Saturday, February 28, 2015

Loony Tunes

[Readers beware; this is not a formal review. I only wish to dwell upon how I have been impacted by this book as it pushed me to self introspect.]

Tom Perrotta’s The Wishbones did not go down well with me at the beginning. It seemed slow and the characters weren’t too charming. It then dawned on me the entire purpose of The Sunday Book Club’s monthly challenge. This book tried my ability to read any genre, my capacity to delve into a not-so-appealing circumstance and chart through unknown territory. (Thank you guys, this did seem like a healthy challenge. Given an option, I would probably never have picked up such a genre.)

The book, in many ways than one, seems to reflect a bit of what life may hold for us. It made me come face to face with a fact that I used to ignore, a fear of mediocrity. As exemplified by the main protagonist, Dave, it brings the truth home real hard. Here’s my favourite excerpt:

‘Dave wasn’t there yet. He didn’t think he’d ever be. This knowledge didn’t torment him; it was just a fact he lived with; that greatness would always be out of reach, that he was what he was – a pretty good guitar player, another face in the crowd, a guy who could do a mean fucking imitation of Carlos Santana.’

Coming across this paragraph was a moment of reckoning for me; personally, since I live in the doldrums, never pushing myself too hard. It lays bare a lot of inadequacies in me, as it did in Dave; though he settled for it.

Also, this book rings true on another level, a level where I refuse to let go of my immaturity and start behaving like a real adult. I’m 25 and finding myself inadequate to retain my idiocy in the real world, managing my imaginative fantasies and finding them dashed to dust. I ‘hope’ the time does not come where I too must decide like Dave to let go of my hidden world and live in the present.

For a person caught between a rock and a hard place, mostly all because of Dave’s action or inaction, Tom Perrotta brings out the harsh reality that exists. Life isn’t that rosy or brilliant. The world does not owe us anything just because we exist, and sometimes, letting go of dreams and desires is a step towards rationality.

Artie, the band’s manager, is a character I really warmed up to. Even though the band members weren’t quite fond of him, he was truly dedicated to his band. He would have moved mountains for them, if he could. His intentions were in the right place, and I love him for that.

But despite every thing, I hope I can retain my wishbone, (akin to a funny bone, I guess), and hope I can stand up for what they represent.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mission 2015

The title of this post is extremely boring and military like. But that is what I don't want this to be. I want this year to be about me. I want to truly invest time in myself. And STOP PROCRASTINATING, if at all it's possible. :P

Firstly, it has to be... LOSE weight. And I plan to lose 5 kgs before my birthday - Feb 14.

Secondly, read the newspaper more thoroughly. I'm sure if I push myself, I can do it. 

Thirdly, write a regular journal - not a digital one - where I want to write character sketches of people around me, at home, work, relatives, people on the road, etc. This is to push me towards establishing characters, their essences, unravelling what makes them tick, etc. Hopefully, this should help me write my own characters in future, and write my dystopian short novel. 

Fourthly, as I am yet to find my one true passion, I will immerse myself in political science, since I want to study in this field further. I flit from topic to topic, hobby to hobby, and rarely obsess about a particular thing. I need to establish my expertise in one thing at least. 

Fifthly, focus on my character. I can be the person I want to be. All it takes is a bit of determination and will power. I think the reason behind my frivolous behaviour is because I may actually be afraid of what I am capable of. I really need to sort my thinking process and be clear regarding what I want. 

So, I hope I can stick out regarding the above. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Good ol’ days

Yesterday, my dad’s friend’s granddaughter had come home for dinner. She had taken admission in the nearby Amity University. Her father had come to admit her into the college, and settle her in the PG accommodation. 

There was an unmistakable twinkle in her eye. This was a golden opportunity no less. An time to spend away from family, make new friends, explore different cultures and places...  it is a thrill to live in a hostel, be in college and be whoever you want to be. 

