Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dilly Dallying..

My room smells like chrysanthemums. The smells wafts about like a bee dancing gently, weaving through petals. 'Tis a pleasant addition to the sting of an air that is moist and heavy with the presage of thunder that comes nightly to keep my insomnia company.

The pale light struggles through glass bay windows that are shut tight. Should I stop to look up, I am greeted by the vast, green magnolia tree against a grey sky . Invisible birds, enshrouded by Miss Magnolia, are trilling away - out of time with Mozart who plays on, oblivious and cheerful.

It is 4 PM. I want to go for a walk and smell the roses on Mrs. Van something's front lawn. My senses are heightened although my brain feels dead. I simply cannot seem to concentrate. But I stay rooted to my seat, crouched over my desk, feeling too afraid to get up, too reckless to work.

A cloud has passed. And a ray strikes me bright and cold in the eye. Shall I just sleep for a while perhaps? Only if there is some chance that I will wake up and find, I'm somewhere else, doing something else.

Since that can't happen, Tally-Ho!! The fox has been sighted!

Friday, June 08, 2007


Aidan's mother called me today and as we were talking I could hear his pitter pattering and the squeak squeak of his baby shoes, which on a good day, I find mildly annoying. I braced, because I was sure that our conversation was going to be constantly and abruptly interrupted every seventh sentence with motherly remonstrations such as "Aidan, get down" , "Aidan, crayons are not to be eaten" , "No, Aidan you cannot have another cookie before lunch". I tried to reconcile myself to it while hoping desperately it wouldn't show in my voice.

Mothers are so perceptive when it comes to the way people react to their kids. As though reading my thoughts, she began apologetically "I'm sorry, you know, I really can talk it's just that this is Aidan's most active time of day. So if you don't mind, I'll have to mind him, but really, I can talk"

Sudden pangs of guilt struck. Ok, so she has a baby. I should cut her some slack. God knows, I've stood by while people have cut me off for far more trivial things. I made up my mind to be quite unmindful of the little rugrat's claims on his mommy's attention, or atleast pretend.

Just then, a funny thing happen, Aidan come up to the computer and said," Are you talking to Sneha Aunty mama?" in the cutest baby voice ever.

I started!!

Sneha Aunty ??? Geez!! There ought to be a statute of limitations on how you old you need to be for people to call you that!!

And Cutest baby voice ever ??? What!!!

Did it mean I was enjoying this if i was giggling mirthfully at just the sound of his voice?

Aidan's mommy promptly noted that I wasn't as anti baby as when I first beheld her child (which she duly remarked on then with a rather wry "he's not going to bite you know, you can hold him closer" ) and asked gingerly if I minded talking to Aidan. Rather surprisingly, I found myself acceding to the suggestion quite readily.

It was when his perky, almost cherubic 3 year old voice squeaked out, "Sneha Aunty, how are you" that I knew I was totally falling for the whole enchilada.

Aidan grew bolder while telling me about his red fire engine and daddy's new "impla"(Chevy impala ) in which he went 'ta ta and vroom vroom' . After ten minutes of a conversation with a 22 yrd old , he had to bribed into giving up his self established monopoly over conversation with Sneha Aunty by the allure of drawing her a picture of his house.

With him settled comfortably close-by with his crayons, mommy dearest and I resumed our catching up. It had been too long. It was so strange to hear her say 'parenty' things to Aidan every couple of minutes. I told her as much. She didn't seem to take offense. I think she understood that none was intended. She admitted that sometimes she was convinced it was a different person that had taken over her life.

She asked about my unattached existence with the tinge of been-there-done-that-but-that's-no-longer-my-life kind of envy that I can only imagine a young wife and mother might feel. I started to say something but found instead that I was rushing to reassure her. I felt a little guilty. I started to mutter about how she wasn't missing all that much. But I think she knew that I knew that she wasn't quite reassured. I quickly changed the topic. Back to Aidan.

He had run out of patience. He wanted to talk to Sneha Aunty again. Apparently, mommy informed me, he had taken quite a shine to her. Meanwhile, I had absolutely no clue how to engage little Aidan on the phone. But then the best part of talking to a kid, is that it doesn't need to make any sense, it doesn't have to have a flow of thought, it doesn't need to be logical or anything. It's just getting the little guy to open his mouth and knowing that something cute will invariably tumble out.

That's all I really wanted. Because the sound of his voice, his giggling, the way he pronounced my name was enough to make me : Happy.

I told his mother that. I told her how happy just talking to him had me today. She seemed taken aback by the graveness of my voice but took it in her stride. I was struck by how strongly I was affected. And how good I was feeling. It was weird - for lack of a better word.

