Monday, December 13, 2010

At this Silly Moment...

The sickeningly-sweet fragrance of incense sticks,

To the mugs of coffee I constantly replenish,

At this silly moment, I truly, truly cherish.

The blandest, boring meals that I regularly pick,

Suddenly seem to be the most desired dish,

At this silly moment, to be restored to my apartment I truly wish.

This feeling of deracination is rather sick,

And particularly inexplicable; for this place is much better furnished,

At this silly moment, my thoughts are nothing but boorish!

Perhaps the chaos is nowhere else, but within,

But to disentangle myself from the world, where must I begin?

I always seem to find someone to blame,

Oh Lord, how may I stop playing this game?

Tired of being severely misunderstood,

Act differently? Perhaps I could!

But then again, I wonder if I really should,

Pretend as though there exists a sisterhood?

At this silly moment, this is my lament,

That however hard I seem to try,

The tears never completely dry,

On this self piteous note, I relent.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Dedicated to BB, a flat mate, a friend, a support system, a buddy all rolled into one mass, err…mess.

There is something nice about everything that is familiar. Not because you’re acquainted or that you have experienced it before, but merely because there is exists a connection between you and the object/subject which comes alive every time you interact; a connection that becomes real only when it is absent or when that which is familiar makes an appearance. What is seemingly profound occurred to me only when I happen to visit SA’s place, the house which was a shelter to me when I first moved to Delhi for M.Phil. A junior turned friend, SA, kindly offered to make room in her flat. Of course I lived there only 1 week but everything about the house is so familiar. Starting from the main door that doesn’t shut, to the tap in the kitchen which is always temperamental and the flush that doesn’t work…A similar story is with my flat mate. It’s funny how you can get so used to some one that even their presence just blends in with everything that there is around. They just exist around you, much like the heap of clothes, the piles of books collecting dust and the scattered shoes in ways that you hardly ever notice them. But mostly I realized her presence only in her absence, when she was lasted stranded at home due to jaundice.

And it’s all so familiar. The much too many yellow lamps, the green bean bag (the one which has been used to sit not more 6 times in the last 16 months) turned into a dumping ground, the ashes of the incense sticks on the floor, bundles of jewellery callously strewn all over the wooden stand, the wrought iron mirror that serves more of an aesthetic purpose than a functional one, the fancy (over flowing) jute dust bin, the earthen ash tray, the bright pink mat…things which seem so familiar because whatever happens, they’re always there serving as little signifiers of the inhabitant of the room, the markers of her identity. Her love for green, her ability to horde things, or perhaps her inability to discard the sentiments attached to each one of those things, her belief in aesthetics over mere utilitarianism and her disbelief in neat structures, order…the anarchy not just in the room, but her thoughts. Her everyday-struggle for permanence, establishing an order of her own based on renewed ideas of what is right and wrong, ones which are more meaningful to her than what the majority preserves through mindless morals and regulations too restrictive for her spirit so wild. In the cupboard that over flows with clothes, I see the heart and mind of a woman, forever overflowing with ideas and love, thoughts that she rather mull over while the world passes her by, and love that she willing to offer anyone who may be running a deficit in their lives.

In a room where things are falling apart each day lives a lady who is a pillar of strength, to her family back home and to the girl next door. Over cups of aromatic tea and frothy, bitter-sweet coffee and the occasional smokes, they philosophize traversing several fields…emotional and intellectual; sometimes frivolous and sometimes serious! Passionate discourses on regrets of the past, betrayed relationships, lost loves, impending futures marred with uncertainty as much as hope and dreams. Brought together in a little apartment by the need to share expenses of a household, when they are not philosophizing, they share the insignificant details of their mundane lives; the woes of not having change when you need it most to the stalkers in the streets of Delhi, the inane gossip of D-school to emotional atyachaars inflicted by friends and foes. Together they prod along the path to a brighter tomorrow, stumbling and falling, assured of a hand to hold on to every time they might fall. May be familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt; sometimes it’s the most comfortable place to be in simply because it’s all so familiar, almost familial.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I wrote this long ago, and it made some sense at the time, but now it’s just a vague piece about I don’t quite understand myself either. If it makes sense to you, good for you.

