Wednesday, September 20, 2023

4154 : Flower

Demons are out. The inner storm croons in 3 octaves. The calm outside. The singe inside. 

On the worst of days you realise you are like a flower. Delicate in an unique way, and absolutely all alone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

4153 : Hell is freezing over

It's early evening. A middle-aged couple is parking the car. The lady gets out from the passenger side. The lady is around 40-45, middle-aged, slightly plump, wearing a dark shirt with floral prints and grey trousers/denims. Also sporting a mildly tinted pair of glasses. 

She hops off and walks a few metres away from the car, looking fondly at the car. The man is still parking parallel onto the curbside.

Eventually he is out too. He is wearing a orange-red polo t-shirt and khakis. He ejects gingerly. Middle-aged too. Slightly obese and out of shape. He hobbles towards the lady.

They both begin to walk towards my apartment complex. Walking - they both speak and gesticulate. About 8 inches initially separate their bodies (at this point). As they continue ahead, the distance reduces, where at a cinematic point, their hands brush with each other.

In the next moment, naturally without a word being said, his hands twine into her palms. They are still talking. 

No one in the world has possibly noticed. For them, this is their normal burn. In my hell, I heard a rumble and thaw.

4152 : When the world ends

Someone I know of, yet don't know at all. Someone in the apartment complex.

He drives into the parking on this bright morning. As he parks into the slot, he shuts off the ignition. Then he slowly deliberately, covers his face with both his palms. With more consideration, he rests his weary head on the steering wheel. He remains this way for a full 3 minutes. Eventually he lifts his head, his eyes bleary and torn. 

Opens the door, steadies the gait and walks towards the elevator.

4151 : Reading List 2023: #34 Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Adichie

My second read of this gem and equally moved me more than the first one.

This along with Joan Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking" make grief personal and breathable again.

At 80 pages brings my 2023 total to 9071 pages.

Monday, September 18, 2023

4150 : Reading List 2023: #33 The Anniverssary by Stephanie Bishop

What a stunning read! of a book.

I quite liked this as a work of fiction. Made me think and ponder on my own life.

A good book is that which seems personal.

Definitely a book to read again. Stephanie Bishop is a brilliant writer.

At 420 pages brings my 2023 total to 8991 pages.

4149 : Reading List 2023 : #32 Why we get sick by Benjamin Bikman

A brillaint book. I loved it.

Definitely a read.

At 280 pages brings my 2023 total pages to 8571 pages.

4148 : Reading List 2023 : #31 Super Gut by Dr. William Davis

A brilliant read. Gets boring at the end due to the recipies.

At 339 pages brings my 2023 total to 8291 pages.

4147 : Reading List 2023 : #30 The Microbiome Diet by Dr. Raphael Kellman

Nice good book to make you aware of your microbiome.

DefinitelyI would recommend a read to someone as novice as me.

At 352 pages brings my 2023 total to 7952 pages.

4146 : Reading List 2023 : #29 The Circadian Diabetes Code by Dr. Satchin Panda

For the past 6 weeks I have been eating my meals by 7pm most days. Why?

Read this book. Fascinating science.

At 270 pages brings my 2023 total to 7600 pages.

4145 : Reading List 2023 : #28: Shame by Annie Ernaux

Another masterclass from Miss Ernaux.

Not as good as Simple Passions, but worth a read all the same.

At 112 pages brings my 2023 total to 7330 pages

4144 : Reading List 2023 : #27 Simple Passions by Annie Ernaux

How many times have you read the same book in the same year in the span of a few months?

Well, I have. My second read of Annie Ernaux and I am just as enthralled.

Lets say, I found a piece of me in her.

At 64 pages brings my 2023 total to 7218 pages.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

4143 : Reading List 2023 : #26 My seditious heart by Arundhati Roy

Adore Miss Roy and her writing. This book is such a disturbing read. Contains some of her older books in.

Read and become wary. A masterclass in writing.

at 984 pages brings my 2023 total to 7154 pages.

4142 : Reading List 2023 : #25 The case of exploding mangoes by Mohd Hanif

Such a joyful book on Pakistan. Makes one realise that we are all so fucked.

Also ridiculously tongue in cheek. Laugh aloud.

At 247 pages brings my 2023 total to 6170 pages.

4141 : Reading List 2023 : #24 When we cease to understand the world by Benjamin Labatut

Fuck Oppenhiemer. 

Read this instead. Easily the best read of 2023 for me.

You will probably read this again and then again and then again.

At 193 pages brings my 2023 to 5933 pages.

4140 : Reading List 2023 : #23 The Collini Case by Ferdinand Schirach Von

A small interesting read, supposedly on some real origins. 


