Tuesday, March 6, 2012


A year and a half since my last post. Is it a symptom of sloth? Or the more dignified 'writer's block?' Or the simple petty fear of a lack of audience?

The last seems very likely. I tend to give up ventures that bring home the fact of my mediocrity. Yes i know that is typically mediocre. But over the past year I have learnt that it is not an es-capable fact. Or maybe, I just do not care anymore. So many motives; or none. One good thing about literature is that they have some dignity to confer (accidentally of course) to confounded minds: they call it 'ambiguity.'
It's not as though nothing has happened in such a long time, uneventful though my life may seem. I'm pursuing academics at a relatively higher level now. Well, it is a level where its called 'academics' if nothing else! I have a pet cat now who has once again proven to me how ironic life is ( I have always been a dog person; wanted a pet dog since I first held a stray pup at the age of 6 and never thought much of the feline species); and now she is the apple of my eye (she has also proven to me my ineptitude at mothering because I can spoil a cat silly!)

Relationships: they have changed a lot, as they do for everyone. Some old ones you treasure like the oldest of photo albums; memories in black and white have a lot of colour. Some you keep because you cannot discard them, like an old t-shirt or a frayed sweater, knowing you will never wear them again. These are the ones that create a no man's land like space between you and all your new equations with people. But they change also because we change. Ever complaining about how others change we are so blind about change in the self. Maybe because change, when it comes from within, when it is here to stay, is slow. When it comes, is even slower in making itself felt. So there are always times when you cannot imagine living without certain people; wonder how you do manage to live and how you are to keep doing so; and finally you live knowing you in fact cannot live with them.

Yes so in a nut-shell, most of the above happened.

Mostly, I love what i do. But it would be a lie to claim that learning of writers, criticisms, critical theories, technicalities, (yada-yada) has not been a cause for my inability to write. The more I came to know of them, the more felt like I was kidding myself. Yet it is also a fact that some of the people who are read were in fact kidding themselves (if not most).

No no I am not waiting to be 'discovered.' I write mostly about myself: not because I am THAT self absorbed, but because I am THAT ignorant! So what is to discover? But now I am arriving at a point (present-continuous because it is a process) where these things do not really seem to matter. There are thinkers and there are theories. There are people and there are opinions. Always will be. But the relationship between a one and one's pen is private. Always will be. At least as long as its private its safe.

On this note I sign off because cannot structure a good conclusion. Or rather i choose not to. Ambiguous? Ha I wish.

P.S.: the cat's name is Mauu.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Four months have passed since I last wrote, (if you can call that writing). I do not know whether to owe it to sheer laziness or maybe the more elite phase of a "writer's block", but then again as my adopted grandfather (who comes free for anyone studying what I do) would ask "What's in a name?"
Much has happened during these past months. I have been home and back, and in sometime i will go home again.I will not say things have changed, but they have surely happened. I have seen some brilliant days, some of which I spent taking a simple free bus ride to a hitherto unexplored part of the hills. I have spent afternoons hearing out my strangely loud cum musically gifted(?) baby cousin. I have learned that a lens can offer more than a new way of viewing colours. It can offer an alternate reality.I have learned that not every happiness is describable with words and that the hardest thing to so describe is the feeling of contentment, of peace. Because bliss is simply too personal, simply too simple. As I watched, certain bonds were strengthened between me and some old friends while some others got frayed, strangely with older ones still.
I have been trying to change for years now, seeing as how almost everything and everyone around me has. For the better or not, forever or not, I cannot say. But it has taken me these four months to realise that change of self is not a state. If it is just a whimsical adornment, it can be but momentary.It is a process that does not always necessarily mean improvement. I can safely say that if it is a process, then it has finally begun for me, albeit in small proportions.
I still feel the need of a lot of things that I cannot have because I simply cannot go back in time, nor be someone that will be good enough to be valued by all, or even anyone else. But now, the fact that certain ambitions are simply "not to be had" is sinking in. And I am nurturing the hope that maybe, just maybe, I will not really even need them.
This post will not work out to be very long because well, it does not need to be. I am waiting in the middle of things to figure themselves out (because if I try to, I will simply end up mutilating them), and I am afraid it is not a very prose-friendly place to be as of now.
If the ancient tradition of viewing life as a journey holds any water, then I have spent countless days being afraid that I am not equipped or prepared for the one my life looks like it will turn into. But maybe this particular journey has no space for preparations, because more-often-than-not, it is without a destination. What it is about is the kind of perception with which you look out of the window and which little tea-shops you make a stop at. What makes it different is that you get to choose your own milestones. There are many things you never want to forget and more things still that you would want to. But whether or not that happens, there is always the next turn up ahead.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I wish I was confused. I really do. Because confusion means that I have more than one idea in mind. But I have none. Then what am I? blank. And that is worse than confusion.

