Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Globally warm, locally frozen

It is 3.15pm soaked mercilessly in a blazing sun and all that the stretch of my parched capacities allow me to think is whether it was the sun that’s gotten bizarrely hotter than ever or the ozone that's drilled irreparable.
Whatever the case, I have just attended to my compulsive shopping urge and I am comforted by the sight of shopping bags strewn across every appendage of my body. I watch my shopping bags.
Patent leather shoes - A carcass of a cow, probably named Laxmi, reared & revered, to be skinned after or before she died, slaughtered either way - Rs2500; Lycra jeans - Manufactured in a communistically dilapidating factory in Argentina amidst an impending insurgency - Rs2000; A B&W shirt - Printed in a dark, constrictive room by pre-adolescent children, particles of cotton settling inside their lungs with playful levity, something they should rather be chasing - Rs1800; Marc Jacobs perfume - CFCs suspend like helium balloons and explode like atomic bombs - Rs2500.
And like a habitual ingrate, I complain about the cruel summer, the endless traffic jam, the choking smoke and recessive consumerism and I watch a beggar-child sneak around my cab. I expect an imploring, shabby hand but I see a bunch of 5 carnations there instead. Strikingly natural (because they were somewhat wilted?). Their serrated petals curling away from the heat. Rs15, she tells me, extravagantly.
I look away like I am taught to. While she stands there endorsing those 5 carnations, all of them a greenish hue of a disobeying yellow. Taking a chance on insensitivity. On insecurity. (Flowers??? They are embarrassing!)
While the sun keeps scorching outside, the exhaust of my cab keeps emanating fumes and frustrated faces keep spitting their spites, I sit with my trinkets of abnegations, looking away from those orbs of birth. I sit there in defiance holding on to my shopping bags.
And she stands there taking a chance on hope.

Art title – glicee/lithograph depicting carnations

Artiste – Historical Picture Archive/CORBIS

url - here

Monday, March 2, 2009

Afloat in stillness

He stared at the picture frame next to his bed with a blank assessment. The long of his smile felt like an achievement to him now. Now that it felt like it had been an eon since the last his lips curled in a rapturous suggestion. He has woken up from a sleep painfully induced by blinders. It was the subliminal kind of a sleep. The kind of sleep that keeps you still attached to the transpirations of your surroundings so much that you can tell the moon’s reflection ebbing on your face. He could see the toilet seat from where he lay detached to the vigor of a new day and remembered how he had flushed his pet fish last week. Her mouth permanently gaped with what must have been hours of battlement. Fins billowing in the water with a pseudo-life. Her color a moribund yellow, her eyes wide open and accusatory.

He wondered over the ease of the concept of the ‘flush’. A lever pulled down, a whirlpool of water swirling you downwards, pouring you into the purgatory until you get deposited into a scum of remains, only to be propelled towards the ocean where you eventually disintegrate. Maybe that’s what eventually does happen to all of us, he thought. How much he longed for that flush now. Ease. The kind of ease he felt when he had that synthetic tasting chinese directly from the foil every night for dinner.

He felt so unable to set himself in motion, to join the glorious madness on the street outside that once you become a part of is strangely soothing. He always had difficulty getting past this inability. It was like a clasp-knife, once the initial resistance was gone, it just flings out. At work, in that cubicle with out-dated, moribund yellow post-its and the keyboard with dusty crevices, it felt nice. The self-inflicted, self-proclaimed and self-defined kind of nice.

He played operatic music every night, loudly, to sap the million thoughts running through his head when all his enforced industries seem to run out. This baroque was the only ostentatious feature of his day, otherwise marred with trite monstrosities. When Giovanni’s motet surged to its highest crescendo, there emerged an ethereal numbness inside his head, disconnecting and disentangling him from the discordant orchestra he always heard around him. He tried memorizing and replaying it now, to fight the non-buoyancy of the bed that he was sitting, staring at that bafflingly cheerful picture. Awake but not really. The kind of awake that is more detached than being dead.

Flush, he thought.

art title - Floating In Blue, oil on canvas
artiste - Peter Arnold
url -