Monday, September 29, 2008

Desultory thoughts


A situation involving impunctuality led me into walking aimlessly across the Victoria Terminus station. Walking amidst a sea of faces each of which have a story etched on them. It’s out there, naked on display like that, for you to decipher. And then a thought ambles through my mind .
A day in the life of someone else.

In the life of that street urchin you accidentally see outside the mall enthralled by the sight of your shopping bags.
In the life of that average looking timid girl with average sized breasts clad head to toe but has passersby undress her with their eyes.
In the life of that listless, apathetic working class middle aged man sitting opposite to you in the train who isn’t looking at anything or maybe looking at something but you cant tell.
In the life of that teenage boy in an ill-fitting, tattered scout uniform going back to his battered mother and drunken father after being abused at the camp.
In the life of the drunkard lying ignored and unattended by the side of a busy street in a pool of his vomitus.

In the life of that up-town snob who’s breath smells of last night's meth in the morning when she wakes up in her triplex with a swimming pool and doesn’t like her parents for not letting her swim in the sea.

In the life of that seemingly content housewife who drops her kids at the school and then sneaks her paramour home.
In the life of that corporate aspirant with a perfect anatomy of pecs and packs and tested positive for HIV yesterday.
In the life of that jilted lover who cries in the shower and breaks dishes while washing them.

In the life of that happy person who is going to die a painful and violent death.

In the life of that inherently sad person who is about to find his bliss.

I will never know. Or maybe I will. One of these days.
Or one of these lives.

art title - mumbai by day
artiste - Accueil
url - http://www.worldwale.com/system/files/images/crowd_mumbia_train_station.jpg

Monday, September 22, 2008

Splendor sketches of a weekend


A weekend is like a trip you take, hoping all you can, for it to go well but not really being too sure about it. And when it turns out to be flawless or even minus the usually expected misfortunes, it can give rise to insufferable blues later. Reminiscing the good times can either mean reliving them or yearning for a rerun. The smell of the brandy-soaked weekend haunts your olfactories a good into the mid week. Medleys of the events flash before your eyes while you stare at the email explaining a deadline to you. The merriment of inventing cocktails and naming them after the initials of your names has its aftereffect that doesn’t go away even with the most disheveling occupations.
You wake up on a humdrum Thursday and wonder while taking a crap how there aren’t any songs made about Thursdays. And then how you couldn’t crap the entire last Sunday not because you didn’t want to, but because it just never occurred to your otherwise well tuned bowels amidst watching a unanimously chosen bad yet relatable movie with your friends. Your hunger had surged again and your idiopathic headaches had ceased last Sunday. Thoughts about dying alone and having your nearly decomposed body discovered, half eaten by your pet cat had ceased too. Saturday you had laughed without being aware of it. And slept without counting sheep.
It is going to be another weeks, months maybe, of synchronizing schedules and zeroing in on one weekend when all our disseminated lives can converge for old times’ sake. Funny how old times are always the better times. So you draw yourself back into the blanket of longing for the new times so you can hark back upon the old times. That that weekend will come soon.

art - splendid evening, serigraph on canvas
artiste - Hessam Abrishami
url - http://www.visionsfineart.com/abrishami/images/splendid_evening.jpg

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweet release


Beep beep. Everytime the pager beeped, an alarm system went off in my head suggesting impending events of emergency. You become conditioned to the beep in such a way that after sometime, you can almost tell when it is going to beep. It beeps, and you run. That’s how it works. Run to answer a call of distress.
I was on one of my routine rounds checking up on patients with my well-rehearsed “Hi’s” when my pager beeped. It was from the neurology ward. Which would mean an incapacitated person with lifeless limbs, immobile eyes or even comatose. As was the reflex, I ran. Reaching the neurology ward, I heard disconcerted beeping on the machines indicating a crisis of the vitals. I saw the patient gasping and the nurses scuffling around her. I was told her BP was dropping at an alarming rate. Her respiratory rate was high. Her pulse was feeble and her eyes were fixed. She needed resuscitation to be saved.
I called the resuscitation team. They came promptly. The team leader asked me for the file and while handing over the file I kept reconstructing the history of the patient. Beep beep went the machines in the back, faster now. I saw he wasn’t listening to me. Before I could finish he showed me what was written in block letters on the file. Like a red sign post that warns you. DNR. Do Not Resuscitate.

We watched her fade into a chilling silence. The beeping had stopped. Time of death 9.54am.

Her daughter presided over the silence outside. Soon she would be told (although she might have guessed by now) that her mother is “no more”. But she was probably ready for this moment when she consented on the DNR form. Or was she hoping for one of those movie miracles to happen? When did she come to terms with this inevitable loss? Or will she ever?

