Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sometimes, if it is really hot and still outside, didimoni takes an afternoon nap. The halud-jirey-amsotto smell clings to her, and if it is after-shower, mysore sandal soap wafts in as well. The cotton saree is neatly tucked all about, as she snores gently with her hands splayed wide. Arm skin sags, and makes a nice, soft place to tickle, if I am bored.
And if mindfuck happens, and I tiptoe in to snatch a cuddle, she always knows. Opens her eyes a teeny bit, and I go and curl up besides. Face down on the soft arm-skin. A toothless half-grin later, she drowsily retrieves her arm and starts whispering

‘Megh mulukey, jhapsa raatey, ramdhonuker abchhayate…’

I turn over, and go to sleep. And if luck permits, dream of random boys climbing over clouds.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Okay, ahem..disclaimer.
The last post was NOT about me going bonkers or me having a drug overdose or me wallowing in self-pity.
It was loneliness. And about somebody passing away. And certain other stuff which do not include the ones mentioned above.
On second thoughts, I was rash. And a tad hurried. The last post was DEFINITELY not blog-worthy. More of a private-journal-entry perhaps.
But it felt nice, this. I didn’t know so many people cared. :)

On other things,
My body clock has finally kicked the bucket and gone for a long overdue, all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. Or so it seems. These days, 4 in the morning is the regular time for going to sleep. And eyelids don’t open until 10. It was enjoyable, in the beginning. The drip-drip-drip of the tap, the Isaac Asimovs, the rats scurrying by, the chocolate biscuits at night and the drip-drip again. But now-a-days, it sucks. Enough of it already. Sweaty, sleepy, cranky and with a sour taste in the mouth. Definitely not the way to be at 11 every morning.
However, this is where I roam about every night, when sleep refuses to come..

On moon day the dream king gave an audience to five small children who had traveled a long way, seeking their lost mother. He met them in a hall filled with scarecrows who whispered among themselves in the voices of the stars of the silent screen.
Dancing salamanders brought the children silver plates piled with exotic ice creams of various flavours, and with fruits they had never seen before and would never see again….although they would dream of them in rare occasions, until they died.
Gravely the lord of dreams listened to each child plead and beg, and then at the end, he drew a door in the air with his finger, and the children walked through it, into the rest of their story.
And on moon day he arbitrated in a dispute between the knight of clouds and the body politic. He awarded the magic lantern show to the knight of clouds, although he permitted the body politic to retain custody of the six screaming stones and the snows of yesterday.
He walked from his castle to the dreams of a small boy in Hong Kong. He remained there for some minutes, observing quietly. Then he left.
He ate in the dream of the head-chef in the best hotel in Sri Lanka, a dream of a certain meal described to the chef by his grandfather. The meal consisted of almost fifty separate courses, and over two hundred dishes. The king of dreams tasted sparingly of a vegetable dish, and a little plain rice, and was contented by the perfection of each.
He had been asked to permit the sending of a dream of warning to a teenaged girl in South Africa. With this dream to drive her, the girl would grow up to take charge of her country, to unite all the dividing factions. Without it, she would become a nurse.
He came to his own decision, and relayed it to the Tribal Gods from whom the request had come. His decision brooked no argument, had no appeal.
And then, to conclude the day’s work, he gave an elderly tortoise, alone on her island these past two centuries, a dream of her love, roasted by passing sailors long since, for his rich, green flesh.

On Truesday, the Prince of Stories listened to the tale of a nightmare it had created a handful of years before and sent out into the world. The nightmare brought gifts: a photograph of a smile, a handful of dried thyme and a clammy, fat, silver-and-red clown toy made of something not unlike rubber. He gave it words of approval in return and it blushed black with pleasure.
Then the prince of Stories walked the bounds of the dreaming, beginning with the shores of night, and from there to the borders of the shifting places. He took ship in the archipelago and inspected the skerries, tallying each one, no matter how insignificant.
He rode a black horse across the lake of dawn, and rode a white horse through the mandrake wood, and rode a screech owl over the via lacrimae.
He walked through the love fields, and from there he walked on into nightmare.

On Wodensday he walked the castle. The heart of the dreaming is as large as the dreaming itself. He began in the cellars beneath the castle where once many wines and jars and distillates were stored. He took counsels with the great spiders and exchanged quiet words with many-legged scuttling things, who viewed him as one of themselves.
In the afternoon the Lord Shaper walked through the rooms of the castle above the ground, talking to each of the staff in turn, hearing their grievances, acknowledging their service and their work.
He spoke to the scar-dancers, to the straw-dust-women, to the old man with the swan’s arm who tends back stairs, to the three children of the autopsy, to the painters and the scriveners and the walls.
He spoke to people made of thin twigs, and to the dream ghosts who left glowing footprints as the only evidence of their passage.
He spoke to the embryonic silicon dreams who clustered in the far ballroom, and whispered to them, briefly, about the other machines that had dreamed in the distant past.
When this day was almost over, he went into the throne room, and took stock of certain items there, including those things he keeps in that room, behind coloured glass: the raw stuff, untamed, that is central to the dreaming.

