23.9.14

/

don't want to write/can't write anyway. 

14.9.14

fall in love in cities by the sea

old loves
kiss me softly
on my nose, like a
duck on my chin;
nibble my ear a little
to the left while i
dream about
popcorn, the sea
and winter rain.

10.9.14

drunk post about a book

i am drunk. i haven't been drunk in 3 1/2 weeks. there are two reasons for this - the first is that there really isn't any alcohol legally available in rural gujarat (and i didn't know a bootlegger); the second is that the only kind of people who get drunk in rural india are men or witches. in any case, this isn't a post about my being drunk, this is a post about a book. 

cities nauseate me. i mean this in a literal sense. i am asthmatic, and this means when i don't pay attention to how my lungs work, i suffocate and feel nauseous. when i don't swim, when i don't jog/walk/do yoga/exercise, i start to pay attention to things like air density and humidity levels.

this has nothing to do with how much i love cities.

i recently read the latest murakami book, colourless tsukuru tazaki and his yeas of pilgrimage.

i talk about how cities are nauseating because i have belatedly come to a conclusion about all of murakami's books. his most central concern, or the one that i relate to most anyway, is the condition of urban loneliness. or to put it in another way, he writes about people who put themselves in boxes. i may mean this literally - because what are urban homes if not boxes; but i most certainly mean it in a metaphorical sense. we become people without names or faces; we become persons whose lives are only meaningful to ourselves. 

we become concerned with what we eat and what we wear and our daily routines and who we are friends with and what sort of books we read and what towels we use and whether we use conditioner meant for dry hair or oily hair  and what sort of music we listen to and whether we think epubs are better than whatnot and where we download our music from and whether we are indie enough and whether we support the right kind of hip issues and whether we are green but what the hell is wrong with any other colour which brings me right back to murakami. 

i love him, and i was asked recently what it is i love about him, i love him because he is so bloody good at talking about the urban condition. murakami, better than anyone else, talks about what it is like to be a person of one's own - not merely in the sense of being independent - but in the sense of being singular. that's not true. i love murakami because i associate my own solitariness with his characters. they are not driven or passionate about any one thing; they do what they do because they do it. they have no strong sense of direction - they go where they go because life takes them there. and that's just how it is. 

but the truth is also (okay i'm drunk so i'm gping to tell this story - someone had a whole 45 minute conversation with me today assuming i was about 5 years younger than i really am - i'd blame it on my new and fancy haircut) that i love murakami because i loved him when i was younger. when i needed him, he was there. when i read after dark at 17 alone in a cafe-cum-bookshop after a fight with my best friend when i was sure i'd never talk to her again (it has been ten years since, we're still talking) it struck a deep resounding chord in my heart and i was hooked. five years after, when i read dance dance dance, it spoke to me in ways noone else did. his work has left a deep blemish on how i read and write fiction, no question about it. but do i love him as i did four or five years go? not really. is he as relevant? may be more than ever. 

i might delete this post tomorrow, but right now i'm super astounded by how few spelling and grammatical errors there are.

also i read the book on a sunday on my kindle on my phone in a village 10000000 miles from a mobile phone tower. and i'm back in delhi now. i really feel on some days that i should make my google calendar public, just in case someone wants to hang out with me. (while we're still on the urban loneliness thing). okay post ends.

edit: tomorrow, when i'm sober, remind me to talk about cities, anonymity and loneliness; and why sleeping under the stars is all fine but really airconditioning is where it's at.

5.9.14

burdens

i think a promise
slipped out of my bag
yesterday. i can't seem
to remember which or
where but i know
i'm just not feeling
it weighing down
on me.

15.8.14

where are you going

YES LET'S POLICE EVERYBODY because that's the bloody answer.

(i'm constantly surprised by my own capacity for anger at things i was sure i had made my peace with. oh well.)

13.8.14

learning from this week

sita does not know how to take a selfie.

*groan*

11.8.14

air

i hate people
who never know when
to use
"air quotes"

26.7.14

milestone

saw my first ever dancing peacock today in baria, gujarat.

