20 December, 2007

the weather is wonderful

.

It is. Much as I grumble about the chill on my bare feet as they pad from bedroom to bathroom to terrace. The fog is just lifting, and the struggling rays of the sun are piercing the smog and desolation of a wintry morning. The weather . . . I could write for a lifetime, or merely sigh.

I miss leaves turning all russet and gold and falling. Whole avenues on flame.

I miss snow!

They are stringing the lights all along Park Street. My mind takes countless jaunts in the crisp air - flights of lucid clarity.

Had written a poem. In fact thousands. All in my head. Something, something elusive is lost every time I put the limpid lines in black and white. Like water cupped in your is never like the dark profound depths of the lake in which you had dived.

11 December, 2007

Ephemeral

And so ... a reasonably long and tolerably eventful sojourn at high school draws to a close.

As of now, I'm too busy doing things by rote to actually feel anything about it. The routine - yearbooks for friends to scribble in, teacher's sermons, marksheets attested . . . practical exams in the lab.

If anything can be felt by me, it'll come. Later. Apathy. Or a sense of fulfillment. Perhaps a sense of loss riding piggy-back on the broad back of new expectations. Juvenile dilemmas.

"My native land, good night!"
-Lord Byron.

28 November, 2007

Back (gasp)!






My sudden reappearance. Well, I just plain didn't find the time. Why? Well . . . Somehow, most dads would like their sons to tread in their footsteps. At least for starters. Hence, the engineering joint entrances and the preparations for them is a major impediment on the free use of the net.
Anyway, I took a few pics. And thought fewer of them were passable. The city now is simmering with pent up emotions, while I am almost dry inside. Like too little butter spread over too much bread. Huge hunks of it. There was a small riot nearby, and I retreated to Salt Lake.
I do not know when I shall post again. So you may not think it worth commenting on this post.
She is coming during the summers. Eye-candy. I shall have something to look frwd to...

23 October, 2007

Shubho Bijoya

To all my fellow Bangalis, here's a kola-kuli, blogger-style. For others, here's a brotherly embrace marking Bijoya Dashami. It is the end of the Pujos, a time of calling up (and receiving endless calls) of various relatives, with the conversations veering on the insane. And gorging on the sweets that accompany each social visit.
Me? I'm back in residence, returning from exile to the far North and the far South.

19 October, 2007

Photopost-2

I burnt it. Again.


Silhouette


Into the West . . .

Dying embers . . .

A new day. With bed-tea at dawn.

A rather pixelated handycam. Nearest at hand.

15 October, 2007

And that's why I have to go back

to so many places in the future,

there to find myself

and constantly examine myself

with no witness but the moon

and then whistle with joy,

ambling over clods of earth,

with no task but to live,

with no family but the road.

-Pablo Neruda, End of the World (Wind)

Tell me you've felt it too. At the edge of dusk, when light and shade shimmer. And suddenly I feel more alone than ever, the whorls of once-satisfactory self-imposed solitude crashing down on me in inexorable waves. The very sense of loneliness seems to smother me, rather than leave a void around me. I then try to observe myself objectively.

In my mind a camera zooms out from my brooding silhouette to the wide angle shot of the swarms of inane humanity all around. Looking up, I know that even the stars are light-years away. And the twinkle is a mockery of their hard glare as seen from interstellar space. And the wreckage of the past seems to shrink in magnitude, until even it's garbage value is nil.

Yeah, right. That was last night. "All good things begin to droop and drowse . . . " kinda drivel - a la the Bard. The after-effects of having re-read Orwell's 1984 in a day. I know that the bleakness of the last pages are clinging to my eyes. And there is always a proclivity towards the morose.

The holidays have begun, and Untermeyer comes to mind: "Life - an adventure perilous and gay, / Death - a long and vivid holiday..." I paced the terrace as Theoden before the Riders amassed. Ah, morning! Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...?

Three days from now there will be a riot of colors, sounds and sights. Durga Puja will have commenced, the prime festival in our city. The goddess who will vanquish the forces of darkness at the behest of the suffering humanity. No wonder most Bengalis are such die-hard feminists. I sincerely feel that among the younger generation, the enthu for Pujo is directed more towards the earthly likenesses of the goddess shimmering in the vibrant crowds than stemming from much piety.

Every locality has its own pujo, with myriad themes - there's even a Hogwart's Castle at FD-Block to house the idols. Rowling promptly sued them, but things are to be allowed, or so sayeth the dailies. Most of the city's old and powerful families have their own, of course - the tradition passing down from generations uncounted. The GC Laha family comes to mind foremost, and all those other ultra-traditional scions of North Calcutta.

I'm engaged in a painting after almost two years. I'm seriously doubting if I can pull it off with anything approaching skill, but self-doubting is quite the in thing these days.

Oh, and I watched Scent of a Woman again. Somehow, I watch the entire film with my mouth distended in a half-smirk half-grimace. When I'm not busy trying to be intellectual, the tango part is an all-time favorite. Donna. And Pacino's Colonel Slade.




14 October, 2007

Watch and wait


Under the spreading chestnut tree,
I sold you, and you sold me . . .

I'm tasting the last traces of the sun borne on the evening winds. A few clouds can barely be discerned, scattered helter-skelter like wet saris on stony courtyards. Why do sunsets always make one silent? Or is it just me? Countless faces flash past in a macbre montage - words half-said, thoughts half-buried, tides restrained. Every time I think that all sad memories are buried, they come back to mock my self-satisfaction. Just like old silver tea-sets - set away in some dark cupboard, so that they can come back fresh and shining - no detail lost.