We managed to squeeze in another half an hour of conversation before we had to say quick byes. I told Aidan I was waiting to see him again. I told him to be a good boy in the way 'grown ups' told me not so long ago. I had nothing else to say, but I wouldn't have minded at all if Aidan and her mommy had stayed online and I could have just heard them for a while.

Finally when I cut the line, I sat back in my chair and let the little tike's voice echo in my head and allowed myself one sigh. That's when I realised my cheeks were hurting so much from all the smiling.

The thought of little ears, little feet and cute little baby clothes.. I thought of my little finger being encircled by that little hand, all warm and soft and pink and how that was one of the loveliest feelings in the world. And I began to laugh.

What on earth's the matter with me!! I've long been ambivalent about Kids. I've known some really nice ones but way too many brats. It's kept me grounded to reality. I didn't allow myself to get carried away by gurgles, mostly because I knew that that was about when the drool was about to begin puddling on the sleeve of my beautiful silk kurti. I could only just about manage to plaster a smile when ecstatic but slightly deluded parents of little mister Einstein-in-the-making regale me with the coincidental mutterings of actually quite incoherent words they think they might have coaxed out of their two year old just that day.

And yet here I was, happy as a pin. There are some days, like today, when I know that despite my insatiable need not to be tied down, to experience everything that I imagine that life has to offer, it will all be quite inadequate and incomplete, if I don't have kids.

Definitely not anytime soon for there is so much to do, so much to see, so much to learn. But someday.

Someday... I'd like to be a mother.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Love Letter

For some reason, seven years past watching this movie.. The words have stuck in my head, having just heard it once.. and I finally found them today.

From The Love Letter , an engaging and refreshingly different movie that I enjoyed immensely..


Do you know how much in love with you I am? Did I trip? Did I stumble - lose my balance, graze my knee, graze my heart?

I know I'm in love when I see you. I know when I long to see you, I'm on fire. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking a step.

You are all wrong for me and I know it, but I can no longer care for my thoughts unless they are thoughts of you. When I am close to you, I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you sometimes, then I look back. When I tie my shoes, when I peel an orange, when I drive my car, when I lie down each night without you, I remain,


(I just love the last imagery.. "When I peel an orange, I remain ... ")

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Surprise! Surprise?

After watching five concerts in Brussels by big acts.. I suspected as much !!

I think the only really genuine act I saw was Chick Corea .. even though I didn't really understand his often stormy, mostly 'all over the place', 'abstract art' equivalent of music all that well...

Coming in second, I suppose, was Dave Matthews (whom I am going to see again in a couple of weeks (yipee! ) ) But then, I always imagined that he would be a little less contrived... Even if the encore was rehearsed , it was certainly true that the audience pulsed to hear more.. He certainly managed to make the concert personal and intimate. Ofcourse it was a small auditorium and a solo concert.

The absolute pits, you'd be surprised to hear perhaps, was Bob dylan! He played his set so monotonously. Every song sounded like the previous one. It was so tight it seemed like the set was programmed for ten seconds between each song to allow for applause. And finally, the encore was so contrived, I almost groaned aloud. (And I usually get quite into the mood so to speak, at a concert, so if i'm groaning it's because i'm awfully disappointed) Frankly, it seemed to me that he was sick of his own songs after forty years of it and was fucking with everyone by playing them in what seemed like a completely absurd arrangement! I really think I wasted my time going to that concert.. But that's another story!

Monday, May 07, 2007


I've often wondered about how older people view sex, how important it is to them, is it biological reasons that leads to a decline in sexual activity with age..

Captioned "Ten women and men discuss what sex is like when you're old enough to know better." , 'Naked' is a short film by Rachel Dretzin featuring ten 45+ people in different levels on the relationship ladder talking about their sex life. It is intensely personal, often quite centred on the person's feeling. Shot in a staid, serious all-attention-focussed-on-you kind of way, it's a keyhole view into a world we will only know all too well once we get there...

Watch this

I honestly think it gives you some insight into human desires, the human body and our social outlooks.. but I'd like to hear your impressions, if you care to share them.. I had planned to write about it actually, but then decided against it, maybe will think about it more and write later.. for now, would much rather hear what you think..

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


What happens when you get off on the worst foot ever with people you actually need to co-exist with? What if you realise you are just too different and they don't really care one way or another and are quite willing to presume you are a bitch? Do you knuckle down and spend time and effort coaxing them into thinking you are actually a decent human being or do you try to tip toe your way through, hoping you are mostly unnoticed, knowing full well that you will probably never fit in.

To make matters worse, it suddenly dawns on you, that their opinion, although personally unimportant, matters after all in the larger scheme of things... What then?

