27 October, 2012

Off and on

Its usually when there's nothing much to do (or to be done) or when there's just too much that this blog gets a new post.

 Pujo just passed. It was subdued for me. Quite unlike the past couple of years. Perforce.

 Too much happened, the gamut of which cannot be set down.

 What can be said is this:

  I shall still chase elusive wraiths in swift-falling dusks. Ramble on old forgotten routes through the teeming tenements of my hateloved cityscape. Landmarks of a passing childhood, teenage and collegiate revelry - all of which are tied inextricably to this city.

  I shall continue to randomly pet dogs on the street. And make disgustingly saccharine sounds at kittens. Jump up on half-constructed concrete bulwarks to gaze at greyish ghosts in a brazen horizon.

 I shall still have the Dylan and Cohen, and the rare Beethoven.

 The sudden burst of sunshine at a mindless kinship, a random bonding over coffee and other substances of a certain potency.

 This is the turn of the year. As always it quickens something of that half-forgotten failed poet in me. Still. Half-a-lifetime away. 

14 July, 2012

friend of a friend

 park street is not park street without a lovely LH lass in tow. #random #nostalgia #calcutta

 Friend of a friend. Pity didn't quite talk much while the world was young (and 30 Park Street and Calcutta was still almost a home).
 Old times, old friends and old paths. Those seem to matter a lot these days for some unfathomable reason.
 Oxford Bookstore almost killed it. Baez, Dylan and even Belafonte! Coffee of course.

 And then -ahem- some headbanger stuff. :D

Silver Grill and a bump into my middle-school English teacher.

 There may have been flowers involved. Roses no less, thorns and all. Quite by accident.


09 June, 2012

At it again

 After much deliberations I'm hammering away at the keyboard again. This year has been one of many closures, for the lack of a more apt word or phrase. There were many things which I set out to do, most of which were forgotten, some of which were done and all of them are - for a certainty - being added up somewhere. Somehow.

 This summer will be busy, but the saddest thing at this time and age would be to have that idle summer to laze about. Much as it is a perennial fantasy, something like the utopia for all working mortals - if ever truly achieved it is a mark of a person's joblessness. I don't mean a well-earned vacation, but genuinely having nothing to do during summer break. It could be fixing your room, cleaning up the mess that is the harddrive of most personal computers, catching up on all those buddies that still manage a 'howdy' amid neon-fueled career paths. Or learn a language, finish that stylishly half-done oil-on-canvas, get back to strumming your guitar. You take your pick. Or better still, add a few more.

 The city and I will be bidding adieu (as always, this history has been repeating itself as far as I can remember since a certain summer of 2008) to the usual motley cohort of friends, frenemies, lechables and other sentients. The sense of closure comes at having made my peace with a large number of things that managed to rankle long after the exact reasons were buried under real-world worries that had less than little time for the angstiness of overgrown children.

 On to more immediate and self-centric (saying 'self-centered' makes me sound so ... well self-centered) stuff: summer training at the cyclotron, Salt Lake from the 18th. Which means 10 to 5 hours plus the hour long commute from my place. Sounds like bona-fide sun-stroke material. This hiatus is mostly being taken up by the glorious and most ancient tradition of lazing about. Goodness knows I've had little of that this sem.
   There is a certain smugness involved - some stuff I never imagined we could pull off. Managed to get published at 2 places, and waiting for the confirmation from a third. Computer science stuff ... hardly the literary laurels that were, shamelessly, once a little kid's daydream. Managed to also check off a few real-world obligations such as projects at IT giants (by asking for peanuts in the first place), projects under college professors (by keeping ungodly hours), projects under profs from other institutions (ditto). Managed to get back to that half-forgotten school-boy's passion for debating, which was not entirely an unqualified disaster. Thanks go where due for that brief respite.

  If creativity is to be measured out in coffee spoons a la Mr. Prufrock, then I have been entirely devoid of it. No strident chords from heady arclights on a stage, that all so familiar hush before a word it said, the warm dark beyond the circle of light centered upon yourself. Not even those long-winded stanzas dwelling at length on the wilting scent of dusk in the whirlpools of dark eyes, all a'tremble on a light-trailed highway.
 However, there has been work done. Work that needed to be done - not the decadent splendour that arises of pure creativity fueled solely by a desire to create, not say the desire to have a full meal; preparations for a journey long thought of.
  Its a very fragile thing, this wisp of the hope of a voyage. This fleeting waif of a dream of a desire. So ephemeral that one must speak of it only in whispers, in solitary alcoves with no audience but oneself and those thronging trembling hopes and the cold certainty of one's reach. Another small step for that voyage. To sail into those watery paths, prows pointed beyond the gaze of a westering sun and the pale lamp of a sickle moon.

