Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Caffeine On A Screen.

Many times over the past week I have thought of writing about certain moments of the last few months that have come to hold a certain meaning for me.  I save draft after draft--all of them empty, and soon these memories would most likely fade away too, much like my (ever dwindling) motivation to sit down and finish four posts in one day.

I've wanted to write about how on a cloudy, noisy (as is quite uncommon within the confines of our college) Saturday evening I went with two of my friends (insofar as walking less than a kilometre to near the chemistry lab to spend thirty minutes detailing memes of days past can be termed as 'went') for a cup of coffee and to discuss the sorry states of our lives before a quiz.  I went into sorriness overdrive, then, and ended up drinking two cups of coffee.  (After that I went into caffeine overdrive and became a pretentious pale-faced pixie who believed she could still sing well.)  My friend subsequently called up at least five people frenziedly to ask if they were bunking German class (they weren't, much to his dismay and annoyance--he did, anyway). 

I've also wanted to write about how three of us sat under the tree behind the girls' lobby (known to most of us first years primarily as 'The Tree'), made weird faces, and Snapchatted them to every batchmate of ours within a Snapchatting radius.  Or how as I walked along the road beside our mess hall, at midnight, while reading a presentation about meiosis, then went inside (my fingers were frozen; I was scared my arteries would burst, quite frankly) to find people I see solemnly entering class every morning--to their own credit, and to that of their roommates'--dancing and clapping their arses off (bad imagery?) because it was someone's birthday.  
Birthday celebrations here deface the cake more than the person whose (un)lucky day it is, contrary to vox populi.  A sad wastage of delicious, sumptuous, luxurious chocolate and vanilla frosting, if you ask me.  Not that I don't deface the cake myself, sometimes, when everybody else pastes frosting onto the person's face, like rouge, except here, the purpose is seldom beautification.

Occasionally I have felt like detailing the impact a single pizza box had at around eight at night, when I was (as far as I remember) starving and about to treat (read relegate) myself to an extraordinary amount of paneer and butter-less tandoori roti, while my roommate would look on with increasing doses of wistful nonchalance (at the paneer, not the pizza--I shared the pizza, I'm not a jerk) while she finished her masala dosa and rolled her eyes at a friend who said she wasted food.  Pizza is love, pizza is life.  Pizza is elixir.  With soda (in particular, Sprite--my dad introduced me to Sprite when I was seven and just beginning to explore the legendary and much-lauded world of cold drinks) and a bit of that yellow garlic sauce you get at Papa John's, pizza and I would be a match made in heaven.

Writing about these lone (or not) incidences is quite an arduous task, however--not in that one does not find the right words to describe them, but because how do you distill all this into words on a page?  It seems almost as if you are disregarding the sanctity of what happened; you expect that, through a series of not-so-finely divided letters and spaces, you will convey adequately to a reader what those happenings mean to you and your cronies.  After thinking about all this, the question that might bug your entrails the most is: why do we write at all?  

Do we write as a method of self-actualization?  To stand out from the pack?  If everyone wants to stand out of 'the pack' (what is the pack?), would not the action itself become meaningless?  Do we write to be remembered, and if yes, why do we think that people will remember something they read on a random blog post ten years ago, and who wrote it?  Memories become hazy over time, and truth and perspectives are too relative.  Do we write for the others in our lives or for ourselves?  Do we write as selfish skunks try to spray mercaptans all over our beautiful gardens, or do we write to serve?

Maybe, as is with everything, each of us writes for a different purpose.  Some of us write because we want to share our happiness, some to share their pain, yet others write because they see no reason not to.  I think I write because I fear that I'd forget these things someday; and that day would be a sad, sad day (sadder than most others, anyway).  The only thing we could do, I believe, is to keep writing, so that when we are old and about to leave our planet and universe behind, we could give the keys to a secret drawer to our children, and their children, and tell them, this is where you will find my heart when I am gone.  This is where you will find me: in my writings.  Writings never perish; as long as words live on, so do we.  And it might so happen that one day, when I am but another star amongst a million others in the night sky, someone might look up and say it was nice to have a cup of coffee.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Blue.

To write stories these days, I use an app on my phone, because I don't want to get out of bed and turn my laptop on and type that address in, because I know I will type in the wrong address. I will go somewhere I had never meant to be. I am, now, the laziest person I have ever seen. Lazier than I have ever been.


In four days I have exams. I have not studied for the past two days. I should, but I don't, and I don't know why. Maybe it's because I find that I discover how I should have done something long after I have had to do it already.