At 209 pages brings my 2023 total to 5738.

4139 : Reading list 2023 : #22 Victory City by Salman Rushdie

Would I miss a Salman Rushdie book?

Laughed and happily read this crazy book.

At 359 pages brings my 2023 total to 5529 pages.

4138 : Reading list 2023 : #21 : Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

Such a fabolous read. Such lovely writing too.

Read it when you are struggling in life. 

At 347 pages brings my 2023 total to 5170 pages.

4137 : Reading List 2023 : #20 Anxious people by Fredrick Backman

Its a book that sucks you in. Its plot is weak, but it makes up with humor and humaneness.

Will definitely read this book again. Just for the calming effect it had on me.

At 400 pages brings my 2023 total to 4823 pages.

4136 : Reading list 2023 : #19 Jog On by Bella Mackie

Such a searing and beautiful read. I am in love with Bella.

Read this and realise that we are all human, all of us are frail.

At 289 pages brings my 2023 total to 4423 pages.

4135 : Reading List 2023 : #18 How to kill your family by Bella Mackie

I loved and laughed so much in this book. British humor coupled with a writer who brings her inner demons to the fore. This is totally brilliant and one of the best reads of this year for me.

At 312 pages brings my 2023 total to 4134 pages.

4134 : Reading List 2023 #17 : A line made by walking by Sara Baume

My 4th reading of this book. Need I say more?

Go for it.

At 312 pages brings my 2023 total to 3822 pages.

4133 : Reading List #16 Silence by Erling Kagge

My second read of this book. Always grounds me back again.

One of the keeps.

At 130 pages brings my 2023 reading total to 3510 pages

4132 : Reading List 2023 : #15 Free Will by Sam Harris

Sam Harris influences my thinking deeply. Enough said. My second read of this brilliant book. 

At 96 pages brings my 2023 total to 3380 pages.

4131 : Reading list 2023 : #14 My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russel

TW : Read this book with deep trepidation. It bothered me immensely and yet I found myself in it.

Made me think so much, I shut the book often and thought for hours on this.

This book made me obssess and mediate on some aspects of me. 


At 384 pages brings my 2023 reading total to 3284 pages.

4130 : Reading List 2023 : #13 Tomorrow in the battle think of me by Javier Marias

I took over 3 months to finish this book and yet loved every single line in the book. Read it to find aspects of yourself hidden in this book.

I wish I was in love with or friends with Javier and Annie (Ernaux).

At 320 pages this meditative book brings my 2023 total to 2900 pages.

4129 : Reading List 2023 : #12 In free fall by Mallika Sarabhai

This book is truly in free fall.

A totally shitty book, total waste of time. Self indulgent and made one of my heroes (she was one for me) fall like a whimper.


At 224 pages brings my 2023 total to 2580 pages.

4128 : Reading List 2023 : #11 Art Matters by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an unusual horror writer, if that is indeed his genre. Its quirky and makes you think. This book is a non-fiction though and makes you contemplate life. Re-examine life from a perspective of love and art.

Make your kids read it.

At 112 pages brings my 2023 total to 2356 pages.

4127 : Reading List 2023 : #10 Blue nights by Joan Didion

Such a moving meditation on loss. A book like this teaches you to be aware of your own fraility and confront it.

Read it.

At 208 pages bring my 2023 total to 2244 pages.

4126 : Reading List #9 The year of magical thinking by Joan Didion

My second reading of this book and it moved me even more.

Grief has to invents its own langugage. I am totally in love with Joan Didion.

At 240 pages brings my 2023 total to 2036 pages.

4125 : Reading List 2023 : #8 Smarter not harder by Dave Asprey

A fun book. Slightly biased. I have been struggling with my health (both physical and mental) and this book helped me immensely.

This book is very far right :-) in terms of food. But still read it.

At 320 pages brings my 2023 total to 1796 pages.

4124 : Reading List 2023 : #7 Ultraprocessed People by Chris Tulleken

A totally brilliant read. Changed the way I see my everyday food.

Read this and change your relationship with food. Reminds of the Michael Pollan book - In Defence of Plants.

At 335 pages brings my 2023 total to 1476 pages.

4123 : Reading List 2023 : #6 : The Whale by Samuel Hunter

This is one of the rare books, that I read post watching this movie. I rarely watch movies and this movie was on my watch list for long.

This book was like poetry. Especially having watched it first.

Definitely a read.

At 90 pages its a treasure. Brings my 2023 total to 1141 pages.

4122 : Reading List 2023 : #5 Simple Passions by Annie Ernaux

This has to be one of my most stunning reads in recent years. Plain, simple and searing. Ironically, I was writing something similar (told in a woman's voice too).