27 May, 2012

snatches at nothing

 At times I wonder why this place still exists. I find less than nothing to write about day by day. Other than the same banal inanities in hopeless repetition. Like a waif at a window, a voyeur to the joys of others.

09 May, 2012

Movie lines that move - hollywood

  These are some of the vintage lines and scenes that I grew up watching, mimicking, idolising - in fact the whole bunch of us with a slight old-times hangover did. Growing up in the 90s with the head in the 50s-60s. Here goes.

"I could've had class!" - On the Waterfront

"Hey Stella!" - A Streetcar Named Desire

"Here's looking at you kid" - Casablanca

Yep, this was used on occasion(s). Best forgotten. :)


"A Jewish prince, sir"
"A prince you say? Then treat him like one!"
(didn't get that scene on youtube alas. Also the Messala-Ben Hur style of drinking. We tried that with lebu chaa outside the school gates. way back when...)

"C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate" - Blade Runner

"You talkin' to me?" - Taxi driver

 Hah! This too. :D

And yes, this of course! ...

 I'll probably be adding on stuff to this. Exams and all. Hence naturally this had to be done right in the middle of it. BLeh.

29 April, 2012

on some faces, waxworks

 there are some faces that have stories behind them. you've seen them too, when one person's expression jumps out from the usual mire of blurred featureless personae. Snatches at your memory, snags your eyes. why?
  marks of a life lived to the full, supped well with both the joys and the sorrows. laughter shimmering like sunshine on a spring day, and the somber dusk of wintry times, dark corners and etudes to solitude.
   I like to think of what these stories could have been. Faces like these are like the spines of books in a distant shelf, a library where I have no membership. Or chapters on the contents page, but the rest of the book beyond my scrabbling reach.
 So what were those stories again behind the face? Both the sad and the joyous. And those that are neither, but precious too. The arch of a brow, the lilting trace of a wistful glance, cool eyes like limpid pools, the laughter of past echoes - things that have a history to them, like...like burnished vintage ornaments, or silverware with a patina of genuineness, or a much-buffeted old cricket bat that comes from having spent an age together.
And distant again. Moonlight on the snow.
  Looking in like a waif through a window, into the private joys of folks by the hearth. Warming oneself by the fires of others. Wondering in that moment what it would have been like to have joined into that duet, to have known more of that life glimpsed so briefly in a face. The ephemeral fleeting of rambling thoughts.

  Things are ... weird. Waxworks and ghosts of summers past. And I actually wrote about it. Does not bode well, that. This time o'th' year is perilous for the blog.

31 March, 2012

snatches at comfort

for a short while there was comfort in the dark. In being held, all a'tremble. with no prior substances needed to break walls, but just the quiet silence of many walks and mindless talks between two people. the playful questing, the sudden urgent scuffling and childish tracing of contours. the curve of a smile, tracing a line down the dip at the collar-bone. with eyes wide shut.
young one, there will be others: many, and more. jot them down in those darkling eyes. so that looking back were as likely as looking forward to bring a smile. til roads diverge let us go with the flow. with no guide but the stars and no tag but the ascetic's incal of Wanderer upon bared foreheads in a lucent eventide.

23 March, 2012

sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care

Write I shall for write i must. with mismatched cases and errant punctuation, like some knight-errant in some old fashioned book (and no, there's no worm on any hook so far).

there are things that are best expressed by specifically NOT talking about. So here we shall remark, as always, upon dusk. and byepass lights. the din of construction work a distant thunder. ashani shonket.
And the award that went to Feluda and Lear, who was also Amal and Apu and a lot of things we emulated (tried to at any rate) in our idealistic childhoods. Down to (tunelessly) Ami chini go chini.
Remarkable how a person and the characters somehow merged into the consciousness of an entire generation of bengal. that meant dhuti-panjabi, that meant labored sonnets recited into the night, unrequited pangs and delightfully remote glances. BhNare chaa, sipping at the scalding tea from earthen cups in ramshackle roadside stalls. dark embers and rickety benches.
and coffee house. college street boi-para. North calcutta (not Kolkata!). shyambajarer mor. tram rasta. Antlamo. narrow streets of cobbled stone - now almost wholly gone in other parts of my city. Ei shohorer kobita, chhobi ta, shobi taar. A 'proud to be bong' moment.

