Sunday, June 1, 2014

Porch

"Go away, I can't go on living on with you. I know, this is going to hurt a lot but there is no easy way out", she says it without a hint of reluctance or guilt in her voice.

"Look, it's not like I like you too much to put up with your insanity but I don't have a choice. Do I?"

"I don't need you".

"You do!. How many times, will we go through this huh? It always ends in the same way".

"That's the problem It always ends up in the same way". She mumbles, while lighting a Dunhill Lights.

"Hey, please don't smoke again. You're damaging yourself"

"Not any more damaging than having you around".

"Alright. I wouldn't say a word on this".

"You actually heard me this time. Wow", she replies after exhaling a long wind of smoke.

"Are you trying to be funny now?"

"I am not trying to be anything".

He whistles her favourite song. It instantly has a calming effect on her.

"I really like this song".

He continues to whistle unmindfully,

She looks into the vast expanses of her porch. Feeling weightless. As if someone just lifted an elephant off her chest so she can finally breathe. For once, not under water like a swimmer struggling for air but like an ordinary person, asserting his right to oxygen and a clear mind.

She gets up and leaves the porch with him. It always ends the same way between her and the voice in her head. He couldn't have been more true.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Schadenfreude

You know the feeling that settles on the leaves
soon after, the rain has washed it clean.
reeking of loss, that is yet to be seen.
Glazed by purple, music and mortification.

Get out,
Turn off the T.V
Listen closely

Embrace the feeling, that comes with a purpose
and sometimes with the force of calamity.
Run or surrender, run of surrender?
The mind has married a new worry.
Drown in it, swallow it. Bathe in that feeling
Like tongue soaked in a stiff gulp of sour whiskey.
Allow it the frisky ride it has been yearning for eternity
It's killing you forever to ignore the
sordidness of the daily.
That which surges like a wave- high and low.
bellowing the rocks to crush into pieces.
and the pieces into froth.

That which cries you to sleep every night
and wakes you up with a jolt,
only to welcome fecundity.

Gather yourself, the morning bells don't ring twice
for the deaf.
Look beneath the bruised-
there is only redemption to seek in acceptance
of the gone.







Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thoughts after finishing The Fault in our stars

  • Dear Mr. green                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         It’s been three minutes since I put down ‘The fault in our stars’ and I am I’m filled with an urgent need to weep.
    Don’t get me wrong. I am not a crier, so its all very new to me. I don’t cry at the movies. I don’t cry over boys who I break up with menacingly.

    The last time I wept was when I was in the hospital abound by pain from the syringes darted into my veins. But it was mostly because of the physical hurt and therefore a legitimate occasion to cry.

    But right now, I find it hard to describe my indisposition to anyone, heck even me.
    I want to weep not because Gus fades into a star. Sure, the gravity of his eulogy for Hazel has the power to lacerate a piranha.

    My affliction, as it appears has little to with the way, the book ends. It is the gross realization of the fact that it has ENDED. And it will take me a long while to find anything as engaging as this.

    TFIOS has transported me to the third space, your characters experience over the phone. Except, I’m a real person and I don’t know exactly how to end this paragraph with a punchy, Hazel one-liner.

    Writing superlatives about this book and would be extremely superficial. So let me just sum it up in two words.

    Thank you.
    For this insightful journey into the damaged which reads brilliantly.

    Thank you for allowing me to spend the last 90 hours in the most meaningful way I could have.

    Thank you, for reminding me that I am more blessed than I know for a healthy body and a working mind. Although at this point, I must be sounding crazy to you. Don’t I?

    But more importantly, thank you for immortalizing death through words. And rendering words immortal. It is rare to come across an author who quotes Shakespeare, Parminedes and facebook posts elegantly in one book

    Okay,
    A

Monday, October 21, 2013

The news is

In the journalism course, we were taught, what makes news is when man bites a dog. Not the opposite. I say screw you, eggheads. Especially if the man  in question is you and the assailant is your own over-pampered, over-loved sonuvabitch and if the whole ordeal leaves you bawling in pain in an operation theatre at a godforsaken hour, it is nothing short of a national tragedy, it is what you call Stop the press, the proverbial breaking news. Alright, you get it.

So there I am, 1 in the morning in Ganga Ram, crunched on a filthy bed at the emergency ward, trying hard to not pass out. with a gauze on my mouth, and tears in my eyes I was thinking of all these morose poets who called hospitals as morgue, a place where one goes to die, where all delusions of survival wear off, a place where hope feels like a cuss word. How true! With the new casualties of dengue and typhoid brought in every hour, I felt like a prisoner of Concentration camp with excessive hair. I can't possibly begin to describe the feeling in words. even now, 5 days later, recalling that night makes me nauseous but if I don't write this now, I will be haunted by its memories lifelong and if Freud has to be believed, there is nothing more devastating to the human psyche than suppressed trauma. Here take 3 ounces of mine! 

Immediately when I was rushed in the hospital  I was put on a drip for low blood pressure. it's another thing that the sight and stench of that place is what would have likely caused the dip in the pulse. But again, it's not something new for me. As a matter of fact, the cause and effect of my disease and its ramifications on my medical condition will make a great subject of thesis for a paramedical Russian scholar. It's more of a chicken and egg situation. I don't know what makes me more sick- falling ill or going to the hospital.

