Monday, November 15, 2010

The 101st. :)

So, this year round, I missed the birthday of my own blog. And realised it 3 months later.

Well, at least it doesn't complain.Also, I hit a century of posts, but this I realised only when I read a co-blogger's 100th post.

Now that we are done with the trivial chronicles, let's move on to things of greater significance. In August, some two years ago, I decided to start a blog- the name of which propped up almost instantaneously in my mind- Chronicling Lyfe. Because that was what I had meant it to be- essentially a chronicle, capturing slices of experiences and thought that would otherwise have just been lost- perhaps it will be lost anyways, as no expression can ever communicate emotion, but I was determined to make an attempt.
Then I dreamt up the 'Y' in the word 'Life'. Majorly to communicate that it was a personal chronicle.And I was fine with it. But the thing about being in a state of.........developing maturity shall we say? is that every perception is always in a state of flux. And the 'Y' in my 'life' has, for quite some time now begun irking me.
I look at it and it disturbs me. Perhaps its the anglophile in me. Perhaps it just has something to do with my obsession for order. If you don't like something about anything- change it. An infinitely better option than cribbing. So, I'm changing the spelling.




Yes, I am conforming.




11:23 pm

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Ugly Truth.

We are all civilized people. Which essentially means that we are all savages except for the few trappings of refinements that recorded existence has thrust upon us- Clothes would be an example. Bathrooms another.Hypocrisies both of them.

The truth is, dear Readers( yes, I still dare to use the s), that Hypocrisy, for lack of a better word, is good.

Without it we'd be too ugly.










Hypocrisy makes a mother utter in sheer, genuine, disbelief- "my son couldn't have done that" where two and a half decades of upbringing would have surely told her something else. Or , at the most innocent level, it is hypocrisy that makes you  tell that girl she is so definitely not looking fat. ( See the word looking?) We are not as ignorant as we would want ourselves to believe. But the next time, dig deep- if you have the guts enough to be found out.Or tell me that you can look into the eyes of a terminally ill patient and not reassure them that it would all be okay. Hell, even the harsher judgment on yourself than you would have passed on others was hypocrisy. But even more than the individual, hypocrisy is what the society needs- it was one thing to have broken rules in school and quite another to have flaunted it shamelessly- the latter is what revolutions- good and bad, are born of. The thing about truth is that it may hurt too good at times, but you wouldn't want a world of it. Few of us are worth a damn to anyone. Imagine a world where you knew that. Or, imagine a world where satyameva jayate was a lie.


And speaking of truth, there is another thing about it- Truth is arrogant. It is a proclamation of how what we think is more important than what others feel, which, at the end of the day is really not worth it.




I am a hypocrite. And this post is an excersise in my hypocrisy. It's just that as a breather, I seem to keep seeking beauty.

Because I think that I deserve some of it. We all do.

13.11.2010 ( Sat) 11:45pm

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Pidhi.

At another routine day back after the Pujas in the library today, I was staring off into nothingness, looking back at my research of over two years now, mentally restructuring and simultaneously trying to come up with a world-stopping theory, when I realised that for quite some time now I had been looking out of the window at the astrologer sitting on the pavement, complete with his parrot.

Now I had never quite shared the disdain that quite a few of my peers have for him- overt or covert.Rather, I quite like him. His bread is as much an honest living as any one else's. And it is a hard living. Imagine trying to make perfect strangers believe in obscure, inscrutable forces and unfelt energies in the fragmented, disillusioned and marketed world we live in today.





And as I looked at him again, I realised that but for his very, very benign looks,he could have been a terrifying figure.Would I really want to have his well-trained parrot choose a card for me and me come to know of an insipid or perhaps even painful future? Have the knowledge of the yet-to-come shadow my small beautiful moments? Even if the knowledge comes with the assurance of remedy, really, who in their right minds would want it? Because what really, really worries me is the question of whether we have the power to shape our own futures. Of course, over time I have come to understand that unless we look at it theologically, our answers to this would be directly dependent on the measure of success achieved.

