Friday, August 29, 2014

2150 : In the living years

When I am alone I prefer the aroma of coffee to tea. I shall have to make it myself. She is now gone to college in a different city. On the other hand I have lost Her somewhere along the way. Between She and Her my life is a spoken word which is paused.

I still use a old and rusty stove top espresso machine. It does the job very fine, is much easier to clean and best of all it keeps all the freshness locked inside.

As the water begun to boil, I added the crushed beans. For some reason, I remember a day from the past vividly - when i must have been all of 9 years - my mom had given me a cup of coffee which was much less milk and less sugary than usual - strangely, the kind of coffee that I would very much adore today - but I still had milk teeth then - and I had just plain hated the coffee. It had been very bitter and the taste had an odd bite to it.

I had silently walked to the toilet and drained all of it in. 1-2-3 flush and traces of the crime had vanished. I had never told her about this ever. 

As I had walked back from her cremation - I had this strange feeling of many a incomplete conversation. I distinctly remember feeling empty like a singing bottle. As if it was I who had died and not her. I also recall wishing that I could somehow tell her that on the day She had been born, and very much from there on, I had realized multiple times how incomplete my relationship with my mother had been. 

The coffee was ready by now. I poured myself a dark brew, no milk and no sugar - and this time no toilet crimes.

As I sipped the manna, I remembered sharing a coffee with Her. This was just prior to the point we lost each other addresses. The coffee slurp was the only noise in the air. The silence was loaded. There were secret tales of grimes on both sides. I had wanted to blurt out some of my excesses. I wanted to tell her how I felt. Conversely I wanted to hear Her story.

We never ever have spoken again. I knew she did not care much for coffee, Her choice always was tea.

As for the college girl, She loves coffee, and She loves the way I make it. What She hates though is the broken mirror through which She saw Her and me. 

She calls me once a year, usually on my birthday, and she says a few sweet nothings and then she is gone. 

As I drain the last tears off the coffee cup, my mind clogs up on the bitter truth. We all had stories that we so desperately wanted the other to hear, and yet we have let the solitude quell it. When my pyre is lit, the unheard truth is going to be burning in the stake. The crackle(s) you will hear from the fire are going to be the final echoes of a whisperer trying to tell some little secret from his living years. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2149 : The paper dream has floated away

I remember sitting with him, a short notepad in one hand, and cheap ball point in the other. On a day just like today, but many moons ago, he had yammered and beseeched me to draw a car - and he had wanted it "now"- the immediacy which only a 3 year old locked in make believe temporal world of his own, can demand.

Never being good at pen art, I had still taken a shot at drawing my dream car. A car that wanted to look German, but with my jagged non-straight lines, had looked more like Andy Warhol's pop art than anything to do with motion engineering.

He had clapped, jeered, laughed and shrieked maniacally - as he had run around showing everyone how great the paper car was. He had called it his Veyron, forgetting that such a name could have only meant a French origin from the WWII and had very little German colors to it. But then, he had never cared enough for Geography. I remember thinking in that fragmented instance - would I  do a redux of this, even if the actual key fob landed in my hands? I remember a faint ironic smile pursed under my lips as I had marveled at the clarity of this tiny almost Machiavellian spirit. He seemed to be able to dance, with both the Devil and the Gods...anyone who could match his step was his able partner in crime.

Years have passed. As Floyd would say, "The child has grown, the dream is gone" and I held and meditated on the frail piece of paper today morning, I swear on my living breath, that I indeed saw the wheels moving. I distinctly heard the V6 (it was not a Veyron for me!!) growl in its naturally aspirated drone.

The car was driving away fast, oblivious to me staring at it hazily....and it was He who was in the drivers seat.  

2148 : New love

For years I have always had one dream car, almost my ideal car - something I think one day I could afford and more importantly one that I could drive myself to death :-) and that has been the 530d (Beemer for the uninitiated).

In the last few days I had added another mad car to that affordable and yet insane list. That has to be the CLA AMG 45 (by Merc). Merc and AMG are a marriage made in heaven (or Germany which is heaven in most cases)....and they produce some crazy cars like the SLK, SLS and the CLS AMG 63.....but honestly all of them are way beyond my dream lines.

AMG 45 is something I shall aspire to own and drive one day.

