Sunday, December 25, 2005

Truth Be Told

I'm lost. I am alone. I need a beer. I need a coffee. I need conversation. I need self-esteem. I need a clue. I need sex. I need somewhere to go. I need to think. I need... something.

I'm ok by the way.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tell-Tale Heart

TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.


The boy sat on his bed in the dark of a eerie silent summer night. He slowly opened the leather bound tome, knowing what macabre tales of horror and melancholy lay in them. He wanted to be thrilled, to be haunted, to be... alive. The pages fluttered gently in the still air, the boy's heart skipped a beat. He skimmed through the pages wondering which tale he should choose. Running his fingers absently along the spine of the book, his eyes suddenly caught something that was perfect for the night. A tale, of a tell-tale heart...


It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.


As he read these lines, they seemed to take him or rather possess him in a certain way. Instantly he was carted away into a time when lamps lit the night and the wood of a door creaked. Where things still went bump in the night. The boy began to read the lines out aloud, to nobody in particular. He felt as if it was him telling the sordid tale... the tale of man who didn't know madness from sanity. The man who heard heaven and hell and lived to tell the tale until that one old man entered his life.


Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about
midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously --cautiously (for the hinges creaked) --I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights --every night just at midnight --but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.


The boy's voice grew louder and bolder. Like an actor but also like a man who's very soul had been saturated with a madness that had consumed him. Sanity was no longer an option. In his mind's eye all he could see was that repulsive vulture eye and how the hatred filled the boy in his room. He retched and grunted as he read on louder and louder consuming and narrating the story at the same time. The old man was the one thing that was his end, he spoke on with nothing but the words on the yellow paper to guide him, slowly becoming more and more animated with each word. Telling the world, how he wanted to kill the old man and why it was wise of him to go about it as he had so far. He felt a deep soulful pain at the thought of speaking to the old man every morning. "Such a creature shouldnt be allowed to breathe." He said to himself as his his throat gulped to keep himself from regurgitating in sheer disgust. "I won't, I won't, I can't... I can't allow his eye to look at me any more... I CAN'T!!!!"


Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?" I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?"
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; --just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall. Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe.When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very, very little crevice in the lantern.



The boy smiled with mad glee... The old man feared him. He was in mortal terror and he the boy--- who had never before done anything that even resembled madness ever in his life--- had put that old man in that dreadful condition. "Yes, yes... he is afraid... he is so very afraid. Go on old man, feel the fear, for you are the reason for my madness. You and your vulture eye." And in all this anger he began to breathe hard. The words which were loud and confident until now suddenly became a stuttering shudder... he breathed the story into the room in quick gasps, the anger was consuming him. He wanted the old man to die of sheer fear... he shook from side to side as he uttered each word, telling others about his tale of madness. And as he did so a solitary tear trickled down the side of his face. The kind of tear that is so charged with anger that one doesn't even notice it. He knew it was soon going to be time... the time to...


So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
It was open --wide, wide open --and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness --all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour!


His eye... his disgusting dull blue eye... The boy shivered with a madness that he couldnt understand and slowly he began to hear that thumping.... resonating in every fiber of his being. The summer night was as still as can be and not a soul stirred that night, but the boy, so moved by the writers words, rocking back and forth in the self-consuming madness, heard the drum, he heard the distant drumming of the clock, enveloped in cotton. The boy began to panic, he sneaked peeks at the door every other instant, growing fearful, anxious, scared... insane. "The drumming... oh! the drumming of
his heart!" He muttered feverishly in his sub-conscious mind as his fingers shivered over the black lines.
"The neighbours they'll hear me... they'll see my madness and they wont understand, they won't understand, they can't understand... no wait I have to... I have to do something." He looked around in panic, jerking his head from his left to his right and back to the worn page, reading each word as mortal fear consumed him... The neighbours...


With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.



The boy lunged forward with his bare fists and began pounding the air, the bed, the cotton from the pillows spewed forth generously as he finished the old man off... the drumming... it had to stop... it HAD to! He kept swallowing hard and looking at nothing in particular as a glazed look fell over his eyes, veiled in madness he had to finish what he had started. He can't let that heart beat any longer, the eye, the madness.. it has to stop. All of it, it has to stop. And then... abruptly... it did. The beating was no more. Sweat slowly dripped from his brow as he looked at the remains and breathed hard, the madness.. it was over. The eye... it was no more. Now he had to be shrewd. He had to do something about the old man...


If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha!


Yes, yes... the boy at thought of everything. Meticulously he cut open the body of the old man. Each arm, each leg slowly sliced and dismembered all the while maintaining an engineered precision, after all he was wise. There was no reason to fear he had been like a predator. Quiet, efficient and deadly. It was all over now. He giggled like a dizzy school-girl as the night hummed on. "I did it... that eye... Its no longer alive.. I , me, I did it!" He shook with a gleaming mad delight. HE was the genius. HE made the kill and HE would now deposit the body without so much as a whiff of a scuffle.



When I had made an end of these labors, it was
four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.


Ha! What could those stupid men know. The boy was the wise one. He was the one who so exquisitely executed the plan of finishing the old man. And he was the one who had so brilliantly deposited his body. The neighbour listening in was just pure co-incidence. They had no reason to suspect any foul play whatsoever. The men in uniform could be lead anywhere. Why he would even lead them to the very spot of the body. What could they possibly know. After all, he wasn't MAD... of course he wasnt.... but...the drumming... no... wait.... the drumming.... it can't be... he swallowed again and began to sweat, wait... no... how could it be. He spoke quicker... no no no... they can't... it can't. How? How? HOW?!

I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"


The panicked... he lied....ran, he screamed...and then he dove into the pillow and pulled out the beating heart... Crying hysterically he collapsed into his own lap in deep sobs. "How could they not hear? how could they mock me like that... am I mad? I must be mad... here here I won't lie any longer. I'm not as wise as I think... take this tell teale heart! I confess to my insanity... I confess." Slowly his sobbing ceased. The spinning world, came back into his view. The tears dried up. He look around and smiled. And then.... we pulled up the blanket and went to bed.


Thank you Mr.Poe for a great bedtime story.

For those of your who haven't read "Tell-tale heart" by Edgar Allen Poe, I recommend you read the original draft for I have taken a couple of liberties by editing the story. I couldnt possibly have done it any justice and I apologize in advance for the liberties I've taken. This post is just meant as a thank you to a man that has taught me and so many others what true emotion in writing is. Thank you again Mr.Poe.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Seduction

Easy rock n' roll music spewed forth fluidly in the background. The lighting was sombre, the mood undeniable. She was dressed in cotton and denim, roughly cut, almost as if it had been half torn off her in the heat of the moment. Her skin visible through the intentional rips in the fabric was like porcelain. It had a very sensual flow to it, a radiating almost trembling flow that was both enticing and intimidating at the same time. Her hair was windswept and dark and casually flitted across her perfectly sculpted breasts. Slim and athletic at the same time her body seemed only to be an extension of her eyes, soulful and fiery at the same time. She moved with a slow purpose, her movements accorded a relaxed certainty to her intentions.

