By randomly choosing symbols from an array of special characters, the artist becomes a selector – a mere agent of nature – thus breaking the inevitable link between creator and created
In response to BM’s this here tag, and after a lot of coaxing
1. I talk in my sleep. Not just babble, but carry out entire conversations in seemingly logical ways. It’s cause for much consternation amongst people who attempt to do it, especially gfs attempting pillow talk.
2. I am mentally playing some beat or the other, and consequently tapping my fingers on something all the time, or tapping them against each other to keep count (in sort of a cigarette tapping motion)
3. Every time a plane lines up at one end of the runway and accelerates to take off, the song “Highway to the danger zone” from Top Gun plays in my head.
4. I am terrified of piled up laundry. As it lies in a corner of my bedroom, I tiptoe around so as to not wake it up.
5. When I am at a cliff edge, I am always tempted to peep over it to see what lies below. This applies to hiking, but also life in general.
6. My fridge still has the bowl of hummus that I made (it didn’t turn out well) last summer. It’s green and hairy now. These days, it has taken to scurrying to the back when I open the fridge.
7. I can spend days lying back in my chair and listening to music. When I get into that phase, I don’t step out of the house and can usually get by with one meal a day.
8. I obsessively count how much sleep I get. The most sleep deprived I have ever been was when I stayed up for 88 hours with 2 hours of sleep. The second most sleep deprived was 83 hours with 3 hours of sleep.
This thing – it has gone on for too long. It makes me disgusted of myself and irritable all the time. Every day when I look into the mirror, it’s not the bloodshot eyes or the stubble that hasn’t been trimmed for weeks that bother me – its this thing i have to face as I stare at my reflection.
It happens to me from time to time, you know. It’s easy to not watch out and keep track of what you are up to when life gets a tad busy. You think you are all out of it, and you slowly slip back into old ways. The last time was a few months ago – but that was winter, but then I at least have the excuse that winters are depressing. This time around, I didn’t even realize.
But there is still hope. There always is. In fact, what surprises me is how easy the remedy is, and how in spite of it, I allow myself to be this way.
An elderly arabic gentleman who lives in my neighborhood and plays the Oud will be my saviour. For today is hair-cut day.
In response to the tag by revealed:
1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it
Scar across my chin. Picked up in a fight that involved an argument over the color of a pumpkin. After much debate about whether a kaddu is orange or green, was decided to settle the issue with a fistfight. Tables were overturned, bottles broken – all Amitabh Bachhan and Vinod Khanna in Amar-Akbar-Anthony style.
Oh wait, or was it just the elder brother beating the shit out of me for no reason?
Either ways, stitches and a scar.
2. What is on the walls of your room?
Photographs taken across the world, a couple of pieces of art by a friend, and some tribal art from Central India and Orissa.
3. What does your phone look like?
Black RAZR. Dark like the night, sharp like me. (sheesh)
4. What music do you listen to?
5. What is your current desktop picture?
This little sketch – titled “the awkward crush”
6. What do you want more than anything right now?
I want YOU for the US Army
7. For you believe in gay marriage?
I think gay marriage is for fags…
8. What time were you born?
Musically speaking, about twenty five years too late.
9. Are your parents still together?
yes. holding hands in a giant green field surrounded by sunshine,butterflies, daffodils and fuzzy kittens.
10. What are you listening to?
The moron in the cubicle next to mine yelling at his kid for not doing homework. Personally, I would have shot the kid.
11. Do you get scared of the dark?
Don’t you know who i *am*? I’m the *juggernaut*, bitch!
12. The last person to make you cry?
ex-gf who made me cut onions whenever she felt like cooking Indian food for friends she kept inviting over, like, every other day.
13. Favorite perfume?
Burberry Touch for women
14. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in a person of the opposite sex?
Black hair with red highlights. Brown eyes.
15. Do you like pain killers?
16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Er.. look at my answer to question 5 above.
17. Favorite pizza topping?
Weed. Seriously. Have you *tried* it??
18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Shot of jack and a burger to go with it
19. Who was the last person you made mad?
BM, by making her wait as I typed up this post. And man, does she get cranky or what! I don’t think you want to find out..
20. Is anyone in love with you?
Tsk, what is this thing called lau?
XYZ: When are you posting?
Heh heh: Can’t think of anything. How about a pic?
Heh heh: ok, i’m sending you a pic. please to suggest a suitable caption. And i want it done pronto
i’ll try and think up something dirty 🙂
Heh heh: i doubt you will, once you look at it
XYZ: oh no
is it something deep?
Haven’t we discussed my allergy towards all things deep?
Heh heh: not deep. just nice. you will like.
Heh heh: sent
XYZ: it is a very pretty picture
Ok – i am thinking something about hero heroine walking to sunset
perhaps as a form of foreplay
(anything can be dirty if you try)
Heh heh: you are incorrigible. now think.
XYZ: …then they walked hand-in-hand into the sunset, enveloped by their unshakable love and armed with trojans- ribbed for her pleasure.
Heh heh: yeah. but ribbed ones are unfair to the guy – lets go with ultra-thins
ultra-thins for enhanced sensation
see that doesn’t work as well as ribbed for her pleasure
Heh heh: it does. for the guy.
and I am incorrigible?