And as her father was busy listing all the things he yet had to equip his daughter to be able to function fully on her own, and how he was happy that she wasn’t in the hostel, I could not help but remember how my parents, terror-struck parents, had flown with me to Pune, to drop me off at my college. Symbiosis. And settle me in the hostel. They had waited at the office of the hostel in-charge right through lunch, just to ensure that their daughter gets a place in the nearly full hostel. Ground floor or third? Third, obviously. An accommodation in the ground floor brings about many problems. Mosquitoes, for one. And that’s how I got room no 330. I love that room to bits. And my hallowed corner. Near the huge window. Where I hardly got any view, but atleast it let in loads of natural light. 

My parents shopped around in Viman Nagar for my buckets (I needed atleast two different sizes), mugs, soap (powder and bar), hangers, blanket, pillow (so she says, but I don’t remember at all!), biscuits, boxes of varying sizes, and much more. And as they bade goodbye, my mum did have tears in her eyes, but I had none. I was felt at home for once. For once, I was in my element. I still remember that evening I had made my first friend in college, AJ. And met up with others too. And slowly but surely, I grew on to love those three years of my life. Three years of hostel life. From sliding down stairs lying face down on mattresses, to knocking on other’s doors in the dead of night to spook them out, from living out of friend’s rooms and pantries, to celebrating birthdays and bringing down the house at two in the night. I wish I could go back. Back to being 18 and stupid, trying to wash clothes to the best of my abilities and making and unmaking the bef with religious dedication. I want to go back to those days. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Are friendships equivalent to investments?

As a child, I often had many so-called friends walking in and out of my life. They came and went as they pleased. There was no stopping them.

But now, when I am in my twenties, it is getting harder to let go. It's turning tougher for myself. And as relationships turn sour, as they most often will, one looks back at the moments spent together and wonders, is that how it was meant to end?

I have never been good at keeping in touch, and I don't think this aspect of me is going to change any time soon. But recent events have brought this question to mind, or rather is staring at me in the face... Are friendships equivalent to investments?

Even though we may have spent a gala time together, or emotionally bonded on some other level, if today we part, we must not only because we have invested time, energy and effort in each other? We are friends only so that on a rainy day we can chat up and dispel the gloomy shadow of loneliness? We must remain friends only so that tomorrow my secrets are safe, rest assured? We must remain friends because tomorrow if I want to cry my heart out, you will understand (since you know all my secrets and background). But if I need to party rock crazy, there is another group out there? Or we must be friends only to assure each other of our support till retirement and after, but hey, we can't catch that often, cause you're crowding me!

No one sticks around. That is for certain. Yet I must stick around to be your glorified doormat. My needs are never important, its always yours to begin with. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Feeling Raw - Part 4

I lay stunned for ten minutes, not knowing what to do. Slowly I pushed myself off the couch, shut the door and turned to the bedroom. After a hot shower, I went about straightening the apartment, putting things away. Hanging my coat in its rightful place. I dragged my briefcase over to the bed, and in the light of the night lamp I emptied its contents. A leather-bound book fell out. ‘The Midnight Rendezvous’. I had completely forgotten all about it! I scanned the front and back cover and the first few pages inside, but the name of the author was not mentioned anywhere at all. Funny. I bought a book without checking the author? There was not even an ‘anon’ typed somewhere. I did not even remember putting the book inside the briefcase. Or did I put it in the glove compartment. My head refused to think, so I decided to read. After a dozen pages, I flung the book to the bed. I was feeling funny. I raced to the loo and emptied the contents of my stomach. Regurgitating is an exhaustive process, and it left me drained. I quickly brushed my teeth. Feeling better and hungrier than before, I made myself a snack. I glanced at the clock. 1:53 am. I turned the television on, kept the volume low and returned to the book. But this time, something was sticking out of the book. 

Something stiff and white.

With a mouthful of peanut butter sandwich, I pulled out the trespassing item. It was a picture. And not just any picture, but the same one that left me shaken and stirred in the bookshop. The Little Black Shop of Books.