He watched her across the room, approaching him. He stood his ground, tilting his head in a manner that likened him to a predator and clenched his jaw. A glimmer of a smile slid across his face and sweat slowly trickled down his chiseled chest. He wore pair of worn denim jeans and nothing else. His long hair matted with sweat was disheveled, almost taunting. He watched her with his steel grey eyes without even blinking once.

The heat in the room almost hummed in their ears as the atmosphere tensed. Almost as if the room was slowly holding its breath in anticipation. The music in the background moved, relaxed and free, rhythmic, a deliberate contradiction to the scene that was filled with electricity. They touched. His hands firmly on her hips and her fingernails gently scraped across his chest. They closed their eyes and their open lips fluidly melted together. They breathed hard. They tasted each others sweat. He slowly ran his lips across her nape and gently nibbled on her ears. Their hips slowly rocked together and her toes curled as she turned her neck seductively and breathed his name...


Damn Mick Jagger and Co. can make a music video!

Shall We Dance?

My dad has given me a lot. That's probably a no-brainer. But I'd like to share some of the finer things that the man has shown me over the years.

There's this one club in Mangalore, the town I live in, which to put it very mildy, is something else. Quaintly named 'Mangalore Club'. It was set up by the British in the mid 1850's and has a very colonial feel to it. Very old world with its cane and teak furniture, its library with a few dusty tomes which have quietly eroded over time and its opulent and impeccable snooker table. But the real charm of the club lies in its location. Perched so calmly on the edge of the Nethravathi river, it overlooks its pristine waters with quiet dignity.

The view is stunning and leaves me at a loss for adjectives everytime I have the privilege of experiencing it. At night the moon serenly glistens over the waters of the relaxed river. And the rail bridge over the water is the icing on the cake. The trains passing over the river at night make for a sight that is quite out of the ordinary. Under the shroud of a quiet saturday night, the train looks like a string of pearls gliding effortlessly over a veil of shining velvet. It is, Magic.

Its rooftop balcony is a place that has long held an invaluable spot in my Mills and Boon-esque fantasy of the "perfect proposal". A candlit proposal here with nothing but some light jazz (Django Reinhardt style) and the distant hum of the passing locomotive to give me some courage and rhythm was what my 16 year old self fantasized about when I first fell in love.

It's also special for so many other reasons, my most memorable father-son conversations have taken place in this delightful place, the most striking one being the one in which my dad bought me a beer for the first time. In a comic digression to this so far formal and descriptive post, I'd like to quote the incident.

Dad: So done playing snooker?

Me: Yup, played three frames, sick of it for now. What're you upto?

Dad: The usual. (now calling for the waiter) One UB pint.

Me: (Looking around a bit confused) You don't drink beer dad, where's my kebab btw?

Dad: It's on its way.

(The beer approaches, my dad waves the waiter towards me, the waiter places the pint *nicely chilled one* in front of me)

Me: (Now just plain shocked, jaw-dropping and everything) Huh?

Dad: Do you take me for an idiot?

Me: *sipping my beer, WITH MY DAD!* (subconciously) Dad you rock!

Following this incident me and my dad have had a good few beers together and each time the conversation has been something that I'd remember for the rest for my life. And when it comes to talking to someone who's seen as much of life as my dad, well, let's just say you can't get better advice.

Now, back to why I'm writing this post. Tonight there was a very cute wedding reception that took place at the club and we'd gone there just for a drink together. But after a pint I decided to see what all the music was about and wandered on to the balcony.

It was a lovely night tonight, the weather was absolutely perfect, the cool evening wind that slid along the wide balcony made it perfect for a stroll. The moment I stepped out, I felt light and airy, content with the world in general. I ambled on until I could see the reception party below me on the outdoor moonlit dance floor. They had a live band playing and the party seemed to look, well, happy.

They had couples dancing on the floor and two of them were particularly good. I stood there watching the men twirl the very pretty girls around, all of them smiling and laughing and generally having a great time. I watched them dance to 60's pop music for quite a while and as they danced, I felt a slight twinge. I'd never learnt how to dance. In my quest to become one of the engineering elite, I'd never learnt how to ask a lady to dance. I know it's not tragic or anything. Heck I know that I did what I had to. I did the straight up mature thing and studied my butt off. This is by no means a post of desperation or complaint. And this is defintely not a post of regret.


It's just that this kid would like to dance with a pretty girl.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Tag

The tag virus has infected me... for further refernces, contact Camphor


7 things that I plan to do
:
Rediscover Mangalore.
Find myself.
Smile.
Make others smile.
Write.
Rule the universe.
Live life... yes, just live.

7 things that I can do:
RULE THE UNIVERSE.
Act.
Write.
Eat like there's no tomorrow.
Do a great "Gay guy" imitation... for further references, ask pierre.
Imagine I'm in free form flight.
Drive a car really really fast and do those funky powerslides.

7 things that I can't do:
Create music like Floyd did.... But then again who can?
Stop time.
Watch Ekta Kapoor serials for more than 4 nano seconds.
Dance...Well I could, but it would probably pose a problem to world peace.
Abstract math.
Men.
Fly. Not the marijuana powered shit, I meant the real thing.
Play chess to save my life... what a fucked up boring game!

7 Words I use most Often:
F*&(
Bhen C&^%
Shit.
Putits. Yes as in put+its... IIT lingo for do something... I know we're sad.
Dude.
wtf?
Worrsht. A corruption of worst.

7 blogs(untagged ones) that I wish to tag:
Damn... Fuck it... I tag anyone who reads this. Balls to all of you, for bothering with this scourge of the internet.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Thank you

I remember a road.


Which led home during the magical days. Days when I was not a kid, and not a man. And now whenever I think of it, I smile. Its beautiful to have something as simple as that bring a smile to your face. It was plain, just like any other road you've seen, narrow, bumpy and packed with potholes, nothing special... Except for the fact that today, two and a half years after leaving that sleepy little town, I still remember every gentle twist and every jarring pothole. I remember how the road would look in every shade the weather in that town had to offer. I remember how the rays of the sun filtering through the foliage in the late afternoons would cast tiny spotlights on that road.


