Word

I feel this immense sadness when I remember that Robin Williams is dead. It wasn't that one time. It happens each and  every time the realization strikes me. I feel thoroughly diminished, my faith in life plummets a couple notches when I think that, that man had to die. Or worse, kill himself. And in what way.

Despite all our efforts to hold it together as human beings, we are so hopelessly scattered. So hopeless and so scattered.

After this, all this, the memory of James Gandolfini lingers in my mind and that he too is dead. When I started falling for Tony Soprano, I couldn't believe myself. As if the audacity of that man, adulterous gangster wasn't outrageous enough, I succumbed to his horse life laughter and gigantic appetite. I was crazy about him. Half way into watching The Sopranos, I became aware that he was no more.

Before that, I had seen him in a movie, without knowing who he truly was. I sometimes think of the silent turpitude of the cardiac arrest that finally took him. And the hot Italian summer that my man couldn't stand. I miss him. I do.

Stasis

Not often does dissapointment free you. But when it does, it does it real good. Last few days, I have been questioning myself. Sortof. On-and-off. Now-and-then. Forgetting the question meanwhile, sometimes and later beginning to recall, with the answer distant and eluding. You know, how it is. Mischievous mind games. I have also been losing some memory lately, but that's for a later story, I guess.

The question I have been asking myself is about the design of my life. And whether, if, I shall write again. Ignore my consecutive usage of synonyms. I am just loitering around the topic. because I am trying to dissuade you from the real matter. Lazy-ass-mind-games.

I stare at pictures of cats and socks and banyan trees and red plums and those of endless journeys taken from buses and trains. Feeling inspired. To continue the random stream or circle of thought. To pause and to shed whatever the f*ck has been bothering me. To sit in my chair in the coffee shop and stare out the window. I smell a whiff of the characters brewing inside my head, slowly merging to narrate a story. It's like the first aroma of food cooking, it makes you hungry. To think more, to write down somethings. 

But whoosh! I forget everything, all of that. ADHD, is it? I don't think it has a name, this tendency, of running away from the one thing that is your true calling. But the crowd of nuisance returns to my head and each of those beautiful pictures just mercilessly fades into the background, like ice dissolves in water, leaving no sign behind, like it was never even there. I find myself, sans a word, sans a story, in a restless stasis.  

And that is how, darling, I end up not writing, 

The Old Woman

Now, it is time for the old woman's story. The old woman lives in a big mansion like home. With bitter gourd gardens in the backyard. Many stray creepers have grown in there, seeds flown in by birds. Sometimes, they happen to be those of pumpkin or cucumber. Her balcony makes a good vantage point to keep an eye on things. One look would tell her if there was too many weeds. Or if the villagers intentionally left their cattle in there to graze off everything. Or if monkeys came down from trees during siesta time for that bunch of bananas shining yellow from the distance. The timid scarecrow had stopped working on them long time back. She would sit in the arm chair in the balcony and stare at the garden for hours in the afternoon. 

She had three sons and three daughters, in no particular order. The eldest son, who also had a son who was married off to a princess-like beautiful punjaban in a sea facing five star resort, was a rich one. He had had his drunken wasted days of early youth. Later, however, he purged himself of all evil and rose into the top ranks of a big private company. The middle son was settled abroad. There is, obviosly no further need to elucidate his prosperity. Very little has been heard of him across the decades, he was the bright one from birth, everyone knew. The third son is slightly wayward. His eyes are always red, either from the insomnia, or from alcohol, or from heartache. It's hard to guess. He has spent a lot of the money of his older brothers on innovative business ventures, all of which have almost failed. He has stayed close to the mother, not in their mansion like home, but in an apartment in the city, three hours away.

The three daughters, most of whom were married off early and to the likes of school teachers who made some more money in tuitions, or to those who worked in government offices and got rich once in a while, from bribes etc, stayed close to their mother just like their youngest brother. They visited almost every month with their brood of several children, toothless sons and daughters clad in colorful frocks. When they stayed longer in the summer, or during puja, a swing was tied in the balcony. They, along with their grandmother would keep an eye over the garden and let out shrill screams to scare cattle away.

Everyone that came, the old woman took around for a tour around the house. The comfort and the warm air was almost sleep arousing. The beds and the neat bed spreads, cupboards empty and waiting to be stuffed with things when the sons came home, the dressing tables for the daugher-in-laws and grand-daughter-in-law. Air conditioners for people who came from colder lands, the ones with fairer skin and less of our earth in them.

 At the end of the tour, the old woman who was just skin and bones and hence swift as an eight year old, would sit on a gunny sack full of paddy and narrate how her husband was a lazy bum and how she held the horses soon after she was married at sixteen, so on and forth.

