Saturday, November 25, 2006

An Unintentional Ejaculation Of Hitherto Latent Thoughts!

It's raining now. The autumn colours are out in the dulling splendour. It's 1 in the afternoon and I don't have any class today. I decided not to go anywhere because I wasn't in the mood for it. I was reading a book, which I just finished. I have to go to the bank around 2:30 or so..

I've been really listening to a lot of music. You know, there are spells where one finds that the notes seem to rise up and penetrate one's ears with such intensity and clarity that you can savour it with more than just your hearing....

I thought I would write for a bit. There have been so many thoughts coursing through my head - this last one week has been so strange! I've had this intense, serious face on. Is it that I've had a lot of time? Or have I just been thinking too much?

I'm beginning to like honesty more and more. Is that a funny kind of statement to make? I find that I'm losing interest in posing and pretending. Which is not to say that I don't still do it. I do. It's just that I recognize it a lot more and consequently I'm trying to tell the truth as much as I can. Not just out of fear of being seen through. But I'm getting tired of it for some reason. The posturing leaves me feeling tired and guilty. It's strange - since, all my life I've survived on portraying myself as such and such - a different face for everyone!

There is somehow a comfort in the nakedness of it. I groan inwardly everytime I am talking to someone and I find myself trying to seem more knowledgeable than I am - A trigger, that hardly would tug at those conscience strings before.

I find myself more pensive. Seeing myself for who I am, a little even if not very clearly. I have for example, realised that I am a very simple , mostly uncomplicated human being. I would like the enigma of being complex and misunderstood. But if I look beyond the superficial things, I see that I am not chasing after a glorious future. I am not chasing after enlightenment. I am not eaten by the desire to know why the universe exists. (Although, maybe if someone finds out I would be very interested to know what it is.)

This realisation has brought one very dramatic change in my outlook. I find myself not looking down on people whose approach to life is even simpler than mine. I am understanding why some people may want to stay at home and chant mantras and be content with just that. It's all a question of where you draw the line - At which point is one content to leave questions unanswered!

I'm curious. But not as curious as I thought I was. Or perhaps I'm not as curious as I thought I wanted to be. I find myself realising that so much of everything was/is part of the masks that I wear. And getting rid of some of them is unsettling but I feel strangely and gradually relieved. Don't ask me when this happened. It has been an accumalation of thoughts over quite a while now. And I think it started with meeting A. Which is when I decided I wanted to be absolutely honest - not after years of getting to know them, but right up from the start.

I do not know if I will revert to my inherent insecurities. I know that they still exist and it will take time and much persistence to make them disappear. But I think I am on the right track. Whether serendipitous or not, I am experiencing a sense of clarity in introspection that I did not expect or even ask for.

I'm beginning to question everything. What I want from my life. What gives me happiness. (Something I always seemed to have a ready answer for) I don't know anymore. I think I always suspected that I didn't really know. Hence all the deliberation and not very much action. I suppose one might dismiss all this as 'growing up' or 'maturing' or something. But these are such hard learned truths that I'm hardly inclined to accept that it was a process that was just waiting to happen.

A lot of this introspection had to do with a conversation I had with G. I spoke to him for three hours a couple of weeks ago. And we talked about his philosophy to life(he has one!) and he was explaining why he did or didn't do certain things. His quest to figure things out... I wonder if that makes him a more restless spirit. But by all appearances, he is at all times content and although seemingly weird to everyone else, I know he enjoys himself to the hilt. He is happy.

I've known for a while now that my happiness is not necessarily to be attained in a similar way. I think the one thing we did agree on was that everybody has their own salvation. It's not one universal heaven for everyone.

Anyway, I'm still much confused about everything. I'm questioning my motives for every action. (Am I writing this to seem more intellectual, introspective etc.) You see my line of thinking.. I don't know. I hope not. I think I'm mostly writing this for release. Some very funny changes are already beginning to happen in me. It's all so strange. But I'm beginning to understand why some things are the way they are. and that can't be a bad thing can it?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Day In The Life..

It's 10 PM and I'm tapping away at my much used keyboard. I've had about a glass and a half of white wine and I can feel the faintest signs of a headache coming on. The glass stands idly beside my laptop, unsipped in ten minutes. It is half empty. I'm in a strange mood. I'm listening to Malaguena on the guitar. I'm thinking of nothing in particular. The plucking of the guitar occupies most of my consciousness.

The song ends.

I should finish the wine and go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day.

Moral of the story : The words shall flow better when the wine doesn't!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'm sitting at a corner table in a cafe in Brussels Central station trying very hard to make the tiny 2 euros worth of cafe au lait last an hour. I'm slightly ticked off. I don't like being made to wait, certainly not for longer than ten minutes. I just made a phone call and was informed in a still slightly sleepy drawl that it shall probably be atleast an hour. It's 10 AM on a saturday and the station is bustling.

I am impelled to stand and stare, something I've, for the most part, tried to avoid this past month. I'm afraid of being with my thoughts alone for too long. But it's alright today somehow because I can write. I'm unobstrusively seated at a table for two near the glass door with my little black note book out. In between furiously scribbling away, I sip on the already slightly soggy styrofoam cup and look at the people around me, noticing every detail, relishing the utter freedom of the moment and feeling tremendously lucky for being able to live my dream.

