Friday, 23 March 2012

He spoke about Endings.

When you're young - when I was young - you want your emotions to be like the ones you read about in books. You want them to overturn your life, create and define a new reality.”- Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending.

I hate it when I fall in love with a new book.

First, there is the regret of not having read it earlier. Of wishing, you were the first to read it and recognising the pure genius it was. Then, there is the anger that other people are reading it and loving it, or worse still not getting it. Then, the despair and wondering why you hadn’t thought of all those things the author said. When you read them, they’re quite plain to see. Your very own-  Wednesday d’oh moment.

Julian Barnes’s, Sense of an Ending, is a beautiful novella. Spun with little insightful sentences of pure magic- the book takes you on a ride of nostalgia, memory and regret. This makes me want to talk of regret and memory.

I always thought regret was a short- lived human emotion. Almost, like an indulgence. I regret x/y/z thereby, claiming that I know I could’ve/should’ve done better and next time --I really will. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Pollyanna intention behind regret- but I question its effectiveness. On most of us.We all hold close to us, things we regret and wish to redo.
Does this give us a different perspective in Round Two?
Do we really draw from the earlier regretful experience and phoenix-like respond to new situations? Or do the bits of us, even the regretful bits, mark and smudge every experience? Sure, post-Regret, we camouflage the bits better, but aren’t they always there?

Mr. Barnes and his wonderful characters talk so much about memory.

Memory, is one of my favourite psychological tools. 
All literature, poetry and art comes out of memory. But like all literature, poetry and art- memory is b****y convenient. As we go along, we change slightly the contours of what actually happened to what we thought was happening.
 It is easier and much kinder, that way.  The shock of realizing that you lived your life, formed your dreams, your regrets and plans based on a version of reality, would be too much to bear for the best of us.
What intrigues me is the point when the contouring starts.
Everything starts from a Moment.
As the Moment is unfolding-- we have already accorded intent, anticipated the outcome and judged ourselves silly. Of course, there is retrospective insight which we attribute to the Moment. The sum total of the aforementioned is what makes our precious memory. It is a beautiful amalgamation of all that we love and fear most- quite the devil spawn.

I could go on, but like Mr. Barnes said- .. cockteasing is also a metaphor: she is someone who will manipulate your inner self while holding hers back from you.”

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Delhi, I thought you liked your girls?

Logic is a beautiful man made invention. So was the iPhone (more on that later).

There's an inherent flaw in logic, a**h**les think they're using it when really they're just being a**es. I promised myself I wouldn't abuse, so I need to start over.

A 20 something girl was raped in Delhi.
No, I wasn't talking about the recent Gurgaon incident.  I'm referring to 6 months ago, and the year before that, and the month preceding that. I'm talking about zero safety for women in the country's capital. Or, the one argument that Bombay girls always win over. Check. Mate.

Let's credit the Haryana police with retrospective swiftness and imagine that they justly solve this case- what then? Will this guarantee that tomorrow when I (or any of my friends) walk down a well-lit street ,at two in the afternoon , we won't be leered at? Will it guarantee that public transport is now grope/ stare-fest free? I can walk up a dark stairwell at night without my heart thumping, every time? That if I want to have a girls night out- I can actually go OUT ?

Sure, we walk around thinking that rape is a scary possibility that won't happen to 'us', but subversive threats to my physical space happen every day. The beauty is, I'm socialized to it now. We've learnt to walk sideways through crowded spaces, that after 9 boys must escort us around and always, always be suspicious and on terror-alert.
A round of applause for the Law enforcers- You, Gentlemen, have sucessfully changed the victims everyday way of life. Going out alone at night is unsafe - indoctrinating this into every Delhi girls psyche was way easier than ensuring her basic right to life and dignity. Make her feel so scared that she stops going out altogether. There, that obliterates the problem now.

