18 October, 2008

Snatches from an outing

Nothing to do at home now. So here I am digging through ancient archives.
I still remember the scorching sun, the flies and sweaty heat. And the obstinate decision to still go on that photo session. Of the city's best places.
Used the memory card of the cam rather than the cassette so it's kinda grainy. Don't have an IEEE port unfortunately.

Here are two of my personal favorites, both in Victoria Memorial:

Thronging the gates

On the 'waterfront'

Sighs in sepia

Classes have started again and the breather is over. The journeys home re-booted. The swift nightfall and the swifter silence in a rattling college bus. Hiccuping over the truck-shattered tarmac. Bouncing rear-wheels, FM radio and senseless laughter that vainly scrabbles against the wall of silence. Batting at bloody mosquitoes!
Cheap lights on shop-fronts and cheaper passers-by. Where people say 'yes' for lacking the courage to say the deserved 'no'.
Glass glitters more than diamond at times. It has more to prove you see.

Ever since I can recall I have craved for that primal, visceral yes. When you stand before a tower of glass and steel rearing proudly over the earth, the straight lines of a giant canal, a flaming sunset on the canvas sky, words blazing on a book's page - it draws that 'yes' from within, of approval. The lofty within oneself answering the loftiness of what is beheld. Ayn Rand never put it better.
The last skies I gave that yes to was two months ago, speeding down with the wind in my hair.

I'm taking a ... what I call a self-imposed sabbatical from the institution, i.e. bunking college today.
The 6502 instruction set emulator is coming along fine - using Python to code the files then Tkinter to design the GUI frontend. It's put on hold as of now - can't manage that an the exams in December. Looking forward to resuming that: a yes to my own self.

Of last evening: just had to talk to a few people ... and Hallelujah! There they were on the net. The veteran teddy - Master Basu. And old Lala in the flesh (erm...web...whatever...). Talked of new plans and the roads ahead. Seriously, chatting with guys several continents (and an ocean too I believe) away gives me a comfortable sense of 'being in touch' with the buddies. :)

My morning started today in sepia. And that drew a yes from me.

My quest for more such 'yes's continues in the world about me. I'm finding it less and less. In what others speak and write, in what I write (terribly conceited as it may sound, in some posts I felt that 'yes' for my own self!) and in what is envisaged.
Self-delusions of glory? Or maybe the unreached goals that were within all these people, but stifled out of fear of failure and the cloying greys of beholding only the desperate glitter of glass all around?
The quest keeps me alive, dear reader (if any). That, and the sepia lives.

09 October, 2008

Auguries in autumn

And so another Durga Pujo draws to a close - the kaash, the frenzied drumming of dhaks, whirling dances like fevered dervishes, bowing before the Goddess. The triumph of Light over Darkness. The city in the usual festive madness, pumped up on the life-force.
An excuse for endless shopping, ceaseless gorging, late-nights and adda at Maddox Square with pals all over.
They were all there, nicknames as intact as their idosyncracies - Bachha, Hati, Buchu, Potty (yes, there was reason for calling him that), Dhon das. Then Rohit, Agni, Anagh . . . All over north-Calcutta, eyeing the earthly likenesses of the Goddess ( :P ) even as we bowed in front of her huge idols. Some things never change . . .
Then the South where friends, lovers and the barely-known are thrown into a heady cocktail. Neon-flashes. Band-performances. Milling crowds that slurp you up into its mad self. Entwined couples, quadruples even! Old embers and new flames. Admixture of the traditional dress with the funky Metallica tee'd GenY. Hah, I love this city!
I decline a fag (politely, for once) and make my way to Park Street - where the occidentophiles are the same as ever, where drum-beats of Pujo are a distant sussuration at the edge of my conciousness. The same, always the same. Shop-fronts lighted, night-clubs and discs and the best restaurants. My own memory lane, forever. The walk took a lifetime, or less. I do not know, having walked that road so many times with so many others. After a time all personae blur.

Today is Dashami, the Tenth Day of Pujo. All over the city the lavishly built sanctums along with the idols are beings hauled down. Down in roaring processions to the water's edge where the Ganga ceaseless flows. There amidst the cries of a thousand lungs is the goddess immersed - the Slayer of demons - clay and paint and cloth-of-gold dissolving in the silent rush of waters.

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