Everyone is scared of the dark. But darkness comes to mean different things to different people. Sometimes darkness takes different forms in the life of the same individual. Be it the fear induced by the absence of light, or the black cat that stares at you while you’re trying to sleep, or the failure that defeats you, perhaps mere experiences that are timed wrongly. Or that the timing was right but you were unaware. Retrospectively, some experiences seem to be blurry images buried in our psyche, perceived and experienced long before they are ready to be understood, rendering a dark shade to them, by the mere fact of them being incomprehensible. Sometimes you are to dig them out from the depths of your memory that you once tried to hard to hide or just lost them all along the way, only to realize that you are now left with interpretations that reek of uncertainty. What happened then seems to be more valuable than it’s worth, perhaps only because you didn’t know what it meant. And when you begin to become aware of its absence, you find a space left unoccupied by a more suitable replacement.

And when you stumble upon a replacement, you expect yourself to take off from where you left off. Unfortunately, the passage of time took along with it memories that seemed so insignificant, perhaps even wrong or meaningless. It is unfortunate because memories made sense in a nonsensical way, thereby fitting perfectly well in the moulds of my innocence. Today I look back and the canvas that once seemed so colourful seems to be painted over by splashes of darkness. As I write this, I begin to uncover the life I once deeply desired before I changed my paths. What I am not sure is whether I am actually on a road less traveled or merely lost my way...

Monday, November 1, 2010

To All the Cynics of the World

This post is dedicated to all the cynics of the world, who I’m increasingly realizing are a pretty lame lot. Excuse the judgemental nature of my thought post but I just had some realizations and I’d like to voice them. It seems to me that cynicism is just a way of being lazy. You keep telling yourself that nothing good comes of anything anyway so put in all that effort? You tell yourself that all things (good and bad) come to an end just so don’t allow yourself to feel too much so when it actually ends, you are not surprised at all. It was expected, so duh?

But what seems to pass in the name of a ‘realistic’ approach to life seems to be just a way of being comfortable in your lethargic skin. That, or perhaps the complete inability to give life the opportunity to let you believe otherwise. If you’re comfortable in believing that life has little to offer in way of happiness, why live at all?

Strangely, I see a lot of old people who look really happy. I suppose they’ve been through the worst and they know it can’t get more fucked up than it already has. And if it does, they have the strength to deal with it. They are not anxious anymore. A good instance perhaps is my father. Even though I shall hold him forever responsible for handing down to me his paranoia gene, he seems to me like a happy man. At an early age he had to take on the responsibility of the household, marry off his younger sister and start a family of his own, a story common for people of his generation. Life doesn’t seem all that stable from his point of view because he often lost jobs, lost children leaving him with little stability and no real reason to be happy. But every time I speak to him about how I’m unhappy, his only advice is, ‘don’t take so much tension, we take too life seriously but life is really to have a good time’. I cannot help but wonder, where does he find the optimism, the courage to let himself be happy when life never offered any evidence to believe otherwise? It seems like as life gets more comfortable, people cease to explore their own limits, the limits of their hearts and minds. You’re so comfortable in your zone that you are too scared to even try, to reach beyond your self and see what life has to offer by means of experiences. To give yourself completely to something is take a risk, a risk that no one is willing to take nowadays. What a bunch of wimps!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Being Liberal