Time of letting go, cant really tell.

art title - hospital bed, acrylic on canvas
artiste - Mikey Welsh
url - http://www.mikeywelsh.com/images/hospitalbed_400.JPG

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hued again


We were always enamored by rainbows. Beaming my child eyes at pictures of the vibgyor in my primary school story books is a vivid memory. A band of harmonious colors strewn across the sky with perfectly contoured clouds at its tail and a gleeful sun by it’s side. Ahh. Innocent interpretation of a spotless mind.
The mind has a way of assuming perfection to be equivalent of fantasy. Rainbows were surreal to me. Until one day when my mother showed me this spectral vision from the terrace of our house just after a thunderous spell of shower. She told me the sun marries the rain and makes 7 babies. I jumped with joy for having spotted, in glorious flesh, a picture long painted inside my mind.
Years have gone by and the mind has been manipulated. Blue is for sorrow and Red is for anguish. Orange is for the communalists and Violet for the dalits. We disregard the Green. There is too much of Yellow. The 7 babies have all gone bad.
Until one drippy August morning when I spotted a multitude of colors flowing across the street. Flamboyance at its personified best. Grace at its existential best. And beauty at its unconventional best. Asking for love. The 7 babies were now in unison again asking to be loved.
Ahh. Benevolent congregation of the spotless minds.

art title - rainbow, acrylic on canvas (bubble photography)
artiste - John Searles
url - http://www.searlesart.com/AW-Rainbow-16_small.jpg

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rapture Cycles


I am having my chocolate milk in the morning. Don’t you want it to be of a certain temperature? This one is too hot so I let it cool. After overseeing the cup constantly, its finally of the right temperature now but it has developed a cream cake layer over its surface. How much I hate it. I carefully flick it off the cup only to find the sugar inadequate. I am too despaired now to add sugar in it. I grumpily drink the compromised chocolate milk like an imposition.
He is having his chocolate milk in the morning. It is cold. It has a strand of hair floating on its surface. He casually removes it and savors every drop of it. It is without any sugar.

I am stuck in a job I wanna break out of. Weekdays are times of unending clock watching. Weekends are times of discontent retrospecting. I have no friends at work. I make sure I don’t make any. I don’t want anyone to look through my facade of resilience. I smoke and cry silently sitting on the toilet seat. I want to gossip about the new girl but I pretend to be working.
He loves his job so much that he hates holidays. Weekdays are weekends. His friends at work advise him not to smoke. Vulnerability has garnered him strength.

I come home to have my dog pounce with excitement on my exhausted body. I am smiling inspite of me. I have found my sugar today.
He comes home to find four damp walls waiting to infuse him with a sad feeling. He will find his hope tomorrow.

art title - jewelled navigator (rapture series), acrylic on canvas
artiste - Henry Harvey
url - http://www.wishihadthat.com/ProductImages/panels/JeweledNavigatormed.jpg

Handicaps of heart


Stealing some more time under the blissful hot water shower and watching the water trickle down my nakedness had almost become a daily ritual these days.
Two threads of water join between my chest. I notice the grains of hair growing back after a merciless waxing session 2 days back. Then it flows a little lower. I pincer grasp the protrusion of my navel, wince and regret having the blueberry muffin yesterday. Then the little rivers spiral around my calves evoking depression of having the most pathetic legs of the world.

Next comes the excruciating process of selecting something appropriate to wear. Something to co-ordinate with what I am feeling today. Sometimes I feel aubergine and sometimes peachy. Then violate my hair with liberal amounts of gel to suppress their revolt. Sunblock to not only block the sun but also to block the lungs of my skin. Socks to match, shoes to match. Deo and perfume to emit another million molecules of CFCs into the atmosphere.

My mind is dysfunctional from all the travails of vanity even before my day begins. So much to make me look good and ergo, feel good. Every time I set my Prada shoes on the dirty ground, a part of me dies. I watch my gait every now and then. I don’t sit by the window lest the wind will fuck up my hair. On my way, I curse the sun for making me sweat. I curse the country for the crumbling infrastructure. I curse the people for dressing up in off-whites and eating Big Macs.

And just when I am almost reaching my limit of damnation for the day I see her walking. Not walking like most of us do. Walking with the help of crutches. Dressed in a school uniform and carrying a backpack stacked with books. Balancing on the lopsided crutches, on the lopsided road with her lopsided body. Gracefully. They passed by her scornfully. I would have too. Maybe even pushed her aside, not because she was in my way. But because she isn’t like us. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Thick glasses with magnified irises, 2 pigtails folded and ribboned, crooked nose aren't exactly the things that hold your gaze, are they?

