Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let's just pretend he's jumping

Winsuit basejump is nothing short of awesome.
However, seeing a balding middle aged man with sagging facial features and a complexion achieved only through heavy smoking under the sun doing it for the promotion of a completely unrelated sweetened beverage maker - a product that all sportsmen and adventure folks themselves avoid - in the name of overcoming their fears and living up to the adventure is outrageously absurd. The epitome of unhealthy living and excess selling you to a vision of conformance in the name of an adventure that even the nonconformists couldn't have imagined.

In the time of great anxiety i.e. WTSHTF, the first thing the human body loses control over is bowels. In this case we are being conditioned to relate those moments of bowel-crunching anxiety to consume something that looks much like the end result of your bowels relieving themselves.

But in a way the tagline of the mentioned soda pop maker in justified through these series of ads mixing their product with adventure: It really takes courage to invest in the paraphernalia to lug such a brittle glass bottle, as well as keep it chilled, and ultimately to take a swig and line your mouth with sugar that will not only make you feel the need for water in the near future, but also attract bacteria that can erode away your teeth since brushing would not be a forgotten cause when out in the jungles on an adventure, or trapped halfway between the sky and the earth. Not only that, but in the case things do go wrong after all the projected bravado and you find yourself on the forest or desert floor immobile, the sugar residue on your lips, or the spilled sugar beverage on your clothing, would be the first attraction to the ants who can then proceed to enjoy the sweet-saline sensation inside your mouth as well, or dig deeper into your lips and carve your flesh away. I, indeed, salute you bravehearts who consume the cool.

Raman Raghav

During my last post, I simultaneously realised the existence of Raman Raghav, the legendary Indian serial killer who went on a rampage in Mumbai between 1965-1969. Here are some quick facts:
  1. Purported to have been living inside Aarey Milk Colony itself.

  2. At the time of arrest, he had on himself a pair of spectacles, two combs, a pair of scissors, a stand for burning incense, soap, garlic, tea dust and two pieces of paper with some mathematical figures. Was wearing khaki shorts, a blue bush shirt and a pair of canvas shoes.

  3. His concealed stash - an octagonal iron fulcrum jimmy (the main weapon), knives, a screwdriver, a handkerchief, and a torch - was recovered from Aarey, while much of what he took from his victims was recovered from the jungles in Borivali.
  4. Goes soft with cooperation - it took a couple of plates of chicken, some hair oil, comb, and a mirror to have him disclose his locations

  5. It's said that Raman even gave a statement of it his actions being God's command. The Manson Murders (1969) coincide with these on other side of the globe. Mental imbalance seems to have some balance.

  6. Anurag Kashyap's Mumbai trilogy would bring Raman Raghav to the big screen in big time. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (remember "Patiala ke Presleys" in DevD, or that smalltown reporter in Peepli Live?) would be playing him.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Midnight Ghosts of Aarey Colony

Walking through the woods at midnight, I found myself approaching a figure rooted to the middle of the road. In the darkness that pervaded - tonight there wasn't even the moon in sight in the night sky - it took me a few seconds to confirm if it were something for real, or just my imagination projecting my own fears. A few minutes back I had been hyping this nightly treading to a friend over the cellphone, recalling an earlier incident when a friend's girlfriend, who was once out much before the break of dawn for a morning walk, had run back home after coming across - on this very stretch of road - what she claimed was a ghost. Me and Abhishek had once been exhaustively collecting sources on the malevolent forces inside these roads of Aarey, one of them referred to as "The Aarey Runner". Maybe my imagery was getting to me.

But real, indeed, it was, and still barely decipherable owing to the dark overalls. All I could register was a tall male figure, with his head at a tilt, and the vacuum of his face frozen in my direction. Regardless of the probabilities of an unpleasant outcome, my steps hadn't ceased in their intention. I still continued ahead, furtive. He still stood there, rooted. Meanwhile, the cicadas and frogs in the forest kept at their calm rhythm, and the rest lay silent.

Our distance narrowed, and in the uneasy moments that followed, I had walked past him; he remained frozen like a statue, the features were still undecipherable. The only detail I could notice was a crumpled package in one of his hands, besides that he seemed like a madman. "Must be drunk!" I exclaimed to myself, and now feeling a certitude of being out of harm's way, and moreover out of curiosity, I took a shot....

