Sunday, 16 January 2011

Plans for Getting Better

1) Finish all the books I started last year and didn't finish because I got distracted. For every Pratchett I read, I will read one of the classics or one non‐fiction book.

2) Quit smoking. And keep quitting every day, if it comes to that. Ditch the aerated drinks.

3) Return calls within the day. Keep phone conversations short. Twenty minutes will be my upper limit after which the mother will call me for lunch/I will be walking doglet in an area that does not have network/ the wraith‐like Anglo Indian I've hired especially for these occasions will vulgarly keep calling me till I hang up with you.

4) Gently exhort every clean shaven man I come across to consider facial hair. Unless it is Jon Hamm, in which case I'll be gently exhorting him to consider things of, one might even say, a hairy nature.

5) Comb my hair every day.

6) Write something entirely unrelated to work at least thrice a week. Even if it just means describing in tedious and enraged detail how the bathroom renovations we undertook TWO months ago have been jinxed in every way because we tried to save money and ended up with a contractor who should be handed over sole custody of the word 'moron'.

7) This is the year of Meaning and I will not piss it away to be instead, Well Meaning.

8) Don't be mad if people I like don't like me ‐ I can understand if petulant, cranky, and selfish is not your type. People who like me, I needn't like (What a load off when I finally realised this was an option).

9) Talk to the mother daily. With no distractions. Offer to help her around the house.

10) Stop saying 'I mean' every other sentence. I've played back some of my interviews with people and God, I sound like an idiot.

11) Get a little bit of the bitchery back. This nice girl thing is boring for everybody.

12) STOP BUYING LIP BALM, what I have will last me until menopause. Besides 'oh but look at all the pretty colours!' will not hold up under my CA's withering stares.

That's about all the character building I can assimilate for now. I will chart my progress here and hopefully I'll have to stop soon because consecutive self‐congratulatory posts saying 'I did it, I did it' tend to lose shine very quickly.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The prettiest girl in the world...

...takes the 9.58 Thane Slow each morning. She climbs in seven stops after me and I make sure I am awake to see this always. Her eyes are like water and if you lean closer, like me in the crowd, you will see they hold the ocean. Inky waves grow and grow into shimmering ghosts before they break against the insides of her head. You can trace her movement through the compartment by the way the crowd parts ever so slightly. This is the ladies compartment of the CST Slow, not much known for its give, but when she surges forward, even savages grow delicate and allow her to bear down on them. The ends of her hair , they briefly graze my arm as she goes by, 'no don't do it', I will her 'please'. But she opens her lovely, terrible mouth and the beast comes barreling forth. Ugly ugly pretty girl! Your beauty turns cold like tea on a winter morning; no longer vivifying, just deeply and solidly depressing. Gestures like spiked punches and sprays of spittle, how quickly your perfectness has turned obscene. Your skin bubbles thickly underneath and your hair's a flaccid mass of filthy slugs. Your coarseness hurts. Such unforgivable deception. You are like everything else in this life ‐ ephemeral, ruinable and ruined. I will wait for you everyday.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

J,

I threw my back out today. It happened while I was brushing my teeth this morning and specifically during the daily one minute I dedicate during this time to tongue cleaning.

I want to take a tick here to say a few words about this seemingly inconsequential activity. I have always, and continue to, have tongue cleaning right up there with taking vitamins and checking if the internets have recorded any activity from Kareena Kapoor. I genuinely believe that if we, as a people, recognised tongue cleaning as a vital part of our daily ablutions, it would lead to the quietest and nicest revolution ever: the end of shit breath. Think of the general reduction in the earth's level of loathing, the end of the fear and foreboding that are ever present in the prospect of close talking. Think how it would be if we each were just a little more responsible for the atmosphere in our mouths. That's the kind of world you want to bring kids into.

So anyway, there I was going about my business when I bent too low into the wash bowl and felt a sudden splash of pain about my lower lumbar. Since then I have been walking around in a most unattractive way: butt and chest thrust out, muttering. The mother's general rule‐of‐thumb is that if your ailment isn't classic to your age group, you must be faking it (more accurate than you would believe), and so she ordered me to walk it off around the colony. It didn't do much for my back, or my ego, especially when an irritating devil child whizzed by on his tricycle shouting 'Dadima!' (I'm saving my thoughts on children for when I really need the catharsis).

After I got back, I categorically refused to listen to the mother's rudimentary arguments about Jesus striking me down, changed back into my nightie and attached myself to bed. It is there that I am writing to you from. The philosophical standoff between me and the mother seems to have come to an end. This I can tell by the hot tea and rusks that have found their way to my bedside. This turned out to be an agreeable day after all.

Why did you need to know this? Because I needed to not feel alone, for just a little while.

I am yours.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

J,

Do you ever wake up some days with your head feeling so light you need to hold it so it doesn't float away from your neck? It happened to me this morning and for a few seconds I wondered if I was very sick. But I didn't feel sick. The pain had left, my body felt like a spring. I then wondered if I was very sick in the head and then whether I was dead. Mother screeching in my ear right then assured me I wasn't. I got out of bed and then I didn't know what to do with this newness, so I had a bath with icy water. Then I cried for 20 minutes and polished all my shoes.

By this time I started feeling more like myself but not at all too. I thought about calling my friends and talking about it. But I realised I'd need to first spend a lot of time apologising for having not been in touch and ignoring their calls. I definitely didn't feel like doing that. So I decided to write down describing words for this feeling. I thought of 'nothing', 'cold' and 'white'. Fat lot of help that was. Then a voice - it sounded like my inner voice with a sore throat - made a very valid point: why was I trying so hard to know what it was? To know its last name and where it was coming from? Why wasn't I just enjoying it and using it to propel myself? The answer was simple enough. I didn't know how to. I was being that guy who dove into every last annotation of the scriptures because he once saw an angel and didn't know to just sit in her light and maybe ask if she had any experience with the Meaning of Life.

So I stopped and went about my day unquestioningly. And it was good. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, and it was the best ordinariness I've experienced in a while. For one, I was present. I knew what I was doing, I was inside every moment, not walled out with my nose pressed to it helplessly. It was like I could taste the tea I made (godawful), I looked at mother and saw the thousand wrinkles she''d grown while I wasn't looking. Even dog looked real and he passed some really real wind too. I promise I'm not going mental. Or maybe I am. But I don't feel so bad about it. Flailing means I'm alive. I can't even tell you just how okay I am with that.

Now that all that darkness has scooched over just a bit, I can focus again and think about you often and with all this love I didn't know I had. I'm not trying to scare you, I would never make you the victim of my light bulb moments. I just want to hold your hand once more, scratch at your calluses and not talk at all. Could this ever be?

J, I won't stop writing to you. I believe when the hammer of our desire insists upon the universe again and again, eventually it will tire and yield. I will see you again in this lifetime.

Till then,

I remain yours.