Sunday, November 30, 2003

Unfunny Moments

AS A KID

Me Mom told “ If someone asks
you to eat something, please say
politely, Thank you, I’m not hungry.”
Because, I had this awful
habit of wolfing down food, not
unlike, Mowgli…

So, in a friends house,
when his Mom asked, “Why don’t
you eat something,” I said,
“Thank you, I’ m not hungry,
though I am starving.”
His Mom looked amused
at my reply.

I wish I could say that about
me Mom, when I truthfully
told her how I had followed her
instruction to the word.

AS A 12 YR OLD

The guy whom I worshipped,
whom I thought was a genius,
answered to my curious query,
of why the Queen of England always
wore gloves when she shook
hands with the public?
“Because”, he said, with his I-know-all-
look, “If she shakes hand with any man
with her bare hands,
then she’ll become pregnant.”

I wish I had kept that ultimate secret
to human procreation to myself,
instead of imitating my hero and narrating it
to the class in my next school.

I wish I could forget the howls of
derisive laughter that followed…

AS A YOUNG GUY COURTING

I was tagged with this nice chick,
and one evening, when she came late
for a tete-a-tete,
I asked , why she was late ?
“I had gone to the Veterinary Clinic,” she said.
Confused, I asked, “Why, what was wrong
with you ?”
“No, no,” she said, “I had gone with
my Uncle.”
“Why?” I asked, still puzzled,
“What was wrong with him?”

By the time I could understand
that it was her Uncle’s dog
that had some problems,
I had plenty of my own and
the chick ceased to be nice.

AT THE MOMENT

At a crowded party,
I was deciphering Milan Kundera’s
“Why Do People Write”, to a spell bound
audience of five that got
mysteriously reduced
to one, when I returned with a refill.
She was pretty and receptive to
my ramblings, but
she never spoke a word. Just
kept nodding and fluttering
her eyelids.
Until, the hostess came and
spoke to my admirer in
French.
“What's going on?” I asked.
Pretty chattered something
to the hostess.
“She is telling me” the hostess
translated, “ That though she doesn’t
understand English , she loved
your animated expressions.”

No wonder, I
don’t often smile .

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

You can't go home again

Weekend, and I start showing the
familiar signs of withdrawl symptoms.
I am edgy, highly strung-up,
hands are twitching, and I know that
I will not last longer
in my present state of abstinence.
I must have it.

Immediately after work,
I rush to the comfort of the
book-shop.
My nerves are calmed, and my
hands are steadied by the sight of all the
racks of enticing books waiting to
be caressed by my hands
and loved by my mind.
I knew I had to buy one book,
to spend my weekend with.

I had waited for long,
for this moment.

After a long debate among
the various goodies available,
I nervously pick up Catcher in the Rye.

As a policy I don’t like to
re-read, but somehow, I felt I must
read this classic again.

So spent the weekend reading the
book at one stretch.
And in the end, felt hollow,
hurt, cheated, disappointed.

Years ago, I had bought the book
for a couple of bucks from a roadside
second hand book stall.
And had gone crazy over it.
Holden Caulfield felt so real and everyone
else seemed phony. I cried when I
read of his unrequited love for Jane.
He became my hero, and I imitated
him to the bit of even flunking a term.
J.D. Salinger became my idol.

But today, I’m older and cynical.
I find the book so amateurish, so
immature. And sadly, it is Holden Caulfield
who seems so phony. I fail to understand
what was in this book that had attracted me,
and made me swear my life by it .

What did I see then, that I don’t
see now?

J.D. Salinger doesn’t hold
me in awe anymore. But for his
single masterpiece Franny,
I don’t even think of him.

I realize that books that we once loved when
we were young, are like our long
lost heart throbs.
At best, they are great experiences, freeze shots
of some phase in our life. To be
preserved in memories.

But never, to be re met or re read.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Treat her gently, my friend

Got a call from an old friend Y.
Said he had come down on a holiday,
from the land of gold diggers.

How about meeting for a beer?
Sure, I say, as any reason or no reason
is good enough
for me to down a tankard.

So here we are, drinking and joking
and generally making silly fools of ourselves.
As normally two old friends do, when
they celebrate their reunion.

But as we get drunker, I find his talk turning
very materialistic. He recounts the
bank balance that he has. How much
he and his wife earn. The house
by the lakeside for which they had paid the
last installment , the new car on which
he had splurged etc. etc. I start feeling
depressed because money is something
that one should state, but never boast to
a friend.

