The Persistent Witness

I refused to even look at him. Those piercing eyes. That gaze that could see through, and within me. I’ve known him for a long time. He has been a constant companion. An intimate companion, I may add. More than anyone else. As I say this, I feel, I may be misrepresenting. He is not “out” there. Not outside of me. He is within. I do not know when, but I stopped listening to him. Stopped talking to him.

Towards the Sky

He is my witness. But, I don’t want him to see. I have become so good at hiding it from others. How do I make him not see? I’ll drop thick drapes between us. I’ll hide in rooms, behind locked doors. Big locks. Magnetic. Electronic. Yet, he is here, right in front of me.

I see my reflection in the mirror and I wonder if it is mine. I am me, he is reflection. Then, there is no escaping. When I dine alone, when I drive alone, there’s that presence. His. Chatterbox. Talks of all that I do not care to listen, or even hear.

Yackity yackity yack. Yada yada yada. And for good measure; blah, blah, blah!

But, welcome back old friend, even if I have no use for you anymore. I will not turn you away.

Just stay out of my mind and away from my mirror.

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Vada Pav and Tapri Chai

The staple day-food of almost everyone who works in the field in Mumbai. It’s not an alien concept to me. I have lived this life, for almost four years, early in my career. It’s easily available and its cheap. When you don’t have a lot of money and time, it’s the perfect combination.

Having the Vada Pav and Tapri Chai, we’d gaze at the fancy hotels and say, someday. That someday came soon enough, and the days of gobbling Street food before the next appointment, were a thing of the past. Then came the era of fancy street food. Overpriced, badly cooked street food that was promoted through Facebook events. I visited those too, hated the food, and returned home slightly disappointed.

Most people I’d meet wanted to have breakfast meetings, in fancy air-conditioned restaurants. All this while, imagining Vada Pav and Tapri Chai, and thinking, someday.

Having a Vada Pav and Tapri Chai become the new luxury, for which I had to take time out and go out to the street to get one.

Today, I had Vada Pav and Tapri Chai. Work has changed for me and I am less bound to a desk than I was before. I love that sense. Not because it is nostalgic, but it’s a happy sense. Great ambitions have been cooked and inspiring dreams have been brewed over a Vada Pav and Tapri Chai.

There’s nothing wrong with fancy food. Food’s purpose is to satisfy hunger. All food can do that. Some food, however, not just satisfies your hunger, it feeds your soul.

Sunday Stuff: The Clutter

I do not want mislead you. It’s Tuesday, when I write this. There was a month, when I took up a challenge to write everyday for a month, when I used “Sunday Stuff” to write accumulative posts. (I just discovered, accumulative is a proper word)

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This is a forced post. Please wait. All I am doing now, is staring at my keyboard. My brain is processing thoughts and words so fast, that my fingers hovering over the keyboard are paralysed. Go, have a coffee, while I magically adrenalin-ise my fingers.

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Love. Let’s talk about love. Nah! Too complicated. Friends? Nope. Work? No way. The world we live in? Don’t even begin. Ah, social media, then? They know, and they want you to shut up. A personal story; that’s endearing? Last time you wrote such a thing, no one bothered to read it. I have a new take on feminism. It doesn’t matter, stuff has already been decided. You are already wrong. Decisions have been made. My city, let me write about my city. Go ahead; as if someone cares. A travel story, perhaps. Now that’s a good idea, when did you travel last?

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It seems, that all I have to say is that I have nothing to say. But that is saying something. No? Even when you say that you have nothing to say, you are still saying, right?

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Swimming. I can barely swim. I can save myself if the edge of the pool is 2ft away. No, this is not a metaphor. I can swim only 3ft (the best I can do). But, recently I got thrown in the middle of the metaphorical swimming pool. Initially I splashed all around, ready to drown in the next few minutes, yet, I gathered myself and floated with ease. There was a sense of enlightenment. But, I am not retrying it in a pool of real water.

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I mean what I say, but I am not what I say. It’s a thought. Not a well-formed thought, I may add. It is work-in-progress. I have always been fascinated by the “maxim” that the map is not the territory. I understand what it means at the level that it wants to make meaning. The conspiratorial mind, in my mind, suspects, there is more to it.  There’s more to “the map is not the territory” than what you see. I am not sure. I am playing with philosophy. So, I say things like: I mean what I say, but I am not what I say.

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There is no one universal truth. So to speak. There is one universe; it belongs to you. There is only your universal truth.

So, Smile.

Life-Support

I didn’t do justice with the earlier post. Hence, this one. I suspect, it is going to be a dark and depressing one. You have been warned.