Stunning, simple and makes you deeply meditate.

At 64 pages brings my 2023 reading total to 1051 pages.

In love with Miss Ernaux

Friday, March 17, 2023

4121: WTF

I stopped writing here and I noticed that no one misses it. It matters to no one.

Thats what we are. 

No one. Nothing. Just meaningless vassals in a game gone awry.

My world is busy speaking and not listening. Its a world full of sound, but complete silence of contemplation.

I miss dialogues so much.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

4120 : Woh Jo Hum Mein by Begum Akthar

Listening to Begum Akthar singing is like listening to my mother croon to eternity. There might be classical errors, could be. And yet, it almost looks as if, she is living this song. Thats what I find so endearing of Lata Didi too at times. (If you dont see my point listen to Jaane Kya Baat hai from Sunny - easily one of her most stunning songs).

Sunday, February 26, 2023

4199 : This blog

I have not written much in the past month. I have been writing, but not publishing. I have seriously toyed with taking this blog private.

This one causes me more grief and unwanted interventions than I would prefer or be used to.

What does that make me? Strange, for one. Lonely for another.

Friday, January 27, 2023

4198 : Vegan burgers

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Yesterday, someone offered up what they told me was a phenomenal vegan burger. I said I am willing. Even as I waited for the food, I could not help but go back to that day.

Which day, you ask? 

Years ago. A wintery night. The river in your city. A dark drizzle spread over our sky. We had planned to meet in the evening. You got held up. I went back to work. It was very late when you could finally make it. You called and asked "still on?". Then you asked "eaten?".

You arrived close to midnight. With a bag. That contained two soggy vegan burgers. Neither of us had eaten much, and the burger was shittier than hell. Our eyes would not leave the other. Laughing and crackling. We could not finish more than a few morsels.

I offered some of my stash coffee. A rainy day, literally na.

You cursed the coffee, but hungrily drank the bitterness in.

We held each other like two puppies as we spoke into the night. We were famished. All we had that day was each other. Nourishment that I still crave for.

I cannot eat a vegan burger anymore without me stepping back into that night, and how we hungered for each other.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

4197 : Arabian Nights

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Traffic screeching. The absence of birds. From my perch on the bar stool, everything is like a silent movie. The lighting here is horrendous. The jazz playing is god awful. This is the kind of place that paid for the items of ambience, never for the design.   

The bar is manned by a middle-aged woman. Bucking the trend, she is not edgy at all. Nice and easy to the point of being condescending. She is chatting up customers. I have some shitty liquid in the glass, and I continue to stare out into the city. 

At some point she says, "This view numbs you from the city, right?". I know she is talking to me. 

"We are all poets here, looks like."  I genuinely warm up to her and chirpily say. 

She gleams, what looks like a heartfelt laugh. She did not expect that out of place comment, and she sees the compliment hidden in there. "Yes, we are, arent we?  Trapped in time, hoping this moment can give us the escape velocity."

She is a complete stranger to me. I give her a knowing smile. Surreptitiously ask - "Can you smuggle me a double espresso shot?". I cannot see any coffee machine, so I know she will have to conjure the drink from thin air.

She winks, the happy gesture of an accomplice. Minutes pass, maybe 10. "Here you go, my friend, Colombian dark. I am sure it will soothe your soul. This one is on me."

My first sip, and its ethereal. Loosens my tongue. "This used to be my city. I knew it intimately. The innards sing to me."

She waits for a few seconds, and then asks, "You no longer live here I presume? Work made you move?"

I consider her. What should I tell her? What is a good answer to give her? With no additional context, I mouth, "She still lives here somewhere very closeby. I have not seen her in months. I hope to accidentally bump into her at either a mall or at the airport.", then to lighten it up I add, "Like in our movies, maybe winning again."

She laughs, still involved in our chat, "You look too old for being a teenager. ". Winks. Sizes me up and adds in a conspiratorial whisper, "At this altar, new beginnings occur every night. 1001 nights. Now lets find you your Scheherazade."

Embarrassed - I smile into my coffee. Not a Scheherazade, though, I exactly know what I need - a lamp, a genie and one bloody wish. That's it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

4196 : Smoke on whiskey

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Fuck it. Who starts a journal post with "fuck it"? Meee!!

That's how I feel about you today. You are this dirty little habit of mine, that I so wish I would break off. I smudged my lips with another dirty habit. Smoking. I smoked for a decade before I eventually tried to quit. 

You, asshole, feel like that elusive cigarette. Like a leechy smoke, when I do sometimes get you, eventually, I always pay a price. You stain my lips. My heart skips beats, when I have you. Every friend of mine says, that I should give up on you. As if you were the cancer on the smoke. When you are not around, I imagine having a high when I finally have you, but I almost always need more of you to get the previous high. You make my life stink, just like a ciggy used to stink my room.

