Thursday, February 22, 2018

Coming of Age

Did you know the Japanese have a coming-of-age holiday? So, every year, the second Monday of January is a national holiday to celebrate people who have crossed the age of 20 over the past year.

Congratulations, you are an adult! Eat, drink, and be merry! Of course, adult or not, it’s a fucking national holiday on a long weekend! What life!

But Japanese or not, they’ll all tell you age is just a number. It isn’t. It changes you, and you don’t even realize it. I didn’t, until recently.

A grey hair here, a crease there, and a wrinkle out of nowhere, there are enough and more signs of ageing. But the most telling aren’t these overt outbursts. They are subtler. I no longer look at myself in the mirror counting another grey hair. What I do notice is that frown on my forehead.

A line that keeps getting deeper trying to fix things that aren’t quite right. Even the small, negligible nothings.

The other day S and I were out for lunch and he spilled some salt on the table and I took a tissue out to wipe it. And then I put the salt, the pepper and some cutlery in an order, like they were all getting ready to go on stage to give a performance. Once I was satisfied, I then adjusted my kurta, got up, sat down, cleaned the chair. This exercise took about five minutes.

Astonished, and exasperated, he said: “Is it possible for you to just relax? Why does everything have to be perfect?”

The thing is, I didn’t think this was a big deal. But he told me, off late, I have become this person trying to do everything properly, in order, at work and otherwise. Over and over again, without actually realizing it. “You have become super finicky.” He finally said those dreaded words that really made me think.

I have to admit, I was a little taken aback. I never considered myself finicky, I always thought I was very adaptable.

Today, I can’t stand loud music or loud anything. It actually visibly makes me angry. Mediocrity in writing, reporting, in the movies, in music, in everyday products, in ideas, thoughts, actions just appalls me. There’s this obvious disregard for quality and the numerous short cuts to just finish the damn job that get my goat.

I am dismissive of outdated ideas even more than I was before. A few years ago, if I disagreed with you I would just tell you and end the conversation to avoid confrontation. And will probably never bring it up again. Or sometimes say nothing depending on who you are, someone much older, my boss or my best friend. Now, I vehemently disagree with you, no matter who you are.

It’s important to say what you really feel. Your time is important, and you have to be more judicious about how, with whom, and on what you spend it.

I think a lot of that has got to do with age. As you grow older, I feel, you’d want to spend your time doing more meaningful things. I know now that “whatever you want” isn’t making me happy.

I am less tolerant of people and things. I—would like to—put myself first. Do these other people care about me as much as I care about them? They don’t, and they get by. 

Also, I am beginning to look back at life with a lot more fondness than I used to when I had just a few number of years crossed out on the calendar.

I hope, in this whole coming-of-age drama, I don’t reduce myself to some bitter, old cranky bitch, who no longer likes the way the calendar has been crossed.

PS: I am not PMS-ing.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Remixed in a Remix

I have always hated remixes. Because the original is the original. That’s what it was meant to be from the beginning. Pure, honest, real. 

Remixes are like post-truth. They lack real substance. They are manipulated figments of manufactured imagination. You could change it to suit you, without rhyme or reason, just on a whim. Be it a song, or a story, or even an experience. But what’s a remixed experience?

Sometimes when you are with someone, you recreate moments that make you feel like how you felt when you were with someone else. This hasn’t happened to me, perhaps at a subconscious level.

But try as I may (to borrow a verse from Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing at All) it’s never going to be the same. It might be versions of the same, but never the original. Like a remix. I hate remixes.

I can’t think of a remixed song or an experience that I have truly enjoyed or cherished--even if it’s with the same person. Remixes can never be special. They can never be a part of a moment. They can never be a moment.

Why mix something when it’s perfect as it is? As it should be. It’s like watering a beautiful flower with so much force that it withers and dies. Losing all its original beauty.

They'd probably tell you times have changed. This is what people like now. Really? What has happened to people? Are they this tone deaf or have they been blessed with immense tolerance that somehow seems to have escaped me.

What happened to the thrill of creating something that you actually 'created' from scratch? Would you want to be known as someone who remixed songs, adapted a story or borrowed an experience? 

Wouldn't you want your name to stand for originality, for creating something that never existed? A new song, a new melody, a new emotion. A new story, a new character, a new life. A new experience, a new moment, a different you.

Sadly, remixes are becoming, what I firmly believe, a lazy, insult-to-your-intelligence, pretentious trend. Every movie opens with a familiar yet disturbingly different song. They change the lyrics though, which make it sound even more terrible. Where are the good writers? Where’s the melody? Where’s the romance? Where’s the soul?

Where are the stories? The moments? 

Remixed in a remix.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

No More Butterflies

Farcical, this crazy, strange love.
All it takes is a gentle shove.

To rise or fall, in its tempting arms.
To accede or repel its many charms.

But there comes a time in your dream-run,
When autumn leaves dry in the burning sun.

Spring’s over, tall, naked trees loom.
Flowers aren’t much, they bud, they bloom.

When songs lose meaning, they make noise.
The melody’s ripped, from your soulful voice.

I look for what’s lost, I sift and I sieve.
When I know truly well, it’s all make-believe.

Longing no longer gives me the thrill,
Of seeing, of touching, of needing you still.

It matters no more, love’s desire long gone.
No more butterflies, this heart’s moved on.

As much as I detest, I must say for it’s true,
As much as I loved, now I’ve weaned off you.

But why, you ask me, and it leaves me reeling.
Is this what happens when you stop feeling?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Silent Rain

Like snowflakes descend on lonesome mountains,
Like flowers wither when winter calls,
Like tall stories play in a charade,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like a stifled cry of a forlorn heart,
Like the suppressed screams of a lingering brawl,
Like the brimming quiet in the depth of an ocean,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like rewound tapes of forgotten memories,
Like the spirited hope to mend broken walls,
Like the edgy first stir of a revolution,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like glittering pearls form in dark oyster shells,
Like the last glow of the setting sun enthralls,
Like the mute protest of a rebellious bard,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like the impatience of a ticking clock,
Like injustice thrives in sparring court halls,
Like the slow chug of a train at a hopeful station,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fleeting Moments

Passes swerve, a shadow up a mountain.
Snow valleys litter.
Like strewn blobs of paper,
a writer's infinite attempts at free verse.

A mountain trail here
and an eager stream there,
the recluse makes an appearance.

Closeted in hearty laughter of a jocund company,
hidden in mindless banter.
Not anymore.
The mountains engulf. They fill a void. 

But like lonely caves in a forgotten civilization's past,
they create another.
Hollow, but deep.

Rivers move on, like a clock's hands.
They ebb and flow as they please.
Upon meandering paths, up mighty peaks,
down crooked crevasses. 

Tales weave themselves in and out of a distant mind.
Lost, bipolar and ecstatic.
A puppet, stringed in nature's game.

Fleeting moments, like a lightning's streak,
flash and fade. They flow with a river's song,
they rise like a mountain's pride
and fall like a stream's humility.

And then, out there, in the real world,
plains gather dust. Concrete jungles tempt a living.
They are on their own trip.

But that fleeting moment,
is it really over when it ends?


Coming of Age

Did you know the Japanese have a coming-of-age holiday? So, every year, the second Monday of January is a national holiday to celebrate...