I remember running on that road, being late for a class. I remember sitting by the side in the lemonade shop, with friends I've drifted away from but never forgotten. I remember crying alone on the walk back home. A quiet thursday evening when I thought I wasn't enough. I remember flying over the tarmac on my brand new scooterette yelling out loud the name of a girl I'd fallen for and consequently running over a chicken because my eyes were not where they were supposed to be. I remember slowing down one sunny sunday evening and gliding over the quiet empty road with nothing but the hum of the engine and the wind to keep me company. I remember getting a backache after running over a pothole with a particularly heavy buddy riding behind me. I remember smiling as I sat on the ledge of a little bridge that was part of the road, on a silent july night with a brother that I wish I hadn't left behind, throwing stones into a brook.


I remember the first time I saw the road and wondered how I'd live happily so far away from what was then my home. I remember watching nervously as my parents drove away leaving me to fight my own battles. I remember learning to ride a bike on that road. I remember falling in love and driving back on that road after my first kiss. I remember driving away after saying goodbye. I remember.


I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to every inch of brittle tarmac, every breath of air around that road, every leaf that made it what it was and every person that was there, when I grew up. Thank you.


And thats all I have to say about that road. A road like so many others. The road I'll never forget.

Happy Birthday to the Pi-zza delivery boy

Senti and cliched, but I'll still say it. You've been the big-brother that came out of nowhere. Thanks :)

And I'm an ass. I'm sorry I forgot.

Happy birthday brotherman.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Still waiting for Godot

Vladimir: Dumb... Since when?

Pozzo:
(Suddenly furious) Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time. Its abominable! When? When? One day, one day is that not enough for you? One day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day he'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second. Is that not enough for you? They give birth astride a grave, the light gleams an instant, then its night once more..



Vladimir: Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? That with Estragon my friend, at this place, until the fall of night, I waited for Godot? That Pozzo passed, with his carrier, and that he spoke to us? Probably. But in all that what truth will there be (Vladimir looks at Estragon.) He'll know nothing. He'll tell me about the blows he received. (Pause.) Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. (He listens.) But habit is a great deadener. (He looks again at Estragon.) At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, He is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on. (Pause.) I can't go on! (Pause.) What have I said.

These lines are taken from the play "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. These lines are my personal favourite. We did this play for our inter-hostel dramatics competition. We came second, which considering the quality of the script is proof that we didn't do it justice. But it remains a beautiful piece of literature and I highly recommend it as a great read for a quiet evening.


You may read the full text of the play over here. I'll end with another of my favourite lines.


Estragon: We're all born mad. Some people remain so.


P.S: I was Pozzo. Cheers!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Time

I walked out onto the corridor...

The favourite part of my day had just passed. Distant cries still rang out below me, they were still playing, in the yellow light created by four floodlights placed on the corridor ledge. Somebody missed a pass and I smiled, I could smell the air, smell the scent of oncoming rain, like a moist and cool shiver running across the air I was breathing. I slowly stuck my hand out into the open sky, knowing it would come any moment. I heard the clouds hum and groan and then a silence punctuated by a trembling breeze that whistled in my ears...

I looked up and a drop struck my eye, blurring my sight and making me giggle. Feeling like a kid, its such a precious feeling, really. My open mouth waited and watered at the prospect of tasting those fresh light first few drops, and it floated gently onto my lips. Like a kiss from a teasing lover. Another drop slid slowly onto my tongue, so light, so... ethereal and yet at the same time alive, like a soft white wine, intoxicating and at the same time full of a certain colour and life.

I looked down at the floodlight on the ledge, it was beautiful. The rain and the lamp were having a conversation. The rain persistent and the lamp angry... The light lively droplets would hum on the hot metal skin and disappear. Each successive droplet staying for an instant longer. The lamp wouldn't listen... not just yet. The drops began to form alternating rosettes, coming and going. The metal going dark and shining in an alternating rhythm, each beat slightly out of tune from the previous one. The smoke would rise in wisps, straight and fast near the skin and then pirouetting out of control, mingling with the vapourized droplet nearby and singing in patterns.

The air around the lamp became a turbulent and glowing smoky grey... Patterns like kaleidoscopes would dance, just for me. The rain would sing and glide along my skin touching me, the air would dance and tingle my sense of smell, and the lamp would slowly relent.

I just watched, smiled and wondered. This is what time must look like, turbulent, gentle, persistent and and... beautiful.


"Gravedigger,
When you dig my grave,
Could you make it shallow,
So that I can feel the rain"

- Dave Matthews Band "Gravedigger"


Friday, October 14, 2005



Spread the word, y'all.

Of IIPM and people going "What the bloody hell?!"

http://www.desipundit.com/2005/10/08/lies-damned-lies-and-fake-blogs/

Once in every person's life, an opportunity presents itself for that personto do something; to stand up and be counted as a real person. More so for bloggers. Sure we hide behind the facade of fake IDs and email adds, but we know how to raise our voices when one of our fraternity is pissed upon (!).

Calling all to put their mite. Dare to dream beyond this?

We've got to kill them, each rat bastard one of them.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Just Another Saturday Night

Quiet peace is something I’ve been looking for a long time. There have even been moments where I have genuinely believed that I had attained it. I "knew" that I had gotten it. And then not quite suddenly, but with a pace that was gradual and receding at the same time the mundane nature of habit would charge its almost inevitable and quiet determined march. I would then return to become a creature of habit, forgetting to appreciate the morning breeze, the evening coffee, the feel of cotton on my skin and so many other sensations that I fall in love with whenever I take the care of paying attention to them.


I really don’t want that, I like that I can see life in a different way, its one of those things in me that give me some sort of solace. I can care about and love the world very deeply because I can find things about it that I think matter a lot. But then when I have behaved this way for such a long time it is quite probable that I might fall prey to habit. It’s easier in the beginning to live like I do, on habit. It doesn’t matter much, and easiest of all, one doesn’t have to think too much. I could meander through life without really caring about anything and I would be none the wiser. But there are moments when I feel what I want to feel. Moments where I care. Moments where life seems like a pretty girl that I could so easily fall in love with over a cup of coffee and a conversation.


I like having conversations with life. They make me a happy guy. I like looking at how the sun makes patterns when its rays pass through the leaves on an early Thursday evening. I like looking at city lights cast a light delicate haze over the Chennai night sky and hide those twinkling stars under a sliver of a veil. I can see those stars, so can you. Just keep looking at them real hard and then before you know it, entire constellations that you hadn’t spotted before will suddenly start popping up and you'll start smiling. I did at least.


I like thinking about love, I think one of the most beautiful things about life is that it allows you to lose yourself so completely in another person that you find meaning. Meaning in being there for the person you love, meaning in your lover being someone that helps you see life as something that was fuller. It allows you to be thoroughly intoxicated with life without having a drop of any superfluous chemical flowing through your veins. I like knowing that.


