Caution : What you could come across in the process.

Insignificant references to my life, an abstract and distracted thought sequel, monotony, inconsistency, vague vague perception, whorish intellectualism, feminist bullshit, armchair activism, causes I try to relate to, sharp sarcasm, even sharper criticism, frivolous details.

Nonetheless Happy Reading.

Friday, July 8, 2011

For the love of all things strange and beautiful

It took one lousy question for me to reconsider my life. Once I was out late, drinking and this friend of mine who I’d known only for a couple of days spat out an absurd question: Do you believe in humanity?

The drink went up my nose and I snorted before laughing so hard that I fell off the chair.

Weird pieces of conversation fell here and there and after a few minutes I found myself staring at the mirror in the bathroom, tears spilling out.

I drove back home at two in the morning and the sky was flaming crimson.

Well it is how it looks. We haven’t met before, not even by chance. None of us were freaks or weirdos or nineteen year olds raging on hormones and the excitement of adventure in a very non physical sense of it. We were normal people, bored to death by our routine lives and looking to escape the misery of it all for just one night.

So there wasn’t a fuss. There were no roses or surprises or any other such menial formalities. There was cheap wine and an inviting jazzy tune that helped us settle to our chairs and conversation too, much sooner than we had expected to. 

None of this was going anywhere. I think we were both blessed by an ability to share lives over a couple of drinks and that was all there was to it. In a few hours we would get up from our chairs and leave our glasses and our lives on that table and drive home. No sex. No one night stands. No waiting for phone calls. No fights. No promises. No broken plates. Relief

I think he walked in straight from work. He must have done his hair up in the washroom, slipped them in place nicely with a few drops of tap water. He didn’t look the sorts to carry around hair gel or even if he did it probably got lost somewhere in the back of that buff colored briefcase he held onto. A copy of Financial Times peek a booed out of one corner of his briefcase, the one he told me he couldn’t possibly do without not even if he ended up landing on the Maldives, surrounded by breathtaking beauty.

I myself went to the bookstore before coming here.

Picked up a copy of The Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs, because I felt terrible about the fact that I had never been able to cross it off my to-read list. And as I was browsing through their lousy collection, I was incredibly envious and surprised at the number and volume of books writers these days were able to churn up in barely a month.

Look at Jackie Collins for example, I mean she has an entire fucking shelf of books. No I don’t care how old she is and I don’t care that she doesn’t have to churn out research papers every week. It just made me feel terrible. I paid for my book with a heavy heart and while I left the store there was some ray of hope that incase I got stood up that night I could have a glass of wine and some Ravioli while the book kept me company. Then I would go home and watch TV, make myself some popcorn, curl up under my quilt and act like nothing happened, because nothing really did happen.

There was absolutely no point in wondering whether he met with an accident or whether he tumbled down the stairs or whether his dog got struck by lightning. He didn’t show up because he didn’t show up and there was nothing more to it. How easy it is to come to terms with things once you grow older. To call a spade a spade and not think beyond a point that defines necessity. 

On the way I also stopped for cigarettes because I never really quit and bought some cheap candy. I am hopelessly addicted to cheap candy. When I buy them, I buy them alone, even double check to see if anybody is looking my way and when I eat them I eat them alone. I hide them from the world and relish them all by myself – they are my whores. Cheap does not necessarily equate to being awful.

Mannequins? I echoed.

Yes, he said very matter-of-factly.


Lying is exhausting these days. It tells me how much I’ve aged. I am still looking forward to setting up a new venture. I want to take the world by surprise and manufacture exotic mannequins; they wouldn’t need to dress to be complete. They could be anywhere – in a park, a mall, a bathroom. It’s frustrating to put out an idea when nobody is buying it. They all want the same god damn bloody things. I stopped supplying to medical institutes a year ago when I started developing a sense of pediophobia, we only do fashion retail and garment outlets now. You must understand it is anything but easy for a man to watch fiberglass being converted to a naked human form day in and day out.

Fiberglass? Is that what they are made of?

Yes. Now a days we do the fiberglass ones. These days we’ve started coating them with a granite spray called Zolatone.



I dig into my Ravioli, for some reason it tastes divine, it has been seasoned to perfection. For a brief moment I wish to be reincarnated into a microscopic form so that I crawl into one of those mouth watering shell shaped raviolis and savor the rest of my life.

How’s the job hunt going? He drags me into his reality.

Going on. Positively, I could land one up with one in a week or so. A decent one, not a lousy one. The era of conventionality is fast declining. People do not want to know about boring beauty tips anymore; they want to know about vampire facelifts. That’s where I come in. In the meanwhile I am still working on my PhD.

Advanced topics in Sexual Issues is it?

Yes. Not as loose as you put it though. Culturally, biologically and psychologically very diverse, very relatable in fact.

And then there it was – We both grinned precisely at the same moment.

