Monday, October 02, 2006

Those Stolen Moments

So I’m addicted to cigarettes

And isn’t the only one of my vices. But sometimes I enjoy it.

I just had a smoke and it’s a cold London day, the kind of day that heralds fall back in NY, when the leaves are beginning to turn and later this month will fall. I wouldn’t dare enter Central Park, the one place that reminds me how lonely the city can be. Central Park (and here I digress from the main theme of this post) is one block from where I work. My glass walled office overlooks it and I can see the people walking about in it. In one year of living in NY, I had never been there. I was scared to. It’s a place, like Paris, I imagine going with the Faceless One. The first time I went there was this past July with the Ex and I loved it.

Anyway, so I stepped outside to smoke, in a thin cotton cream coloured shirt, feeling the cold air run over me, the cold never has bothered me. Anyway, I thought about all the times I have smoked a cigarette. When I first got to Hindu and started making new friends, smoking in the winter’s sun in Delhi, the pleasant feeling only the winter’s sun in Delhi gives me, drinking tons of OJ because the guy made them so well.

Or just after playing golf at SriFort, pulling up in the parking lot after I got my first rejection from a college in the US wondering what on earth was going on and if I truly had any control in this life.

After making love to the Ex at a friends place where she was staying over, in the summer heat with nothing but a fan too cool you down after, falling asleep, arms around each other as though sent adrift in the big bad world

I remember after I had settled down in NY, after my first day on the job, looking out a new window at a new city I would begin to call home, being able to see the Empire State building with its colored lights that change so often.

Or the times I have been buzzed at Turquoise Cottage oh so many times with old friends from middle-school, laughing and being 15 again.

I remember the surreptitious cigarette I sneaked when I was in the bathroom in my room in Delhi which still happens. I fly in around mid-night, the driver takes me home and we make small talk. We drive down familiar streets, the long winding road toward Shivalik, pulling up to the gate when the guard is swathed in a long shawl. I ring the doorbell from downstairs while unloading the car and can hear the dogs barking. I stay up for a while with my folks. But before I turn in, I sneak one with my arm near the exhaust to keep the smoke from creeping into the room, feeling like I am home.

I have smoked in more exotic locales as well, down on a raft down the Ganges in an oversized floatation jacket, in the hills in Dharamshala watching a waterfall as only a waterfall can. Or driving up a mountain near my college in a convertible, with 80’s songs playing, the girls in the back singing and laughing.

Or sometimes in the middle of the night with no light except the one at the tip of my fingers, the smoke undisturbed by a non-existent breeze.

I love to indulge when its pouring in Delhi, sheets of water, people in ankle deep water with plastic bags around their feet, guys with pot bellies and pants rolled up to here, women in sarees and carrying stuff o their head, kids coming home from school unmindful of the rain.

Or the times in whichever city you may like, pulling over from my characteristic brisk pace, stopping at a coffee shop, sitting outside and watching the people (oh the beautiful people…wasn’t hat a song as well?) mill about, wonder who they are, where they are going and if anything means anything anymore

I guess it isn’t the smoking, its what I do for those 3-4 minutes when I am alone in my heads and world passes me by for a change


basho said...

An extremely evocative post, well, for us smokers anyway. :-)

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

You're good. Now you need to get original (which is fucking impossible, actually, but what the hell)
You actually blog-rolled me? Damn. I feel respectable.

Zaphod said...

hahahahahaah, will try mon ami, will certainly try

and dont feel too respectable, sometimes i write total crap (and please dont agree too vociferously with me on that one, a little agreement is just fine)