It seems like being liberal is the hardest thing to do. After being a humanities student for almost 6.5 years now, I am now qualified enough not just to exhibit the insidious workings of social institutions ranging from religion to marriage but even quote a whole bundle of theorists who have a problem with the way society seems to be designed. But often it seems like the problem with being liberal is that there is no end to it. If premarital sex is not an issue, why have sex only when in a committed relationship? If casual sex is not a big deal, then perhaps we needn’t expect our partners not to cheat on us? If open relationships can be comfortable, why be in relationships at all? Perhaps it’s not worth risking all that emotion into a relationship only to suffer heart burn when it ends. May be I don’t know enough about relationships, but I find it hard to tell whether the critiques of social structures elude the emotions of individuals or emotions of individuals try to elude a critical approach to their understanding of the social structures. It seems like the worst part about being liberal is the constant sense of conflict in your mind; once society and its ways are rendered meaningless and illogical in a never ending discourse of ‘critique’, there is nothing that can help explain why you feel the way you feel; the only explanation could be that either you’re not truly liberal or you’re not liberal enough (just yet). Most of you thinks everything is okay and acceptable while a tiny part of you grapples with that little voice in your head that causes a strange feeling of uneasiness. I suppose it’s a journey towards change you’re expected to make, a journey to a place where nothing really matters. Not even being liberal itself.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It must be Love

For years on end, one of the most exploited themes in literary and philosophical writing has been that of love. And it’s not just them; every individual grows up hoping that some day they will fall in love and that their love will be requited by someone special, at least once. With the popularity of the media, we are constantly exposed to varying notions of love and romance, so much so that it is almost mandatory that you fall in love. Of course besides the pressure from media, friends and family, there are times ranging from a lousy day at work to a chilly, winter evening or just the desire to share the overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness that one feels a need for love, a lover just to be able to share your sentiments, or at least the empty space right beside you on the couch. But in the midst of all the romanticism that goes around the idea of love or love itself, no one I know, including myself seems to know what love truly is. Perhaps everyone I know is strangely unlucky or may be unaware of the love in their life.

I suppose, love means different things at different ages. In primary school, love is about the one person who shared crayons because you forgot to bring your own. May be he/she happened to be your bench mate, and always shared their lunch with you. Or because he/she walked back with you everyday from school while you discussed the woes brought forth upon your lives by the complexity of algebraic formula. In college, love is the first ‘best friend’ of the opposite sex. Or may be the first one to notice your sense of humour or your ability to make interesting conversation that underlies the awkwardness you display because you just realized that you are not the ‘most sought after’ of the lot, be it a class of 100 or 20; and will probably never be either.

As we grow older, most of us have had our hearts broken in some way or the other. Either because your relationship(s) didn’t work out or because the one person whose attention you craved for decided to fall in ‘love’ with someone else. Perhaps you realized that relationships are more than just holding hands during class, making out in the movies or showing up at parties as a ‘couple’. Or simply that ‘love’ can happen again; that your belief in tales of waiting endlessly for love to be reciprocated was more a part of your naïveté than love itself. Cynicism is inevitable, for all. Those who thought they were in love or the ones who never had it requited, everyone starts to believe that love is nothing but a myth. That all that there is to it is an attraction driven by hormones, physical needs which must be met, irrespective of ‘love’ which you now think is meant for teenagers, not for adults like you.

I guess what none of us are willing to confess is that secretly we are all hopeful, that love might happen; that it is possible to love someone more than yourself. That is possible to find at least one person who loves you for who you are; whether you are dark or fair, fat or thin, deep or shallow. To this one person, it doesn’t matter that every time you’re dressed up, you look like you could walk the ramp or that you have a 5-figure-salary, because they find you more loveable when you have a running nose with a voice that actually resembles the croaking sounds of a frog.