Rarely have I seen anything more beautiful, more sensual, more tender or more sombrely meaningful than a woman and a man, unclothed, bare and completely in love looking at each other. No apologies for having loved one another, no care about what mean mouths might say, no regrets period. The purposeful flow of skin, the shapes that fit each other so perfectly. It has an air of electricity around it, a quiet, complete and glowing fire. The glint in the eyes of somebody when they live life so completely is something that deems life worthy of living. I understand at these moments the simple truths that most people seem to have forgotten. That people exist to complete each others lives. The simple truth of yin and yang. I don’t want to forget these things even for a moment. I want to pay more attention to life.


I want to live like that. I want to smile at the little things in life more often and not lead a life that’s filled with so much inanity and so many frivolous and unimportant feelings that they fill your heart with lead. Making it too heavy to carry it with you. Hearts are better, light and airy smiling about who you are and how you live.


I like being happy, I think that’s the point of the whole thing. I've read a bit of philosophy and I’ve thought a lot about it a couple of years back. I've seen a lot of people asking what the point of life is. I think it’s a good question, and like all good questions, I think it has a nice simple answer. The point is probably to just be happy. Like life. Smile when you walk, look at the sky, breathe in the air, feel warm coffee or cool water go down your throat and the touch of another on your skin, love somebody and be loved in return.


I know that tomorrow morning I will wake up and walk out into my little word with that facade very firmly back in place. I'll be sarcastic and self-assured. I'll be suave and the "pseud" guy. I'll be the cheat that I've grown to hate. But I will say this... I liked who I was tonight. I was somebody that I don’t know too well, but I have a feeling that it was me.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Did you come along?

Did you come along and smile?
And make my lips tremble a while.
Come along shivering and cold
And leave, before I awoke?
Before I was bold?


I’ve seen you around haven’t I?
In those childlike fantasies of mine.
Made love to you under the night sky,
Giggled with you and made you cry.


I wish I could’ve shown you,
This tiny little world I know.
I wish I could’ve known you,
And made you laugh
Seen that face glow.


I didn’t know I swear…
I didn’t know who you were
Those quiet feet have passed me by
Tell me; tell me, it was a lie.


Did you come along?
When I wasn’t looking?
Did you come along?
And leave me looking for reason.
Did you leave me...?

This one is for someone whom I haven't met,
that someone, whom I hope hasn't passed me by...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Waking Life

I keep thinking about something you said.

Something I said?


Yeah. About how you often feel like you're observing your life from the perspective of an old woman about to die. You remember that?


Yeah. I still feel that way sometimes. Like I'm looking back on my life. Like my waking life is her memories.


Exactly. I heard that Tim Leary said as he was dying that he was looking forward to the moment when his body was dead but his brain was still alive. You know they say that there's still six to twelve minutes of brain activity after everything else is shutdown. And a second of dream consciousness, right, well, that's infinitely longer than a waking second. You know what I'm saying?


Oh, yeah, definitely. For example, I wake up and it is 10:12, and then I go back to sleep and I have those long, intricate, beautiful dreams that seem to last for hours, and then I wake up and it's… 10:13.


Yeah, exactly. So then six to twelve minutes of brain activity, I mean, that could be your whole life. I mean, you are that woman looking back over everything.

- Waking Life








I open my eyes slowly.

I have stepped into wonderland.


I begin walking and I notice that there's a candle by my side slowly melting away. The flame flickers for what seems like a fleeting moment. It's odd though, for you see, the air is deathly still. I shiver and slowly turn around to take in the full view. Life as you know it. I begin my walk, and notice the candle again, hovering faithfully by my side, a silent commentary on the present. Existentialism personified one would say.


My thoughts are broken, they feel like still life images that stay in focus for a moment and then dissolve into the murky depths of my sub-conscious, all but forgotten. A memory that won't return, not until I resort to inebriating myself. To destroy the conscious, to strip that veiled layer of my mind with chemicals. A distant ringing in the back of my hollowed skull tells me that time is ticking and the wax, oh that soft shapeless wax, is melting. The flame flickers again.


Voices now flood the stream of thought, a crawling insect that I crushed lets out a silent wail of protest, the heat hums in a threating baritone as the leaves rustle and tease, they sound like the rain sometimes. The clouds make empty promises and never speak of them again. Time, that old and sometimes oppressive partner of mine, now seems to be having a conversation with the candle by my side. The candle seems to be listening, moved and shaped by the diktats that the oppressor lays down without mercy and without consent.


"If I melted time today,
There wouldn't be a tomorrow."


I turned and stared at the flame, the one that flickered and crackled in a raspy voice. It was ironic really, that this fragile flame had an ego. I silently laughed, and continued walking... Slowly becoming conscious of what I was seeing. It was a memory, of time that was distant and recent at the same time. The trees, the deer, the insects, the heat, the humming.... I knew this place.


A part of my brain suddenly went numb, boiling hot, but numb. I could feel the blood rushing to my head and the pressure building, rapidly, incessantly, but I was numb. The numbness started to spread, to my face, the left eye twitched, half my lip curled and locked itself into place. My head tilted to one side and I felt my tongue to stiff. Through this hell, all I could think of was the fact that I finally knew what the term passive aggressive meant. A voice in my head laughed, silently again, only this time, it was because a voice was a luxury I couldn't afford.


And then, I fell. The air slowly whistling past the one ear that could still feel... I watched the clear blue sky as I fell, a colour that I wouldn't know again. The trees, the deer, the insects, the heat, the humming... I could hear it all. Ain't life grand. The wind, which was dead until this moment, spoke. The last thing I saw, made me scream... The flame flickered, the flame died.


I open my eyes slowly.

I have stepped into wonderland.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A conversation

I just want to scream… hello.

Speak to me.
Speak of things that matter.
Of life and of love,
Speak of things that move your world.

Tell me what makes you smile.
I’d like to smile along.
Take me on a ride,
It’s been too long.

It’s there, right there.
Inside me, inside everyone,
Welling up as the winds sigh
Before it drizzles in the sun.

Speak of the life you wish to lead
And the lives you’ve lead,
And I shall tell you of how I forget.
I forget too much too fast,
But it isn’t something I regret.

Do you know why?
Would you care to hazard a guess?
I get to live moments over and over again.
Every laugh, every caress.

I feel like a child sometimes,
Like an adolescent, who never grew up.
I smile whenever I think of it,
A child, beginning to see the big big world.
Now isn’t that something?
What do you feel like today?

I just want to scream… hello.

Monday, August 01, 2005

To Mukka

With taste like this, I can only wish I'd gotten to know you better. Here's to you.

I seem to recognize your face
Haunting, familiar, yet I can’t seem to place it
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me
All these changes taking place,
I wish I’d seen the place
But no one’s ever taken me
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...

I swear I recognize your breath
Memories like fingerprints are slowly raising
Me you wouldn’t recall, for
I’m not my former
It’s hard when you’re stuck upon the shelf
I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate
Perhaps that’s what no one wants to see
I just want to scream...hello...
My God it’s been so long, never dreamed you’d return
But now here you are, and here I am
Hearts and thoughts they fade...away...

Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...
Hearts and thoughts they fade...away...
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...
Hearts and thoughts they fade...

- Pearl Jam - Elderly woman behind the counter in a small town.


I just want to scream.... hello. Genius.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Orkut Chronicles

I know all you dipshits are on orkut. Well so am I.

That said, it immediately implies that I have been infected. Soon I shall de-evolve at an exponential rate until all that is left of me is a pile of worthless, gooey, steaming pile of dung-like, sedimentary brain matter which is incapable of any sort of individuality. My IQ will then drop below that of Mr.George Bush's flaccid weener and I will only just stop short of making statements like, "We will smoke Osama out." *shudder* OH THE INHUMANITY!

I will of course make a valiant effort to save the universe by inviscerating orkut on paper before I do so. It's the least I can do for mankind.

So here goes. This is what I spotted on orkut yesterday.

Community Name: This is not a community
Community Owner: A SOD!

The very last word in oxymorons ladies and gentlemen. This community is where the so called "witty" guys congregate to discuss earth shattering issues like, "Katrinaz da babe man!" and "Would you kiss the person above you?". And they do so under the pretense of having a heller-esque spin on their weltanschauung. This is probably how the conversation went between the community founder and the first invitee.

*Dramatization*

Stupid Orkut Devotee (SOD) 1: Hiiiiiiii yaar! ur prfil is 2 kewl! Cn v b frnz?

SOD 2: Yo mn! YO! bt onlie if u join my new cmmuniti

*SOD 1 goes to the aforemnentioned community, has multiple orgasms at the sight of the name and exclaims!*

SOD 1: Wow! dood! This iz nt a community!

SOD 2: No no, it iz a community.

SOD 1: Wt?

SOD 2: Huh? This iz nt a comuniti is a comuniti.

SOD 1: eh wt ya? wt u said me?

Me: *Franctically searches for a pair of really sharp scissors*

The scissors would be jammed up my own colon. In the vain hope that the blinding pain would take my mind off the complete and total self-destruction of humanity. We have lost ladies and gentlemen, we have lost.

*Fades away to a chorus of "Bad, Bad, Kini, No donut for U!" sung to the tune of any britney spears number* sigh!


P.S: This post is dedicated to hil. Oh, Whatever, Nevermind brother.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I just saw a community on orkut for students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Apparently it's a community for global bhavanites... or... brace yourself... *drumroll*... GLOBHAVANITES.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you humanity after orkut.

P.S: sob.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nothing

I’m blank… a thoughtless void. The feeling of being drained not because of fatigue but just because of feeling nothing, a nothing so intense, so confusing and so debilitating that I don’t quite know what to make of it myself. A feeling so unadulterated, it seems to grip my mind like a vice. Wearing me down, slowly grinding the veneer of sanity off the surface of my consciousness.


It’s probably only the result of an overload of thought…a nothing that can be formed only by the elimination of thought by its excess. A nothing that’s not unlike the feeling of being immersed in oil.


The feeling renders me deaf, to activity, to grief, to life… it’s muffled, dead, like the sound of the evening on a graveyard just after it’s rained and the clouds have suddenly lifted. You want to think but you’ve thought about so many things so many times that it only seems like an exercise in futility. It’s so terribly cold in here. The lethargy, the mindlessness, oh god, insanity is such a relentless monster.


The grimace on my face couldn’t possibly tell the story like I want it to. There are times when lucid consciousness shines through. But mostly, it’s murky waters. Its amusing, ironic even, that I seem to be suffering from fatigue because I’ve been doing too much of nothing.


I fear nothing... I really do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Wish you were here

We first met a long time ago, a time when I was just a boy. Thoughts would swirl about in my head with such a pace it would sometimes make my head spin. Uncertainty drenched each conscious moment. But an identity that was being sculpted for me with every passing second... what a time it was! She was something else... the way she moved in that lazy gait, dragging her feet as she walked, kicking the scattered pebbles on the road back absently.


She smiled, she understood and she listened. God that smile. She was everything I thought a woman should be and more. We talked about everything from music to life, shared hours on the phone that felt like nothing more than a few instants. I’d spend the rest of the day in a state of beatific satisfaction and yet at the same time pine for that little more, one more second of her angelic voice. All the words I can think of seem dreadfully bland whenever I try to describe those days.


She didn’t know this but with everyday that she would listen to me, she was saving my life, dragging me more and more back into the battle I wanted to fight so desperately. The uncertainty and fear that threatened to consume me waned when she was around, she was the light, and she was the colour in my world, that spark that lit every other aspect of my life ablaze with passion. Darn, I even started liking mushy love songs…


And then one day, when all the battles had been fought and won. When the dust had only just settled. When the boy had just about begun to grow up and live and smile… She packed up and left.


Funny how curveballs can come straight out of left field eh?


“Life’s like that” said me dad.


Is it really?


"Oh, how I wish
How I wish you were here...
We're just two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year.
Running over the same old ground, having found,
The same old fears.
Wish you were here."


That song always makes me smile and cry and the same time. Wonder how pink floyd knew. *chuckles and shakes head*

The Gates of Dawn

"Come on, I hear you're feeling down
Yeah I can ease the pain...
Get you on your feet again..."


I woke up one morning. Bent, broken and all but alive. I haven't woken up since. Where did everyone go?

"I took a look but it was gone,
I cannot put my finger on it now,
The child has grown, the dream is gone,
And I?"


I don't want to be comfortably numb.

The Good Life

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest of places. To pursue beauty to it’s lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”

Arundhati Roy [The End of Imagination]

My ode:

To respect thought. To live life. To maintain a sense of pride with dignity. To accept oneself. To smile. To always start everyday like you meant it to happen. To make this world what it ought to be. To become what you ought to be. To honour the opinion of others. To always remember your roots. And to never, ever lose hope.

P.S:Marry me arundhathi.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Solitude

I leap into oblivion...


Gently I glide through the world around me, suddenly experiencing sensory deprivation. No sound, no touch and only a dim aquamarine light to keep me company. Languidly I move through space. It’s a beautiful feeling, a feeling of being suspended in space. It isn't quite flight, but gravity doesn't seem to be a factor anymore.


My inner-child wakes up after a self-imposed sabbatical. I haven't allowed myself to be free in such a long time. And so I smile, I glide and I lay there suspended... both in mind and in body. My world sudden seems to have taken to a free flowing lethargy, slow motion redefined. My thoughts which are usually a whizzing blur, sudden crystallize and move by me in an almost slide show like manner. Clarity, aquamarine clarity, where have you been?