The Art of Unseeing

I now wonder. What else is left to see. Witness with eyes as a human. Now it seems as if, I've seen too much. Felt too much. Now I feel the desire to shut my eyes for a bit, can't stand the glare so much. And even if I haven't seen it all, I think I should pause. Because,

I've seen leopards and rhinoceros. Their slimy arrogant horns in the morning sun. I have seen how dahlias look on ruffled carefree hair. Smelt the smell of last night's date's roses. And shrunken gerberas. I have seen the fake lip color of flight attendants, and their grey eye-liner. I have seen stormy nights and cyclones. Blistering heat and asphyxia. I have bathed in the cologne of love. And slept with doubts under my pillow. I have seen too many people. Kleptomaniac aunts that steal creams to shampoos. To bloody irritating people I hate for no good reason. I have seen plenty of fakes. I am tired, and I can't unsee. I have witnessed failures, and the unfathomable heartache that comes along. I have seen and heard dusk. The bitter aftertaste of disability. Unread abandoned stories and poems. Things like that. Almost everything. 

Though I am yet to see so much more, I want to opt out for now. The snow can wait, the time can pass, the opportunities may lose me. I am bothered, I can't unsee. I can't erase. So I shan't be bugged, I have been paused. 

-

It's like a nagging pain in the shoulder. Always there. Never going away. That feeling of shallow regret when you look into the future. It's ironical, because, regret does associate with the past. Well, usually. But I feel a mild fear and remorse when I foresee. The number of variables are immense, of course. One could hardly predict. Anything at all. But going by basics, and aware that we are rough cut rocks and not diamonds per se, I can see that my life is going to be, mildly dissatisfying with short glimpses of ecstatic calmness. Even though I know there are numerous factors, peoples I haven't factored in, but I know. Or I fear, I am going to be sad. I mean how unpredictable can life get, except for death. Or illness. One's attitude affects one's behavior which reflects in actions and ultimately in one's fate. And as I have tried and found it impossibly hard to alter my outlook and attitude, let me surmise here and now that I am going to have a sad future. Mildly dissatisfied, quiet, brooding. My misery will always be there, like that nagging pain in the shoulder. 

All fears, put to rest. 

The Middle

On the way back from work, everyday, they make the bus stop where it shouldn't. It's not a designated stop. But they scream out loud, curse. Ultimately, the conductor gives in. It's a desolate place, where they get down. And another bunch of them get up on the bus and, carry on. It seems, it's their slum. It's not a part of the bigger slum that bustles beside the desolate road. It's apart. Distant from the bigger slum, with boundaries probably. 

Initially, I used to get scared of them. They appear that way. Gaunt, half men, wrapped in shiny saris, backless blouses and the make up. Red lipstick on dark skin. Hair pinned back, plaited neater than most of the women on the bus. But gradually with time, the fear left me. I would look at them and wonder where they were going. To fleece money in railway stations, to dance in the homes of newborns. I wondered what it would be like in their tiny gender neutral community. They would live in parallel houses. Cook together, wash together, eat together. 

There would be less of this tremendous bias that clouds all our action and inaction. 

Do you know that God, himself is androgynous? Why else would he dress in saris, being a man? Why would he adorn a nose ring made of the flowers of moonbeam? Or have red lips? Because he imbibes qualities of both the father and the mother. Since, we were strictly occupied by bias, he created the hermaphrodites after himself.

Tonite I feel, I take myself way more seriously than I deserve. I bother myself with so many should be's and should have been's, it drives me nuts. I feel, I should slash the ropes already. Already. 

Epilogue

Whatever happens to those writers who narrate an entire life story in a sentence or two. It's quick and done with. Like, they met in college, married soon after. She bore him his first child, a brilliant little fair girl. A decade into, differences emerged and they separated. Moving on, he met his second wife at forty two. They have a son, who is neither as brilliant or fair like his half sister. But he is, nevertheless. Or, let's say: He was the unwanted third child, conceived by mistake, half heartedly. His father wanted him, mother didn't. So, he grew up with half the love, half the heart, tagged along with his older sister and brother, until, they would no longer have it. So he branched out, broke bad and became an alcoholic. Or, let's say: Ever since, she was seventeen, she wanted a child, a cute plaything of her own. But she could find no man that was a keeper. She studied and worked. Meandered through life, far from effortlessly. Swinging between depression and self doctored therapy until she met a keeper. But then it was too late to have a child, her fluids had stopped flowing. A hostile uterus, or something. Like that. So easy. So easy. So swift. Thanks to those writers, you can live the lives of their characters with such ease. 

But your own life! It is so excruciatingly slow, painful. Excruciatingly slow and painful. And fucked up. There's no way you could just cut short some of the agony. Some of this misery. Some of it. You've to roll on it, lick it, swallow it. There's no way out. Only if the writer of my fate would learn something from these on the fast track. And get done with it.