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Surely Surreal
Tuesday, December 13, 2005  


Archived 'Lost' Posts
Fri Oct 10, 06:54:30 PM, 2004
I’ve seen a day melt today… the sun shone its brightest… then night came and slowly started nibbling at it… the orange melted into a red, then a purple, then a deep blue till all was gone and a black blanket gobbled up all that was there…I stepped outside my window and into the sky.. I walked its stairs and walked till my knees ached… I saw a white head bobbing up and down in place of the orange… I stepped in front of the whiteness and sawed my way through the head… I pulled the top off and stepped inside the head… there were cells inside… zillions of them… I opened a door and a stream of paper rolled out of it… I stepped on the paper and it guided me through…
I walk two steps, and fall back two… who am I? A frog trying to step out of my own darkness… I step out a little and shrivel in right back and curl… who am I? A snail lost in my own pace, skin naked and bruised, dreading even the gust of the slightest breeze... I go round and round in circles and hit the same walls again and again… who am I? A blinded bat, my eyes wide open yet shut to reality…


K a n u r i t e
   11:06 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Mon May 26, 06:46:24 PM, 2004

My first attempt at a story, rather than the usual descriptions I do, though the tapestry is woven from borrowed threads of my previous blog entries! :-)

The Rock

‘Have you ever seen a six legged insect?’ she mockingly asked, as she painstakingly moved millimeter by millimeter with her walker, till she finally reached the car, and they helped her in, pulling away her four legs and tossing it into the backseat. She and her words keep appearing and evaporating in my head, like the slow smoke rings rising and disappearing from my cigarette butt. I hold it up and stare at its smoldering ashes, burning a live corpse at a painstakingly slow pace. "Poppo", a pair of burnt out purple lips sigh and part, lyrically carving into the silence, an ode to my cute little cigarette butt and Frau Schultz.

"You know that cigarettes cause lung cancer, don't you?” he'd asked me. "Of course I do," I replied. "I thought I'd let you know, in case you didn’t". "I do know, and that’s why I smoke", I had challenged and stared right back into his eyes. He shrugged his shoulders and left it at that. Tom was my ‘feel-good’ guy. Being around him made me at ease with being me. We’d been together for a short while, but he was too spirited to be fettered by a relationship and I was too insecure to do without one, and that was all there was to it For him, I was a delicate piece of machinery, which needed to be handled very carefully and taken care of, or a top spinning from the single point of a pin, retaining its balance on that one single point, when he was in a more euphemistic mood. For me, it was just Tom.

I empty the ashes remnant from his visit and pack the Kontakte CD. The monitor flickered to a stop before it died out. I set the alarm for 6:00am, and crawl out of my bedroom window and sit on the sloped roof, my passage to freedom. I savor the lingering taste of my kiss from the remnant smoke.

Breathe, goddamnit, breathe, I tell myself as I look at the stars above. My eyes search for the Orion. The Orion was something I related with familiarity. Many a childhood camping nights out in the wilderness would be wrapped with a blanket of reassurance at the sight of this constellation. Orion was solace that everything was all right and the world was back to its perfect self, and that I was safe home, no matter where I was. Orion was where Ma said she'd be and watching, when she's gone. My eyes strain and search, the unfamiliar stars become a blur and two tiny rivulets start trickling down. I crouch, and bury my face away from the sky, and break into violent sobs. My lips pucker up, and my trembling hands reach out and light another match for my funeral pyre. I stretch myself out, lie right there and breathe, sucking the starlit night into me.

We had last gone to the beach together, ma and I. It was dusk and I had lain there wasted, drained out of everything left in me, seeing the futility of the waves as they lashed fiercely against the unrelenting stoic rock. I watched her as she silently held back her tears. I looked away, from my helplessness and hers.

"I woke up with a horrible dream yesterday", I tell her. "I dreamt that I was mashing and stepping over someone's face. I was wearing heavy spiked boots, and stamping that face ruthlessly, while it kept getting distorted, disfiguring itself like a blob of clay. The face was bleeding and wroth with pain, and somehow I seemed totally oblivious to it. My face was stone cold, and indifferent to the pain that I was causing. I woke up, trying to remember who's face it was, ma, but I just cant."

"It must have been mine", she answered and I turned and stared at her in anger. "How long would you be gone?” she asked. "Two years." She looked away. I
studied the lines on her wrinkled face, distorted by pain, and had wondered how much of it I was responsible for. She looked so much older and tired than what I always remembered her as.

There were only three occasions when I had seen my ma cry. The first, when I was fourteen, and we had to wander from one hospital to another. The doctors
had diagnosed a probable epilepsy case, over a few recurrent fainting spells I had. It was a trying period. There was not one neurology department in the
hospital that we hadn’t visited. I was put on anti-depressant, taken to a psychiatrist. After nearly three years of running from pillar to post, they attributed it to something as simple as abnormal menstrual cycle and left it unto time to take its own natural course. But that period was tumultuous and telling on ma. Her tears had caught me off guard. Parents are not supposed to
cry. "Why are you crying?” I had asked her puzzled. "Because if there's one thing which I can never take is to see anything happen to you", she said, her
voice breaking, and I had pressed her hand.

Even then it wasn’t much of a cry. Her tears, were something she just clung onto, arresting them between those two eye lids of hers. They'd stay right there, glimmering like a thin film in front of those eyes of hers, holding their forte with utmost pride. They excused themselves as gracefully from the guard of her eyes, as they came and receded, respecting the confines defined by her, and not treading beyond.

"I had a cramp in my leg last night", she told me. "I was writhing with pain and couldn’t move. I woke up your dad and asked him to massage my foot. He said the curtains were open and didn’t want the neighbors to get a peek into our bedroom activities and went back to sleep. It was 3:00am till the pain finally subsided and I could fall asleep". "Why is he like this? I wonder how you take something like this from him", I'd retorted. "I knew I was on my own they day he left me on my own, on my first day to work, in an alien city.” she replied.

Daddy might have been a lousy husband, but he is everything one would want a father to be. He would wake me each morning, with a cup of cocoa even through my college days. He would help around the house, do the dishes, the laundry, water the plants, and take me out on secret ice cream treats and concerts. When I turned 6 and discovered I could draw, he bought me the most expensive colors, an easel and a canvas and would pack me off to art competitions. He bought me my first piano at 7, when he saw my untrained hands glide effortlessly on my friend's two feet long cheap synth. My friends knew him as the coolest dad in the block. My grades were low for ratio and proportion in the maths classes in ninth grade, and we had to get an explanation written by our parents. He was given strict instructions by me that he should write something innocuous since the teacher was a terror. I went over my instructions over and over again with him, before I finally went off to bed, leaving the paper for him to sign on. His explanation read, “her coming to a higher grade and her grades in class show an inverse relationship. This might be due to her temporary over enthusiasm towards play rather than studies these days.” Even the teacher melted.

But he was nowhere close to playing the ideal husband, nor did he attempt to. He had bought her a beautiful dress on their first Anniversary. She had scolded him them for being extravagant, and he never bought her one after that. Ma and me had gone over each incident so many times over years now, but he still remained the most important man in my life, and a lousy husband. "What keeps you in this marriage ma?” I'd asked her. "Had I been in your place, I would have walked out of the marriage long back. Why do you do this to yourself? What is it that keeps you going when you are in such an unhappy marriage?" "You", she replied. And I saw the glassy film in her face for the second time.

She and dad came to see me off. I had touched her feet. "I'll be back next year", I told her as I kissed and hugged her, breathing in the last of what she smelt like, felt like. I held her tightly, not wanting to let go, sinking my head into her shoulders, my eyes watering. Finally, she gently pulled me away from me, looked into my eyes, smiled a beautiful smile, and said, "Go on now, you are running late." And I caught the elusive glassy look for the third time before they retreated as quickly as they had came. I, smiled, waved and went. That’s the last I saw of her, and the last I could ever have gotten to see of her.

I got my boarding pass and the finality of my journey slowly sunk in. I called up home and heard ma's voice on the other end and felt a lump pass down my throat. I talked to her for sometime and hung up. I walked up the gangway and settled myself down, staring out of the window, into the lights shining on the runaway. It seemed like a well-defined path, but where they lead, I couldn’t quite figure out. I helplessly saw familiarity melt, as the plane took off. Everything below moved as waves towards a huge black sea, shimmering with lights.

The familiarity seemed to melt away faster than I imagined, and at that moment, in all my irrationality, I looked in frenzy, for my house and my mother, amongst all those hundreds of lights... my street and my locale. The plane tugged, piercing its way into blackness, giving the final tug in all its mechanical might, to the invisible umbilical cord that had held us together for so many years now. I felt my eyes bulge out and my ears on the verge of exploding, till I gave in. Finally the lump exploded, and tears trickled down my face as I stared out into the night.. and I choked myself with the spoonful of bland food served, seasoned by the salty river trickling down my face... 'I'll have the same..', I heard the German softly telling the airhostess.

