Sunday, October 23, 2005


I've caught myself on more than a couple of occasions in the last few months. Typically, i'm talking to one of the four close friends I made at school. My "Best Friends". (That term seems almost antiquated as you grow older.) Or, i'm chattering away in this completely at-ease kind of way about absolutely nothing at all , in the way that I can only do around them. And then I find myself tuning out a little - i'm hearing their voice but only listening to them at some superficial level. One part of me is preoccupied with looking at the way I am with them and how different things are with everyone else. And that's only the beginning of the thought train.

Considering that I share such different relationships with the four of them , it seems almost strange that I find almost the same pattern of thought coursing through my mind , irrespective of which of them i'm speaking to. I believe, this whole thing in my head has happened enough for me to notice that it has a set pattern. And it bothers me no end even as I'm engaged in thinking it.

This introspective, behavioural self-analysis or whatever , definitely comes between having a proper conversation as one would imagine. But then again it usually begins when the tiny , but noticeable silences begin to creep in. The realisation, that the silences are comfortable, I simply don't feel the need to say anything particularly intelligent or put on that (somewhat more) mature mask that I keep in the jar by the door (Yes - like eleanor rigby), always makes me smile contentedly.

Often times , the conversation is about something we have talked about a million times - the most boring , inane bit of conversation you ever heard and though I might be a trifle bored, or for that matter, very, very bored , it's still alright. Because these kind of conversations, if nothing else, reinforce the fact that there are still some relationships that exist despite the fact that you are telling the same joke for the twentieth time or are cribbing rather more childishly than usual.

That's not to say that we don't still have wonderful conversations, but what with us doing very different things and having very different interests and not as much time anymore - it does'nt happen quite as often as I thought I might have liked. And yet, that is when I feel vastly lucky. With idiosyncrasies by the dozen, mood swings and eccentricities , i'm quite aware - it can't be easy being one of my friends. Infinite patience is obviously one trait they all share and perhaps a sense of humour- they must, for being able to live with all the ridiculous things I can come up with. But this makes me wonder, about why and how friendships like these last , when all they have holding them in place is , perhaps, a long thread of time...

Funnily enough, so far , all of these thoughts are dispassionate. Not tainted with the faintest bit of emotion. Mere reflections on what is. But here is where the dispassion ends. And in it's wake, hits the realisation that, very soon , I lose my friends to the US of A. All four of them. At one stroke. And for a couple of moments, till I force myself to snap out of it, I'm almost steeped in despair.

I have no regrets about not getting there myself. I still could (and maybe still will ) end up there. But that does'nt decrease the sadness that , when they move , it will be a struggle to keep the friendship alive. Crazy work schedules , tight budgets , new friends and a different environment will ensure that there is a considerable degree of estrangement.

Conversations will be about catching up and not about keeping abreast. They will contain lots of "Remember how.." and "When I was in madras.." kind of phrases. Sure , I know change is inevitable and it need'nt necessarily be quite as bad as I imagine it now, there IS always email, cell phones and skype.

As I reach this point in thought (and I do so with unfailing regularity) , mid-conversation I want to stop and say something about what's on my mind. But the words won't come. Reassurance , however much I seem to need it , I am too proud to ask for... Even with them...

All of a sudden , I'm disgusted , for allowing myself to be carried away to this particular island of a thought... A place, in my mind, where I am completely marooned from any rationality.

So, on one hand , I want to be told that these relationships will last and that the people I am most myself with will always be the people I can be the most myself with . While on the other hand, I know damn well that it never can , in the way that I want it to and even expecting any such thing is a recipe for a lot of unhappiness and disappointment.

And so it ends with me firmly telling myself that this is an absolutely pointless stream of thought, thinking about what might or might'nt happen a year hence- an indulgence , egged on by some vague(or not) sense of insecurity , something I definitely should'nt dignify with too much time.

Then I hit upon the capital scheme(or not so capital , perhaps... but nevertheless..): Write. In the hope that, perhaps, expressing these sentiments will put their ghosts to rest...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Chanced Upon A Transfiguration...

Discovering music is one of my favourite pastimes. And I love playing paleontologist most of all - Resurrecting long forgotten music while browsing through the dusty, long untouched shelves of tapes and Cds that belong to my parents - The preoccupation of choice for many a lazy afternoon. For the most part my parents taste is mainstream- for their own time , I mean. But every now and then , looking through their stuff , I'm caught unawares by something delightfully different.

Recently, however ,as I was sifting through some old CDs,I found it was'nt even the music that held my attention.

I happened to find this CD by a chap called Leonard Cohen. Now I have heard of him but never listened to his music so I sat myself down to soak in a different sound. (I'd heard it described as "Different".) And true to reputation it was (or atleast , so I found) . His music... Well, it is weird. I shall reserve further comments on it and say only that I think it's different. Anyway, the point of this post is about what I found as I was looking at the jacket.

On the inside of it were the following words printed in a scrawl :

Transfiguration . That's what occurred the night of 13th December. Since then I am not just a human being. I am inhabited by god & love bleeds and burns within me, but what caused the transfiguration was the mad mystic hammering of your body upon my body.Your soul entered mine then and some union took place that almost killed me with its INTENSITY. I cannot justify my outrageous claims I can only relate what happened before. The fire burns me but ...

The notes break off, followed by "This writing is from the work of Daphne Richardson (1939-1972)".

For some reason , I love these lines and they have struck such a chord in me. Subsequent to reading this , after much much mulling on the perfectness and beauty of even the sound of these words spoken aloud ,I found my attention shifting to it's author. I was bubbling over with curiosity as to who this Daphne Richardson was. A Google search later I found extracts from an interview with Cohen...

Q: Who was she?

A: "A girl I met in London who, for various reasons, found it difficult to
survive at any level, and who finally killed herself by leaping from the
BBC tower . She had a considerable poetic talent and I hope to publish some of her writings."

Somehow , this does'nt satisfy me one bit. I read the extract out to several of my friends. But no one seemed to find it as fascinating as I did. Bah... Even in appreciation , it's tiresome to be alone...

Anyway, I found this so soulful and intense for some inexplicable reason. Perhaps the thought is'nt exactly particularly profound or novel. But for some reason , I love everything about the sentiment and the way it's expressed. For days after reading this , it kept playing in my head. And I wish I could find the rest of this piece of writing. Unfortunately, that is precisely what I have been unable to manage.

On a completely different( and quite obvious )note... My writing is still facing several road blocks , I must confess. Infact , I seem incapable of mentally digesting anything except music offlate. So that would explain the long absence. It is a reflection of my state of affairs - this indifference. And although that in itself is a subject with much scope for holding forth... It has become quite old on this blog. And so I shall refrain from writing until I do actually have something, that I think , is worth writing about.