The answer lies there, within my grasp, within my comprehension. This was what I had been looking for, for so long. The answer is to let go, to flow, and to move as languidly as time seemed to move in the beautiful new world. I look around and see shimmering lights right above me, stretched and rippling. Heaven... this is what it must feel like. A loneliness so complete and so full of joy. A kind of solitude granted to you by your thoughts, revealing themselves in an easy flourish of shimmering colours, like a satin scarf shivering in the evening breeze. I smile once more.


And then my chest begins to tell me its time to leave. The ache makes its way to my gut and my neck, gripping my body like a vice. And suddenly, there isn't any room for my thoughts. Poignant as the moment is, grief is the last thing on my mind. Gentle, delicate, transparent spheres stream slowly past me as I slowly and deliberately exhale... My feet touch the ground and I push off into the shimmering surface.


It’s been a while since I last went swimming.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Home

Here's a tiny experiment. This post was originally written in the third person with the lead character named Mira. It was written in the third person because I believed it would help me dissociate my personality from my pieces. After a conversation with a jazz-band buddy though, I wanted to see this piece in a new light. It remains to be seen whether it will flow better in the first person, for I believe that it was a tad constrained in its rhythm earlier. One thing is for sure though, it'll strip away the artificial veils of forced fiction. What say?


I reached over and pulled the soft white cotton blankets over myself. I couldn't help smiling as I snuggled deeper into the soft welcoming bed. It was late in the afternoon and it had been ages since I had come home.


The dark monsoon clouds hung low over the garden outside, as water from the tiled roof dripped continuously, the early afternoon showers were making their presence felt again.
The west coast was always intoxicating during the monsoon months. The clouds made the day seem like one long evening. There was a sudden burst of life all around, almost as if nature had just woken up and stretched comfortably.


Moss began to grow on every pore of the bricks that made the compound walls, caterpillars made their way across the moist grass, the air smelt fresh, as if it had been given a spring clean itself. Inside every second home you could see the clotheslines being rearranged and the clothes being hung to dry, with table fans directed at them.


Today the air had an easy Sunday-like feel to it. It was the sort of rainy day that made you feel glad to be home. The sort of afternoon where the gloominess was over-ridden by the comfort of being indoors and the prerequisite warm cup of coffee. I heard my mother making coffee downstairs and began to feel like a little kid all over again.


I had come to my parent’s place in the heart of a town that wanted to be a city. The house was in a quaint residential area, mostly surrounded by apartments. This only made the home more enchanting, a small garden with four coconut trees, a shed and a Great Dane. The house was made completely of exposed brick and was built by an architect when he had just graduated from college, it was bold, maybe even modern, but at the same time it was a work of art.


The entire home had no pillars at all, the roof was split into four parts all slanting downwards at different angles and all cupping together to form a little nest of a home. The house had an open courtyard in the middle that allowed the monsoons to say hello to everyone who lived there, it was elliptical in shape with tiny drains at its two foci that allowed the rains out. The floor in the courtyard was made of white chipped marble and black marble rays emanated from one of the foci on the floor that made the artists vision clear,


“The home is like two hands held together, as if to receive the sunlight and illuminate this beautiful nest.” the architect had said.


It had odd but striking touches, like a bedroom that had fourteen walls all at odd angles to each other. The roof was made of sandwiched tiles, a brilliant idea that had protected it from continuous onslaught of the severe rains, it was plastered on top so you could see the tiles only from the inside, if you looked up that is.


But what made it special to me was the fact that the house felt like it had a soul, every time I slept alone in a room it felt as if the home spoke to me, quietly. Always comforting my buzzing mind, almost as if it was, trying to tell me to take it easy. The cool surface of the painted brick walls would soothe me as I ran the tips of my fingers slowly over them as I walked through the house. The home was a companion that was always there waiting for me when I came back and never seemed to ask any questions. It understood. This was what I had come back looking for. It had been a while since I had taken a break.


With a lazy stretch I slipped out from under the covers and slipped into my favourite t-shirt from my days in high school. I smiled as the worn and almost frayed top rested lazily on my lanky frame. I smiled as I thought of the days when the t-shirt was more or less the only thing I wore. A lot of things had happened since then, life had moved on. Victories had been won, hearts broken and a boy had slowly grown, into a man. I sighed and turned towards the door, home always had a way of making me feel younger. I yawned lazily as I walked down the flight of stairs, made of dark wood. I had always wondered it the wood was teak but always forgot to ask my parents.


“Is the wood teak mum?”


“Rose” she replied as she offered me a steaming mug of coffee, which I accepted with both hands. “Your father had it made in ’69 a year after the house was built, why?”


“Just always wondered that’s all.” I said as I warmed my fingers by wrapping them around the mug, I always did that. I found it to be one of the small comforts of life.


Slowly sipping from my favourite porcelain mug, I smiled and shook my head gently as I thought about my mothers ability to summon a cup of coffee exactly when I needed it. "The little things" I thought, as I drank deep. I let my mind sample nostalgia as I drifted towards a window. I looked outside to see an apartment standing in the place of a home I’d always loved when I was a child. Things had changed since I left. I always came back to find some small reliable nook of the city-like town altered beyond recognition. She was growing as well. It didn’t make me sad, I had a way of reconciling my sentiments with reality. It was just that sometimes, I wished it would hit me a bit harder.


I put the mug down and walked towards the door. I laced up in my favourite worn sneakers and decided to relish an early evening jog. Breathing was something I needed to relearn.


I picked up my trusty old discman and fumbled as I snuck the phones into my ears and then with a short goodbye I stepped into my mood, quite literally. The air was crisp, the light, dim and the jazz, sublime. I sauntered up the lane for a bit, and then slowly, deliberately broke into a slow jog and a smile.


I had come home.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Question?

I haven't spoken much in the past few days. I haven't said anything of any relevance for quite a while now. I don't quite know if I have anything left to say, I know I'm barely 20 and I probably have seen nothing so far, but I feel saturated nonetheless. I am aware that this is a rather common feeling among dysfunctional post-adolescents, with holier-than-thou mindsets, but somehow something has made me quiet, I talk, but I no longer speak. I smile, but there is no twinkle in the eye.


This is not a schopenhauer-esque dissection of the pointlessness of life, no, far from it. This would be the search for an answer. The search for the light that would make my eyes shine again.

There are things that tell me there is a purpose to things, when music plays for example, when collective soul croons "Shine" with those easy chords, when my dad chuckles, when I see the rain. But I haven't found purpose yet. For the longest time I thought life was about goals, finish lines, objectives, and specific tasks on whose completion one would feel a certain sense of achievement. Of late though, finish lines seem to be something of a joke. They never end, there's always one in the distance and it has occurred to me, that if you make your life about lines then you'll forever be running.

There is another theory that tells me life is about living, the moment, NOW. I don't know about that either, I know if I was thrown into a debate I could probably be able to make a brilliant case for both of these viewpoints and get applauded for it, but the fact of the matter is that in my heart I don't know which theory to support. The irony of it all though, is that I seem to be living life trying to figure out how I should be living it.

