Gaizabonts is Dead; Long Live Gaizabonts

Is patheticity a word?

Derived from the root, “to be pathetic”?

Frankly, I don’t care. It matters not also, if any of you agree or disagree. My earlier post crossed the limit of patheticity. I asked if it was a word, because i could not find it in any of the traditional dictionaries. But, thank God for Urban Dictionaries: “Patheticity: The pure and utter state of being pathetic.

That’s the state, if you haven’t already guessed, of this blog. See how pathetic it is—I am transferring my state to the blog. That inert, complying, obedient medium which has served for over a decade. Uncharacteristic but expressive. It took anything that I threw at it and let the world know what I was thinking, feeling. It served me well for a dozen years. I am calling it pathetic.

There surely must be some limits to the depths of patheticity. I have crossed them. I am ashamed to admit that I am the one who is pathetic. I have driven words away, mauled sentences, and mocked paragraphs. I have abused these devices of expression in wild stupor; living in the sense of what once was. Every sentence I write here is a string of disconnected words that have been banished. Their absence highlights the hollowness of each letter I type.

Enough, enough now.

Expression is not the prime purpose of our life. Not that we know what the prime purpose of our life is. And when you cannot find expression (given that it is not the prime purpose of our life) – you might as well not express.

2685: Convergence

This is the last post on Gaizabonts.

It wasn’t always like this. I wrote well, once upon a time. Many people liked it, related to what I wrote. Many is relative; in my case, it means: handful. Of those handful, hardly any of the many drive around here. That is why, I am not going to delete this blog. I will just leave.

Lest you think that I am bitter—let me tell you I am not bitter. At all. I am sad, yes. So long an association is not easy to walk away from. I walk away with my feet as heavy as lead. But I have to. I cannot linger for hope in place engulfed by darkness; where light comes to me in lightening-time, and leaves me in lightening-time.

It has been a good ride. Thank you all for joining.

Maybe, we will meet, some other way. Good bye.

Gaizabonts is dead. Long live Gaizabonts.

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Instead of Writing …

Instead of writing, may be I should draw something. Hmm. Here’s a box.

A Box

Why? I do not know. I just felt like a box. A box is nice especially when it encloses a gift. It’s not such a good thing when it encloses us. Some may say that a box is not good; it limits. Others may say that a box is good; it defines. Be what it may be, a box is just a box. It has no agenda. It seeks nothing. It’s a box and it continues being a box.

A box may make us happy or sad, but the box itself doesn’t feel anything. I like boxes. After I take out the things that come in these boxes, I never throw the boxes away.

Boxes come in a few colours. But, most boxes are brown. A dull uniform brown. I think, boxes should be made in many, many colours. Boxes don’t feel anything. So it won’t matter to them, what colour they are. But colourful boxes will make those who make boxes, happy. As well as those who receive these colourful boxes. Boxes travel a lot.

Boxes are cool.

I Want To Be A Poem

Poetry is changing my life.

Wait!!!

Most of the poets you know, I don’t know. I can assure you that. Most of the poetry you know, I don’t know. I can assure you that, too. Don’t ask me any questions. As yet.

As of now, one poet has consumed my entire consciousness. And to understand this poets’s poetry, I am reading poems by other poets. I am learning structure. (Which is not easy, I can assure you that too). Hate it when Maths comes in, even in poetry (Metre). Gaah!

*

Rhythm is important in life. Whether you are dancing or humming along. I do not know how my DNA got bound; I have no sense of rhythm. I should have got it right, even with my two left feet, given my lineage. For now, let’s blame it on environmental factors.

*

I wish I had paid more attention in class, 30-odd years ago. But it matters less. Learning without context is as good as not learning at all. Perhaps, poetry makes sense after you have seen enough sh*t in life.

*

It reminds me how much I love her. Though, the poem that I study, has nothing to do with love. Or, does it?

Pink Abstraction

*

And you love me too
Your thoughts are just for me
You set my spirit free
I’m happy that you do

The book of life is brief
And once a page is read
All but love is dead
This is my belief

~ Don McLean, And I Love you So

But, then, love never had to worry about boundaries and categories and structures. Thankfully.

Thank you, dear poem.

As Expected: An Experience

Happy New Year!

If you’ve read my previous post, I am happy to let you know that I stuck to going with the flow. In more than one way.

As expected, no earth-shattering revelations occurred. We already know what we need to do. Whether we want to do it, is another question. There is no self-discovery, really, there is only self-acceptance. We don’t need a place to go to, to discover ourselves. Discovery is incremental. Accepting what we discover, is the real requirement.

