26.11.12

on some days i like to do silly things

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"SLAM," said the door.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"That'll be fifteen rupees," said the shop-keeper.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"GURGLE," said the water fountain.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"OOPS," said the empty bottle of water.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"That'll be sixty rupees," said the guy at the restaurant.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"BOO," said the ghost.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"Here you go!," said the friendly neighbour.

**


"Every character should want something. Even if it's just a glass of water."
- Kurt Vonnegut.

19.11.12

the boy who was a fruit

have you heard the story
about the boy who was
an avocado?

he was beautiful and green
and had eyes like a cat

yesterday, though,
in the market?

he had his heart broken

and you wouldn't know it if you saw him

(not unless you knew him
and felt him
and weighed him)

he turned black inside. 

**

hi s'ka! 
*waves* 

16.11.12

friendly advice

never organize somebody else's bookshelf.

11.11.12

2


**

In the beginning, there was nothing.

In this place, I had a new face. My ears were funny, my eyes were too dim and my hands, oh my hands were too slow. Too many calluses, too rough, too dirty. I shuffled where I had to walk, walked where I needed to run, stopped and looked instead of jumping right in. It is the way of cities, to leave you out if you don't fit in. But cities, they also take you in. They give you shelter and they give you a name. It is full of people who were once lost, and it is full of people who have found their place. All these people, the hairy ones and the bald ones and the ones with hair in their ears and the ones with hair on their toes, all of them, they're still looking.

So on roads, by carts of tea with cigarettes I could barely afford, I made fleeting friends. Friends whose names didn't matter and faces hadn't camouflaged into crowds. A conversation, two, about things that weren't us anymore. Things we held on to, only to give us something to hold on to while everything was nothing. Where we were from, what languages we spoke, the sound of our dialect, the price of onions, the smell of firewood in our kitchens at home. The things we missed here, but things we could never go back to. Merely fillers. Because there was nothing else.

Because there was nothing.

I remember little from this time. A man pouring tea into a glass under an orange streetlight. A scar under his left eye. The warmth of conversations. Him telling us about his wife and children. Two daughters he had to pay dowry for. His cows. His land. Him not telling us about the other things. A son who was killed for the father's gambling debts. There was no going back, he said. Not anymore. But why would he want to, he asked. The city doesn't judge. Another man I shared a blanket with. He didn't talk at all. Not about his ink-stained fingers, not about his ink-stained face. Not about wandering the trains in the day pretending they're carousels, not about our waking dreams. Not about our numb, blue toes on that cold, cold night. Not about anything at all. But why would we want to? The city doesn't interfere.

It was a life that wasn't a life. It was time I spent in exile. Time I spent gathering myself (bits of me that I recognized); time I spent leaving behind things I couldn't hold on to anymore (things I still held on to in my mind); time I spent moulding my face into one that could blend into malls and metro stations, buses and parks, alleys and under-roads, slums and pavements.

I did many things to merely survive. I went with a gang of children who did many different kinds of things to get high; all of which were easily available, none of which were ineffective. I knew all the places to get free lunch on every day of the week, and how much to bribe every guy who controlled the entry. I knew where to find the good enough garbage to sell, but wasn't already collected by someone specific. I knew where I could sleep without being woken, I knew which policemen to avoid and which places paid an honest day's wage to anyone who worked. I knew how much hunger I could deal with, and how much hunger would make me have delusions and my head spin out of control. But none of these things were things I wanted to know or things I cared about.

It was just the beginning, and it was nothing at all.

foggy winter night song

like a fool, i fell in love with you
you turned my whole world upside down.

 (please don't say you'll never find a way
or tell me all my love's in vain.)

lay. la.

4.11.12

I left behind everything I had ever known and ran. 

I didn't even know what it would be like in a city. I didn't know about the big roads and the cars and people who don't talk to you at all and the small houses and the smaller meals. I didn't know about the smells of food on the roads and the smells of old garbage and the smells of traffic jams and the smells of a thousand armpits scrambling for a place on the morning train. I didn't know about roads you're never meant to walk straight down on and roads you're only ever meant to walk on in the evenings and I didn't know about the roads so full of people selling everything you could possibly think of. I didn't know about some hours when the city swells with people and some hours when the city is so empty you can almost hear the silence. Just, almost.

I especially didn't know about the nights. They're strange, quiet and loud, violent and pathetic, cold and lonely. I didn't know about the hundreds of people sleeping under the large flyovers, not the people living in homes that aren't houses, not the lights that never go off, not the lights that never come on, not the women who aren't out, not the women who are, not the people in their cars and their night clubs, not the policemen and the doctors. I didn't know skies without stars. They're exhilarating, mean and miserable, alert and sleepless, lonely and cold. And I just didn't know about the nights. 

None of it mattered. I left behind everything I knew anyway. 

I didn't have to. It wasn't something I weighed my options and made a rational choice about. It wasn't like I wanted to change the course of my life because it made sense to. I ran, because I was a coward and there was no way in hell I could have done honorable things or heroic things or brave things, or the kind of things that were required of me at the time in general. I might be tempted to call it a stupid decision, but upon reflection I know that the life I would have had would have been less exciting. Safe perhaps, and I would have retained a limb and a couple of teeth perhaps. But far less exciting, and this I can say with some conviction.