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The Madman, "Yes, three days, three centuries, three aeons. Strange they would always weigh and measure. It is always a sundial and a pair of scales."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

MY CITY OF JOY


The wind was too strong to be ignored. It seemed to have come out on a mission. I tried frantically to calm it down and bring it to its senses. But instead, I myself got all worked up. The strong evening breeze churned and churned and with it I spun and spun and spun in a strange trance with both my hands stretched out to the sky in sync with the craziness of the wind.

The world turned into a blurred dizziness and things inside my head got all mixed up to bring out a surreal daze…

I am standing by the river of Sorrow- on the Ghat where many a late evening was whiled away by a bunch of jobless lads right out of school- some smoking, some teasing the dog, some capturing the lit up beauty of the Bridge-with-no-pillars in their gadgets and some writing poems inspired by the dull and distressful sorrow of the brownish flowing water...

And now I’m holding a cup made of dried up brown leaves, chomping away a spicy, crispy and at the same time watery snack that they call ‘Fuchka’. Why must the fair one with rimless glasses always make me laugh out when my mouth is full? The inconsiderate, cigarette-sucking monster of Smoke!

And now the smoke from grimy exhaust pipes fills up my nostrils and seems to kill my grey cells as I suddenly start fighting it with a fit of coughs. Oh! The curse of sitting on the scraggy metal toolbox that is fixed like an outcast just outside of the body of the barely-holding-on, black-yellow automobile with three wheels that makes such a blasting sound that a supersonic jet would be stunned to silence.

And now I’m flying at supersonic speed, mocking the maneuvering eagles, with Metal Rock blasting in my ears as I lie on the cool marble slab jutting out of the window in my balcony that overlooks the ever-teeming-with-shoppers street below.

And now I am hunting for one elusive whiff of fresh air from a blessed window as I stop myself from puking from suffocation as sweaty men further cram up the already crowded bus. Just then, the Teddy with newly found lenses must let loose his callous humor on the local men who are cursing the driver for not being Schumi!

And now I am listening to the “7 yr. old”, college-going Thin one and her suffocated tales of outrageous proposals and moronic professors and stuffy local trains. Lying next to her in the dark, I’m trying to cope with her super-excitement.

And now I am staring directly into the yet-to-turn-bright-and-fierce red sun as grains of wheat tumble down from my loosely held fist to the gray birds that are believed to fend off peril by shutting their eyes and thinking the world has gone dark and no one can see them!

And now I am returning home with the Chocolate boy who now lies ten thousand miles away from home, as the darkness begins to engulf, from a journey that took me, on my very own two legs, all around the City under the scorching Sun with only the occasional air-conditioned, underground Metro station for relief or the momentary joy of seeing a swanky imported car, the sight of which can make a paralyzed man jump!

And now I am jumping with joy as another enemy-wicket falls and my team leaps closer to victory. And oh! The tables banged and palms clapped red along with the one-foot-long-graying-beard donning, 130 kg. weighing Leo and the debates with him on religion bias and cultural differences and cricket strategies and politics and importance of education and whether friendships last and and and…

And I found myself being lulled to my senses by the wind that was now feeling guilty for making my head spin with craziness. I stopped spinning and put on my slippers and gave one last look North-East towards the City of Joy which had moments ago flooded my mind. I left my terrace to return to my books.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

WHAT SHOULD I WRITE?

Sometimes when I’m sitting with a blue pen in my hand and a blank black diary in front of me, you can catch me wondering, “What should I write?”

Most of these times, it’s so peaceful around me and inside me. I can feel the warmth of the lazy sunshine falling on the yellowing leaves just opposite to my window. There’s an occasional cry of an agitated infant in the neighborhood or the honking by a cautious bike rider or sometimes the call for prayer from the local mosque carried into my room by a reluctantly blowing breeze and dropped casually into the lap of my conscious thought. But the question remains- “What should I write?”

I am bored of listening to the songs on my playlist and can’t concentrate on my books until I have satiated the thirst of these empty pages. I look around and ruffle the feathers of my winged mind expecting some loosely stuck thoughts, gathered during the past few flights, to tumble down. But it merely returns, “What should I write?”

Now, it’s turning into a frustration. I have so much else to do and yet I have chained myself to these no-profit, empty pages and fruitless echoes in my hollow skull. I must put down something quickly and get over with it. The wind is picking up speed. The sun has lost its charms. The traffic outside is thickening. People are waking up from their afternoon nap. The world is moving on at an accelerated pace and I’m still sitting idly, staring at these stark blank pages of my black diary, licking the inky tip of my blue pen and thinking, “What should I write?”…