I’ve seen death at close quarters. Often, to my discomfort, I thought, at first. But, eventually seeing death often has been less of discomfort. Maybe you get used to it, maybe you understand that death is an inevitable part of life. Death occurs, broadly only for two reasons: One, that you give up. You stop fighting, you succumb and you die. Two, you keep fighting, till the last-minute, and you just deplete the resources that can keep you alive. These are the two natures of death. There may be variants, but broadly there are two types of death: either you want to die or you do not want to.

The Angles Diptych

This blog has no intention of dying, but it is unable to find the energy to stay alive. Every story is a long pause after the first twelve words. Does it make sense? Why say it at all? Who wants to read this? Even if you write for yourself, is this worth at all?

This blog doesn’t even bother to save drafts. Trash it. A thought, an idea has a shelf-life. It has to live in that span. A draft never helps. Time gone? Thought gone!

And I keep saying “this blog” and not talking of my self, because this blog is different from me. This blog is a finely cut slice of who I am. I say this for all those who imagined this blog to a complete representation of the blogger.

The blogger is not the blog. The blog is not the blogger.

Yet, they are inseparable. Neither can exist with in the absence of the other. Mostly, we think of the blog as an inanimate entity, but it is not. The blogger breathes life into the blog. The blog is alive and gives reason for the blogger to stay alive.

Sometimes, the blog goes on life support. Goes silent.

Then, it wakes up.

End of the Blog, Perhaps.

No.

Nothing to say.

I have no stories to tell, anymore. Or , perhaps, I do not want to tell stories anymore.

Or, perhaps, no one wants to listen to stories anymore. There are so many facts available now, personal stories are being constructed so easily.

The world does not need storytellers.

The Mob Within

There are those who wear white. But they didn’t always wear white. And then, there are those who wear black. They didn’t always wear black either. What was white, what was black was never something that was definite.

In the absence of standards, White said, this is how it all should be. Black said, this is how it should not be. Like iron-shavings, around and about a horseshoe magnet, alignment happened. Needless to say, the shavings had no mind of their own.

Whitish emotions aligned with the White end. Blackish emotions, of course, aligned with the Black end. I wonder if it was truly magnetic. Emotions are mercenaries. They will go where they get the most benefit. White camp, Black camp. They’ll adorn their hoods of grey and go to either camp. Emotions have the same basic survival instinct as humans. They will make their choice. Emotions choose to survive. Simple.

White makes a recruitment case, so does Black. We are our emotions. We are choosing camps.

There is darkness in all of us. The “obvious” Black. But the White camp has currency. Black is bleaching their hoods and becoming greyer towards white. Acceptance eats identity for breakfast. The White-hood gangs up. Swords drawn, ready to attack the Black. Black is smart, it fades in the darkness that is its nature. White can’t fight in that arena, it withdraws. Stands tall.

Black is not vanquished. And it never will be. For if Black was to ever disappear, how will White exist. White knows this. It can only push Black to the shadows, but never vanquish it. When and how did White become the vanquisher? Did it borrow from Black? Is a part of White’s identity based on Black?

Then comes the question of the whole. Can it be fully White? Can it be fully Black? Is there a Blackness in White? Is there a Whiteness in Black?

I am White fighter. In between the gunfight, I look over my shoulder, and my coat is grey. A shade I have never seen before. I am Black fighter. In between the gunfight, I look over my shoulder, and my coat is grey. A shade I have never seen before.

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I am White and Black, and everything between. I am the total of the Mob that is fighting with each other. I am fighting with me. I am both sides of the Mob. I am White. I am Black. I acknowledge White. I accept Black. I am Whole.

I am the conflict. I am peace.

A Half-Decent Writer

A while ago, I gave up on writing a novel. For a while now, I have dismissed all the ideas that would have been posts, here or on my other blogs, that have come to my mental and emotional durbar.

I am a half-decent writer.

Now, I feel I should qualify that statement. I have seen writing that’s shoddy, and I have seen writing that is really fine. I haven’t related to either ends of the spectrum. The left, because I could not be as crass as it is, the right, because I could not be as good as it is. So, I am a half-decent writer.

In making the above statement, and, I have called myself a writer. Half-decent, though, I am. Maybe, just maybe, I have to do justice to that: I am a writer. I wonder; justice to who/whom (never got that who/whom right). Do I justify the writer that I absolutely am, or do I justify the writer through those who read me? Am I a writer because I write or am I writer who is read? If a writer is never read, is she still a writer?

What if a writer continues to write? Even if no one reads what she writes? Is writing an absolute act? Or does writing depend on reading?

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A good writer is free. From everything. A half-decent writer doesn’t have the courage to write it all. The half-decent writer is a very good writer, mind you. She has all the devices and the words to say exactly what she wants to say. She is just not ready to say it all. Abstraction is not her refuge; it is her means. She is not hiding; she does not know any other way, to say what she feels. Roarkism is what she feels, but it does not come easy to her. She doesn’t relate to it.

But she ends up being a half-decent writer.