Faintly, I can hear a tango from a neighbor's window. Lights are flickering on, reflecting the first pin-pricks of their celestial counterparts.

Most of my life, I've been afraid of mistakes. There are no mistakes in the tango, went some film dialogue. Not like life. If you get tangled up, just tango on. But I'm not Al Pacino.

02 October, 2007

Photopost

Reflected glory . . .




Well, I've been rhapsodizing about the Minolta Hi-matic 7 that my dad's finally decided to relinquish to me. And I love it: 45mm (amber, color-corrected) and 55mm(izumar coated) duplet lens. Using a far less illustrious brother, I've captured it.

19 September, 2007

The three golden Cs

It's not everyday that we have a father to son kinda chat. The last evening played witness to one such rare occaision. The stuff he said made sense to me (for once).

And thus it was that unto the fidgetting neophyte, his dad propounded from Olympian heights (6'3'' to be exact) the Rule of the Three Golden Cs. And the neo-A.R.C. enquired of A.R.C. senior, "What? Like the Seven Seas?" Glaring ominously at A.R.C. junior, senior rumbles, "Nah! The golden rule of the thumb in any situation is ... never Condemn, Complain or Criticize. Any place: peers, seniors, workplace. And avoid the company of those that do. You're quite prolific in the 'criticize' department..."
And junior replied, "Er....eh....not exactly...." What he meant to say was, "Ever heard of literary criticism?"

The Pujos are approaching. You can feel it in the air: the single most important festival in this city. Fun, food, lights, girls, the goddess, hanging out, the whole lot. Eschewing these chaotic joys, I shall (as is my wont) retire to the sylvan seclusion of a Salt Lake residence, or the neck of the woods in the South of the city. And try to study there.

But my mind wouls be wandering far off the beaten track. With the road as my family, the sky as my companion, and my mind as my tireless feet. Through the rubbles of time, trailed by an ode to broken things - moments, thoughts, loves, lives. Not condemning, complaining nor criticizing.

02 September, 2007

A Bergman Retrospective

Much to my delight, a retrospective on Ingmar Bergmans films were screened at the Seagull Media Centre. Samik Bandopadhyay introduced each film and prompted the discussion that followed. Needless to say, I took to it like a fish to water.

Went to The Silence, Persona, Cries and Whispers and Saraband. Had already seen the Seventh Seal and Wid Stawberries. In a nutshell, these films are not for the Indian audience. Not at this stage.
There are two main kinds of storytellers (for what is filmmaking other than sophisticated storytelling?) : the creative artists - like de Sica, Jean Renoir, Satyajit Ray, Orson Welles et al. And then we have the austere surrealists, the philosphers with the disturbing ability to shock our rutted minds off their complacency by the compelling visual barrage - Bergman, Bunuel, Antonioni.

This is no moralist or sentimentalist. Bergman is the cruel, uncaring Providence as he casts his players into the bitter rigmarole of life, redolent with existential angst, eternal questions and the shades of our darkest natures.
In The Silence we find two alienated sisters, where the proximity of death for one doesnt bring forth the oh-so-very expected splurge of sympathy from the other. Why should it? Death removes the present from the future, not obviate the past from the present. The only solace is the silence of unundestanding. Persona is a gothic horror: the merging(never, ever perfect) of the personalities of patient and nurse, the fickleness and obtusenes of human nature stripped bare before glaring bulbs. And finally the film reel runs out in a bitter end to ones make-believe facade that is so necessary for human contact. This one was possibly my favourite, where Bergman took cinema as far as it can be taken.
The last two films are in breathtaking color - and we fade in again and again from red - the absolving blood that is after all nothing in face of cold, hard facts. A dead sister awakes, seeking comfort from her sibling. Both flee - one from stern distaste, the others intial pity smothered by fear and disgust. It is left to the nursemaid to be the last solace, herself finding none.

I saw Saraband yesterday. The mans last film. It was touching, but I did not find the old gripping intensity as there was in the earlier creations. Intend to go to Autumn Sonata and then call it a day. The retrospective really opened my eyes - to good films, the world outside and the one within.

25 August, 2007

Through a glass darkly

I look forward to birthdays. Not the infrequent wishes and inconsequential gifts. Just the day. There has to be something significant for someone to hold on to. No, I didn't booze, didn't fag, didn't dope. Just ticked it off. Metaphorically.

Somehow, I never got the hang of handling emotional people. Other than by my usual indifferent silence. Most of my limited store of emotion got drained a fateful evening 15 years back. Seeing a pillar of flame writhing a few inches from me. And knowing the fiery wraith to be no Balrog, but a person. Flesh, blood and bone - as living as mine. That sort of thing tends to tinge later actians/reactions a bit.
A blog's like a silent confessions priest: things just pour out. Better in than out, as they say.

The comings and goings. From the family, city, country, world. To a better place, for a better life? Maybe. At least, we can hope so.
What do I say that is not a banal nothing? Be worth it, the eloquence of silence.

The Seagull Media and Arts Centre's hosting a Bergman retrospective during the coming week. Hope to whet my mind's shards on the films.

And now to dreams untroubled of hope. Through a glass darkly. And into the realm where death is a transition, life a continuation and dreams - realisation.

21 August, 2007

Ho-hum

At the risk of sounding clich├ęd, "I'm back."

And I like it.

Looking bak on the gigantic shadows that some insignificant events have the ability to cast at the eventide light. Here's to those who have winged swiftly away to distant lands to pursue their dreams. May there be fulfilment.


