30 October, 2010

hasty snatches

 Time, tide and deadlines wait for none. And I don't particularly want to do a Canute here.
    Where have all the bloggers gone? The neurotic, manic-depressive and oh-so-reassuring (magnificently fueling the 'if you're in shit hey look, there's someone shittier!' complex) ones.
   They became whole once more, existential angst were outgrown along with teenage braces and half-formed ideals and pakami. Leading whole lives in the fullness of time, with no reason to whine. Tradition be damned!
   What remains is a handful of brittle leaves of yesteryears. Thake shudhu ondhokar, mukhomukhi boshibaar...
  
   Read a few good books after a long time. Kerouac's On the road. And all the jazz associated with why i wanted to read it in the first place. Then Lust for life on van Gogh. And yes, my ears are still intact though it prodded me into picking up palette and paint - resulting in a brilliantly horrendous canvas. Skimmed through Arthur Haley's Hotel. After the uncompromising reality of Irving Stone it didn't quite cut the mark.
 Now back to Eliot's evenings spread out against the sky. Early in the morning too!
 Finally classified myself into an obsessive-compulsive nostalgic. The whole looking back and 'how green was my valley' thing. Every time.  Oh no, never vocal. College spurts on like paste from a tube and I remain ensconced in my Dylan and Cohen and the sudden Beethoven.
 We are nostalgics to the hilt - taru, myself and a few others. It has always been the Beatles and Dylan, Sinatra and
  This blog has withstood many a fevered tirade against nothing in particular.

interlude

 There was a time when this place was all about swift dusks, solitary evenings and half-known pangs of longing. Of evenings that become nights with always the damn it's already dark. Long walks, longer talks with dark eyes.
   The one that begins from park circus (near the church, where the tram stops and I check out others), past Zeeshan's aroma of kebabs (gentle ribbing at my apetite for mughlai. I retort: "tui toh na kheyeo ekta mutki!") onwards down the gentle curve of the divider, thinking of all that could've been and talking of queen jane. approximately. and at Gariahat it ends, too soon as always.
   There was a time when I would have cabbed from there all the way, dropping you off safely outside the gate and then sit back savoring the cab's now-empty interiors. Like a knight-errant after some completed quest.

 Not so now. Too much water flowing under too rickety a bridge. This bill's not mine to pay anymore.

Wishing for winter

Never really went for the winters in this city. There too little of the chill, a tame breeze while the mind is borne on gusty gales. Whatever. Yes that remains my second favourite word. Right after the f word. My my, how like a sodding choir boy, all doe-eyed innocence. Blah!
 It's still warm, the breathe doesn't rise in clouds yet. I'm waiting for the bite in the morning breeze. There's plans for a trip to Spiti and beyond during the summer breaks. With my brother-in-law who works with snow leopards. That distant thought -along with others- is sustaining me now. The mountains again!

 Tried to make a film. Did not work. On the same note: college canceled the film show. Is this a message of sorts? Like ... stick to your subjects dude, write some half-decent code for a change and leave the more rigorous creative pursuits to the mandarins who smoke up outside arts departments of renowned universities (unlike my own).

 Exams round the corner. Work work. Played warcraft after ages - Insane undead and all that.

16 September, 2010

tobu likhi

 And yet i scrawl and scribble my rants in here.

 Someday I will stop blogging. It will mark the end of a morbid part of existence devoid of direction.
 Someday. Hoping still.

09 August, 2010

emptiness and coffee

"Ekhon kebol coffee ar shunyota..." now there is only coffee and emptiness.
"Tahole tui kichu ekta likhe phel, eto eta niye hung-up hoye royechish"
"Gautam toh likhe gechei. Ami ki ar.."
"Fresh view."

Everything's passing in a daze currently. What usually happens during these to-soon tatas. Bugger it all. Class in an hour.
This is just the promise of a blog post. On the mentioned topic. Probably will remain thus for time to come: a promise of a promise that was never made.
Is it too much to ask why? and the bigger why not? And then expect the impersonal stars to twinkle a morse-coded answer?