The phone rings and I stretch my hand back into reality and reach out for the cordless. I hear Tot’s familiar voice. "I am sitting with a pack of cigarettes and I am already down seven", I tell him. "Since when did you start smoking?” I heard his horrified voice on the other end. "As if one person burning himself up in the family wasn’t enough", he said. My brother had started to smoke back in high school, one of the exploratory binges which probably each kid his age goes through, only in his case the habit stayed. I had tried get him out of it, coaxed him, threatened him, even went to the extend of starting to smoke in front of him, to work on his guilt and make him stop. But all that he said, while lighting my cigarette was, “just remember one thing, smoke all you want, it’s probably just a phase. But make sure that you never buy your own cigarette packet… beg, borrow or steal… but NEVER buy your cigarette. The day you do, you know you are addicted to the damn thing.” A serpentine trail of cigarette packets slithering down the years and I would see the wisdom in his words.

“I feel so damn angry with myself. I feel like punishing myself for not being there when it mattered the most. Sometimes I wish I’d just stayed back and never came here”, I tell him. “Do you think your staying there would have made a difference? Daddy’s so proud of you. He keeps telling everyone about your work. You are still his darling daughter, and I, the black sheep of the family. Just stay where you are and do well. Ma would have wanted it that way,” he told me tenderly.

“If only I knew she’d be gone. Why didn’t anyone tell me?” “Because none of us knew! We expected her to be around till June around the time when you were planning to come. It was just way too sudden…”

Sudden… sudden is a word used, when you are sitting in the comfort of your backyard, basking in the sun, reading a newspaper on a lazy Sunday morning and you hear an explosion, and turn to realize that your house has been burnt to smittens. That’s sudden. Surgeries are sudden. Three months of excruciating post surgery pain is not sudden. Three months of drugged oblivion to the world is not sudden. Neither are three months of prolonged violation of a body with chemotherapy, and charring, not counting the eighteen odd chemo sessions over a period of five years and two recurrences. The cancerous cells just grew into our backyard five years back. It lay there smoldering and cindering, while we lazed our 240 odd sundays stretched over five years, till there was an explosion and poof! she was gone, just like that.

I’d call her up, and hear a loving “And how’s my little darling”, from the other end and the distance between us would get reduced to six inches of the cordless. I’d fill her with the mundanities of my daily rut, while she’d listen.

“How’s your surrogate boyfriend?” she asked. And I laughed. This was a joke between ma and me. elationships and me were like a dance at a masquerade. I wear a mask to hide the scars and they hold a prop to hide their flaws. We step in and out in synchronism, each time a new face and a new prop on either end, and the pace gets faster. The rhythm of their coming and going has become predictable and it makes it easier to step into the rhythm almost with mechanical ease now. And in all this Joe jumped right in.

My friend from school introduced him to me. According to here we were this “made-for-each-other- couple”, who just have to get together. Initially we used to laugh it off, and over time learnt to put some trust in her words. Two years down in the virtual world, and numerous phone calls after, he was as real as he could get within the confines of the cyber world. Ma had a lot more faith in him, than my partners from the masquerade. The logistics of us being together was bizarre. Even before thinking in terms of compatibility, we had to transcend geographical boundaries. So he stayed right there, as surrogate as he could be, till we met or we found someone else.

I never trusted Ma’s voice on the phone. They’d carry the same tone of tenderness and strength, through all times, an art she had perfected over the years. It was my aunt who called up and asked if I could visit the next month, instead of waiting for the summer. Ma was on sedatives now, and the pain unbearable.

" Life, has to be feminine… it is too complex to be a man”, I told Tom when I met him up the weekend before I was supposed to leave for home. Ma was the invisible guest invited to dine with us, as I went on talking about her. I looked out at the snow outside and felt the cold sinew sucking me in into its coldness and gloom. I took a deep breath, looked at him and said, "I wouldn’t know what I'll do when she's gone". I fought my tears and with whatever was left of my pride, looked out of the window. The chill inside me reduced the snow outside to an amorphous blur. The blur outside finally metamorphosed into one loud Scream, stifled for long, which Munch would have understood. The vibrancy gets too much and I looked back at him, "Cant life be JUST a little simpler?" He touched my hand and aid, “That’s because Life is a She”, and I smiled. We went back to his apartment, and it had five urgent voice messages from my roommate. All I remember was turning back and blurting out, “I hope she’s alright”, while I scurried down the staircase.

Ma was said to be breathing her last, and I was to take the next flight home. I started packing my bags, in a frenzy, in all my numbness. Snapshots of moments
raced across in my head, telling on each moment of mine with her. There was nothing more I wanted, than to be with her once, before she left. I was working with all my life in order to make all the years of her living worthwhile and reassure her that life's going to be fine even when she's gone. I wanted to just steal those few moments with her to reassure her that her precious flower is sturdy and rooted, and not a mere delicate effeminate metaphor to beauty she's projected to be. That she is capable of withstanding and would be able to take care of herself and be around and make a place for herself. All that I had built towards as a gift or an offering were a few precious moments of time. Now I slid into the helplessness of watching even time slip away. Temporality is mankind's nemesis. And yet we run against our mortality frantically trying to hold onto something, in our feeling of vulnerability. But even that something in all its thingliness is temporal and you helplessly watch as each of them fall like a pack of cigarettes. The phone rang again, and I was told she’s no more.

I reached home and saw a lifeless corpse weighed down with flowers that I did not recognize. I clung to the shelf, fighting back, refusing to let go, which they kept cajoling me to come and see her just once. I had dreamt of this moment when I would meet her for so many nights spread over months, and none of it was to be the way it was then. I slept on the bed she breathed her last, hoping that there was a bit of her still around that I could breathe in. I saw the steel support that had held her upright for forty days, without being able to lie down and sleep. Her skin would burn with anyone’s touch, they told me. I imagined her crawling out of the bed, to the floor, to the bathroom every single day of those forty days. All my prayers came back to me. I’d prayed for her to be relieved of her miseries, but never for a longer life.

She lived in my head for days and still lives. Talk it out, they would tell me, expecting her to ooze out from my mouth. I would see faceless people mourning around me, for a sorrow, which was mine alone. Faceless because after her no one really mattered. I felt anger and pain piercing their way through my brains, sending my head reeling and making me want to scream and cry that I needed her now. They clicked their tongues and pressed my hand, and all they saw a calm, lifeless face. They wondered what kind of a person sheds not a tear over losing someone so precious.

Even now when I walk down those streets of my mind, I feel like taking my hand right in down my throat and let it pass through my heart, to the depth of my soul and be in touch with the part that hurt the most. To twirl my fingers around it, and throttle it, maybe pain counters pain. My hands reach for another cigarette. “Are you there?” I hear Toto’s voice. “Yes”, I reply absent-mindedly. “So, how’s your surrogate boyfriend?” he mocked. “Ma told me all about him”, he teased. “Why don’t you go and meet him?” he asked. “Because surrogates are just meant to be surrogates. They serve their purpose and just slide away. That’s all there is to it.” We talk for a few more minutes and hang up.

I crawl back onto the roof and lie down looking at the stars. Zillions of stars, twinkling into the night, each with a story of its own and me crushed to a speck. And it dawns on me; what more could I possibly lose than what I have already left behind? What more could I possibly lose from where I was right now? The realization gives me a strange feeling of serenity. I have nothing to lose or nothing to cling to. I am now a speck, crushed to insignificance for anything significant to crush me.

Maybe there really are no bigger pictures. Maybe solace comes from accepting one’s insignificance and learning to live with it. The world changes when we turn our back from vastness of the sky, and start looking at other specks. Suddenly the world doesn’t seem all that big anymore. We look more closely, and the entire place seems to be filled with an ever-increasing number of specks. Other specks define our context. We establish attachments and invest emotions. We hold our grudges and wring our hands. We delve on sorrow, beat our chests and mourn. We become people and feel gigantic. We see ourselves and our sorrows magnify, not because we live through them, but because they shatter the notion of willfulness that we endow ourselves with. We mourn not for our sorrows, but for the jolt to our context and our notion of infallibility. I smile, and I stare back into the sky. I saw three stars surface out from nowhere and twinkle into the night. I was home.


K a n u r i t e
   11:04 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Tue May 13, 11:30:39 AM, 2004

I wonder how others manage it.. but my response to the previous post exceeded the limit and I am posting it as a blog.. here's to Rex :-)

"why make that effort to make a statement out of my life and subject it to judgements made by the rest of the world.. where they would either uphold it on a pedestal or denigerate it and subject it to derision"

T Rex: one might find a clue here is one is looking for it.........for the answers are always to be found seeded in the questions themselves.