You know, fucking Tail, most of all, you are the moist molded cigarette - rarely smoke, never fire!!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

4195 : Jousting

 (Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Jousting is a term that I feel familiar with. Never held a lance, or rode a horse and yet.....the beat of an everyday rhythm. Jousting is two people on horseback dueling each other with lances. So.....

One of my favorite amusements has always been how some of our most intimate mates are our regular opponents. In plainspeak, this means - the way we spar with our closest - not just for emotional upmanship, but rather so often for actual spoils.

Still adrift? Not with me yet? Point being, we shall have our slpeeing partners compete with us, almost dancing around at times singing "ringa ringa Schadenfreude...."

Historically, the seeds of this war, might have been in power equations. Even between two intimate lovers. I have always felt a puky revulsion to this exposition of jousting. 

Speaking of love, it is definitely blind. Not in the way we usually say or see it. Its stupid in my sense - one happy day I looked at you, and lovingly muttered "he is different", we would never joustle (is that a word?).

That narrative held true, till one eventual winter day - it so did not. Every water finally does run dry. Today I sit in our barren colorless desert and wonder - who won? I definitely don't own the fucking trophy. Do you, Tail, can you check your "wail of fame"? (Yes, I said wail not wall!!)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

4194 : Achy breaky heart!!

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Sometimes this long ache is all we carry back home. The "out of body" observer in me is always amused. Smug me....atheist me.....materialist me..... To me there is nothing more than today and the stolen moments of joy in this world. Almost hedonism, you say? Yes, you are (were) right. It is. The only one rule in this world. (Un)rule yourself!!

We are like two idiot football players, who argue with each other "why did you crop the field to 12mm vs it should have been 16mm, this is impacting my game.".....We continue on this trail yada, yada...meanwhile there is someone who is hammering goals by the minute.

We lost the plot, na?. The yards are up for a song. I want to pause....scream at you, tell you...Listen Spin, what today matters, is this game. Lets aim for that hatrick or a double...why not? I will be the midfielder, go on, be the attacker, lets totally destroy the field for others. To anyone who even mutters "no smoke without fire", I say, lets give them a truck full of molten dynamite. Let them deal with the fess mess.

Winning might not be everything, its the only thing!! For a few moments, albeit, lets make everyone feel, this world is not enough. Come over na?

4193 : Creep by Radiohead

Creep remains one of my alltime favorite songs. Something in that song sings to me. 

So much so, that I often mutter the phrase, "you are just like an angel, your skin makes me cry." Of course, I use it in a different way than the poet possibly intended it to be.

Something in that brilliant riff that kicks in 0:59 in the song - that always makes me pause in a sombre sort of way.

4192 : Faasle by Anand Bhaskar Collective

A song that moves me for its orchestral manoeuvres and just the authenticity of the voice is "Faasle".

The spotify version is so much awesome. This video version below is slighlty shitty but bear with it.

This song sings to me today. What a day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

4191 : Memory is a bitch

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

A white wooden table. A girl in white sitting across. I notice her red lipstick. Its both amusing and adorable, at the same time. She speaks to me in. In a foreign tongue maybe. 

She laughs and throws her hair back. Time stops for me in that second. I wish I had my camera out. The smile, the eyes, all sing to me. 

The tea lending its subtle vapors. The slow buzz of everyday nuisance. The chatter of today. The words of a lifetime. 

The girl looks at the tea before sipping in the next mouth. My mind plays a Dizzy Gillespie riff. 

Enough said. That girl was you. That memory is totally mine. 

4190 : Photography

I have been doing photography for over 30 years now. Yes, I started with film range-finders. 

Often in the past I have found that I hit plateaus. In either my skill or ambition or both.

For the first time, in my living life, I am so deeply involved that I am willing to think obsessively about images, composition and sometimes just chase that one magic photo.

I know my work still does not show or speak well...but I can see that my internals have turned a corner. I assume that is a good thing. This total obsession with doing some quality work.

4189 : Awareness

Being aware or peeling yourself in front of the mirror (stop your teenage jokes please :-)), is a strange and bothersome process. There is a huge price to pay. I wonder why it is recommended at all. Is heightened awareness is a goal at all ?

Like is it not easier to numb yourself? To hide behind the wheels?

Monday, January 16, 2023

4188 : Still Developing #3 : To the ones who never got wings


A couple of days ago we had the festival of kites. The same evening you could see a gravel of dead kites. Some that looked perfectly healthy, and some torn.