The evening is turning sour and I
wish I had not met my friend at all.
He seemed so changed. So American.
I am looking at my watch when he
springs the question I was waiting for.

How is X ? He asks solicitously.
She is doing fine, I say.
I believe she is still working among some
tribals in Ooty?
That is true. I say.
She still single?
Yes. I agree.

Vino de veritas.
Wine brings out the truth.

Now I understand his reason for
this outing.
It is not to know about me
as much he wanted to know about X,
who was our common friend,
and who had once loved him.

You know, I think you are
her lover, he says with such
an animosity I never had seen in
him before. It is like an animal
side of him.

You are drunk. I say. Because sober,
he wont dream of uttering such nonsense.

Tell me, he asks, you meet her often?
Yes, whenever she comes to town, I say.
I think, he says, you two must be sleeping
together. I laugh at his
preposterous statement. But I am mad. As usual, if
a girl becomes close to a guy, the world thinks
she sleeps with him.
So clichéd.

Between us, he slurs confidentially, tell
me if she is a good lay.
I am about to blow my fuse and
explode and it takes me immense self control,
not to take the beer bottle between
us and smash it on his leering face.

After all, he is also my good friend,
who is just drunk bad.

Enough, I say, suddenly feeling cold
and sober and sick.
Come, Ill drop you home, I offer.
But he don’t want to leave.
It is like he wants the answer for
something that is gnawing his innards.

Tell me, why, she left me? He asks,
Why she refused to come with me?

Because you fool, I tell myself,
her and your destiny
were incompatible, so she let you go.

But of course I don’t say this because
it wont make sense to a sober guy,
and much less to a drunk.

Ha I don’t care, he shouts, as
far as I am concerned, I am happy, I am successful,
he crows. And she can rot with them
tribals , he curses, in their thatch huts among
vermins, dysentery and snakes.

That’s when I knock him
out cold.

You can bitch about
a girls character. You can slander
her reputation.
That’s how loose tongues wag
in this world.

Ok with me.

But never, never, with me,
belittle her ambition, her ideals,
her chasing her own unattainable rainbow.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Why Blog ?

Because it beats drinking
Because myself I rediscover by thinking

Because it clears my mental clog
Because through my own mazes, I slog

Because it is an emotional catharsis
Because bad memories it cauterizes

Because I am too lazy to write letters
Because I can showoff what little I know to my betters

Because it is a kind of an eerie free fall into the net
Because I am also as hooked as the rest

Because it is the only sunlight from my prison I see
Because I feel it might set me free

Because I might just manage to be readable to just one
Because the rest don’t give a damn and it don’t bother me none

Because living with an illusion has never been so much of a fun
Because it gives a breather to a man on the run

Because I get up in the middle of the night and feel I gotta write it
Because if my day has been bad, I always know I can make up for it

So the less of me you see here , the more happier I am.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Being the Lackey

I was the kind of guy, whom people used to love to hate. It was not without reason, as you will see.


Have you ever fell in
love with your
friends lover?


It happened to me.
The girl I liked was
my best friends girl.

She was a simple girl.
But, like my friend used
to say, most plain girls
were virtuous, because
of the lack of opportunity
to be otherwise.

My friend was handsome.
Dark, and brooding.
Like the devil.
And the women felt, they
needed to care for him.
To correct him.
And how wrong they were.

So he would pick the girls,
make them feel good and
when he discarded them, the
girls felt more grateful,
than jilted.

For he had
brought, the rare bit of
sunshine and romance
that they ever
saw, in their dark
prosaic world.

And I used to be the fall
guy. The messenger, the
excuse, the mask. For
all his deeds.

Rather, misdeeds.

I never cared much for them
women. I felt, if birds
had no brains, it aint my fault.

But this girl was soft, and
sweet, like a pineapple sponge cake.
And I felt, for the first time,
angry at my friend,
and his wicked ways,
and sorry for her.

I also felt, for
the first time, what a fool
I was. Being his dumb
sidekick, in all
his dirty schemes.

But,
I did nothing.

My friend went
into the usual routine
of wooing this poor girl,
and she was as besotted as
the rest before her were,
like bugs around a blazing bulb.

And when he dumped her,
she realized what a cad he was.
But unlike the rest, she felt
she had been cheated, let down.

And when she was killing herself,
I said to her, I love you.
She asked me, why? why ?
you never told me this before?

I thought and said, my loyalty
always comes before
my love.

Because, I am a man.