Kanu: answers are seeded in the questions themselves and questions are probably articulations for the answers that we wish to seek.. and share a reciprocal relationship so to speak.. and so we look and search... but there are many a variables to handle..
and each single question has a multiple choice answer... and sometimes an entire lifetime goes by with reaching nowehere near ...

T Rex: if judgements made by the world are meaningful in anyway - the statement would need to alter itself........if not then the statement just is.

Kanu:the fact still remains that why should living be a statement?

"maybe its best to turn my face away from them before they turn their back away from me" - do you also read this as a a statement of war where you hit the enemy the very same blow before they strike?

T Rex:maybe you are facing a challenge that faces only a few among us - as this post reads?

and if the idea is to "die" then the most meaningful way would be to die doing what one has been.

Kanu: heck no, this is not a suicide note@die! and i say this to ward off any intentions to put me onto 60mg anti-depressant tablets! :P
it voices the futility of communicating in a different language... i would not equate it to a war cry... its like standing in front of people speaking a foriegn language, which for you is just cacaphony.. you try hard to communicate... and ur words fall worthlessly too.. till finally you realise the futility of it all.. and just walk away...

T Rex:mundaneness of existence is fine.......but then existence is also exciting..........as one might have said some time ago.
this brings one to a logical conundrum - mundane and exciting?

Kanu: exciting mundaneity would be an oxymoron... if existence is excitement, then how would you differentiate existence from living? imagine being a prisoner in a dark prison cell, in solitary confinement... your existence is defined by mundaneity of your chores.. but you are essentially existing... then one day you shift to another room, with a window with bars.. you hitch yourself up.. and for the first time notice the sky... and find it beautiful.. next day you eagerly wake up to watch the sunrise... and its breathtaking hues.. then wait for the sunset.. then the clouds.. the rains.. and the rainbows that come after that... you look forward to something in your mundane existence... though that yearning comes from within... and thats when you start living...

T Rex: easiest way out - apportion the blame onto existence.......life is mad/crazy/irrational/etc......

who is the one living?
maybe the one living is the one who is in a mundane state and is also in an excited state?

Kanu: this comes across as something which a more optimist sartre would have written... the enlightened being who is aware of the futility of human existence.. but rather than resigning to it, makes an effort to make the most of it... :-)

T Rex: i could well imagine that these musings of mine might be tangential to what the essence of your post might be........
and i do.
so correct me.

Kanu: your post feels like a breath of fresh air in an attic which has been closed for quite a while.. and its provacative enough to get these rusted wheels back to work... :-)


K a n u r i t e
   11:03 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Tue Apr 22, 04:57:24 AM, 2004

sitting here in the mundaneity of my existence I am trying to figure out why I need to live at all.. why make that effort to make a statement out of my life and subject it to judgements made by the rest of the world.. where they would either uphold it on a pedestal or denigerate it and subject it to derision... no event acts as a balm neither do the collage of faces that I come across everyday... I am shutting myself off from everything around me and retreating into my shell.. and its anger which I feel when I do that... maybe nobody's worth the effort.. maybe its best to turn my back away from them before they turn their back away from me... neither the strong gusts of wind move me anymore nor do the cheery innocuous small talk which comes with living each day.. nor do I want my package of superficial cheerleaders who egg me on towards some unattainable destiny.. My back stoops and hurts under the burden of a living of inconsequentiality and helplessness.. I want this life to end.. and the moment I say that I see horrifications on the faces around me.. faces which I dont know.. faces I know who wouldnt care.. faces which does not exist in my life..
this is one self indulgent post... not always is the moon the perfect inspiraton for all poetic endeavors.. it has its blimishes.


K a n u r i t e
   11:02 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts
Wed Apr 02, 01:57:25 PM, 2004

Spring's here... feels as if wordsworth's daffodils, vincent's irises are popping right out of picturebooks. Edson, Viorica and me went on a flower smelling spree, and plucked one each when no one was looking.. for all practical purposes Viorica's Romanian origins have gotten her the label of 'the uncultured slav', and yours truely the dravidian... if there was ever a concept of a twin across the globe, this probably was it.. stepping out of trial rooms with exactly the same set of clothes.. reading the same readings.. speaking the same words at the same time.. identical couldnt get more identical than this...
the other day we waited till evening to go flower plucking... greed got better of her orthodox catholic stance and we ended up plucking flowers at the doorstep of the house of the Lord himself... and all this while wrought by an overwhelming fear of being caught in the act.. and i was enjoying every moment of it...
i still step on the lower bar of the shopping cart and whiz past everytime i go shopping... i still prance, hop and skip at my own will and fancy anytime, anywhere.. i still am ready to drop all my work and blow out soap bubbles in the middle of the corridor... when there's nothing to hold onto, there's always familiarity and habit....


K a n u r i t e
   11:01 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Wed Apr 02, 01:57:25 PM, 2004

Spring's here... feels as if wordsworth's daffodils, vincent's irises are popping right out of picturebooks. Edson, Viorica and me went on a flower smelling spree, and plucked one each when no one was looking.. for all practical purposes Viorica's Romanian origins have gotten her the label of 'the uncultured slav', and yours truely the dravidian... if there was ever a concept of a twin across the globe, this probably was it.. stepping out of trial rooms with exactly the same set of clothes.. reading the same readings.. speaking the same words at the same time.. identical couldnt get more identical than this...
the other day we waited till evening to go flower plucking... greed got better of her orthodox catholic stance and we ended up plucking flowers at the doorstep of the house of the Lord himself... and all this while wrought by an overwhelming fear of being caught in the act.. and i was enjoying every moment of it...
i still step on the lower bar of the shopping cart and whiz past everytime i go shopping... i still prance, hop and skip at my own will and fancy anytime, anywhere.. i still am ready to drop all my work and blow out soap bubbles in the middle of the corridor... when there's nothing to hold onto, there's always familiarity and habit....


K a n u r i t e
   11:01 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Blogs

Fri Mar 28, 11:46:48 PM, 2004

Annonymously yours..

Annonymity grants you solace. A facelessness that grants a wildcard to start afresh. A calmness which trascends places, border and people. A namelessness which swims across unnoticed across a sea of who's who. After a while any person is just another person, and any place just another place. Annonymity is that breath of fresh air that floats you across and lets you find your own space.

All that is remembered is being bundled into the car and taken to the airport in a trance which defies historicity and her head the melting pot for the three tenses of time. The trance gets broken with two pudgy hands thrusting the passport into her hands. They hopelessly give her last moment instructions and just hope and pray that she makes it home safely. 'And be careful and alert, atleast till you meet your brother-in-law in London', they plead in worry. 'where is my passport?', she asks, confirming their worst fears. They stand there, unsure of themselves, and wave a hesitant goodbye. She walks through the security and turns and waves.

Tears are whimsical. But at times when it matters, there could never be a more disciplined emotion. They are illusive. They flow at the feeblest sign of familiarity. And yet amidst strangers they hold their forte with outmost pride. She turns her back towards them and transforms into a different being. Just another person amongst so many others who melts into the crowd. Facelessness comes with a sense of responsiblity and those tears stand austre in those eyes and wait patiently for their freedom. A few last calls and the distant familiarity on the other end give excuse to her eyes and they get flooded and flow. She finally hangs the reciever at the announcement and boards the plane.

Small talk can be cathartic but when the din in the head is loud enough to make it split wide open... to tax it further by making it think, concentrate, react, respond... to mould words and try and make them flow in a certain way, and to take care that they do not flow in a certain other way and no other way... she'd rather vegetate. She stares coldly out from the window only to be distracted by a motion next to her. She turns her head and a blue eyed face intrudes into her world. He smiles, and she makes an effort which comes across as the closest substitute for a smile.

Even in that daze she couldnt help but notice that there was a certain freshness about him.. maybe it was his smile... very contagious. Hair cropped closely, could almost make him pass off for a punk. And deep blue eyes and ever so eager. There was an air of irreverance about him along with a touch of sensitivity. How those two could co-exist together, one had to just look into those eyes of his. He looks at her sheepishly. Maybe the brown skin is making him uneasy, she smirks absent mindedly.

He takes his seat and makes an attempt to start a conversation. 'So, where do you stay? You've been traveling for long? Meeting up with friends in London?'. She tells him that her mom died and she was flying home, to India for her last rites. 'Oh, I am sorry', his voice softens. 'Did you love her a lot? Were you close to her?'. 'Yes', she replies. 'I love my mom a lot too.. this is the first time I am going away from her.. she was not very happy about me leaving... I would be gone for an year...', he muses.