Well , then, my friend, you shove your precious little tail between your embarrassed legs and lump it! And hope they will be generous enough to reassess what they think, because being ladylike in the 'look pretty, smile a lot and speak when you're spoken to' kind of way should suffice and it is all your pride will allow !!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Pride and Joy!

At long last, after many many searches in flea markets high and low : I managed to find an original 1975 copy of the Bridge over troubled water LP in a second hand store for 3 euros. What a find! I'm almost too happy for words. Evidently.

Simon and Garfunkel are one of my favourite artistes of all time and this is my favourite album of theirs. I only wish now I had a gramophone to listen to the record. But in the meanwhile, It's going to be my centrepiece - my pride and joy. I'll put it in my 'music room' someday when I have my own house.

Dad's going to be quite pleased to see this. His favourite songs are on it ! As are mine!

Anyhoo, I'm too thrilled for words , as aforementioned. :)

P.S : Sorry about the glare on the first picture and the yellowness of the second . The damn flash! And the damn lighting in my room!

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just A Thought..

I heard this on a popular TV show recently and it set me thinking . "Do you want a life of happiness or Do you want a life with meaning and purpose?" The character goes on to explain why the pursuit of both is futile and how they are two completely distinct paths , two different philosophies.

I agree, I think. In fact, I've been struggling to articulate this myself for quite a while now. In my experience, I've found that the times I'm happiest are not the moments with the most meaning. Happiness, I believe, is a state of contentment and harmony with one's present circumstances. In those moments you have to cut out the baggage of the past and block out the thoughts of future and focus on the step , the smell, the touch , the now!

To some of us, this comes naturally. To others, we will never see it. We think we are happy when things we want, happen. But that's just what we would like to believe. What it really is to our mind, when you get that promotion or win that medal, is a validation of our existence. It's a pacifying of the ego. It is corroboration to our mind's need to believe we have control. I've come to believe, after some reflection, that 'Real Happiness' is neither orgasmic nor exultant. That's muscle and chemicals. That's a very western conception. Happiness must be the mellow realisation that at this moment you are fine with how everything is, that you are not struggling, aching to change the state of how everything around you is.

Meaningfulness, however, is the antithesis of that. In fact it's a whole different ball game. Striving for meaning in one's life means you must keep looking back - to constantly learn - and keep looking forward to constantly create and manipulate circumstance so that you can incorporate whatever it is that you know from experience to mould your life as you desire it. It seems to me a lot more artificial and contrived (if you allow some degree of abstraction) because what you are trying to do is to coerce a particular sequence of events instead of making your self harmonious with what is happening.

Now don't start with me, I'm not saying you should take things as they happen to you. What I mean is, that to allow your mind to be eternally preoccupied with where you are going and where you want to go and how far you've gone can be quite tiresome and often futile. Instead, what if you don't struggle and fight so much. What if, you try to focus on finding a sense of equanimity while doing what you think gives you some sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Will that make you happy?

Actually, now that I think about it, these two poles represent the deep chasm between Western and Eastern philosophies. Hmm.. Suddenly I think I see the wisdom in our ideology. We're too influenced by western ideas to be free enough to see how our own are actually superior. I need to think about this more before I can confidently write about it. So I will not go into why I think this. So I guess I will end rather abruptly on this note. But if you have any thoughts on this.. Do tell.

The Usual.. Diary-esque BS

Ingratitude is the most pitiful pitfall that a possessor of good fortune can fall into. In close pursuit for the title is Indifference- which might lead you to shrug at it- and Ignorance ofcourse is as bad a crime - to not even realise how fortunate you are. . I stand accused of all of them in turn.

Quel Dommage! Hiding like a turtle in a shell has long and often been only a confrontation away for me but it was always very temporary. I just didn't notice that along the way I began to lose my spirit! My 'wonderstruck eyes' have been in retreat. I've been too self involved in my petty little troubles and qualms with the world to live fully. My curiosity has waned. My concentration is non existent. I'm distracted and listless and completely self absorbed. The last few months, to call a spade a spade, I've been a whiny wimp. And I'm almost ashamed to look back and reminisce because it only serves to remind me of how utterly girly (in the cruelest sense of that word ) I've been.

It took a conversation with a young cousin to remind me of all the spit and fire I once possessed. Which is not to say, that I want the unrest of my adolescence to return. I only mean, that in the process of trying to get myself to be a little more lady like, I've gone and lost (or misplaced is the way I would like to put it) one of things that made me , me! A bit o' spunk!

I need some sense of balance. Most times, I rue my ineptness at handling situations, social and otherwise, with a truck load of self pity on the side and try to bumble along or I swing to another extreme and get all superficially fired up for a few days, pretending to be 17 again - But unco-ordinated clothes, 'I-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think" , cynicism and a lot of swearing just doesn't quite cut it at 22.