2147 : In the air tonight

Anyone who has ever heard Phil Collin's In the Air Tonight, can never forget the completely unexpected and manical drumming hook that comes about 90 seconds before the song ends. (Drummed by phil himself - he was the lead drummer for Genesis )

I cannot fathom why but, for some obscure reason I remember it today morning. My ipod did not have it, so I have to sync up before I can listen to it (I still dont use Rhapsody or Beats yet !!).

Another song which has similar and even maniacal burst of drumming is a song by Queensryche called "Real World" which was featured in the movie Last Action Hero. The last 30 seconds of the song is the drummer gone bonkers and yet it is a lasting hook.

2146 : A lazy stalemate

How often have you walked into a conversation knowing exactly what you want to tell the person (which is usually a derivative version of a summary phuck off)...:-) and yet you have spent time not being able to say it and articulate it well.

Life is a bunch of these "lazy stalemates". These are rarely if ever communication bloopers, because usually saying 4 letter words are not that hard, and don't require inordinate amount of planning......

What is hard is just sticking to the agenda. Saying difficult things takes a body, and snakes into its intense energy sources. It takes all your life force.

Being focussed is incredibility difficult.

Years ago, an archer and a parrot gave us a time immemorial lesson on this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2145 : The walk across an unremembered bridge

He approached the house with the familiarity of years. Apprehension of the unknown seemed to envelope the tick tock. He gobbled up the sight with one walloping whoosh, a roving eye here and a lazy one there.

A shoal of mud had formed around the door, which when pushed open, creaked open like a cranky baby who had woken up in a midsummer nightmare. The doors were rigid, no longer the greased and oiled toyfor a kid to swing upon them like a monkey.

Was it this wooden plank that he had held on, was it this that had borne the devil of his weight?

The house had a warm mushy stale air smell. The rancid breath of a corpse, one that was being exhumed. The floor felt familiar, and yet dead.

The water had run dry in the kitchen taps. The sink had years of grime and was frigid with its own dull sludge. Like a song which is humming in the head, words seemingly were unstuck - the whole place felt like a ghost had once lived here, strains of memory were trying to make the dots connect, and yet he felt a stranger's presence.

The air refused to know him, the creaky door had not been all that welcoming, the kitchen no longer wanted to feed him, the bathrooms had long forgotten his body, the porch seemed a total stranger, the windows were brown bald and broken, the bed was decaying and was suffering from dementia. The whole house seemed to be like one victim of Alzheimer's, stuck in wonder and nether land.

A few minutes later, feeling completely alien he trudged back towards the outside. As he was passing by the passage that led to the door, on the floor lay a large broken mirror, the shard similar in shape to a disfigured lightening. As he glanced in, he could see his own face in the brown recesses of the mirror - and that was the moment he realised that there was at least one familiar thing in this house.

Unable to deal with that intimacy, he scurried out to his car trying hard to forget the man in the mirror.

2144 : The real price of Amazon (and of Flipkart)

I work in the tech industry and hence have to be welcoming of any change which is disruptive, yes!! that is expected. Its cool to be weaving the next web which puts an industry into tail spin. Disruption is the in thing.

And yet....

I lament the current age of Amazon and online shopping. Dont mistake me, I buy almost all of my stuff online....and yes, I love the discounts too!!

And yet....

I miss the feeling of a neighborhood book store, where sipping on a caffe you could browse - discover and buy a random new author, just on the promise on the few pages you skimmed. Don't you miss it ?. Come on, I miss that tiny shop (not a giant B&N) where an old gent would recommend you a title. There was little shared connection, a little story of a drunken walk.

I miss that, and I miss having happy silent weekeneds.

2143 : Hey you

I think I have posted on this before, but it deserves another mention. If there is one song that never fails to move me it has to Royal Philharmonic performing with Pink Floyd the orchestral classic "Hey You".

Here is a bit of advice, listen to it loud - almost glass shattering loud and if it does not move you - I shall lose every penny on the table.

Supposedly it was Roger Waters singing this to Syd Barrett - that is folklore (as in not verified), but it has to a classic all the same.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

2142 : Just another manic monday

I work in a white collar bozoed place, which means Tie is in, stiff lips are in and the rest is passe :-)

Now given that context, picture this. I work into the work elevator on Monday. I need to goto floor 7. Two other chaps (guys) from my work place, get into the elevator. As they are entering they are talking in Hindi, and this is translated for everyone's benefit into English.

