An Excuse to Write
I just realized what the perfect antidote to Leaving on a Jet Plane is.
Just one of those things
(written by Cole Porter; I have the Ella Fitzgerald version)
It was just one of those things
Just one of those crazy flings
One of those bells that now and then rings
Just one of those things
It was just one of those nights
Just one of those fabulous flights
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
Just one of those things
If we'd thought a bit before the end of it
When we started painting the town
We'd have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot not to cool down
So good-bye, dear, and amen
Here's hoping we meet now and then
It was great fun
But it was just one of those things
My First Poster
A friend got me this. It fits in so perfectly with my room. Just the right size for that space of wall; even the colour of the bedsheet matches. This room finally looks mine
I miss my brother for one very important reason. He is my black hole for gossip/opinions/theories - whatever I tell him stays with him, in a galaxy far far away from mine. Nothing I tell him is likely to come back and bite me. Now that he's away, I have to remind myself to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes I forget other people talk too. I could've avoided some recent faux pas if I'd just called him up and vented.
Its not that I don't have anyone to talk to outside my house. I thankfully get my regular dose of conversation and random small talk, just not with anyone as
perfect as my brother. You need someone like that - who you can just tell (almost) everything on your mind, who's biased towards you, who's known you (relatively) forever, and who will laugh at your stupid insider jokes and vice-verca. Plus, bhaiya analyzes the smallest thing as much as I do; so we can talk for hours.
Back to Basics
I'm finally brushing up on my multiplication tables. I probably haven't given them any thought since I mastered the tables of 12; which means my powers of calculation have remained static for a decade. This has been long overdue. I've even roped in my mother, so its really going back.
Mummy prefers the sing-song method of learning; though I draw the line at her trying to drone along with me. Then she gets to drill me while I stare at the fan or pace around the room. If she wasn't in the room I'd still be doing that, but numbers would quickly be the last thing on my mind.
I'm getting a kick out of this, similar to the rush you get when you start exercising regularly. But then I haven't even kept this up for a week, so I better not think of any more resolutions.
PS: The perfect song for this is Homework (Do Ekum Do) from Darna Mana Hai.
PPS: Telling people I'm practicing calculating often provokes a few to throw some random numbers at me. If I get it wrong, I won't hear the end of it. If I get it right, I might be informed that they don't know either, so - whatever.
Deep sleep with dreams imbibed in logic that makes complete sense within it. Waking up devoid of any discontent. Driving class early in the morning. Being placed in the driver's seat straight away - not unlike being pushed into a swimming pool. The feel of the clutch, accelerator and, occassionally, the break under my feet. The inscrutability of the steering wheel. Going back to sleep. A quiet breakfast in the absence of the bustle of people who have places to go and things to do. A reasonably empty house around mid-morning. A slight breeze. Music and half a cup of coffee.
A cold that make all these even more special.
Looking out for moments
This is an assignment I'm going to enjoy immensely. I have to look out for incidents over the next few days. It can be any snippet of life that comes across as interesting to me. I like this role of an observer being thrust upon me; I usually walk around in my own bubble, with reality an intrusion I could do without.
- A woman wearing a white salwar-kurti with a blue printed dupatta, along with two others, passed by a man with a black leather bag. Both realized that her dupatta had got stuck to his bag, only after they were a metre away from each other and her dupatta was pulled away from her shoulder. A rather quaint scene - filmi, really. Everyone - the woman, her companions and the man - turned around to face each other at the same time.
- A guy (late teens - early twenties) was sitting alone, in a corner of Cha Bar in Oxford Bookstore, sipping his beverage. It seemed that he'd been sitting there for some time now, completely engrossed in his book. Nothing extraordinary in itself, but I have rarely seen anyone do that in Calcutta and my own attempts have been in vain. Then again, the place was much more conducive to such activity than others - no intrusive music, few customers (small place, really), tables spaced out and set in a bookstore. And from what I could make out, the guy's mobile was on discreet and he was screening his calls. He didn't seem to be waiting for anyone. I wonder what was he reading? Did he plan to buy the book? Was he a regular there? Did he do this often? Was he just passing time?
