Saturday, April 27, 2013

'cause God is a stooge.

Does this kind of image look familiar! Bingo, you genius. Yes, if you are a facebook freak like me, you'll know what this is. For others, this is just something said and best forgotten at a religious gathering. Posts like these keep popping up and down one's FB homepage. Talk of abusing the right to express. And stupid as this is, there're a hundred million likes/comments/shares or all, proving to us that irrespective of our physical evolutionary stage, we are still the species that worships the Fire God and dreads the Water Demons. Faith has a new name on FB. Stupidity.

I have nothing against God. I love him. Or her. Or both. Whatever is applicable. And pray frequently too, to keep his wrath at bay. The only annoying thing about this seemingly all-powerful giver and taker of things, is that despite the benevolence, s/he's often a stooge. And more often than not, a really confused one. You are sure to get what you want. If you've begged, pleaded or died for it enough. 

For instance, if you own a guitar that you count your life on. One day the cords snap. You've got no money and there's a smattering chance that you'll be able to see the day through without its food-for-the-soul kind of music. Now, you go to your spot of worship and beg your guts out. You probably spend the entire day hoping, praying and even yelling at passersby to help you out. "We'd love to string you up that tree," they yell back at you. The daylight fades and you've had so much disappointment and rejection that you begin to hate that cursed, wretched thing that once filled your heart with the love of God. Well, you hunt down the nearest junk-dealer. Your misery won't end. Because God loves you and needs to make his presence felt as he wipes your tears caused by the junk-dealer's ridiculously low bargain. Honestly, the bargain was just a cover-up. He just stripped you bare of your last, valuable possession. Anyhow, you come home, learn to let go, find strength in solitude and close the guitar-chapter of your life for good. That's the only way you'll get some sleep anyway. And it is necessary to sleep because when you wake up tomorrow you need to figure out a new way to earn your bread and butter on the street.Yeah, you could go look for some meaningful work but that happens only in movies. Where God plays lead role.

Now, just like me, you also clicked the share button in your dreams, two minutes before waking up (obviously, if the protagonist could afford an android phone and do it in real-time, we wouldn't have this post at all). Lo and behold, for the love of God, what do you find at the foot of your groaning, sunken bed? The Lord's favour. A set of sparkling, new G-strings. Strings! You'd begged and pleaded and nearly died for a G-string and look what you get? A heartbreak AND a slap? Another reason to face the mirror and want to break it because it's God's way of making real, your innermost fears. He was probably snickering away while you were busy decorating your prayer. Because if you had that guitar in the first place, you may have put that loin cloth on, seen your sack-like silhouette and tried to strum away the misery, sitting in the broken and dry bathtub. Obviously, who would let you play at the beach with that hideous shape on display? But now there's no guitar, a mixed-up G-string and nowhere to take it!Or shove it, to put it correctly. So, it is a miracle in itself that these miracle-making posts find numerous, gullible followers. The rest just kneel down laughing and send the next post to God- 'Dear God, thank you for a HAPPY day. Share, if God just saved you from the stupidity of sharing the previous post.'

And as for sharing this trash, God did do me a favour in two minutes. He made me want to get away from the comp and save my lunch from burning.

Thank you, you glorified stooge.

Cheers and clinks

God-awfully yours

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Fear me most", said Fear...

“Looking at the reflection in the water of the man standing behind her, she…”

tried not to move. Still as the water, she closed her large, brown eyes and wished him away. It was futile. She could feel his presence inching in on her. She had only seen from a distance, the fate the others of her kind had met at the hands of men driven by unreasoned passion. There was only one option left. To dash across the rivulet, swim even, through the muddy and croc' infested waters. She needed to fight the lesser fear first.

Well, this is the short story that I was working on and as expected of me, I took up too much on my plate and couldn't finish it . And I never learn. But what I did learn from this activity is to try and identify a very strong emotion that makes the essence of this write up. 

Fear. We all have it. We've all succumbed to it, braved it, fought with it and let it win at times but how often do we reason with it? Or better still, negotiate with it. 

My greatest fear in life is that of water. Yes, that beautiful, clear, life-giving thing called water. The sight of a water-body any bigger than a puddle makes me either balk or break out into a run. If my car was ever to pull up in front of a rain-battered road, smocked with standing water here and there, you are likely to see me turn around and find another road to my destination. Oddly enough, as I am a strong swimmer and even though, I'm no champion material but I surely have no reason to fear a death by drowning. 

I remember when I started to learn to swim, I was nearly 15 years old. I was the quickest learner in my group and the most daring one too. It was a proud moment when it didn't take me a moment's thought to jump of a 20 feet high diving board! However, there's something that no one ever came to know. I nurtured a paralyzing fear of water, especially if I couldn't see the bottom of the area that is holding it. 

It was a rainy, drizzly kind of a morning. Nobody had turned up for the class; not even my coach! I was dedicated enough to be there. Since I was there already and had been diving and swimming independently in the deep end of the pool for a month now(with a lot of people around); I decided to enjoy my time in the water. So I stepped into the pool on the shallow side and started to swim towards the other end. I was nearly across the Olympic size pool, when I realised that I couldn't see the base of the pool. I was surrounded on all sides by turbid water because of the drizzle. My internal alarm system went haywire as panic gripped me at the ankles and dragged me down. Mercifully, I wasn't too far from the side and after splashing like  a maniac ( while imagining that some huge, dark octopus was pulling me down), I somehow got a hold on the pool's side-gutter. Needless to say, I sprang out of the water and nearly swore never to swim alone ever again!