She softens and soon they get talking. The flight takes off and she hastily searches he bag and pulls out he camera. It was just around sunset, and the last rays of the tired sun reflecting on the wings of the indifferent mechanical bird looked beautiful. The juxtapositioning of nature with manmade gets captured in that little box for posterity. He looks on while she busily clicks shots. Finally, she turns and shows him the images. 'They are beautiful', he replies. She beams. 'Digital Camera eh?', he asks her. 'Nice.'

He was going to South Africa for a year to work with underprivileged children there. She looked at him and smiled at the sincerity in his voice and his untouched naivity. He has been near his parents all his life and even now lives right across the street from their house. He loved his country America and was proud to be an American. He asked her what exactly the rest of the world thought of America. And by the time she finished, he smiled sheepishly, 'But people on a one to one basis are different and genuinely nice'. She nodded her head in agreement.

He takes his discman out and she turns her face towards the window. Its pitch dark outside, a perfect setting to reflect memories of not so far away and the vacum that she has to live with now. Scenes after scenes flash by and her eyes well up. Not a sound is heard and she sobs silently for all those times and memories, and she hopes that by the time she's through with this surge, she wouldnt have to put up with the embarrassment of facing anyone blury eyed. She cries her heart out. Finally she regains her composture.. 'How you doing?', he asks her softly, unintrusively. 'Fine', she smiles.

Would you like to listen to this music? Its my favorite..', he tells her. 'Sure', she replies. The music sounds familar, and her eyes flood again on sensing familiarity. She cries for a long while, while he busies himself. Finally she hands him over his discman and tells him that the music is beautiful, so beautiful that it makes her cry. So she would rather talk than let her thoughts take over. He smiles understandingly.

'This music sounds like Shakti and it certainly has a lot of indian instruments', she tells him. 'No, its sung guy a guy called Jim Mag-Laughin', he tells her. 'Oh, Shakti has pandit Ravi Shankar and a guy called John Mac-L-o-g-i-n', she replies. Then she stops for a while and realises that they probably were talking about the same person and tells im. Pretty soon she tells him about other similar music and he quickly takes out a diary to jot down the names. 'My best friend gifted me this journal before I left', he beams. I looked closely and indeed it was a quaint piece. Its cover was made of cardboard with a cloth covering, and there was a earthy colored string which could be tid around it.

'Do you believe in God?', he asks her. 'Its in times like this that it really helps..' She agreed. His eyes brightened up on noticing al the gadgetry around. 'This is BIG! You even get a TV to watch movies in. Which ones of these movies have you watched?' 'The last time i flew, I watched Sweet Home Alabama.' 'How is it?'. 'Its a silly but feel good movie', she smiles. 'Then lets watch it! and lets switch the same channel on both our sets so that we can watch it together!' She laughs, at that moment he just seemed like a kid just falling short of clapping his hands with glee. The flight attendants passing by were amused at their occassional outbursts and talk amogst each other.

Soon one of them comes on his rounds and offers drinks. 'What all do you have?', Richard asks. A list is rattled off to him. 'I'd go in for red wine', he replies and winks at her. 'Which one?', the attendant asks and rattles off a new list again. He looks at her and then names one. 'What drink would you like with your dinner?', and he picks another one. The same questions are put forth to her, and she is unsure about taking wine in the first place. 'Go on.. ', Richard encourages. 'White one.. Chardonay.. and the same for dinner...' And two bottles each are placed in front of them.

'I want you to listen to another piece of music', and he promptly plants the earplugs onto her ears. This time its vocal with guitaring in the background. 'This is beautiful!', she exclaims. 'This is my first recording', he tells her. 'Its a pity they took the guitar and put it up front. Otherwise I could have played for you'. She asked him if she could have that cd, and he tells her probably the day when he has another copy of it. They continue with their drinks and the movie and pretty soon it starts feeling like a party. The food comes in. The alcohol slowly rises in her and eases her out. But her thoughts swim back to her. They start drilling their way into her head, and the migraine gets back to her. Her eyes well up and gets her even more ineberrated. She tries eating her food and struggles with it through her mist of tears. To make things worse, she drops the fork and feels totally hopless and glances to see if he noticed her. He was busy with the movie. She kept wondering if she should buzz for the attendants and ask for an new one.. She waits undecidedly for a while, then finally shrugs her shoulders and tells him that she dropped her fork... Without a moment's thought he takes his own fork, pops it into his mouth, licks it clean and smiles and gives it to her.

She laughs again, takes the fork and continues finishing up with her food. Thoughts happen again, and this time its the knife. And this time he notices. He laughs, 'what do you do.. keep tossing your forks all over the place?' She grins sheepishly and tells him this time its the knife.. and he hands her his knife. The flight attendant passing every now and then seemed throughly amused with the happenings and keeps laughing to himself and feels happy at his interpretation of another cross cultural on flight fledgling romance. Thats the world which he creates for himself, and makes his job all the more worthwhile.

She feels lighter with the last sip of Chardonay, and to her dismay realises that she needs to go to the restroom. And she would have to ask him to get up so that she can pass by since he had the aisle seat. And its embarrassing to wait in front of so many people to wait her turn to go into the restroom. She waits for a while. Till she finally taps him and sheepishly tells him that she needs to go. 'Lets go then, I'll come with you', he smiles. She feels relieved. And he stands with her.

They get back to their seats and their conversation. 'I have to lean each time to talk to you, she tells him. 'Why don't you shift to the seat next to me?', and he obliges. They start talking again. Somehow his presence made things easier and better. She felt as if a guardian angel had been sent across to her. She notices him pop a couple of pills in. 'What are those for?', she asks him. 'They are anti depressants'. 'I have been taking them for a while now, to keep things under control.' 'But they arent good for you!', she tells him. 'You should never get used to them and try and get them out of your system as soon as you can. 'I'll try to', he tells her. 'So, how old are you?', he asks her. '26'. 'I am 22', he tells her. She smiles. 'Too young eh?', he smirks. 'Naah, you are just fine', she tells him warmly. They talk for a few more minutes and then he tells her that he would like to shift back to his seat so that he can sleep confortably. He gets back to his seat and watches her as she falls asleep.

She wakes up wtih the announcement that the flight is going to land in another 20 minutes. The heaviness of her head seemed to have melted. She looks at him, 'I slept off. 'Yeah I noticed, he teased her, 'You were sleeping like a baby... I kept watching... I couldnt get to sleep at all.' The flight lands and they walk through the aisle. 'I have to go and get my guitar', you take care of yourself', he tells her. And she wishes him the best and says goodbye with the wave of hand. And just at the point where they were turning away, the same flight attendant was witnessing their parting. Amused, he looks at her, 'What was that... just a wave of a hand... a good bye. just like that?'. 'Yes, thats how goodbyes are', she smiles. Maybe she disappointed him. He had probably worked out another on flight fairytale.

She did not bother to exchange contact infomation or click snaps. Somehow snapshots captured in memory outlast their physical counterfeits. They are trinkets filled in a little treasure box which you pull out from the corner of your head at your moments of unrest to act as soothers and balms. The beauty of temporal meetings are that they surprise you at the most unexpected moments by poping up and letting you know that they were anything but ephemeral. To try and chain such meetings and stretching it to disinterested email exchanges and phonecalls, would only accelerate their premature death.

She walks her way through the airport, to head for the next flight, carefully placing this trinket in a cosy corner, at the back of her head...


K a n u r i t e
   10:59 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Wed Mar 05, 02:26:32 PM, 2004

Maybe its time to rise above euphemisms and metaphors. Maybe its time to open my eyes and get sucked into the real world and finally complete the act of existing with the rest and put a rest to their long itterated complaints and cajolements. She lives in my head they say. And I press my head and squeeze it hard in my hands, till my ears ache and pop out. And she still does not ooze out. My head refuses to rest straight on my shoulders and sways from one side to another. her weight inside weighs me down. Talk it out, they tell me, and expect her to ooze out from my mouth. I clench my fists and hold tightly to stop her from oozing out. If I did let her ooze out, I would have let go of the only thing I could call my own. I see faceless people around me crying and howling. Faceless because afte her no one really matters. I feel anger and dig into the palm of my hands. I kneed into my skin as if piercing my way through my brains, as if piercing my way through heaven, as if piercing my way through vacum and scream that I needed her now. And they see a calm, lifeless face and wonder what kind of a person does not even shed a tear over losing her most precious. They show me a lifeless being almost suffocating under the weight of garlands and flowers, and tell me that its her. She is the most beautiul being I've ever known. A gem of a person they tell me. And a selfless and kind hearted soul. She is the one for whom so many people have come to pay their obeyance. She is my mother. She is no metaphor. I hope she lives in me....


