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.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

4156 : Leica

 (Excerpted from a fictional piece)

Travelling through Europe, at one point, I was very close to the home of Leica. The train trudged along. Earlier I had passed by a shop with the huge Red Dot. Just months ago, I would have known nothing about this or the camera. Patiently you had taught me about the "additional micro contrast" the "soft look" and just the ethereal magic of a Lecia glass. Would I be able to know a Leica image if I saw one? Maybe not. Yet I now knew what to look out for.

The train had a steady metronome. I closed my eyes. Missing you. For everything you mean to me. Not some kind of puppy love. Middle-aged woman don't suffer puppies or love. 

Cameras were your lifeline. You knew obscure details about obscure brands and models. You said, there is something human about wanting to trap time. Imprison the this. Now. 

How do I capture you forever? I would gladly buy a fucking expensive Leica if I could even trap a peice of you. (Leica M - was that not always in your dream list?)

Ironic-  some things were never meant to be na, though?

Red dot be damned. My life is a complete mess. Fuckpool.

4157 : Sound

This constant desire to talk. To fill up this world with sound. With trite. As if its the sound of each other that makes us normal. The incessant chatter of nothing. Being nothing. Doing nothing.

The sounds that make us feel as if our world is trudging along. Versus in reality its just noise and entropy.

4156 : The end of the road

2022 has been tough. One of the strangest years I have had in terms of knowing what others think of me.

I have been shown the mirror a couple of times, and what I am seeing there is shocking. I cannot absolutely recognize myself.

Today, as a summary to the year, I feel deflated, lost and silent. I have been telling myself that at some point this rollercoaster while begin its ride up again.

I am hoping with 2022, this year truly ends :-)

Onward to silence, cameras and writing. Old skin will shed itself :-)

4155 : Dying

Dying is a strange and poetic process. Seeing it up close, is like seeing your life unspool. 

I often have wondered why cant it be easier. For the person dying I mean.

Saw this process up close and personal yday again.  As I say, I have a good "cold turkey break" into 2023.

And coffee keeps me sane. I need to go back to whiskey soon :-)

4154 : 6th one

How bad can a year end be?

Not much, except that you suddenly discovered a cache of truths. This truth breaks your mirror, crashes your ego and watches it burn.

Not much, if you rationalise that its better to have happened on the year end. There is the faint hope that tomorrow is a clean break.

Not much, if you realise you are finally alone and staring at the "true image" in the viewfinder. (Optical now, since the battery ran out and the electronic wont work :-))

I am on my 6th cup of coffee since morning. There is usually nothing much that coffee cannot solve in life. Then you have 2022 as a year. And 31st Dec as a day.

I just hit the ball out for a six.

4153 : Stationary Mouse

I switched from a regular mouse to a trackball mouse.

Still getting used to it, but requires me to use all my fingers.

Interesting skill to pick up I say :-) after 30 years of using mouse :-)

4152 : Reading List 2022 : #28 : What I talk about when I talk of running by Haruki Murakami

My final book for 2022, is a deep and yet fun meditation on life running and what it means to be yourself.

Lovely little book to offer perspective on 2023.

Read as if your life depended on it. at 192 pages brings my 2022 total to 9284 pages. About 24 pages a day.

4151 : Reading List 2022 : #27 : Exhalation by Ted Chiang

I have over 20 books half completed on my kindle. Some easy reads that I could not find time to finish and come difficult reads that I have spent hours trying to wade through but never reached the end of the road.

So possibly Exhalation by Ted Chiang has to be one of the last books I might mark as complete in 2022. I finished it earlier, but missed writing about it.

Totally brilliant read. One book that made me pause, think and think and think and think.

Both on what it means to be human and mortal. On my unfinished business and relationships.


Brings my 2022 reading list total to 9092 pages. 

This is 18/10 kind of book, which means dont miss it.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

4150 : Fire Engine

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)'

I felt my tea cup. Luke warm. Muddy warm coffee suited you just fine. You said it assuaged your "lingering mind, ", and even today, I have no fucking idea what that could possibly mean.