As usual there's this sensation of dreaming my way through the important phases - important according to so-called established norms, not at all my cup of tea/coffee (!). The lingering after-images of a summer that (as usual) was brimming with too much fun and too little time.
Looking ever so often at the chequered past, a certain day comes to mind. It was this time o'th' year and a very young blogger had just passed out of high school. Xaverianism intact. Summer breaks ended back then too, along with the sunshine and clear sparkling laughter. And I was sad.
M never really was one for these oh-so-very-profound reflections. Which is why after two and a half years the words still ring true.
"Don't be sad because summer's ending. You'll have your college too and not so much time to spare anymore. The really sad thing would be if none of us had something to do or somewhere to go after summer ends."

03 August, 2010

watched inception. then enjoyed some time with friends.
  seems very precious.

13 July, 2010

play, soccer and a trip with friends

and lots of other things.
the play was ok. claps and boos evenly distributed. most importantly a wonderful bonding thread connecting all of us (virtual strangers before) that looks like it will endure a year or so. 'forever' is a term i have learnt not to misuse.
 back home now, carrying a slice of my land's past with me. joyful images of a rain-sodden soccer match with the local kids. getting high with school buddies on things best left unsaid. off-key chorus of farewell Angelina, 'biday porichita', Oh Susanna and suddenly Annie's Song. and the stars were brighter than i have seen for ages in my light-infested city.

 wondering how far i've gotten, and how much further there is before things plateau off into that dreary mix of everydays.
 we're meeting up again, our bohemian group of would-be thespians. who get off on neruda, dylan, leonard cohen and bergman. at my old house, that has antlers hanging from the drawing-room wall. and ancient texts on the transmission of power. and my eyes look ever into suns forever (yes) setting.
when, dammit, when?

09 June, 2010

Phew!

 Ok, one down, 5 more to go. Exams i mean. meh.
 after that the actual fun begins: mugging up a script in 1 day, learning to act in 6. after that the summer training from july onwards. will try to punch in a language crash course within that span. probably French, because it'll be faster going than German. Though i love the german 'ch' a month is hardly enough to have me read Kafka or Goethe originals.
 Russian and German are two languages that seem somehow lost in translation. The Kafkaesque is still effective - the verb endings to sentences so uncommon in the english language lending that peculiar air of unpredictability. The bleakness. But Goethe really crops it. Kindred by Choice's english edition had me banging my head against the  walls.
 Russian's another - at times the threads flow into limpid pools of understanding. At others they sound stilted. Then again maybe that aids the whole thing: the prosaic statements, shorn of  all cloying ornaments. The difference between sketching out a rider at full gallop with a few bold strokes of the charcoal or a painstaking troimpe l'oeil in minute detail.
 Ivan Danisovitch's one day is all the more memorable because of the starkness, the unmitigated bleakness. Or the sheer volume of a Dostoevsky or Tolstoy. The same perception of a foreign language in Gorky as well.
 Sholokhov's Don flowed quietly through - all four volumes of it - with a surprising fluidity, almost lyrical. A truly beautiful translation.

07 June, 2010

of mum, mud and men

My usual litany of woes in pre-exam time. The feeling of wanting to be a bungee-jumper, Everester, P=NP solver, the next Steve Jobs, the next Joyce or Sartre or Bunuel or Bergman all rolled into one. Just when I can't go about any of those aforementioned things.
Haven't really grown up. Still hate exam time with a passion. Being one of those duffers who plod dully through the entire coursework over the sem, the last minute turbo-charged nitro-boost isn't happening here either - no juice left.
Had a few great chats with a few old pals: reconnecting was never so effortless (other than the phone bill i guess xP). Got over a major feud with AT. Chatted about our continued love of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies with Kaz. Ran out of nicknames for P, a point which she promptly noted. Really, I must be mellowing in my old age.
And TLD was the same as ever - the bro i never had.

Mar Vanwa Tyalieva carries on - the cottage of lost Play which I may only enter after the 21st. Til then, adieu.

25 May, 2010

A day in the life of . . .

Went to a school buddy's birthday about a week back - quite a bunch of the old crowd actually managed to make it. Niceness, friends (weird nicknames still intact), talk of old times and new chicks.... chicken, mutton, Rumali roti, pantharas, bel er pana, compounded with the feel of old North Calcutta and eating as unabashedly as kids in 8th grade.
Awesome evening with Bachha, Biri, Chandu, Dhon Das, Canto, Bossuck, Buchu, Daju (who'd been photographing Russian models: his Nikon promptly became public property) and the rest ... Taru was sorely missed.
Ran pell-mell to catch the last metro to our respective homes. Promises of meet-ups as soon as possible while guys still remained in this city.