Unreasonable, unfounded fear! The most vicious, cruel enemy. You never know when or how it'll strike you and leave you lame for any excuse! I even try to reason with it by associating it to a childhood incident when while frolicking at Juhu Beach, both hands held firmly by my parents, I ran into the approaching wave only to find my feet entangled in some stray weeds. That was enough to make me scream. However, acknowledging that incident and trying to negotiate terms with my fear, doesn't seem to help at all. If any, it only makes it bigger, better and stronger.

Not the one to give up, I keep trying water-sports with my heart pounding in my mouth! I have tried a few and the aftermath makes me laugh each time I think about it, but that's another story for another day! Meanwhile, do you have any fears that you wish to acknowledge/confront/address? Do it right now, right here! Tear apart the fear, before it does that to you. "Fear me most," said Fear...

I'll be back with those funny fear stories too.

Till then
Cheers and clinks and 40 winks!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Taj Love Story:Fire

Discovering yourself

Hans Eysenck's personality chart

As a writer, I need to keep trying to understand the state of human emotions, their triggers and consequential emotions. I came across this pie-chart while fleshing out a character for my next project. And as I did, I tried to evaluate myself too. Struggling to place myself in one of the quarters, it came to me that I actually do a complete 360 during an average 30 day period. Which means my state of mind shifts like the phases of the moon. I know I'm a normal person but just how normal?  Do you all feel that way about yourself too? Or are you able to place yourself assuredly in one or maybe two of the sections? I know it is socially suicidal for me to confess that I do touch upon that black line between the grey and yellow but don't worry...that is only when I've slogged over something and am waiting for appreciation, and some stupid fb status update like  "Going to brush my teeth" gets 500 likes in under 10 minutes ;P .  And NO, I do NOT have any neurotic instincts that one may associate with any kind of crime :)

So, the point is that how well-defined can a character or a person be, when situations and other triggers keep a person in a state of flux. I'll narrate an incident for clarity:

A young man is standing on a bus-stop, waiting for about twenty minutes for the bus to arrive. He has been waiting patiently for his turn and as a queue starts to build up behind him, he is slowly pushed ahead to be the first to board. There are people of all age-groups, office-going people, and a couple of school children. The most noticeable are two elderly gentlemen with shaking heads and black umbrellas. He chats amicably with the person behind him, discussing the day's headline about the double-murder of an old couple in his neighbourhood, by their own son. They discuss the insensitivity of younger people towards the older generation and how people are at their insensitive best during their youth. During his talk, he manages to exchange a few flirtatious glances with the demure girl standing several places behind the old men. The bus approaches. As the queue lunges forward, the girl breaks the line and strides in to the bus before anyone else. The man ignores it, even if he doesn't approve of it. It happens all the time, he thinks, and why should I try to change it? He settles down and in a while, reaches out for his wallet to buy the ticket, only to find it missing. He looks for the man who had been standing behind him in the queue. He is not in the bus. The bastard, he mutters under his breath. Realising that he had been taken for his gullibility, he looks around helplessly. A friendly hand with bangles offers help to buy his ticket, bringing the smile back on and making him forget her misdemeanour. Before he is able to say 'thank-you, someone walks past, stepping heavily on his toes. He curses under his breath. The toe-treader stares back aggressively. The exchange flares up and comes to fists and blows.

Which section of the chart could one possibly place this young man? It may be argued that some situations are just that- situations, and do not define the character of the person by the responses they draw? But I argue, why not? Aren't these situations, the true test of one's character while the rest of our life sails by on calm waters. It is easy, and normal, to be in the green and pink when there aren't any external disturbances.

Am going back to that character that I'm etching. Do let me know what you think, if and when you can :)

Cheers and clinks!

Random Puppet-talk

On the starry stage I see,
blue lights and curtains green
rolling, fading in and out
and with them
comes the block routine.

All dance to someone else's tune,
all smile only to please
who doesn't want a heart-felt clap
their egos to appease
characters, things and even air
is full of expectation
and on the heavy floorboards bare
the dance of affectation.

There used to be a lifetime once
when bliss was not so rare
when eyes were full of honest-talk
and lies most lips did spare.

Waiting in the wings I am
for my turn in Acts
of lofty stuff in hideous chugs
I bring on ponderous facts.

Find me a sprightly kite, O Sun
that doesn't want to fly
like a bird on the horizon
or a cloud across the sky

Find me a glossy mermaid, Thor
that doesn't want to dance
in a ball by the prince
or by the shadows of the yacht

Find me the stiff-necked puppet, 'Speare
that doesn't want to hold
his own strings for once
without being snappily told

If never there was one
such actor, maid or kite
then i would also turn around
and make my cravings right.

I may be held
by glassy strings
that make the palms to bleed
I may be twirled
in waves aghast
hurled 'midst the rocks of weed.

But ever if
my puppeteer
would look at me up close
I'll look him in the eye
and say
I'm better off when loose
You think
you hold me nice and stern
and lead me right along
what then 
of that inner voice
(You put it there)
that says I'm God and
makes me want to turn?

hold on right there
don't put me on the line
don't turn Your back,
I may owe You
all my Time
on stage
but after hours
when I'm no puppet mere
and You no Puppeteer
then 'midst the floating
freeing light
You sure do owe me Mine.