What followed was a World war between fear and will power. The archetype portly Tamilian nurse came with a tray full of shots. One, two, three. I shrieked till I lost count of it. By the fourth jab, I felt like a lampost in  the night outside a shanty bar. Come take a piss at me, I've grown indifferent to your sadism. I say sadism, because to the nurse I was a number, a stretcher among many others. I understand, being indifferent is one of the occupational hazards of their profession and that she was severely overworked but her steely walk, the way she carried about her business and prevented an eye contact with me made her seem unreal. in a business driven on care and empathy this degree of insensitivity boggled me, it still does. Perhaps, it's something to think about our healthcare system and its loopholes.

In the situation where I was, the fear of jab was quick to be dwarfed by questions of survival. I was bitten in the face, on the lower lip. A lot of blood loss had happened and my face looked like a set for a zombie apocalypse film. the cuts were very deep and the doctor thought it was best to wait for the plastic surgeon to stitch them through fine surgical tools. the surgery was slotted for 6 in the morning. I had five hours to muster the strength to take upon a surgery. The situation was supremely tense. My mind ran all sorts of thoughts. I discovered  confirmed my hypochondria. I was imagining everything that could go wrong in the OT. What if my body is averse to anesthesia and the ECG machine shows a faulty heartbeat and it's too late for CPR to rescue. What if I faint entering the OT room and fall down out of the bed and lose the last hope of fixing my face. I looked around to see my mother's face, through  the cloud of despondent faces around me in slow motion. I am not kidding, for a few minutes I saw my entire life laid out in front of me like a dusty film on a projector. In my head, I stood up, took a bow in a dark theater and pranced towards my grave.

Meanwhile, Ma kept coming in every hour to see if I was asleep. She was instructed to ensure that i get some rest in the abysmal hours before the surgery. After two or three times, I pretended to keep my eyes shut, I did not have the energy to fake strength or wellness. To be honest, I was far from being strong.

Looking around patients more severely affected than me, looking at my own life through a hourglass, changed something. I grew resilient. On further reflection, it is what i suspect the diminishing marginal law of utility in economics. Let me explain it through the example I was taught with. Suppose, you're at the peak of your hunger and you are fed with one pani puri, your satisfaction goes up. with each subsequent pani puri your satisfaction curve will go up until it declines, which means a pani puri  after this will make you de-satisfied with it. It was true for my hyperchondria, after imagining the worse, after visualising my death, the fear curve saw a decline. I was ready for to hike to a volcanic hill, I was ready to be pushed from a cliff. I was ready to embrace pain with eyes wide open. I walked into the OT and stretched myself on the stretcher effortlessly.

the next four hours, as an anti-climax to the story turned out to be the easiest. I snored for a couple of hours straight under the sedation of general anesthesia. I had no memory of pain, injury or resistance. when I woke up the corner of my eyes felt sore from accumulation of tears, and my body was attached to all kinds of beeping machines. Ma came and stroked my forehead. the time for self pity or victimization was gone.

 I am Walter White from breaking Bad

I am Adam from 50/50

I am Tyler from Fight Club

I am up for Kate Hudson from A little bit of Heaven

Ha, I am probably Kate Hudson from this tedious rom com movie but I'm ready to trade that in exchange of a happy ending. Well, nearly

P.s For those secretly wishing me to shut up can come visit me to see their wishes come true. I am stitched up for a good while, deprived of proper food and babble.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Degenerate

stretching into the ocean of night
under the sky gone pale with fever
the mind pines what the mind can't find
an hour of solemn, sleep and serendipity
a capsule to erase ill formed memories
that linger like a toothache all day
till its begins to numb you
with a morgue of silence
and a deathless decay

in a room that leaves no room for air
in an elegy that's too eloquent for anyone to hear
in a heart that allowed winter to sneak in
and degenerate

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A goodbye note



In his keynote address to the young guns of America, Neil Gaiman said one of the most inspiring things I’ve read in my life. He said no matter how hard life kicks you in the balls, make good art.

Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.


In the profession I am in, unfortunately it takes more than moments of jubilance and misery to make good art. It needs a good art partner. Copy and art is an arranged marriage made in the supreme court of procrastination. If you’re lucky the most productive hours of your day between you and your art partner are spent in criticizing the system, the account management, the client, the boss, the overly sweet canteen coffee, our laughable CTCs, the new loony Priyanka Chopra song. It is an incredibly creative exercise after the hours you waste on mindless internet trolling.

However, when it comes to thinking on things you’re actually paid for, the equation changes dramatically. Art directors may adeptly write a thesis on how lazy piece of morons our lot is, but sitting down with a pen to crack an idea or sketch a scribble is a rare priced quality these days.

Overlooking all this, if you’ve managed to write a half-decent headline, chances are your art partner would ask you to axe it with the professionalism of a seasoned gardener.  You can’t make the logo bigger with a headline line this long, he argues. To which, you have nothing to say but despondently question your choice of career. At which point, the happy harmony of the arranged marriage goes for a flying toss.

In our field, the idea of you making getting over creative differences with your art partner after a stormy brainstorming session shares the collective fate of Indo-Pak peace summits that have happened so far. Ego, procrastination, demotivation are the familiar demons, we fight too on most days.

The reason I come across so strongly on all this is because I was lucky enough to overcome all this pretty early in my current job. And I’m dreading the days that lie ahead of me, now that my art partner has flown off to another place, a better one I would hope for her sake.  

This is probably the most cynical goodbye note you would have read. But that’s only because putting her worth in a few nice adjectives would be belittling her talent and her persistence in chasing the deadlines we set for our self, the weekends we spent in office more than just sulking. From her, I learnt the importance of presentation, neatness and elegance in the little things we do. The ground rules of teamwork, when it came to defending cool ideas, and clipping the not so cool ones. 

And now that she's gone, my only demand from you- the rest of hackered species of my profession would be make good art partners