Tuesday, August 23, 2005


On Sunday, as fate would have it, I found myself in the possesion of gift vouchers worth, atleast by my frugal standards, an obscene amount of money at a prominent bookstore in the city, one that makes up for its overbearing pretentiousness with a decidedly above average collection of classic literature. Any bookshop that houses multiple copies of "Raise high the roof beam, carpenters " and "The Bell Jar" wins my immediate seal of approval, let it be known.

So off I went, two other similarly fortunate souls in tow, to the heart of the city, finding myself in the decidedly unique situation of having money to splurge. I have always found looking at price tags of books a little humiliating, and though it is a habit far too deeply entrenched in my psyche for me to lose it overnight, it always stings less when the pockets are bulging.

This is what, after three hours of frenetic price-totalling and much soul-searching, i finally bought -

The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson
The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (in a dead cheap edition that made me wonder if they forgot to print another digit on the price tag)
Selected Works of Kahlil Gibran (as Kristian will testify, I have been after this for a while)
The Plays of Anton Chekov(including 'The Cherry Orchard", the play everyone has been plaguing me to read)
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (massive 1000 page tome, this one, including the original Spanish verse)

I was also sorely tempted to buy a translation of Vatsyayana's Kamasutra, but decided against it in the end, the reasons for which i am not entirely certain myself. Perhaps it was a sub-conscious thing. You never know when that book might come in useful, though.

As I opened the Dickinson collection, the lines on the very first page struck me, Emily's genius already established with the potency of these startling verses :

This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me
The simple news that Nature told
With tender majesty

Her message is committed
To hands i cannot see
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

Very appropriate for this, or indeed any blog, don't you think?

Monday, August 22, 2005


I have often been informed, by various sources, that we got along famously when I was younger. Like houses on fire, setting the neighbourhood alight with our dazzling displays of public affection for each other.

There are even pictures to prove it, of me nestling on your stomach , looking evry bit the movie-star I was never destined to be, my face ethereal in the knowledge that I would not rather be anywhere else in the world.
Incidentally, I believe these are probably the only pictures of mine in existence, apart from the group photos that seem to be such essential ingredients of high-school graduation days. Yes, that one. The one mom coerced you to attend.

You will appreciate that it is incredibly difficult for me to establish what went wrong, or do any finger-pointing in your direction. Perhaps it is all my fault, of never living up to your expectations, for being the quiet introverted son that you never wanted.

Maybe it all started to unravel that day in the fifth grade when I reported that I had stood fourth in a class of forty, and was greeted by that look of derision which haunts me to this day. Or when I overhead you telling mom how 'certain people' are born selfish, such as me, and how 'nothing can be done about it'.Or when you left home to work in another city, those long years when mom and me had only each other to seek some solace in, your periodic appearances at home becoming increasingly sporadic as I waded uncertainly through my early teens.

I always had this image in my mind of having a perfect family, the textbook kind, with dinner-table conversations and jolly picnics. All you contributed was that ferocious anger and unpardonable violence, taking out all your frustrations on us with words that stung and hit where they really hurt. Even after twenty-one years of marriage to mom, you still make her cry. You should be ashamed.

I don't want to be bitter anymore. I want to move on, and not have my disappointments with you hang like an albatross around my neck.

All I will say is that I hope my little sister doesn't turn out the way I have, self-loathing and often depressed, though it breaks my heart to say that it looks inevitable. Be nice to her, if atleast only till she's half the fine woman she still could become.

And so, happy birthday,your fifty-first, if i am not mistaken. Blow them candes( hypothetical, of course), and make those wishes, and I sincerely hope they come true.

Here's to a better future.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Today is the lowest I've felt in the last ten months.
Useless, incompetent, unwanted, and alone.

Tablet time.

Friday, August 12, 2005


"Did you know that eating alone could cause kidney damage ? "

-Sean Penn, in 21 Grams

It all seems so long ago now, a veritable eternity, when I swore to myself in a typically foolhardy fit of bravado that I would never go out of campus alone again.

Oh no, I had told myself on that particularly depressing night in the town last semester, next time I shall find someone to accompany me on my (usually) forthnightly jaunts outside the
college gates, atleast for the sake of my kidneys, if nothing else.

However, being the fickle-minded weak-willed person that I am, yesterday I set off, alone , for the ocean (It's really a bay, but I prefer calling it an ocean. So much more grand, no? ) , deciding to make a quick stop at the college library, in a vain attempt to salvage some course-books , the ones not already usurped in furious early-semester raids by my studious peers.

Incidentally, I was wearing a Kurt Cobain T-Shirt, which, as you will appreciate, is as good a shirt as any when you are feeling a bit suicidal, and the librarian , with the keen eye and sharp intellect that landed him the job, asks me:

"Hey, who is this Kurt Cobain ?", in an accent generously smeared by the local tongue.

"Err, he is a singer, and a song-writer ", I reply, a little self-consciously.

"Oh, like Michael Jackson ! ", he jumps up, all excited by this piece of knowledge he has just acquired.

"Err, yes sir. Absolutely. "

The book I had asked him to register was Suzuki's "Living by Zen ".
Nirvana, at that very moment, has never seemed further away.

Thus, I made my way to the college gates, and proceeded on to my destination, the air all the time getting cooler, and soon I could smell the ocean-spray, and see the world dancing before me in those innumnerable grains of sand. No wild flowers though, heaven (or hell, for that matter) would have to wait. No new arrival today.

And there it was, in Jackson Pollock like blobs of white and moon-lit black, leading its own lonely life of quiet desperation, flowing in a mad rush to nowhere, trying to reach my sprawled self in relentless pursuit, but failing, like all the people before it who have cared to try the same. So I went closer, slowly, cautiously, and felt its soft, cool touch on my palm, stroking me , consoling me.

And you know what, it felt pretty good.
My soon to be eroded footprints on the sand below, a solitary star nestling in the quiet serenity of the crescent moon above, and infinity beyond.

A quiet dinner in a crowded restaurant , and a long walk later, I was back in my room, purged of all the negativity of the past few days. No more sadness, I would think, for a week atleast.

Only one other problem still persists.
Game for a kidney transplant, anyone?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fact of the Day

I don't mean to gloat or anything, but did you know that my maternal grandfather's first cousin, and his uncle, are both recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics?

It's little wonder then, that the rest of the family suffers from a congenital inferiority complex regarding the capabilities of their grey matter, or the lack thereof.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Play the ending again, Sam

I was watching When Harry met Sally the other day, and amidst comic capers and fake orgasms, Harry raises an issue that remains wholly contentious to me to this day - the ending of Casablanca.

Why in the world does Humphrey Bogart allow the incandescent Ingrid Bergman to leave Casablanca with the very creepy-looking Victor Lazslo character, especially when he holds all the cards ?
It's simply beyond me.

Just look at Ingrid, Humphrey, for Chrissakes . She's so bea-yoo-ti-ful, and she loves you.

And what do you do? You let her go.

Sometimes I feel I understand men even lesser than I understand women.

About Me

a recluse waiting for salvation