Wednesday 27 December 2006

Mountains o' things

I don't know what December is all about. I've almost always had shitty Decembers. I think it's some World Conspiracy to make you think the year to follow will be better.

See, the thing is this. These people want to take away my appendix, I think. Yesterday, the doctor squashed me on my right side and asked me if it hurts. No, Doc, really, don't you mean "does it hurt, yet"? Because if you keep up the good work, the appendix will leap up into your waiting arms and lick your face, just to stop the damn squashing. But yes, to answer your question, it hurts very much, thank you. It's just lovely. Second only to the needle you stuck in my hip. Painkiller, is that? How does it go about killing pain? Another psychological mindgame, where the aim is to find something that hurts more than the original thing, so that everything gets cancelled out and you can't even be sure you're in absolute agony anymore? Nice trick!

Such a pity. I was growing so attached to my appendix. Ain't that just the way things are.

Friday 22 December 2006

Time it was, and what a time it was

You were so tiny, when we buried you, we only had to put you one foot under. I will miss you. Watch over the Potato. Rest in peace, my pretty one.

Sunday 17 December 2006

So many cricketers, so little time

In a bid to make me feel better about my Current Life Situation, my father has promised to make some calls and check if this man is available:

(Yes, I do like him. No, he's not creepy. You know who's creepy? Yuvraj Singh.)
I am quite pleased and more than a little touched. But now I'm wondering how to tell him that I actually want this man. And making calls to him might be a little more expensive:


(RRrrrrrrRR)

Life never stops being complicated.

Thursday 14 December 2006

You read your Emily Dickenson and I, my Robert Frost

I don't know if poetry will kill me or save me. Sure, it depends on what I read. To feel less akin to a grasshopper's knee, it is suggested that you dissociate yourself from the subject at hand, by engaging in a completely unconnected matter. I could read:


Samson Agonistes
by Ogden Nash

I test my bath before I sit,
And I'm always moved to wonderment
That what chills the finger not a bit
Is so frigid upon the fundament.

See? Nothing. In her eyes you see nothing, no sign of love behind the tears, cried for no one, etc. Thank you, Mr. McCartney.

Or, perhaps, I could read something so rose-tinted that the lines between remote possibility and ridiculous fiction are happily blurred. (For that, of course, I could up my beer intake from three pints to four to achieve an equal if not greater degree of accomplishment. But poetry is more important than beer. Get with the programme.) A symbol of the nauseating unconditional. You know? For instance:

i carry your heart with me
ee cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Or (and this is the first poem I ever learnt by heart):

They say that Hope is Happiness
Lord Byron, George Gordon Noel

They say that hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past,
And Mem'ry wakes the thoughts that bless:
They rose the first - they set the last;

And all that Mem'ry loves the most
Was once our only Hope to be,
And all that Hope adored and lost
Hath melted into Memory.

Alas! It is delusion all;
The future cheats us from afar,
Nor can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are.

Then there is the reluctant weeping acceptance of a fact, combined with the discovery of the perfect poem. As usual, Roger got it right:

You and I
Roger McGough

I explain quietly. You
hear me shouting. You
try a new tack. I
feel old wounds reopen.

You see both sides. I
see your blinkers. I
am placatory. You
sense a new selfishness.

I am a dove. You
recognize the hawk. You
offer an olive branch. I
feel the thorns.

You bleed. I
see crocodile tears. I
withdraw. You
reel from the impact.


There is the poetry of absolute abject disillusionment, my best friend of the present. O, how Auden makes my heart bleed:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone
W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Finally, there is the poignancy of one’s own regrettable ecstasy. It would have been best to be at a loss for happy words, but no, I found them. And will perhaps regret each one forever:

I love you in meetings
Anoopa Anand

I love you in meetings.
Bald air conditioned men
point at large blue screens
and whisper to each other.
It reminds me of all the boardroom light
that never bounces off your head.

I love you on windy days.
Leaves dance in dusty circles,
ripples have baby ripplets,
and clouds run cotton races.
It reminds me of how easily
you could get carried away.