The only thing everyone suddenly seems to be asking is "Now What?" To that, the only reply that is most honest is what I can never sound. It asks in turn, "Why Now?"

For the last four years I have been trying to find or rather make a pattern of life. Its not an easy job. And the moment i gain sense enough to start, someone or something comes along to say,"Its over. Move on." People and all things which have an equal potential to annoy and question say that I have to decide and that too now. But how now? Decision is out of the question, how to get THERE is out of the question when the THERE is something you cannot see. Or rather the THERE is something no one wants to see.

Since the last time I made a decision, I have spent two years to find its validation. I know it is valid because lots of people agree it is. They talk about the benefits, the exposure, the learning, the tag name. But these do not seem enough. Invariably I look for the something beyond. Something beyond the brain, that seems right to the heart, if not the soul. And there is none.

Then I see a scene repeating itself over and over in my head...a six year old girl lying on the bed in a pretty white frock, her long curly tresses spread on both sides. Her father comes looking for her and lies down besides her.

He says: What are you doing here?
She says: I don't want to go there. They are so noisy. Everyone asks the same questions again and again and they keep asking about my dress and who made it.
He says: But its your birthday party. You should be there.
She says:Its not like they want to talk to me anyway.just each other.
He says:I think its time we stop throwing birthday parties for you when you do not like crowds. Anyway, if you keep away like this they will not want to come. It may not seem like it, but they make an effort to come and they will not if you are rude.
She says:ok.
He says: But you do realise you will not get any more presents.
She looks at the pile of pretty bright gifts and now they seem so much prettier.
She says:I'll go.
They hold hands and walk out.
He says: When people are nice to you, you should do the same. When it seems hard, you should try even harder. Because thats what good people do. That is how they remain good.
She says : hmmm.
He says: Which present have you liked best so far? Your dress?
She says: no. These two orange rose buds ma made as rubber bands for my hair.
He says: Why?
She says: they are pretty. And they are small so people can't see them easily. And so they don't keep asking about it.

Its not imagined. That is a memory. a very real one. more real then most of today.That is how easy right and wrong was. Or rather that is how easy he made it seem. I wonder what he would say now.

Almost all people I know are ambitious. they want and work for the good life. I tried to be too. But I'm not. The good life for me is not a nice house. Its not a lot of money. And my destination is not where I will get these things from.The only thing I do is write. I cannot afford to make it the only thing I do.But I cannot afford to make it that other thing I do or used to do even more. This is what I want. I should feel guilty for wanting it. I try not to want it too. But its the only thing that I really do.