The sunlight was upon us, thawing the open deck we had occupied.  You were laughing, your famed guffaw which shook the table. I was cussing about someone we know, and you adored my habit of cussing. I don't cuss anymore, not as much. You brought out the best cuss out of me. Now is that a compliment?

You had these strange expressions. One of them was "we are laughing like pigs". I come from a small town in the middle of the country, and had a pig sty right behind my home. Used to hear them "oinking" but never once heard them laugh. 

As you grinned and thumped the table, you reached out and held my hands. Not simply held them, you kind of massaged them in a moist sort of way. The sexual energy was palpable. Though honestly, it almost seemed as if this did not/had not even crossed your mind.  

In an unhinged sort of way, you were always mindful. Always committed to the moment. In the middle of that "pig laugh", as you kneaded my hand, I distinctly remembered that you began singing a song. just because you heard the riff on the speakers behind us....It was a song by Yusuf Islam (I had to google that he was once Cat Stevens). You explained to me that this was his biggest song.....and you hummed and sang along with the lyrics. I only remembered this because you told me the story about his conversion to Islam.

Something in that hand gesture, felt so fucking intimate. As if we were naked, as if we were lovers. I wish we were. I wanted more of it. Do you hear Tail, I will take it anyday. Yet, it always threw me off.

You could never be mine. I often professed, I never wanted to possess you, and yet, thats the only thing I have ever wanted in the last decade. That intimate story was the apple tree in our orchard. Forbidden and yet snakes all around tempting us. 

On that table, that day, I shifted uncomfortably. "We dont have a future.", I blurted out. You responded some trite to the effect - As a poet, if we cannot imagine, then our lives will be meandering and hopeless. We should believe in angels, you said....else there was no chance that angels could be possible.

As we parted that day, you dropped me a message which said, "Spin, lets burn the world together.". I was at a traffic stop and had read this. I started driving again, and sighed so loudly, the car shuddered, "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."

Bloody. We could not even kiss in the comfort of this world. Our lips were dry. We could not hold hands when we wanted to. Our hands were barren. And this fucking idiot, wanted to burn the world? Asshole.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

4149 : A story

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

"You make me look better. Your camera, your poetry - all of this paints me red, versus I might be all grey. You have a way with words, a skill at reconstituing the moment to make it look brighter."

She paused, her eyes still staring at her teacup. She definitely had more to say, and I waited.

"All our lives, we fantasize about being the gaze of someone like you. A raconteur who can make you feel so much better about yourself than what you might actually be. "

A long pregnant pause, as she gulped down another sip of her tea. She looked up and caught my eyes. With the awkward smile - one that combines intimacy, anxiety and the feeling of being rudderless - all at that same time. I could almost detect that she was about to tear up.

After a few seconds, "To me though, today, you cause immense insecurity and anxiety. I latch onto your words, sometimes finding you ridiculing my age, my lack of erudition.".
"Your fucking books" , she muttered under her breath.

"You cause deep distress to me.", and she stopped with a finality.

I waited for a few seconds before asking in my most gentle tone, "Can I ask why?"

"I never know whether you ever see me for what I am, or are always painting me for what you want me to be. How easy would it be for you one day to construct a narrative that I fucked it up, that I stole your a night catcher?" (I remember she said night catcher not dream catcher.)

She continued, "I could be the peg on which this entire edifice rested and you would make me responsible for its fall."

Pause. "....and more so, I am aware that I might be no more than a story for you. Just a pretty fiction that you built up in your head, to weave and blend into your fabric."

Years later, I don't remember much of that day, beyond that comment.

Times have gone by. Spin, you are still my best muse. My favorite poem, my finest portrait. I never wrote the sad love songs about you. You have always remained in my cheerful stories. You are my Dream Story.

Monday, December 26, 2022

4148 : Regret

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)   

We had just finished a wrap on some fabulous snaps of yours. They were ultimately delicious (hmmm....unusual adjective you say!!). You had, appreciated the capture, but then had surreptitiously responded with an older photo of yours which you added was one of your favorites. 

