Monday, March 20, 2006

folded faces to the floor...

Yesterday the news came in a 40cc column - four rapes under four headlines. Everything else is toilet paper. The great tabloid in the sky promises quite a large roll of it too - more than 100 pages, as advertised.

Today, the front page carries sports. The last page carries 3 quarter-page advertisements.

The Vikram Poddar murder emerges as the new flavour of the season. Jessica Lal is so passe. Meanwhile, three brothers drown in Mandvi. I realise to my morbid amusement that three fingers more than adequately cover the entire article.

No news of the Kasliwal case today. Housewives turn back to their TV soaps in despair.

The Navi Mumbai curfew has been ceased.

Switch on the telly. Maybe you will catch a fresh rape or two. Or another murder, if you're lucky. Just a little bit of violence will do to keep the food going down the gullet. A spatter of blood. A battered woman. Anything.

I cocked my gun and waited for eventuality. But nobody came. I wouldn't have noticed if they did. Once you've laughed at your own monsters, everything else is Donald Duck.

I still waited for the feel of cool steel against my temples, for the earth to give way under me. I waited for the familiar smell of gunpowder and of battle. I waited for the fiends that lurk around the corner.

In the distance, someone died quite suddenly.

And I thought I had problems.

Yesterday the news came in a 40cc column - 4 rapes under 4 headlines. There might have been survivors but the newspaper saw to their burial in their innermost pages. Today they are forgotten.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

the woods are lovely...

Most of us breathe to stay alive.

The dead calm following the premature rain should have warned me. Complacence is no excuse for getting shot at. Not that I'd mind a few more scars. I just wish I didn't have to fire back.

You don't step on her turf if you don't want to get bitten. She lurks in the difference between a fruitcake and clinical insanity. What the world failed to do with her brain, the pills will finish. Eventually. But till then, you don't step on her turf if you don't want to get bitten.

I didn't. I'm a non-violent kinda guy.

Which is why, when I walked into her firing squad, I was more sitting duck than myself. But I was a sitting duck with a gun. Feathers flew. Some were mine. But by the time we were done dancing, I was the only one with two feet left.

I looked at the mayhem. It was like a butchered nursery rhyme.

Gone to the birds, I said. Mother Goose was just plain old cuckoo. To the birds.

I couldn't kill her. I was once part of her squad. The crazy old bird had kept me warm when I couldn't spread my wings. Things were different back then - even in the hell I was born to suffer. But time had broken many things - her mind and my conscience.

I left her wounded. I knew she would come back for me. And this time she would bring him along for the ride. A world of pain awaited me. Something told me I should be watching my back. But who has the time?

Most of us breathe to stay alive.

Some of us stay alive to breathe.

Friday, March 10, 2006

My kinda spring

The heavens open up and all hell is unleashed on this hole of a city. Lovers take to parks like frogs in a fuckfest. There is some pleasure derived from the thought that they too will croak.

And how.

Quacks get their 15 minutes. The sudden change in weather will cause widespread sickness, they say. Well, Moses be damned. Bring on the plague. It can't get worse than my throat-ache, I reckon.

Besides, I have my elixir right here. It cures all kinds of pains. Even the ones that look you in the eye when you face the mirror.

One part whiskey, one part warm water.

As I nurse my holy grail, the gutters overflow. The sky turns a murky shade of grey. (What other shades of grey are there anyway?) The breeze stings and the stench of death and flies lurks in the air.

Ah, spring is here.

Retrospect on a late January entry

26th Jan

It doesn’t take too long for a man to realise the odds are against him. Chances are, the odds are always against him. Somewhere between selling your soul to the devil and seeking retribution from a God who doesn’t show himself, you lose count. The dice rolls and you roll with it.

It was a surprise, then, to know that the ties you had severed with the real world still held fast in another dimension that was slowly edging forward to consume you.

He replied to my message.

A long silence and a cryptic laugh wasn’t much of a reply. But it was something.

And yet, beyond the relief that those who once covered your back on the field still remembered your name, I couldn’t help but feel an overbearing sense of impending doom.

A voice in my head said this is where it starts all over again. But I was wrong. It had started long back. And there was nothing I could do about it.

The dice rolls and you roll with it.


Endgame, I said. You have nothing left to shoot me with.

But he did.

When the world starts slipping away, you grasp at anything - rope, snake. The hand that pushes you over the edge is the hand that you reach for because there is no other in sight. And then, in a miraculous twist of sadistic irony, it pulls you back up.

He had the gun at my back only because I had given it to him that night.

And when you are left at the mercy of your own mistakes, all you can do is distance yourself from it. You can deny its memory. You can deny its tempting deception.

He is in Pune today. I haven't seem him since that night.

Endgame, I said. You have nothing left to shoot me with.

But he did. He had plenty to knock me down and send me to kingdom come. He just didn't know it yet. ...I hope he never does.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Beginning of the End

- and from the twisted end of the Mobius strip... it starts.