In retrospect, love is not one thing or the other, there is neither better nor worse; for it was all a gamut of emotions that felt more real than reality itself. In the midst of changing definitions of what love possibly means to each of us, there is a feeling which is a constant, and that feeling is true. The feeling that their happiness means more to you than your own, the feeling that it would hurt you more to see them unhappy than yourself…the feeling that it is worth all the madness that it entails. That love is not always about togetherness, but the ability to love knowing that at the end of the day, all you might be left with is a broken heart and an empty space right beside you on the couch.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


In different ways, they are both victims. They both take themselves too seriously. She? She overanalyzes situations to the extent of sabotaging everything that there is, willing to throw it all away at an impulse driven by an ambiguous feeling which she identifies to be best resembled by dissatisfaction. It is not hard to do, she has always been impulsive. But the stakes have never been so valuable before. She tries to create a match between an ideal and the reality and take the lag to be a problem. It works like this: take a perfectly jovial, loving conversation; ignore all intonations of affection but certainly remember the uncertain ‘hmm’ and the occasional calls missed by him to be the unanticipated doom in their togetherness.

He? He seems to be one to take things at his own pace. But his predominant style is to preserve what there is from the power of change and corrosion. The cynic in him never forgets that everything, including love is conditional and is based on concealing everything that makes us human. He too, attempts to create an ideal in their reality albeit differently. This too, is another recipe to sabotage any form of acceptance that lies before him, in the revelation of himself.

And it’s all a vicious cycle. They are both unable to identify where the problem truly lies. Is it her paranoia or is it his complacency? Or is it the miles that separate them? They don’t know.

But to me, they are mere victims. Victims of poor self esteem…She, who creates little obstacles to overcome, ones that to her seem like tests to prove his love for her…He, who tries too hard to do everything her way not knowing the abundance of undiscovered possibilities in himself, the ones that she fell in love with to begin with.

If only they were aware of how wonderful they truly are, they would’ve known that they are a match made in heaven.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I wonder

I often wonder what is the purpose of life?
Generations are born, people come, people go; each of them making some sense of their existence and their reality. Your agency lies only in your ability to make meaning for yourself. But largely, things are meaningless.

Perhaps each of us come into this world to make a contribution, do our bit and perish. May be there is a grand plan that is panning out; a plan that has nothing to do with you or me but has something to do with the order of existence. An existence that is layered with multiple meanings at multiple levels but you are unaware of this meaning itself.

May be meaning exists in relationships, in the bonds that we create in spite and despite the differences between us. Differences that can perhaps never be bridged except in the good faith we establish between us, the faith which perhaps exists in that little space between you and me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


There is nothingness in everything.

I once saw a movie called ‘into the wild’ and I liked a quote which I had scribbled in my notebook and forgotten about. It goes, ‘the core of man comes not from human relationships but from experience’

This seems more meaningful than anything in the world at this moment. I’m overwhelmed by emotion not knowing where to anchor any of it. I can’t even identify the emotion. All I have is a residue that is merely short of rolling down my cheeks.

It’s one thing to theorize emotions, but it’s another thing to experience them. And I’m not sure which one came first. But theory and experience only just seem to have formed an incomprehensible unified whole.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Moment of Clarity

Education in our lives is always an obvious ‘choice’. From school to high school to college; you’re not really expected to think about the fact that you have to study, you just do. But after graduation, there is a possibility that you might have to pause and think, ask yourself where you want life to head. That’s when I decided I should study further. In retrospect, I realize that more than anything, I was looking for meaning. But a master’s degree in Sociology can’t really do much for anyone’s philosophical quest. All it can do is look pretty on the CV and get you a 5 figure salary. Not that, I was very hopeful about the job lending meaning to my existence but it was worth a shot. But as it turned out, that almost a year in the job and life seemed even more pointless. And today, when I’m back to doing something I really like (which should technically restore my faith in the world); I experienced life in its absolute meaninglessness. There is no point to anything; I don’t know what people are doing and where people are headed. I don’t know why there is any reason to wake up in the morning and go about doing things like we always do. And for a change, I don’t feel like I have a problem. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the world and its ways. I don’t know why no one can change it. I guess agency and everything else around it is a myth. We’re not really agents of anything. We just go about living life in the setting we’re in and sooner or later, we shall all perish. I suppose everyone in life goes through this crisis at some point in their life. But I only just experienced it. Someday, I hope, you will too.