Friday, March 27, 2009

Broken strings

In the beginning of this year, we lost one of our classmates.

Today, on the last day of college, as we stood teary-eyed, taking pictures while our professors surprised us with cake, reaching out to one another in a kind of desperation, a kind of wistfulness of having wasted three years of not getting to know each other better, today we lost a junior of ours to another bike accident.

It doesn't feel like so long ago when our classmate passed away. I still remember the disbelief and shock. The fact that someone you took for granted, who was supposed to be part of the background picture , familiar and present is never going to be seen again. It hits you that you should've waved at him when you had the chance. You could've spared a second of a 'Hello'. Isn't it strange that you end up having a lot to say when you realise you can't say it?

When someone you know leaves the face of the earth, you expect the earth to stop turning atleast for a bit. You expect the news to talk about him, you expect life to take a pause. When your world has a lost its sense of normalcy, how does it continue for everyone else? Shouldn't it take on a shade of grey? Is it inappropriate to think of exams, food and routine? Everything seems much more cloudier.

But the world continues to turn. And you, the one who's been left behind, have to turn along with it.

It's easy to say 'Be strong, move on'. You will, eventually. But how does that assuage the pain?

You will have to remember that while you shed tears and lament the cutting short of a young life, he is on another plane right now. He is tranquil and he is far from suffering and all the bondages of the human body. He is free.

It doesn't help your loneliness and the sense of absence that you feel. But do not mourn for him, for his loss. Because he is beyond any definition of loss. Beyond all these boundaries and barriers that condition our fragile existence that we take so seriously. He is with the true reality now and we continue in the illusion, till the time we join him.

And as abstract as I sound, it does make me feel better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby, farewell

If I'm less than sunny, don't mind me. That's just how it is in Estarra. I'm only happy when it rains, etc.
A diary is a diary for a reason. Don't worry. And on a happier note, I am practising to not expect and to live entirely in the moment and not hyperventilate about not getting printouts on time or submission at 1 pm. (Breeeaaathe eaaassy.)

Anyway, now I'm okay. Thoroughly thrilled myself at the stationery shop. I guess what shoes is to normal chicks, I get slack-jawed when I stand before shelves of envelopes, Cello ballpoints, folders, sharpeners, blank CDs and the rest. I probably wanted one measly stick file before I reached the venue. But when I get there, I'm like "Gimmmmmmmmeeeeee!"

Putting the final touches on my final project. The one that has undergone a million changes, a million opinions. The one that has made me cry. The one that has made me a zombie. The one whose umbilical cord I cut tomorrow when I hand it over to the department. It's a magazine and trust me, it is not as easy or as frivolous as the word sounds. It sums up my childhood fantasy (wherein 'Triple Moon', a weekly read was well, unread) and my obsession and collection of Vogue, Femina Girl, The Record, Elle, etc. Yes, it sounds shallow and materialistic. But I have had a lifelong affair with magazines and tomorrow I submit MY VERY OWN magazine.

Wish wish wish wish me luck. But at the end of the day, I'm sending it off into the universe on its own. Not gonna care about opinions anymore. NO SIREE.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Me me me

Looks like January was my expressive best.

Here's something I've always wanted to say to the people (person?) who've called me self-obsessed:

I am.

Yes, and I should be. I'm the person I know best. I'm the only person whose feelings, thoughts, abilities and dreams that I know completely. I know ME-body, mind and soul. And yet there's so much more to know. A process that began the day I was born and will continue till the day I die.

Life is wonderful. Life is discovery. But...I am the life. My life is the only way to know the life outside. And the life outside is the only way to know me. I read because I want to understand myself. I want to travel because I want to find myself. I watch movies because I want to relate. I love because I want to love myself.

So what's the opposite of self-obsessed? Self-detached? You think you are self-detached. You with your gyms, and your fashion, your clubbing, your crushes are self-detached?

Your choice of words amuses me.

If I bore you, leave me alone. If you understand, please feel free to join the self-obsession. It's much more exciting than your man-made creations.

"There would be no me if there wasn't you, there would be no you if it weren't for me"

-Rachid Taha, 'Tekitoi'

Pages from my diary: January 21st 2009

11:02 am
"I just enjoy driving on my own these days. Maybe it's the solitude, maybe it's the time I have all to myself. Maybe it's the fact that I'm surrounded by people and yet I am alone. Not lonely. Alone.
Also, the fact that I can see the sky, the sun, the dusty roads, the movement. But not the people.
I wonder what it's like to be in the world and beyond it.
I am obviously not ready to give up the comforts of the world-my home, my things, my books, my music, love of parents and friends, my bed.

2:37 pm
I really need to organise my thoughts.
I should stop I-ing now.

5:28 pm
Indistinguishable hours blur into days
Uncredited breaths, one at a time, ignored
The silent decision to pull through
is remembered at a time when its necessity is forgotten
You forge on, blindly, mundanely
Pat yourself on the back

I think the problem lies in the fact that I'm confused whether to renounce or succeed. I unconsciously make a list of qualities deemed vital to either of these two distinct personalities and I land nowhere between the two, a semi-silent confused and confusing enigma to my own self.
This medley-fied nothing thus follows no one but seeks approval from everyone. Has opinions sometimes. Voices them, rarely.
I am scared to analyse the mess for it leads to depression but I find myself thinking about me more often than not. Though I know that a week or a year from now, I most definitely would not want to read this trash.
So, what do I write about when my heart has not been twanged by any major earthly issue?

