Friday, January 20, 2012

You & I have unfinished business

O-ren Ishii! Shoubu wa mada tsuicha inai yo!

A quarter down the entire length, and I already feel a trigger of ambiguous signals to my legs; it oscillates between keeping me going, and from pulling me to the ground - with a gentle grace and a painful expression on the face if I choose to stop, or with a thump if I remain stubbornly positive.
Fearlessly, I refuse an end to this experience, and drag ahead, breathing hard. Its close to what my 9k runs with C used to be like, when in our last 1km we would blow ourselves out doing all kinds of alternate motions for mobility. Only difference being that those lung-leaps used to be by the end of our run, while today its just past the start, and there's the whole of it ahead.

Soon I settle into the groove, and find things more manageable than what my labored start reflected. The body tunes itself (like the responsible responsive machine it is) so now that strange 'wrong' feeling is curbed by the measure of retracting the sensory inputs from the outer-world stimulus - the breathing and heart-rate stabilises but I can hear myself all the more, the liquid welling-up in the eyes now settles-in like a good spectator but the eyes start to learn more about myself (at abstruse angles) than the more usual squares and circles right that linger about. Thoughts mute out. Some cravings buzz about like flies, but are squatted down.

Today, I could've been anywhere, but chose this, in the zeal to live, to evolve, to claim, to inspire.

Remember the time

Sunbeaten, yet soaked, you sit, resting your head on your backpack. Against sleep that slowly creeps up, you remind yourself of the long way ahead on this day, to merely ensure that you can spend a comfortable night. From the corner of your sight a shape rolls in, the same horizon where you just rolled in from. It is soon deciphered to be a motorbike. Another loner like you, only that you are two, which, though, makes the journey safer, but no more convenient.

The loner stops a stone's throw from you, ceasing the thumping engine with a croak. And pulls out a handycam. The tall mountains, the pristine lake, the deserted yellow paddle boat, the cloud of dirt across the tattered tarmac... everything in good focus for a sensational retelling of your memories. Then a tilt shot - from one of the surrounding peaks, down to the two cyclists who seem drained of all energy (and some of the zeal from earlier in the day) but without any signs of hesitation of finishing the day elsewhere ahead. To him, this is heroic. A 'Cool, guys!...' trails from his mouth involuntarily from some primal corner. Those two cyclists make the feature in this clip, one that connects with the ideal we've always drawn up for ourselves; all the rest becomes an establishing shot, kinda an entree, an introduction to the cooler of the cools, amid an amphitheatre of peaks.

When you look at yourself cramped or beaten-out, remember the time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Berth chronicles

B1... It's this one. One at the front. First passenger coach behind the mail wagon. A bad start for me - if we were to collide with another train head-on, I would likely be dead. In addition, comforts of AC3 look cheap in comparison to the fact it leaves you little chance of rescue in an emergency aka Ms. Aman Kaur. In case of Mr. Parth Pani i.e. fall from damaged bridge, however, I might be on the safer side here, for its the trailing cars that are mostly seen in the newspapers, down the bridge into the waters below, floating like dead crickets. But as my head is making me tired, I don't spend much sweat on this statistical scare. I just wish to stare the inanimates into submission, to rest my eyeballs inside the cavernous retinal sockets.

The same head also thinks it is being spied upon, an invisible historical record in the making, jarringly peaceful, craving for the big bone in a small life. It imagines a scene from the commons as his mum and dad lecture him on a future while driving him to the station. It imagines the anti life of this city and compares it to that of his immediate destination.
Breathes hard. Stares into his own lap, and seldom at an unpopular perspective study of humans seated on the lower berth at a near-90deg plane of rotation, chatting insignificance, resigned to being the refuse of the history.
Oh fucks fart. There has to be a hi-hat ban effective immediately. Our train now stands outside Charbagh like a punished school kid outside his classroom. Punishment reminds me to mention this guy and gal 17, 23 who seem slant, composed, n cool. Veni vedi vici.

Holy frig, I was to mention the two fictions I completed in the past week. Two cult prose pieces. One William Golding's "Lord of the Flies", and other Chuck Palahniuk's "Choke", set probably 30 yrs apart in time, but finding a connect in the dark and a brutish affairs they bring to life. I lapped up 200+290 pgs in this week, which could be a personal best, discounting the exam cram time when 500-pagers would be downed with the morning tea. Goodnight.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lost a travelogue today

In a gloom as I start this post. This gloom was born from the realization that the galaxy tab memo app is unintuitive and offers no automatic save of scribbles or any ways to retrieve an unsaved one. My morning's worth of chronicling was a fail, thanks to that. Such tech will only seed a fright in me, and I will run back to my old school pencil and paper habits. Then I start subscribing to all kind of myths about computing.that is like a nightmare to this geek.

In a brief,I hang my boots in Lucknow tonight. It was a short, uneventful journey only made worth a mention cuz of the advance to station too early in the wintry morning, and my brief delve into the hyper crystal theory with my neighbor preceding that advance. Had I started a bit earlier, I might've even dared a 3.5k walk from ito to le ndls.

this city (Lucknow) feels the same lazy as usual. everyone seems caught in a state of introspective muteness; much like drones they flit about, dodging (and contributing to) the unruly traffic. Social, Food, football, sleep, food, that sums up my routine since arrival.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For Out of Sin Comes Joy

Search fearlessly for every sin, for out of sin comes joy

After a few minutes of confusion at the bus station where he had just got off, which in the meantime had him absorbing scenes of local life as he stood like a lost puppy - every banal act made into a Haiku with the yellow tint of the autumn - and her circling the wrong block thrice, she finally picked her up.