So what do I do! What do I do??? Is it possible to have fire in the belly and peace of mind at the same time? Which do I even want? Problemen! Problemen!

Like a priest giving a New Years Eve sermon , I tell myself that the Impossible is often just seemingly so. Things are fixable!

It requires gumption and perserverance and I used to have reserves of atleast the former. As for the latter, I'm going to learn to. I'm really going to try. I want to. I'm hungry to be hungry again. How strange and Ironic it is, to realise that you are just another human being if one integral thing about you disappears (something you didn't even know was possible) .

I need to do this. What 'this' is, I haven't mapped out entirely just yet. But I will. Soon. And then maybe this feeling like I'm fighting windmills in my head will go away. This sense of not having lived the day well , the emptiness that comes of wasting away, of atrophy - of mind and body - is eating me up.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My love, you came to me like
Wine comes to a mouth
Grown tired of water all the time
You quench my heart and you
Quench my mind

--- You've got to love Dave Matthews ! And this isn't even his best.. But I'm currently tripping on Two step! It reflects my mood - happy and in love . Besides, I like the simple simile !

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Love, Sex and Dying...

I went to a dave matthews concert on friday night. I guess I've already told that to pretty much everyone I know out of sheer disbelief that it happened. I want to write about it for only one purpose. So that I don't forget that night.. So forgive me if it's not exactly a concert review. That is hardly my intention. It shall be riddled with my own impressions, centred around my thoughts , my mood and as it always ends up being, shall be about me!

The night started typically enough. I was waiting. He came - late and stoned. I wasn't surprised! It WAS Dave Matthews we were going to see ! We tripped our way through a metro ride and usually straightforward streets. I was 'tension paati' till we reached - paranoid we were going to miss him altogether, convinced we were lost and while I frantically looked around for signs of the damn concert hall, I was treated to such gems such as 'All roads lead to rome, and therefore we go to rome take the return road to AB hall from there, since there is a road that leads from there to rome too' - Mary Jane Mumbles!! The giggling began, a reaction to his ever so peaceful demeanour. I resisted the urge to reach out for that joint !

So we arrived. Realised we were late anyway, turned out that so was Mr. Matthews , So stayed out, on the broad belgian road and lit up the other joint. An inspired but nevertheless futile search for food later we headed rather disappointedly inside. I'm really beginning to believe that you can be passively stoned.. I think, if at all, I like it best that way.. That way I don't have to suffer the tar and worry about premature greying!
And so it began.

The first thing that happened as we entered the dark, over crowded opera hall - Someone spilt beer on my nice shoes ! I felt like I was in one of those frat parties in a hollywood college movie. Everyone was drinking, it was FULL of americans and you could smell pot everywhere! We pushed our way through - We were standing audience and what with all of these huge 6 feet pluses, I couldn't see a thing! I struggled to find a decent vantage point, much to my companions amusement. But he was sweet, he obliged me even if with a patronising smile on his face. Much wiggling and adjustment-of-stance later, I could finally see, when I craned my neck!

The stage was set simply and yet it was incredibly beautiful - Smoky, perfect lighting !! Just the man and his guitar I thought, until I realised a couple of seconds later , there was NO way that the guitaring was just one person's - The song ended just then and the spotlight moved, accompanied with an awed "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Tim Reynolds" - I was under the distinct impression it was a solo concert! I felt a sudden rush, the evening was just beginning.

I will not describe the night as magical. It was fraught with one rather unpleasant, niggling problem that I will not dwell on just yet. Instead I will say, what it was, Surreal !! We looked at each other for reassurance - not in that fake, exagerrated pinch-me-i-must-be-dreaming way- but real oh-my-god-ness gleaming through our dilated pupils. The instinctive hug that followed meant we didn't need to say "I can't believe this is happening"

There is nothing like going to a concert with a fellow fan. Someone who knows and loves the music. You exchange little tidbit trivia between songs, whisper oh-fuck-wasn't-that-awesomes after that phenomenal guitar interlude and just have someone to grin away so widely at, someone who feels just as lucky you are to be there in the moment, just listening to a couple of guys making music.

Ok, well, not just a couple of guys!!! Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds , Dames en Heren!!

So you're a fan, you know his music, you love his voice, you indulge his eccentric verbal meanderings with amusement writ on your lips, you've always wondered if it's real, Can he be as wonderful a performer as he seems?

It turns out, that's a resonating "Abso-fuckin-lutely!!!"