K a n u r i t e
   10:56 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Wed Feb 19, 12:33:28 AM, 2003

Sweet madness
If there was ever such a phrase....
Then all this would be hers
That came across in her one single gaze....
But alas! The misery of sanity
To be fettered by mundanity....

She mused and smiled as she saw the sunflowers bounce about wildly in the gentle caresses of the wind. Sunflowers were fine; they inspired Vincent didnt they? As his paintbrush moved across the canvas, the colors flowed from his soul onto the canvas. He painted them with the color of his dreams, a palette stained richly with the vividness of his living. The brightest of the yellows, which blinds you with its brightness. Would the flowers be the same if the colors didnt come from the depth of his soul? She saw the essence of his being in those flowers.

The flowers spoke to her. And so did the shoes, the chair and the peasant women working in the fields. And so did the stars that shone bright on that one starry night. They wove a tale of the fragility and vulnerability of human existence. Of sensitivity and the price named for it. To be able to feel even the mildest gentle breeze that barely touch.... to open your soul to sense even the most insignificant aspect of living.. to open your senses and yourself to receive from all your faculties all that is around you.... all that makes life so beautiful.... and this awareness and sensitivity is so overwhelming that it fills up your soul, chokes your heart and makes you burst into tears..... and yet in all awareness submit to its harshness as well and bruise yourself.. who said life wasnt treacherous?

She closes the book.. and the flowers fade into oblivion...... sunflowers are nice.. But irises are something else...... sunflowers always look for the sun, to turn their head towards and shine in all their brightness. Their mirth is borrowed, and their existence a woeful tale of yearnings. But irises, with their untamed curves and swirls, the yellows in the center bursting unabashedly over the violets, and their heads held lofty as they prance about in the wilderness in all their arrogance and unbound madness..... blessed are those who even live in their shadows.


K a n u r i t e
   10:55 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Tue Feb 18, 08:53:34 AM, 2003

The Obituary

She lives in the cemetery of her past. Only in this cemetery half eaten moldy carcasses of dreams lie strewn about, festering and rotting till they become one with the very ground which gave birth to them. She wanders around, touching each one of them, from time to time, hoping that they show some semblance of life in them. But who has ever seen resurrection of moldy carcasses. What keeps her there one knows not. But that is the only world she's ever known. Sometimes familiarity is the most dreaded fetter, for the love of which you would readily jump into a well if you wanted to. She is the doomed one. Her existence slowly getting nibbled at by these moldy carcasses. Wonder which death is sweeter, to lose it all in one go… or to get yourself chewed off slowly, with each passing day.

Shadows lurking in the past have interesting myths associated with them, and as a consequence become interesting beings to be with. Slowly you gain the confidence of their likes. Listen to their tale of woes and misery and watch a whole new world unfold before you. And you in the comfort of your armchair living get to live a life, which with all its pathos and misery was never yours to begin with. You start seeing yourself as the redeemer and her savior. And suddenly the mundaneity of your existence is transformed to a charming fairytale, and you, the knight in shining armor.

Day in and day out you painstakingly paint breath-taking pictures of the life that lies ahead. It is a step from where you are, and two steps from where she is. You urge her to let go of the only world she knows. And then she asks if you could hold her hand, while she lets go of her familiarity, one by one. You hesitate and she urges you. Day in and day out, the cyclycity of the process slowly sucks the color out of your breath taking fairytale pictures and everything is reduced to somber and morbid tones of black and grey. The unpainting of your painstakingly painted breath-taking picture reduces your world back to its mundaneity and worse. Till one day you decide that the armor weighs too hard on you, and you leave everything and run away.

And like you she continues to haunts those with breathing and living dreams. She makes them uneasy. Why does she need to show her unhappy face all the time? Why cant she just be happy for once and let us be at peace and not feel guilty for all that we have? Why cant she just go and let us be? And so they wish her away and spit her out of their lives. And she ceases to exist.


K a n u r i t e
   10:54 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Mon Jan 06, 02:40:23 PM, 2003

In one leap I am trying to cover the anachronicity between living and blogdom. It is cliché to talk about life and get descriptive and lyrical about life's day-t o-day humdrum affairs sand the very act of living itself. Yet I am addictively a part of this cliché. Hello world, I am alive and living. Maybe the writer in me has finally died her pre-destined death. And in desperation, I rummage through my worn out sack of experiences to look for one, to polish with words and place it as an object subjected to encore or derision, whichever comes its way….

" Life… is too complex to be a man…", she mused in amusement and smirked, and they laughed. "And that's an original, might as well get a copyright for it asap!" The funny thing about them getting together to is that there are zillions of profound revelations, which are borne as an outcome to the entire process, and ironically none of them remotely academic. It’s a Noah's Ark or a Bhelpuri of sorts… what else would one call a Bong, a Dravidian and a Slav (or uncultured Slav as the Bong would categorically correct) thrown in together?

Life is funny... the simplest pleasures can give you the joy which nothing else in the world could when you least expect it… a simple walk in biting cold in the middle of the night and walking back licking ice cream cones… sliding down and falling on the ice covered sidewalk… and in those few minutes which passes by in collecting yourself, and getting back on your feet, to lie back, and laughing at yourself, inspite of the stinging pain… and suddenly noticing that the sky at that moment of time… that the sky looks so beautiful in the night… and feel so much at peace… that you forget that you are lying on a sidewalk…then watch a head obstruct the visual connection between you and the beautiful sky… and watch the face break out in laughter... and to realize that there's another person as well… as a part of your joke... and laugh… and be at ease with laughing at yourself... for once…

To work with all your life… to give that one gift to someone who you've loved all your life... and who's slowly leaving you.. to make all the years of her living worthwhile.. to reassure her that life's going to be fine even when she's gone… to reassure her that the her precious flower is sturdy and rooted, and not a mere delicate effeminate metaphor to beauty she's projected to be.. that she is capable of withstanding.. and would be able to take care of herself and be around and make a place for herself.. the gift , few precious moments of time.. then the helplessness of watching even time slip away…

Temporality is mankind's nemesis… and yet we run against our mortality… and to have that feeling of vulnerability… and frantically trying to hold onto something.. but even that something in all its thingliness is temporal.. and you helplessly watch as each of them fall.. She looked out at the snow outside. Why does it always have to be so gloomy. Winters are so depressing.. devoid of any color or life.. the cold outside almost sucks you into its coldness and gloom… she watched, while she absent-mindedly played with the cutlery.

Deep profound gazes, which put the Slav at unease. Finally she turned in and took a deep breath. "I wouldn’t know what I'll do when she's gone", and with whatever is left of her pride, looks out of the window. The coldness inside her dissolves her vision and the snow outside is reduced to an amorphous blur. And in all that coldness she sees the sky melt and distort into little fragments reduce to tiny rivulets flowing down her cheeks. The blur outside finally metamorphoses to one loud Scream, which Munch would have understood. The vibrancy gets too much and she turns away, "Cant life be JUST a little simpler?"

"That’s because life is a she…", The uncultured Slav offered. The Dravidian looked lost. "Life is too complicated to be a man?", The Slav responded, unsure of herself now. Next moment they burst out laughing and the blur melted away into nothingness…


K a n u r i t e
   10:53 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Sat Jan 04, 12:29:37 PM, 2003

meandering through crooked streets and to sense the tangles within.. and to uncoil them and lay it out to straighten, would require more meandering.. till the meandering coil within themselves and entangle the tangles within.. and to paint a picture with words of coils and coils within, on a canvas of the without


K a n u r i t e
   10:52 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Thu Sep 19, 01:28:27 AM, 2002

This feeling too shall wear out.. like all other feelings.. till there is none left..


K a n u r i t e
   10:51 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Wed Sep 18, 12:18:57 AM, 2002

I painted you,
with the colors of loneliness,
lit in that aura of melencholy,
you stood right there,
and I percieved perfection,
I yearn for warmth,
run and embrace you,
and yet when I touch,
all that you have,
to offer,
is coldness,
which numbs my soul,
I wake up,
and the lights fade away,
stripping you off your glory,
and you stand there naked,
SO ordinary,
just another heartless,
cold, piece of stone....


K a n u r i t e
   10:51 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Thu Sep 12, 10:50:36 PM, 2002

some dreams are never meant to be spoken,
a touch of wind and they end up with their wings broken,
wrapped up in a cellophyne of cold logic and reason,
they breathe their last, whither and die.
decaying, corroding, festering dreams,
their moth eaten wings,
a fallacy to the wonderous hues,
and the promises they once held,
i watch helpless as they die,
to think that one moment of flight,
of blurred vision and illusion,
can reduce life to a moment,
and death eternity,
they trespassed,
and now they lie humiliated and wasted,
punished to languish in their own loneliness
for that one flight on forbidden grounds,
some dreams are never meant to be spoken...