As expected, I haven’t committed (much) to what I already know. I dislike the pressure. The guy who left early on 31st, is pretty much the same guy who returned after the long weekend. In the sense of discovering and knowing; there’s disappointment, i.e. if some change was expected.

As expected, I went with the flow. I did not interfere with any bookings, travel plans, timings. I went along where everyone went. When they went. Once, I skipped seeing a monument that was scheduled early morning. I even spontaneously (ah, with some coaxing from my friend) changed my return plans.

As expected, I enjoyed the four days to the fullest. Some things, I wasn’t extremely pleased about, but I did not let that bother me. I had great conversation with all, made new friends, learnt a lot. About things. I laughed. Loud. A lot. Once in a while things went south. We took care of it, and then; laughed.

As promised (in the previous post), this is a photo that I took. It's not that same building, but it's the same place

As promised (in the previous post), this is a photo that I took. It’s not that same building, but it’s the same place

Some not-so-nice things also added to this experience. I am glad that we all took it in our stride; even if it scared the shit out out of us. I don’t think anyone of us said: sh*t! We just took care of things.

We just took care.

I saw my friends in new light. I am proud, that they call me a friend.

*

An experience is just an experience. The qualifier — good or bad — is our making. We screw our happiness by isolating and focusing on the bad ones. Not that they aren’t real. They are as real as the laugh that you had, that put that knot in your stomach.

We have to learn to embrace them all.

*

That’s my attitude towards 2016. No segregation. No good or bad. Because, I’ve learnt one thing, if nothing: even when sh*t happens, we can laugh. Continue laughing. Make stories. Increase our CQ (Cool Quotient). We can be happy, afraid, angry, [add your own mix here] at the same time.

[Inset] I know now, what I have been missing. [Inset]

No more, pulling back. Happy 2016, and many such years.

Of Courtly and Carnal Love

A while ago, I was wondering, “What’s Underlying In The Underline” — a description of a conflict, of writing in books. Marginalia, to be precise and its various cousins.

Recently, Amit tagged me in a tweet:

My instinctive reaction was: NO!

I’ll admit, however, since my last post, however, I’ve been doing more of underlining (neatly) and making small notes in the margins (good handwriting), in pencil only.

Then, Rob Burdock, got into the conversation. We exchanged a few tweets, and the conversation, though short, was very sweet and interesting. Rob, then shared an essay with me. I read it.

[Imagine a very long pause. A really long pause.]

Sacred Games
Given the length of the essay, it is the most compelling essay I have ever read. I felt an urgent need to return to my books and underline and add notes to all the books I have ever read. An almost impossible task, given the books I have read. A few days ago (i.e. before I read this essay), I was reading a book, for an article I have been researching for my latest adventure — The Custodians. I was quite excited about the topic and I began slashing underlines defiantly, adding notes here and there, circling dates and names of them, who caused history. It was as if, I was myself of fifteen years ago, copy-editing a storyboard. (I know it is hard to believe). Just four pages down, I felt an acute pain, heavily underlined by a new-found guilt. I could no more do it. I went back to the first page, erased all the graffiti (yes, it was a pencil), and calmly restarted marking the lines neatly, slowly, with care. Therefore, the book isn’t finished and my neat markup continues; needless to say, the article is delayed.

And then, couple of days ago, I read this essay. I shared it with The Bum. He agreed wholeheartedly with me.

I don’t know about you, but if you love books, this essay is a must read. If nothing, at least to know the idea behind the title of this post.

Download the PDF of “Never Do That To A Book” by Anne Fadiman. And many thanks to Rob!

Of My Starcrossed Shin

There are so many stories of star-crossed lovers. Bollywood movies use the theme so often, that it has become predictable. It’s, of course, the stars that determine the crossing, and the crossing is real, not obvious, and it repeats. Yet the lovers, never come together, ever. Legendary love stories are made of these: Romeo-Juliet, Laila-Majnu, Shiri-Farhad. Where you are from, I am sure you have a story of your own star-crossed lovers.

Odd-bowl

A friend, who strongly believes in destiny, offered me this advice: don’t search for love or try to make it happen. The knots are divine and we will end up with whoever we are destined to be with. As much as I wished it wasn’t true, I kept quiet, that evening. The divinity theory didn’t work in my favour. I was looking for this one girl to be my soulmate, forever and forever. All my effort to woo her seemed so futile. I continued to not believe in that theory and I continued to woo her. (Nothing came out of it)

I am older and wiser now, and this divinity theory makes sense.