Looking at it, I had asked, "Who clicked this?" and you replied playfully, "You really don't want to know, do you?".

I was always ok with "not knowing what I don't need to know", that was in a nutshell. "This photo is nice. Reminds me of Van Gogh."

You had very felt flattered and said, "Hmm.....Nice. I am that picturesque, huh?"

Grinning, almost sardonically. Had paused and asked, "You want my Masti answer or the truth?"

Something tripped you. Almost immediately, you gave me that sharp look and said, "Sometimes Tail, I grow very tired of your playful words and tricks. You can almost never compliment me, ever. You either think I am growing old, or you see my wrinkles, or you see the crinkle of my nose. For once, I thought you were praising me....but come on, hit me baby one more time."

I kind of averted disaster and told you that looked like an avant garde impressionist poster. I blatantly lied that day. Through my eyes. They bled blue that day.

Do you know what I really meant that day? That photo, I still have it, kind and bright with me. The image is a strange image. Whoever clicked it, not sure how they were related to you. In that image you look definitely repressed and drowned in a sad song. My first reaction seeing that image was of immense tenderness and a flood of emotions for you. That feeling you have when someone close to you is "out of form". The second thought was what I remembered were supposedly Van Gogh's last words, "The sadness will last forever."

Was I prophetic? How I wish I could back flip.

4147 : Crash and Bloom

(Excerpted from a piece of fiction)

Everyday possibly a million stars are blowing up someplace in the universe. Becoming drawfs and possibly black holes eventually. Gobbling up the stories around them.

I am sitting opposite you, seeing you chew away on your favorite cheesecake. You are the black-hole. I am the story. I can see myself being warped in. A Tail without a head. 

Am I being poetic? I am diagnosed with arrythmia and there is only one star that is responsible for that glitter in my life. Please stay.

4146 : Reading

This year has been a strange year in terms of reading. I have struggled to read at one sitting. My patience tops out at around 30 pages or 25-35 mins.

And yet, the few books I have read, some of them have been brilliant.

I am starting my re-read of "Shalimar the Clown" by Mr. Rushdie :-), and "A Line made by walking" by Sara Baume.

I enjoy books as much as I enjoy music, coffee and my camera.

4145 : Physical noise

On some days, physical noise bothers me.

Totally. Just the everyday noise of the city, of the home, of the world around me.

We have become so causal with breaking our reverie.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

4144 : Sweet you rock

(Excerpted from a fiction piece)

I have been feeling miserable. Spin, you have been gone for some time now.
Have I gotten the order of those two statements wrong?

4143 : 2023

2023 has been a strange year for me. 

I have lost some of my dear friends (or so I think I have). Lost to time and (my) space. I have discovered photography again, and I have picked it up, as if I never gave up on it. I started writing again, both fiction and otherwise.

I discovered my own mom. Almost lost her. I figured that life is so much more than trudging along. Disrupted myself and destroyed my personal peace.

....and I have 6 more days of this year left.

4142 : Load up your guns

 (Excerpted from a fictional piece)

I must have written a million notes in my head. Fucking loser that's me!!

In each of these notes I want to tell you, Tail, the next time you come down to meet me, please don't bring your friends. Friends?

Yes, leave your salty words at the entrance of the cafe. Flush your schizoid camera down the pot. No need to jump imaginary hoops, we dont need a hero. The baggage you carry is better off misplaced by your airline. See your "friends" now?

Come as you are. (Fucking never liked Cobain, never understood this grunge bullshit!!, and if it were not for you, I would not even know of them.). Bring yourself in. The real you, the poignant human. Allow me to wear my vulnerability. I don't want to be preen perfect. I just want to be myself - your Spin.

Come as you are. Bring your coffee, that's fine. That's one thing that makes you human. 

Come as you are. Leave your trappings. Fucking, just come naked.

4141 : What you see, what you say

(Excerpted from a fictional piece)

You are a photographer, you say, huh? You also claim to moonlight as a poet. 