K a n u r i t e
   10:50 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Fri Aug 30, 12:08:27 PM, 2002

'Some birds can never be caged. Their feathers are just too bright...'
Morgan Freeman, 'Shawshank Redemption

This is how I feel, at this moment and point of my life... and its a beautiful feeling.... *touchwood*


K a n u r i t e
   10:49 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Tue Aug 20, 09:52:46 AM, 2002


I walked into the plane and look around for my seat, and all this while I hope that I dont have to sit next to someone I need to make a conversation with. My travel agent had already let me down and didnt grant me the window seat for this flight journey which I so desired. I reached my seat and see two eyes peering at me.. an American kid. I smiled congenially and settled down with my book. I was reading Jhumpa Lahari's "Interpreter of Maladies". Just when I begin reading the book, the passenger on my left walks in and sits. I smile, and try concentrating on the book. The other person also is an American.

'Excuse me', he says, 'I couldnt help but wonder.. there is this Indian author.. a very famous one.. who writes stories about Indian Immigrants.. read her stories sometime back.. can't seem to recollect her name...' He went on to describe her works.. 'Her name starts with B.. I think...', he tries to help me out. I show him my book, 'Maybe this is the author you are talking about..' and I offer him my book. He flips through it and beamed, 'Yup! This is her..' I smiled and offered him the book to read for the rest of the 12 hour journey.. after a few polite refusals, he took the book.

'Her stories are so moving..', he kept it aside and continued with his conversation, 'they touch you right here', he placed his hand on his chest. I smiled and agreed that she indeed was a good writer, and mentioned that she got a Pulitzer Prize as well for her writing and picked up another book to read from my bag. 'I was in
India sometime back..', he continued, 'a friend from the University.. I went with her to Bombay.. I saw so much misery and poverty the five days that I was there, it made me cry...', he continued.

I closed my book, and started listening to him. '
Bombay must be one of the poorest cities in the world', and he looked at me for approval. 'Actually Bombay would be New York's couterpart city for India', I tell him. 'It is a city of contrasts, just like New York, where poverty and prosperity co-exist.' 'I used to talk to my other friends in the US', he said, 'and they too agreed that they had such extreme emotions in their trips to India. On the other hand, when I talked to my friend in India, this was something which she was not very keen on talking about. It was like, "yeah.. well ... whatever'. I told him that its probably because of the fact that he was coming from a different country that seeing such abject poverty shocked him, even though United States also had its own share of poverty. Maybe if I were to go to Ethopia or Somalia, I might react in mannerisms similar to his. But when one lives day in and day out through such poverty, and there is not much that one can do about it, one gets used to living with it and hence the reluctance to talk about it. He agreed with me and asked me where I was from, and I tell him Delhi. He was from San Fransisco.

'You are from San Fransisco?', the kid interrupted us. 'Yesss!' the american on my left beamed, 'and where are you from?', he asked the kid. 'I am from Delware', the kid replied enthusiastically. 'Do you know where SHE is from?', he points at me and asks him. 'Yeah, I was listening to your conversation. She is from
INDIA', he smiled. 'Do you know where India is? It a country far far way... even further further than Germany.
We are traveling for 12 hours to reach Philly from
Frankfurt.. She has traveled for around 12 hours already from India to Frankfurt...' He looked at me, 'Its amazing really.. you start on the 10th early morning India time, and travel across almost half the globe, and still reach the other end on the same day!'. I smile.

We resume our conversation, and he told me about his work, his Phd at UMich, undergrad at Yale and his present work for the US Defense. I in turn tell him about myself. 'YOU REMIND ME OF MY GRANDMOTHER', the kid points at the ameircan on my right. He is taken aback and asks the kid, 'How old is your grandmom?'. 'Sixty', the kid replies. The american on my left winks at me and says, 'there he goes ahead and adds another twenty years to my age'. We both laugh. 'I didnt get that', the kid says quizingly. The american on my left cracks a few more puns and we laugh again. The kid again pleads, 'I didnt get that..' And we start explaining the joke to him and he finally laughs. A few more puns, and more 'I didnt get that' from the kid...

'How old are you?', the kid asks the other american. 'Forty nine', the ameircan replies. 'How old are you?', the american asks the kid. 'Thirteen', the kid beams. The kid turns towards me and asks me now, 'How old are you?'. Before I could reply, the american on my left interrupts, 'Er.. let me interrupt here. I know you are young, but it is not nice to ask a lady her age...'

The american on my left starts talking to me again, and by now the kid on my right has both his chin craddled between his two hands, his face turned towards us and is totally involved in our conversation. 'My grandmother talks just like him', he interrupts. ' We stop talking and listen to him. He has been traveling to and fro from
Germany to the US around 25 times now, and most of it on his own. His mother lives in Germany and his father in the US and are now seperated. So he shuttles to and fro like a human yo-yo between the two nations. I listen to him sypathetically.

Suddenly his eyes light up. 'Would you like to see my great grandfather's picture?', he asked me. 'Sure', I reply. He gets up and fishes the picture out from his rucksack and shows it to me. It was a rather nice picture of his great grandfather from his youth. And the picture was in an antique frame.

'I collect all kinds of antique stuff. Back home I have a huge collection. two rooms of the house in the backyard are filled with my antique collection. I have 1067 pieces by now, from different parts of the world! Would you like to see the porcelain I got back from
Germany?', he asks me. I tell him that its best if he unpacked his porcelain when he reached, otherwise they might get broken. He reluctantly settles down. 'My great grandfather was the Mayor of the city. He was the valadictorian in high school. My father was a valadictorian. My grandmother was a valadictorian. My mother was a valadictorian. I will also be a valadictorian', he beams. 'I was a valadictorian too', the american on my left interrupts.

He then went on to narate his grandmother's valadictorian experience and her puking all over the stage because of stage fright. His narations always began with, 'In 1934..... ' or another other date. It was as if each and every of those stories were filed in his little brain in a clean, chronological order, which he pulled out and narated. Soon we were flooded with stories about his family, right up to his great great grand dad

'Can I read out my poem to you?', and before I said a yes or a no, he was reading out his poems to me. They were really beautiful. 'My grandmother helped me with them', he told me. We talk a little more. The kid plays with his curls for sometime. After a while he looks up, ' Aint my hair nice?', he beams. I tell him that it certainly is nice and get back to the conversation with the american on my left. The the kid runs his fingers through my hair. 'Your hair is really soft', he beams. The american on my right by now is falbberghasted. 'I assure you, kids around my time were a lot different...', he sputtered. The kid continues ruffling my hair. 'Your hair near the ears are softer than the hair at the top'. I explain that right now they are in a mess and need to be combed.

'I'll go and get something for you to drink', the american on my left interrupts. 'what would you like to have?', he asks. 'Orange juice', I reply. The american leaves.

The kid insists on telling me a joke. He presses his cheeks around either side of his mouth and starts talking. And bursts out laughing at the result. Then he reaches out for my cheeks. He feels my cheeks for a few seconds, and then presses with his thumb and fore finger near my mouth to make a fish face and insisted on my talking. I start talking, it sounds comical, and he giggles. He does it a few more times, totally kicked by his new found toy. I laugh. I reach out for his mouth, and its soon my turn to get him to make goldfish faces. Both of us are giggling by now. The american on my left comes back, and he's dazed on seeing the both of us.

'Aint I cute?', the kid asks me. I tell him that he is. 'Aint my hair really nice?'. 'Yup, they are', I smile and tell him. 'Next thing you are going to ask her to marry you!', the american on my right retorts. The kid gets offended and keeps quiet for a while.

The girl in the front seat yawns and stretches her arms and it almost touches me. 'Move you face closer to her hand', the kid tells me, 'then you can sue her for hiting you'. The american on my left shakes his head in disapproval, 'this is what
america is about. Always on a lookout for lawsuits. The most recent case is of this extremely obese guy. He is sueing all the fast food chains and blaming them for his obesity. Can you believe that?'

'I hope the plane doesnt crash', the kid tells me. 'Why?', the other american asks. 'Because I dont want to die', the kid retorts. 'But you dont know what death is. So how can you hope about not having something which you dont even know aout'. The kid is totally confused now. 'Ok. Let me conduct a small psycho analysis here. If you had a lot of boxes and you didnt know what was inside them, and a box which had doughnuts, which one would you chose?', the american asks him. The kid replies almost immediately, 'Doughnut'. 'Why?', asks the american. 'Because I know what a doughnut tastes like. Why run after something you dont even know about?', the kid replies. I am impressed with his answer. The other american is a little disappointed that the kid chose the doughnut over the expected answer and he didnt get the oppertunity to talk about death and airoplanes. 'But what doughnut are you talking about?', the kid persists. 'Pretty soon he'll be asking me to produce the doughnut', the american winks at me and laughs.