But, again as I saw a man sit down on the pidhi  beside the parrot, I reflected that there is, after all a very fine line between foolishness and bravery, and till I manage to find the courage  to  make my way towards the now occupied pidhi, I remain sitting on a fence.

(Posted at 11:28 pm)

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Poetry Is Poetry Enough.



What I concieve is poetry, what I write is a poem and between them falls a shadow so dark that it seems enough to plunge one into cynicism; A shadow so large that you seem to never reach its edges.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Forever Young.

Today I subjected myself to a reality check. My last post had been on May 9.I have been putting off writing posts for so long I had now begun gliding over all thoughts of blogs - mine or otherwise. Not an unusual phenomenon when something piles up. But back breaking work now finally at a respite I must dive back into the multi-dimensional life that is more usual.

And I was in for a surprise- seems like it wasn't only me who had been putting off stuff. Most of the regular blogs I read( which aren't very many by the way) have litteler than usual posts. And always because of extra workload. And though it feels nice to be included, that is not the point of  my post.

The point of my post is the one advantage of Windows over DOS that was revolutionary : Multitasking.
Many a summer ago I moved from laziness to work. Then came the transition from mere work to hard-work. Then from hard-work to the point where no more work was possible. At this point dawned the realisation that efficiency must be stepped up. Now comes multi tasking.

So in a sense, there are really no reasons for the gaping holes in my blog calendar. Only excuses which seem to sound more and more like cribbing each time you go over it.

Inspiration does not die : Ever. It only gets clouded over by fogs of our own making. And till the time you have the strength to keep clearing those fogs, till then, you remain young and un-disillusioned.


P.S: Out of practice, I took the liberty of coining a couple of words- I am no poet, so forgive me. :)

I wanted to do a mother's day post, but realised that I  wouldn't know what to write.

Of mothers perhaps.

There are loves that we are born into, and there are loves that are born of us. And painfully enough, the loves that are born of us, find, in some strange way, a precedence over the loves that we are born into. Perhaps its the love, perhaps its the responsibility, let greater minds debate on that. But it is the same primeval instinct that
makes a mother love her child.

That is what a mothers love would be. An instinct. And so, in a sense, a mother's love is also tragic.Because, an instinct must wean away from her the object of her love.

And when you dwell on things such as these, better left mingled in your being and uncomprehensive to rationality, you'll realise that the tragedy is heightened when the instinct is pure. Undiluted by learning and education enough to bring an awareness of the emotions undergone.

This is the point where you think of the millions in  your country,  the unsung heroines who haven't heard of a Mother's Day.

And even though you feel an anguish, the pain is washed over by a soothing balm as you watch your child play with the waves.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kal Baisakhi.



Just had the 'Kal Baisakhi' of the season. Was studying when the balcony door banged open and my room was filled with a cloud of dust. Of all the Nor'westers I've seen, this was a first. The smell is the best thing about rains, but believe me when I say that this smells different from all rains.Its just that much more of dust, that higher velocity of wind, and that much more of parchness awaiting it which makes it different. Was reminded of the beautifully shot scenes in The Japanese Wife: Kal baisakhi on the river, Kal baisakhi in the village.You have to watch it if only for a glimpse of the river Matla: It was life: Ebbing and Flowing; Tranquil and stormy.


Will have the first Mangoes of the season tomorrow while right now,I am off to have my customary bath.
*Debating if I should sweep my room before crashing*

Probably  will.

Hope the weather stays same tomorrow at Dawn.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Tag Taken Up.

The tagger said that it just might turn out a fun thing some late night. It's more of early morning now, but let that not hamper my mood. :)

1. I'm allergic to Lux. Makes my skin itch. Badly.

2. Low-flying Aeroplanes make me happy. I feel a bubble rise inside me growing bigger and bigger, finally vanishing as the plane disappears.

3. I'm using the mouse-keys right now because my mouse is broken and I don't have the required 200 bucks to get a new one.

4.I don't drink aerated drinks because they are too strong . The fizz hurts my tongue. I no longer remember the taste of coke.

5. I have witnessed the winters here in Kolkata get warmer and warmer these past 4 years, And every summer breaks the record of the last having 'the hottest day of the decade'.

