Tuesday, 22 October 2013

On the road, for a day!

So I start, about 7, early bright sun rays piercing against my eyes groggy from another bout of insomnia last night. It's all very quiet around , with the sound of my own footsteps being the only noise. People had slowly started milling around, and dogs , who were up too last  night, recede in the background, handing over the world back to humans.  
Air is cold, with a slight nip, yet it is almost pleasant, especially in the sun which had now quietly started getting hotter.


It felt pretty strange in the bus, I was going nowhere , I guess for the first time. It didn't matter much whether there was heavy traffic or not, nor did the stops matter,  it was a confusing joy. Perhaps a more certain joy was on the face of the conductor , rustling around in his khaki dress, with his head neatly parted the other side, the way one of my teacher used to. That shiny steel punch , hanging from his neck, shone intermittently in the golden rays that played hide and seek amidst the canopied streets of Bangalore. Perhaps they were the Midas's arms, turning into gold every leaf, every flower, and every thing else.


Sitting on a bench next to the lake in lalbagh I drink the cold breeze forcing itself through my throats. Two eagles cavort over the surface of the lake, now diving, now swooping jut above the surface , leaving behind a faint trace of ripples. Joggers have started to clear now, middle-old aged men in groups of two and three speed along, discussing the future of upcoming generations, while couples nestle together although warily on the adjacent benches. Except for some photo enthusiasts and weekend celebrators , the park is almost empty now. Eagles have flown away too, now circling the sky from high above. 
I am getting drowsy from the lack of sleep, yet there being no other option , I persist. I almost feel like the delirious Raskolnikov, from Dyostovesky's  Crime & Punishment , such that the voices and noise around me, seem to play themselves in a dream, or at least appear to come from far distant places. Images? They too are playing around.  Just now I saw a slovenly, slight man,  bearded in a rough thin strip  running from left to the right ears. He was squatting on a low wall, just as I crossed , brushing his teeth, that shone brilliantly as he opened his mouth to spit. And he spit right beside me. Almost! Uncouth vagrants!  However something did amuse me  about him. I guess , it was freedom, or something like it.

An elderly couple sits beside me now, tired of circling the garden. They talk mostly about their children, and grandchildren. The woman tiredly complains of not having been able to talk to her daughter today, which , her husband considering unimportant. The woman continued with other litanies, perhaps used to her inured husband's uninterestedness in her recitals. I wonder, what if these recitals, fake as they were anyways, taken away from them? Catastrophe!


There are several things that bother you when you are on the street, away from the comfort of your home. The early ones being a location to defecate, which as the pressure within increases panic sets in.

Well, after a few tense scouring minutes, I managed to find a pay and use toilet, just when the attendant almost killed me by throwing an inquisitive look as I rushed to it. "Toilet?", he asked .I said, "No". He looked befuddled, while I was on the verge of collapsing. " no. 2 ?" , he asked again, and all heavenly joy came rushing to my lips  that threw an effervescent "yes", and rushed to open the toilet gate, which to my pleasant surprise was a clean, western toilet. I dislodged the shit!

Well, I felt like a king , almost having won a kingdom for myself, when my thoughts rushed to the plight of men in cities that don't have a place to defecate. How such a simple thing, a simple discharge can enfeeble man, and yet how simply feasible it is to ensure that to every citizen . 

I left lalbagh!


Sun now shone through the azure sky, it was going to be a sunny Sunday, true to its name. Having walked almost about a kilometre and bought a magazine at the doors of an MTR shop, I took another bus, which in most probably was going towards silk board. Well , at least bus was cooler than outside, and playing radio on which Chandni's title song blared. A beggar stood in the bus, who didn't appear as one. I refused to dole out alms, while typing on my iPhone. Felt guilty!


Landed at Koramangala, wandering its streets. The roads are quiet, and appear somnolent, almost all of the shops are closed, or are just about opening. Koramangala wakes up a little later than lalbagh. Feel tired , and almost a little bored of walking in hot sun. However , I still walk. Strange thing this walking is, it dissolves all the difference within you, such that you may be aware of them as inner difference, but as a nice Hegelian point, it is the outer that as certainty of inner dissolves all the differences within itself. The self differentiated being arrives at its certainty of being a bone, the walk. It proceeds from this material point.
Off koramangala now.


The initial euphoria of early morning , although somewaht dazed, has evaporated now. It's not a romantic bus trip across the city , romancing with its streets anymore. If anything, I feel tired, and bored, sitting here on domlur bus stand. But  I must go on , if early euphoria was not the motivation, why should a hot afternoon be the dampener  Perhaps , I will take bangalore metro today. 

At the metro station now. To take  a metro is an occasion in itself. Prior to that drank tender coconut milk at CMH road junction, the seller being a middle aged  semi bald man, who was playing with his kid. Kareena shone through the poster of a jewellery on on the other side of the road, clad in  saree in such a way that her bosom bulged over on one of the sides making ambiguous claims of modesty in her sensuousness. Metro arrives.