Two hours later I knew he never wore shoes without socks and once he swallowed his keys and got operated. The surgery went on for seven hours. His mom was bipolar and he saw his dad once a year. He had an African pen pal he grew in love with and she stopped writing and that was the first time a girl broke his heart and from then on it was quite a rage.

The time had come for us to depart. Going by the rule book for socially strange people, we did not exchange numbers or addresses. Instead as he grabbed his coat, I grabbed him by the hand which turned out to be surprisingly soft for a 32 year old man. I looked deep into his cloudy eyes and asked him the one thing I’d been dying to ask him ever since I first spoke to him.

Do you believe in humanity?

His eyes seemed to widen, a sense of conviction dissolving the cloudiness that haunted them before and now I could see they were green like my cat, only rounder.


Fragments of fiction

‘It was my madness that you took with you wherever you went. My madness left at your feet for mercy.’
All she left was memory. Hauntingly discontent memory. Six years is a long time to move on, not only from love but from the very evidence that you once loved and were loved briefly.
It felt like she shrunk with every passing day and then finally disappeared into nothingness. There was nothing I could do to stop the whole process.
I remember our last few days together, actually not very much together. We lived in the same house and yet two distinctly different worlds. I remember waking up one morning to find her in the kitchen furiously trying to bake a cake, only she couldn’t, not even close. All that showed in the end was a mess of flour, sugar, egg shells and Hershey’s cocoa and her own insecurities and shortcomings, her own frail tiny being working as hard as she could to justify her existence and herself.
Six years down the line she looked far from the girl who once vowed to love me unconditionally.
She looked smaller and smaller at times firmly rooted on her writing desk wanting to disappear.
‘I think I don’t have it in me to make any money,’ she once said chewing on an apple slice dipped in caramel sauce. I thought it was cute.
Nonetheless I took on two jobs. PR advertising was a drug. I got a kick out of convincing people to believe in something or someone that I thought was, quite frankly, a joke. A nobody. An absolute waste of time. It wasn’t a moral dilemma nor would I like to call it unethical. It was just a five year old gazing at the sky and saying ‘Look!’ and everybody saw. Only I realized you didn’t have to be five to do that, you could be thirty three and they would still look. Sometimes I find it incredibly appetizing to do things I hate. It just makes my hatred more authentic. It was how I fell in love.
Meanwhile at the house, she built time around her. She devoured books by the hour. She stopped biting her nails and chewing the skin around them.
She was the kind of girl who drank water not because she was thirsty but out of the fear of developing a kidney stone.
I kept her with me nonetheless. I know now what might be wrong with me, what has been wrong with me for all these years. I probably breed off the wrong kind of things.
Three weeks after she left her memory turned from being a haunting affair to being just a tiny prick. An irritable itchy prick.
Out of compassion I pour myself another drink. I can’t swallow much. Eagles eye me with disgust. My hands start to shiver.
Six years later the winds changed.
No she wasn’t very beautiful or intelligent or smart. She however gave me something to remember on a cold winter night, when I looked outside the window at a city swamped by the night lights and the icy breeze pricked at my skin. That was how random she was. She had bouts of nauseatingly crisp behavior and bouts of madness during which she expected me to keep her company.
She expected me to lock her doors at night because she had nightmares of the house falling down on her sending her into frenzy and out on the cold wet streets.
She’d create quite a noise when she’d walk in somewhere. Never to draw attention to herself though, she never really wanted that. It just came naturally to her like breathing and just about everything else that made her so stunning and crisp.
One Christmas, she chopped off her hair, igniting an aura of rebellion.
Sometimes in the afternoons when I’d boil water for my tea she’d walk in like the wind, grab a knife, chop off a few fruits, stack them up in a brightly colored bowl and leave like she wasn’t even there. Wild like wind and disturbingly precise, there is this gumption of how carelessly certain and adamant she is about everything.
Her absence drove me towards working harder. Hard work is hard work and surprisingly all this starry eyed success took a lot out of me. In the end I was a man, a tired man, too tired to smile or acknowledge his moment of glory.
The day I got promoted, friends and family celebrated at a fancy lounge down the street. As the party got louder and louder I found myself walking away, out of the room, onto the lonely street, turning eastward about a mile away from where I lived venturing out to witness the sunrise in the wee hours of the morning.
Whoever thought of this and I laughed out loud as I saw a tiny speck of orange grow brighter and brighter as it started to embrace the sky.
Here I was, a man too tired to acknowledge his success while on the other side of town people celebrated his success.
I thought of her. There was so much dealing to do. I couldn’t deal with all the dealing.
Flashes of darkness and color blinding me, I fancied not wanting and wanting. I glanced at a page I tore from one of her journals.
‘While you waited upstairs in your pretty dress, life was all that was happening downstairs in that dusty old basement covered with cobwebs. And all this while, if only, if only you’d gotten over your fear of darkness and only if you weren’t disgusted enough to take a crap on yourself, if only you had been brave enough to run downstairs… would have been entirely worth it.’