I love you while reading.
Each italic reminds me of you,
leaning tall against a white wall,
smoking a wispy cigarette,
rapidly losing the potential of a fatter font
as the author hastens towards his after words.

I’ll love you tomorrow.
Soon enough you’ll worry
all the hair off your head.
And you know as much as the last guy
how much I enjoy that.
Our shampoos will grow mould together.

I suppose it is impossible to blame poetry for demise or survival of the soul. But for now, it won’t leave me. And I believe I am grateful.

Tuesday 12 December 2006

Death

That's what it's called. Deal with it. And say it with me. Death. He's dying. There is no sweetening this cake.
I hate this family's penchant for melodrama. I cannot cry for this dog, who has given us so much to laugh about, and who has laughed himself. I cannot but be reminded of what a great life he's had, and what a great life we've had, because of him.
So deal with it.
Tomorrow, it could be me.

Sunday 10 December 2006

Ceebee, ungaaaa*a sooot*le love is stronger than pride

Like I said, when I grow up I want to be a cold hearted snake. Till then, I will be Jakes's female counterpart. Speaking of whom, somebody bring him back, before I die of Jakeslessness. And here are a bunch of thank yous, since I refuse to abuse and hand out my fuck-yous.

Vinay and Appu- My colleagues ate the chocolates, but at the risk of sounding like the fake bastard I might become some day, I loved the gesture. I love you boys.

Mr. Ibrahim and VG: When you ply someone with alcohol, you are always in fear of getting immensely plied yourselves! Thank you for your drunken depressed company and all the lousy advice I hope I never take. "Dude. You need to go out and get laid, babe. Babe, seriously, dude." Yes, thank you. It's called fighting fire with fire.

Amma: Thanks for being able to hate someone I am magnificently incapable of hating. But I wish I could tell you what malnourished recompense hatred is, when it comes to love.

Sabbah: What can I say. Among a million other things, thank you for making the hair-today-gone-tomorrow cliche come alive, with such style! Once I stop looking like someone punched me in the face, I'm sure the pixie look will come alive. I love you to pieces. And, let's face it, Aida was our dream first!

Potato: Choothfuckingbaaaaaaaaastards!

Pink: I don't know if you got that message through your wife. I told her to tell you that nobody will ever live up to the benchmark you've set. I may as well buy myself a (real) cat now, so by the time I'm old, I'll have many.

Mark and Nams: I've saved you for the end, because. I've seen you guys try to fill in this big gaping hole by my side, and I really appreciate it. Love. I owe you bigtime.

Now, can someone return my Jakes, please???

Friday 8 December 2006

De doo doo doo, De daa daa daa

My eloquence escapes me. My logic ties me up and wrecks me.

Tuesday 5 December 2006

Three Minute Book

I’m made of rubber
You’re made of glue
Everything you say will bounce off me
And stick to you


In an old record studio, a little known artist records her first solo in a single take. The song is called Epiphany Blues. Three chords, one guitar, one raspy contralto. One alcoholic producer. Three minutes. The alcoholic producer leaps out of his chair and throws off his headphones in a single inspired moment of lucidity. He points two podgy index fingers at her. All chakras aligned. She’s the one.

An old ground in the South of Bangalore. One spinner successfully cracks the stumps, bowls out the bespectacled hero of the day. One ball. One wicket. Eleven shrieks of animated appeal to a fictitious umpire. Or is that empire. One bespectacled bat drags dust on its way to the stone bench. Three minutes to the end of the lunch bell. No commercial breaks. No sponsored jerseys, no brand ambassadors. One boy who managed enough practise to turn the ball. Scrawny bowler pumps his fists in the air. Points one fist to the drunken clouds. He’s the one.

For thine is the Kingdom
The power
The glory


Uncertain stubble looks soulfully into the black crevices between the toes of a goddess. Tick-tick-one. The deity in question looks at the clock, looks at the door, looks at the clock, and glowers at her curdling coffee. Tick-tick-two. The stubble twitches uncomfortably in the familiar surroundings of ground that has recently opened up below him. Tick-tick-three. Light leaves the eyes of the stubble as it fills those of the goddess. The master of puppets has entered. One nonchalant puppeteer and one oblivious goddess lock in a fate-sealing embrace. The stubble holds back an expletive as two waiters condescend on abandoned breadsticks. Three minutes late. Two sweaty palms exchanging fluids. One stubble clutches at an insatiable itch.