My calendar seems (strangely) filled. The end-sems end (ha) on June the 21st. That long awaited play (festering for a year now) on the 29th of June. Hall booked and stuff so no kidding around this time!
There's a project-based summer training I'm really looking forward to: at the CSI on web applications using .NET. College stuff gives a strong theoretical groundwork but applications are never fully learned without a serious project being completed.

I'm reading the Silmarillion when I should be doing differential equations. Listening to Bob Dylan again, many happy returns and what not. Checking out people's legs on facebook, shamelessly. And the muezzins are wailing from the nearby mosques.
Thinking of winter.

17 May, 2010

Lost voyages

 It seemed that salt sprays from the gulf of Lune to Belfalas had weathered my limbs as I tarried by the havens at Mithlond. Leaning upon the broken edifices I squinted across these brazen waves.
 There were no gulls any more.

 Inside the tavern the fiddler is a blur of elbows and tapping feet, the sound of thumping tankards and slosh of ale. The warm of humanity pervades me like the familiar glow from a hearth. Running my hand over the rough-grained wood of  tables polished by the grease of countless meals.
 Someone hollers for another round - burdens made light as light fails outside.

 Who shall refill the cup for me?

Drifting to my favoured shadowy nook, out of the way. Watching the merry folk traipsing by. The deep-throated chuckle of hefty men back from the hard fields, the swing of a shire-wench's skirts, the quiet enjoyment of a crew resting from a voyage. Whither?
 The South they say, beyond Harad and Khand and East thence.

 I turn away. They speak of what I have seen.

 Outside again, and the hearth-fires twinkle from the dusk-cloaked hillsides eastwards. Like portholes of some mighty argosy to take me hence forthwith. To the white shores that call me unceasingly, beyond the setting Sun and sickle Moon, hope and despair. Driving me to unheeded rapture when the wind tears at my wayward thoughts, when the sun blazes it's ascetic's incal upon my bared forehead in a last gesture of commiseration.
 Baring my teeth in a mirthless grin. My motley crew seems happy here, a whiff of peace from the snarling waves or the deathly stillness of a sea becalmed.
 Striding down the wooden jetty, thinking of the graceful harbour that I once knew. Hearing snatches from conversations ages ago, with those that had now passed beyond my ken. Swift glimmers of that free laughter (so free, so free!) sparkling like wine under a youthful sun. Living my days out on echoes from the past. While the voices of the living fade to oblivion.

 I am about to cast off the moorings when my ship's mate intones softly, gazing like me into the West.
 "Arwen vanimelda, namarie."
 There's a gentle query at the end that is not missed by either.
 My Arwen passed into the West years ago.
 And all Eowyns thereafter were pale shades of what was, and never will be.

 I can now feel the swell beneath the plunging prow as we head out West, one last time. Bows pointed straight into the gloaming, to forgotten paths east of the Sun, West of the Moon. The voyage for the sake of itself, what lies there forgotten in the thrill of the salt, wind and waves.

03 May, 2010

rains and other thoughts

It rained yesterday and I was glad.
As the end-sems draw closer, keeping with tradition, the gusts of wind, the scudding clouds and flights of fancies become way more important than Laplace transforms et al.
We are thinking of rebooting that old play, trying to make it sound less a Woody Allen rip-off.
"Mon ta jader ghore maathe-ghaate . . . " So much for exam preps.

It was Satyajit Ray's birthday yesterday - still looming over the bengali's film consciousness. To think of the days this blog waxed effusive over 2nd May.

Spoke with an old, old blast from the past - talking of how we fought over Tolkien/Shakespeare in our schooldays, and how refreshing Thomas Hardy's pessimism seemed after endless tea-parties of the Bronte ilk. Giving up on ever 'finishing' Joyce. Spirited renditions of "Molly Malone" after the Dublin exchange program.
In Dublin fair city, where the girls are so pretty .....
And so in the quiet anonymity of this blog let me make sense of things. Should I take up the uphill task of somehow finding my way to the pearl-strewn shores of Eldamar. The Eldamar I had always cherished, longed for beyond hope, where still I dream (falsely) that someone waits silently.
Or the staid, everyday life under fading trees in this my Middle-earth. Infinitely safer, easier and expected.
I am no Earendel.