6. Friends come and go, but in some ways, they also stay on.

7. I have a vivid imagination. Sometimes vivid enough to be classified as hallucination.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writing.

Just through a blessed Easter weekend, it hit me.I've hardly taken out  an hour over the past two months for something that had transformed into a love: blogging. With my PC out of order, I had a ready excuse, but then again, I could have used the one at the library. It 's been a mad, mad time, but I haven't complained even one of the very, very, many days I've woken up with a throbbing pain in my body. "A body as young as mine can adapt"- I told myself every such morning, but there must be something wrong with work that consumes you so that it has started weaning you away from what you love.

It's heartbreaking that I no longer find an inspiration to write, and the few vague thoughts that cry for expression don't find willing hands. I've always believed that fatigue at the end of the day is awesome. It gives you sleep that is therapeutic.I'm not too sure anymore.

I'm not particularly gifted. My posts often come out garbled at the end of the day, but its a release. But glancing behind I  realised  something else too- my posts form a pattern: A pattern of growth.
Its amazing how starkly obvious this pattern was. In the one and a half year of journey this blog  has seen me through, it has amazingly chronicled personal growth.

And with that realisation, came another: You take a large credit for it.
For all my strong belief that I write for myself and my knowledge that I would continue writing even if  there was no one who read it, as indeed I did for almost the first eight months of my blogging, I know that you reading pushes me on to put an effort to make my words readable. And I know that you reading compels me to draw from a reservoir I didn't even know existed, in times such as these.

Someday, I'll find the courage to write as if no one is reading. To strip to an ugliness that's me. But before that I must continue writing what I write, in the process sketching out my imperfections.

And before that someday comes, I'll keep returning, to this lost corner of the cyberspace,drawing comfort even in its imperfections.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fair And Handsome.

So, the yearly exhibition done and the caravan proudly displayed it was finally time for a brand new session and brand new books. Plus, a transition from three to four means that you even have new subjects- Science, History and Geography.

And I was glad to see the books devoured with enthusiasm not unlike mine when I encounterd new boks each session.

And then my aunt took it into her head to teach him the chapter on plants before he stated school. That was when horror unfolded.

"I can also make my own food."

"No beta, you cannot. Only plants make their own food."

No, but  I can." was the stubborn insistence.

"Ok. Do you have chlorophyll?"

Of couse he had, he wisely explained. Only of a different colour. Brown perhaps, and that was why he was dark when all of us are fair.

The Indian obsession with fair and lovely starts young.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Iktara.

The Iktara is an ancient North Indian single stringed instrument, capable of deep bass and sharp treble, and hence produces all seven notes distinctively, symbolizing  life in its myriad hues.

Few months back I heard one of the most soulful songs I've heard in many, many years, and these late spring nights when I stay up preparing for exams, in the silence of an otherwise maddening place nothing seems more beautifully haunting.



Rooh ka banjaara re parinda,
(Rooh- spirit, Banjara- nomad, parinda- bird)
The spirit, like a  nomad bird,

Chad gaya dil ka re gharonda
( chad- left. gharonda- shackles)
has broken  the shackles of the heart.

Chad gaya dil ka re gharonda tod ke
Has left, breaking the shackles of the heart,


Re gharonda tod ke, gaya chod ke.
Breaking the shackles, has left.







Je naina karun band, band,
(naina- eyes; band- close)
And everytime that I close my eyes,
Beh jaaye boond boond.(2)
(Beh- wash boond- drops)
Pain is washed away in droplets.

Tadpaye re, kyun sunaye re, geet malhaar ki,
(malhaar- a classical north Indian raaga, sung with the coming of monsoons, the source of life)
Then why do you make me listen to the anguishing  monsoon raagas?



Chorus:
Be malang tera Iktara (8)
The iktara has lost its melody and now continues without any symphony.






Itra tu baasi baasi,
(Itra- dialectical for Itr - a perfume made of herbal scents, popular only in the  northern parts of india. : baasi- stale)
Perfume, you are stale now.