*

My shin, and any furniture, in any place, of that height — keep meeting each other. Passionately. Neither the shin nor the teapoy realise, that I get hurt in the process. If it was romantic, they’d just pass each other, and wonder why they felt the need to look back.

Not my shin. Not the teapoy. They passionately bump into each other, to meet again. And again. And again.

They are living out their destiny. But, for me, it pains like hell!

Yes, I Said

There’s this joke.

Smith is in his club and he’s alone, except for one other person. Trying to be sociable, Smith asks the person, “Can I buy you a drink?” “No,” says the person. “I tried it once and didn’t like it.” “Oh,” says Smith. “Well, would you like to shoot some pool with me?” “No,” says the man. “I tried it once and didn’t like it. “Well, how about a game of bridge?” “No,” says the man, again. “I tried it once and didn’t like it. Besides, my son is coming soon.”

“Ah,” says Smith, “your only son, I presume?”

*

I’ve been blogging for eleven years now, and have never attended a bloggers’ meet. For the life of me, I cannot recall why. It’s not that I have not been invited. There’s enough email from various organisations to keep you busy for life, if you choose to attend these events. I think, I just didn’t bother. Finally, last week, I said yes. It was an event sponsored by Renault India for their new MPV – Lodgy, and was organised by Blogadda. God knows I had much to do last weekend, yet, I couldn’t get myself to say no. Here’s why.

Driving
Photography
Blogging

In Goa, in the rains.

All the things I love, in the place that I love.

10003622_10155685925930573_1395717160633182100_o

And planning for the event began. I noticed stalwart bloggers who were attending. Largely a young lot, writing for specific audiences, created niches for themselves, and successfully making careers by blogging. Famous people, award-winning folks (and not just peer-awarded awards; serious ones). Very unlike me. In spite of the obvious trepidation, I prepared to go. Flight leaves Friday afternoon.

*

It’s Thursday night. I am meeting a friend after many years. She is in town to attend a wedding, on Friday. We crunch time and find a late dinner slot to catch up. It’s raining heavily, traffic is disrupted. We catch up on lost times, further crunching five years in a little over five minutes. Done and dusted. Back to the present. I tell her about the event. She is all smiles. We talk of the yes philosophy. I’ve changed my default, I tell her, but I don’t tell her about the dread gnawing at my decision. We talk of inherent trust. We are talking about books, but it makes sense to me in a unique way. A great conversation. A wonderful evening. We stay as long as the restaurant allowed us.

*

Friday morning. The city is at a standstill. Mumbai has hit the monsoon jackpot. Traffic isn’t moving, flights are delayed. A few; cancelled. Instead of worrying, I am smiling to myself. My worst case is I’ll miss my flight. The gnawing dread is laughing out loud. Enjoy, I tell it. I leave early. Very early. Road’s empty. It’s an automatic holiday because everyone is off the roads. I reach the airport two hours before the flight. Everything goes well. Flight is delayed for a bit. Soon, I am in Goa. Memories gush, just like the rain.

First love. First bicycle. First camera.

Most of the other bloggers know each other. I am the only one, I discover, who is attending such an event for the first time. My conversations with them are insipidly introductory. It will change, I tell myself. We are here for a couple of days. If I had attended earlier events, I’d know some of them. It’s never too late. A good event is only as good as it is organised. As we register ourselves, I feel this one is going to be good.

48 hours have gone by. [This part needs more posts; cannot do justice in a single post] We are on our way back home.

I’ve made some very good friends. Interesting people. Lovely conversations. Far from insipid and bland, in fact, quite spicy. Do you know the origin of the word spice? [The culprit in all this is the Latin noun species. From it the English language derives a whole family of words — ‘special’, ‘specification’, ‘species’, ‘especially’ and so on — as well as ‘spice’. […] In Roman usage species quite often implied value and in time it acquired an even more ‘specific’ meaning. ~ The Spice Route: A History, by John Keay]

Wonderfully organised and executed event. I’ve enjoyed the weekend completely. Especially the drive. [But, that’s another post, for another day, elsewhere].

On our way back, I can’t but thank myself for saying yes. For more than one reasons. First, the experience. Second, because I know I don’t belong here. It’s like Edison, I think, said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Third, and perhaps the most important, it has refined my belief about blogging.

Not to say that I’ll never attend an event ever again — I will — but I’ll, perhaps, have a better sense of curation.

What was once an assumption, is now a fact. It’s better that way.