Discarded post them serving their purpose. In some cases discarded since they were never fit for purpose.

Flying is never easy. Only the best make it to the list. Others can wallow in the stillness of the graveyard.

4187 : Terrible twos

Whoever thinks meditation is a good idea be damned. I have destroyed my ego (not in a good way), my sense of everyday and also my simple peace.

I am looking inwards, and I am truly shaken. So much grime. So much shame. So much of me is broken.

I truly need help. I need someone who I can sit and talk. Not a fk all therapist, for heaven's sake.

Who can I sit and exchange my meditation notes? I am veering close to the edge. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

4186 : Faasle by Kavish and Quratulian Balouch

I am listening to this little gem on repeat. Its an old fav. Its such a stunning song in terms of its vocal range, for both the girl and the boy. Such meaningful yet simple lyrics.

Always love the line which says, "Tera mujhse se, chupke yoon kehna, ki tu hai meri"....... 

Stitched up to be a balm.

4185 : Two of hearts

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

That chilly day in February, as you spoke, I was fading out. My mind was a wandering mendicant. I could not help but marvel that we both were so similarly flaky. As I write this, I want to add in a snowflaky sort of way. Smiling and bemused.

Both gambled so much for that elusive little piece of joy. Gamble, you ask? Any aberration in a risk reward ratio is a gamble. Any debilitating weakness in decision making, surely is a gamble.

Only idiots stake a piece of the sky for a moment of joy. We did that. We always used to laugh and call ourselves "crazy". On that day, as I looked at you, what you were speaking drizzled past me. I though noticing your subtle, yet very beautiful white gold earrings. I felt a surge of immense tenderness for you. The kind of fond drift one feels for a compatriot in war. 

Your lips still moving, not a single word registering on me. In that moment, all I was acutely aware - "this is what being alive possibly means" - all along hoping for a homerun, fully aware that we were  just moments away from profound ruin.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

4184 : The house that Jack burned

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

In that cold alien city, we were sitting across from the bonfire. Dark and somber, the wind played a chill stony eolian. Staring at the fire, I hummed, "....and the wind begins to howl." 

You asked, "What?" with the expression of 'shcumfuck' written on your face.

I started telling you about Jimi boy and you immediately faded away. I could see you were deep into the paper you were sculpting. Looked like a house..

I said, "Can I come in for a night cap?"


"Nightcap, my beastly princess."

"Where? What? You are already on your 4th whiskey already." 

"In that home of yours", smiling and looking at the paper in your hand. 

For a minute, you smiled a knowing smile back. Strange, melancholic and wistful. "Without you, I don't have a home. You know what that means, right?", you paused. "I shall never ever have a home."

You stared deep into the paper, as I continued looked intently at your face. At some point, you turned to look at me. The wind was still blowing. Deliberately, you opened your grip on the paper. Thread by thread, it some point abruptly escaping your hand. I was still looking at you, but could see from the corner that it was close to the fire now. I gestured to go pick it up. You stopped me, holding my wrists with a firm grip.

"Please", long pause, "phook do", you said in your immaculate deep intones of Hindi. "Let it go. Today is as good a day to burn it down."

I have so often wondered, since that day, what did you know then, Spin, that I had so completely missed?


4183 : Still Developing #2 : Bad medicine


So what is this image? What does it look like?

Its a coffee cup filled with what? Medicines. Medicines? Yes single sachets of medicines. Torn from the strip one by one. 

My doctor friend tells me these are heart medicines. So? How do I have these?

On most days as I walk, along my walking trail, I pass a stretch, where I find these lying on the tarmac. Fresh every single day. I have collected around 100+ of these pills.

How do I know this is fresh? Because on certain evenings I see these crushed by walkers. And on other days, I see these pills in their full shape.

So my Sherlock brain goes, someone from the wing adjoining is throwing these pills every single day. From probably the higher floors, since these pills seem a little away from the wing.

Someone is rejecting their red pill.....also possibly rejecting the blue pill. Someone is rejecting supporting this journey. Two pills at one time - this one is a slow rejection of their life.

What would I give to have a leisurely chat with this person. There is so much she can teach me. (I am sure its a she :-)


4182 : Still Developing : #1 : Birds Trapped in Heaven

This one is closer home than it looks. I walk to meditate, to still the chaos called me. Every single day, I pass this view and it grips me up.

So what are we seeing? Two windows from the same home. The one on left houses a bird cage. At point used to brick up about three of them. The one on the right formments an active garden.

Picture this. The one on the left has the elderly couple feed the birds regularly. The one on the right (same couple) attracts parrots, since its a haven for bird feed.

To me that contrast strikes up as a night song dripped with irony. On one hand, freedom toast's paradise - while some others lie securely trapped in heaven. 