Soli Deo Gloria

08 August, 2007

A pause

Exams commenceth.

Hence my irregular presence is to be reduced to regular absence.

Fare ye well, and don't get caught in th rain while gazing at the storm...

(Antonioni followed the Bergman way. None of the greats now remain, alas!)

31 July, 2007

Ingmar Bergman was among the most revered of film directors in a career than spanned almost seven decades, and one of my favourites. He passed away yesterday on the Baltic island of Faaro, where he had quietly spent the last years of his life.
His films reflected the wide spectrum of humanity through his native Sweden, from the bleak and desolate winters to the warmth of glowing summer evenings. He wrought his magic mainly in the black-and-white era, his films like his mind dominated by existential angst, the role of Providence, solitude and death.
However, the legend himself lost the chess-game with Death at the age of 89, much like his Knight in The Seventh Seal. His outstanding films also include Wild Strawberries, Smiles of a Summer Night, Summer with Monica, Autumn Sonata, Sarabande and others.

I've had the of seeing only two of these, which left me enthralled by the depth and the grace of his authorship, and the technical polish of the whole ensemble.This is my humble and heartfelt tribute to one of the best film-makers of all time.

This is also my last post before the 22nd of August.

11 July, 2007

Transitions

Remember...
When the russet turns a brittle brown
And borne on wings of amber wan
The leaves scatter like little lives -
Fly-specked footnotes that is history
Only to those that have lived it.

When the golden laughter tarnishes,
Remember them that stood alone...
Danced to the rhythm of the whirling dust
And sang of souls untouched by frost,
Of blind painters and unknown poets -
The useless petals soon, too soon to wither
In a world of shattered perfect moments.

They had blood once, strong and heady
As the wine of heretic dreamers;
Blood to be spilled, ever ready
History's unremarked streamers,
Apron-strings of the dispossessed...
Autumn passes, like swift draughts
Of the golden mead of joy.

In life, as opposed to dreams
The summers always end.
In life, as opposed to poems
The autumns end as well.

Cold pavement, tramp-lit tyres for warmth,
Dog-man-blanket coiled under frozen tarpaulin
Pearl-grey sky and ashen roads, eternal failures:
The barrens of all frozen dreams - a slumside story;
Yet touched with Winter's austere grace.

The Rains, redeemer, repenter, re-painter
Soggy blotches on the pavements of remorse
Flushing away the filth, the fury, the futility;
Through the canyons of blind buildings,
Carrying the load of lonesome vice -
The strung-out ones, the struck-off ones
Flot-sam and jet-sara of the cosmic curve...
Blessed waters as muddy as a thought:
For those of us uncertain throughout life
Until the great uncertainty claims us all.


I wrote this for Winter. But the rains flooding the city changed my mind. The present one doesn't have any specific purpose, other than as a repository for my more dreary musings in my more lonesome moments.

01 July, 2007

Muted mutterings



Slouching down the dusty corridor of tinted reflections. Cobwebs of experience swirling like the edge of darkness. Opening the door without a latch to overgrown banks of a lake. Monochrome musings in blessed solitude. This is the time for wild strawberries in Swedish woods. Wild thoughts in lonesome wildernesses.
My day seems to have begun with the twilight. I do not know if it'll end with Night or the next daybreak.


There is a slight coolness in the breeze now, and we are thankful for it. The bouganvillea aren't that determined to wilt. My room's been painted, the neo-starkness making me a stranger in another stranger's lair. Even the crows seem to be relieved at Summer's exeunt (erm..): entering the tranquil calm with a caw approaching mellowness.

My cousin made it to Xavier's College for grad. English hons. with Mass Com and Film Studies. I'll be there for the latter. Heh. Saw my second Ingmar Bergman film - "Wild Strawberries". Excellent. I've seldom expereinced a more moving picture of the hopes and regrets that beset a man as he stands in his twilight years.


I'm trying my best to reach a respectable 6 ft. (I'm a midget by world standards, I know) It's no fun trying to be the rebellious son when my dad can give the 'Zeus-on-Olympus" look from 6'2".


Life seems to be going on fine. Without much noticing the entity called Aruni Kumar Basu Roy Chowdhury, Esq.

Thankfully.

23 June, 2007

Admixture

I'm posting after too long an interregnum. Sorry ladies and gentlemen. My heartfelt apologies.

It was World Music Day on the 21st. The French Association in Calcutta had organised quite the auditory extravaganza in the city. Shunning the more boisterous of the events, I accompanied the Xaverian crowd to a pleasant evening at the Ice Skating Rink Auditorium: a concert by Le Atelier de Musique string Orch., La Martiniere's Orch. and the Modern High School Girl's Choir (yes, we watched the long legs of the sopranos...i admit it. ps-they were long!). oby Abraham Mazumder.

Notable in the repertoire was Vivaldi's Summer, the theme from Swan Lake, Beatles' hit Let it be ... 'Hay bhalobashi' (its a hit from the first Bengali band - Mohiner Ghoraguli .)



This evening I'm blogging having digesteds a sumptuous meal hosted by my fat friend Tonks, in dishonor of his coming birthday. He'll be 18. And will not drink. Unpardonable! As is his incurable Angliophilia.

09 June, 2007

Trawling through the twilight

We had phuchkas. Standing by the road and the dignified gutter. To one side of the market entrance.
I'd gone on one of my pilgrimages to the Temple. A long time it is, 'ere the paragon is mentioned again in this blog. My highest reverence. Culmination of idiocy. Whatever. I love the word 'whatever'. It's like a much-needed shroud to shield me from genuine emotion - something I diligently eschew.