Do not fear me, I am solitude
Seek nothing from me, I am love
Search not for me, I am happiness
Live for me, I am God

I sit back and revel in my brilliance. I pack my bag without saying a word to the world. I live a life so invisible that I myself rarely acknowledge it.

Am I so detached from this life that everyone so boldly embraces that I cannot formulate a simple, fictitious tale even for the sole purpose of distracting myself?

Yes, that's probably it"

Pages from my diary:January 15th 2009

"I must overcome my fears. The tiny fears. The pressures. The hesitations. The unnatural tensions. The things I hide from. I must ignore these and go with the flow. Be unafraid, unattached to the past, free and unfettered, following my heart as it bobs ahead in the breeze, delicate like a balloon, follow it up and down whichever path it chooses, for the heart is a flighty, whimsical object, belonging not even to myself.

See, I can't help it. I just HAVE to get abstract.

I wish my mind could become as silent as my tongue. As still.

But too many questions, too many impulses race across its blank canvas like a million points of light."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The bigger picture

Advertising has got me thinking.
No, I'm not talking 'creativity' or Bill Bernbach or David Ogilvy. I'm talking about the new Tata Dicor Ad.
The music, Enya-ish first caught my attention. The visuals, breathtaking of course. But it's the Big Idea : "If you looked back on your life, what would you remember?"
That did it for a copywriter such as myself.
I mean, that basically sums up the question of my existence. The question I tried to stop asking not so long ago. The question whose answer is irrevelant, in the scheme of things, if there is a scheme to it all.
My life is not meant to be at a computer. My life is not my bag or my fancy phone or my perfect height and weight or the digits on my marksheet. Life is not the number of friends I can count or the dates I have or the zeroes in my salary or the venue of my wedding.
It all adds up. But what am I going to remember? What I possessed or how I felt?
We were put on this earth for a purpose. I'm not saying we were meant to help the poor or take on Superman's responsbilities. The world does not need saving. It has been doing its creating and destroying all by itself, probably even before our souls were born.
This beautiful Earth, with its coral reefs and its cliffs by the sea, the austere elegance of its snow and the unforgiving exqusiteness of the desert, the imperfect beauty in peoples' faces, the purity of their song and dance, the sheer divinity in human love. This is what we're doing here. We're here to experience, to celebrate the agony and ecstasy of it all. It looks like one big mess but dig deeper, look higher, walk further-there is a perfection in its madness. And all we can do is stare in awe, fall to our knees at its glory and simply absorb.
And when you think of your Maths test tomorrow, think of the infinity of the blue sky.
As you walk home, exhausted from a day's work, enjoy the colour and noise on the busy street.
When you worry about bills, remember that you will be taken care of.
Your purpose in life is to live. And that's the secret.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday evening dream time

My back is aching sitting at the computer for so long, translating Spanish documents. (Oh boy, am I loving this work, reconnecting me to my long-lost passion for the language. But it's TIRING!) I'm thinking of this place whose photo adorns my desktop. I WANT TO BE THERE!!
And I'm listening to 'Marudaani' and feeling all romancy and yearning for a place I've never been. Mostly, it's Greece. Though I should be listening to 'Zorba the Greek' to satiate that itchy feeling. But that's not such a romantic tune, is it now.
(Insert sigh here)
I should shut up and listen to 'Naaka Mukka' instead.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don't have anything witty to say

I'm sneezing my eyes out. Real bad case of the common cold. And to top it all, one of my dearest friends backed up his car, accelerated and blew a huge cloud of dust into my face as I was standing nearby.
Thanks, Punky. I'm sensorily challenged right now. Can't see, can't breathe, can't taste. And thinking is something that is coming from the fringes of what I can call a brain. So please excuse the disjointedness of my current existence.

Why is it that the time I have a million things to do, I end up blogging? And when I don't, I'm off somewhere else. It's not because I'm a social butterfly (I'm not even a moth). It's not because I'm inventing cures for diseases (I so need one for the common cold!) in my free time. Why, I can't even remember what I did last weekend while I remember the roll numbers of everyone in my classmate, the exact order of the Mughal emperors and the names of their assorted children and wives. How useful. What an employable feature to put on my resume.

Sneeze again. Sixty hundred and eighty three at last count.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sisterhood Unexplored

Why don't they have enough female buddy movies?

I just watched 'Outrageous Fortune', one of those hilarious 80's movies. Starring Bette Midler, it features two madcap aspiring actresses on a crazy caper after a double-crossing man. They hate each others' guts at first but end up bonding big-time after discovering what a swine their common lover is.

Okay, so Hollywood has 'Thelma and Louise'. They have 'Friends'. They have 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants'.

What does India have? It's always 'Yeh dosti' with two guys. Or it ends up being unreal "He's my best friend, yaar" 'Kuch kuch hota hai' style. Even 'Jaane Tu..' could have packed a little more meat into the friendship between Jai and Aditi.

Where all the female best friends? (and I don't mean the heroine's hanger-on flunkies) Isn't there a solid story involving two (or more) interesting girls who do not have a bond because of some connection with a guy? (Yes, I said that before you could say 'Har dil jo pyaar karega'.)

I'm looking to new Bollywood for an answer.


I'm studying Visual Communication.

They should give me a degree for lying in bed, watching movies all day.