Do you know what I see? An insular, lonely and acerbic man. One who does not deal with the real world around him in any meaningful way. Using cameras and words as tools to build his own fiction. Building narratives that lull that feeling of numb, blunt the sting of the truth.

You once told me of a Ted Chiang story (which I still have not read), in which the difference between "talking" and "precise speech" is elucidated. The take away, as I understood it was, "talking" deals with versions, and hence can mean different things to different people, even if the same person says it in similar ways. It's also possible that the "talker" herself wants to give different versions. Versus "precise speech" is where you say things as you saw them, and let others interpret it - a la scribe.

You were always a "talker".  You build stories all the time. An auteur with words. You took our real world and made it your story, dear thief. 

Models, philosophizing, metaphors - thats all I ever meant to you. I never felt like a vulnerable human being with you. Behind all of this charade, was a fucking wimp of a human being. Someone who stood for nothing. Someone who was always talking, possibly lying via stories, but never listening. 

Very often I think of you Tail. Sometimes as much as 500 times a day, or more maybe. You are like a buzz that never leaves my head. In these years as I have stayed away, I have deeply missed you. I have built romantic possibilities and allusions. Yet, I know this, when I do meet you, within a few minutes you will bring my fucking edifice crashing. In a few minutes I will see you again, for what you really are. A weak undercooked dumpling, one that takes the shapes of the plate.

And you always thought I was the one conflicted? Take a pause, my love, anyone who has to deal with half of you, will die of exasperation. The remaining half might be helpful in dumping me six feet under.

You are two faced. Not in an evil sort of way. Yet, being disassociated is baked in into your fabric. You sometimes remind me of the temptation of the poisoned chalice. The meniscus (edge of the cup, dumbo!!) beckons, and yet - the red flame inside forewarns.

Tail, I am handcuffed to you, and yet I steadily choose to stay away. Go figure.

4140 : 2023

As 2023 approaches I am definitely growing more silent. More of cameras, music, books and the ability to just waltz into the night with an espresso.

This means more awkward commas.

Friday, December 23, 2022

4139 : Angels

(from a larger fiction piece)

We sat across from that fabled coffee shop. We had picked our coffee (and tea) and were sitting outside on the open deck. With me, it had to be a coffee shop, right? I would always choose a good coffee over almost any other food or drink. I never managed to tell you this. When I was in younger, in my 20s and I had still not experienced enough poisons, I had walked into a London pub, my first at that time, and asked for a cup of dark boiling liquid....and they had all thought I was apocalypse nutty. I am still the same in my head, never changed a bit. Anyway, this coffee story here is a digression, isn't it? 

We were chatting up about nothing and yet everything. Laughing like pigs. We would grin like sharks. I have never opened up that way again. You genuinely brought out the funnest side of me. I have little of it (the fun I mean), but you extruded the malt for the last drop of joy.

You were often prone to sudden changes in tone and mood. I realised it later that it comes from possibly a deep seat of conflicts and turmoils. Possibly. Today is not about that musing though.

At some point, you shifted into a sombre gear. Staring at your cup of tea, you said, "Tail, we don't have a future. We never had. We are just lighting fires in a forest, with no plan or no end.". Then you looked deep into my eyes, that look of utter desolation if there was one. If had not already known, I most definitely knew in that moment, that I was a very large sliece of your world, and right now, it was thrashing around in your head.

I remember that moment clearly. I had a deep temptation to tell you about "being in the moment, chasing joy....", the usual dipshit trope that I espouse most times.

Instead, I took a long pause and a deep sigh (and hence gave up some seconds of my life), and said, "I have always been a wannabe poet. Do you know - I chose to be one, to escape the reality that I have never possibly dealt well with. My poetry is a rope of steady escapism. Though she is not one my favorite poets, there is a poet called Mary Oliver, who says something that has always stayed with me. She says, that if as a poet, we cannot believe in angels, then there is no chance they will ever exist. Ever."

After a stretch of silence I added, "Let happy accidents happen, na?  If even we, don't believe in possibilities, then there are truly none. This world slowly ends."