The sky was the usual evening grey, but for me, at that time . . . the twilit was eternity and the moment of company was infinity. And my soulblood trickled, striving to fill the silence between the two.

I came home, my mind knowing this to be another day. Just another. But somehow, something in me has kept the door to my soul ajar. And I know I'll never forget this. Another rare oasis of joy in the parched desert I've chosen to travail. Lone crusader on forlorn quest. With a damsel in no obvious distress.

No excuses. Just acceptance. And unseen tears into the blindness of the nights.

From afar...


I was browsing through a couple of still shots. Thought this one to be approaching passability.
On the Shillong trip.

27 May, 2007

Why do I blog?

Alrighty, before anybody thinks up something smart, I take a long time to respond to 'tags' or whatever be their ludicrous nomenclature.
Now then, the task at hand.
All in all, there are times when I need to open a valve, and let out some of the steam that accumulates with alarming alacrity. That's one reason for blogging, as good as any.
Also, there is an inherent tendency in every man (as in human, don't become all feminist now...) to try and leave a mark on the blackboard of life. Try to at any rate. The reason why people scribble their names on monuments, walls, benches, generally followed by a declaration of their brimming affection for some fair damsel.
The reason why - on a somewhat more-gargantuan scale - monuments are built in a desperate attempt to prevent the inexorable progress of Time from eroding all memory of one's life and times.

Think of every life as a pebble held above the limpid pool of Life. The dropping of the pebble is the sum of all our actions in our lifespan, such as it may be. But I believe that a life is not truly over until the ripples flashing across space and time are stilled.
However, at the end of it all there is the uncertainty of certain Void. Subconciously, I guess, most of us try to obviate the fact. Hence this blog - yet another bravado-filled shout of "I've been here, I led a life, I'm not just a handful of atoms spinning away according to the vagaries of an impersonal Providence/unbiased Cosmic dice."

Wanting to be heard. Wishing that the echoes linger on after the voice is (for some, thankfully) still.


Now that people, is vintage musing at random. I was out of form, so the posts began to come dangerously close to making sense.

A thousand words.


Interior and the exterior...
A few days respite from the city heat, in even more heat!

15 May, 2007

Once...

They had blood once, strong and heady
As the wine of heretic dreamers;
Blood to be spilled, ever ready
History's unremarked streamers
Apron-strings of the dispossessed...

Under the shroud of a pearl-grey sky
Whereto prophets reach gnarled hands in vain;
Freed, I soared and wheeled on high
Where ecstasy absolved the eternal pain.

Rusty blanket of turmoil
Sons of the soil that forever did toil,
Give me(and them) the eyes ever calm,
Wistful curve of the lips - balm
To sore souls like mine.

Action!...of sorts...

The holidays stretch as deceptively as ever to infinity.
Which means I'm more languid (others irreverently call it 'lazy') than ever, my body ensconced in comfort so that the mind may explore new vistas.
Trying to leave my mark upon the institution before I bid it adieu. Like the Bangla play we had for Rabindra Jayanti (our transcription of Puraton bhritto into a play), my inconspicuous self as the narrator. Other times just trying to be something I felt I was by definition, but never through effort: a Xaverian.


Whatever.

To slippery souls like me, few things leave a lasting impression. Least of all the things most people think ought to. I'd find an eternal moment before the break of a storm more memorable than more than half of the people I know.
The unpardonably depressive 'metropolitan-ness' of our metropolis is being somewhat ameliorated by the frequent squalls and thunder-showers all eager to receive my blessings. There are few things more cheerful than watching a brand new hoarding (of McDowell's: some surly pseudo-Caesar) flapping willy-nilly before the welcome blasts of the storm.

On my terrace then, I am Gandalf and Thor and Ariel all at once. Put in Zeus for good measure.

24 April, 2007

Last rites

Today a well-revered member of the Xaverian community passed into the West. Metaphorically speaking.
Mr. Bijon Kumar Ganguly had been the renowned head of Physics in our school for over 20 years. His prodigious grasp of the subject, coupled with his acerbic moods and delightful sarcasm made him one of the most memorable pillars of Xavier's; one who defined the science section as much as it defined him.

His farewell speech this morning was greeted with a burst of spontaneous applause. Started off like this (trademark rumble):

"You have filled me with a sea of nostalgia, on which waves of emotion are flashing. The equation of the wave has too many variables for me to define. Only, remember these three things:
Do not be ego-centric. The more you lessen your ego, the greater will your inner intellectual become.

Be humble. Remember: a humble man is not he who thinks less of himself, but thinks of himself...less.

Physics is not a formula-based subject, but a concept-based one."

It is impossible to recount the times our batch had with the old fellow. I mean, its not every teacher who comes into a class and says, "I'll vectorially displace you from the classroom. Your vocal-chords are perpetually in simple harmonic motion.
You talk like a fool, laugh like a fool, look like a fool. Hence, you are congruently a fool..."

23 April, 2007

A tribute

Today is the death anniversary of one of the greatest film-makers in the world - Satyajit Ray. He remains the only Indian director to have received an Academy Award (on his death-bed - a screen with Audrey Hepburn extending the statuette to him in Hollywood, while he reached out for a facsimile from his bed in Kolkata). Myraid awards were heaped upon him, including the French Legion of Honour.

