Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the last 10,000

so my lovelies, as much as i hate to admit it, this blog is a bit on the decline.

where there was a tsunami of comments on every post (18, or sometimes even 19), nowadays even 1 is a call for a black label, large and with coke. it's only logical, of course, people move on, there is no constant but change, etc etc, fuck, there are so many allusions to the cliche. but it hurts, not in the overwhelming cascade of tears kind of way but more in a my goldfish died kind of way (often sometimes in the rather tragi-comic my larger goldfish ate my smaller goldfish kind of way). and quite frankly, i am a bit of a sucker for inertia. if i had my way, i'd still be 14, staring out of my classroom window trying to evoke the seventeenth century back into being, writing shit verse for the class bully to try and salvage some empathy out of that profane tiffin stealing mass of khaki and athleticism. and then i wouldn't have met so many of you. or, for that matter, started this blog.

which brings me to a side story, think of it as required reading for the greater story (and not as the thinly disguised narcissism in nostalgia that it really is). there were 3 of us back then - the angel, the fat whore and myself. the blog was started out of my closet in lajpat with the sheer intent of becoming mark zuckerberg at the whore's insistence. the 3 of us were fairly thick, and complete conformists to the kind of immortality such a thickness dreams of. the whore got married and buggered off, eager to satisfy the aspirations concealed behind the reading of jim morrison's biography, aldous huxley and other such pretentious crap. the angel, however, persisted. the blog is named after where he was staying at the time. i could walk into the new friends colony community center any time of the night or day and be assured of serendipity guiding me to him. him moving out of there brought the foretellings of doom. the ground shook beneath my feet. the center of my world was lost. his seat at the cafe, now annexed by a sleazy real estate agent who keeps buying me americanos and inviting me for drunken liaisons with his girlfriend and him. i still go and sit there, hoping for a waft of what it was, destroying myself with caffeine, nicotine and shawarmas.

of late, the angel informed me that he was getting married. on the 31st of december, at rampur. now, for the average human being this presents a dilemma. the 31st of december is normally reserved for newyearsdeparty, girlfrand, shiny disco balls and those kinds of things. going to be with your best friend in what's easily the most monumental day of his life obviously must take second priority, given the scheme of things. now there were two important factors that were determinants of the outcome in this game.
a. owing to the usual mismanagement of financial resources i had a paltry 10,000 at my disposal. the entry to the club we were scheduled to go to had this as the entry fee. a night of dancing would yield harsh impoverishment for the consequent 10 days (i get my salary on the 10th of every month).
b. undertaking this journey would cost a trifle comparatively. also, this would fit in with the ideology of the preceding nostalgic rant (that forms a massive chunk in my narrative on life) and establish me as a man of substance with the added benefit of keeping my self respect and dignity intact.
quite obviously, b. was the preferred option. however, an interesting chain of events ensued that changed everything. the girlfrand threw a fit and threatened to go to the party with a random variable EX and other hot boys of european origin. a friend's friend who worked at the club promised to get us free entry. also, my boss mentioned that it would be highly irresponsible of me to flee the district given that an important pitch that would determine the future of our little advertising agency was due. what dawned, at this moment was that we all had, in fact moved on. only logical, i thought, people move on, there is no constant but change, etc etc,

as i write this, i am on a bus to rampur. if all goes well, i might make it for the angel's wedding. the girlfrand, as per our last conversation, is wearing her hot pink dress for her night out. enclosed in my bag is a suit i bought for the wedding on an impulse before leaving. it's still in the store's navy blue paper bag. the price tag, attached to the jacket's collar, buried between black and black, in the wake of a white shirt dark in the absence of light, by the trail of a tie that is actually red, reads 10,000.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

zizi's garden of cruelty

the scene opens on a lovely garden where zizi is guiding an eunuch about the place. both of them are dressed in fancy pre french revolution garb, with the eunuch pretending to be male and zizi, female.

this be my garden, she says, batting her lovely eyelids.

lovely, much like yourself, mentions the eunuch, but what be this monstrosity you seem to have grown.

the camera now focuses on a man, planted in the gound and looming large on account of being taller than required. his nose is massive, his spectacles thick and his name, max (of the black variety).

oh him, she says, her voice now morose and lacking the efferversence of youth, he's a preserved species, can't get him chopped off.

the eunuch, overcome by sadness at her predicament, puts his arm around her.

don't worry, it says, we can cut it up after it dies. it'll make for lovely furniture.

they make mad passionate love then. but she feels something is amiss.

Friday, December 3, 2010

batman and the gramophone

I have an hour off from work so I go my old place. This is long overdue.

My landlord, busy getting granite tiles in what used to be a beautiful front lawn, says he’ll send someone upstairs to help me get the stuff down.

It’s a long walk to the second floor. The place was an open terrace with two fairly large rooms by the side. We spent winter afternoons there reclining on borrowed bean bags and drinking beer. An impolite old man who used to stand there at his balcony in the distance staring at us libertines was dispatched to his private middle class hell one afternoon when a close friend and I made out to freak him out. He went in and was never seen again (and if so, never staring). There were parties here where girls passed out, infidelities played themselves out and A BANDE APART was projected silently on the terrace wall while Noctuary by Bonobo haunted the fuck out of everyone present. We had adopted squirrels as children here and watched them die helplessly and tried making things easier for each other by mentioning they were playing outside in the sun as they dried, dead, covered by discarded half sleeve sweaters. An acid trip here convinced me that my love was an angel and my angel that I was the devil. Paintings and guitars and unknown Rajasthani violins lined the walls. An old music system was the bookcase. There was a kitchen where we never cooked. Inexplicable, untraceable and exotic underwear would be found on the chairs, in the kitchen and, of course, in the bed. You could find a sex toy or two lying about randomly. Sometimes, you’d realize after it was on your finger, demand an explanation and rush off to the washer (complete with malfunctioning shower and exotic soaps and shampoos and a magazine rack with an old New Yorker, last month’s Rolling Stones and all the Time Outs ever published).

As I enter, I realize the terrace has been covered completely. The floor is marble tiles. What was a lovely view is now a window. My things lie in the middle in a mound of concrete. Out of this stack of love and brick and dust, I salvage a gramophone. A batman poster I stole in my second year in college and had framed is damaged but not destroyed. The music system-cum-bookshelf is destroyed. All the DVDs are in an impenetrable sack. The magazines lie in tatters. The instruments lie about in pieces. A collage I made for my ex and her paintings lie swollen and soaked. A kindly old man in a beard appears. He’s my help. He has a quiet smile that comforts. He helps me carry the things down.

‘Everything else is to be destroyed?’ asks my landlord, still getting the tiles down. ‘Do whatever you want with it’, I whisper under my breath. The man with the beard places the gramophone and the batman poster, all that’s left, in my cab.

The winter sunlight is beautiful. I refrain from putting on my headphones.

Strangely, I feel happy. Maybe even free.