survives on advertisements – and sells for nought.
The world in your two hands for nought.
“Britney must survive on GBP 745 a week”
“LA gangs come to London”
Then an advertisement at the bottom of the newspaper: “YOU could be the next Mayor of London!”
I am immune. Another fellow blogger wonders why I never comment on her posts. She writes about things that are socially relevant – to you and me. To the world that we live in. She makes sense. Perhaps she may understand, now. 2 billion pounds is the amount that, “Churches, mosques, synagogues and other faith communities” contribute to the economy. (We are talking only UK here)
I am 22 pages past, “The God Delusion.” I have to stop. The book questions my ‘acquired beliefs” and those that I held as true.
Just below the above excerpt, a model admits she is “addicted to cheeseburgers – and that’s the real reason she quit Los Angeles to return home.”
Why does Britney have to survive on $1500 a week? Father now controls her spending, but they did allow her to have a credit card, “so she can have her freedom and make choices about how to enjoy her life.” Right. She earns the money, you get to control it. And only because her behaviour is unacceptable. When you buy your next CD – you know who is getting the money. Be aware, small changes around us. Like Britney? Pay her father. She doesn’t deserve it, the immoral calf. A moral code. Your moral code. Her father’s moral code. The social code.
It is 31 degrees C in Goa, India. The heat is on. Scarlett Keeling’s murder. They covered it, we covered, they were negligent, we screwed up, they screwed up, let’s have intellectual fog in 31 degrees. Fog. Any fog is nice.
Responsibility. Rather assignment of responsibility. What is responsibility? Who is?
Brian Paddick promises not to have high rises in London. Ken promises more. Ken promises cycles for free (first 30mins only) in London. Green. Whatever happened to the phrase – paint the town red. We will soon see a different colour. Let’s borrow two bikes for 30 mins. Let’s paint the town green. Cities yearning to be a village.
I am now a believer. I wasn’t, before. I believe: global warming is a serious problem. It is a problem of extreme magnitude. The amount of attention we give to this problem obscures the real problems. Poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, disparity, urban crowding, cultural misunderstanding, and such. Global warming affects us all. It blinds us to the real problems that truly affect us all.
Budget is due – the highlight – it is a green budget. “Despite fears that voters are losing interest in eco-friendly issues, he [Alistair Darling] will target high-street chains such as John Lewis in the greenest ever budget.” Oh, and of course, “Above-inflation rises on cigarettes and alcohol.”
The new open-source toy that we discovered. Open and indifferent to abuse. “3m – the amount of plastic waste (in tonnes) generated annually in the UK.”
But enough about the newspaper. Your newspaper doesn’t look any different. And you know so, yet we fight about issues.
The mood is discordant. The music in my ears, “Bol Na Halke Halke” (now on repeat) is incongruent with the world I live in. I see movies like “Love, Actually” and the next morning I step into a different world. I have been to Heathrow more times than I have ever taken a flight. (here is some trivia for you – I have never been received at Heathrow) I have my own scenes of people meeting their loved ones (think: last scene of Love, Actually) and that has been far better than the ‘voice-overed’ scenes of the film as true as they may be. Yet, the constant “will destroy your unattended luggage; don’t smoke here; report suspicious items” announcements are as real as the tears of the grandmother seeing her grandchild for the first time. Believe me, 99% of people I receive at the airport turn up 45 minutes later than they are supposed to. I get to see many scenes. So many scenes of people meeting people as they cross boundaries.
We know all is real. All is important. Why this dissonance? How do we survive this simultaneous irony? Did we miss something? Something important?
In an effort to set the world right, we are living in a world that is terribly going wrong.
PS: Earlier bouts occurred here