For one, he's high or maybe that's just how he is, but i suspect it's also the former, and it's so strange to actually hear those verbal hiccups that have come to be so familiar on his LIVE albums.There are two things you simply CANNOT help notice about Dave Matthews - First, his sense of humour! Second, his capacity to improvise!

The concert was quite intimate. He preceded each song with a little background about it - how it was written - some anecdote, something it reminded him of - something usually pretty funny. His humour was indefatigable that night. He kept the crowd engaged in him, not just his music. He made fun of americans, and ofcourse there's no better way to win a European's heart or an Indian's for that matter ! The only problem was often he would run the words into each other and it would sound like a rather multi-tone mumble!

One of the funnier bits of the evening was that about 6 or 7 songs he began with a rather indistinct guitar strumming, while he began with a different voice and often just deadpan he would say "This is a song.. Well uh.. This is a song about Love, Sex and Dying" It was particularly funny because invariably the song had absolutely nothing to do with that. But just the whole mock seriousness, he pulled off so well

Every now and then he lapsed into this peculiar manner of doing cartoonish voices in the middle of some very serious thing he was saying. I've noticed this in his Live at Luther concerts too and I always thought it would be very weird hearing it at the concert and I was right! At those moments he sounds like a 60's american radio broadcast doing a retro comic piece with accents of all manner! Out of place - but ok, still funny!!

Now his improvisation is rather interesting. At first I didn't even realise it because he was doing it with songs I wasn't familiar with. And then came along a couple I did know and he actually deviated quite a bit in between. Dancing nancies was one of them I recall. I actually liked the live version better. I suppose he sort of goes with the flow of how the crowd responds to the songs. Or perhaps he uses each venue as a chance to try out his musical experiments on our predisposed-to-like-it ears.

He sang two whole songs that he just made up.. on the spur of the moment.. reacting to the audience and the pulse of the crowd.That was phenomenal, it took me a minute to realise that the lyrics were about Brussels and that evening, it started out innocuously enough, with tim just plucking away at seemingly random notes and dave strumming a few chords.. almost like the beginning of a record session. And then he plastered his face with a mock seriousness and sang funny things about the crowd. I wondered if it was a gimmick. Or he was letting himself have a break. Or he had forgotten what he was going to sing. He's a professional, so I doubt it was the latter. I suspect he was just being entertaining. He probably knew we'd lap it all up anyway.

The highlights of the evening were renditions of Gravedigger, Satellite and Sister. Oh and ofcourse, Tim Reynolds' cover of Kashmir - Brilliant, only one word to describe it! I screamed myself hoarse through the song. He's simply A-list!! Another interesting event, a prelude to a rendition of one of his newer (and it's really beautiful) songs called Sister was a little episode of Dave losing his temper very momentarily. He was talking about what the song meant to him , about his sister who was murdered and what the song meant to him etc. and in the middle of it all, a guy yelled out several times, the name of some song he wanted Dave to sing and it was so disruptive that Dave just pointedly looked in the general direction of the crowd and very reflexively told the guy to shut the fuck up! Truth be told, nobody recoiled in horror, it was fully warranted and a lot of us wanted to do precisely that anyway! What a rude asshole that guy was! The sad part was, when a minute later Dave forced himself to recant and apologize.. Dammit, it's such a pity that when you're a big star you don't have the freedom to speak your mind and you have to politically correct lest you be written up as the bad guy in the morning's issue, even though you might be reacting fully within your rights as a normal human being in a perfectly socially acceptable way!!

The only sore point (unfortunately it did have a lot of bearing on my spirits ) was that I was stood for four hours with no space to move, in the quite uncomfortable shoes - Trust a woman! After an hour standing, I thought I was going to die, My friend and I realised we might as well take a break and get some beer so we'd enjoy the concert better when we did get back.We got out of the hall, sat down and began to sip a beer, that was nice except that after the second hour , when we took another break and another beer (Now, I'm still a novice and Belgian beer is something else) on an empty stomach, let me just say, it wasn't just my uncomfortable shoes that was making it difficult for me to stand still in one place ! Damn my need to wear nice looking ( => uncomfortable) shoes, God knows, nobody can see them in the darkness anyway ! I really would have enjoyed the concert more and not needed to fidget as much if I was about 15 pounds lighter or wearing tennis shoes.

While moshpits are fun the first time around, I think I'd much rather take a seat thank you very much. Standing in an extremely cramped environment for three plus hours is not fun!! Speaking of which, the Europeans listen so stolidly to the music. They don't move. they nod appreciatively. What kind of an audience is that! Dave Matthews is exactly the kind of guy you want to rock with. I don't mean head bang but surely you want to move a little, the music is so, to use a much abused word, groovy that you want to be able to sway a tad! Strange people, strange!.. Well, I still did and I had a lovely time of it too!

