Friday, August 26, 2011


She never knew where to go.
Perhaps it was because she never knew where she was coming from.
In all the stories that she read, and in all the ones she made up in her head, the ending always told her that following one’s heart is the only way to find one’s destiny.
Does following your heart always make you happy? That’s what it is supposed to do, though.
She always wondered if destiny lay behind the door marked “Happiness”.
Whatever it was, it seemed to her that her heart had exceptionally poor navigational skills. In a nutshell, she could never find that door. No matter where she went or who she went to, what seemed like the door from a distance always turned out to be yet another staring wall. Of course, the wall was just inside her head. It was always made of grey bricks, a little crumbling at the edges.
And the sky, the sky above the wall was always grey.
In a story, she would climb over the wall and perhaps find a dazzling green field on the other side. Here, she was always too lazy. After all, it is easier to imagine yourself with superpowers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shut shop.

the stories are really being handed to you but you probably don’t know it yet

maybe when all the noise is gone, the music shall make sense

all the dance shall stop one day

that is when you shall start walking on a rather crumbly stage that shall smell of mothballs from past musicals

silver dust doesn’t last very long, even for people who never believed in anything but war

war and music make for a very strange marriage

one day is the day when the universe shall finally stop

and everything will be silent

you will stop dancing then

walking the old roads will be a thing of the past because the stars will shine down with a pathetic light

then you will want a war, a dance and all the other things that ran away when the skies shut down

they ran and they ran until they came to you

or atleast they thought that they came to you

it was only a wooden box that looked like the lost sky

the whirling slowed

and slower still

and slower and slower

and maybe softer too

you looked for the rhymes but they weren’t there

crash and burn, it all crashed and burned

so how did it roll when the dying star winked out

winked out for good

some of the debris trickled down to where I was sleeping

laughing laughing all the while

are you still waiting for the anarchy to shut up?

then the plans will go up in smoke, just like the crumbly stage where you used to sing and dance for the mad masses

look the light is fading just when you thought that it would last forever

but you always knew that forever never lasts forever

forever is just for the time that you are laughing out loud

one little star takes a fall just after that

the tinkling sound that it makes reminds me of a bad bell that rung at noon time lunch

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two weeks in Leh

I have been in Leh (Ladakh) for the past two weeks now. If one is looking for creative inspiration of any sort, then no place better than this. It is not the idyllic and expected snowy beauty that one looks for in the mountains. The place has an eerie and desolate feel. Think of vast and barren spaces, stretching over as far as the eye can see. Picture rows of black and brown mountains with their peaks obscured by mist. And then there is the odd black mountain standing out with layers of snow on it.
An Indian version of The Shining (God forbid that it should ever happen) can very well be shot in Ladakh. There is isolation and silence, all around and all the time.
I live in a village called Shey, where the Druk Padma Karpo School is located. If I step outside my room and do a 360 degree turn, all I see are mountains, and mountains. In the evening, as I walk across the school towards the dining hall, I see the light failing fast and the mountains slowly turn into looming black triangles in the sky. Behind the mountains however, the sky lights up in a strange luminous glow. If you stare long and hard enough, you can almost expect to see a glowing spaceship glide across the sky.
Sometimes, I stop in my tracks and stand there, completely still. All I can hear (and feel!) is a biting wind howling around me. At times, it seems to be strong enough to blow me off my feet. At night when I go to bed, I can hear the wind literally screaming outside my room.
This is a place of a violent and insane beauty. A picture that challenges your ideas of aesthetics and what is "pleasing on the eye".
Living somewhere is very different from visiting it. Mountains, happiness and misery make for a rather interesting cocktail.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life, the mall.

Following one’s destiny is a hugely romanticised notion. It is not easy at all. They say that if you want something really badly, nothing can stop you. There can. Leaving everything behind in search of a so called higher truth, sounds good in all the road novels that one reads, and the films that one sees. Maybe there is no higher truth, no pot of gold, and no epiphany at the end of the journey.

Uprooting is always a painful process, even if the tree is sentient enough to comprehend that it is being taken to a place with more sunshine and water. At the end of the day, the roots are still sticking to familiar ground.

What am I looking for? I wish I knew. Sometimes I feel like I am in a huge shopping mall. I want to get something but I don’t know what. So I go into each shop and look. Life has to be more than one big shopping mall, right? It can’t just be an assortment of boxes where I open each one just to see if it has what I am looking for.

You tell yourself to do what your heart wants you to do. Your heart never wants anything because it can’t. It pumps blood to keep you alive. It’s your brain that does the wanting and the longing. There IS no tussle between the heart and the mind.

It’s just a civil war inside your head and one side wins, maybe.

Maybe, there is no destiny.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of new tales.

"Button your lip don't let the shield slip"

There is something about good music. Something that fills you with regret. Regret for all the things that you have done and undone. There is something about the melody that makes you want to turn back time and do things all over again.
And when the singer sings, what happens to all your fashionable cynicism? The "shield" that only slips when you are all alone in your tiny room in the evening, staring at the glassy computer screen in front of you.
Emotion is the last child of a bygone age of corny platitudes and melodramatic soaps.
We are all confident and self assured people moving forward. Forever. Yet something happens when your favourite song plays at a time when you are sitting all alone. When there isn't a single person around to scrutinise your facial muscles. That is when you sit back and wish that you were a better person. That you had said things when it was necessary. And not walked away. Held on. Maybe. Been a braver person and faced the firing line.
Sometimes, a tune makes you want to rewrite the entire story. The story that has become you. It makes you want to read the older story, the story that was lost in the lanes and bylanes you left behind.
When the words fade into music, all you want is peace. Or a new story.