Monday, November 29, 2004

Shy of the moon

There is something
That mesmerises me
In this picture



The rawness
Of the bareness
Of the trees

The moon
Shining
So brightly

The stars
Shy
Of the moon

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Strange strangers

It all started with six strangers, meeting at the round table, in the Chinese restaurant. The table was huge. It had a lazy-Susan. There was no food on the table. Only tension in the air, anticipating the events that were to unfold. And then the first of them spoke, and the others listened. As the monologue ensued, the table filled with food. But no one was biting – the food or the proposal. The tension thickened as the plot thickened. And it all melted with the blackout. Screams overtook and then candle light. The flame flickered as their thoughts did. The silence drowned out the background chatter.


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Epilogue

It was a season of goodbyes. Time had flown by so quickly. None of them had realised it. Within a few days they were all separated again. All gone back to their respective places, respective times, respective lives. Lives that were never meant to be together, never meant to meet, never meant to …

But they had. They had met. They had been together, even if it were for those few days, they had. They had defied all boundaries; real and imaginable; to come together for those few days and then they were separated again. Each back to where each belonged.

He felt sad about it. It was a deep brooding sadness, like one which goes deep into the body, somewhere behind the heart and beyond it and makes it weep itself to sleep. He cried silent tears as each of them departed and there he was left alone again, as he had always been but never realised.

Different lives brought together by fate. By chance. Never could they imagine that a thing like this could have happened. Friendships strengthened in a day, reinforced, and promises made to ones own self. The feeling of a whirlwind coming into your life and taking it by storm.

He sat in silence and thought about it all, all that had happened, all that didn’t happen, all that should have happened, all that could have happened. He smiled a sad smile to himself as he looked into nowhere.

And then his memory took him back to the day of the first arrival. The rush to the station, the traffic jam, the smell of the dirty hawkers, the buzz of traffic whizzing by on the other side.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Prologue

He had waited all these years in silence. The years had dragged on by at first but then he got used to it. They just passed. They went by. They moved on. He carried on living as if he was not living another life inside of him, as if he was not living in another world, another place, and another time.

But now the time had come. It had passed and matured. He had natured it, dwelt with it over the years and waited in the hope that he would see today.

He had suppressed all the feelings inside him. He had kept quiet and kept it to himself. He had had a thousand stirrings in between but this was going to be the real thing.

His time had come. The journey had come to him and it was his time to make his move and change his life forever. This was the only time and as all things do, it came suddenly and without warning.

No storm to mark the day. No sign from the heavens. Nothing. Just another day. This is where his story starts and this is his story …


Saturday, November 20, 2004

Pretentious

Sitting on a barstool, in the top half of “The Nightclub”, away from the dance floor, he stared at the glass he held up in front of his face. It was full of a clear liquid. He brought it to his lips slowly, as if in a calculated movement, and with a quick shift of his eyeballs, he gulped down a generous helping. He brought the glass in front of his face again and set it down on the coaster that lay on the table upon which the upper half of his body rested.

He didn’t drink. He just liked to pretend that he was drinking. Just because he wanted to have the glass in his hand, so that he wouldn’t get distracted and pulled away from his chain of thoughts. Every movement of his was calculated. Anyone who saw him at the table would think that he was a regular there. It was his nonchalant attitude that was the real secret behind the way he became inconspicuous in a place like this.

He went there on weekends to unwind. To let out all the steam and pressure that had been building up within during the week. He found a kind of peace in the chaos of “The Nightclub”. He looked straight-ahead and beamed into the dance floor. He watched the bodies moving in and out of tune to the heavy music that pulsated from the hidden speakers all over The Nightclub.

He stayed like that for a long time; staring at no one in particular but feeling what the people on the dance floor were feeling. Then suddenly, without warning, he didn’t want to look anymore. He turned away and repeated the same exercise with the glass on the table as he had done earlier.

His eyes darted all around. He noticed all the people and their attitudes. He observed each one in detail and made a mental note in each case. Not that he was going to do anything about it. He just liked doing it. It made him feel adequate and worthy. He thought it was strange but accepted it without any resistance. So much so that he didn’t even give it a second thought.