Metro felt same from inside as Delhi metro, not very crowded though, which is understandable , considering the short distance it covers. View of the city from metro made bangalore appear  a similar concrete jungle as Delhi. Perhaps that is the way city is headed.

I get frustrated. I  had got down at M G road station, the last stop and went into Bloomsbury shop, nothing interesting. Piqued, I walk on relatively empty roads , when suddenly the idea of having an ice cream hits me. It's DBC time. 

Full with chocolate now. I feel a little better . 

I am at Sapna book shop on residency road, same place where crossword stood earlier. I liked crossword better, and perhaps it was due to crossword that I started reading so broadly. Sapna is more of a bundle of books, with less concern for aesthetics, and book lovers feelings. 

Tired. Legs ache.


I have grown wearied now. I move towards brigade road, a bus in green and black stripe stands there , I board it. I wish to just sit and travel now. On the diagonal seat, young college going kids gossip about their friends etc., with strong exclamations! You  almost get the feeling of a serious life and death issue being discussed. Bus fills up pretty soon, and it feels better when it's in motion. The hyperactive kids are almost getting on my nerves,or perhaps I have grown old! I marvel at the variations my emotions have undergone since this morning. Yet, I know it's foolishly sentimental to draw such comparisons, the consciousness of a moment is exactly the moment's consciousness .  Bus moves pretty quickly ,today being Sunday. Pretty soon, I have reached army school. This conductor wears a darker khaki dress, and is less enthusiastic and less concerned with aesthetics than the one on the morning bus.


Aborted the plan to go all the way to EC, walked from Agrahara bus stand to silk board. I was feeling groggy, and calf muscles were cramping, I guess hamstring. Not sure. Silk board bus stand was milling as ever, swarmed with people of all hues and age.  There were primarily Volvo buses, and no sooner than a regular bus arrived, crowd thronged into the bus. Found a seat, feeling really tired now. Somehow, I love this feeling of tiredness which is something of a kind of madness. A good sleep last night would have made the sojourn more energetic, but there are factors beyond ones control, and there is no point in cribbing over them. Ignore the negative energies and just materially do , what you must do.  It's Jaydeva. I will get down now. Oh it was one stop before Jaydeva. Never mind. I will walk . 


My journey of the day is about to end now. Sitting on the bus to Apollo hospital. At the bus stand the groundnut seller was marvelling at the pictures from a magazine, which he must have bought from the garbage sellers. There were dreams in there. Polished men and women, radiant faces and regal dresses must have spell bound him. His dreams , alive in flesh and blood, for everyone to witness. 

As I near my stop, I wonder what did I think about my bus trip in Bangalore , and I could only remember the tiredness that remained with me, and perhaps a little dose of confidence in myself. But in a way, it means nothing, for it was an action that was complete in itself, perhaps I like this latter aspect more.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The gardener and the garden!

When the cherished garden of the gardener starts to decay, he , taking solemn cognisance of the matter, starts applying ways to save it.

It begins with spraying pesticides, of several kinds that to his knowledge, would help garden regain its glory . But none of them could help stem the rot. He imagines the decay , the peril to which the land would be subjected , and it shudders him. His heart rends with pain at the mere thought of this destruction , which his garden would be going through in future . He would be devastated , he thought . Oh how much did he love them, just as if all those plants were his children , and the land his own extension , his own body, his own self. 

Oh! This curse of life!

He looked at the expanse, soon to be barren, wistful , sad and devastated. "Ruined!", he murmured, as his lips quivered and two drop of tears hung precariously to it .

As the time seemed to drag away, night and darkness zoomed  on the land. He rose and walked away. A perturbed soul.

After the gardener had left, a stem rose,  and was moved with such pity for itself, that it rend a huge cry.  "What fate has befallen us, this doom, this sudden decadence, this perishing of the soul before its time!", it wailed. 

 And then, the pain of the gardener, the frustration of his attempts to rehabilitate it, stung its heart. "What has been this decayed built of my body, that could not accept the benevolence of my Master ! What has been the nature of this sudden perversion , that it could not respond to the care of the Master! Oh this hell! How could one bear this pain of ones decay, and the  greater pain of alienation from ones Master".

Days passed, the garden continued to slip into decadence , the plants continued to shrivel and wither. The gardener , however , preserved with his hope for its renewal , for its resurgence to life.

More days passed, and it finally became inevitable , the passing of garden into barrenness . The gardener had continued with his efforts to revive the land and the garden, but only to be dashed all the time. This took a toll on his health too  and he began to keep sick every now and then. His family members requested him to stop visiting the garden, and  decided among themselves , that it was perhaps in the best interest to sell off the land. However , gardener was a difficult man to be convinced to part with his land.  As his health continued to deteriorate further, it became certain that he would not survive for long. Seeing this, his children stopped pestering him to sell off the land. "It was only a matter of time", they thought.

