Thursday, July 31, 2014

930: That shade of purple (Fiction)

They sat on a purple sofa that was slightly askew. He didn't mind it as much as he would ordinarily have. After all, she was gracious enough to have invited him over. Wait. Not gracious.  They had spoken on the phone a couple of times and she had seemed nice enough. She at least showed some  interest in him and not his salary or whether he had a house…his 'own' house, that is. By that most women seemed to mean a house that she could share but his parents would have nothing to do with. It had been so long since he'd been on this matrimonial trail. He could actually trace the evolution of this conversation. There used to be a time when the woman and he'd be in the intimate darkness of a car. They'd have met a few times earlier and laughed and watched movies or gone for walks. Then just as he would re-arrange his biases such that it made space for a future, this conversation would come up. And he'd get this slightly bitter taste in the back of his throat. "No", he wanted to say. "It's not my 'own' house. I dragged myself into a dead-end job to pay for it. I didn't buy that great guitar because the EMI would cut into it. I swallowed my pride in the company of my 'entrepreneur' friends for being a conventional rug-rat and living with my parents while they lived out their dreams in rented apartments. All that made me angry and resentful. And I took it out on my parents every night when I'd shove the food and turn up the volume of the telly and not talk to them. No. It's not my "own" house and it certainly won't be yours."

Now, the 'own house' discussion would come up soon after "hello".

This girl hadn't asked him that, though. She'd asked him to come over to her house in the next city instead. At first, this did strike him to be a little forward. She lived by herself. And this match was arranged, so to speak. Somehow, in the way she'd said, "Come over then", he'd sensed escapism.  He wasn't sure if they'd be compatible but he had driven four hours to find out. So far, it hadn't been a total disaster.

Her house had been a mess but the food had been excellent. Mushroom with haleem masala was a first for him. But it went excellently with the brown rice. Most of the furniture was tilted or skewed. Her clothes were weird. Or 'eclectic', as I think she called them. She was nice looking enough. But that strange, untamable scent that came off her body when they'd hugged that afternoon was funny.  Actually, it was not. He doubted whether she'd ever have the maturity to stick to or commit to anything unpleasant. Although, why he thought marriage with him would be unpleasant, he didn't know. He was being eccentric. No, wait. Weird.
She had a tiny garden in front of her kitchen. "They're pretty weeds", she'd explained why she hadn't bothered with uprooting them. He got a little irritated. Sure. If you got ditzy, anything is 'pretty' enough to just leave it as it is. Maybe the garbage clearance staff should tell her once, "Oh but miss, look how your trash has all these primary colours. Let's leave it here."

But there were a few tiny bulbs strewn around and she'd also lit a half-used vanilla scented candle. There was a cup of whiskey for him (she didn't have the right glass) and a cup of green tea for her. They shared a wedge of carrot cake he'd brought over and after a long time, he felt a sense of something getting calm inside of him. A knot that stayed lodged in the middle of his chest…it seemed to be rounding off the edges a little. It was nice, he thought, looking around. Maybe he should have invested in a house with a garden.
Almost delicately she broached the subject of why they were meeting. What kind of girl was he looking out for? What kind of life did he want for him and his wife? Children? His take on fidelity? He liked that she was coaxing out his responses and not demanding them out of her. He liked that this conversation was happening without a timer.

It was close to midnight now. He really had to get back unless…unless she insisted he could stay. Her invitation was there, of course. Her insistence on the matter would make the difference.
They got up. She asked him if he'd like more cake for the road. Or a thermos of strong coffee maybe. They entered the living room again and he collected his things. As she filled a thermos with black coffee, she turned and asked him, "Do you really want to marry?"  He looked in her eyes and saw her answer. No.
And there was that again.

That slight rise of bile. That irritation with free-floating types that had made a lifestyle of being lost, clueless, and irresponsible. She'd never ever take a home loan, he thought.

He tried to get the edge out of his voice when he said, "Yes. I'd like to."

Then, just before he left, he straightened the purple sofa.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

931 - What I found in translation

Outside, it poured fast and thick.  Inside the car, I listened to my happy songs. They are songs from 'Yeh jawaani hai deewani.' I love Badtameez Dil and listen to it every day. Friends make fun of me, family is exasperated,  but I love it. When I drive to work with this tune filling up the car, I feel like I have my face shoved in a large cloud of candyfloss. I am filled with cheer and a large, prickly, tingly amount of it. On a break from that song, though, I was listening to another number from the same movie, "Via Agra." I didn't like that song too much but warmed to it after seeing the picturisation. Still, I found it trite and silly, manufacturing jollity where none existed.

Today, though, I had to translate a line from the song to a friend who doesn't understand Hindi. That line translated to, "Your skirt is a fluttering, wandering rumour." (Udhti, phirti afvaa hai tera ghaagra.) Suddenly, that song shone a little bit for me. There could have begun the spinning of sugar, right about then.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Everybody wants to be so damn special.  Well, we are not. Not much difference between one another. We are much too similar times just as crappy, at times just as happy.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

933 - Could there be a connection?