"क्या बात है?"...
And the head that was away from me came to motion.
"आसमान में प्लेन देख रहा था|" came a timid reply.

The situational inversion, and the innocence in that voice found me tripping with words that could make for a fitting response. This guy wasn't making words, he really was at that. I wouldn't have expected stumbling into a dreamer at this hour, lost in thought, collecting the greater picture.
This world truly belongs to poets and madmen.

PS: As I found later, madmen of this kind have also dwelled inside Aarey. My luck.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mystery caller at 3AM

The other gender has me surrounded - from funny interludes in the physical world, to externally controlled subconscious physical stimulus much like 'Inception' (I never imagined even Ms Padukone or Ms Kaif had their eyes on my prized parallel worlds theory), to this [which follows]. Hollow pride, perhaps; but it's worth recalling the fact that I was woken up at 3AM in the morning to a tender female voice.

Being woken up from my early sleep, I wasn't pleasantly surprised, but surprisingly displeased. The voice itself escaped my memory. The people I had always assumed to be calling at this hour couldn't set the diaphragm vibrating this way. Initially perplexed, my attitude tuned to being blunt and blithe. I inquired.
She introduced herself to me as Sameera, a college student who had been new to the city, and had been unsuccessful at finding a social circle. In her moment of need she's ringing random numbers, looking for a friend. Her story smelled of those caller scams. "I would've talked even if there was a girl on the other side," she replied to my inquiries.
Over the next few hundreds of seconds, humdrum followed. Being woken up from a sleep is irritating, unless there's a tiger sitting at somebody's doorstep or a flying saucer swallowing up cows at somebody's barn or somebody who just accidentally set their pubes on fire. After a while my casual unconcern made itself evident upon her, and we decided to hang up.
I missed on having ended it with a killer dialog
You have pretty much hooked up with the guy of your dreams, only that he had been too busy in his own dreams. FAIL.
I've been trying to list out scams that could follow, but probabilities seem little. Only one - that somebody calls back only to find themselves losing money at a Rs.10/min hotline - seems possible. Has anybody else had such an experience? Has 9920272065 (Vodafone, Mumbai, GSM) ever disturbed you?
Hunger was the most pronounced emotion of the day. Next came the approaching situation of being broke, after I had liquidated my emergency deposits towards the cause of friendship that gives me more warmth than the blood coursing through me itself. Then followed irritation, after Jennet and I had sat down for a few words, and I found the possibility of being preliberated, but at the cost of currency. Fatigue - that of rambling through Aarey, then FilmCity, then the forests of SGNP onwards my way from GF to M4 - also got a honorable mention. Relief - in the AWOL-ship since 1400 which saw me into the theater for 127 Hours (much by coincidence) - was to take the last place. There was a lingering headache by the time my day drew to a close, but presently I'm cured and back into my primordial stasis.
I should nominate the word 'grief' as a synonym to the activities of small talk or time pass, both of which I experienced today, and as a result of which I had developed that headache.
Regularly find myself staring at my lifestyle from a third person perspective - a curiosity at a vantage point curiously eying the mundanities to follow in the day.

External Loci of Identity

What holds me in common to the patriot and to the housewife?
A factor that is called the 'external loci of identity'. I should start by putting myself into perspective here. Last night, rambling through Aarey's isolation under the light from the full moon, I felt myself outside of my body. It wasn't an otherworldy experience; however it did make evident a fact that solves a few things, and gives me a catchphrase to kill the others with. Neither was the experience of a paranormal kind, but a psychological one. It explains my association with the nature, or with humanity, and my dissociation with myself.

Every tree that sways every flower that blooms - a mental imagery of a flower with petals and crimson core comes into my head - is an element of me. If you like flowers I like you.
In similar ways, if you take notice of that dog/boy along the road i like you.
If you show sympathy to that dog/boy along the road i like you even more.
If you help out that dog/boy along the road I love you.
You kiss nature, you kiss an element that makes me. UTAHRAPTOR, PROXY SEX!