Yet another thing that has been keeping me quiet for so long is my newfound loneliness. Sometimes I feel like I never really invest any real emotion in any relationship, this thought occurs to me because of my absolute inability to mourn consciously for loss.


I can't cry when I want to and that believe me is one of the worst expressions of claustrophobia you will ever come across. When your emotions are trapped in a box, you'll find it so damn hard to breathe. This is probably why I refuse to think these days, I make a conscious effort and all I end up with is fuzz. My powers of contemplation seem very limited of late, the limit being, wondering what I'll be having for lunch. A pathetic fate for someone who wishes to write.

Answers? Anybody got any?

Monday, June 06, 2005

LSD

Ok people, this would be one of my rare non-original posts, but this was too darn interesting to let go. What will follow is an extract from an article titled "LSD - My problem child" by Dr.Albert Hofman the creator of the legendary drug. I've picked out the best bit, and by the way, this bit of reality is waaay cooler than any piece of psychedelic literature i've ever read. Enjoy!

Discovery of the Psychic Effects of LSD

The solution of the ergotoxine problem had led to fruitful results, described here only briefly, and had opened up further avenues of research. And yet I could not forget the relatively uninteresting LSD-25. A peculiar presentiment—the feeling that this substance could possess properties other than those established in the first investigations—induced me, five years after the first synthesis, to produce LSD-25 once again so that a sample could be given to the pharmacological department for further tests. This was quite unusual; experimental substances, as a rule, were definitely stricken from the research program if once found to be lacking in pharmacological interest.

Nevertheless, in the spring of 1943, I repeated the synthesis of LSD-25. As in the first synthesis, this involved the production of only a few centigrams of the compound. In the final step of the synthesis, during the purification and crystallization of lysergic acid diethylamide in the form of a tartrate (tartaric acid salt), I was interrupted in my work by unusual sensations. The following description of this incident comes from the report that I sent at the time to Professor Stoll:

Last Friday, April 16,1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.

This was, altogether, a remarkable experience—both in its sudden onset and its extraordinary course. It seemed to have resulted from some external toxic influence; I surmised a connection with the substance I had been working with at the time, lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate. But this led to another question: how had I managed to absorb this material? Because of the known toxicity of ergot substances, I always maintained meticulously neat work habits. Possibly a bit of the LSD solution had contacted my fingertips during crystallization, and a trace of the substance was absorbed through the skin. If LSD-25 had indeed been the cause of this bizarre experience, then it must be a substance of extraordinary potency. There seemed to be only one way of getting to the bottom of this. I decided on a self-experiment. Exercising extreme caution, I began the planned series of experiments with the smallest quantity that could be expected to produce some effect, considering the activity of the ergot alkaloids known at the time: namely, 0.25 mg (mg = milligram = one thousandth of a gram) of lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate. Quoted below is the entry for this experiment in my laboratory journal of April 19, 1943.

Self-Experiments
4/19/43 16:20: 0.5 cc of 1/2 promil aqueous solution of diethylamide tartrate orally = 0.25 mg tartrate. Taken diluted with about 10 cc water. Tasteless.

17:00: Beginning dizziness, feeling of anxiety, visual distortions, symptoms of paralysis, desire to laugh.

Supplement of 4/21: Home by bicycle. From 18:00- ca.20:00 most severe crisis. (See special report.)

Here the notes in my laboratory journal cease. I was able to write the last words only with great effort. By now it was already clear to me that LSD had been the cause of the remarkable experience of the previous Friday, for the altered perceptions were of the same type as before, only much more intense. I had to struggle to speak intelligibly. I asked my laboratory assistant, who was informed of the self-experiment, to escort me home. We went by bicycle, no automobile being available because of wartime restrictions on their use. On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had traveled very rapidly. Finally, we arrived at home safe and sound, and I was just barely capable of asking my companion to summon our family doctor and request milk from the neighbors.

In spite of my delirious, bewildered condition, I had brief periods of clear and effective thinking—and chose milk as a nonspecific antidote for poisoning. The dizziness and sensation of fainting became so strong at times that I could no longer hold myself erect, and had to lie down on a sofa. My surroundings had now transformed themselves in more terrifying ways. Everything in the room spun around, and the familiar objects and pieces of furniture assumed grotesque, threatening forms. They were in continuous motion, animated, as if driven by an inner restlessness. The lady next door, whom I scarcely recognized, brought me milk—in the course of the evening I drank more than two liters. She was no longer Mrs. R., but rather a malevolent, insidious witch with a colored mask.

Even worse than these demonic transformations of the outer world, were the alterations that I perceived in myself, in my inner being. Every exertion of my will, every attempt to put an end to the disintegration of the outer world and the dissolution of my ego, seemed to be wasted effort. A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind, and soul. I jumped up and screamed, trying to free myself from him, but then sank down again and lay helpless on the sofa. The substance, with which I had wanted to experiment, had vanquished me. It was the demon that scornfully triumphed over my will. I was seized by the dreadful fear of going insane. I was taken to another world, another place, another time. My body seemed to be without sensation, lifeless, strange. Was I dying? Was this the transition? At times I believed myself to be outside my body, and then perceived clearly, as an outside observer, the complete tragedy of my situation. I had not even taken leave of my family (my wife, with our three children had traveled that day to visit her parents, in Lucerne). Would they ever understand that I had not experimented thoughtlessly, irresponsibly, but rather with the utmost caution, an-d that such a result was in no way foreseeable? My fear and despair intensified, not only because a young family should lose its father, but also because I dreaded leaving my chemical research work, which meant so much to me, unfinished in the midst of fruitful, promising development. Another reflection took shape, an idea full of bitter irony: if I was now forced to leave this world prematurely, it was because of this Iysergic acid diethylamide that I myself had brought forth into the world.

By the time the doctor arrived, the climax of my despondent condition had already passed. My laboratory assistant informed him about my self-experiment, as I myself was not yet able to formulate a coherent sentence. He shook his head in perplexity, after my attempts to describe the mortal danger that threatened my body. He could detect no abnormal symptoms other than extremely dilated pupils. Pulse, blood pressure, breathing were all normal. He saw no reason to prescribe any medication. Instead he conveyed me to my bed and stood watch over me. Slowly I came back from a weird, unfamiliar world to reassuring everyday reality. The horror softened and gave way to a feeling of good fortune and gratitude, the more normal perceptions and thoughts returned, and I became more confident that the danger of insanity was conclusively past.

Now, little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux. It was particularly remarkable how every acoustic perception, such as the sound of a door handle or a passing automobile, became transformed into optical perceptions. Every sound generated a vividly changing image, with its own consistent form and color.