The app on my phone lets me change colours. Lately all my notes have been blue. Blue because that is the colour that most intrigues me, for reasons I cannot say. Blue because blue is the colour of a picture that I see on my screen every day. Blue because my profile picture on Facebook is blue (maybe that blue has reasons too). Blue because blue is the opposite of red, and there has been too much red in my life for the last few days. Red in my journal. Red in my notebook. Red on my screen, because of Quora. Red in my room, because of my blanket and my towel. Red in my blood.

Blue because I have a blue bed-sheet that has the Wimbledon logo all over it (no, I don't watch tennis). Blue because...deep down inside, I am green and blue. Blue-green is the colour of the sea. The sea is where I would rather be. Instead of this concrete excuse for greenery, and scenery, I would much rather be real. Blue because blue is the colour of pretence. I pretend. I pretend I know where I am going. I pretend I believe in the things I used to believe. I pretend I know how to help you.

Blue because these past few days, you and I have been blue, sad. You are bluer than I am. I painted myself blue to match the opposite colour of one of your shirts. Inside I am green. Green will give you hope. Paint yourself green, and be green with me. It'll be fun. It'll be new, for you. And as much as I hate to use the word--it'll be--fresh. Fresh as the grass that you have not set foot on for more than a week. Fresh as the grass I was rolling around in just yesterday. Fresh as the grass I had to wash off my feet. It is already half past nine in the morning and I am--I am--dead beat.
You have too much red in your life, too. The scars on your heart are red. The scars on your heart have the opposite colour to my handkerchief. Maybe that's why I can't wipe them off, because I read somewhere that you have to fight fire with fire. The scars on your heart are there because your heart was broken a while ago. A while feels like a long, long time ago. A while feels like yesterday. Fire is red.
On some nights, the moon is red. On other nights, it is white. That means you can draw anything on it. What do you draw? I draw green. I draw a cabin in the woods, a cabin made of wood, with a bed and a fireplace and a chimney and cheese and potatoes. Burnt potatoes. Slightly burnt potatoes, to remind you of a distant past. When is the past distant and when is it close? I am cheesy. Am I too cheesy? Do I make you sick to your stomach or do I make you feel delicious? Am I cheesy, or am I just cheese? Do I ask too many questions?
But you said the questions are more important than the answers. Does that mean you would rather not find the answers to some questions? Do I ask too many questions?
Blue because I believe that if you paint yourself enough--or maybe--if I paint you more than enough, you will be green again. Maybe you don't want to be green. Maybe you want to be white--blank, so you can draw yourself again. White, so that you can fill in the colours again. Or colour outside the boundaries of what you have drawn. There are no rules, here, with me. But there are no rules only for you. Are you white because you want to wipe yourself off? Please don't. There will be scars on my heart if you do that. And they will be red. And I don't like red. Because I am blue now. I will stay blue until you remove your blue, even though I know that wiping colours off of yourself is not something you or I, or anybody for that matter, can do. If that is the case, then wipe the colours off me. Turn me black, because black is everywhere. That means I will never leave you. That means I will stay with you forever. How long is forever? Blue because blue is a part of black, and I would much rather be black than green, if that is what suits you. Suits are black, too.
Blue because blue is royal and fancy. And we are fancy; even though we may not be royal. We are simple beings, of things that look worse than stardust. We are, probably, just dust. But your dust is beautiful and poetic, and broken, and sad, and...and please tell me how to break my dust too. Then we can glue your dust back together. Your dust doesn't need surgery. It needs paint. Your dust is blue. Paint over it. Paint inside it. Paint everything with yourself so that wherever I go, you are still there. This does not mean you should wipe yourself off. Don't wipe yourself off. Okay?
Okay. Now it is time for me to go. Now it is time for me to paint. Paint with words. Paint the gloomy dark suburbs of my soul. You, you paint your sole. That needs painting too. Paint it the colour of you. Now that I think about it more--you are probably not very blue. Maybe you are black. Maybe you are who I have been looking for. Now I am awake. I was sleeping before. For twelve hours. Now I am awake enough to paint you. Don't leave before I finish. I know she has painted you blue. I will paint you green...I will paint you white. I will paint you starry. I will paint you everything. Maybe you are my paint.
I am your paint. I will always be your paint. I will never be your pain. Don't leave before I leave. I will never leave. Now I must go. You are still blue. I have to buy paint.

Monday, 7 November 2016

At the Tunnel's End.

Some days you would rather sleep through.  Some days you would rather not live.  The minute you wake up--these days--you get this empty feeling around your heart or in your stomach or wherever it is saying something is wrong.  