One : Bhai was born was on a Monday. That is why his movies are such a hit.
Two : Seriously? What are you saying?
One : Salman bhai was born on a monday. Everyone who is born on a Monday is a charmer. They will win the world with their charms.
Two : Wow !! I did not know that.
One : This is true. And everyone born on a Tuesday, will become rulers. They rule the world.
Two : When were you born?
One : Monday....

By then, my floor comes along, and I have this temptation to go up to their floor. By now, I do want to know what happens to the fledgelings born on a Thu - I am one of them....:-)

Saturday, August 02, 2014

2141 : A special place

I liked this from Winnie the Pooh quite a bit

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

2140 : Let the new world begin

I distinctly remember him - staring stonily  into me as, if I were terribly misplaced in mourning my loss. Me - I had known him since he was a naked child and albeit briefly had  been able to peer into his very soul. That was many moons  ago. Today he was here a grown up antagonist. The clock's hands were rancid and the mood was dull.

I could take it no more, and whistled into the vacuum to take the perpetration of the gaze away, but the eyes were fixed.

A shrill and yet foggy buzz vibrated through my cranium. Distractedly I picked up the car keys and began walking away. A few steps later, I realized that I had inadvertently picked up his keys. Old habits die hard.

I knew he obsessed over his car. Old habits die hard.

Walking apologetically, I scrambled on the table top, till I found my own familiar fob and rapidly walked away.

As I reached the car, and the fob clicked it open my breath returned in strides. A strange insight occurred to me at that point. My real grief was hinged on the loss of my little baby. My little birdy had not just flown away, it had also clipped my wings. How do I convey that in words? How do I tell the ocean that its water is now salty?  

2139 : The art of the album

Even 40 years ago both singles and albums existed. For those who ask me what does it mean?, well - a single was supposed to be a single song, and an album was supposed to be a complete story -told in a sequence of songs just the way the artist had envisaged.

Albums involved album art, sequencing (telling it like a story), and sales (folks would request shops to play the tapes and hence usually the best song of the album would be at the top of the A side or the last of the B side).

When was the last time you heard an album in sequence? Do you miss the album art and sleeves? Did you ever physically touch a paper and disc/magnetic tape album?

The album is dead, and so is a fine art of story telling. 

2138 : Pink Floyd

I have been struggling to watch movies on the flight. For one, I have also been trying to work on the laptop, and two - the movies on the play list are such sad stark vehicles of story telling - the very kind that my mother advised me to stay away from me.

And yet, as I have worked - I have been listening to Pink Floyd as they croon on A Momentary Lapse of Reason…and that whole album has the magical effect on me - the closest I can get to spiritual experience.

Syd Barrett, Gilmour, Waters (I know by then he had gone) and the whole group has me in their hypnotic clasp.

Listening to “Sorrow” - is another reminder that an era of greatness has passed by….and yet the digital mp3 gives me the goose bumps.

And just like Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Douglas Adams and my other heroes would say - Are we truly human, are we truly alone?

Floyd makes me want to believe in life.

2137 : Faridkot

Faridkot has to me one my most favorite rock bands in the last two years. Now this is what I call music.

They remind me that good art will look like its dying, but phoenix’s will rise.

I love most of their songs. They teach me that ashes are precious, hold them in a sacred urn :-)

2136 : 458 is just another number

There are many things that move me in my life, and I dream of driving a Ferrari 458 one day.

The materialism of that aspect is completely devoid of the fact that driving the 458 in Nurburgring, might be the closest a human being to realizing that there are everyday experiences which can completely give you the glimpse of the divine.

We can also do meth to open the “doors of perception” as Huxley would say, but I would simply prefer the 458 or 911 on Nurburgring.

One day, I shall cometh.

2135 : Haal-e-dil by Faridkot

Faridkot is my playlist, its obvious. Out of their repertoire, Haal - e - dil is not the most lyrical, but is definitely most heartfelt and vocal.

Listen to it, and you will surely listen to why melody shall never go out of fashion.

On a different note, listen to “Kya Haal Sunawan” by Shruti Pathak and Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan to realize that the art of the duet is back again. (This is from the coke studio collection)

2134 : Dedh Ishqiya

Dedh Ishqiya is a very interesting movie. But most of all, I love it because it brings the original Begum Akthar back into fashion.

I shall prefer the Begum over any other singer from today’s crop.

Manna !!