His first film was Pather Panchali(Best Foreign Film at Cannes), which told the tale of grinding poverty in rural Bengal and the joy with which the child Apu grew up amidst all this. Internationally acclaimed as a landmark in realist cinema, he came to be regarded as one of the greats of thoughtful cinema, ranking with de Sica, Kurosawa, Bergman and the rest of the best.
With shoe-string budgets and inferior technology, all his films had a limpid clarity of style that was essentially his vision and had the ability to reach out to a world audience.
His many films span countless topics - from social statements to satires and children's films. Justly it is said:"...till someone else comes along, Ray's Bengal will be realist world-cinema's India."-Sight and sound.

My personal favourites are: Pather Panchali(Song of the Little Road, Charulata (The Lonely Wife), Kapurush-Mahapurush(Coward-Saint).

Today is also the birthday of Shakespeare. We had four charts hung up about him in school. Only I and Agni knew of the fellow Indian.

19 April, 2007

The flight of the fledging thought

He sang. Sang to the rhythm of the whirling dust, the charred branches and fossilised personae around him. Sang out against the grey blankets of an insensate world that seemed to smother him. Sang for all the unknown poets, blind painters and dumb singers in the whole Universe.

A silent song.

As silent as his unsaid thoughts, furiously hidden moments of tenderness and unconfessed cravings.
As silent as the devotee, that trembling creeps up to the altar. The kneel which keels over into a slump - paroxysms of ecstasy. My highest reverence. My darkest moment.

He sang of the Unrequited. The fallen lovers and peacemongers in Life's marketplace.

Then he scratched his head, dislodging copious amounts of dandruff. Belched. Went to sleep.


I just thought of this. I'd like to change places with the guy. He can sing. I can't for nuts.

14 April, 2007

Bengal's New Year.

Poila Boishakh. That is what the first day of the month of Boishakh is called in my beloved mother tongue. Tomorrow.
I called it Bengal's New Year keeping in mind that everybody is affected by this festivity, be they Bengali or otherwise. It is a time of joy, ushering in our own private 'new year' according to the reckoning established by the Emperor Akbar. Universal greeting of 'shubho nobo borsho' :- happy new year; interspersed with mutual offerings of sweets. There is a joy of a peculiar sort - one which is justified by its existence alone, of the general goodwill to all men (and women, and other indeterminate categories...). A collective upsurge of the happiness-quotient. Over the golden paddy-fields, lonely tree-shades and mud-huts of rural Bengal. In the cultivated gentlemen comprising of the urban 'Calcatian', the GenY in the shopping malls (okay, maybe I got too hopeful there!), the chain-smoking intellectuals of the Coffee House(who respond with a flurry of poetry).

My spinster aunt's birthday also falls on that day. She lives in the forsaken family house with the ample company provided by five cats of various temperaments. Pishi will come as always to our place tomorrow.

We'll phone our relatives: too busy to go over as in the old days. Frantic calculations of overseas timelines for some. And then I'll dream. And forget about being cynical.

Shubho Nobo Borsho, everybody!!!
Happy Bengali New Year!!!

11 April, 2007

Demigods

Twenty-one storeys above the city, a sea of buldings stretching away into the haze of the horizon. Makes you feel godlike. The wind tearing at our fluttering souls.
Thanks to an obliging uncle, our team of intrepid film-makers gained accesss to the roof of the Everest Building. Shot the opening scenes, mainly featuring the Victoria Memorial, Cathedral, the Hooghly Bridge . . . gave the voice-over.

My anorexic friend, Agni, came directly to the point.

"Tor pisheymoshai-kay bhaara kora jaabey?" Hey, can I rent your Uncle?
"What?!?" In understandable indignation.

"I-I mean can we get your Uncle to lend me the roof-top?"
"For?"

"Well, you know, on the roof, that high above the ground . . . the perfect place to kneel before someone and say the stuff."
Seeing me snigger, he can't but join in.

The major part of the raw video capture is done. Now for the editing and finishing touches. I'll post it on YouTube if it turns out to be any good.
Right now I'm dead tired. Whole day out in the sun, traipsing around the city. And school starts tomorrow. The first day of my last year.
Should I be sad at leaving the memorable alma mater. Or happy at departing from the haunting past and inane connections.
Like to say that I'm just feeling a sense of fulfilment: one stage is done, now for the next.

But actually, I'm just feeling tired. And resigned. Opened too many masks in one day. Heard too old a friend recite too moving poetry.

08 April, 2007

Knotted up

Like nine-pins my cousins are getting married off. All rather older, and generally rather nice. Ah well...
On my Mum's side that is. Manchu went first, off to Liverpool with another Cambridge doc.
Now its Tinu's turn. This'll be the first Catholic wedding I'll be attending. She put Aubhi (her brother) and myself as the official purveyors of the music dept. No shenai.

I was so busy putting on masks, that by now I wonder if I'll ever finish taking them all off. More importantly (and disturbingly): will there be anything left if, hypothetically, I manage to succeed.
Never smiled enough for them, and then it's my last chance of being something to them. My indifference to my fellow creatures (including family) is something ingrained. That is what makes me what I am, hones the other aspects of me that I do not intend to lose.
However, the bitter tinge of regret at the end of the day cannot be wholly obviated either. The room's emptying. Someone has to turn off the lights and fans, put the chairs back in place. Maybe even have a last glance around the place, the emptiness peopled for an instance with those whose lives had intersected for a brief period. Transient flashes.

That 'someone's' me. By choice.