4138 : Reading list 2022 : #26 : Humans Photographs that make you think by Henry Caroll

A strange litte book on photography that I started reading on a whim. And it totally did make me think, of myself, of the world around me, of what we are not seeing.

If you like meditative reading, or if you want to pause, if you want to see more....definitely a small easy read.

At 144 pages brings my 2022 reading to 8724 pages. (Images from Amazon)

4137 : Reading List 2022 : #25 : How high we go in the dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

I finished this brilliant book and it goes straight into my favorite book list. Meditative, and yet a roller coaster. 

Made me deeply meditate on what it means to be "us". What it means to be "human". What it means to be "living".

304 pages of strange reading that rocks you into a lullaby, before sending you down a rollercoaster - again and again.

I sometimes wish I could share this with someone and ask them, do you still have an axe? Do your daily tribulations still seem like a story?

At  304 pages brings my 2022 reading to 8580 pages.

Read this again, every year :-)

(Images from public sources)

4136 : Love

As I write this, my brilliant music system is playing Gymnopedie No. 1 by Erik Satie....and I am haunted by memories.

The ghosts who love a good set of keys.

4135 : Piano Jazz - 2

Never knew that I had such a weak heart for piano and jazz. I am totally in love with this music. Have been listening to it on repeat for the past 2 months.

I always associate music (and remember it) via when (at what point) in my life did I discover it.

I discovered this addiction (jazz piano and chaos), when I was at one of my lowest points in recent years. Personally I mean. Nothing was wrong, and yet all hell was breaking loose.

This music has kept me company on my longest days, on my silent walks, on days I have a song, but no tune in my head.

4134 : The coyotes have come

In the past 10 months, since Feb, I have had a series of devastating chats - wherein I have heard the strangest things about myself (in first personal plural....which means I am sitting with someone and they are telling me about me).

I have heard things that have slowly challenged my insides. Who am I? Why do I appear so different to others? Is there a "precise me", or just a series of lithograph images that I have to keep reconciling myself to?

I have felt devasted, truly have. I have also felt liberated - in the deep sense that I am no longer that ideal, that I aspire to.

The coyotes did come for me. I am a wolf. They have numbers. I have the size. Eventually both with hurt each other. Thats my epitaph. 

4133 : Jazz by the piano

Totally addicted to Jazz played with/on the piano.

My goto music in these times.

No wonder one of my favorite names now is Myra :-)

4132 : The end credits

 (from a fictional piece)

Sometimes, there is definitely no present. The future is very bleak. The past is glowing filament of what could have been.

Where does that leave us? 

With the end credits maybe.

Friday, December 16, 2022

4131 : Moon

(From a fiction piece)

You used to love holding my hands and kissing them. You would not hold them long enough like a lover would. There was nothing lingering and overtly sensual about the act. You almost made it sing like tender poetry. 

On some mischievous days, you would take my hand, and I would still expect you to kiss them. Which you would, but then almost in that split second, you would slide down and then bite one of my fingers. Never too violent, but it always hurt, more due to the surprise and suddeness. I would scream something to the effect of "ouch".

That one day, when you pulled your trick, I slapped you playfully and asked, "Fucking asshole, what are you trying to do. Your bite is not even sexual. At least not to me. If you are trying to turn me are a fucking loser. Does nothing for me."

You grinned like a bear, stared down your coffee and then said, "I am trying to bite a piece off the moon.". After a long enough pause, you said, "The moon needs new craters, na?"

In that moment, I had a dopamine and massive oxytocin high. You never grabbed the moment if ever, if you had only asked me then, to jump on your "fast car", I would so happily have done that. We could have been lovers, if only for one lucking day.

Mom noticed I smiled like a teenaged girl that whole evening.  

You and your tropes. I could kiss you and throttle you at the same time. Fucking heartbreaker of a poet.

4130 : We are doomed

In the complex I live in, a young mom is preparing 7-10 year old girls to walk a fashion parade. Possibly for Christmas celebration over the weekend. 

Every evening, she is teaching them to walk like a fashion diva.