I waltzed around you seven times
Only to become
A melody you never sang
I’m not the one

(- Collective Soul, Dosage)

Thursday 30 November 2006

Second Fiddle and Other Stories

1. In an orchestra, the position of second violinist (fiddle) is not as glamorous as that of first violinist. The poor bastard. I empathise.

2. When my sister and I were younger, we would celebrate Boris Becker's birthday, every year, for many years. One year, we even baked a cake. When Becker lost to Michael Stich in the 1991 Wimbledon finals, I broke a part of a door. Like my sister (Potato) said, those were simpler times, but we still had to write exams.

3. I cry every time a salesman knocks on my door. Last afternoon, I got home early. A salesman knocked on my door. I asked him to please leave, and cried for 40 minutes. I think something's wrong with me.

4. Nobody knows you when you're down and out. Actually, that's not entirely true, but I want to complain and exaggerate, do you mind.

5. A blog is a Boomsa's best friend. It doesn't judge me, I can talk to it whenever I want and it's only mean if I want it to be. I can't imagine why I ever stopped writing.

6. All I want for Christmas is to sleep at night. And socks that do not end annoyingly just below my ankle. What is that. And why did I ever buy so many of those. I want normal socks that know their job and want to keep you warm at night. Not just till where it thinks your ankles begin. Socks need anatomy training. I want warm intelligent sensible socks. In red and orange and purple, and preferably with flying cows on them.

7. I wrote a letter in reply to my brother-in-law's postcard a couple of weeks back. I still haven't sent it. Since then, I've received another postcard from him. This is an apology in public to you, Pink. I will post it today.

8. I wish you weren't leaving, Jakes. I really wanted to talk to you. Have a great trip. Kissy.

9. Please visit http://orangebiriyani.blogspot.com She is my best friend. And so like the perfect pair of socks. See the horses galloping galloping down the country lane!

10. Language is leaving me.

Wednesday 29 November 2006

Note to self

Big Shot
Billy Joel

Well, you went uptown ridin' in your limousine
With your fine Park Avenue clothes
You had the Dom Perignon in your hand
And the spoon up your nose
Ooh, and when you wake up in the mornin'
With your head on fire
And your eyes too bloody to see
Go on and cry in your coffee
But don't come bitchin' to me

Because you had to be a big shot, didn't cha
You had to open up your mouth
You had to be a big shot, didn't cha
All your friends were so knocked out
You had to have the last word, last night
You know what everything's about
You had to have a white hot spotlight
You had to be a big shot last night

And they were all impressed with your Halston dress
And the people that you knew at Elaine's
And the story of your latest success
You kept 'em so entertained
But now you just don't remember
All the things you said
And you're not sure that you want to know
I'll give you one hint, honey
You sure did put on a show

Yes, yes, you had to be a big shot, didn't cha
You had to prove it to the crowd
You had to be a big shot, didn't cha
All your friends were so knocked out
You had to have the last word, last night
You're so much fun to be around
You had to have the front page, bold type
You had to be a big shot last night, Oh oh

Monday 27 November 2006

Pizza

Meanwhile, here is an assortment of pictures I took on my scintillating trip to Manipal.


Random Sky


Puppy Eating Pizza


Movie Poster at Manipal

Bang in the middle of the blue

Sometimes I don't know if I say too much or too little, but I suspect it's the former. So I tried the latter. Apparently, that doesn't work too well for me either. I just want to make a big hole in the ground and hide in it.

I am so tired.

Sunday 19 November 2006

Easy like Sunday morning

I was beginning to forget what it is like to have a weekend at home. Thankfully, after the past couple of days, I am in no fear of such a lapse of memory. Weekends from my past are very much with me, as I remember exactly how I got this fat over the past 25 years. The scientific name for this, I believe, is 'Mother'. She cooked up a couple of storms, and I ate them.