Padi hai sirhane,
(sirhane- the area along the head of the bed, often, in india, a place to keep things.)
and lie uselessly along the head of my bed.

Band darwaaja dekhe, lauti hai subah,
(darwaaja- dialectical for darwaaza, or door)
 My closed doors see a morning return.

Thandi hai angeethi seeli, seeli hain diwarein,
( angeethi- a crude mud oven, used in the extremely chilly winters of north India to warm homes.)
The angeethi lies cold, and so are the walls.

Goonje takrake inme, dil ki sada
(goonje-echo)
And the dirges of my heart echo from these walls.

goonje hai re( 2) dil ki sada (2)
Ah, the dirges echo.






Je naina karun band, band,
(naina- eyes; band- close)
And everytime that I close my eyes,

Beh jaaye boond boond.
(Beh- wash boond- drops)
Pain is washed away in droplets.

Tadpaye re, kyun sunaye re, geet malhaar ki,
(malhaar- a classical north Indian raaga, sung with the coming of monsoons, the source of life)
Then why do you make me listen to the anguishing  monsoon raagas?





Chorus:
Be malang tera Iktara (8)
The iktara has lost its melody and now continues without any symphony.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waiting for Tomorrow.

Years ago, in the junior section, when we were introduced to the concept of having "bests", it was an extremely faishionable trend to have a best of everything. best colour, best food, best toy, best book, obviously best friend and extremely faishionably,best actor.It almost rivalled having a senior as your friend.And so, One fine day,extremely thrilled and exhilarated after having watched Baazigar, I pronounced my favourite actor to a selected group of friends, whose parents I knew did not allow them to watch anything apart from a couple of hours of cartoon aired on doordarshan in the early evenings.
"Shahrukh khan."
And to prove that I had even brought along a 50paise postcard with his picture on it, which , because of some jealous elements in my class was duly reported and confiscated.

This was of course, way, way before he started writing his name as Shah Rukh Khan.And also way way before our english was good enough for us to understand a movie in english.

Then that summer turned into winter and some more besides. My best actor changed into my favourite actor, but he was still the same.I hardly saw his movies, but obviously that should not be a factor when you are talking favourites.

Then along came another trend: Hollywood.This was something I did not understand, and the fact that we didn't have cable in our home did not help. The photographs I saw in the newspapers all looked the same.So,even risking appearing dumb, my favourite actor refused to change.Now,movies were classified good and bad instead of just liked or disliked, I became aware of the fact that movies had to be directed and produced and that a Shahrukh khan movie did not mean that Shahrukh got together with kajol to make a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai happen.

The leaves continued their yellowing, falling and growing freshly green,and the good lord knocked some sense into most of us. Thus crept in pseudo-intellectualism.Wierd movies were in the vogue. Critics awards were talked about instead of popular ones. I stubbornly refused to accept that Mr and Mrs Iyer was better than Mohobbatein.(and even looking back now,I think you had to be pretty precocius to have grasped that movie at that age.)

And then it started.

The superior smiles and condescending looks everytime I mentioned something I was habituated to stating. And people scorning the wonderful, wonderful songs that breathe the life of a nation.Because that is what it is: An entire nation defined by the movies they make blockbusters.It was then that I realised the symbolism of what I had held as a favourite for nearly a decade now.

Its the pulse of a nation that wants to believe in the beauty of dreams. Its the heartbeat of a nation that, covered in sweat and grime while returning home in a bus, wants to believe that a sangh-e-marmar ka farsh is achievable.Just like a boy from Delhi found his sangh-e-marmar. And more than anything else, It is also a nation who wants to believe in the innocence of romance among sarson ke khet. Perhaps foolishly so, but what does it matter to me?



I will wait for tomorrow, when on a perfect spring day I will witness the story of a painfully ordinary man undertaking an extraordinary journey for love, and a  magic will be re-kindled.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Free Fall -2

Read Part1 Here.

Hurling headlong flaming from the ethereal sky, With hideous ruin and perdition, His eyes opened as the brief prayer on his lips began to fade away into gibberish, and a familiar cloud began to steal over his senses.