Reminds me of Jon Fosse's Septology. Check it out :-) 

4181 : Still Developing Series

I am exploring the idea that behind every image there is truly a story. One bit at a time....lets build the narrative. Albeit subjective. 

A story is never ever fully done. Still developing :-)

4180 : Down in the coffee, lies the cake

Picture this.

I am with my mom at this Famous Bakery at Bandra. We are laughing, talking, smiling and imping around. There are just two seats in that small bakery and we have put our bags out there. 

A few moments later, a women walks upto us and requests us if she could please use the seats. I don't notice much, but acquiesce, since I don't really need the seats.

As minutes go by, I realise its not one but two women. One around 70s and the other possibly in her 50s. And they are talking to each other and the billing helper.

That's when it hits me, they both have downs. I never realised that you could survive this long with downs. They are smiling, ordering some cake and coffee. They are telling to no one in particular why this daily ritual matters to them. Guffawing awkwardly, as if this was squeamish.

I look at them. I want to snap them up. Not for anything else, but to remember that this is all life can ever be and should be.

Cakes, coffee, smiles and a thoo-thoo on the circumstances that try and pull us down.

4179 : To kill a bird that mocks me

I just started reading something yesterday that was very difficult. Not in the sense its a difficult prose, but it is a gut wrenching topic. I have done a few of these in the past 12 months. I have always come out personally shattered in the moment, but infinitely wiser months later.

My suggestion to myself, if I want to grow as a person, try and ferment with an idea that inherently makes me very uncomfortable. It reveals to us our deepest insecurities and fears. Almost to the point of being shaken. And stirred too.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

4178 : Reading List 2023: #4 Tell me how it ends by Valeria Luiselli

I read strange books. This little gem is a great reminder that national identity is idiotic if we cannot factor in compassion and human goodness into it.

Moving Read.

At 128 pages brings my 2023 read to 987 pages.

4177 : Night of sorrow Myra Melford

I can listen to Myra Melford's Night of sorrrow ad infinitum :-)

Never knew a piano could speak to my inner self like this.

Broken yet blue.

4176 : Salame Ishq

So a friend of mine on Twitter posts about Salaami, some wordplay around it. And since morning my brain is trapped in a loop singing Salame Ishq Meri Jaan.

Lata Di has done such an awesome rendition of that song.

Our brains do work strange, 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

4175 : Reading List 2023 : #3 Walk Like A Buddha by Lodro Rinzler

Such a fantastic read in the most unexpected places. I picked this book expecting nothing. And it surprised me so much with its goodness and reminders. Brought me peace in my troubled times.

A book I might read again soon.

Loved the book, go for it.

At 203 pages brings my 2023 total to 859 pages.

4174 : Reading List 2023 : #2 Dave Asprey's BulletProof Diet

Read this on a whim given I like coffee. I quite liked the book. A quick breezy read. Definitely worth a read.

At 320 pages brings my 2023 reading total to 656 pages.

4173 : Reading List 2023 : #1 : Recursion by Blake Crouch

If you have not read this book, please read it.

I loved it, for its imagination and its craziness. Its quite literally loopy and recursive. Except for between 85-98% where this book loses it mojo. Its first 85% and last 2% are brilliant.

Stick with it, its rewarding. Makes you confront thought experiments in your head.

At 336 pages my 2023 total is 336 pages.

Monday, January 09, 2023

4172 : Irani Chai

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction) 

Sitting across, you smile like a resplendent flower. I cannot get over your white, grey and the charm of your eyes. Do I sound like a teenager? No, there is always a moment when you feel that deep intimate connect with another human being. Those instances of clarity never escape. They etch on your soul. 

Like a song that is an earworm. Like a photograph that is in monochrome. Like an epitaph which croons "Love, love me do. You know I love you." 

4171 : Memory

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)

There is a poem in my head, that is itching to find its feet. Does that ring sane to you? My poem, is nothing but a thought that I cannot serve up straight up to you, as it were. Its an elaborate construction of my whim. A whim that is trying to tell a story. My story. 

Poems thrive on the belief that the writer can convey an inner joke, that only you might get, or at least you might get. To glide along the inside of my joke, we will need to share memories. We do have tons, right? We also need to share our vocabulary. Do we?

Its taken me years to admit to myself, that we neither have common memories or language. We have always walked on different worlds. Even today, we do, right? How hard it would be for either of us to sit across and build the bridge across our troubled between? I so want to do it. I tell myself that I dont have an ego barrier, and the only barrier in me is my fear of you understanding me. That is the part of the bullshit. Its my ego wall. A song that has no meter.