The flight attendant comes with forms to fill. We start filling them. 'See. aint my handwriting nice?', the kid asks me. I take a look into his formThe kid looks up and peers into mine and the american's form. He's D-o-u-g.. and you are K-a-n-c-h-a-n-a... Counch-anna?'. 'Nope'. 'Kaan-chaa-naa'. He looks up from our forms, 'Doug is 49, I am 13...', and smiles and looks at me. 'Twenty five', I reply. The american on my left tut-tuts. 'But I wasnt rude!!! I didnt ask her age!', the kid protests. 'Yeah right! You look at me and say, 'Doug's 49, I am 13', and thrust your face right in front of her and wait, what could the poor lady do but reply!'

The flight attendant interrupts, 'Excuse me, you asked for a HINDOO meal?', she asks me. I figured my travel agent must have specified and said, 'yes', though I had no clue what a HINDOO meal meant. 'If I knew they were serving a HINDOO meal, I would have taken that', Doug told me. 'But I dont know what a HINDOO meal is.. my travel agent must have specified..'

'Oh, it is vegitarian stuff', Doug informs me. 'I would have ordered for a HINDOO mail had they informed me of such a choice earlier.. I am a vegetarian and that is the best way to be. Almost everyone in
India have such a healthy way of life.. Hindoos dont have meat..' 'er.. I do, but not as frequently I guess', I said, sounding almost appologetic when I said that. Doug points at me, looks at Cory and tells him,' People in India dont have meat. And she doesnt have tea or coffee. That is why her teeth are so white... more than yours and mine..' Cory looks up, 'Smile', he orders me. I laugh a little, bemused. 'No, smile more'. Satisfied, he nods his head in approval. 'Yup, your teeth are white, but they have food stuck inbetween them', he finally says.

'Are those your real teeth?', he asks Doug. Doug starts showing his first signs of irritation now. A few more conversations later Cory interrupts again, 'Do you wear a toupee?'. Doug gets up and insists on getting a drink for two of us again. 'You could press the button out here and the stewardess would come you know,' Cory mockingly informs him. 'They are called flight attendants, not stewardess because you have males serving you as well', Doug corrects him. Cory makes a face.

'Were you a nerd in school?', Cory asks Doug. 'Nerds make it to Harvard you know', I tell Cory. 'My dad went to Yale, and he was not a NERD', Cory informs me. 'I was in Yale too', Doug replies. And soon they discover that Cory's dad was a batch junior to Doug.

'I dont like your neighbour. He's weird', Cory tells me when Doug leaves. And starts imitating Doug. After a while he picks up his 'Quella' pen, starts chewing on it and sings 'My pen quella'. He gets tired of that too and starts acting as if he's had a seizure. People around us are totally amused. Doug returns with the drinks. And soon we joke about how just sprite was getting Cory high and he shouldnt be given anymore of it. Doug warns Cory that he should be careful with his saliva infested pen, lest it fell on the 'lady'. 'Even my six year old niece doesnt behave this stupid,' he whispers to me.

'Do you worship Gandhi?', Cory asks me. I laugh and tell him that I dont. The stewardess comes with my meal. Doug spontaneously reaches out for it, so that he can pass it on to me. He stops short. 'Oh! If I touch the meal, it would become JHOOTA!' I am totally amused by now and tell him that its quite ok, really. Cory has a look at my meal and asks me if he could exchange his bread for mine. I tell him he could. But before he did, he hesitantly asked me if he could 'touch' my food.

Another 10 minutes and the flight would be landing. Doug starts narrating an interesting documentary story to me. By the end of the narration he tells me that I must see the documentary, and if I gave him my address he would courier the tape to me. 'DONT GIVE HIM YOUR ADDRESS!', Cory first whispers into my ears and then says loudly a couple of times. 'He is weird. I dont like him. Dont give him your address.'

I turn back to Doug and show him my I-20 with my college address, and tell him that for the time being this is the only address I am aware of, and he could use this address. He takes it down.

The plane is about to land. 'This is the most fun flight trip I have ever had', says Cory. 'Yeah, thanks to us', Dough retorts. 'Thanks to HER.', Cory retorts. 'You are just the dirt which needs to be swept under the carpet and wished away'. 'Is that what you really think of me?', Doug starts to sputter. 'Yes I do', Cory replies. I see Doug turn purple and I pray for the plane to land soon.


K a n u r i t e
   10:48 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Wed Jul 31, 03:12:36 PM, 2002

Delhi- Frankfurt: 2:45am

I wave my goodbyes to my family and friends and walk the lone floors of the airport lounge. I get my paperwork done in a trance, and soon I get my boarding pass. The finalilty of my journey is still taking a while to sink in.

I go to the phone booth and call up home. I hear my mother's familiar voice on the other end and inform her that I have recieved my boarding pass and feel a lump pass down my throat. I talk to her for sometime and hang up. I make a few more calls and with each call, I felt myself losing all my context and submiting to an unknown.

The last one hour I felt restless, and kept calling up after every five minutes, as if I was making those last ditch efforts to hold on to the little which I had, and which I was slowly losing. Finally it was time for me to board the flight.

I settle myself down at the window seat which was mine. I look down at the lights shining on the runway. It seemed like a well defined path, but where they lead, I couldnt quite figure out. The plane finally takes off and I see all that was familiar to me slowly disappear, while I watched helplessly.

A german sat next to me, with a seat empty between us. I look back into my window, and see infinite lights shiniing brightly below. I try thinking of phrases to describe the sight that I saw.. A huge black blanket filled with holes, from which lights filtered in.. But as the plane moved, the lights seemed to move like a wave. Their spread not restricted to one dimension, but to three dimensions.

The familiarity seemd to melt way faster than I imagined, and at that moment, in all my irrationality, I looked desperately for my house and my mother, amongst all those hundreds of lights... and my street.. and my locality.. finally the lump exploded, and tears trickled down my face as I stared into the night.. and I choked myself with the spoonful of bland food served, seasoned by the salty river trickling down my face... 'I'll have the same..', I hear the German softly telling the air-hostess


K a n u r i t e
   10:47 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Fri Jul 26, 12:33:45 PM, 2002

Sundry, Diamond Joe and the Enchanted Forest

Sundry the Desultory Lass is lost today… Diamond Joe walks beside her, and not a word is uttered between them as they walk the enchanted forest. A shooting star winks at them before it dies its pre destined death, and not an eyebrow raised over its ephemeral existence that came to an abrupt end, demeaning its death into insignificance.

Death of conversations, of togetherness… Death looms large today. From the death of a day, is born another. But to reach the next day, they have to live through this death…The green eyed monster followed them stealthily and cast a spell. Tiny maggots take birth in their heads. The maggots start gnawing their brains and it gets them irritable and they snap at each other. The sharper the tongues, the deeper the maggots dig in.

What if there was never a stop to their squabble. What if the maggots just kept digging from one end, and reached the other, and all that is left of their head is a hole in the head? A hole in the head, from where the tormented now nomadic brain would ooze out, as gooey phlegmatic vomit.

Sundry held firmly to her head, lest it severed itself and rolled onto the floor on its own, with a will of its own, and her upright body, a gloomy spectator to its lost head. Diamond Joe!! Wake up from your slumber!!!! Touch me once, NOW!!! Hurry… hurry, before the gnawing maggots severe our heads off!! Touch me Once, hold my hand and we’ll see each other through this. Touch me Once, and hold my hand, before the monster drains you out of your magic. Wake Up O Wizened Wizard… Wake up!! Her wails fell to deaf ears. But hearing her wail, almost the entire enchanted forest got moved to tears. With all their might in unison they sang:

Gnawing maggots O they’re here
All your thoughts they wish to snare
Rise and shine, dearest Wizard O’ mine
Touch her once and hold her hand,
Hold her hand, just this once,
Your only hope for maggot riddance,
A pathetic attempt at rhyme this might be,
But you wouldn’t bother if the urgency you’d see…



K a n u r i t e
   10:46 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Fri Jul 26, 12:31:41 PM, 2002


Surprises always used to make me uncomfortable. And people as surprises, even worse. I love consistency around me, even though I myself am a far cry from consistency. My justification for it has always been that I as it am inconsistent, so if the rest of the world were to follow suit, there would be absolutely so scope for any synchronization with the rest of the world at any point of time, and everything around me would be topsy turvy for no fault of mine! ;-)

A couple of months back while channel surfing in front of the idiot box, I was pleasantly surprised to come across one of my classmates from sixth grade being interviewed along with the rest of his band members on one of the music channels. His band won the All India Rock Bands Contest. Last year a band from Mumbai had won the contest, and been the opening Band for an Aerosmith Concert. This year these people we to do the same for some well known international band in LA. I couldn’t help but smile. I quit that school after sixth grade. But off and on I would keep hearing about him and the rest through my brother as he would hear from other people about me. But we somehow never met over the years.