A patriot extends his own identity into his country. Patriotism is a mental condition. No wonder why Einstein called patriotism the "measles of mankind".
Uncyclopedia takes a few jabs at the phenomenon:
“By far the best reason for and against war"- Oscar Wilde

"Patriotism is communicable through the auditory ingestion of feces. Contamination often occurs from politicians, entrepreneurs, country music singers, Richard Albinger and French Emperors."

And the could we forget...a housewife sees her identity in her husband. That is why marriages are/seem brutal. They are a socially approved injection of a mental condition.
It is the same for a child who sees the world in everything but him/herself. Childhood is like a mental arrest into external locii of identity. Growing up might be all about therapy that helps you bring that identity back into you
individualism is also something on similar lines, is it?

I've been feeling fissile today. I've had Radiohead's "The Gloaming" on my lips since yesterday, often faulting at the 'murderers...' line.

Something that could apply to most of the geographical boundary conflicts
So much blood for such a little home

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Equine's caress

Navigated by a little village girl
into a pastoral setting next to the river -
a field, two storks pecking for their lunch; and
a white horse assiduously grazing on
a mostly barren patch of land dry and inglorious
The horse himself bears a glorious mane and swell body.
I near in my hippie frenzy,
and reach out anxiously
The caress on his soft fur, the bristles of his mane,
those emotive eyes seem to convey a strange, sedate expression.
He isn't scared of me,
for once the equines have see me in acceptance,
I feel elevated up the Maslow's hierarchy, towards self-actualization.

Snuggling up to me, bowing subserviently...
Have I, today, tamed the beast with a single touch?
I make a larger and confident motion across its glorious fur,
now that it has turned and faces me sideways.
Its movement, however, doesn't cease
and on his axis he keeps on turning till the hind now faces me.
The little girl remarks on his cantankerous disposition
before I realise what is to come.
And I leap and twist
as it leaps in a graceless motion himself.
The two hooves well versed in this technique
manage to catch only vacuum this time,
but in a parallel universe I am very much in pain.

Deviancy Times

We shouldn't be sure of our sexual orientation, we should be suspect. After all, most of us (us = my close everyday social circle) are either totally inexperienced or negligibly experienced. One could be anything, how can they be sure? If somebody claims some particular orientation, they are making an assumption which is simply in conformance to their surrounding fashion. Some would make the same claim in a streak of anti-conformism.
Scientific discipline won't buy it. Neither would Freud. Just because some girl or some guy makes you feel funny, only means that they're a funny person, or you have bad digestion that might root from any of the incomplete stages of Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, not a proof to your orientation.

Let's take the example of how cyclopropenylidene only reacts with electrophilic olefins. This wasn't assumed, it was rigorously tested. In fact, cyclopropenylidene was abused, treated, and observed in the company of several other compounds... Imagine a bunch of scientists waking up every morning with a naughty grin on their face about what they would test cyclopropenylidene with today.
The human body being a compound of other compounds ourselves, we can also reduce ourselves to chemical reactions in a way.

Here's a test for any hardcore heteros: have "it" with a girl, then with five guys (vice versa for the gals). All reins loose, anything-goes sex. By the assumption of their purebred hetero-ness, they should remain unaffected by any pleasures of a similar flesh. Much like Sachin remains unaffected by the Zimbabwe bowling attack, and makes it look neither like any sort of bowling or any sort of attack. Moreover, their hetero-ism must be strong and sure enough to resist all homo-ism, and the experience must be a mute one. Much like how the inertness of noble gases was tested with other elements.

Monday, February 14, 2011

कशिद का समुद्री किनारा

अपने ही घावों पर नमक छिड़कना | यह इक तरीके से प्रदर्शित होता है मेरी इस सुबह में, जिसने इस बुद्धिजीवी को प्रातः ८ बजे फनसाड के जंगलों का रुख करते, तथा वापसी पर - थका, और जंगलों के पगडंडियों, पत्थरों, कांटेदार झाड़ों के प्रेम मिलन से प्राप्त खरोंचों तथा चीरों से सजा - समुन्दर के ख़ारे पानी में पाया| जंगल से सभ्यता में लौटने के इन चंद घंटों में मैंने अपना मुआयना किया, इक बार भरपूर खुशनुमा उल्टी की (रात की दारू), थोड़ी बहुत तैराकी सीखी (मोहनीश की बदौलत), गेंद से खेला, तथा धूप में अपना शरीर खूब सेंका |