- Around three pm, there is a traffic jam around Xaviers school, unique to well-populated schools surrounded by small streets and flanked by bigger roads housing offices and markets. Every availible space is utilized, really. In the middle of all this is a white ambassador clearly going against the tide, or rather the one-way direction. It is filled with school kids and any doubts concerning who would attempt such a stunt at such an hour is quickly cleared by the red shiny number-plate declaring it to be the property of the Government of India. Car pool duty?
- A man carrying a piece of paper was genuinely muttering to himself as he walked on the road. (I've never actually seen people do that, except in books and movies) It was something about the stupid place he can't find and the stupidity of sending him to do whatever work he had to do. The second he finished his harangue, he swiveled right to ask a man, sitting at a roadside dhaba, for directions. At this point I walked past him and knew no more of his elusive destination.
- A girl at a restaurant checked two chairs for any rocking movement, then exchanged her own chair at the table seating her party with one of them. But she wasn't satisfied till she checked a few others and performed one final exchange to realize that all her lunch companions as well as the waiters had been staring at her throughout her little exercise.
- A group of around fifteen college students were standing outside the locked gates of a small park in a nondescript street. The sidewalk outside the park gate was littered with building material, and was hardly wide enough for all of them and the group overflowed into the street. It was clearly not a place to 'hang out'. They were having an animated discussion, bordering on argument; most of them surrounding two people sitting on bricks who formed the focal point and a few others having more private discussions. Must have been intriguing for anyone passing by.
Following my own advice...
I happened to come across something I'd written a while ago. For a moment, it felt like somebody else had penned it down. I'm still dealing with the same issues (god, its a loaded term), but I seem to have had a different take on them. Its funny how I thought all that and forgot all about it! Happily enough, I think I'm heading in the right direction. Just what I needed.
Picking up where I left off
Ever since my exams ended, which despite my tone was only two weeks ago, I’ve been in my taking-one-day-at-a-time mode. Putting it this way is a perfectly good excuse for doing nothing. I read. I watch movies. I play Civ III.
However, I can claim to have made some observations. I have come to realize that though I love reading, my taste in books is not as wide as I might have thought it was. My range could be narrowed down to sci-fi, fantasy and humour. And I can be obsessive in the way I gulp down books by an author once I’ve read any one. (I’m on Christopher Brookmyre right now)
My correspondence isn’t consistent ‘cause I hate staring at a blank screen and realizing that I might not have anything going on in my life. This is probably true of why I haven’t been blogging. I had much more to say when I was (learning how to) programming and had no real social life. Apparently, productivity, i.e working on something I’m good at/interested in, initiates meaningful though processes in me.
My Civ III game-play is testament to my need to micro-manage and inability to carry ideas to their completion.
Oh, and I watch way too much Friends. Another sign of my obsessiveness. Every second thing reminds me of something that happened in Friends, or something Calvin or Hobbes said, or the spin Terry Pratchett put on it. And I have to stop myself from expanding on that list.
Anyway, its good to have got all that out. I might, just might, be inspired enough to do stuff. But I have to admit to myself that the last two weeks have been nice enough. It went off smoothly, with very minimal “What am I doing with my life?” angst. Two weeks of almost nothing after a month and a half of extended exam time and just before a family shaadi in Delhi and college re-opening isn’t that big a crime.
"You write because you need to write, or because you hope someone will listen, or because writing will mend something broken inside you, or bring something back to life-"
- Jay Makintosh
(from Blackberry Wine)
I need to write. I need to rearrange and refine sentences. I want to ponder over how to put that thought in words; so that it fits in the scheme of things just so. Words can create magic and I want to get lost in them for some part of each day's life.