He had been falling for nine times the space that measures day and night to mortal men, though he understood  it not. It was just as well as eternity.

Another fragment of theWorld, another lifetime, and the same, uncomprehensible task. He tried to clear the mist enveloping his mind, but found it too heavy. Somwhere in the recesses, he was aware of a severed divine thread- The one thread of light that ran across all of Lord's angels. The thread, that in heaven, still illumined Vivacious.

And so, defeated, haggard and a weary mortal, he found himself, this time, in the heartland of a torn country. Not quite unlike the previous times, for every time it had to be a scene of torment.

But as he looked across the strifed land, he knew it was another age. An age of awakening, and an age of terrible despair. People massacaring each other to claim God's land.

"Fools!"  Said the dying Arab. "do they not know where god resides?" "Do their scriptures teach nothing?"
"Fools!" Said the Fallen angel. "Were they not told of the Eternal Throne?" and turned to look at the dying man.

"Perhaps it will take another age to tell them so." And the glimmer in his eyes turned vacant.

"Tell them so"


Had those eyes still been alive, they would have seen a miraculous sight. A light spreading through the soiled man, spreading, as it seemed, from the center of his being, and drawing,invisibly, from a hallowed  source.

And a prayer, though now in a different vein,  was renewed on his lips:

"....that I may assert eternal providence,/ And justify the ways of God to men."


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Antaheen - The endless struggle.


I've been meaning to watch it for a long, long time now and when I finally did, it was worth all the wait. This movie is perfect balm for sored eyes.I say perfect, but ironically this movie is an exploration of how there is no perfect. Ever.

It's also an exploration of relationships, and the dilemma that you face at a cross-road : Of wanting to stay back, yet wanting to move on. Three relationships, three different pains. And a common struggle to find that perfect.Its a beautiful movie on how perfection is confined only to the unknown.

The struggle is not only that of trying to look for perfection, but even that of trying to look for beauty and meaning. That is what humanity essentially believes in. A struggle, always, of something beyond. Something on the horizon of tomorrow without which today is futile.That is also, perhaps, why so many of us are incapable of living today. Today is what it is in relation to the test tomorrow.



But even besides, very strangely, it brings out quaint yearnings. Perhaps it was the music, perhaps it was imagery- you have to see it to believe it. Rain splattered window-panes and wind chimes in the rain.  Dark Clouds gathering over the Calcutta skyline.Droplets mingling on a Lotus leaf.  Rahul Bose gazing away into that Beyond.  The city twinkling away at night as its inhabitants fall into restful sleep.Old homes with mats drawn on strings in the verandah. And Radhika Apte is a revelation. Those eyes speak a million words and then some more.

This movie is a Canvas sensitively painted. And life is all of the things described above.

It is also the Red Kite with a Blue tail stuck in the antenna, struggling to free itself and fly away in the quest of that horizon and till the end, still struggling.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Random Musings on A free Sunday.

I made a life-changing decision today. And the life of my 8 yr old cousin will never remain the same.It was the decision of making a caravan for his yearly exhibition rather than an Igloo, which, he elatedly informs me, is "smart." Imagine jealous stares and covetous looks as he walks in with his treasure a fine Monday morning. And being entitled to an entire day of righteous bragging. Sweet.

There are few things in the lives of students better than a host of movies waiting after an Exam. I watch Hollywood almost indiscriminately, but for Bollywood, the To-be-watched must pass screenings first.
a) Who are the actors. If its Shahrukh Khan, all further screenings are automatically discarded.
b)What is the soundtrack like. If it is brilliant, then the non-presence of Shahrukh can be tolerated.
c)What is the Storyline. If it promises deep explorations, the top two can be negated.
Kurbaan Passed the last two screenings, and so I found myself, staring, for the second time in the last 4 months, at the clothes of Kareena Kapoor. (note: That's Akki Narula). Feels astonishing to think that she is the same person who played a 'Poo.'