Today, I still live in the hope, that either of us will reach out. Tomorrow, there might be no "us". One day there will be no "us". One of us will not see the other die. Memories will eventually goto rust.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

4170 : Growing up

I am inching towards becoming older. I am dealing terribly with it. There I said it. 

I feel the constant reminder of what should be. Not so much a regret of the past, but more so a dwindling of my present. I sense the blurring of the future within my own imagination. Dealing with an enormous sense of loss. Becoming silent in my own sphere but also with those who I might hold dear, or once held dear. 

I am melancholic. The camera or my obsession with it, is nothing but a in-contrivable desire to hold  this moment. Pin it down. I feel hugely isolated, insular and marooned.

I confront my own mortality every single day. Like a time traveller who knows his fate. 

I need a clutch. I truly dont how one looks like.

4169 : The Living Years

Speaking of orchestral harmonies.....listen to Mike+Mechanics - "In the Living Years". 

A masterclass in how to move with simplicity.

If it does not move you to pause and think probably dont understand English :-)

4168 : 50R and 80 1.7

Straight off the cuff, if these numbers make any sense to you, you and I can be the best of friends. I promise you that :-).

4167 : Mixed timelines

(Excerpted From a fiction piece) & inspired by the previous post!!

Sunday's are always bright.  A special day (for me, for this world) supposedly. Brings out the worst in me always. "Rile and bile" days, as I still call them. Silence I need, disconnect from this cess. "Rile Bile" days remind us how weirdly broken our choices and world are. Wabi Sabi anyone?

I am working. On a Sunday? I work to thrill - I work to kill the sounds. 

In the middle of a crazy plan that I am working upon, I begin singing "Its been 7 hrs and 15 days" loudly.  Its a song that I have not heard for some months for now, and I wonder why my brain chooses to surface this memory.

I look up the classic and begin playing it. As the classic plays out - I realise, I am on a time warp - 7 hrs and 15 days. Loop. Repeat. 

Do you see that?

4166 : Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville - Dont know Much

I heard Dont Know Much after so some years today. And I fell in love with the orchestral moves in that song (all over again).

What a composition. What range in their vocals. Wonder where this brilliant art of harmony is lost.

Makes everyday music appear so blaise.

Go listen

Friday, January 06, 2023

4165 : Anxiety

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)

One look at the snap, and you said, "Fucker, this does not look like me at all. Even in this B&W image, my greys are visible."

"....and you don't have greys, is it?"

"I might, but I don't want people to see it. Makes me feel like I am 60 year old. I am not there yet."

I thought you were goofing so I played along. Teasing you further, almost pointing to signs of age on your face, which you probably had not noticed yet. I am a photographer, I see little details, or so I thought (Thats a curse right?).

The "goofing" quickly became a faceoff and tears got imbroiled. I promised you that I would retouch the image and send it over. Silently, I escaped the scene.Like all other buried differences, I never sent you those photos again. I did not retouch them. I decided to buy my silence. 

Yesterday. I was searching for a specific image from my trip to Turkey. I organize images by the year. Your snap with the grey hair came up. I looked at you, smiling, laughing, hair all over. My heart buzzed like a bee.

I adored you then, I long for you now. I still have your photos. Those are the memories I carry. That means I cannot remember you with "all black" hair. The snap tells me you had grey hair.

Spin - I have the bottle. You are long gone, but the anxiety is trapped in.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

4164 : Belong, be short

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)

When I take step back, I do wonder what the razz was about? What the tazz is ?

Intimacy is nothing about knowing each other better to a point where we amplify our insular minds to think more as if they were larger than themselves. Walking in someone's shoes makes us examine our own failings. To lie in someone's arms (and be honest in that moment) you have to be able to remove the shadows that veil you. To do a salsa step, I have to believe that you will hold my vulnerability safe.

I could go on, and someday I will. Thats all this is about.

Its also about feeling belonged. Once you held me in. Today, we are separated by the ocean. (Which one, you say, your favorite, the Dead Sea - which is not an ocean at all :-))

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

4163 : War and piece

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

    War feels familiar. In some sense, it also feels familial. Today is a battle. So was yesterday. Our guns are loaded. Grammar is dead. Cuss is in.
    We are in a battle. No one wants to win. We are both losing. Spirit and blood. One ounce at a time. I hold my enemy as she lays tired. I kiss her in a desperate attempt to nourish her.
    This is our version of the rumble. We are expending collateral for a war that ravages us both.

A poem without a meter and rhyme. Feels like everyday, Spin? 

4162 : Graduation

(Excerpted from a larger piece of fiction)

I am too old to feel or experience a heartbreak, I told myself. When you have lived a life, you also become numb to its everyday. You breathe, you dance, you shmooze and you continue with your narrative jungle.