Rear view

Countless rear-windows overlooking the dingy lanes converging at an equally dismal square. I'm looking around, trying to follow the winding paths.
Every time I think I am succeeding, it's all more muddled up than before. Remembering to look around, seeing many others trying to piece things together. And losing the train of though as usual. The Night I feel is a must, so that when the sun shines out, we love it the better.
Serenade of concerted crows, interspersed by backing-tunes of cars.
A normal day indeed!

04 April, 2007

Meltdown

Scorched pavements shimmer,
Reeling from the heat;
The distance all a'glimmer,
Existence no mean feat.

Saffron-clad flaming dervish
Gyrating through the dance of fire
Eyes blood-shot in rhythm feverish
Summer's onset filled with ire.

31 March, 2007

Invisible wraith

We had a powercut yesterday evening. The whole block. The generator failed, and for once I had to share the common fate as well. That was necessary.

Alone. Fear of the dark? Not really. Just ignorance about my surroundings. Ignorance is bliss they say. Ignorance is peace . . .

Night-blindness kicked in, as well as the innumerable floaters that survived the first optical laser. I was invisible then to an invisible world.
Walked out onto the terrace. Still-warm flagstones. Wilting bouganvillea. Over-thorny rose-shrubs. Distant Byepass lights curving like a jewelled bow, aimed for the sky. The night-sky that entered my rooms for this evening, honoured guest in priviledged darkness.
Strode about, reciting well nigh' everything that came into my mind. Started of with the dear Bard of Avon: broken lines of "Passionate Pilgrim", "Oh pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth...", "Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow . . . "
Then Tennyson's Ulysses, Gibran's The Prophet and the eternal Khayyam.

On to my mother-tongue. Tagore 's Golden Boat. A rough traslation (of my favourite lines) by this meagre hand would run thus:

Stacks and stacks of the paddy stalks
Tied in bundles: the harvest's done;
And then breaks the gathering storm
While alone I sit, anchorless . . .

Oh to what foreign land do you sail?

Come to the bank and moor your boat for a while

Go where you want to,give where you care to,

But come to the bank a moment,show your smile-

Take away my golden paddy when you sail...



...Alas, the boat is but small -
Filled from stem to stern
By my very own golden harvest;
Speeding away under stormy gusts
I sit by the bank, alone . . .

Then Jibonanondo, the first modernist Bengali poet.

Stock finished, I gobble supper blindly (not much of a choice, really) and retire to my lonesome bedroom.
A xenophilic friend calls, and it seems some angel forgot not to heed my prayers. For anything to break the spell of Darkness. I came to love the true isolation, then to rue it.

27 March, 2007

Intersection point

Innately satisfying. Meeting as bloggers. All that's left to be said is: successful and enjoyable.

Back to the grind. The pollution documentary doesn't seem to be bucking up. Trying to rouse up the crew: faster we get it over with, more effort can be devoted to the finer details.

On other fronts, I'm like a puzzled Swann as Proust puts it. Finding that Tagore's English poetry too is incomparable. "Stray Birds" stole my heart.

"Do not place your love on a precipice,
Merely because it is high . . . "

21 March, 2007

Free...

Let's talk of a group of men.
They invented things like 'justice' 'liberty' 'equality'. Matter is reality. Blazing balls of gas hurtling through the void is reality; so is death, life, passion, hatred, possibly forgiveness and love as well.

But these people, they believed that their inventions were true, that there was a better way of doing things than blasting into oblivion, all opposition in a world of chaos and darkness. These inventions held strong. They had the stubborness to continue and the lack of prudence to give up.

They gave a new meaning to the human race: democracy. Looking at both sides of a coin.
They could change the world. Can I not change myself then? Here's to a better tomorrow and i won't have enough pride to say that it'll all be for me. Is there an 'us'? I do not know -but then who does? We face life as it comes with the amazing ability of facing the unknown on a daily basis.

Onwards then...
For all, the people who thought they were my friends and I thought them to be the same too.

19 March, 2007

So on and so forth

Back to sporadic posting. And plodding on. Not that there's much else to do.

Started messing about with VB. Not getting far though.

Read a bit of John le Carre. Only spy-stories I can appreciate. Finished of with David Gemmel and barbara Erskine.

Yep, it's quite the pot-pourri of literary selection. btw, a couple of friends got together to shoot a short documentary abt pollution in our city on handycam. Busy writing the scripts.

09 March, 2007

Glass rim pause

Dry lipped caress
Thin rimmed - the glass
The edge of reason, lunacy,
Instant apathy: frozen.
Vastened in a limbo.
Langourous strains on strings
Deep red wine flow
Musing . . .
Peering over the conjugal rims:
Glass in hand and that on my nose
And the cosmos is clenched in my hand.

Somewhere it is Fall, and leaves are falling
With a scattering of petals of rose.
Somewhere beds are always unmade
Psychedelic clutter quantized.
Somewhere coffee is always there
And cool hands on soul-scorches,
Tentative, yet sure;
Slow motion like the sluggish stream
Grinding past, what passes for life.
Diffraction on the edge.
I'm a Seer into all time, every when;
The Arrow of Time flying both ways
And I trapped in the bubble.

Somewhen spring is always there
Under the shade of impersonal trees
Somewhen someone always stands
Eyes miniature suns for gazing
Into the dawn of hopes.
Somewhen there is always a smile
Of unsaid words deafening
Swept away on eternal gusts
Of blazing stars that are, must be
Only for us - we the alive
And none may come after.

Eyes wrenched of the sight,
Darkened mind staggering,
Flames now embers like
Guttering tapers in shadowed fane;
But the name still lives
The face-smile-form-eye carven in,
Luscent in the dusk of life

Lick my lips, take a sip
glass rim pause done.