अभी १३०० बजे हैं; हमारा उद्देश्य मुरुड जज़ीरा की दीदार करना है, जिसके उपरान्त हम शाम की आखिरी बस लेकर बम्बई वापसी करेंगे (अगर समय की रजामंदी रही)|

सागर की लहरों का शोर दिल में बस सा गया है| यह लहरें अपने में कितना इतिहास समेत कर रखती होंगी| कशिद की रेत पर कई यादगार लम्हे जुड़ गए हैं|समुन्दर और जंगल साथ ही मिल गए, मेरा नसीब|

Friday, February 11, 2011

Child friendly

#1: observe the effects of social networking on toddlers - do they learn quicker if they realise that in order to communicate with their fellow toddler they'd need to learn typing and language? what is the peak which toddlers can hit?
While the thought over electronic devices for children is interesting, the consequences of electronic devices on children is different.

#2: A few more years; then simulate a bot, and have each boy be taught/instructed that the bot is a bottomless pit with whom they can share anything with... only that it relays the conversation to you who is monitoring several in parallel without their knowledge. It would be interesting to know what all the interactions are like.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Wisdom is a jerk

Can't say which hour it is onboard, but the crew have just commenced with their hawking of cold sandwiches and expired cans of Bhutanese pineapple juice. I would, as always, reject airline food again; no matter if these cabin crew man-girls (that seem like an overexposed positive) know English, Hindi, Marathi and Nepalese, they cannot sell me this cold swill. Perhaps if they conversed in Klingon or Russian (while wearing an Afghanka) would I be elated enough to not care for my food, but that holds a faint probability.

It must be 50 minutes into our flight. I am up after my slumber brought about by a tiresome morning. The sun is tanning the occupants of the window seat to the right - they face the East, you see.
Seems we're about to reach Delhi, as just announced. I would hope we get there in a single piece, 100% safety record. If not, then I would be infuriated at having shelled out 5k when I could've rather killed myself for free on all the moments yesterday when I rambled to my office on uninformed territory. To reflect, these were two consecutive mornings, but so widely apart in their mode and context; there is seemingly no middle ground for me. Equipped with or without, the sense of adventure that possesses me will forever keep me in my diversity, always my smorgasbord of colors.

Wisdom says all this head-fudge would merely be an artefact that I would occasionally revisit and break into silent tears; but then I have expounded many times on our wisdom and foresight being total jerks who grew up to Enid Blyton and just discovered Schopenhauer.

Reflection @ 15000ft

Presently onboard, undertaking the plane ride personally historic. Not only could I claim a more engaging career soon, but also that on this day I was at a peak of fitness and nutrition that I was never before (and never will be, apparently, as at the time of blogging this I have gained a kg on a single day!); I also project a cool that had never touched before - I'm carrying my Italian brands well, with my sunglasses on while inside a plane!
Additionally I'm also at a level of aspirational exasperation low as never before, since the Android dream is nostalgically turning into a synonym for vaporware - we sit, plan, forget; Sahil's AKS is also on unstable grounds as of now; thn the fact of my financial situation at this crucial period of discounts and GRE is also distressing. I'm in the snake pit. Oh the poison!

Situation parsing error with air travel

A while after
overcome by sleep
I forgot.
Fitfully awake, later,
as I lay,
the thought returned:
Perhaps some stranger still sat by the door
this lonely night
'What should it be,
but an idle dream,'
- I said to myself