:)
 

20.7.14

who'll stop the rain

the thing about happiness nobody tells you about is this: when you're happy, the things that you used to cling to for life, don't matter so much anymore.

not television, not books, not frantically being the first to read everything the internet has to offer, not music, not alcohol, not the right shade of lipstick. it doesn't bother me so much that i haven't read a book from start to finish in weeks. i haven't read july's issue of so many magazines, and july's almost over. i haven't listened to three weeks of podcasts, but it doesn't irk me. i haven't eaten red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and i've been craving it since mid-june. (i haven't even zomato'ed it more than twice.) 

i'll tell you what matters though. deodorant that works. orange juice in the morning. the right music in the shower. pedicures. the right berth on a train. sleep. and crappy movies, always. 

obviously happiness and loneliness are compatible too, and that's a good thing also. 

14.7.14

grown up

i hate growing up.

*grump*

(ps. grown ups just don't have fun on their birthdays, is it? bah.)

30.6.14

yah.

this is all very exciting, blog.

i have a new job! i have a place to stay! i paid rent! and will prospectively pay bills!

adult, i.

*excited, but soonly broke*

(yeah yeah i have to read and write and meet deadlines and generally spend quality time inside my head. and not at work. i get it. i'll do it soon in my cool new apartment with nice showers)

(or not, because i'm traveling for the rest of my foreseeable future. but what are trains for if not for writing!)

24.6.14

squee

i've been cheery and high all day. like you know the annoying kind of cheery, that you just want to slap?

yeah. me.

and it reached a peak just now: i discovered that an author i love and i have *several* mutual friends on facebook. OMIGODCANTHISWORLDGETANYSMALLER.

(don't answer that with a rant about political economy or i might hit you.)

22.6.14

guide to loneliness and back

peaberry plantation mix,
song on my iPod,
metro card,
i.

the smell of home
the sound of urban
nothings and
me.

the guide to loneliness
and back
is a secret nobody
shares.  

27.5.14

allusionary

a shimmer, a glimpse
a word for the sea

a thing you want to say
to me.

petrichor/ coffee/
japanese/ cherry/ blossom

a hum a whisper a murmur
of things you will not say
to me. 

(only things within
parantheses, of course
like characters in comic books
will you?)

17.5.14

alien

the magic trick: making the real, illusionary.

because we are so blinded by it, so deeply taken in, so sold, that we only see from within. whatever is outside, whatever is incongruous, whatever is not a part of this performance is really not real at all. we have no vocabulary for it; we render it voiceless by our limited imagination.

and we perpetuate it. we teach unbelief; we teach unbelief as belief. because, after all, cities can only rise from the ashes of those that burn. we watch the smoke rise from a distance, and we think of the possibilities that it can offer. we dream the limited dreams that are sold to us in packaged boxes, we live the limited lives that are offered to us in advertisements.

we look for magic only in places we think there should be: our unicorns are always white, living in rainbows of every colour. we are so involved in looking for the magic trick, we don't realize that the magic is outside the performance.

and we forget. we are so happy with our illusions, our mirrors, our box-sized dreams, that we forget there is magic at all.

14.5.14

mango yoghurt

breakfast is really the only food i need.

obviously i don't mean i only eat in the morning (morning, what is that?) - i mean i can live on muesli, fruit and yoghurt. or eggs and toast. or both.

oh wait, were you expecting deeper insights?

that doesn't happen to happy people, apparently. :D

(you can let me know when this happiness starts to annoy you. i'll go back to being grumps. promise.)

13.5.14

hi!

being happy is pretty awesome. i recommend.

3.5.14

new story in reading hour

I have a new story out in print, you guys!

You can buy it here - http://www.readinghour.in/

Or preview it here:


(Or, of course, I can send you a copy if you write to me.)

20.4.14

making mountains

I am losing myself in a wind.

I was gathered in a heap
(like a mountain)
with apparent seamlessness
(like garbage is gathered)
And when the wind came
(the wind always comes)
It took me away from me
(the edges first always)
But I am flapping my arms
(gathering always gathering)
I know it's not working
(paper boats in a rain pool)
because my edges are frayed and

I am losing myself in a wind.