02 March, 2007

And so . . .

A brief snatch before the console. Don't really know when I'll post again. Desperately wanting my last post to be comparable to swansong. Another dream that says exactly what it is.

My thoughts are beneathe fading trees and the rustle of wan amber leaves. That look so beautiful dead, that I almost forget that they too once lived. Spring is in the air, and a long month stares at me squarely in the face, expression as belligerent (if not more) as mine. A month of mock-tests (Guidance - aiming for the tree-tops, at least I don't need wings to climb) and text-books. Busy friends and the spiralling discomfort among people long out of touch. Cringing from blameless family, trapped in my own perception of myself.

My mind is not with Resnick and Halliday and Finar and Khanna and the whole brood of academicains. It is where the wind blows the sand from dunes with no one to watch the sight. Where were-wolves dance beneath the moon, and then on other nights they sleep together nontheless, not wanting the sanction of others in something so very much their own. Where the mountains glitter remote and serrated and each ice-crystal shines in uniqueness.

My self is struggling with the shackles of reality. "if you want to get into wherever you wish to, you better start burning the midnight oil." Oh yes, I've ousted many long nights, wandering as a dark shade amongst the blessed real shadows, lurking on the terrace haunted by memories. The way I fell of the roof, and lied to others abt, it. The way I stare into space, knowing that I've chosen a grey life, and pride forbids me to even think that there is another. There is only the one, or none at all. Either the temple, or a gaping hole. And I alone.

I want to burn, like my torch. No, I have always burned. Always alone. Sometimes I'm alone with others. Mostly, I'm alone by myself.

I am mad. Thank god for that small relief.

20 February, 2007

M

Fleeting touches.

As vague as the wings of dead moths
The dew-drop laden handiwork
Of the spider at dawn . . .

The light blushes the Eastern sky
The argentiferous heaps of cumulus . . .
Like the riders of dawn
On fire-fettered steeds of air.

The world beckons
And to hearken
Is to be entranced.

This is the time for loftiness
When the wings of time
Harshness in black and white
Plied with morning and the Night
Ensconces the mind that rises
As if there are no fences facing
'Scept the limitless heavens.

To cast aside the grimy garb
Of hum-drum life and thoughts
And clad in albus robes that shine
Transcend all shadows that are facing.

Fleeting touches.
An instant or was it
An eternity?
To be lost
In the cool pools
Of calm eyes:
Balm to weary hearts.
The wistful smile
belies the dancing spirit;
That gives and hoards not,
Molded in grace, sanctum
Most high, my Temple

My highest reverence,
My deepest commitment
My loftiest desire . . .
Shall you not turn
On hearing my clarion call
Hastening to your aid?



They lay flowers on the graves of dear ones. In my usual reasoning mind, I never fully knew why. The dead are beyond the reach of fragrance, or even the desire.
It's not that I understand it any better. Just that I feel myself capable of doing so.

When you lie, you steal a person's right to the truth - Khaled Hosseini.

I feel few comprehend my motives in entirety. Its nothing abt being exclusive or different, just my inability to express myself gently. A person swore that it was entirely his "business if I have to stick my neck out for you. You haven't asked, and you don't need to."
I felt gratified. But also felt that I had to tell him the truth. Thus, I replied, "Truthfully, I wouldn't do the same for you."

A year. And I shall be losing my oldest friend, a coeval in mind and spirit. The present burdens seem meaningless, and I cannot wait for the exams to end. End they shall.
And end to all things?
Hard to accept.

My deepest reverence.
My loftiest desire . . .

05 February, 2007

Random spirals

I remember when all this will be again.

And I have relearned what I always knew to be true: there is no reality but that in which we believe.
That words are nothing but trolleys that convey the unsaid. That silence speaks the most between very old friends. That speech is there only to hide the mind.
What are we if we cannot stand by what we believe?
I have lived for some time, and yes, I've lived it to the full, at least to my eyes. I have gotten drunk on joy, and reeled in the throes of anguish. The darkness is necessary so that we love the light the more when it shines out.
O Elbereth Gilthoniel...
We remember we who dwell
In this far land beneathe the trees
The starlight on the Western Seas.
(JRR Tolkien)
I have longed for the departure for long. But before that Mordor must fall. And I must always remain as I am.
Feeling inordinately thankful for the friends that I am fortunate enough to possess; and the dear enemies who add the spice.

Also a sense of benison for those Xaverians soon to leave the portals so dear. To quote Arindomovitch's dad,"You are leaving Xavier's, probably never to return again. But remember, Xavier's will never leave you till the end of your life."

A brief interlude

Yes, it'll be brief people, I promise.

Simply not getting enough time to write properly on the blog. Not that writing in itself is stymied. I wrote an essay for the Commonwealth prize, on "Migration".
However that, and everything else (including template changes) can only be put into effect after the 2nd of March. Nowhere as portentious as the ides, but then I did my best.
Had the time of my life lounging in Salt Lake, slobbering over my host's poster of Frederico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita". His room and my happening to be there with my cousins is another story, and a fateful one at that.
At long last, I was returned my copy of "The Seventh Seal". Missed it like anything.

And people, I confess: I couldn't understand Kafka's "The Trial." Frank admission here.
The sun's shining, a dog's shuddering satisfiedly near a lamp-post, people are chattering inanely behind me, a person is intently exploring his nostrils; in short the cosmos seems to be doing what we believe its supposed to do. And ARC is departing.
At the risk of sounding cliched, I'll be back.

