Wednesday, June 27, 2007


It's one of those days that reminds me of the onset of the rains back home. You know how the day feels, it's dusk through the day and yet hot. It tends to be cool here when the day is like that but it was hot. And I don't mean warm, I mean the heavy hotness, it's palpable, rising up from the concrete below you and on every side, from the people, from the frenetic pace, the impatient people in line at the Starbucks playing recycled music of the flavor of the month.
The air is thick with wetness, the kind of air that you don't breathe, the kind that seems thick across your teeth and you bite through it with every stem.
The wetness settles on your upper lip, not the sweat from working out but from the outside, the air leaving a bit more with each step.

I am reading the Reluctant Fundamentalist which does echo what I feel. But it does it eloquently, simply and in the way I like most -- a conversation. It's a single voice that doesn't waver, a story that doesn't require passive description, a voice that reads to you when you were a kid.

It had a line that described not a childhood poverty, but a poverty like longing. I remember sitting in the front of a Maruti Esteem when I was 13, a rare treat. I remember telling my father how much leg room there was in front, trying to speak over the Kenwood music system, but not loud enough for the driver to think that I was unused to it. I don't think he acknowledged what I said but when I said it a third time, he laughed and said that there was indeed a lot of leg room, in a way that made me feel he got my sense of longing which honestly, wasn't there.

I remember some of them laughing about the fact that I wore a t-shirt that was out of style
"Hey! The 80's wants its clothes back"
Of course, these were hand-me-downs from my first set of cousins, there being 7 ahead of me so they had seen a fair share of wear.

I remember being 12 or 13, trying to sleep in the balcony because the power had gone and I had to be up at 5:30am for school, being unable to sleep thanks to the heat, the mosquitoes but the loudest being the sound of the generators everyone else seemed to have.

I remember making friends with the truck driver who made deliveries at 4pm on Wednesday to the store. Then the older stuff gets pulled forward, the new stuff has to be put behind. Then count the total number of each item and keep tally. Then flatten the boxes and walk 20 minutes back and forth to throw them in the recycle bin. Or I remember serving the drunk kids on a Saturday night, praying no one spilled anything because that meant cleaning up after the store shut and getting out at 1am, instead of 12:30pm, waking up at 8:45am the next day to open the store again, carrying my books, hoping everyone would be too hung over to stop me from studying.
True, other kids worked there as well, but I am myopic and that's that.
But yes, I did try and work 20 hours a week so I had more money to spend when I went out.

And yes, I do remember waiting every Wednesday to get my weekly test results all through school to buy a new book or cassette.

So why should one assume that that feeling should have left me now? It manifests as drive which is a polite way of saying hungry.

And it's still there. I don't know why it carries on but it's there. I get more tired days when I do monkey work than today where I was busy but doing something concrete and having something I can sign off as my own.

Any how, the book describes the Upper East Side. While the people with their tiny dogs no longer seem unfamiliar or foreign, they are part of the wood work. And a fast moving piece of scenery it is.

Yes, I recognize this as part nostalgia, part the book, part romanticism but I know I look forward to going home. Apart from the promise of what I hope can be a beautiful relationship, I also want something more real than this City.

Oh and I am crazy about this girl which is the reason why I haven't written in so long. I guess the angst is gone (to her dismay I would suspect). But there is a whole set of new things to know and learn. It isn't just getting used to a new person, but unlearning what you knew. The Ex hates it when I make fun of her, this One uses every opportunity to get my goat (wonder where that expression came from); the Ex had a sense of needing me, this One understands my need for space, makes me laugh, talks to me, and just *is* with me.
Oh dear, I am being vague.
She makes me laugh. I can see her tower over (in a good way, in the independent sense with feet firmly planted) and yet be a girl. I find her sexy, cute, charming, blunt, confident, girlish. Someone interesting.

Now, do I wax eloquent about her and give her a little buzz?

I have fun with her, love her laugh, her pleasure in being a bit *ghat* at times, at how comfortable I feel when she is around me. And I love her.


Okay fine, I *am* smiling and here, here's a garbage can if you want to puke at this uncharacteristic outburst of mush. And if you do hurl, don't tell me.

Ach, I am writing for an audience. No no, coming back to point, there are things that I have carried forth from the last time -- the fear of the other person bolting, the fear the other person thinking and coming to a decision and informing me, the fear of being misunderstood, the demanding need to be the one with the answers. But yes, it has taken time and a few arguments for me cut through and just be. And I am happy

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Impending Meltdown

Sometimes it does feel like an implosion. It’s when your jaw clenches and your tongue pushes against your teeth, your brow furrows and sometimes long enough it begins to hurt and your fists clench up and your breathing becomes harder and faster.