I maintain that there is a better movie made on terrorism behind what we see.And it is Khuda Kay Liye. Kirron Kher did manage to portray brilliantly the pain of a ravaged country. But if you want to glimpse how a country terrified after witnessing a terrorist attack on its soil reacts, watch KKL.It is a movie on confused and pained human minds, minds that are washed and hardened till they can scarcely be called human.More than anything, it terrifies you with a display of what degradation humanity is capable of, before ending with a call for prayer, and symbolically, as you realise, a call for hope and reason. But I am writing a review on Kurbaan. So, the stark realism and pain there mutes Kurbaan significantly. But for people who haven't watched KKL, this must have been a good watch.

After exams, as I had mentioned, there is always an overwhelming feeling of Idiocy that lingers in the general atmosphere.Excuse enough to watch the touted "Best Movie of the decade." Its an extremely entertaining take on our education system. And although I have my moments,overall, I personally have little problems with our system. Yes, I despise the rote-learning made mandatory and I acknowledge that introduction of original thinking is imperative,but To give a small example,you must have the letters of the Alphabet blind before you can move on to words.And so much  of what was taught compulsorily till the tenth level seems matter-of-fact now, it surprises me that I sat to learn them once. It is as a reader of my blog commented once: I know spitting out the rote material seems meaningless; but you know as well as I that To get to the challenging, exciting courses of study you must first pass the boring and inane. I find it extremely difficult to attach labels of 'Best' and 'worst' so I shall refrain.More than anything, this movie is an assimilation of numerous small, beautiful moments.And a story of friends setting out in search of another friend: one who taught them about life, love and living.But as for this being the highest grosser of all times, just hang around till My name is Khan blows away the theatres. 


Rocket Singh should have been marketed more aggressively, I think.It's one of those rare feel-good movies that does not try to thrust the feel-good factor into your face.


Be Honest. Like people.


P.S: Due to all the template-changing I had done in my initial days of blogging, the configuration seems to have gone permanently haywire. But this, more than a blog, is a chronicle. So I shall make every effort to keep the post date and time always accurate. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Indian Twilight.

* There will come a time when you will be old enough to start reading stories again. Then perhaps, you shall take this off from some dusty, upper shelf and remember me. *
                                                                                                        - C.L Lewis.

There was a time, in the Samvat Era, when India was young, and still called Bharat Varsha, or the land of Bharat.

In those days, people would send their cows each daybreak with a cow-herd for grazing.There they would stay, under the watchful eyes of their caretakers, till it was evening, and time to return home. Perhaps, while travelling through trains, and with eyes that were young, you have, a lone time, seen them return to the villages. It is a pretty sight : the coming home of Indian cows.

One cowherd at the head,  another behind- and cows in between. Black, white, spotted. Making a quaint tune with bells that tinkle on their necks and the rustle of thick undergrowth beneath their feet. As they go, it is always dusk, and in the fast fading light they move- through the sun-baked pathways not yet paved, so that their hooves kick up dust, till at last they are enveloped in a cloud, and the last rays of the sun filter through it against a scarlet background. In that moment that sight seems ethereal- and you can glimpse, as if through swirling mist, the creatures that a country holds sacred.

And so, the Indian people call twilight,  "The hour of cowdust" or, Godhulibela.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Hangover.



I should have done the mandatory evaluation of the past year this year end too, but I didn't. But now, even with the new year in full throttle and resolutions all around, I find that I still have the 2009-hangover. I find that this is what usually happens when I try to leap over unpleasant stuff. Just like when in the junior school if I tried to leave out one of the nastier problem sums so that I could proceed with the rest of my home work, there was no way I could have done the rest of the homework in peace. There would be a continuous nagging, nagging, nagging.
Being a perfectionist has its own problems. But I digress.

Also, there should be some Calendar system in which, every new year begins on a Monday. I don't think that starting a Brand-new-year on a Friday is entirely nice. But I digress again.

So even while I agree with the historians who say that assessment can only be done after you put yourself at a distance because perspective and detachment is necessary, I found that I must sit again with a diary and a pen to my yearly ritual. What came out of it is not important, but what I realised of it is.
Its important to close the gates to past before moving on to the present, and the doorways to the future must forever be open, always holding dreams to keep stealing  glimpses of.

To wishes being realised this new year:
Cheers.