It is exclusively girls. 

Something in that scence riles me up. I would violently oppose this for my daughter. Respecting ourselves, and not objectifying ourselves is a journey we start every single day and hold the line.

To be fair, its ok, to dress fashionably, to be groovy, or edgy in your clothing. Thats what I call as part of our "mating dance" and I am totally fine with that. Look good, and make every effort for it.

Act, dance, perfom comedy - each of which enhances the definition of our own self worth. But, possibly avoid making a parade of yourself. Especially in this mindless manner. And definitely lets not teach this to our young children. And finally, spare our daughters....they will have to anyways fight for equity in the future.


4129 : Awkward Silence

(From a fiction piece)

We both walked into the elevator, all happy and beaming. It was one of the old world corporate headquarters in South Mumbai. We were especially in joie, both with each other and just in the state we were used to be being.

As the elevator was about to start its ascend, a couple of young 20 somethings - 1 girl, 3 boys literally skidded into it just as the door was about to slide shut.

The girl was in a green chudidar and the guys were in kurtas. We both looked at each other, almost in askance, "whats special today?" and maybe "what are the kids doing in this place?".

As the lift closed, we both were silent, so had the group that just joined us. Dead silence in that cabin.

Then one of the boys standing ahead of me, moved to the girl's ears and whispered in a raspy voice "then there was awkward silence....." and give out an evil loud laugh. 

Totally spontaneous and I just loved it. Was mesmerized by this emotion from him.

A few seconds later, since the girl was engrossed in Insta (I could see her phone) - and she had not reacted to him. He did this again, and this time a little louder. And the same "I own this world laugh".

The girl still looking at the phone, said, "These heels are terrible" and she moved her feet uncomfortably. This "own the earth" guy, immediately bent down to offer his both palms as a mechanism to step on them. He was being facetious, but he appeared totally sincere. As if, if she had stepped, would truly have cradled her feet. She shrugged not interested.

I was so into this. This "guy" who I called bhiku mhatre (post the exit from the elevator) - mumbai ka raja kaun?......

In that moment, I silently blessed (not that it might matter), our Bhiku Mhatre. Why could we not be like this? Where had we stopped chasing joy, being edgy idiotic kids? I did wonder. I wanted to tell you that then. I so desperately wanted us to be that.

I still very much want to. Bring your heels on. Are you listening, Spin?

Thursday, December 15, 2022

4128 : Fast Car

(Poem Inspired by Tracy Chapman's Fast Car)

I got a fast car,
It can get us out of here,
Pack yourself, thats all I need near,

Maybe, get a pack of smokes,
The rest of it is star rust,
Let your old self melt into the dust, 

Lets drive to the end of the road,
And then a little more, with Who,
Come along, what.....does the rain bother you?

Lets do our singing in the rain,
Like Everly Brothers, tapping on the love seat,
To the raucous rhythm of our heart beat,

Come along, heart, lets drive away,
Jail birdies giving escape to the mind,
Watch the smoke waft, see what we can find,

They will eventually come for us,
Our blood is honey, lets tempt the bee,
Their choice, skewer you or carve me,

When we grow older, there will be an opera composed on us two,
We can laugh and tell the kids, that we were like cinder,
Burning down the world on a lust and tinder,

Still don't believe me Spin? I am driving a fast car,
The playlist is painting shades of blue,
They will tell me, I miserably lost - but babe, I still bloody got you!!

4127 : Antwerp Jam by Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart

Listen to Antwerp Jam by Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart and you know what groovy is.

4126 : Nothing compares 2 U by Chris Cornell

Listening to Chris Cornell crooning Nothing Compares 2 U is so cathartic. Its almost like a lullaby to my ears.

Love Chris Cornell. Love this song.

4125: #41by Dave Matthews Band and Loneliness

I have listened to 10 different versions of #41 on loop. This is #41 by Dave Matthews Band. If you are a jazz and live performance fan, you will adore some versions. 

A good 3 hrs of this jazzy bop number. 

