Of the door to my country, bow-tied mosquitoes and women.

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20th August: I was starting to end a beautiful Sunday on the 20th of August, sitting at the Rishi Restaurant outside the Dadar railway station, looking nervously at some massively overcooked prices of Paneer Tawa Masala and Veg Makkhanwala. It was quite some time since I’ve had sat in a relatively expensive place.
Well, a relatively expensive place is something which sits before you with both legs spread wide open trying it’s best to make one feel like an imbicle if one doesnt go in. After being inside, a wise guy can either come out straight away with a foolish smile on his face or decide to sit it out, fighting off the waiter’s judging gaze. A lot of culinary establishments pertaining to such a class, would have left us all far better off had these bow tied entities even made some pretentious attempt to project themselves as being slightly oblivious to our personal spaces. Seriously speaking.

Guys thinking about buying two mild Buds to get one pint free.

Defining ‘personal space’ and beyond: It has been somewhat agreed upon that area of one ft. radius around us actually measures up to be one’s exclusive personal space, to be scientifically correct. So a mosquito crossing into this border accidently or with an odious intent to slander our sovereignty can be rightly squashed. We would thus be accountable to neither any form of murder nor blasphemy against any fourth-dimensional divine law, animal right or passersby Jains in practice. No offense please. However, unlike for the midget mosquitoes of Maharashtra, there is not even the faintest hope of arriving at any prospective win-win situation if the valiant attempt to “squash” the face of these bow tied vigilantes hovering over my head, trying to figure out if I would order a Chicken Tikka or a Paneer Jalfrezi, is made. Man! Even the concept of a bar brawl has become ancient. Lucky mosquitoes. At least they die in action.

Defining ‘relative’:
The reason I’ve not forgotten to mention the adjective “relatively expensive” to a restaurant I had no need of adding into the backpack of my already perverse perspective is my acquaintance with the Taj Hotel. Landmark: The Gateway of India. I think it is the epitome to an “expensive” that I respect. Everything else till now is only relative.

The last British soldiers to leave India following it’s independence, the First Battalion of the Somerset light infantry passed through the gateway on their way out in a ceremony on 28th February, 1948 signalling the end of British rule”- as written in a plaque beneath the gate.

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The Taj from a ferry.

22nd August: I believe this is my last day at Vikhroli and I also believe it’s quite difficult to sit with folded legs following the prescription of our soft-skill trainer, the vivacious Susheela Bahl. Speaking of her, I just saw a beautiful girl with crossed legs which reminded me how it was to be done, as taught by Miss Bahl. I’m trying it but its impossible to keep them from slipping. I don’t think it will ever be learnt. Damn.

23rd August: I’m still here. They just informed me that its OK to be unsure of where my life would lead me to, in the following spanning days as it is perfectly sensible to be absolutely clueless about this ball game  from time to time. Well thats what I’m doing, and actually loving it too. Srustik and Diptiman are off to Bangalore and Guwahati respectively. I am obviously unsure of my place of posting. Before going, Diptiman told me to help him adjust in Guwahati. I know I will not be able to do much of anything he asks of me, specially not the boozing. I have to stop that.

25th August: I’m still not getting the hang of relishing the company of girls as an insider. Its more suitable for me to look at them from a distance and appreciate their bountiness. We have at least three beautiful girls in our recently rejuvenated batch of otherwise some morosely happy kindered spirits waiting for their places of postings to be disclosed as soon as possible. The things we know come in installments. We are all living our lives as our last days together which is going quite fine. I love looking at Pragya and Ishwari. Pragya, who is pretty well endowed physically, likes to sleep or pretend to when a topic doesn’t relate to interior-designing.

The batch.

Ishwari is strikingly similar to Rodasee. Similar glasses, clothing, artistically oriented, intellectually self-portrayed and very pretty. They are currently pre-occupied by the incoherent ramblings and pretentious idiosyncrasies imposed upon them, as most women in my perception are, from the set of relatively unspectacular individuals high on hormones. Well maybe I’m not too sure who actually is unspectacular, me or these guys, but they all do seem to be so childishly sloppy sometimes. I may be jealous.

Literature conjured to feed the awe for women will surely end in doom. I’m stopping it here now.

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BLEU- Krystof Keislowski-1993

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Bleu 1

A shotgun burst of philharmonic panorama suddenly erupts as Julie looks forth at her communicator with enormous aggravation. The sound erupts as if someone just unmuted the stereo playing Zbigniew Priesner’s thriller “Song for the unification of Europe” at the perfect time when emotions ran stupendously high, switching it off after the shivers around everyone settles down.

Senile mothers staring at wrinkled men jumping off cliffs, with a string tied to their feet like enormous earthworms, being tossed into space.

