Friday, November 26, 2010

My very own lame Oh Boy moment... alone.

There must be something about weed and hyper consciousness. They say stoners think at a different level. True. What I did not know was, they also observe every unimportant detail with CSI like precision.

Smoked a big one, alone.

No, I generally share. But this time, the people I was about to share it with were dancing to some good music. And they were dancing well. The last thing the scene needed was me stepping on the floor with my "moves", which actually make Chandler Bing look like Michael Jackson. So, for everyone's sake, I decided to stay put on the mattress and roll one joint after another. It wasn't that anyone forced me to dance either; you see, my reputation precedes me, and my mates respect that. So once they left the room to drop off the ladies, I picked the biggest doobie of the lot, took out an apple from the fridge, put on some Armin Van Buuren (yes, trance and weed are cliched. Sue me) and had my very own party.

Was out in three minutes.

Came down to my room and restarted the The Godfather Part I movie which I was watching this afternoon. 'Twas then I had my Oh Boy moment. You see, Vito Corleone was just about to be ambushed by some other wiseguys outside a fruit stall. And then I saw it. Paused the movie and here's the screenshot - (don't be lazy, click on it, it grows in size)

The boxing promotion poster in the pic said Jake La Motta vs some guy. Jake La Motta was the main protagonist in Scorcese's 1980 movie, Raging Bull where Robert De Niro played him. And Robert De Niro also plays the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather II. How cool is that! Ok maybe not to you, but I was super excited and felt really important at having seen this.

You say I need a life? I say you need Blu-Ray.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday Morning, or, How I Scare My Own People.

i sleep late. really late. Munirka village comes alive at 6:30AM - kids run to the local school, the caretakers of all buildings turn on the 'paani ka motors', the day job people come out to have bread omlettes and tea at Tripti Restruant (that's how they spell it here), the paper boy throws up the newspapers to the 4th/5th/6th floors with sniper-like precision, and landladies curse the sabjiwaala and then bitch about the north eastern people they have rented their rooms out to, the all white wearing landlords stand in their balconies and check out office going women from the strategic angle (as if that's not disturbing enough, some of them also burp in, what I think is the G-major and F#minor scale while pleasuring their eyes and rubbing their bellies), the guy who clears out the dustbins from my building accidently wakes up the the creepy old man who sleeps in a cot in the verandah and they have their customary MC/BC session.... these are the things that tell me that it's time I crash into the mattress.

But yesterday I was more hungry than other days. My work for the day was done but I just couldn't sleep. It was 5:15 in the morning and Munirka was still sleeping.

New Delhi has it's India Gate, Munirka Village has her Pal Dairy. A boon to cockroaches like I, and some call center people, it opens everyday at 5:30AM. All I had to do was wait for minutes. But I knew that staying in the room and watching episodes of Seinfeld wasn't possible with the stomach whining and growling more than George and Kramer* put together. So after almost eight years, i decided to go for a morning walk. The shop was eighty yards away from my room but,... umm... hunger amplifies distance. I stepped out, and it was still dark. But suddenly a familiar smell took over the entire scene. I couldn't recall what it was, but I had to know. A lady, about fifty or so, had just passed by, and I was sure it was her hair oil which triggered my curiosity. I finally had something to do till the shop pulled up its shutters.

I followed the lady. She was walking about twenty yards ahead, and stopping near every ground floor balcony and plucking flowers from the flower pots and putting them on a gold coloured vessel. Must be bengali, I said to myself. The fact that I did not know what that smell was, was killing me every second. It was too familiar to just ignore. Speeding up to her, and finally catching up, I asked in my politest voice which hair oil she used. She turned to me, slightly puzzled, and semi-shrieked in proper bengali-hindi - "O Ma, hum toh dor gaya tha!... Hair oil se kya hoga? Tum toh taakla ho." She told me to use castor oil for quick hair growth, and left the scene like a pickpocket leaves a crowded bus after the job's done.

I was speechless. And bald.
And I hadn't figured out what kind of hair-oil she used. I'd like to think it's a tie between Bajaj Almond and Keo Karpin. My aunts in Silchar used these, and hence the vague familiarity.

On the plus side, Pal Dairy had opened, right when I remembered I was hungry.

*George and Kramer are the best characters ever written for television. And Seinfeld is the best show.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Break and the Brake.

    Being a kid of the eighties, the boy too had had his share of being pushed and shoved into the mainstream of academia. The elders tried to convince him into believing that he was destined to be a great engineer or maths professor. His biggest mistake was defeating a drunken uncle in a game of chess when he was five. He was from a lineage that was symmetrically divided by the ‘chess leads to IIT’ and ‘you can be popular among your friends by being an expert in Robindro Shongeet’ schools of thought.  A big city away from home was the only escape. And he escaped. Although deep down inside, he hoped for greatness – so what if chess was the only indication?