And then, once every six months (I'm really giving you credit on the timeline here), a girl flouts this very basic rule and works late. Thereby, bringing upon herself the horror of being raped. The dumb-ass (really restrained from abusing here) Government tsk-tsk es and simply ask the women to stay home post the well-doctrined, devil hour- Eight p.m.
Tomorrow, they will be giving us handouts-- How best to avoid earthquakes/getting raped. This is what it will look like

1. Avoid building/trees/being inside a car
2. Find a sturdy furniture item to cower under
3. In case of disaster don't panic and try to help yourself, wait for help to come to you

Here's, what I want for Christmas this year-

To be able to fight with my parents like a normal 20 something, to tell them that their curfew is unrealistic and that they are just being paranoid.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

In that where she asked another question.

Would you be you/ Would I be me/ Would we be us without an inbox exchange between each?

Excuse the ditty.

There's enough that's been said on technology ruining intimacy. How relationships have been falsely anchored in auto-corrected texts, emoticons and 120 character spaces. 
Like the first proud gay man said, "just to put it out there"- I love my technology. I find nirvana, space and  escape in it.

But I can't help wonder how modern day relationships would play out, without. How did those people *refer our mums and dads* do it? How did they ever decide when and where to meet their friends? Imagine how tedious, linear and sometimes simple, plan making was. X would meet Y at the coffee shop at 5:30. X has gone shopping and hence Y can't change their mind 20 times between coffee shop a/b/c/ d. 
And what would be the Alexander Graham Bell equivalent of a smiley?
The smiley is my favorite conversation, 'I don't know you well enough to be sarcastic with you', filler.

The drunk texting ex-es would, well, not happen. The landline simply would not indulge every impulse shooting through us.  It would not let you experience the heady thrill (and danger) of knowing that every emotion, bad judgement call is a text, tweet, update away.

Perhaps the immediacy of technology, lets truth spontaneously permeate our exchanges. 
Or is it loaded exaggerations hinged on power?- power to construct opinion, identity, realities with one picture/update? 
With one well-worded and smartly concealed generic text sent to you. 
And maybe four others?

Does this technology orgy that we're having give validation to every fleeting emotion we've ever had? Help us make mini-potraits of our daily existence? 
You didn't just celebrate another festival- YOU, my friend. Had. An. Experience. 

Here's what Shakespeare intended to say- All the world's a stage and all men and women are really busy on their smartphones.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Blank Verse in Rhyming Prose

Picture Credit: Here

There were only two rules for survival:

1.There was a thin line between OCD and quirks
2. Gibberish was best understood written.

Of course, the war stretched on till sundown but Steve had to catch the first plane out. There was some meticulous planning that went on and The Council for Construction of Modern Stereotypes loved their doughnuts cream-filled. Tigers patrolled the streets- ticketing anyone, who yelled out “Hobbes”.

If you were a cricketer and had knee pads on, you could contest the elections. But what good could ever come of that ?The place banned all balls. Literally.

Steve reached the hotel late, late into the afternoon.
Sleep (a registered human vice) gripped him.
He knew that lying horizontally and closing your eyes was a disrespect to the gadgets painfully designed to take over your lives. He risked it, anyway.

For the next three days, celebrations were to be organised. Fuschia was an official colour of the rainbow and f.i.b.g.a.l.o.r.e was the new acronym kids learnt. Violet and Yellow were dropped from the list  after the Eurasian crochet teams(official colours- Violet and Yellow) disgraced themselves (The coach fell asleep in public view and had admitted he was “exhausted”. Violet and Yellow (the team colours) were now colours of shame)

Election time was nigh. Your manifesto could only be read/written in Shakesperean.
They made a virtue of necessity but the truth was out.
Steve awoke to silent euphoria outside his window. Drawing his comforter around his knees. He stroked Pluto’s round head. The erstwhile planet had become insecure and Steve had taken it in as a pet.

He knew it was all coming to a beginning- the apocalypse was near. All because the United Nations had lost their iPod charger.

Someone needed to fix the state of things. Cameron Diaz could always dazzle with her smile and beach-blonde hair.

But then one day, she found carbs.