Why is it lonely? I dont know another human being who loves this song as much as I love it. I dont know another human being who has heard it - even. Except for the folks at home, who tolerate my unusual taste in music.

Watch this video and fall in love with this song. The most enthralling jazz performance on stage I have seen in a long time.

FF to around 9:00 minutes if you dont have patience for the magic to begin.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

4124 : Brief moment in the sun

I have been reading something strange and yet beautiful. A lyrical meditation on what it means to be mortal (and hence alive).

Its fiction and yet it is not. I have been deeply enveloped into the process. 

I have a history here. A close brush with the other side (if that is a metaphorical poetic way to put it). I am always deeply aware of my transience. It comes out not only in my writing, but also in my everyday being.

As I have been walking, meditating, my belief reinforces itself.....we are truly like fireflies. Glowing for that brief moments before we go away.

No one cares what you were, what you did....especially outside that momentary context.

I was thinking I have so much unfinished chats and imaginary conversations. With you, You, yOU, yOu, yoU......the list is endless.

Come over. We need to talk. We need to laugh. We are just fireflies. Escaping our brief moments in the sun.

Deeply melancholic. I am going to be gone someday. 

4123 : Falling

Yesterday. At night. Must have been around 2.30am.

I woke up to use the rest room.

As I returned to the bed and closed my eyes again, I recall this deep sense of falling - of losing control. The very same feeling you have in the micro seconds before you pass out. I had this immense loss of balance. 

This was not a dream. This was real. For some reason, my first thought, is this what dying feels like? Dont know why my mind jumped there. Whatever the reason, I kind of felt ok in a weird sense, I knew that my awareness was still kicking in - even if this was the actual death process.

A flurry of images and thoughts and this deep sense of losing control. I remember three distinct faces in that jamboree of images.

By now, I was sure something was happening. Then it stopped. It must have been less than 2-3 seconds in all. I woke up, open my eyes and stared into the darkness. Some ambient light, otherwise all was quiet.

This is what it feels like.

Possibly. Falling.

4122 : Reading List 2022 : #24 : Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Take a simple love story and spin it into a heart breaking tale of wisdom. 

Only Murakami or Kundera can do it.

Re-reading this book after many years. Loved it totally like the first time. Totally awash by its spirit.

At 230 pages brings my 2022 total to 8276 pages.

4121 : Reading List 2022 : #23 : Novelist as a vocation By Haruki Murakami

Easily one of my favorite books of the year, and one of my favorite from the Master himself.

Loved the book. Its deep, meditative and still a light read. Only Murakami can pull that trick.

How much has a single stranger made a difference to my life. And that answer lies in someone like Murakami or Kundera.

At 198 pages brings my 2022 list total to 8046 pages.

4120 : Reading List 2022 : #22 : Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges

I loved this book so much. A hard hitting statement about our lives. Its Republican leaning, but thats truly beside the point. There is so much the book makes us think about.

Definiely recommend a read.

At 232 pages brings my 2022 reading total to 7848 pages.

Images from public sources

4119 : Reading List 2022 : #21 : Identity by Milan Kundera

In the past 7 years every single time I hit a wall, I go back to Murakami and Kundera. Today is about Kundera. I re-read Identity by Milan Kundera.

There is more wisdom in this small book, than some philosophy 101 uni course. Read, love and be mellowed.

At 176 pages brings my 2022 total to 7618 pages.

I would implore all of you to read and fall in love again.

(Images from public sources)

Saturday, December 10, 2022

4118 : Hey Love 2

 (Excerpted from another longer fictional piece, from within my repository)

I have never gotten used to the phone ever. I preferred meeting in person always. (Sometimes that is so unbeknownst of an introvert!!)

I was on the phone today and the network stood up on me. For a brief second, something in me wanted to say “heylow, heylow” in the singsong way I had perfected from the times when we talked often.

I caught myself just in that split second and returned to my regular “hello”.

You would always greet me with so much love, as if you were rolling your tongue and smiling at the same time. When I complimented you on this, you gave me this long rigmarole on why energy is important and blah blah……I was bored in that moment. Totally.