Then I see another scene of the same people. The two are are standing in a balcony looking out over a big city.
She says: there are so many lights. It looks endless. Don't you think it looks pretty?
He says: Maybe. But I don't see what is so nice about it. Its a little different from the view from the terrace back home. But I don't see what is the better thing about it.
She says: Its new. Its different.
He says:Its new for now. Different for now. It wont always be. I just don't see what is so fascinating about these places. It's hardly been 3 weeks and I cannot wait to go home. I don't like big places and endless lights. And that is perfectly alright.
Whenever I see this, I don't feel guilty about wanting what I want. Or the sheer difficulty of it. Because he had wanted it too. And for me, this whole world can be mistaken. not him.
I see that girl again, in a small house, of perhaps smaller rooms still. I dont see a husband or any other sign of marital bliss. because they needn't happen for everybody. But its home because that's where all her memories are. All his memories are. And that is where she knows his soul is, and the soul that they had shared is.
This is not a memory. This is the desired end of it all. this state is not easy to achieve. And even if achieved, is not deemed a successful life, infact its the opposite. But who defines what a successful life is? The one whose life it is. This is what I want. And save the "be practical" part. its never going to convince me. Because I had been convinced of the other thing long ago. And now I know, like just what he said, "Its perfectly alright".

Sunday, March 7, 2010

B-day Message for The Teddy.

The art of comforting ourselves is something we start practicing from childhood. It can start from ice-creams, chocolates, maggi, and as we grow up into that incomprehensible term "adults", it can turn into taking walks, photographs...sometimes the illusive "calming" power of cigarettes or alcohol. the last two are rather sad ways and do not provide comfort as much as escapism, and the two are pretty different things, actually. But for some of us, the instant magic that hugging a teddy bear brought us as children remains just that magical and fool-proof. It is not something that many people do or know or even admit to. But for those of us who do know....how would we describe the feeling? I have spent two years learning about word-play and sophistry and yet, no amount of it can describe feelings such as this other than "all warm and fuzzy...like being engulfed by a soft blanket when its snowing outside." Its just that simple, yet that precious. And those of us who are really lucky, meet someone who has this same charm and is going to be there for life.

This post is for Crazy Ab (lets just make it CA for future reference), someone who never fails to make me feel like this ":)" inside.

I hate meeting and talking to new people. I get so awkward and all "um..um and more umm", its ridiculous. yet, the first time I talked to you, all I did was laugh. No, no, not at you...well, may be a little. But anyhow, I did not think it was possible to like you better than I did already. And then, I met you.

One of the luckiest things to happen to me was meeting you when I did...just when I moved to the city. All the misery I anticipated was virtually cut down to half thanks to you. I still remember what you said to be as I was driving away from Shillong...how lucky I am to have spent 19 years of my life amidst things that remain unknown to so many. And ever since I came here, I have realised just how right you were. For all those endless hours that I bombarded you with my home-sickness and exactly why I just have to go back someday, you always seemed to understand. Maybe you do not really. Maybe you are just being nice and humoring a cribbing soul. But the way you do it makes all the difference.

A lot of people are ever ready to provide advice. Stupid advice, irritating advice, belittling advice and so on. But I actually like listening to what you have to say. Because you do not patronize. You do not make the other person feel stupid for getting into stupid situations in the first place, even if they are. You do not ask for the reasons behind everything. You actually remember that careless mistakes or short-sightedness are things that all of us commit at some point in time. This little something is always conveniently forgotten by many.

You make momentary childishness seem "okay,"even needed, actually. With you, its okay to cry now and then, be hurt over trivial matters and think about things near impossible to achieve. And how, oh how do you always manage to make people laugh? No matter what the situation, with you smiles are always guaranteed.

Of all people, you will understand that sometimes words are not the best way out. And me? I am pretty bad with them. Sometimes the subject is just too weird, too infuriating and sometimes, just too nice. I am sorry I could not manage something better than this, because you deserve much better and that you will get from my dear sister.

But just know that you are one of the best people I have met, or will meet. I love the way you write because it is just like you...honest, simple and without airs. Yes, and I think you are smart. Very smart actually. Because unlike so many, you do not disregard emotions. And please do not ever start doing that.