It seems as if there haven't been too many great horror films or too many great love stories in the last few decades. Could it be that as we lose our ability to frighten, we lose our ability to move someone with matters of the heart?

Friday, July 25, 2014

934 - On reading Camus

I am reading Albert Camus' 'The Outsider'. In the dead of the night, when the tasks are done, his simple prose just wakes up something inside of me. And that thing that wakes up, wakes up screaming quietly.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

935 - Will always choose mushrooms, thyme after thyme

Tonight I made mushrooms my favorite way. Wash them, tear them with your fingers, and fry them in sesame or mustard oil until they are brown. Then add a good strong meat masala (not tandoori, though). Ideally, the haleem masala is perfect but I used a Badshah meat masala which waa nice. My flatmate had suggested I use thyme so I sprinkled some generously. After the mushrooms were coated really well, I turned up the heat and cooked the pieces. They turned a nice, delicious smoky brown.

Meanwhile I had cooked the rice all niceband soft, almost to baby-food consistency. So, I added the mushrooms and the masala to the rice and mixed it up.

It was really something!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

936 - Daily ritual

It was a really long day at work. My buddy at work who I have tea/ coffee with is out of town so I worked straight through tea-time. In my world, it's tougher than working through lunch. I think it's because with the rains, there's just a slimmer window forgetting the last light of the day. So, if I miss that, I feel like I've missed something important, maybe an episode of my favorite series.

But it went off well and I reached home to a hot dinner of some really good pasta that my flatmate had made. That and Red Bull.After she went to bed, I stayed back and dusted the books on my shelf. It was so comforting. Last night I didn't feel pressured into wondering when I would have enough time to read all of them. It felt very wholesome and fuzzy.

I think it's a good bedtime ritual.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

937 - One wonders

If you stood on top of the sky so that all that light blue was beneath your feet and you felt it rip a little somewhere. And through that rip, you saw the peak of a green and brown hill and the fragile crown of a waterfall. And if you widened the rip a little with your fingers or your toes and a bright pink hibiscus waved at you.

You, lost god, would you wave back? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

939 - Begin again

Today, I saw the movie 'Begin Again' starring Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. I liked it. It is trite and stereotypical in places - the romance of NYC, the British-rose demeanour of Keira Knightly, Ruffalo looking scruffy yet again, and the shallowness of the music industry. But the songs are really nice. One imagines listening to it with the lights off, a candle flickering, and waiting for the dawn to break.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

940 - About the sky and the clouds

Last few days, I have stopped yoga and going up a hill for a walk. My friend and I trudge slowly up, notice sometimes the origin of a waterfall that is still a thin stream. Sometimes we stop awhile to spot a snail snack on a mushroom. Then we reach the top of the hill and sit on  rock. The sky is open. I is always open, yes, but when you are sitting under an open sky, it looks open in a way that makes you quiet. It feels childish to say this but when I first climbed that hill and sat there, I thought to myself that the sky is so up. It's higher, much higher than the tallest tree, the tallest building, the tallest peak of the tallest mountain. Yes. The sky is high. I wonder if this is why a state of inebriation is referred to as being 'high', even though it might bring you to the depths of sorrow. If you are drunk, then you are high even if you feel 'low'.

Anyway, my friend and I chitchat a little but mostly look around. The clouds move slowly, inch in one direction, so unfettered but so steady and so, so soft. You can't hear a cloud. You don't listen to it scrape or shuffle across the sky. It just passes on.

What kind of a world is it that looks down on 'drifter'?  

Friday, July 18, 2014

941 - super day

Today was a really sweet day t work. I worked on something felt smoothened out. Like everything else I have worked on so far, this assignment too was a tasty one. And like the other ones, this too came with that paradox of rushing through it when ideally one wanted to take one's time with it, craft it, jewel it up, polish it, and let it dazzle. However, it got done and not just 'done'. It seemed to have taken on the wholesomeness of a home-cooked meal. After a long time, I was satisfied with what I had written. It was simple. Usually, I'm burning up with excitement with so many many ways to treat a particular piece of content. Things sometime go well. Sometimes, they go all over the place. But today, it just fit well together.

Anyway, that's what I think of it. It gets edited tomorrow. But today, my writing satisfied me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

942 - unlikely book buy

I bought Ramit Sethi's 'I will teach you to be rich'. I still look at it on my kindle app and wonder, " uncharacteristic but perhaps necessary."

Time to make some money. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

943 - Walk home in the rain

Wet streets, cold rain, and street lamps painting the road the colour of melted butter. Felt so good. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

944 - Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya

If that movie is Karan Johar's ode to DDLJ and a tribute to Shah Rukh Khan, then clearly there has been a fall-out with the Chopras and the Khan. I do not get the big deal about Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt looks 15. Which is probably why those lovemaking scenes make one uncomfortable. And what was that scene with Angad drinking milk?

It is very saddening to be this bored.