He ran his fingers over his skin and fondled the stubble that was in its formative stages. The bristles felt like little blunt pins on his fingers trying very hard to pierce his skin. He carried on rubbing his chin as if in great thought but in reality there was nothing on his mind. His fingers moved up towards his sideburns and as if in an orchestrated movement it was attracted to his head. He ran his fingers through his smooth, soft, wavy hair; until he had reached the nape of his neck. Then he pulled away and repeated the exercise with the drink.

The glass was half-empty now. He had no indications of wanting a refill. He was beginning to feel the music in his body now and felt like he needed to dance. His friends were on the dance floor and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

He started debating as to whether he should join them or not. He decided that he should. He grabbed the glass from the table and downed the rest of the liquid. He slammed the glass back down on the table and rushed to the dance floor because his favourite track had started.

The empty glass lay alone on the table. The flickering lights bounced off some object and landed on the glass. The droplets of water dripping down the side of the glass glowed like diamonds.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Incomplete Sunrise

I woke up early today morning and hoped to see a sunrise after what seemed like an eternity. For some reason, I did not get to see a 'proper' sunrise. But what I got to see was what is in the picture below. Somehow, I think this was as beautiful, if not more than seeing a proper 'sunrise'.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Friday, November 12, 2004

Incomplete Sounds

Incomprehensible screeches
Of children playing
Muffle the humming
Of the machine
In the background
The gushing drain
Gurgles a symphony
In the meantime


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Flashback

As he stepped into the house, for the last time in his life, he felt like he was coming home.

Only, he was not. He was leaving. And the last memories of the house were going to stay with him. Especially the smell.

The smell he could never forget, having grown up with it. It was the familiar smell of home. It was the mixture of the smells of all the things that were at home. And this mix was the unique mix that could not be replicated anywhere else, no matter how hard he tried. And he had tried. He had tried to get the smell in every home he had lived in over the past years. But somehow he could not get it. And when he went back home, the first thing that he longed for was that smell.

He drew a deep breath as he entered the home for the last time, taking it all in. And then a loud sigh. Followed by the breeze bringing in the wind. And getting mixed with the smell.

* * *

His transformation was complete.

Well, as complete as he might have wanted it to be. Years ago.

It had been many years of living away from her. It had changed him. And when he looked back at all that had happened and how he had moved from one place to another. One life to another. Restarting, again and again. Each new life, a better life. Each new life, further away from her.

And this made them grow even closer.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

You don't

When you are dealing with the unknown, how do you know whether what you are doing is right or wrong?


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Blue vs. Blue

Light slanting through the same old make-shift cafe. But this time, a different scene. This time a tale of opposites, a tale of blue vs. blue. Back to Back.



I found this picture simple yet fascinating. So many opposites to observe, think and write about. But I thought that I’d let the picture speak for itself. For now.

Thoughts and observations invited, of course.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Another airport, early in the morning ...

The dawn breaks and the light slants through the make-shift cafe. The lights are not needed but they are on. The sun can do the trick alone. Regulations do not take into account, the sun in the cafe, in the corner, of the airport. Ugly green wedding chairs on flimsy cheap small tables. Brands screaming out, waiting to be touched, to be picked up. A ketchup bottle, stained red on a red background. The smell of coffee lingers in the air.



The final call is announced. The sprawling lounge, clean as a whistle, gives the impression of being a passage to another world. The yellow-on-black sign screams out the gate numbers. And I walk on. Through the passage. To another world.



The plane, connected, awaits. Humming in anticipation. Its frowning eyes staring you in the face. Reprimanding you for being one of the last ones to enter. The trip to the Sinking City has drawn to a close. Clear skies beckon.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Dinner and a view

... in the Sinking City, to end the day!


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Sinking City

"The city is reportedly sinking at a rate of 5cm (2in) every year, but there's too much sanùk (a peculiarly local concept of fun) going on for that to get anyone down. It's worth putting up with the coronary-inducing traffic jams, pollution, annual floods and sticky weather to experience the contrasts of the city: glass and steel buildings shaped like cartoon robots standing next to glittering temple spires; wreaths of jasmine flowers dangling from the rear-view mirrors of buses and taxis; shaven-headed, orange-robed monks walking barefoot along the street beneath a bank of giant Sony screens blasting MTV Asia."