Something could go horribly wrong today.  

I feel like this right now; I don't know why.  Probably the weather; probably the fact that I've got submissions due, and books to read, and problems to practise, and facts to memorize (this is the distasteful part--although sometimes, some days, one must do what is necessary to stay afloat and not drown in this ocean of thoughts and obsolete prerequisites), and it all becomes slightly overwhelming at times.  Or very overwhelming.  It's like a cycle, really, happy one day, sad the other.  This is part of the reason I don't like cycles much, but it is not as if one could change this cyclic nature of life into something more appealing (to me).  Some might say I'm mad.  Some know I am.

Some days you feel like you are falling into an endless abyss of thoughts dark enough to kill Death.  Some days you feel empty inside--maybe it's because something happened, long ago, that you're trying to forget and move on from, but with each passing hour, you find yourself being dragged deeper and deeper into that black hole you so desperately wish to escape.

I guess everybody feels this way once in a while.  Or twice.  Or more.  I suppose the real question would be that if sadness is inevitable and cannot be beaten, what do we live for?

I do not know the answer; I can only guess.

You live to come home from a long, tiring journey from the deepest, vilest pits you encounter during these necessary excursions into this thing that is called the outside world.  The outside world can be cruel sometimes--so much so that you have to look at Facebook posts detailing how someone's faith in humanity was restored: it is quite sad it has come to this--but things can change.  I hope they will.  It would not be good for humankind's skeletons if we were to go about falling into pits like Cheerios from a cereal box (except the bowl Cheerios fall into, here, has an end and a boundary).

You live so that you can taste the wind and feel it blowing through your hair in every direction, like a cloudburst of air.  So you can smell the smoked corn cobs as you walk by a lone stall near the edge of the sidewalk, and buy one, relieved that you can finally pay for your food in Indian rupees.  Maybe so you can photograph (and participate in) the explosion of colours during Ganesh Chaturthi or Pujo celebrations--or you might want to spend an afternoon with coffee and your favourite books--or coffee and your favourite friends.  

Maybe you live so you can watch your favourite band live after nearly a decade.  Or so that you can write.  Or so you can dream.  It wouldn't hurt to dream for a while.  Nightmares are dreams, but all dreams aren't nightmares.

This is just a real-life nightmare; this too shall pass.  It is only temporary, and what I should probably remember is that life is a rollercoaster that only goes up, and keeps going.  Eventually, the skies will clear and the sun will shine so brightly that--it won't blind your eyes--but instead of black and white shades populating the cones inside your eye, you could see something profoundly new.

~

Oh, now I'm floating so high.
I blossom and die.
Send your storm and your lightning to strike 
Me between the eyes
And cry.

Believe in miracles.

Oh hey, I'm floating up above the world now!
Oh hey, I'm floating up above the world now!




Saturday, 5 November 2016

As You Like It.

How paradoxical it is that we are ambitious but also find anonymity appealing, my friend said to me as she gazed nonchalantly at the black ceiling, again, and again.  She had stared at the ceiling yesterday, too.  And the day before that.  And the day before the day before...

He tapped his forehead with his pen; seldom had he found it so difficult to put his thoughts into words.  Although he had observed that putting thoughts into words had become a little more cumbersome for him, of late, mostly because he was doing other things.

Thinking about other things.  And people.
Person, actually.

Was he fooling himself?  He would probably never know.

It was two in the morning, yet here he was (idly twiddling his thumbs to match the beat of the song that played in his head, as ever), imagining another life, in which anything was or could have been possible.

Possibilities--the word was as scary as it was exciting.  But isn't that what life was all about?  Scariness and excitement?  Of course, he could be wrong, but that wasn't the point.  The point was that he could be.

The past year had gone by pretty uneventfully (pretty--what an oxymoronic word to use), oh, except for one thing.  He would rather not be reminded of it.  The past month, however, had been, quite contrarily to the general trend (graph) of his life (versus time), extremely eventful.  The past month had been an enigma he was still trying to make sense of.  

She was someone he was still trying to make sense of.  How could someone who looked so small and wonder-less (but somebody would surely find her wonderful, no doubt) write something that stirred within him such unimaginable feelings of kinship, and regret, and admiration, and emptiness?  So much to feel, and so little time!  She was a rollercoaster, and he was a slow-moving horse-coach that, instead of horses, was being pulled by donkeys, of all beings.  Not a perfect match (not even to be friends, much--or so he thought.  Of course, there were other, more important things, that he held dearer to his heart, that beckoned him to talk to her every day).  