I really wish a couple of my friends could have been there. I KNOW how much they would have enjoyed it. I missed them a lot then!! Hopefully someday we can all do it together. I guess in the meanwhile, I'll count my blessings and feel really grateful for such unexpected good fortune.

The sentimental fool that I am, I saved the ticket stub.

P.S: Weedboy, thanks for looking out for me and delighting in my delight :)

Friday, March 02, 2007


I went to Brussels this morning. We took the number 71 to Avenue de Adolphe Buyl. ( I wonder what he did to deserve the honour) It was a long ride and I got to see a lot of the city that I hadn't had an oppurtunity to before. First of all, I must say, I hate being in a new place if it's for any other reason except tourism ( for lack of a better word) . Besides, I'm afraid I am much too spoiled to find public transport in a big, crowded city, enjoyable - In fact, it really gets my goat.

In Brussels today, I was clearly out of my comfort zone and I felt like a fish out of water - unsure and struggling. Brussels is quite a bustling city, and with a million inhabitants it's bordering on overpopulated (for it's areal size) . Now you may think that sounds higly pretentious and even hypocritical coming from me, having been brought up in a city of 8 million people. But we have relativity to consider, have we not?

My frame of reference for comparison is my peaceful little university town of a 60,000 people - half of whom, mercifully, make their exit every weekend to their own homes around the country. I realise how much I have grown to love living in a small town - where you know where everything is , where you can recognize the bus drivers, where they can recognize you, you know how the 'system' works , people smile or atleast nod at you, where traffic stops for pedestrians and people are polite and patient.

As I struggled to explain to the bus driver where I need to go, struggled with the switch of language, struggled with a map, I realised how much I had settled down into my little niche since I first landed, how six months ago, Leuven and Brussels were all the same to me.. Alien! Now, In all truth, I can say that there are two places I feel comfortable in - home and Heverlee.

A funny thing, the mind. Mine ached to soar and explore. Always straining against the leash of circumstance and lack-of-opportunity, my curiosity always was my most heightened instinct. And then I got what I wanted. I left home. I came to Belgium. And the drastic nature of the change tossed everything upside down. I found myself constantly seeking the familiar and sticking to what I knew and understood. It puzzled a close friend of mine for a long time, he didn't seem to understand how it was that a girl so seemingly open in her views suddenly clammed up. I didn't expect it myself. If someone had suggested that I'd be so terrified of the things that I find I am, I would have pooh-poohed it!

I guess in the beginning, it was pretty simple. Everything was too strange. I was completely unaccustomed to anything except the familiar. I suppose now, I'm a little better. But in the last six months, the same fear that held me back also made me begin to really appreciate the small town life. It's made me see what I missed out on being brought up in Madras.

I wonder every now and then , if it's a case of simply, the grass being greener on the other side. You want stability when you have adventure and vice versa. I am reconciling myself to the fact that I'm not who I want to be and I can't change myself into being an uber-adventurous spirit just because I choose that that is the image of myself I like. This is what I mean, when I say that I'm discovering myself bit by bit with every little incident - such is the power of being thrust straight into the deep end - Ofcourse, it's a good thing I figured out how to swim soon enough!

Thanks to a certain someone for moral support on that :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

love. Do you know? It has filled my being with so much. So much! I cannot venture further. I cannot describe it, although I have tried in vain. Not realising, that perhaps love was not meant to be explained, nor even shared, that It is personal, that there is no one else who can possible feel exactly as I do and there is no experience thus far comparable, so can I even draw a likeness?

Declarations and gestures are an outcome of the experience , not the experience itself.
I can tell you i'm ecstatic but you can't know how I much I actually feel. Wanting to make you see what I see and feel what I feel is somewhat akin to trying to describe what the ocean inspires in me. I can only close my eyes and feel. I must stop in time, live the moment and let my senses dwell on the sand slipping under each fading footstep, the wind brushing that strand of hair across my face, the smell of the sea that is so unique, the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore. The force, the beauty, the wonder of it all ,the entire experience, is a sensory overload, and simply defies description , exactly like being in love.

So, I will not try. I will only say this. It is unlike anything I could have imagined. It is beautiful. It is overwhelming. To think about it, inspires no further light on the whats and hows , only the discovery that warm tears are coursing down my face. I close my eyes and let the tears fall, knowing that what I feel is love. I draw the image of your smiling brown eyes in my mind , full of love, your voice, your smile ... I'm just picturing it all now..