18 January, 2007

A hundred words

I'm tired of being given problems out of B.Sc. books. Especially the ones that I cannot solve. And I'm tired of Piskunov, Irodov, Finar and the rest of these intellectual pundits.
But tiredness is seldom the excuse for giving up. At least none that I have managed to pass of convincingly enough.

Okay, I know I'm gibbering rubbish. Here are some pics., that a hand used only to the SLR has managed to come up with on its first foray with a handycam. All on the much frequented rooftop.



Yeah! Naur an edraith ammen!






A rather typical picture of this blogger, wreathed in rather fuzzy shadow and brooding on the rather distant lights mainly cuz there's not much else to do.


Into the West . . .

Le Finis

16 January, 2007

Be worth it

Be worth it, every bit of obtuseness endured. The snarls and snipes, the snides and the swipes. When at length I do explode . . . what results is immense mental satisfaction on my part, and an immense sense of demolition on the part of any ill-fated recepient(s).

Life seems to have forgotten abt its default configuration; the dratted thing's turning out to be nice after all!

I'm well, and post-laser euphoria is still high. The anaesthetic wore off in the middle, and it was a pretty good rendition of a lightsaber in the eye. What else could I do but respond with my trademark snarl? My thanks to any hopefuls (that I do not emerge in one piece) and of course to the concerned few.

I've written a poem, after a long time. Will be typing it in hopefully, if patience holds. Later.

Also, edited an angliophile's drivel. Ha!

Here's wishing everyone er... the best of wishes, for reasons best known to themselves.

10 January, 2007

Reflections

Brutus had many faults, but he started on his ruin right in the beginning. When he judged others to be of the same high mould and lofty ideals as himself. I find it strange that people cannot be as lofty as they were before, as righteous, as honorable. Maybe I am a foolish idealist.

Maybe not, merely stating facts. I've got the second eye-op. tomorrow. Not exactly entirely nonchalant abt it. The first one was semi-anaestheticized, thanks to my rubbing. Beethoven was deaf, yet he could compose the Ninth. Need I say more? However, I am no genius.

ReIf the world becomes darkness to me, how shall I write?
-- Paint?

03 January, 2007

Interzonal Spindle Fibre

Another year past. Now settling back into the routine that is a must for survival. Now again as I speak , the days will begin to blur into one another once more, leaving behind nothing but a niggling sense of unfulfilment that itself cannot be defined to satisfaction. Back to the grey worlds, where idle wondering may provide momentary relief from the chore of existing. For oneself (really) and for others (proclaimedly). But thank goodness, nonetheless that the last few days had some of the flavor to mark them apart from the rest - meaningless horde of hours.

Here I stand, at the brink of the new year, thinking of the past mistakes, knowing that they shall still be repeated, come what may. Thinking of all the joys, mine and of others (for once) and hoping dearly that they too be repeated. And praying (another first, after a long long time) that it be the same for others.

The world is simply not enough. There will always be the thirst for more knowledge in minds such as mine. But I have learned to reconcile, learned to say the needful even if harsh, but not accompanied by needless curtness that had been my trademark for so long.

No, I shall not bend, for that I cannot do unless broken. And yes, I shall stand by what I feel is right, what ought to be done. The new year has but reaffirmed my faith in myself, and to strive however microscopic may be the means, towards a better humanity.

The triumph of the individual. And the embrace of the greater good for the greater whole.

02 January, 2007

And a Happy New Year . . .

A Happy New Year all ye who visit this page!!


I had shunned the more exhibitionist of parties that erupted in our city to mark the occaision. A sort of gathering of 'five close families'. We non-dotard folk had more or less a good time, listening to music, talking of books, and photography, and trekking and mountains and integration in vector algebra, setting up a most recalcitrant music system . . .

Someone had the wise idea of putting on 'Waiting for tonight' at 11:30. I managed to catch a few glimpses of Star Wars before being smothered by half-remembered longtime friends. Must be having inborn racial instincts, the way they always manage to sniff out their quarry -- me. I bared my teeth in what I hoped was a smile, but the rest of humanity is of the distinct opinion that it is a snarl.
After some time, I didn't have to act to give out the cheeriness of bonhomie. Somehow, meeting old friends at the end of a long and eventful(years generally have the tendency to be both) year made me truly appreciate friends.
For once.

At the advent of the new year, the flurry of phone-calls well-nigh drove everything else off my mind. The one number I was most intent on calling (okay, dammit, I know you'll be sniggering, some of you people!) seemed equally intent on being engaged.
Hence, had to slink onto the dance floor. Where exuberance seemed to make up for all that skill (or plain natural smoothness, for heaven's sake!) was deficient in.
A spirited sylph insisted on my joining in. Wasn't too bad. A bit rusty, ever since I had adopted my grim stance on life. BUt nothing that was irreperable.

And so there I was, a part of the magnificent conglomerate of joyous humanity, each marking the bygone year, and out to greet the new.

The lights were turned off suddenly (how expected...yawn). I do not know of the others, but my mind was not on the face next to me. A few of my pals lips might have looked suspiciously red . . .

Made my precious call in the car, over Bijon Setu.

Thus it ends, the year 2006 Anno Domini, and scarcely are we in time to bid it farewell than the new year is there to be welcomed. Pace ...
We'll probably not meet in another age, but its memories of days such as these that provide those heavenly moments when old friends meet by chance on Life's tractless seas. And reminisce.

Here's to all of you having a good time!

Welcome visitor!