One fine day, his health grew worse. It became clear that his end was near. He looked up to his family, and surprisingly none of them seemed familiar to him. He asked his sons, to carry him to the garden, and leave him there , alone , for the night. At first they demurred, but finding the gardener obstinate to his demand, they obliged .

The gardener lay in the centre of the garden.  All around him, lay the sight of a destroyed heaven. He began to sob convulsively, hiding his face in his palms. Suddenly, he discerned an almost indecipherable sob from somewhere in the near distance . There was not a soul around on this dark night. The noise seemed to come from nowhere, when suddenly he saw a half decayed stem, sobbing and shuddering violently .

"Don't be surprised Master! I am your child. Your plant ! As I heard you sobbing there I could not help sobbing myself , too. We all have failed you collectively . All of us, the whole bunch of plants and this land ."

Gardener lay watching the stem speak,  bemused , yet not afraid.

It began again, "All of us here have been discussing it day and night . What is this calamity that has suddenly befallen us! This disease that has turned us into a decaying hell hole ! This disease that has ruined our soul itself,  Master. However , Master, that pain isn't as big as the pain of embarrassment that we have all gone through , of not having been cured by your numerous benign attempts. You, who gave all your life, to nurture and protect us, have been failed by this disease within us . Heaven knows!, I and like me, everyone here is perplexed by this calamity, yet that stands nowhere close to the pain that we go through, as we decay to our ends, despite the efforts of a benign gardener. Master, we have failed you !". And as it drawled these final words , it got transfixed as a stem again.

The gardener rose. A sudden thought welled up inside him. He went up to the stem, held it with care and warmth. Sobbing lightly now, he began , " I see now , what I could never see all this time ! I see the truth! All of you, my children, forgive me, for having ridden you with this guilt. Forgive me for having projected my care for you , as care for your personal good. All this time, I kept thinking , "how is it that these plants have suddenly taken to rotting, despite of my love and care for them!" , while I forgot that it was my fantasy  of the "beautiful" garden, that had decayed. Not you, however ! Go on , live your "diseased" self with √©lan! I can only be forgiven then."

And there, with those words , his soul left his body .

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I stand nude!

I stand nude. I laugh. 

I am standing nude at the city square, and I am laughing. No, I stood nude and then I started laughing, or was it other way round?  Anyways, now, I am watching the laughter around me. There is a joke doing rounds, not of words, but of sight, of mind, of thought, of the realization that a man, stands nude, in the center of the city, and people look at it.  Many haven’t laughed since ages, some develop wrinkles on their eye corners, laughing. Some tripped over the pavement, with bouts of laughter. It was the greatest celebration of all times. Never before had the city realized that it can all laugh together. Never before, has this moment dawned on all of its inhabitants. Yet, of all the laughs, there was one, which differed from others. It was mine. I laughed too.

My laugh was different. Not in the way different is different, but in the way that it was different from all other differences in laugh. Most present were laughing at their own sense of compulsion being overturned in folly by me. But, I wasn’t laughing at the same. Could I have done that? Laughing at oneself? Laughing at the laughter that has originated from my own source of revolt. It doesn’t seem to be even grammatically correct. Recursions are not allowed in languages, and when they appear, know that that’s end of rational thought. Irrational laughter follows. Thus was it. The laughter, all in itself, for no rational reason, for no reasonable purpose. For no aim of mocking a villain’s laugh or an intellect’s  scorn, or that of a hero’s benevolence. 

I stand nude and I laugh.

I know, I cannot proceed without deconstructing the event now, but I am not taking that course. Rationalists can leave, here, to continue with their laughter. 
I will move ahead with this laughing, nude, irrational me. I remember having done this on numerous occasions. I go, I stand nude and I laugh.  Every shopkeeper in the locality know it ; I have been denuded already and many times. Even the traffic policeman, knows that, and that is why his laughter is mostly on visual aspect, and that is the reason, he  grudges , "Oh! again comes the devil", but doesn’t stop me.

So much on nudity, nevertheless. As if, that is the most shocking thing to say or write about. What does this nudity entail? Lack of something? Clothes you say? Hah! I do not ever shed them. Nor have I now. Even when I bathe, I do it in clothes, I am scared of peeling  my second skin, but despite of all and everything  that I wear, I remain nude. I remain exposed. But too much on nudity for now. I am feeling cold, without clothes. Oh, did I just say, I always wear clothes? Well, I might have mistaken clothes with my ego. It’s not easy to be rational and deterministic about one’s writing in such a condition. The cold is growing.  City too begins to inch towards calm and peace of sleep. I move too, my standing here no longer serves my purpose. Yes, I too have a purpose. Just like all the sick minded people have.  There is this unique thing about purpose; it starts making you rational, the longer and dearer you sick to it. So, I shed them, as soon as they start becoming dear to me. Still, I take on new purpose every time, I have to; all sick minded people have to take a purpose. 
So, at present my purpose happens to be, ah! wait, I can hold on to it. Perhaps you will see for yourself!