CAb, I am so glad my sister found someone like you, so glad that you are here to stay. In a world so full of egoists and mean people, you give me hope of actual nice people out there somewhere. You are one of my most favourite people in the world. You are the best teddy bear I could have asked for. Thank you for all the times you have made me feel so warm and fuzzy. I hope you are not tired, because I will always need more of that.

Happy Birthday! :). For you, I wish I could write better! Heh!heh!

P.S.: Yes, you are right. You do have the best Hug-Index.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It is not strange that most of us circle our lives around illusions...things which are a certain way because we want them to be, maybe because we need a bit of perfection in some part or another. But it becomes a strange ride indeed when these illusions start evaporating. No matter where or when that happenes, it is always that strange or hurtful because certain institutions become too essential to let go of. It does not happen to all, or maybe it does and not everyone is willing to own up to having believed in mere "ideas".
Consistency. Why is it so hard to find? Why is it so hard to give? Yes, we all know life is unpredictable. But is there not anything to hold on to? Some of us grow up thinking places will change, circles and duties will change, relationships will not. Like a writer wrote... "because immortal". Yet relationships and equations are exactly what change most, and sometimes you do not even know why. All you are left with is a bitter cup of a new found "reality". In the immediate
aftershock, old memories and ties become subject to "if i could just stop hating you". Years later, if you are lucky, regret appears and you may even mend old tears. But more often than not, lifetimes go by feeling misunderstood and disappointed.
Care does not always come in conventional forms. Some people will always "mother" you around. You might be siblings, friends or partners. They care if you do not study, they care if you are disappointed, they care if you are sick, they care if you fall when playing. But just like this "care" becomes "nagging" when the child turns into a teenager, this "care" becomes quite hard to digest when it comes from one who is not old enough to tell you what to do. The only difference here is that you can make it stop.
Life does not suddenly become your own or otherwise. By sharing your life, you do not hand it over. Its when you take responsibilities that you feel the sense of "owing" something to someone. Yes, its true that its irritating when you do not ask someone to be responsible for you and they are.Its not fair, having to explain things to anyone other than whom you are obligated to. But beyond those questions, nagging and anger lies the foundation of not wanting you to be hurt, not wanting you to scrape yourself. And it is not a favour that is done to you. That is just how they are. In fact, sometimes, that is how they have always been. But the knowledge of someone waiting for you is not that bad, neither is it permanent.
For some people it is a way of loving, simply. But for some, it comes from a real or imagined, but equally powerful fear of loss. There are few things half as scary as the constant fear of losing those close to you. Some worries and doubts go beyond the apparent want of a social life. Even so, feelings are misconstrued. Suddenly things are constrained to the single crime of "interference". What do you do then? Stop caring? It is not that easy. But sometimes there is no other option. Like always, you just have to get used to it. Maybe people should just find better ways of voicing anxieties. But that would be Utopia.
You look back and you see this entire plethora of memories...of dreams and chocolates shared, of childish emotions felt. You remember the laughs, the "just like that" hugs, the fears and that concrete security of knowing that "this is forever". Then out of nowhere, a single memory stands out...like that of an out and out silly time of crying inexplicably when someone went on a vacation! Or of turning awkwardly emotional when someone hugged you out of the blue and said "I just love you".
These very memories become the problem, because you can feel all the bitterness that you want but you know you would rather disappear yourself than lose them or have them proved wrong. At these times you feel how much prettier life would be if you could just vanish. And you feel angry at characters like Harry Potter and ask, "Don't know what you are complaining about, after a point, You were never really lonely."
The knowledge that you will not always have to do this feels good sometimes. But when you realise that one day time will run out and distance win, you feel a sort of desperation, anger perhaps.Or you simply cry harder into your pillow. Though I hate this city, it is here that I have understood a lot of things. I can never be the free, easy going, fun person. Their is always a worry of "getting home", not disappointing which perhaps stems from beyond being a geek. It comes from a sense of guilt. It is stupid and upsetting to others as well, but for some of us, life is truly not our won. Letting go is one of the hardest things for me to do, but hopefully, I will learn.
After all, not everyone's story is like that of Harry's...lonely and out of place at first but finding loyalty and glory in the end. Some of our stories are like that of James Potter, Lupin and Sirius...each true in their own way, but in the end, defeated and essentially, all lonely.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Love Affair.