How did it even get here? I had left that book safely up on the self! My head started to spin around the endless questions and eluding answers. I was not even looking at the picture, but after the first few minutes of hyperventilation, I calmed down. I reprimanded myself for behaving like a sissy and pulled myself together. Its just a picture you idiot. It can’t hurt you.
My eyes roamed up and down the girl, who was still sitting coy on her bed. I gave the ambient surrounding a complete miss, and focussed on the bedsheet, wrapped suggestively around her bosom. Her head hung low to the right, her hair tousled around her neck. The thin bedsheet clung to her dearly, marking her shape like a statue. And before I realised, her eyes caught mine. Those large pearl drops pleading to me.

Quiet, shy she turned her head, apparent disquiet raging somewhere. I watched her right hand travel all across her thigh, stroking gently at the sheet that covered her tender limbs. She slipped her hand between the legs, still attacking through the sheets. And slowly her left hand let go of it, the sheet that hid her almonds sweet.

It was almost like looking at a movie. So mesmerising and gorgeous. And soon I could feel it, the throbbing sensation in my boxers.

The girl squirmed seductively on the bed, her body rubbing against the sheets. Her right hand still rubbed her clitoris, as her left brusquely fondled her breast. As she rubbed and squeezed them tight, she rocked gently on her hand. Her body arched backwards, and she looked hungrily at me. I could feel her heavy breathing near me, her sweet smell wafted in the air. I think I felt her breast, brushing against my nipples. My arms flew around grasping at thin air. But the soft caress calmed me and excited me at the same time. The soft, gentle caress between my legs. I felt kisses on my leg, travelling up. A pressure on my side, digging in deep with sharp nails. Dragging, searing my body with the exultant concoction of both pleasure and pain. I closed my eyes. Sweat beads started to the trickle down. I could feel her warm breath on my neck, but my mind had failed to work. All the thoughts of this wonderous moment took place down there. And before I could pull myself together, they clamped shut. The feathery lips clamped shut around my spear, and started to work up and down. This time it was too much. With ‘no one’ to hold on, I gripped the sides of the mattress. Muscles on my thighs tensed. Something started to suck on my nipples. My head was in the clouds already since the spear was getting ‘serviced’ like never before. Luscious lips covered mine, tongue in search for another. This was crazy! Not that it was not weird enough to begin with. I could not see anyone. Well that was before. Now my eyes were shut. I dared to open them.

My heart skipped a beat. In fact, it got stuck in my throat. In the midst of all the oral love I had received, this image blew my mind. I found myself staring at a woman, vaguely hazy, but her two opaque eyes seemed like the door to the underworld. I could still feel my massively throbbing spear in her mouth, but then what was her face doing facing mine? This thought probably left a trail of options in my head, but I could not get that far. My mind exploded with a  world of pain and my hands shot to cover the aching part as I let out a blood curling scream. I felt hot viscous liquid and a big gaping hole. I brought my hands up and the blood stained fingers sent me into a frenzy. My penis was not where it was supposed to be! It lay on the blood-stained bed like a sagging rubber dildo. Oh my gawd! I don’t have a penis. How..what…how was it possible? Why?

My body started to shiver with the intense adrenaline and excruciating pain reverberating through my veins. I tried to get off the bed, but I couldn’t. I was pinned down. A fast-paced breath surrounded me. In the midst of all the agony, the woman with the opaque eyes disappeared, but there was a strange haziness that hung in the apartment. Slowly the haze turned darker and engulfed me, its sinewy smoke trails peering into the depths of my being till I drifted off. Drifted off into the night. My heart felt light and my little soldier did not hurt anymore. Maybe it was sleep. Maybe it was death. Maybe it was a doctor who came to my help, and anesthesia was such a nice thing. The perfect drug you need to numb all senses. Just like women and wine. The perfect combination.