On Thirstday, the King Of Dreams walked in the waking world. He stood briefly at the side of the hall watching a young woman with a guitar, tell an audience of a dream she had had, in song.
He stood infront of a painting spray-painted on a wall soon to be demolished, and after staring for some time, he nodded, as if in approval.
In a small park in Central Europe, he stopped to feed the pigeons, because it gave him pleasure so to do, although he stopped when it was pointed out to him that a sign said “Do not feed the pigeons.”
He walked across the park, and watched an open-air performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. He was mildly disappointed by the translation. He was, however, extraordinarily amused by the performance of the actor playing the part of Bottom.
Later that day, he visited each of his properties in the waking world, checking the upkeep and the condition of each; and then he returned to the dreaming.

On Fire’s day, dream was reviewing certain of the various treaties and agreements, between the dreaming and other states and boundaries and entities, when he was disturbed….’

- Neil Gaiman.

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's like you are outside your body, and looking down on it. And inside it, at the same time. And it feels as if the you've just had 1 joint all to yourself. All zonked and dry-mouthed and you desperately want to puke. And there's a lump in your throat and you can't breathe? And it's like the 55 year old man who died suddenly this morning, and the 15 year old stepping forward for Mukhagni just don't exist any longer. Never did. Never will.
You know, like Neil Gaiman talking about 'parallel Americas' and how dream defines reality and destiny defines freedom? And suddenly I think of aunt Teleute. Pale and shimmering, weird eye-shadow and desperately cool. And Morpheus, with his Matthew and Lucien and all. It's funny, how I am thinking of Sandman, continuously, since I heard the news.

Suddenly, all of them make frightening sense.
Khider thekeo sposhto.

Coherence is not happening. Just. Not. Happening. No. Expectations. Happening. No. NO.

Comfortably Numb was CREATED to soothe claustrophobic, troubled, hurting souls. Listening to it in an endless loop since this afternoon. The sweat has dried, and it feels like sleeping on cold cement floors when you are burning up with fever.
Want to ESCAPE, dammit!! No crying baby. Just. No. Tears.

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Come on, now.
I hear youre feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.

I need some information first.
Just the basic facts:
Can you show me where it hurts?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It was a nice house.
Softspoken, and clingy in some ways, but nice, if you know what I mean.
It was ancient too. The cracks showed. And so did the soft moss which grew at an alarming rate.
Previously, the front part consisted of one huge room which had wooden sofas and an old divan and arched windows, with green , wooden windowpanes. And an old, noisy refrigerator which was perennially grumpy. It had a television set too, which dutifully aired Mahabharata and Chitrahar every Sunday and Wednesday respectively. (But then of course, times, they changed and so did the TV. And now, every night, it beams coloured pictures and spins stories about the extra-marital affairs of ridiculously rich women.) The huge room had an adjoining chhotoghor which held old, rusty complan tins full of marbles, and one half of a broken carom board. And of course the mandatory, very old alna, with soft and reassuring housecoats and sarees and cotton shirts smelling of rin detergent bars. The verandah infront of the old house had a pillar painted blue. And then 3 steps. Down and straight if you wanted to get to the rannaghor, which was huge. With oil stained yellow walls, cement sinks and rows of jars full of ghorey pesha gorom moshla, 2 gas ovens, and an all-pervading smell of tej pata.
Down the 3 steps and left, and you came to the garden. Shiuli and joba. And mango and guava, batabi lebu, neem and coconut trees.
Down 3 steps and right, and there was the uthon. And the rooms surrounding it. Old rooms with kulungis and high four-posters and cool red cement floors which were heavenly and addictive on hot summer afternoons. The uthon though, was nicest during the winter. The sunlight which managed to strain in through the thick, double layers of mango and neem leaves was pleasantly hot and exactly the colour of melted butter. And you could get yourself a madur and a pillow, a Ruskin Bond and a small, paper packet of achaar and create your own little piece of heaven. The iron, spiral staircase at one end of the uthon was forbidden land till you attained a certain age. After that you could cling on to the railings and get to the chhat, which was silent and frightening and almost white with pigeon droppings or green with kancha aam, depending on the season.
The old rooms downstairs, had corridors too. Old corridors - my favouritest part of the whispering house. High ceilings, grills and chiks, and iron and wooden book cases. It was heavenly if you didn’t fear the occasional spider and the even more rare rat or two. Newspaper wrapped, crumbly, yellowed treasures were routinely discovered. 'Mohabharoter Golpo', and a hard bound, cloth covered Bengali translation of a Russian story called ‘Chuk ar Gek’, ‘Five have a Mystery to solve’ and ‘Leela Majumderer Sreshtho Golpo’, ‘Vivekanander Vedanta Chinta’, ‘Byakoron Koumudi’ and the complete annotated ‘Merchant of Venice’ (year of publication:1938) were all unearthed here once upon a time.

I will be moving away soon. To a flat, with snazzy lighting, snazzier furniture, French windows and a room of my own. The flat doesn’t whisper. Nor does it sigh when it’s sad. It is healthy, with no rats, no spiders and no random plump cat taking a nap on the panchil.

It is a nice flat. I like it.

It was a nicer house. I loved it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"...Tora juddho kore korbi ki ta bol..
Mithye ostro shostro dhorey, praanta kano jay beghorey..
Rajye rajye porosporey dwondey omongol,
Tora juddho kore korbi ki ta bol.
Raja koren tombi tomba.
Montri moshai kisey kom ba..
Proja peye oshtorombha, holo heenobol.
Tora juddho kore korbi ki ta bol.."

Much thanks to her for the coming up with this in the first place. I added bits to it though.
Apt. Very.