Wednesday, September 27, 2006

followed up by a traumatic birthday

5 PM. I'm floating in a warm fuzzy cloud of microsleep.
Brief flashes - leaving office - the digits on the station clock changing with a distinct click - the strands of gray in the head of the guy stuck in front of me in the train - the icy chill of the ATM - the dabba that feels nearly too heavy to pick up - and finally, the dark of my room, NatGeo running on mute as a nightlight.
11:59 PM. Someone shaking me awake. Blinding fluorescence. Sound. Fuzz that resolves into Bd, Bp, R, D, Bn, and A, standing around with ear-to-ear grins. Crackling yellow thrust into my hands that becomes a cellophane-wrapped bunch of yellow flowers. A pair of pretty nice shirts. A group-autographed red underwear is hung on my head. Chocolate smell. A black forest cake appears, opens. I cut. A piece comes up and hits me in the nose, and then rubs all over my face like a lascivious cat. Chocolate and spongecake coat my bed. I eat kheer. I stand, and as the room sways and spins, with a deep buzzing sound, I say goodbye. I wash sheet. I sleep.
1 PM. Office. Chocolate smell. another cake appears, pure chocolate this time. A knife is in my hand and forty-five people sing happy birthday. I cut. A piece comes up and hits me in the nose, and then rubs all over my face like a horny turbocharged giant snail. Deja vu. I look even more like Singapore's Chocolate Spa's posterboy of the year.

If you're reading this and you're an attractive woman with a weakness for chocolate, do send me any and all ideas that came into your head when you saw this and let's catch up sometime.
9 PM. Pratap's Dhaba. Also known as Chawla's Chicken, Pritam, the punju joint and the Oshiwara dhaba. Table for ten, have invited seventeen, and three have turned up. I need a drink.
Over the next 3 hours, everyone arrives - trekkers, ex-colleagues, hostelites, competitors, bosses, girlfriends... but all, remarkably enough, in series, so there are no embarassing encounters and no chairs short. I give my growing event management skills ten thousand brownie points.
And hukka, daru, chicken, and gossip. Wah.
1:30 AM. The dhaba is dark. All lights have been switched off, chairs have been stacked up, and the only occupied table is ours. Most of guests have gone. There's 5 of us now, happily calling for more jalebis and daru. I was later told that I had a wide, fixed smile, a thousand-yard stare, and was conducting 4 simultaneous conversations on unrecognized work, site traffic back-calculations, the merits of eating predigested chicken, and the future of travel in India and recruitment in GTL. And apparently playing footsie with an empty shoe.
And consuming frightening quantities of reshmi kabas and lemon-flavoured smoke.
2 AM. Senior person disappears into auto with speed of striking snake to drop off people home, leaving strict instructions for us to meet him at X later.
2:05 AM. Panicked SMS saying the group has been halted by the cops and is in imminent danger of arrest for unruly behaviour.
3 AM. First successful dropoff
3:15 AM. Final dropoff
3:16 AM. Battery dies. Like Christian Slater, I say, "So be it" and go home.

And so Death and I take one more tiny little step closer to each other.
27, and life to go.

Monday, September 25, 2006

and an even more bizarre week

'Desperately seeking drama', she said.

So what if I have an overactive imagination? It keeps me entertained. But the last ten days have been weirder than anything I've thought up so far.

It's a monday morning, in office, and I feel - cocooned. Wrapped in a soft fuzzy envelope. I can see, hear everything, but it's with a distinct feeling of disconnection. Like it doesn't really apply. Sound is muted. Hushed. It's not like the other times when I can feel myself looking out from behind my eyes - I might be insulated, but I'm very much there in the environment. This is like - not being here. Real-time, real-life memory. Waking dreams.

Backlash of emotional intensities. Guilt, tension, indecision... all overlaid with a sense of I-can't-believe-this-is-actually-happening feeling. Physical exhaustion. Sleep deprived, alcohol-fueled states of mind. Endorphins at their lowest point this month.

repaired the comp broke up got together got slapped didn't get drunk hot happy signed up ate ate ate smoked up a lungsqueezing level of fags watched movies and movies and movies walked talked rode around bombay at 3 am worked

It's like... everything piles up together. Like a freeway smash. Does this mean the last few years my life's been accelerating, the curves getting faster, more dangerous, the skids a little longer each time... and when you're in a car, with the windows up, the AC on, and the music playing, you don't realize when you cross the line into dangerous speeds.

When did I get into a car? It was always supposed to have been the bike.

I need to find out if this silence means I've gone off the edge, or just rolled to a stop on the side.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

interesting weekend

Friday. Caught in traffic. Time ticking by, movie getting closer and closer, traffic still, tempers fraying, friend waiting and progressively freaking.
Arrive half hour late. Stony silence from friend kept waiting. Watch movie completely unnerved, and the fact that it reminds me of Terrible Ex-Boss doesn't help.
Drink. Eat fish and shrimps. Gross out people with what the cheesy dip reminds me of, so get to eat all of the dip. Go back home. Watch Snatch.
Saturday. Wake up at 1 PM. Lunch. Watch the single worst movie in Bollywood history forever. Again caught in rain, this time with massive thunderstorms knocking out the power grid so all trains beyond Andheri stop. Sit at a CCD for over 3 hours over a single coffee, watching the storm. The Fun Republic CCD is an amazing place to watch storms; the biggest balcony of the world.
Sunday. Realize I'm late for movie again, so hit 95 on WE highway and miss the turn, and backtrack for close to another ten mins. Get fired. Watch House Of Flying Daggers which is a must-watch on bigscreen. Eat a bad pasta and go for haircut. Fall asleep while getting haircut, because of which I now look like Langda Tyagi.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Reclaiming Life

I hate that ad.
Not because I particularly dislike my current existence, but because it equates that existence - something that I've taken my life to build - with buying a 6.4 lakh SUV. And a garish one at that. I mean, come on! Air conditioning? Music system? Is that the life you want to reclaim?
What the fuck happened to having enough discipline to put work where it belongs?

And at one level, it's frightening. Is that much of the world so myopic that they actually make advertising-budget sense in pushing Escape as a USP? What is this, Auschwitz?

Or are we so bereft of imagination now that we need someone to feed us things-to-do. Buy The Car. Invest For The Future. Become VP. Watch This Movie. Show Off That Palm. Be Seen At This Club. Wear That Label.
A very long time ago, I said, "I'm bored."
I was told, "That means you aren't intelligent enough to find something to do."
The whole world is bored now, and everyone wants to tell them what to do. Nobody's thinking. Nobody's finding something to do.

There is - and always will be - something to do. Something you enjoy doing. You know what it is. You know you can have it.

All you lazy frickin bastards need to do is just get off your fat bloody butt and take it, man!! What the hell is wrong with you?!
Why has the whole world just given up independent thought to the extent that when I assert it, I'm the crazy one? I mean, has it - can it - even occur to someone that there's more to life than this? That sometimes a person can spend the whole day in bed, ordering in, reading, dozing and daydreaming? That sometimes he might like walking for 25 km in the pouring rain in the middle of nowhere just for the silence? That it might be more important to be liked and respected than feared?

My life is sliding more and more off the beaten path of acceptable existence. My soul was never on it, my mind is leaving it... and soon my life will follow.