    It had been almost a year now that the boy had started to think for some reason he was “creative”. Not that he had ‘created’ anything so far, but he felt it was more like something that was always at the brink, sort of like global warming (?). A lot of time in the last four years was spent in the ‘big city’ just hanging around not-so-happening places, alone, where he just stood and stared at people, cigarette shops, dogs chasing cars that were chasing women, walls with no graffiti, etc. His stares were blank – his head created stories instead of observing the actual ones unfolding right there. You can’t say he missed a lot of trains; he was just one of those who were fascinated by the station. He’d rather walk.
Having walked a lot, now he knew what he wanted in life. And at the top of that ‘want’ list, was a break from all of this. Mind you, besides getting a useless degree, he hadn’t done anything in the big city.  As I write about the boy, even I’m wondering – from what exactly does he want a break? He just wanted to go home. Just for a little while. Now that he thought he knew how to create stories from a spoon or a table fan, he tried to connect with everyone and looked for beauty in everything.  And home was beautiful, I’ll at least agree with him on that. At times I feel he was too romantic, not in a Romeo, but Jesus way. So his luggage home consisted of a guitar, a notebook and some pens.

    Home was just as he expected. The weather was good, but the city was changing. Inside his head, he felt like a homecoming king. Or like the changed and reformed cyborg in the second Terminator movie. He actually had a shrink to patient conversation with the auto-rickshaw driver on his way home. His folks had shifted to a new flat, and our boy missed his old place a lot.  So much so that during the first few days of his ‘break’, he used to take a bus to the old place and smoke a gold flake cigarette every other evening right outside his erstwhile kingdom. One such evening, after having one of the best idle conversations he had had in many months with ... someone, he decided to get a taste of his old life. He walked into Ganesh Saloon* – the place where he used to get a haircut every other month since the mid-nineties. He was high on life and decided that he needed a haircut. Go figure.

    Still maintaining his prom king like walk, he walked in and produced an extended director’s cut ivory smile to the barbers. They smiled back. This was his cue to announce to everyone in the town that he was back.
Boy – Don’t you recognize me after all these years? It must be the beard, right?
Barber  - Arrey Saahab, aap? After all these years? I’m so happy to see you. Please take a seat. Will be with you in a minute.

    Our boy smiles that whole entire minute. A mixture of pride and nostalgia mixed with a pinch of hope that the world is still a happy place. He adjusts himself on the hot seat when his turn comes and the good ‘ol barber asks him how short he wants his hair to be cut. The boy, still as romantic as that French skunk from the Bugs Bunny Show, opens up to the barber and tells him he doesn’t care how short the barber chops it, he showed up because he missed Ganesh Saloon and the people that worked here. So the trimming and the snipping commences along with our boy telling the barber stories about big city barbers and how they do not ‘connect’ with their customers, while charging them around eighty bucks for a cut that’s probably worth twenty. And other anecdotes continue, till our boy dozes off like a baby in its mother’s arms.

    Ten minutes later he wakes up to find that his month long effort of growing a pseudo-intellectual beard goes down the drain. His new style resembles some Italian magician sporting a French beard. He could have hoped to carry off the look or hide in his room for a week, but with the military length hair even that plan seemed futile. Without saying a word he gets up and places a hundred rupee note in the ever-so-smiling barber’s hand, expecting at least seventy-five back as change. The barber asks our tragic hero – “Ekdum looking like foreign, no?” and returns a twenty rupee note.

    Our boy comes home and doesn’t really know how to deal with getting ripped off and looking like a European paedophile. So he books a ticket back to the big city.

*most of the other saloons have turned into “Salons”.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Things I learnt from Prakash Jha's RAJNEETI

1. if you're showing a Leftist politician on silver screen, the loudspeaker he's holding also needs to be Red.
2. dialogues like "Comrade Bhaskar Sanyal ko main Bhagwaan maanti thi" sheds new light on how much the so-called young leftist girl has read about the Marxism-Atheism relationship.
2.5. "Bhaskar Sanyal"?!!! Seriously? Read this
3. All one night stands, lead to unwanted babies.
3.5. Marxist ideology is so weak that Comrade Bhaskar Sanyal leaves the political scene and forgets the ideology and makes a run for it, all because he feels guilty about having consensual sex.(talk about sowing the "seeds" of revolution.)
4. Bollywood does not believe in the umbilical chord, again.
5. Unwanted babies are natural survivors when it comes to floating on a river in a basket.
6. Winning an all-Dalit kabaddi championship makes you the leader of all Dalits.
7. when you're character is inspired from Suryaputra Karn, your name HAS TO BE ......Sooraj.
8. A political party with the party emblem - 'a handshake', feels appalled at the idea of forming a coalition.
9. the party office, just so that you know how non-leftist they are, have this Picture on its pin up board. (yes the scene was so boring, my eyes started to wander off)
10. the Party president gives a pep-talk to the other party ticket holders in the party office......using a Power Point Presentation.
11. When you're almost a PhD., in Victorian Literature and have just returned from the US., and you ambush your political rival in a run down basement, by surrounding him with your armed goons, you still feel 'not right' to fire that killing shot, cause he's unarmed.
12. American white people, to show how much they can relate to violence and terrorism, can play the I'm-actually-Irish card at any point in the movie without prior notice.
13. the only news channel on TV is Star News (one of the media sponsors), and all other news channels are made up names. i think one of them was Maury.
14. it's the political party that asks the public the question - "what's wrong with you?", NOT the other way round.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

April 23rd, 2008 / Bata Rules, ok?