Two tables away, are seated a noisy bunch of sixty somethings. The women, wearers of the same bright red shade of lipstick that looked good on their once young faces, cackle and talk loudly in that slow, harmless way that elderly women have. I think the women are younger than they look. One can tell a lot from the walk. But their faces are lined and horribly made up. They smoke like chimneys, going through about five cigarettes in twenty minutes. That would explain the raspy almost abrasive voices they all seem to possess! Both the smoke and their loud voices that spit out harsh, french-esque words are really beginning to grate on my rather delicate morning senses. I have an awful cold and the smoke is really getting to me, I just want to leave. But ofcourse, I'm obliged to stay, I have nowhere else that I can be my inconspicuous self.

At another table is a woman dressed in a Santa Clause red suit. She's rather portly and waddles. She just walked past me and her stomach shook from side to side, ever so slightly, like it was in simple harmonic motion with a tiny but noticeable amplitude. My imagination runs away with me, I am staring at her and imagining a white beard sprouting from her rather pronounced chin... And suddenly, I can't help but giggle. Oh no, I can't seem to stop. I put my pen down and laugh heartily for fifteen seconds. Great! Now, everyone is looking at me!!

I've been staring aimlessly outside the door for the last three or four minutes. I didn't notice when an exceedingly handsome young man entered the cafe but he just walked past me looking for a place to sit down, the cafe is quite crowded and I'm secretly hoping he sits down opposite me. But alas, he seems to have found himself a seat at the table of an old, dishevelled man, the only other vacant seat.

I'm trying not to be obvious about watching the young guy. He looks so lost , almost as much as the trampish old guy he's sitting next to. His eyes are vacant and he stares straight ahead while fumbling around in his pocket for his cigarettes. He is so young, that is what strikes me the most about him! And when I see him light up that cigarette I can't help but sigh. It makes his greek god looks, suddenly so human. He is dressed immaculately in a striped black power suit and a loosened tie - de-stress at 11 in the morning? Suddenly I can picture him at a long ebony conference desk in a swank office, keen as a pin , but an underling, watching dismally, while some fat manager type takes credit for his ideas!! I like the romance of the imagery!!

I'm lingering over cold coffee now.. It takes me by surprise no matter how often it happens, how quickly things can get cold here. It's only been 8-9 minutes and already my cup has gone from piping hot to a room temperature of 15 degrees!!

A flashily dressed young stud with two prominently displayed earrings gleaming from his ears, a bling bling watch and a shaven head just nudged past my table. I looked up from my writing long enough to notice him primarily because of the annoying skeech-skeech of his shoes.. oh wait.. no.. his god awful, shiny to the point of being harmfully bedazzling RED, new NIKE boots. You know, the kind that only (if at all) professional footballers just about manage to pull off. Jeez! Talk about the power of marketing! Like a friend of mine remarked the other day - someone in the marketing department is high five-ing his colleague, while his counterpart in accounts is hearing the Tching-Tching of the money machine go off , what with all the suckers they con(vince) into buying absolutely useless but frightfully expensive 'luxury goods' that add little or no value to them or their self esteem, one or both of which is usually the objective of buying something, wouldn't you say?

I look up from my little rant and notice the handsome young guy has left. That's when it strikes me, the cafe is full of old people. Probably because they are the only people who have time to linger. Or is it just that they stand out? There is this faint illusion of seeing much more older people here than back home. But then again, it could just be that elderly people here probably get out of their homes more frequently than old people back home who by and large are quite content to stay indoors as much as possible.

Older people here are just so conspicious in their loneliness and many a time, in their helplessness as well. They are almost always unaccompanied and even if they have company, almost never by anyone from a younger generation. It's sad how impatient we are with infirmity and age! I delude myself into believing that back home people have more respect for elders and have more of a sense of duty to old parents and atleast some affection! They seem so forlorn here. Is it worse to be poor or lonely?

Old age and old people has always depressed me immensely and I suddenly don't feel so cheerful and excited about things anymore. And no, I have none of the arrogance of youth - I feel no disdain or contempt or even indifference. Infact, quite to the contrary, I am humbled, reminded of my mortality and human-ness, filled with contrition over my usual state of ingratitude for my senses and health. Everytime I see an old man shuffling in the cold , all bundled up ,or struggling to grip the railing of the bus with his arthritic fingers, my eyes just well up.

I'm reminded of my grandfather. And I miss him so badly. It'll be a year since he died, on the twentieth. I wish he had lived a little longer, to know that I was sitting in a cafe in Brussels and thinking of him. He might have been so proud. But then again, he only just wanted me to be happy. I must get up and go somewhere or do something else before I fall into a brooding, melancholic state. I simply must!

I think i will leave now. I can't sit here much longer It's been an hour and I suddenly feel so restless, anxious to begin my day. .

The cafe seems to separate the temporarily aimless from the eternally purposeful... One only sits, if one has no place to be walking to...