Heh heh: you are the one who brought condoms into a very beautiful picture
XYZ: i know but it is much too much to have a pretty picture with earnest caption
silly is good
Heh heh: yeah. but i feel like being earnest. Now, what do you think?
XYZ: the sky is incredibly blue.
See, this is the sort of nonsense i say when i am trying to be earnest
XYZ: seriously – the plane represents their soaring desires
Heh heh: You are hopeless
Heh heh: will do.
you still haven’t given me a decent caption
XYZ: i can’t do earnest
Heh heh: then do funny
XYZ: i did!
Heh heh: otherwise i’ll post that pic and this chat conversation
XYZ: i am not afraid of you
as long as you spell check
this is the crush conversation
i hate you
Heh heh: oh, i’m not cruel
i’ll just put the bits about the condoms
and let people know the kind of dirty-minded friends i have
Heh heh: And the post will be titled ‘how to ruin a good picture..’
 Photo taken from an unnamed off Netarts, Oregon
This is one my favorite pictures, taken about half-way down smith’s rock (the rock-face to the left), a volcanic formation in Oregon – a lone climber standing at at a cliff-edge directing his friends who are climbing up this 800 foot free-standing spire of rock called monkey face (what you see here is the head – the ‘face’ is to the other side). Monkey face, the rock and the climber are framed in the background by Mt Scott, a dormant volcano.
Down by the gates to a well known institute of technology in eastern India is a railway line with a single track. It is not used much – two or at most three sluggish freight trains tugged by a couple of straining engines pass by every day. But this is a special railroad – going beyond the shacks that line it to the left and a crumbling wall to the right, you are transported into a land of paddy fields, abandoned world war airfields and the memories of all those who have passed by this way. A place frozen in time – a magical railroad of the mind.
If you walk down those tracks, you will see them balancing along the rails, arms extended to their sides, with the tips of their fingers almost, but not quite, touching… he a skinny, lanky sort of a guy with long, disheveled hair, wearing a hoodie that has “Metallica” written at the front and “Seek and destroy” at the back. She is in a blue t-shirt and black jeans. The shirt has something written on it. Or maybe not. Her straight hair is tied up in a ponytail that swishes to and fro. He’s a novice at this – she, on the other hand, could be a tightrope walker. From time to time he slips, and she laughs at him and goads him on.
They are in no hurry. All that was needed to be done has been done. Their friends are gone, and tomorrow, they will also head on to separate lives thousands of miles away. In fact (and somewhat unfortunately that this is the sole reason) they are walking the railroad together only because there is nobody else left with whom they could hang out, and some company is better than no company – they are only the barest of acquaintances otherwise.
We will skip the next couple of hours of laughter and inane conversation about what lies ahead in their respective lives (it is the last day of college, after all) and go straight to the point where they reach a tiny railroad station – one of the innumerable ones that dot the Indian countryside – one or two trains per day affairs where the station master doubles up as both the signalman and the linesman *and* the booking clerk. Miraculously though, they find a tea-seller, and legs dangling over the side of the low station wall, they have spicy lemon tea of the kind this part of the country is famous for.
This is not a love story. There is no holding of hands, or kissing or hugging here. Our protagonists are going to be careful not to resort to anything that all you harsh readers might call overly sentimental. They will never be in love – although truth be told – as she sits by his side, delicately sipping tea from a glass, he does feel a pang of regret that he never got to know her better. You might call this the story of a distant-could-have-been – not necessarily a unique one, or even one that substantially stands out, for that matter, because the unrealized possibilities of our short lives always vastly outnumber those upon which we act.
The sun sets into an uninterrupted horizon of paddy fields. The station master walks out and chats with them. He doesn’t think it is a good idea for them to walk back – it will be dark soon. He has a better idea – a two engine combination is on its way to the steel plants to the west to be deployed on a freight train – it could drop them off. He flags it down, and they make the journey back in the engine driver’s cabin – the driver proudly showing off his knowledge of how a diesel locomotive works. She loses interest and nods off to sleep against his shoulder.
It takes a scant half hour. He walks her back to her dorm. He will not be allowed inside, and they don’t really know each other enough to promise to stay in touch, so he shakes her hand at the gate. What follows is recorded rather distinctly:
“I don’t suppose I will see you again. Good luck.”
“Yeah, I don’t suppose. Good luck to you too”
A lone tear spills over onto her cheek. She giggles nervously.
The story is not over yet. This could have been a possible ending, but good stories don’t end this way, and statements about people never seeing each other again usually turn out to be untrue.
Years later, as he steps out of a bar on the lower east side of New York City to clear his head of alcohol, he will run into her. She will have with her a toddler – her own. They will exchange pleasantries, email addresses and phone numbers. Meanwhile, the little one will make known quite vocally his displeasure at not being the sole focus of her attention. She will give in and and agree to leave soon. The kid will head to the edge of the kerb, and start to walk along – arms outstretched to keep his balance. She will smile, and loudly admonishing the kid for walking along the edge, follow him into the night.