In Tagore's words I make for my escape. I, too, was overcome by sleep; I, too, forgot; I, too, woke up to a dream (or rather a psychological nightmare); and I too forgot about the stranger at the door - which was myself - who had to catch the morning flight at 0630 but under the wrong egoistical I-wont-confirm-it assumption found himself floudering at 0600. In panic I oscillated between the kitchen where my morning roast was rising above and beyond the vessel, and my parlour which serves my bastion for all solitudes and strifes. Holding the coffee cup in hand, then promptly putting it back on the table, and in a leap of faith leaping for my cash, and leaving for the Airport, at 0610. After an hour's worth of embarrassment, both at the ticket counter, and at being scammed Rs. 10 by the AutoRick driver who promised to wait for me just around the corner, I was back home with a ticket for the 0930 in hand - an additional damage of 3300. But it's a futile exercise to push the guilt in, since I suspect our heads only reflect our closest circles, which start with our parents and family. Being of a home where air travel was an amusement, or a luxury, or an emergency measure, but never a part of the regular lifestyle, we weren't made air-travel-wise, or conditioned to the mock situations of missing our flight. Air travel still remains a complete fantasy, as is the easy money that we earn, and the foriegn travel opportunities we get working in our private setups. Coming from a background of majorly-govt-sector-employed family with a lets-not-abuse-sarkari-resources attitude, I can deduct that going private was going behind closed doors to a lifestyle unknown of - EVERYTHING PASSES. I could be sure that I would see more reprimanding upon missing my 3rd Class Sleeper (Rs.150) on the 248km Nainital-bound Ranikhet Express, than an incident such as today's. Time has been more valued on our side, money is only seen as an enabler - if you can, dole it out.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Alien at my workplace

Morning rambling again

Before the sunrays of yesterday morning lose their impression on my memory and the trifling dents from the thorns and shrubs heal away, I should put this in text. I have been in my bunker on most of the days; I have even rid myself of the lethargy that seems trendy to narrate; even have a routine; even given up on late hours of VH1 and Emotional Attyachar; but the fact is that I still remain holed up much like any generic prisoner. It's an itch, irritation.

The itch sees me doodling, mostly, and a couple of days back when I had nothing worthier to do I sat for drinks with a couple of friends. I drew a man on a mountain catching a sunrise against a crescent shaped hillcrest, and the animals. Yesterday, that silly doodle turned into a divination, when this guy decided to deny his bum the primal pleasure of the couch first thing in the morning, and head out into Aarey instead. Less dangling about in thoughts, and more of those potent experiental formative moments, which have equal probabilities of either leaving you in awe, or in a plaster, but never of leaving you feeling like an intricately carved artifact rotting away in a cellar. New roads, new horizons, new jungles.
Transitory high. As Ignatius would justify, “So we see that even when Fortuna spins us downward, the wheel sometimes halts for a moment and we find ourselves in a good, small cycle within a larger bad cycle”.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

We have promised for Kashid. Alibaug. Whichever and however far we could reach the next Saturday. It is a spirited discussion, and spirited commitments – Azad would have to deny Jayant, seemingly his only male friend outside our household, and his girlfriend(s) whom he schemes to knock at our adobe every now and then; Abhishek would have to deny his Uncle, and overcome his general lethargy which sees him doing nothing beyond imagination over the weekends; Mohnish doesn’t seem to have any blood relations to keep him busy, but his very urban lifestyle of movies, alcohol and television will have to take a sacrifice (well, not so much, considering the latter two would be a standard feature of every guest house there); Rohit has…umm…I don’t know – something – to give up on…he’s been too frivolous lately with entertaining his friends, his friend’s girlfriend and his sorties with Azad to feed at night, to claim of a schedule; I have my world to give up on – the ambitious goals set during the week, the discoveries of the weekend, the bicycle rides, the treks into Aarey, the arthouse movie marathons, the intrusive thoughts, the likelihood of cozying up with girlfriends in flesh or just in thought, the eventful deflowering of my new headphones to my assorted musical collection over Winamp, the planned cricket team practices, the impulsive shoppings over the discount season weekends.
Just a week before the World Cup begins, I’m expecting a large crowd trying to compensate for their couch weekends with one off it. It should keep us hassled, harangued, howling.

Could be in some other place at this fitting moment. Taking dirty pictures – with a Sony Alpha, or with the old horse N75. Headbanging. Smoking. Smoking up. Not watching world cup cricket matches reruns. Not making a monkey of myself rofl-ing at my roomies under intoxication attempting to rape each other with Antiquity bottles and screwdrivers in hand. Not engaging smart people with my trifling, though cogent drunken ramblings. Not listening to Zdarlight by myself under the entrancing spell of my noise-isolating headphones.