It was the smile.
I cant tell for what or for who. What reason would she have? The mystery of it was annoying. But the sight of it equally balming.
I moved ahead into the world full of reasons to hate.

She moved the other way.

art title - pure love, mixed media
artiste - Gayle Curry
url - http://www.gaylecurry.com/100paintings/gaylecurry/images/34_pure_love_s.jpg

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lifed and Dismembered


Being caught up in one of those sudden downpours of rain while walking back home after dealing with a downpour of chaos at work was the last thing i needed that day. After sprinting for a while, splashing fast-filling puddles, I sought shelter inside a huge, unused tube made for water pipelines. How ironic I thought and laughed to myself despite being vulnerable to 'weather blues'. AAARRGH. Weather blues! Little things like this and that affect me so much. I cursed the weather some more and shriveled back inside the giant tube wheel only to find myself in company.
She was seeking shelter too. But only she didnt look like she was hiding from just the rain. It was more than that. One of her hoofs kept tapping on the iron of the pipe. I noticed she was tethered to a post. It didnt take me long to realize what was that she was hiding from. A knife with powdered red residual from its last use lay closeby. Her eyes (those dove-eyes were unmistakably of feminine order) seemed to look at it every now and then. And every now and then the tapping of her hoof increased.
She must have witnessed her companion, probably her lover, being broken into pieces of savories last Sunday. It should be her turn tomorrow. She sought shelter from tomorrow. There was grass fodder lying next to her, untouched. I reached out to touch her spine but it shivered my hand away even before any contact. She had lost faith in nobilities. She was wronged and soon she will be motionless. To even convey her silent protest.
I walked into the rain.
Little things like this and that didnt affect me now.
My friends would have reasoned; "Such is the way of life". I ate leaves and roots. But J.C.Bose told us they have a heart that bleeds too.

Life begets life.And lives. Life takes life. To live.
I had the choice of being a cynic or Mr.Brightside.

The sun came up with a subtle suggestion.

Little things like this and that make life.

art title - sonnenfresser, acrylics on canvas
artiste - Inge Schlaile
url -
http://www.ingeschlaile.com/Sonnenfresserpic1240.jpg

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Makings of a day


I just had another non-productive day. A day full of cruel mundanity and incapacitating banality. So much so that I watched the re-run of the most inconsequential episode of Sex And The City for the xth time.
I did try to watch a good movie. Good movies feed a dying day. By "good" movie I mean those adequately gauged by the critical standards and not mine. It turned out that the movie wasnt good enough to make me feel good about my unfructuous day. So a little after halfway through the unending and silent scene depicting human nature at it's most dramatic, I thought of taking a walk.
Here to emphasize on my desperation to break my routine, I'd must add that I hate the act of 'walking', aimless or otherwise.
But yet I decided to walk. Brave the poisonous levels of oxides in the air, the lack of a pedestrian pavement (which means even risking being run over) and the casual filth that surprisingly I still hadnt got used to despite having lived in this city all my life.
But i walked.
I did not carry my beloved i-pod, so it felt like I was suffering from a strange kind of hearing impairment. Just walking there by myself was an uncomfortable new feeling. At first you hear a deranged orchestra of traffic sounds. Just that. Then you walk some more. Like you have to get somewhere (only ofcourse you dont know where) and then the sounds start fading away and this blanket of reverie takes over.
A medley of thoughts that might seem unlinked at first but as you keep walking it starts to take a definite shape. You try all you can to figure. You sweat on your forehead. Now it's just your feet walking not you. You are floating. Floating around this spiral (it looked like a spiral to me) of thoughts, trying to understand it's course, its purpose even. And then, just like that, all in one fractional moment, you have a brainstorm.
It could be anything. Retrieval of a forgotten memory, formation of an ambition, birth of a new dream or maim of a myth. Learning of a lesson, closing of a chapter, clearance of a dilemma, growth of a hope, strike of a chord or just a simple breach of monotony. Anything. Anything at all. But it happens. As sure as that chirpy feeling you wake up with even on the lousiest sunday morning.
I had mine. I stopped like i had been stopped. And i spiraled back to finding connection with my feet. I looked at them. And right next to my feet, lying in torn abandonment on the swampy, pavementless street, splattered with numerous stamps of a busy weekday, was a piece of paper that i could identify was from the obituary column.
It read "..you were taken before your time..."
Thats all I could read.
I turned back and set towards my lonely abode. Towards the confinement i had for long inflicted myself with. But now I was a changed person.
A changed person who just had a great day.

art title - spiral gateway
artiste - Scott Bragg
url - http://www.dreamlandvisions.com/abstract/spiral_gateway.html