They seemed in a pleasant state from their short exchange of words in her car. Their eyes were still hesitant to settle comfortably in each other's presence, fleeting about like sparrows between anything of minor detail, but the other person. They finally got to her doorstep; a nice, polished teakwood welcome for him. He was nervous of all the new colors inside that he'd have to confront. What the home of an MD looked like, he had no idea. Any such outing was generally a savage affair for his senses - "your invitation enough is distressing to my intestines," as he used to tell his friends. But that nervous feeling was pushed aside by another churning his senses subjected him to.

As soon as they entered her home, he flung the bag to one corner, and as its motion came to cease under the showcase holding her medical degree, he gave her a deep loving stare; their eyes finally met to lock in on each other. He held her face in his palms. Something transcendental in anticipation. And their lips locked in a kiss. This was the sensory overload that offset his anxiety about the interiors - her warmth, her scent, the resonating - albeit with a goat-like tonality - of her voice in his ears. Their kiss lasted for 3, or maybe 4 hours, neither of them willing to let go, not because they could not be without each other, inseparable and all that, but because they'd been without each other all these years which had left them in a sudden void of a more innocent childhood they once knew. It was some kind of assurance that they were still the same.

Love for the other never brings people to these kind of things; its a selfish ulterior motive of selfishness, of reclaiming a snapshot of their life, of being lost in play, that brings them here.

Friday, January 06, 2012

First thought in the New Year

I'm stirred open from my peaceful (and much needed) slumber by somebody knocking.
"हाँ..." I exclaim, a bit startled. And the same knock repeats.
"कौन है?" I grunt as I shuffle between the sheets in annoyance, my voice hitting a different pitch with every syllable.
The right hand comes to life - independent of the body - and executes the motor skill of locating one's cellphone in vicinity in pitch dark (I believe it derives from the need to locate a gun, or knife, or hammer by the bedside in the past). Boop. The screen lights up next to my face, and one eye strains to gain focus on the display.
02:15. AM.

Briefly out of wits, I regain my composure. ... . The knocks are really taps coming from the room's rear window, and follow a natural rhythm in their decay. Tap ta t ta. Just air, then, on the window-pane. Soon the taps are accompanied with hushed sounds on the tin roof outside, as if somebody was covertly trying to introduce chaos to this part of the hills.
Another tap on the window. Few more beats on the tin.

Soon this infrequent affair takes a more orchestrated form as the tin roof starts to pulse with the wind and the rear window starts to crackle with the falling raindrops. There is a curiosity to learn of this concert outside, and a wish to stumble into a chance snowfall this first day (and third hour) of the new year - I'm at 6100ft, after all, so it isn't all that far-fetched. Plus, it is liberating making friends with the darkness wherever I go - helps restructure certain psychological priorities; darkness could even feature in the ending titles to my life (under "coping-with-fear", or "confidence cultivators").

With the phone's aid, I locate my headlamp (that is also lying on the bed), and rip through the cocoon of a cover I'd fashioned from the twin blankets. The night is cold, but that is partly offset by my curiosity. As I fumble with the steel latch of the verandah's door, an alert Kalu downstairs responds with muffled growls, both trusting and questioning his senses at the same time.

The latch finally gives in - some rust, general disuse, and sad carpentry revealed in the process. Petrichor first hits me as I sniffle in the air outside - first precipitation of the season, indeed. I don't feel that much a chill in the wind. Some survey reveals that this is mere rain, not snowfall, which is a bit dismaying. Then I recall that through yesterday I had been watching this gradual pileup of clouds, which I was sure wasn't a normal feature on a winter day. Finding them pouring down now only meant that it was correct observation on my part. Win.

I linger on in the verandah - for a mere minute or so. Visual component is negligible at this hour in a rural landscape - 3 lightbulbs on the opposite hill are the only feature, barring which these hills and its cluster of villages form a dark space. Aurally, however, I'm as receptive indoors as outdoors, so with the added incentive of warmth and comfort that my bed would offer, I head back in and start scribbling under the blankets in the glow from my headlamp.

Kind-of symbolic, that my first prosaic outpour in this new year begins with the first downpour of the season in these hills. New crop would take roots, and spread their arms open towards the sun, which in this part of the hills still remains the only benchmark for a content life, the dividing line between success and failure.
What we cultivate in the coming season for a content life remains to be seen.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Everything Wrong

As we sit together, sipping the cafe latte, she tells me that everything about my life has been wrong, and that I must take my time to realize this. I take my time, then I leave, leaving her with a halfway consumed coffee mug and the receding sound of my footsteps. Not even Moroder's promise of eternity from a distant JBL can convince me to stay back now. Her final stare goes down into my conscience like a glass of fine scotch, but its uninviting nonetheless.

I get home and put on Moroder just to sort of replay through the dawn of that realization. Seeing the life that I'd lived, I'd assumed it would make me a good man, a public confirmation of that coming as I chance upon a field of flowers in a remote hill village nearing dusk, hand in hand with her, a pandemonium of parrots violating the skies and flying away into the horizon, their receding cacophony giving way to the soft sound of the water stream up ahead; then we kiss, and later push related status updates on Facebook. But now I only lock lips with one of my toothbrushes, then fall into a hard spot of trying to forget her (and remember sleep) which only brings in more memories, prepare some coffee as an indirect influence from the more recent memories, and decide to end my life.

The next morning I do not wake up.
Then I do. And with no visible dismemberment of my identity (or the hole in my heart), perform my vegetable functions as usual.