There are too many question marks and it drives me nuts sometimes I tells ya! It’s like a tightly wound spring and I’m worried one day I make like Mad Max and yippee kai yae down a bomb.

I mean I feel spread out thin, stretched out, trying to cover too much at once. And I mean…okay so how can I give to something knowing it may just blow up in my face. It’s like facing a fucking bull charging at you and you not knowing weather its going to stop or not.

Oh balls, am I being inarticulate. Right now I’m torn between slapping together some cement and laying on the bricks double time around myself to build the bomb shelter as fast as possible. Of course, if I do that, then I drive her away so it’s a self fulfilling prophecy.
If I am to be me, that means giving in to how I feel which means stepping outside, stretching out and lying in the sun with blinkers on and being oblivious to the fact that there may just well be a bomb headed my way.
How on earth am I supposed to give more than I get. At some point I have to go no, that’s not fair? And of course, if I do that, then well, I’m not being me and the outcome is inevitable.

So, either I put myself on the line, or at least my perception of it being a one-way deal or I settle for an unhappy yet knowable ending.

This whole bullshit about taking risks to get what makes you happy, yeah, isn’t that much bull shit!!

Why can’t these things be easy. Don’t give me any Richard Bach mumbo jumbo, shove the crap and cut me some slack goddamnit

Fuck this

I wanna go to Peru. I’ll find myself a herd of llamas…bunch? Flock? Gaggle? Whatever, spend my life eating anticuchos and chasing my llamas up n down the country.
I’ve had it with this I swear and you know what, if I want to throw a tantrum then I fucking well will.

I don’t do this shit under pressure. I can make snap decisions on companies, I can literally do three things at once, I can talk on the cell phone while packing and changing, I can sing in the shower while juggling the soap but I will not do this under pressure!
Under pressure I am a smarmy bastard and that’s not the me me. So what the hell?!

Goddamnit, I am trying to find one simple fucking concept, am I going to spend my life pursuing it. To quote the fucking movie, TJ got it right, every fucking person has to right to pursue it, the sad part being he said they would spend their lives chasing it, perhaps he knew it was something that could only be fucking pursued I swear I feel like breaking something or atleast exploding!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thinking Sabbatical

I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been busy studying for the GMAT and getting in to work at the ungodly hour of 6:30am. Why? Because shit flows downhill and sometimes, you no choice but to eat shit and how at the moon.

And in all this, I have occupied myself to the extent that I have 30 minutes a day to eat and shower and hit the sack. Needless to say, that has left me with very little time to think.

But today was different, at least this morning was. Put it down to a miserable, drizzly, grey Monday morning. That, combined with the conspicuous absence of catharsis or thought of any kind made it necessary to write something, anything, articulate that ‘blah’ feeling, almost as thick as the air this morning.

The Short One commented on my drive. And it’s not the first time someone has brought it up.
Now I know the genesis, my mother who pushed me pretty hard and every time I did well, I got a new book or a cassette I wanted. But once that influence waned, one would have expected the drive to go down. But it hasn’t. If anything, it seems to be there, as defining as ever.

So again, the infernal question: why

The answer, one way or another, woke me up this morning. It’s one of those infrequent mornings where even after 7 hours sleep, I wake up tired but with some odd sense of clarity, the kind you get without even knowing you were asking a question.
I suppose it’s in quest of a “life less ordinary”. At least those were the words so clearly on loop in my head, like a bad record that you are too lazy to get up and turn off so ineffectually throw things at, continually missing until you can’t take it any more. But the words stick.

At first I wondered if it was out of a desire to not be alone in my head so I threw myself into everything I liked. But even when not alone, the desire was always there. So that couldn’t have been the reason.

But again, until I don’t know my limits, how can I possible define the lines around myself, un-fuzzy my outlines?
And I think this is the first time in my life that I literally can do whatever I want. So I am.

Why? Because I can, because it’s there and that’s all the reason I need.

Most things I just do to get by. But there are a few that I find challenging enough for me to lick my chops, bare my teeth and take head on and get that heady rush of working my ass off, but still being able to stand on top of the garbage heap and feel good.

It’s an unparalleled rush, of having done something, the grimace at the start becomes a smile like non other and I love that.

Of course, now to find the wisdom to temper that so that it doesn’t become self destructive, all consuming and drives me into oblivion of other things that matter just as much

So, here’s to figuring it out.

Friday, June 01, 2007