The muffled anguish of a man being brutalised in the streets below gurgling through the insides of the viewer, escalating itself from her core, yet enchanted by the thrill of the hour, when pitch black eyes reflect nothing in the blue moonlight. She comes to life only after the suspense recedes, after climaxing, into the final disappointing thud of the night, to open the door to the fears outside. A soft reproachful cry begins to end all anguish, upon locking herself outside. To realise the world living oblivious to her adventures; the men of the night fading away into darkness and the only visible light through the staircase is inside a golden doorway, from where someone just smirked apathetically before closing it.

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Bleu 2

Commentary-The Nomad Puppeteer- Mani Kaul (1974)

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Nomad Puppeteer 1

A short docudrama/essay film about the string puppeteers of Rajasthan spread across roadside settlements between Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Having failed to discern the voice of the unbiased narrator, supposedly Mr. Mani Kaul himself, it seems a difficult task to pen it down. This person spoke of the community, their trials and tribulations to persist and exist, in a distant, morose and a matter of fact form of expression. This emanates the essence of a film constructed as a requiem for the dying livelihood of India’s parallel artistic tributaries and their practicing artisans. The irony of cinema, their murderer, being the enabler in the solemnization of this eulogy rings boldly throughout.

The shot from the traveling camera from the rear of an open Mahindra passing through a bridge is imposed by the mechanical “tchk-tchktchk” of a train caused by the wheels hitting the joints between the two pieces of rail. This marks a brief hiatus from the usual perceptions of sight and sound which somewhat dissolves, when the sight of the train moving far away to be engulfed by the canopy of trees alongside the bridge is realised, from the corner of the eye, before disappearing from the screen. The camera then shifts to the commuters of the Mahindra with the light dying on them, woh bhi khel khel me.

“Yahaan ka hawa accha hai. Par yeh hawa hamein pasand nahi hai. 

Bambai me bhookhe maroge to?”

Nomad Puppeteer 2

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Writing without anything in mind.

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Date: 17th Sept,17: Should I sleep? These 14 days of angst have finally come to its fruition and the only sense that lingers is that of a tasteful poignancy, that people have aged over the months in concrete wilderness. This time has reached its end, as so many before it, but I have a belief that its essence will persist for some days of count. A few paragraphs would do me immense good. 

I have a penchant for eschewing the commonplace and embrace something that isn’t. The bike ride around the country is dangerously close to being demoted to a motorcycle ride, which would pillage the vision envisioned. 

Never ever to lack in thought. Thoughts breathe life and as the platitude suggests, is the cornerstone of everything creative. To be forced to replicate and upkeep a farce beckons its incarceration. 

Date: 18th Seotember, 17. Standing along the banks of the Brahmaputra, taking in the air and name of the core of quintessential Guwahati, rowdy Uzaan Bazaar. Now’s the time? Ok. When then ? 

Guwahati Railway Station and the Flights Away.

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Things squirm. Vagrants dragging their feet, replete with leprous and oozing wounds left unattended. Mendicant children and their sly peering eyes, which seem to know one more then oneself. To glance at their eyes looking at you, chewing and spitting your soul upon black blobs of filth, then looking down quickly when inspirations to fathom them seems a fallacy. One would have to rot first.

The vagrants have gone. I am the only one left here. I sit beside me and look at the person in the blue sweater seated to my left. He is typing into his phone, pausing to look vaguely at his feet or through the adjacent  window. The flight is on the runway, gathering speed and shaking in a manner which frightened him at first but has ceased to do so now. The plane is airborne from Guwahati airport to Kolkata.

He snaps a picture through the plane window. The the watery serpent rubbing itself in romantic fervour against the sands that caress the infested feet of the city, which is soon to be the irony of Assam. He doesn’t recognise this city. His friends are from this city. He has no friends back home. Only lovers.

The place he is embarking upon fills him with gloom. The place reminds him of rent payments and smoke. The bespectacled caretaker is someone he recollects with dread.The person reads vedic texts, enforces vociferously the rent and doesn’t smile. He is carrying 4 plastic bags of tea and a boxfull of Larus, which he wishes to offer his benefactors. His leave was long. The more tea bags the better.

The air hostess has offered him another chicken sandwich which he accepts, after affirming that he doesn’t have to pay for it. The food is cold. The bread coarse.

He also has Nietzsche lying on his lap which he bought at Mumbai airport on my way home. The book if nothing makes his lap look sophisticated. Every page seems like an uphill task. He will now eat. Bon Fucking Appetit. 

Faraway Festive Drums, amidst the castaway Meghalaya clouds.

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The angst of a trifled homecoming has been blissfully laden with anxious eyes and smiling faces. The season, as it was supposed to be, has garlanded me with festive exuberance. It is now a play of the inner self to either embrace what comes with open arms, or circumvent all the gleeful fervour and remain poignantly glum. Thankfully, I did not choose the latter this time. The faces of my loved ones have been beautifully serenaded with colour and warmth, owing to the overall mood of the Puja season in my hometown and also to the staggering varieties of Bindis, Mehendis and Kajal within their repository. Creations of nature and men, these are the times when everything seems to fall into place.