Feeling Raw - Part 3

Thankfully, I was not the first to reach, and more importantly, I showed up minutes before my boss did. I mingled in the crowd, shook hands with the trade partners and exchanged a flurry of greetings with the high-pitched women, but my mind was not at rest. It kept going back to the girl on the bed. Sadly, today’s function was a solemn one. Just a business party.

After the usual round of cocktails, entres and main course, I skipped the dessert for a quick light on the terrace. It was quiet, peaceful, far from the maddening crowd inside. I quickly lit my cigarette, looking through the large frosty doors. Phew! These parties were becoming exhausting. To have thought that at one time I actually envisioned myself with a future like this. But now, life was just too dull. My mind did try to drag me back to the bookshop, but I consciously put my head to other things. I stared out into the city skyline. Despite being fifteen past ten, the city was ‘well awake’. Streaks of yellow and red could be seen, highlighting the roads. The familial turrets of the grand Charminar stood in splendour in the midst of all the frenzied activity of people making way home.

Suddenly, a blast of the mayhem inside seeped through. The frosty doors were ajar for a seconds. A familiar ‘tick-tock’ whipped my head back when I saw a tall woman making her way towards me. Her long dark luscious hair kissed the inner side of her elbows, as the tassels of her dress danced around her toned thighs.
“Care to share one?” she said. With her slender fingers, she eased out the stick from the box, as I offered to light it. The white stump emitting wispy smoke looked at home, nestled between the plump pink cushions.
“Hi,” I said, in a raspy voice. “I don’t think I remember seeing you back in there?”

With the lightning rod perched between her fingers, her hands resting lightly on the terrace wall, she smiled and said, “I’m just another of the sales team from the Delhi branch, doll. But I so obviously don’t belong here.” She took a deep breath, her bosom fighting against the hosiery dress.

“So you’re a part of Mehta’s team.” Lucky bastard. “His company is well-known to be a bit boring, you see. How long will you be here in the city?”

“I’ll be gone Sunday evening. Can’t wait actually. Just two days more. It’s been a week, and I’m already sick of this place. No life.” She stood limp, staring at the monument ahead, her eyes glassy. “I’m sorry, but I just think I’m experiencing a bit of blues.”

“Hey. No pressure. I’m Javed from Calcutta. I’m also an outsider here. But it’s not all that bad you see. The nightlife here is amazing, it’s just that you haven’t been to the right places with the right people. This city can be fun too.”

“Really. Then would either you or me get into trouble if you could show me some of the places around and  ditched this shitty party?” She looked at me with expectation, hoping to rescue her from this bore of a place. I normally did pick up a lot of girls from these parties, but getting them to come with you took time and a whole lot of cajoling. This night could end well.

We slipped out of the Harmandz Hotel, zipping away in my midnight blue Chevrolet. With the windows rolled down, the wind played gleefully with her hair. I headed towards the Ozzie Pub, known for its authentic beer from down under and more. It also had the best DJ in town playing tonight.

Three mugs of beer, two Pink Ladys and an innumerable tequila shots after I found myself at my apartment door. Coat slung on one hand, briefcase dangling from the other, it took me some time to unlock the door. Sofia, which is what she told me after the second round of beer, leaned against the wall, one leg propped up against it. If at all I could think of anything, it was that I had fun tonight. I wanted to be with this girl. She was fun! In every sense of the word. I guess I was tired coming home to an empty apartment. I wanted a steady girlfriend.

We had barely stumbled into the apartment, that my briefcase was flung to one side, my pants nearly stripped down and my shirt ripped off. This girl was better than cat woman! Heady with alcohol, Sofia dragged me to the sofa. No sooner had she straddled me and begun to kiss me feverishly all over, her cell phone rang. Like the pouring rain on picnic day, the ‘heavy metal rock blaring cell phone beckoned her. I lay panting on the sofa, too excited to think. A nod of her head, a quick change of expression and then the inevitable happened. Sofia picked up her purse, straightened her dress and said, “Sorry Javed. My boyfriend is in the city. Gotta go.”

And before I could even say but, she left.