But…..even today, I would  give something precious to just call you, hear you say “Hello” with the tongue rolling….and then hang up. 

We both could play this game for hours. I would sign up for this. What stops us? My phonebook does not know you anymore Spin.

4117 : Hey Love

(Excerpted from another longer fictional piece, from within my repository)  

“Hello”, that greeting from you sounded like a police officer’s usher. I would rag you immensely on this. How could you “love me”, and then greet me in this drab way? Your quirks were like Saturn’s multiple rings.

It must have been months, one fine day, you called and say “HeyLove”. It was your “hello” sounding like “heylove”. More than tender and warm, I found this amusing and, at later moments charming. 

The way you would sometimes croon “haylow, heylove, heylowe” at a cadence. This would happen often when we could not hear each other well, or when you were trying to grab my attention.

Many years later, you confessed, you had were imitating Kurt Cobain from “Smells like Teen Spirit”.

In my car, Bluetooth is configured to auto answer the call. Its my roulette version of answering a blind call. Every single time, I wish, even today, that as soon as I answer, I hear a gruff voice saying “HeyLove”. 

“Tell me, my Kurt, my love.”

4116 : Hooked onto John Lee Hooker

I have always loved Blues.

Now I am falling in love again with John Lee Hooker, Steve Winwood, Cale and the rest.

4115 : Tortoise

I often become a tortoise. For years. Friends have always lamented that I am weird.

So here is how it happens. I either go incognito when I am

- Stressed or grappling with something which is taking a lot of mindspace. E.g. If someone is terminally ill, I find it hard to engage on something I might consider trivial.

- I am in deep focus mode (like Cal Newport would say).

The weird bits, is both of these happen at least a few times a month. The rule though is, you can still reach in, by either calling up a few times, or messaging more than once.

This is different from ghosting. This is turtle do.

4114 : Palindrome

Yes, I am a Palindrome today.

Friday, December 09, 2022

4113 : ZZ Top

I am listening to ZZ Top after 20 years. Wonder why I stopped listening to them.

And I am grinning like a pig. Its a total riot.

Love ZZ Top. The kind of music......that makes blues makes sound like Dirty Dancing.

Laugh, dance, get your dose of serotonin. Perfect work music.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

4112 : Now I know

 (Excerpted from another longer fictional piece, from within my repository) 

"Friends for life", I said. You, Tail, never ever agreed on that. Life for you was always transient. You shrugged with your cynical violence. We were sipping coffee in the middle of a strange alien city. You had ordered some black bullshit. I never understood how you drink that dark piss. In as many words, I always told you that.

I had stuck to a regular cappuccino.  In some time, during that chat, you abruptly left for the restroom. You were gone for a few minutes. I busied myself with the phone. 

You returned carrying a small tray and a cup of tea. I smiled and said "Tea after coffee?". You smiled and said, "Yes, why not?".

We both shared that single cup of tea. I abandoned my shitty coffee half way through. It was soon evening, time to go back to our nests. I held my arms around your back. Encircled. Like two young kids. As we walked, I laughed like a pig and said aloud, "The coffee was very bad."

You said "hmmm" and smiled. The typical evil, cynical smile that only you can emit.

I looked at you, knowing that sheepish mischief was at work,  and asked, "So what are you not telling me?"

You almost blushed and then said, "Nothing re.". I swear you blushed that day.

"Tell Tail. You know, I will hunt you to your death, till you don't tell me what is it that you are griping around with. Now."

".....and you thought tea after coffee was 'odd'?"

It took me a few seconds to see what he was saying. He had looked at my eyes when he had said the sentence, but now he was looking ahead. With a small wispy grin. "Seriously.....", I said, "You noticed?"

I could not believe it. You were unbelievably adorable. I could see in your eyes, you were being utterly honest. Fucking lord, you had actually noticed that my coffee was god-forsaken. 

I looked away and smiled. I did not know what to say. Immediately tightened my hold around your back. A warmer and closer clasp. In that single moment, I knew. 

I simply bloody knew.