But the story I am about to unfold before you does not start here. Truth be said, I have a repository of my own. My own cue card during times of test. A bunch of people who remind me, when they are thankfully around, that the art of living and breathing in youthful ebullience, in me has not yet met its end. This gift is only realised when we indulge in experiences that are in complete antagonism with the lifestyles we conventionally lead or the ways in which we are forced to. The ineffable mysteries of the soul then gets the nod to waltz within the unconscious and bring us into a state of higher being, that remained almost alien to us, a result of the times we are led by and the asphalt individuals we try to follow or emulate. The password is ringing loud and clear- “Jump”, and I uttered it correctly.

Thus started my journey into the tropical mosaic amidst the fated lush mountains of Megalaya, a village named Nong- riat ( to be colloquially intelligible), far from any mediocre passersby’s reach, protected within the heart of the cavernous mountains laden with rope bridges, starry rivers beneath and rivulets all around.

The day was Shaptami and the Sky at 4 p.m., usually silhouetted by raging clouds of mist, was unusually calm, as if it had just tidied up its abode before welcoming it’s guests below. Not a drop did we touch and not a whisper did we hear, save the crickets chirping in the dark as the sun shone its last streak before serenading into the trees. And lo, we weren’t even half our way.

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We stumbled, in the dark, upon rocks, sudden steeps, steps and unsuspecting reptilian pedestrians to our resting place, the Serene Home-stay, with the cloud covered moon setting before us a glimmer of sight against our otherwise hopelessly blinded venture. The time was 6p.m.. Bereft of any alcohol, we decided to camp the night inside the dimly lit yet comfy dorm accommodating us three travellers.

We were expected to sleep like logs after setting our backpacks against flat terra firma, but the quiet of the night and the erstwhile thunders grinding far away the cloudy sky seduced us into another night of remembrance. Ambarnil, unwittingly, happened to find some ancient remnant of Kasauli hash that he had smuggled amongst the numerous ATM and Identity Cards inside his purse. This move was executed unwittingly as he had no clue about its existence prior to 9 p.m. The mountain air had somehow assisted in his medullar and ocular sensory preceptors, or was it pure fate that this forbidden fruit of the Kasauli hills had desired its ashes to be interred at this very holy site? Prophesies aside, we smoked it all up and spewed the ashes amidst the clouds.

Upon returning to our dorm, with our heads held “high”, I managed to sketch this following piece on my notebook, the place where the hash got ashed.

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The next day was Asthami, the eighth festive day of the Hindu Lunar Calendar and all we could think about was a good swim in sky blue waters of the Nongriat waterfalls. So, we started our uphill trek at 9 a.m. and made our way through the forest, following a shaky pave way that had the tendency to continuously flout our exploring aspirations as it seemed to somehow fleetingly disappear into the wilderness from time to time. However we continued to move ahead by gauging its condescending trail and make pathways for ourselves, take one step at a time. We encountered root bridges, ropeways, military iguanas, snakes, butterflies, climbers and what not. The more haggard the trail became the more we fought back. A dead end after an hour of gruelling, back aching trek led us to an abrupt dead end. We then had to trace our steps back to find a steeping enclosure into the blue of the waterfall, which was ogling at us anxiously with an offer for our much deserved swim.

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Let the truth be out here. I dont know how to swim, but I was there to jump. Come whatever may, it seems.

And I did jump. And I did drown. And Ambarnil did save me. And I did swim at last. Otherwise, you would have found this experience in a far different light, in some nook and corner of a Meghalaya daily’s sombre obituary. Luckily that wasn’t the case this time.

We all did return safely back to the parking lot after a leg bashing soul shattering uphill climb. As I almost reached the top, I heard a woman crying behind me saying- “Ek Lakh dene se bhi waha wapas nahi jaungi”, meaning- “I wouldn’t make the mistake of going back there even if they payed me one thousand dollars!!”… Pity her.

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On our way to Guwahati, we busted a tyre and took another hour to fix it. We reached, just in time, with sore lungs and busted legs to reach my bus back to Tinsukia. I got on the bus with my sweaty shirt and smelly boxers, a teetered green bag with hiking boots laced onto it. Ambarnil and Sagarika went to their homes with a consignment of Booze awaiting them.

Today is Navami. Happy Puja.

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Tinsukia to Mumbai.

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The airhostesses are busy in their usual mechanical pace. They, however display a more polished demeanour and attire than their Dibrugarh-Kolkata counterparts. The latter which had been poorly equipped. The food is better too.

