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.

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