There was this once when I went for a rock concert in my sister’s college when I was in second year. And sure enough his band was playing that night. That was the time when their band had just started gaining name and fame in the Delhi circles. Danced a lot with my sister’s gang, literally to his tunes! Waited for the rock show to get over. And walked up to him to say hi, while they were still packing. Hoards of girls were already lined up there. Waited for a while, then just went up, said ‘hi’ and that their band played damn well, and didn’t bother with long winding introductions which would have run into ‘hi… remember me..’. He in turn replied with a courteous thank you, with no signs of recognizing me. It did pinch a little, and my perfect evening came to an end. Oh well…

My sister’s gang tried to cheer me up, and we decided to go in for a late night cup of tea at the dhaba across the road before crashing. We were walking towards the dhaba, and suddenly I hear my name hollered out. I think its just my mind playing tricks on me, and move on. I hear my name once again, confused I look back. And I see this lanky creature sprinting towards me. He stops and asks ‘You are Kanchana right?’. It almost felt like someone stopping Tom Hanks in the middle of the road and asking ‘are you Tom Hanks’. I replied that I indeed was. And soon there were these profuse apologies, about how he didn’t recognize that it was me in the first go, and only when I started walking away, he realized who I was. We walked back into the campus, my sister’s gang following us, totally bemused. He introduced us to the rest of the band members, especially the guitarist my sister was drooling over. And we plonk on the nearest footpath available and talk into the wee hours of the morning. All that I remember of that night, was the beautiful moonlight sky, on a full moon night, and the beautiful feeling that I was left with.

After that I used to run into him more often. There was another college festival I was supposed to attend in an engineering college. Sure enough I run into him. This time he was skin headed, totally done away with the long hair I had seen him donning the last time I saw him. He asked me if I had met Navjyoti, yet another of our classmates in 6th grade who was from that college. I said I hadn’t. He said I should.

I always have reluctance towards meeting people after a long time. The web of ‘what ifs’ gets too intimidating to even bother venture into something that might show even a remote possibility of weaving one such web. I had gone with my friend from college, who had met Navjyoti a couple of times. So all this while I was being badgered by people to meet up with him. Much to my relief, she decided on going to the second floor of the building and watch people dance in the basketball court. I jumped at the idea, because that would mean not having to bump into any more surprises.

We were watching people dance, and suddenly she points to a guy and says excitedly, ‘that’s Navjyoti’. I peer down and right in the center of the improvised dance floor I see this tall guy dancing away to glory, who could have put every good grunge dancer to shame. Loads of images flash through my mind.. back in school he used to be an introvert to the core.. hair plastered into place with oil, not talking much with very many people. My sole rival, always used to rank first, and me second.

I stared in disbelief. More images.. I was more of the outgoing type and he the shy guy. Once in 3rd grade I had held his hand while walking, and he blushed and pulled it away… My friend pulled my hand and dragged me onto the dance floor. And all the while the only thoughts which kept happening in my mind was ‘he wont ever be able to figure out who I am.. wont even remember me..’ He looks at me gives me a huge bear hug and says ‘Hey Kanchana! Long time!’ I tell him I am amazed that he still remembers me, because I for one couldn’t recognize him. He shrugs, and while he is talking, he just couldn’t keep still, still swaying to the beat of the music. Then finally he asked if I cared for a dance. And I showed a reluctance, I had come from college right after a submission, in a daze after a night out, shawl wrapped around, in a salwar kameez, to ward off the winter cold, totally out of place in the jean clad leg shaking crowd.

He reached out for my hand, and dragged me onto the floor. It was my turn to blush, while my mind raced to third grade and back.. I let go of the shawl and danced in mirth.

Maybe I do love those little packages which life stashes away for you to discover in little corners…


K a n u r i t e
   10:45 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Fri Jul 19, 07:34:51 PM, 2002

A Thought..

You can wallow in self pity and self contrived sorrows till eternity.. that’s the easiest way out… its easy to leave your head behind… and not give a thought to what you are doing or the path of destruction that you are treading on…

you walk with not a thought given to your actions or the sorrow that you’ve so callously passed on to others… you move on.. and the pace of your walk pleases you and those around you.. and you bow graciously to the accolades showered on you… but someday you’ll stop… be it for a second.. and when the past catches up with you.. when your wizened eyes will see your whole life flash before you… and you will see the pain and hurt in those two eyes peering at you… then… then you might want to slow down… and wish to change the path you’ve tread.. but then it would be too late… and you’d be left with memories and those two cold coal black eyes which refuse to go… a wizened creature at the end of his journey.. clutching onto those words.. a wizened creature with the burden of those words, those written words which in his prime didn’t mean a thing to him and those accusing eyes.. now he’s clutching onto them because nothing is dearer to him that those words.. and a pity that though they remain with him till his grave… they never could be his…. Not even now when he has nothing to hold onto… and yet at one time they lay in some cold corner of the attic, waiting for the warmth of someone’s eyes… or eyes which would shed a tear or two for the pain they kept profusing aloud which fell to deaf walls…and they waited… but now, now these tears don’t matter any more.. nor the remorse, even if it is not fained but true from the heart… it’s a triumph… but this long awaited triumph brings no joy or laughter… the coal black eyes burnt themselves to non existence through time, and you just see a black void, the sole silent story teller to its state of nothingness…. These tears come too late, and the trickle from an aging eye isn’t enough to wash away the once wished away mistakes… I wish you those words… I wish you the company of those words when you have none.. I wish you the deafening chant of those words when your company is silence..


K a n u r i t e
   10:45 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Sat Jul 13, 09:48:14 AM, 2002

I look at the horizon. The moon is slowly losing its luster. The sky fades till it moves and swallows up the moon within itself. I stand mesmerised and search for familiarity. I no longer see the holed blanket above and I panic. Everything around me goes still and numb. And I wonder if it is the end. And the stillness, deafening. Just when I give up all hopes, I hear a distant chirp. I listen more carefully, this time, to make sure. And I hear the chirp again. Two chirps. Three. More chirps, and now I am beginning to hear a chorous. The song touches my heart. And I see a ray of hope. I look up. And the physicality of my ray of hope is painted right in front of my eyes. The greys slowly disappear, and I see magic before my eyes. The horizon seems to be making its last ditch effort to hold onto its own, while bursting at its seams. Finally it gives in. there is a sporadic growth of yellows and orange in the sky, and it spreads, like water color on a canvas, and heralds yet another day and yet another ray of hope….


K a n u r i t e
   10:44 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Fri Jul 12, 05:30:48 AM, 2002

Tape that mind
Force it shut
Before it spews
And spills out..
A vomit of thoughts
Desultory circles
Meaningless meanings
Of an ennui called life
Round and round
In a merry go round
Lost in the humdrum
Of turning wheels,
And nauseating existence


K a n u r i t e
   10:43 PM  


Archived 'Lost' Posts

Fri Jul 12, 05:29:34 AM, 2002

The Grand Treasure Hunt- Part II

Next day, we again start off, this time towards Mehrauli. The school is inside Mehrauli’s village area now, and the whole system puzzled me. The first center was just 5 mins from our area, and to have our center in a place this far away seemed illogical and amazing.

Again, this center was no different from the previous center. A whole lot of people bunched together, who just didn’t know what needs to be done, and the officials not budging from their seats to organize and sort out things. We walked up to an official and asked him if our area was listed in the center. He said it wasn’t, and after explaining our plight all over again for the umpteenth time, he asked us to go to the local Tehsil and find out where our area was listed.

We reach the Tehsil, and for once found one official who was really pleasing. We were totally exasperated over our predicament, and had made up our minds to give a piece of our minds to the officials in the Tehsil. But the official for once treated us like human beings and it helped. He told us that our area doesn’t have a center yet. Sometime after October, they would be announcing another round of id cards, and out voters id would be made then, and he gave us the name of the center. We thanked him and drove back.

Back in Second year, for one of my friend’s birthday party, I had helped her organize a treasure hunt. We had placed little chits with clues in different parts of the college spill out, for people to find the treasure. And in the end, instead of a treasure, we left a piece of paper with biscuit crumbs in it, and a chit saying, ‘Sorry! The ants got here before you did…’

I just hope that for once I can make it before the ants do… otherwise I would have to bear with a handful of crumbs for the next five years….


K a n u r i t e
   10:43 PM



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