04 April, 2010

Cab rides and broken souvenirs

Stephen Court was already burnt, but the landmarks of my schooldays thankfully unscathed: Flurys (shifted to the Street), MusicWorld and the rest. We looked up at the charred hulk of gutted upper storeys. Silently I recalled the day when flames had still been flickering, hoses spraying, politician screeched. The crowds. The bodies of those that jumped. The inherent voyeurism of the average Kolkatan when witnessing tragedy. It had been her birthday and I had other things on my mind.
So we find ourselves on another Saturday evening, post-beefsteak (no beer). What was in her mind as we stood below the white blaze of KFC, gazing up? The trajectory traced by burning souls? Not my place to wonder anymore, I admonish myself. We had parted though never having truly met.
This was just a catching-up for three old friends, a stolen gasp between relationships (hers), midsems and projects.

As I drop her home we chat freely again - of cabbages, kings, ex-s weeping over phonecalls (bogus I say!), the current older guy and pensive thoughts on a Brahmo marriage. Wondering how truly easy it was to slip into old shoes. I searched in vain for a trace of bitterness or even a glimmer of want. Just felt tired at the end of the day. And more glad than ever to have a friend near again.

"Damn, we haven't done this in a long time. Missed all this."
Put forth my toothy grin, past the enthu to read something more into polite banalities.
She left without looking back and I did not call after her. As I had often done in headier times.
Settled down as dark lanes whizzed past. There was no more turmoil, no more yearning and sudden spurts of despair-fueled attempts to own. Only a sense of disappointment - that even with more things in common than I dared hope, it always had been a fool's chance.
Tiredness once again.

23 March, 2010

random and lovin' it!

There and back again, a blogger's holiday. Hah!
We had a power-cut the other day, after ages. No inverter back-up either. Alone, momentarily blinded from the clutter of everyday. Escaping the stifling confines to the terrace, the far byepass-connector lights (inspiration for so many a blogpost!) glimmering like isles amidst a sea of noisome black.
 Tried calling an old, old friend. Thinking shamefacedly whether I'd be able to pay for an international call. No reply. A shameful relief smuggled itself into the general disappointment. And then my phone rang again. And we talked like in the old days of lives, loves, cabbages and kings. Maxims and credos strewn across like pearls on the beaches of Eldamar.
 The slumbering Tolkienian stirs within me, buried deep under landrover bot designs, programming assignments and bloody Carnot engines.
"From the ashes a fire shall be woken . . . "

16 March, 2010

evening. alone.

Sipping from a coffee mug at the end of the day,
Thinking of that oft' trodden way to say
That nothing much matters in this clamor and clatter,
And nothing great is handed to you on a platter.

The steps are too many for these fumbling feet -
I'd rather stumble to this my age-worn seat
And as my day wanes with the swiftest sigh
I'll sit and watch the burning ones pass me by.

wandering back

So yet again I'm musing at random. With no thought but the scraps of others' sayings. A few staves of ImmorTall's sound track. The part where the poor blob is finally covered in snowflakes. How each member of the family leaves ... one at a time. Never looking back. Also, never coming back to comfort the one's still remaining by the fallen alien.

For once i'm not writing to an imagined or hoped/longed-for audience. Not attempting to put in some oh-so-perceptive maxim about life, the universe or the lives of others. The cravings are still there - for fresh smiles, old school friends, chocolate and a life less ordinary. Blogs aren't like memories or old albums, they don't even fade away.
It is like warming my back against the glow of embers - this blog will echo on long after the voice is stilled. The surging aspirations of post-adolescence, teenage agnst, unvoiced longings, the sheltered know-it-all of high school, the glimmering of adulthood where suddenly there's no cushion to shield your rump from a fall. And now the empty corridors where none tread, the sudden wild rush through college. This blog has seen (and more often been) it all.

Kolkata is already sweltering. Amidst cheering on KKR and the reflective commuting to college i wonder how little i've really written, how few lives have i known and touched, how small were the horizons i yearned to cross.

A poignant walk.

Credits to Kazarelth for referring me some truly manic-depressive games. Superb taste there. xP

Welcome visitor!