'twas a dark and stormy blog

tales on a bright and sunny morning :)

Show a paradox, hide another — June 22, 2015

Show a paradox, hide another

…but, how is it possible?!

it’s impossible!

I have realized that the two wrawls are not equal and in between them lie all possibilities of stories and drama.

A man goes back in time to save himself. You don’t question the time travel, but you question how the man could save himself because that is a paradox.

If time travel were possible, then the paradox could exist. If one paradox could exist, all manner of paradoxes would exist. It’s contradictory, but true, it’s a paradox that does exist. So, if this one does, all should.

Hence, time travel and hence the man saving himself from his future. 

Quod erat faciendum. Quod erat demonstrandum. 

Taking you from “it’s impossible!” to “…but, how is it possible?” without letting you think that time travel isn’t, is all the craft a good storyteller needs.

 

Small souls — March 29, 2015

Small souls

They are inconvenient because they are thinking, human minds that are constantly learning new things. They are not your pet dog, they are not circus animals, they cannot comply, because their survival depends on exploration.

That child depends on you for emotional and psychological security, not just money.

My neighbour is hitting his child and I can hear him scream through the walls. The child alternates between hic-cup-y sobs, coughed out pleas and loud complaints.

The Man:
He is a noble member of the great Indian middle class. Servant class morality, melded with utter mediocrity. Double standards on everything. Behind the façade of self-respect and dignity, he lacks both. He seeks avenues of power, not in the real sense, but where he can subjugate a fellow human and feel less insignificant than he really is. Such moments are rare in the outside world, so his need for significance drives him to establish dominance over his helpless family. Sometimes this goes too far. Like today.

The child is shouting “please!” and “why?”.

The Mother:
I am pretty sure the mother, a “housewife”, would be looking helplessly, asking the man “politely” to stop abusing the child. These polite requests are sometimes hollered so that they register above the din of the man’s middle class brain rebooting and the child’s helpless screams. She should’ve been an independent woman, taken the child and left the man forever, but no, she stands there, equally responsible. She chooses to remain insignificant, inconsequential, inferior.

When today is over, the mother will caress the child, listen to his complaints, will soothe him and will say “let it go, he is your father” and spit stories in the child’s face that make the father look like a mythical hero. This subtle betrayal will register in the child’s psyche, but, he is still too young to articulate it in words, too young to ignore the only soothing sounds around him. The child will remember that even his mother, was an accomplice.

The Child:
He will bear the session, yet another one in a series. He will learn to hide things from his parents, learn to hide himself, learn to steal things, learn to steal himself away, learn to be small, learn to let go of the ‘values’ and ‘virtues’ in order to simply survive, gain disrespect for others and for himself.

In his teens and twenties, the son, comparable to the father in size and strength, may unknowingly exact revenge on the parents for all these betrayals.

However, the father will win the endgame. The son, the forever soiled survivor of these ‘sessions’, will grow up to be just like his father. Mediocre.

The tragedy is that on the son’s 30th birthday, the father, mother and the son will meet and think warm, happy thoughts about each other.

Mr. Father will turn grandfather, Son will turn Father and then it will all go on again, in a cycle, unless one offspring decides to subvert every single pattern of thinking that he has inherited from his family.

to my little love child — February 27, 2015

to my little love child

I had you on a November day
though I really met you first
in August
that time 15 years later

Lorn all that while
I found
you, and felt alive
that day

I am selfish
I can’t deny

All of you, for
just
me

misgivings
scruples
qualms
distrusts

all of it
I am

none of it
is me

I lost you for a while
and I found you again

scared, uneasy, jealous, needy

all of it
I am

none of it
is me

on a cold
cold
night

when the snow at my feet
and the cold in my face
and the lights above me
shine

All I wish I held
in my palms

was that
small
warm
pink
soft
sum
of hope
that is
your hand

The lost bicycle and the sea shanty — March 18, 2014

The lost bicycle and the sea shanty

I imagine myself as a man who has lived life with no ego and with a lot of dignity.
It may turn out in the end that I was one with a lot of ego and no dignity. The symptoms certainly are all there.

Ego, dignity, is it not the same coin?

Bicycle Thieves, a film about a man who starts at the top, ego and dignity. Then like the times and the nation he is in, loses it all. Towards the middle, he goes to the same lady soothsayer that he had pooh-poohed his wife for visiting. Ego gone, trying to keep his dignity (or vice versa?) he tells the sage about the bicycle. “You’ll find it straight away, or not at all…” she tells him back.

Was she talking about the bicycle or his self-respect?

The film ends with the protagonist losing all dignity, becoming a thief (hence the plural in the title, I guess) akin to the one who stole his life in the beginning of the film.

Aristotelian tragedy. Achilles’ heel. The fall of an infallible hero who has a fatal flaw.

Was the fatal flaw of the hero in Bicycle Thieves his dignity? Or was it his ego? Or was it the fact that he could not distinguish between the two?

If that is the case, my fate is sealed too.

Unless, I can leave the shackles of self-respect behind and become the true beggar, the thief, the pirate that I may really be.

The genuine article. Truthful, if ugly. The urchin. And may be then, when I can show my true colours, I might even hoist them all and croak my sea shanty.

“Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die”

Right now, I search for ego in the losing of all ego. Stuck in a loop that spirals down.

Note to self: try harder, don’t be a lost cause, like that bicycle. That was a film, this is not.

In The Wake Of The Sunset — December 30, 2013

In The Wake Of The Sunset

I sit at Powai Lake promenade, the circular platform at the IIT end. Fishermen are beginning to go back into the lake to gather the nets that were set in the morning. I stare at nothing, the point where the sun set not a half hour ago.

There’s the familiar Powai skyline and the ‘link road’ underlining it. Suddenly, the underscore begins to glow, all on it’s own, it envelops my vision and embraces the lake. The glow dissolves into traffic headlamps and street lights if I try to look at it straight and comes to life again the moment I go back to spying on the sun in the dark sky. It brightens up and becomes a pulsating constant, like the brim of a very wide hat, always on the edge of my vision.

The sparkling glow is a teasing temptation, desire. Look at me and I am gone. I wanted to capture it forever.

At the Powai Lake
At the Powai Lake
Light beams and fine mist — December 12, 2013

Light beams and fine mist

He takes off his seatbelt in the moving car.
“Can you stop by the side for a moment?”
She looks at him, surprised by his sudden request.
“Now? We’re in the middle of the road.”

Pause.
Sigh.

Indicator light blinks, lanes change, the car comes to a halt just shy of the pool of sodium vapour glow cast by the street lamp. The wipers swish raindrops from the windshield like heartbeats.

“If what I am about to do turns out to be a stupid move, I want you to only remember it as proof, that I fell for you.” Then in a hesitant, confused moment before she could decide, he leans over and kisses her. She was still wearing her seatbelt.

This is where all our monkey contracts – marriage, morality, propriety – break down.

Vehicles swish by chasing the beams of their head lights, tires rustling up a misty spray on the wet road. The car remains silent, floating in a pool of light beams and fine mist, the indicator light is still blinking.

It’s a pure moment, new monkey contracts are born off of it.

There’s so much magic, I am yet to see — December 9, 2013

There’s so much magic, I am yet to see

so much magic

I have a writing book

with perforations on the side

where it’s bound by a wire comb.

As I sit writing in it,

on a table with a glass top,

the sun falls in through the window.

The warmth

bounces off the white floor tiles,

filters through the glass top,

trickles up the perforations

and conjures a charm-cookie on my wrist.

It takes me by surprise.

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