Holding me, teasing me, laughing, your awkward dancing , reaching out for my hand every time I sit next to you, much to my surprise- even in front of your friends, driving with one hand, despite my protestations, just so you can continue to hold mine with the other, insisting I shift gears , you kissing my cheek, you sitting across me with that silly, over-dramatised smitten look on your face, your eternal clowning ... I don't lack imageries... They come flooding forth - thousands of them - with such an immense warmth attached to them that it seems like all my thoughts of you are almost literally 'tagged' with affection and love..

Love, if i know anything about it, is about now.. It's about this very moment.. And I wonder if you know, sitting at your desk , that I am thinking about you.. so fondly.. That at this moment I love you like I have never loved before.

------- Posted with permission to reprint , Remember? :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I feel like such a little child today. I am possesive. I have a secret and I want to bury it. I do not want to share. But oh.. yet I want to revel in it.. I want everyone to know that I found something so wonderful, I want to gloat , I want to scream.. I have found such a little treasure!!!

Perhaps it's not a big deal to all you adults out there.. You reservoirs of staidness and impassivity.. Mock my childish exhilaration if you will.. Perhaps, It is just an uncommon little pebble to you.. But I think I found a gem.. It's shiny and pretty as the day! I found something that I never expected to.. And I'm euphoric!

I am usually so averse to advertising anything on my blog : But I make an exception:

Check it out!!

You will see: It is a record label. Now, what's so special about that? They make 'world music' records. Nothing new there either. I found it in a little picturesque town. Nestled in a corner, in a quaint shop on a long and narrow cobbled stone street. I stumbled in there quite serendipitously and happened to hear the most beautifully rhythmic folksy tune I'd ever heard.. I was so excited, I asked the very obliging sales assistant what music it was and she was kind enough to allow me to sample four of their cds in her store, unmindful of what other customers might feel .. and ofcourse, I loved it so much I spent a bomb buying just two of them!!

All the way back on the bus I couldn't sit still. I rushed home, just so I could open my little package and delight in my little discovery, dumped my stuff on the floor and plopped the cd in.. And just chilled for an hour!

What a mood the music creates!! I abso-fuckin'-lutely LOVE it!! Smitten as I am, I googled and found more! Managed to sample their other stuff online and have made up my mind to buy two cds a month or something especially the latin and african and european stuff.

The blues are nice.. But then I have been listening to the blues for a while now.. and I've heard better. The other stuff is what really appealed to me.. It's just so.. exotic to my ears.. I feel like i'm in a french movie or something when I listen to it! (Funnily one of the compilations (I bought this one and it's marvellous) is called French Cafe' and let me tell you.. It's exactly the kind of thing they play in a french cafe - especially one very memorable one in Rennes)

The thing about this kind of music is that you need to start off with compilations like this. Unfortunately, you can't just start up your favourite P2P and get everythin g you want because these are indigenous music groups. IF you are not familiar with the style yourself already, it's very difficult to wade into it. Imagine a foreigner trying to get into carnatic music just with the internet!

Oh, I'm sooo excited!! Just can't wait for more!

P.S: Brugges is a beautiful town... A post on that soon hopefully! Oh and dutch classes start tomorrow.. Looking forward to that as well. All in all , life is getting full. Here's to full days and content dreamless nights!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So I cried.. Well sobbed is more like it.. Twice!! During what is commonly considered a comedy!
I don't know.. I feel such utter sadness when I see old people suffering, even if it on screen.

It must be hard to be old. Your body is weak and you are weary. Yet, you have to trudge along. Maybe even alone. The world has passed you by. Everything is different .You have to struggle to just keep up. And no one will let you be. The grandkids dismiss you or just plain old ignore you. The kids are too busy to stop and say hello. Your opinion is not valued anymore. Everyone is so impatient with you. You have to put up with patronising comments and a general air of condescension, if you are lucky. On the flip side, you can be outright made to feel unwanted. And all the while, there is the remembrance of your youth that constantly rings in your head. It can't be easy knowing that you aren't needed (except maybe emotionally) by anybody.

Fate can deal you a worse hand - You don't have family that cares enough to help you out. You are poor as a church mouse. You struggle through everyday. Thank God for religion... It's for lives that may hold no joy , no reason or logic.. It's the occupation of hearts that yearn for hope.

Old people, pay no heed - pride comes before the fall - their time will come! Chant your mantras, pray to your gods, occupy your minds, pass your time .. Insulate yourself from the reality that has left you behind .. It maybe your only comfort!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

There is so much beauty in the harmony of two voices I could almost cry ! Today, I happened to hear a rendition of Raghuvamsa sudha and Vathapi Ganapathim , the only two carnatic pieces I can honestly recognize beyond doubt . It was sung by the now quite acclaimed Ranjani and Gayatri sisters.