12 March, 2012

wait some more

Somewhere, somehow let it all add up.
All of it. Somehow. Anyhow.

Every bit of swift dusks and scuffled-foot walks, mindless talks. the stark solitude of a lab while folks are meeting-up on Park street. The intentional lack of a life. every morning bus ride sardine-squashed against the mob. every hour spend pottering away. every time it is working away on gibberish code instead of settling down with a good book or a movie or join those creative chaps still remaining in our city and do something (anything) that is bright and soulful and makes you think of things that are all the more precious because they are half-forgotten and wholly undefinable. except in some tiny recess of your mind that was lofty and rigid and quaint and delicate all at once.
yet none of it. the strips of fluorescent lighting and thoughts of the 2 hour journey back home from the lab when only freight wagons thunder down the orange-limned roads. pottering away. to what end?
after something so frail that it could survive only in whispers. anything more and it would capsize.

having to wait a few more ages for things to fructify. but it's alright (think twice? a zillion times already).

02 March, 2012

on back-aches and other demons

so i am diagnosed with spondylosis. "acute" as per the balding doc.
the hours before the console had to catch up sometime.

and yes, someone just made my day with her usual dialogue-baji: "No the world isn't getting any smaller. Just the people are less." With strict admonitions NOT to put it up on this blog.

that explains everything.

22 January, 2012

21 January, 2012


chasing the dusk with the scimitars of night
this heady medley of fight or flight
or the limpid calm before the storm
cool eyes, bright lies and an alabaster form
balm to soulscorches in a fading light
amid a handful of cheers and a thousand jeers
rag-tag cloak of long-lost hopes and fears

half-remembered some childhood tune
lucent in the shade of a lycan moon
scuffed-foot walks with those might-have-beens
measuring out their worth with a tablespoon

i have scribbled my soul onto the mossy wall
of these narrow by-lanes of anywhere
to ensure that whenever i hail or call
the ship has already sailed the port
'tis left only to wave and smile -
have no doubt, it's a jolly good sport!

20 January, 2012

rambling still

Gorging like post-famine peasants at KFC. The 12 piece bucket. Three people.

Then the impersonal labyrinth of Salt Lake. A nod at my old pilgrimage routes. Dark silhouettes in shady nooks, away from the sullen glower of amber street-lights. After so many things had happened around a place (relatively speaking of course. No more than a flyspecked footnote in the true scale of things) one would expect a bit more than the everlasting sobriety of evening in a residential area.
Ogden Nash in my head. Some random meme must've put it in my head. And some other smattering of the evening spread out against the sky.

If we were to meet in this city, my old friend, after say 5...6 years. Odds are that we would still be walking down these unnamed roads or rambling down Park Street, speaking of much the same things as today. Half-heard confidences to the ghosts of yesteryear. A silent homage to distant summers that none now recall, to silent walks in the swift eventide of winter: little flecks of soulblood, congealed now, that tumbled away into oblivion as people went ahead with their lives.

Those tales never end. And remain the same. Only the folk in them change at times. Sometimes unnoticed, often unheard.
My pet peeve for the day remains the steady drain on equally jobless folk to take care of my rants during my higher moments.

14 January, 2012

voices shall not share

Yesterday was memorable. Be it wearing the old school blazer, the Xaverian mein still intact after four years of battering by plebes (:P). That dazzle of floodlights, the upturned faces. And of course "My worthy opponents .... "

Some glad known faces - juniors - right in the hustle and bustle of organising things. It was a familiar place, thanks to the times when wanderlusting away from the humdrum brings me to the welcoming highness of JU.
And after it got over, the lights doused and the curtains fallen. With the hosts (as always) staying back for that last hurrah, that final adjusting of the chairs. A last look at the stage.
Thank you people for letting me relive debating, a schoolboy passion that was almost stifled in a mire of collegiate machinations.

So another ramble through that uni with a hitched hyperactive schoolgirl (even though in 3rd year), orange-glow limned silhouettes with ghosts from the past, present wisecracks and future maudlin-despair.
The comings and goings, hook-ups and ditchings, meet-ups and leg-pulling.

Life's as good as it gets. Me? Bleh.

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