But friendship and love is seldom about matching.  Friendship is about staying even when you don't match.  Friendship is about tearing your paper heart in half, and giving one half to your friend if his heart is broken.  Friendship is about crusading silently, caped; masquerading as the Dark Knight for this one person in your life, because...because they are special.  Special, and no more, no less.  Friendship is about being the unlikely superhero for an irreplaceable person.  True friendship, and true love: both of these do not pull you down.  You grow with them.  

You might stay away from the other person for a couple of days, weeks, months, or maybe even many years, but when you see them again--it feels like you've come home.  Because you are home.  Those moments, those times you shared together--they are unforgettable, as if you only lived them yesterday.  And this is what friends are for, isn't it?

She smiled, and ran her hand through his hair.  He had fallen asleep on his diary, and his pen lay besides the window, almost invisibly, as if it held the night to be of no consequence whatsoever...again.

~


Little by little, inch by inch
We built a yard with a garden in the middle of it
It ain't much but it's a start
You got me swaying right along to the song in your heart
And a face to call home
A face to call home
You got a face to call home.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Orange.

So I draw the curtains, with my window still open.  I don't want people to see inside; feels intrusive.

The curtains here are orangey.  They're green at home.  An antithesis, if I think about it more (sometimes I'm tired and I don't want to think), and each reminds me of different things.  Home reminds me of the distant past, and this room with the orange curtains reminds me of the present, if the present is something you can be reminded of.

I'm listening to a song, again.  I've been listening to a lot of songs, these days.
New ones.  Old ones.  Friendly ones.  Ones that cut you and make you think you'd rather die...these are sometimes necessary.  If you want to know a person, just listen to the songs they've sent you; it'll tell you what kind of person they are.  Or not.  This song is a bit of all of it.

In the room with the orange curtains, I spend my days doing assignments, reading books, studying for tests, and chatting with people on Messenger.  Quite a peaceful existence, really.  Sometimes I wonder if I am not much of a feeler.  Then my friend sends me a message and I remember that I am not as much of a robot as I think I am...either fortunately or unfortunately.  Robots, for one, follow algorithms in everything they do, or are told to do.  I don't.

Outside this room, I am pretty much the same, except I talk to people a little more.  Outside this room, I am quite jolly, if I may say so myself.  My friends here do not think of me as too quiet a person, insofar as people can be said to be too quiet.  Outside this room, my otherwise drab existence fills with colours I haven't seen before.  Our neighbours have made rangolis in front of their doors.  In the night, I see fairy-lights twinkling in unusual places.  Sometimes I hear music too.  At midnight, most of it dies down.  At midnight, you can hear the crickets chirping, or a boy talking on the phone with his mother.  If you listen closely enough, you can hear people laughing, too.  I think the only thing missing here is snow.  But the night is dark enough that you would not need whiteness to accentuate its silence.

It's cold in the dark.  Cold enough to take a walk, shivering incessantly (for some reason, I don't want the shivering to stop, though; keeps me awake).  And while this walking business is still going on, I meet a few people.  It is here that discussions about biology and bonds and assignments happen.  Sometimes it is small talk, with many where-are-you-goings and where-have-you-beens and what-will-you-do-afters.  Sometimes I am called back upstairs by a mysterious urge to quantify the darkness into zeroes and ones on a blank, white screen: although I believe darkness is not something that can be described (adequately and perfectly).  Most times I fight this urge and keep walking, because how will I write if I do not experience?  My imagination is a clichéd curry of random outpourings I have past regurgitated, just so.  I believe things I have read in books, and watched in movies, without once stopping to see if they were true.

And hence it is here I wish to find truth.  This place is somehow more real, even though all most of us students receive here is largely fabricated and unrepresentative of reality (you know, grades.  It's sad, really).  Here you can walk four kilometres just to find a place to eat, and traverse a considerable distance to buy a cake for your friend and classmate in the middle of the night, only to leave it in the freezer when you get backit is not cake anymore, then, it is cake-matté.  Nevertheless, as my friends and I sing happy birthday the next day, I realize this place could not have given me more: it's quite a gift.  A present.


~


While we're wild and free
We'll skip like we're stones on the sea
We'll sing like we're birds in the tree that grows
Outside your window, while we're new and young
We'll shine like a morning sun
No matter the seasons that come and go
And which way the wind blows.




  

~ imposter.

Alone on the roads Silent night All the streetlights Flickering, all the crickets chirping Unsteady steps - Nobody notices Maybe I...