Just spent one conscious Christmas away from home. Yes I was cribbing again. Christmas here is just not Christmas. Or maybe not the storybook Christmas I am so used to. No carols, no candles and no glittering lights on the horizon. Just plain annoying drum beats which some tone-deaf fools deem fit for all occasions and Santas so stupidly dressed, I actually want to hit them!

Yet perhaps this year's Christmas was actually able to do much for me. It was this year that I started believing that special things do happen on Christmas (anyday ,actually. I am just trying to stick to my storybook obsession) maybe if you have been miserable (or good!) all year long.

Luck appeared in the form of a potential trip one night. I was not really excited as I was faced with the prospect of spending it with virtual strangers. But hey...when am I ever the happy optimistic beam of sunshine?

Started out at dawn on what was to be one of the longest journeys of my life. A few hours into it though, I was actually laughing more than I had anticipated yet did not want to believe enjoyment was so close at hand. But the company was too hilarious (in a good way) for my shell to seem a very tempting attire. Beautiful roads, promising company and one maggie-point later I was making my way upwards to a foster pine storybook chapter again.

It was all that an ever cranky me could wish for. Cobble lanes coloured red and yellow with shed leaves, small wooden houses with flowering gardens that looked like they were painted on greeting cards and people sipping steaming beverages in a calm sunshine...these were just the beginnings. Smiling fortune took me to stay at a place where wooden cabins with fireplaces (though some did not work) awaited me. Beds with two quilts which still did not manage very quickly to keep the chill out. Wooden swings meant for drinking tea on while watching pink horizons after sunset and old English lamps lighting the driveway. Yes it was like the old Christmas stories.Fluctuating voltages and hot water timings were just part of the charm.

Then what? Days were spent walking on trails, trying to trek while falling on fellow brave hearts (read:blunt heads). Evenings were spent working up appetites sitting on those darn slippery slopes and then satisfying them by eating like starved maniacs. But ah! the nights...playing badminton (in my case, watching others play) and then sitting, gossiping,laughing around bonfires,with music to complete the picture. How can you describe it? Charming...that is the only word.

No it will never match up to what could have been and what I still yearn for (Shillong!duh!). Call it a small summer or rather winter affair. The kind where the heart prods the butterflies out of their hibernation,just for a while. The kind where strange unknown feelings are simply communicated by sight and smiles. There are blushes and inexplicable sighs. But that is just it. It lies somewhere between "nothing" and "something"...the "perhaps something" maybe?

All said and done the storybook was there to save Christmas. Yes I know it will not always be there. But maybe it will? Its nice to believe in Santa. He is a pretty happy guy and that is something to admire, especially for people like me. Why? because I am back but I am still smiling about it...like you always do when you remember such strange "affairs".

It was all old storybook and given the timing, maybe even poetry. And this time is unforgettable, perhaps this will explain why...

"And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me...."
-Pablo Neruda (from Poetry).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just Read will ya?

Scarred by the slick blade of cowardice...
Indifference is cold;silence:sneaking frostbites.

Love's wrath is torture...

Love's disgust-the Fallen Angel's* legacy:
His hopes of rights betrayed-hell's pain.

Feel raging questions in your body,
Black blood of punctured trust in your veins.

Oh claimed "victim", but of the self
Deception is your skin,
Compulsion?But choice of the same.

Trust not your features for
Your very air screams "illusion".

Note:Fallen Angel here is an allusion to Lucifer, the angel banished for wanting equality with God and eventually turning into Satan.