The rest of the weekend has been a breathtaking spectacle involving:
1. A great book. One of my favourites from my childhood. I was fortunate enough to find a copy at Mr. Shanbag's after years of searching. I can't find a nice enough review, but if you haven't already read How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn, you should.

2. Sleep. I have slept a total of 14.5 hours since last evening. And if my Cat and the lovely Jakes had not kidnapped me at 2 am under the false pretext of the latter's broken heart, I might have sleep 16 hours. But I'm not complaining. Not a bit.

3. Food. No, I'm not talking about it. I am in great fear of turning into another Huw Morgan in this respect. (Again, I urge you to read How Green... failing which, you will not understand a bunch of things I'll talk about. There is wonderful it is.) But let it be known that I will dearly miss the smells of this house for the next week, most of which I will be spending in a pokey lodge near Mangalore. Business, not pleasure, I assure you. I will be begrudging when I order that Tandoori Chicken pizza and pretend it is a vegetarian meal.

While we're on the topic of food, I also regret having missed a Ladies' Afternoon at my own house. # 202 was abuzz with cooking, chopping, screaming ladies when I reluctantly left to spend the weekend with aforementioned mother and it's little husband, my father. I also hope a certain 15-year-old managed to sink his teeth into some fine food.

4. Music. My friend Carlton has just outdone himself earlier this afternoon, having played some outstanding jazz and, err, non-jazz on his radio show. It gets confusing when you find yourself listening to Lenny Kravitz on a jazz show, but you're not complaining if you're anything like me. I'd love to advertise his show further and I will find a way of doing that without having to mention the radio channel. (Unfortunately, we at DOGFORADAY have no signed contract with said channel. As Julia Roberts once said, "Big mistake...big huge mistake".)

Now, some shopping for provisions and back to #202.

Friday 17 November 2006

Tonight, predictably


Tonight, predictably,

there is yellow light and tea.

Tonight, melancholy,

is on the clock and smiling,

miserable in timing and grace.


Like an acquaintance visiting unannounced.

Reluctant to hug,

but eyeing the wine tucked under his arm,

his overture isn't renounced.


Tonight, predictably,

the movie they're showing

is black & white and sad.

Like the dog I left behind

and wish I never had.


Tooth

(For my lovely Cat)

We'll never remember
how we kissed
in our thousand follies of youth.

Now forever
on the nape of your neck,
the triangle of my tooth.

Ticket

(For Mark)

There's a big fat lady singing the blues.
She'll buy you a beer
when you're feeling low, dear.
And when you're looking pale
she's your ticket to a darker ale.
And when a black cat crosses the street,
it's you she'll run to greet.

There's a big fat lady singing the blues
and she's taking her cues
from you.

Orange Fantasy Room

I like black magic
just a little too much:
look how I find solace
in ugly dolls.
Look how the broom finds
the corners of my
orange fantasy room.

I like power games
just a little too much,
but I don't have the strength
to hold your hand.
So I don't tear my eyes away
from this faltering
out-of-tune band.

And you sigh so sadly.
And your shadow flies softly
far away, far far away
from me.

I like loving you
just a little too much:
look how I display this heart
upon my sleeve.
Look how you coat hangs around
and nods and smiles at my
orange fantasy room.

And you sigh so sadly.

Dog for a Day

Last week, The Cat and I went on a little holiday. And on the road, our car ran over a dog. I was talking, and I remember thinking, what a strange speedbreaker. But I don't remember much else. Instead, I tried to shut it out of my thoughts and my conscience. And I had a great weekend, and nightmares. I came back and had a normal week, with nightmares. At night I sleep peacefully, with nightmares. Always at the back of my head, is the sound of a strange speedbreaker followed by the image of a writhing dog. Black and white and red all over.

Of course I'll never forgive myself. And as a lame attempt to redeem the horror the horror the horror, I dedicate this blog to a dead dog.

Black and white and red all over, if I could have been a dog for a day, I'd choose to be you on that day.