The couple beside me are watching Jolly LLB 2. To watch movies that bring fervent emotions of positivity seems to be maddeningly refreshing. It must feel like jumping into a pool of cool water after being in a damp cot for ages. They have smiles and glittering eyes. 

Mumbai will hit me like a storm. But I am awaiting everything that awaits me. I hope the work goes through. One roommate called me. They seem to have ordered food for me. 

I love the people I have left behind. I will remember their eyes every single day. They are everything to me. My woman is someone from heaven, and so is my mother. Everything I recall fills my neck with a glut and forces my eyes to become moist. Every tear is a relief. 

Unnecessary thoughts of what tomorrow and the near distant future beholds is my greatest folly. I get sucked in the vortex of imaginations where everything happens for the worse. I think this is my way to gauge the future with the objective of preparing for something that is beyond my comprehension. Instead I only end up hallucinating. Also loving and smiling at the present seems to do the trick. 

After having my in-flight dinner, I closed my eyes trying to sleep. I was awakened to be served a nice cup of tea. Suddenly, I realised that recollecting every bit of memory in the last 12 days would do immense good to my sombre soul.

It started off with the early rising on the 29th of Jan after a night of partying with my Mumbai colleagues. I sneaked out of the flat realising that my soft calls of goodbye couldn’t wake up anybody from their Sunday slumbers.

The UBER booked smelled of cigarettes. I abstained to ask the driver for a smoke as we made way for the airport. Those days filled me with ebullience, when home was where I was heading for.

Entering the airport, I saw a passenger quarreling with a flight attendant in the utmost belligerance. Myself and some fellow passengers eyed them with amused apprehension. Then, I proceeded for boarding. I bought three books in the waiting room. I now do not have the strength to open even one of them as I return back. They seem burden some.

That day was my happiest in quite a long time. I had her waiting at the Guwahati Airport exit, accompanied by two more surprises in the boiling pot of happiness. Ambarnil and Jharna came drifting into my view when all I could see was her frowning eyes and beautiful marked teeth. She was beautiful but Jharna and Ambarnil stole the show. We got in and he started driving.

As i write, the air seems to be dark outside. I am descending into Mumbai, where roads run amok like starry rivers from the sky.

An open CV to “YOU”

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“​To write when one has only himself to talk to has always been my excuse. However, my conversations with the person sitting on top of the hill inside me have ceased. I fleetingly think of him now. He has closed his eyes, choosing to take a sabbatical till I call out for him to return hollow echoes back to me. 

Writing has become a fledgling trade. Reading books has made me aware of my rightful position, where anything is equivocal. Edgar Allen Poe died writing. Now things seem tasteless. So, I change every day”. 

This is as excerpt from a note that I mindlessly typed down after coming home from a rather asphyxiating Saturday evening at the office. 

Dear concerned, I believe that I can do proper justice to your offers.
Introducing myself, having earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from a college in Assam, India, 11 months ago, and have since been managing to circumvent myself, through the hullabaloo of the entire system of corporate selection, into the state of melancholy that I have found myself to be in.
I now have a job that pays me enough money to keep my mouth glumly shut, so I cannot entertain you on what I do specifically with the role that I have been offered with.
A few minutes ago, my friend sent me a link leading to an advert regarding a company which were willing to pay someone who would travel and write for them. This has made me rummage through this old word file that, a few minutes ago, showcased with pompous animosity, the text of my earlier CV, the one that I have just erased.

I have a writing style that can easily flow between the narrative/visual aspects work and the facets that would also render it the flavour of a strict review.  

I have a fair experience in travelling across India. I can survive on limited supplies. 
I prefer trains over flights. I choose shady bars over nightclubs. I choose Andrei Tarkovskys: STALKER over any cinema/film, any day.
I have a blog named “The Ebullient Crab”, where I click photos and write. I also do happen to have a passport. If nothing works, I am good company.
Another excerpt from a more recent write:
“I have thought about writing a long piece tonight, while walking out from my office building just an hour ago, to set in motion the wheels that would carry me towards a brief hiatus from a certain feeling. This certain feeling, as i try my best to articulate, has manifested itself before me many a times before in forms of a threat or forbearance. It had always instilled a sense of doubt would that never fail to antagonize my subconscious persistence to reside over a state of reluctant torpor. In short, it wants me to keep moving or rot. I confess that the fear of fading away has always pushed me. I would have liked to know the other story if i would have just let go.
Time grazes our skin, making us wither. We embalm our cracks and pores with fragrances that seep inside our skin to stay.

When will we finally get aboard that jittery train, which could only be seen in documentaries? 

Prudence has always been a sin. It withholds the persistence of illusion from us. We were never meant to loiter here, waltzing around with the gossamer strings of stability pulling at our shoulders! We were meant to destruct slowly as we bask in the beauty of our own evanescence, serene and painless”.