The truth is I find myself falling in love with carnatic music. Not just because of what I heard today. It's been building over the years.. One of my best friends plays the violin. And ofcourse on the mater's side there has always been quite a lot of the carnatic buzz happening... I learned to really like the instrumental stuff quite some time ago..But I just didn't get the singing. I mean, I didn't 'feel' it. I could appreciate that what I was hearing was beautiful but it didn't strike a chord.

For a long , long time I thought there was no "Bhaav" or atleast not as much bhaav in carnatic music as I thought music ought to have. But I guess , I just didn't know.. It's altogether a different language and you need to understand it before you can judge. I made a mistake. But, that's easily rectified. I know that there is an ocean to discover and I'm so excited. Almost as excited as I was when I first began exploring jazz a couple of years ago. I guess it's time hadn't come. I was too busy listening to all the music I did already know a little about.

I've been having a lot of these little musical revelations. And everytime I want to jump up and down for joy, listen to lots and lots of that kind of music, talk to somebody about it, ask their opinions , ask for direction.. But it's such a shame that I don't really know enough musically inclined people.

For quite a while now, I've been interested in hindustani music. I found a piece in Indian Ocean's music that reminded of how much I need to be listening to it. I love the sound of a human voice singing a raga. It is so exquisite and pure. And when there is emotion in the music it is all the more beautiful.

When I was in madras last month, I remember watching Andrea Bocelli on tv, he was singing a duet with this beautiful black woman who had a voice that could only just match his. Not that she wasn't magnificent in her own right.. He was just in a class of his own.. His voice..

I'm listening to a lot of opera too.. Well, to be honest not a lot, but some.. I got my hands on a collection.. It seems quite nice.. Very classic pieces. Anyway, I'm sure it's good enough place to start off from..

Anyway, what with the internet, I won't need to try too hard to get all the music I want to listen to.

Here's to new beginnings..

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I feel the need to apologize to you. I don't know why exactly that is , I certainly can't remember anything in particular that I might have said or done.But that is how I feel... Sorry!

Perhaps, I might best describe it as a welling up of emotion that cries out for a new beginning , a desire for change... And so , I imagine, that by taking responsibilty for all that has changed over these past months, much to both of our dismay, I suppose, we might clear the air and begin anew. I say anew and not again because I realise that what has transpired can never be relived There can never be 'again'. The novelty of falling in love , of being gripped in passion's hold, has passed us by.

It is such an emotion, so violent in its feeling , that it rocked us to our very core, like a storm-tossed ship in the night .We struggled to find our bearings , forced ourselves to hold off from completely withdrawing into a surreal world. But we survived that and reached the morning, the morning that brought with it , mellow tranquil beams of light. The light we knew was real, whose peace beckoned, in the unrest of our passionate spirits.

But now, it seems that after all, we do not want it. It is too peaceful,this serene,calm friendship that has followed. We have relaxed into being who we are secure in the knowledge that someone loves us and cares for us very deeply, like the still water whose depth is difficult to gauge. And yet, we are unsatisfied. After all, should thrill and uncertainity be our aphrodisiac? Is it? Stability,Security,Honesty,Love - Don't they tip the scale? Can it be that turbulence is what we really seek?

Or is it our mind's recourse from the boredom of the permanence that our hearts may desire?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's 11:30 AM and I woke up half an hour ago. The sunlight was streaming through the windows too brightly for me to keep my eyes shut and I was beginning to feel hot. I looked at the time and jumped out of bed and logged on to check MSN weather.

It is FOUR god damn degrees and the skies are blue!! No wonder!!! It's 8 degrees hotter than yesterday!

I'm in a great fucking mood!!! The first song was perfect.. CCR!! It's just set the tone for my whole day!

I'm going to go out and get me some sunshine!! I'm going to have a wonderful meal ! I'm going to study my butt off !! I'm going to just be... Happy!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm giving my mind away,
In little bits and precious pieces,
With the things I say!

Initially aimless, awkwardly conceived
Often hurried, admittedly naive
incomplete trains
of my thoughts and impressions
don't instantly transform into coherence

Quickly, help me,
I can't seem to clot them.
The devil words, that
are born in a rush.
Too alive! They clutch and drag
and convey my just-borns away.

Gushing, oozing , struggling
the letters seep out of me.
Bleeding me
dry of opportunity,
to just stay still.
And perhaps even dwell a little

Long enough to introduce myself.
Too late , they are gone.

And I'm left standing there
staring after my run-aways,
[stamped, in retrospect, definitively : Mine!]
the orphaned parent,
betrayed and unsure
but aware of clocks ticking
and creativity leaking
slowly out of her.

Wondering where,
and whether, to begin again.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The only thing I seem to write these days are letters to the lover.