I've been spending too much time in the room. Havn't seen the sun in almost a week. This time it's not American Express. They think I have malaria. I hope that's what the cheap helpful doctor writes in. My friends think I'm happily wasting my life in the AC enabled corporate office. That's what I'll tell them. It'll save me from being part of all those condolence-unlimited-conversations. Yes, I got chucked. And it sucks.

So now the only consistent person in my life is the delivery guy from McDonald's. Poor guy has to climb four storeys every day, so that I can stay hidden. And fat. I hope he makes it to some NIT this year. His joint rolling skills will come in handy over there I'm sure. I have torn chappals and I really wish Bata would start some home delivery service. Something like "30 mins nahi toh free socks." Too much to ask. I reach Kamla Nagar and end up buying new ones. Reach home and realize they are too bouncy. Too new. They don't sell faded slippers. I hate these new chappals.

I've forgotten how my friends look. Someone must have gotten a haircut. I want to see them. If only all of us could just meet and not talk. Not be 'social'. I message them to find that they are in Arts Faculty, waiting for me. The only think I'm excited about is the Banta. 15 mins and I'm there. The new chappals give a bounce to my walk. I look like a 70's Disco Guy walking towards the dance floor when the DJ plays Bee Gees. I look happy. It works. No one asks any questions. Happy hugs all around. And I realize I need some real bad. I love these new chappals.

The Banta wallah doesn't have change. May be the doctor supplying the fake certificate does.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A day-night match

The beauty and harmony in a snowflake. We call it beauty although, the pattern is based on mathematical logic. Does that mean the pattern of a snowflake, is predictable? Then why isn't there a beauty and harmony in cancer or a road accident? I've been hearing about that butterfly for many years now, but not one of us has been able to predict a single hurricane. Some say our brain conjures up all this pure abstract. they also believe math precedes every other fact.

2, 4, 6, .....

We are happy. We know the next number is 8. is this the absolute truth? or is it just another way to look at fear. Of the unknown. waking up in a dark room at 3:30 and not knowing whether it's AM or PM fucked it up for me. what was the truth in those 10 minutes of doubt I spent inside just lying still? War, death and you were all I could think about. I stepped out, realized it was AM. And the brain just stopped. Nothing made sense. Unlike other times, detachment was claustrophobic.

Then someone send me this link, and in a scenic way - everything made perfect sense.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Cosmonaut.

Dilli is a cold place. And I'm not talking about the weather. The winter suits me. Everyone stoops down to my natural level of laziness. Yes, like all the earlier posts, this one too, is about me. But that's where the concept of 'everyone' stops. Our generation for some reason, is too obsessed with space - between two people, or siblings, or friends, or lovers; and even enemies respect each others space. The thinkers talk about shared space, open space, and they talk about these on MySpace. The junkies can't get enough of outer space. It's all good, I guess. But then why do I miss chaos, and I don't mean it in a Hiroshima way, or some anarchist convention way. Come to think of it, anarchists aren't supposed to "convene". I'm talking about the chaos of opinions, of interactions, of mismatches, of debates, of choices...Scientifically, the word that I'd prefer is Entropy. Big Bang was also a chaotic glitch, and it resulted in life.

This blog I'm writing, is also supposed to be my own space. They say it's a forum where both you and I speak. Then why does it allow me to edit the comments? When have we become so fragile, that we are scared of reactions? Senior tells me these are the questions a stalker or suicide bomber asks himself before he becomes one. Senior was high on Shark Tooth. Never try to outsmart your old man when he's drinking. He'll beat you to it. Or he'll just beat you.

Talking of shared spaces, why is it that it's ok for a wedding procession to create all the noise in the world at any place it wants, but not ok for us to play drums in our own rooms? To play a song on a guitar in the centre of Priya's Shopping Complex, you need to ask the permission of about ten people; they say it's a public nuisance, but it's all good if you have a banner saying "RSJ Presents". What freakin shared spaces?!!

Don't get me wrong, I'm still the same person who used to and still does, complain about folks calling up everyday to ask what I've eaten. But, ..I can't seem to be at peace with the fact that it's ok to write on a stranger's wall, or even poke him or her, online..but they'd probably let the dogs chase me if I show up at their doorsteps with a jar of paint looking for an empty wall, or maybe with my granpa's umbrella to poke them with. It's depressing. And Dilli is a cold cold place. On the plus side, Hollywood is back with beautiful movies. And they call me a downloader man.

You got your space, and I got mine. Don't drift away though...I'll see you soon.