That winter day though, I felt the "stab and burn". It felt alien. As if, a bug had caught up with you, despite being inoculated. All I remember,  I worked through straight for a good 10 hrs maybe. Drank 11 cups of coffee. My fingers trembled with faux Parkinsons. In retro silence with (Bob) Dylan buzzing in the room. On a repeat.

Years later, Dylan is now my motif for blues. I mean literal "blues". If I am playing Dylan, it's a tinted day.

How did you manage that day, Spin? I really wonder. If you ever shared with me - I have forgotten. My mind has blanked out so much about you. You are like my cancer. Never here, never there. 

Why am I revisiting those times again, then? After a point - I realised I could talk about you, without the stigma of my arrythmia. Yes, I blame you totally for it (I am smiling as I say that!!). This brazen heart  beats to a jazzy beat. Chaos.

Today, do I still remember those blues? So very often. You are my blue sky. Remember? I sky you (thanks to Frida!!).

Monday, January 02, 2023

4161 : #41 by DMB

Thanks to Spotify, there is a playlist of #41 versions by Dave Matthews Band.

On some nights, I play it (a good 2-3 hr playlist - different versions of the same song).

Modern rock + jazz and some brilliant sax improvisation. In some version there is more than 7 minutes of pure sax playing. Pure bliss.

This is what love feels like on your tongue.

I'm coming waltzing back and moving into your headPlease, I wouldn't pass this byOh I wouldn't take any more thanWhat sort of man goes byI will bring waterWhy won't you ever be gladIt melts into wonderI came in praying for youWhy won't you runInto rain and playLet the tears splash all over you

4160 : Blind woman's curse

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)

I sometimes speak in poetic riddles. They convey so much while still leaving so much for interpretation. 

Every time we approached rough weather between us, I would mumble, "The cities a flood, and our love turns to rust".....and smile a sardonic whistle. You never asked me where that phrase came from.

Today, I can no longer listen to one my all time favorite songs - without you flooding my memory circuits.

This intrusion is what I call as a blind woman's curse. Go figure.

4159 : Run for your drink

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)

I always fancied a stiff drink. You hated it, it definitely did bother you. Frown was what separated my drink, me and you. Three ends of a triangular spectrum. 

The other day, you had just come back from a jog. I could smell your pheromones (what!! you thought you did not have it), mixed with your deodorant, body odor and sweat. A sweet flagrant mix.

"Enjoyed your run?" 

"Fuck enjoy!!. I could not even run 45 mins. My knees are sore. My body is in immense pain. Each muscle is revolting.", you were huffing as you said this, sipping from your shaker.

"Then why run? Why not choose a more peaceful exercise."

"Like what? Walk? Fucking sissy.", another gulp and then you added, "I need to feel numb. I need to tire down my insides. I would rather take the physical pain, than deal with the sharp torment of my insides. I need to blunt my inner wounds.". After another pause, "You never get it, na? Walk in my shoes someday."

"So more like a balm for your wounded soul?"

"Yes, thats a good way to put it poet.", you said with a smirk.

"You are right, I dont know your insides. I do want to dance with them. Allow me to walk with you, darling ". After a few seconds, I added, "I have my own demons. They often come out to play. I like to drown them with a drink. Its my version of a funky town."

With a finality I added, "Come drink up with me, and I will stroll in your garden. I might bandage your wounds, while you tame my demons. Deal?" 

Sunday, January 01, 2023

4158 : New Camera

There is a new camera I want to live with. And its not a Leica or a medium format giant. Its a Kodak 110. 

I used to have a hotshot 110. And I want to have to go back to this.

Cost less than10 USD. My next US trip, I buy this and some film.

Simple loves and simple pleasures.

Read here.

4157 : Enemy

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Met dad yesterday. So he says "S (my real name), what's up with you? In love again?".

He is one person I cannot lie to. He is one person I dont want to lie to. I tell him, "Maybe."

"S, men are dangerous creatures. They hunt, mate and keep roving.". He has a tiny smile, but not of mirth, but more of "knowing".

I know he wants me to be happy, but I also know he wants me to be safe more. Which means he will always prioritize my safety over my happiness. Would a 70 year old understand the love of a middle-aged woman? Would he understand that being with you means not just love, but also meaning?

What would he say, if he knew we spend a few minutes talking a day - but we laugh like a fucking riot. We hug like two hungry bears. We drown in the other's eyes as if they we were binging on a Netflix series.

How do I tell him you are not a lover? Neither are you a friend. Sometimes an enemy. At times a predilection. Mostly, though, you are a habit, a lovely habit on its way to become a disease.