Late in the evening my wife returned from Lucerne. Someone had informed her by telephone that I was suffering a mysterious breakdown. She had returned home at once, leaving the children behind with her parents. By now, I had recovered myself sufficiently to tell her what had happened.

Exhausted, I then slept, to awake next morning refreshed, with a clear head, though still somewhat tired physically. A sensation of well-being and renewed life flowed through me. Breakfast tasted delicious and gave me extraordinary pleasure. When I later walked out into the garden, in which the sun shone now after a spring rain, everything glistened and sparkled in a fresh light. The world was as if newly created. All my senses vibrated in a condition of highest sensitivity, which persisted for the entire day.

This self-experiment showed that LSD-25 behaved as a psychoactive substance with extraordinary properties and potency. There was to my knowledge no other known substance that evoked such profound psychic effects in such extremely low doses, that caused such dramatic changes in human consciousness and our experience of the inner and outer world.

What seemed even more significant was that I could remember the experience of LSD inebriation in every detail. This could only mean that the conscious recording function was not interrupted, even in the climax of the LSD experience, despite the profound breakdown of the normal world view. For the entire duration of the experiment, I had even been aware of participating in an experiment, but despite this recognition of my condition, I could not, with every exertion of my will, shake off the LSD world. Everything was experienced as completely real, as alarming reality; alarming, because the picture of the other, familiar everyday reality was still fully preserved in the memory for comparison.

Another surprising aspect of LSD was its ability to produce such a far-reaching, powerful state of inebriation without leaving a hangover. Quite the contrary, on the day after the LSD experiment I felt myself to be, as already described, in excellent physical and mental condition.

I was aware that LSD, a new active compound with such properties, would have to be of use in pharmacology, in neurology, and especially in psychiatry, and that it would attract the interest of concerned specialists. But at that time I had no inkling that the new substance would also come to be used beyond medical science, as an inebriant in the drug scene. Since my self-experiment had revealed LSD in its terrifying, demonic aspect, the last thing I could have expected was that this substance could ever find application as anything approaching a pleasure drug. I failed, moreover, to recognize the meaningful connection between LSD inebriation and spontaneous visionary experience until much later, after further experiments, which were carried out with far lower doses and under different conditions.

The next day I wrote to Professor Stoll the above-mentioned report about my extraordinary experience with LSD-25 and sent a copy to the director of the pharmacological department, Professor Rothlin.

As expected, the first reaction was incredulous astonishment. Instantly a telephone call came from the management; Professor Stoll asked: "Are you certain you made no mistake in the weighing? Is the stated dose really correct?" Professor Rothlin also called, asking the same question. I was certain of this point, for I had executed the weighing and dosage with my own hands. Yet their doubts were justified to some extent, for until then no known substance had displayed even the slightest psychic effect in fraction-of-a-milligram doses. An active compound of such potency seemed almost unbelievable.

Professor Rothlin himself and two of his colleagues were the first to repeat my experiment, with only one-third of the dose I had utilized. But even at that level, the effects were still extremely impressive, and quite fantastic. All doubts about the statements in my report were eliminated.

Lucky mothers got some free acid!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Flight

He casually let the basketball drop and he stepped onto the court after what seemed like ages, the lights were on and he had just taken a bath, he found that thought very funny, when he was in college he almost always played just after he'd taken a shower, which of course rendered the shower redundant. Somehow the feeling of gliding through the night as the cool air flew past his fresh skin was intoxicating to him.

Hello my friend we meet again
It’s been a while where should we begin...
Feels like forever

He picked up the ball and apprehensively dribbled it a couple of times, almost checking to see if he remembered the game. Slowly he grew a little more bold and began to move the ball around, behind his back, between his feet as he walked casually, the ball slipping from one side of his body to another, each time ringing with that fully inflated twang.

Within my heart are memories
Of perfect love that you gave to me
Oh, I remember


He smiled as he slowly grabbed the ball in his hands and looked at the rim, his first shot in 3 years. He kissed the ball ever so gently, cocked his elbows and in a barely audible whisper said "Do this for me baby." and let the ball fly, slipping off his fingers in a gentle flick... the ball looped into the night sky, and for a moment nothing else existed for him as his eyes carefully followed the path of the ball.

When you are with me
I feel...
I’m careless...i believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice

It hit the part of the rim that made the basket protrude from the glass and violently bounced out... he'd missed.

At that very second, he looked at the rim in mock indignation and let out a throaty laugh, "Damn those six inches of metal." and jogged to get hold of the ball again, he immediately began to feel younger. He moved back to the three point line and began to sprint forward with the ball, in a gentle arc approaching the rim sideways, he stepped once, then again and then flung himself into the air with his arm stretched out, ball in hand, and then he felt it...

We’ve seen our share of up’s and down’s
Oh, how quickly life can turn around....
In an instant
It feels so good to reunite within yourself and within you mind
Let’s find peace there


That one moment that he'd always look for while playing ball, that moment where everything else faded away and the only thing that remained was the sensation of flight, the feeling of floating through the air, a perfectly lucid reality. Yet he never quite understood why that always felt like a dream, it was such a distinct moment, he could even hear an ecstatic voice in his head say "Wow!" , As he let go of the ball and began his descent he was already smiling... the ball swished by the net. 2 points… he smiled again.

When you are with me
I feel...
I’m careless...i believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes


He kept playing remembering the years in college, the ambition, the depression, the work, the joy, the smiles, the good-byes, the loneliness, the hope and the life that he had lived so far. After playing for hours that barely felt like minutes, he heard the hum of his mobile phone… He reluctantly let go of the ball and walked up to his phone and began to chuckle when he saw the name of the caller...

"Will be home in 20 minutes babe... love you too."

He wasn't really done for the night. He kissed the ball again… dropped it into his car and drove home into her waiting arms.

I just want to settle again
I just want to settle again
My sacrifice

Have a Drag

Take a cigarette... have you ever smoked one?

People have talked to me about why they like cigarettes plenty of times, abhishek gurumadhva a senior of mine, once told me that it was a Freudian addiction, that sucking on a cigarette reminded them on a subconscious level of suckling their mother's teat. It was a return to infancy, so to speak where the warmth of your mother’s chest made you feel safe.

Crawling into the foetal position is the most common reaction to a nightmare. We all it seems, want to go back to where we came from, back into that safe environment, where we don’t have to think, talk, smile to make others happy, love with the risk of being hurt, or any of the other things that make life what it is. Cowards we have become... I spit on myself.

Then the same person as well as pi spoke to me on how sadism and masochism were so deeply ingrained in the human psyche, so much so that it drove the impulse behind grabbing a smoke.

"Think about it", he said to me.

"That’s the reason we all love wrestling so much! We see a guy grab a huge chair and maim the other fucker right across the face, we can almost feel the pain as the sickening thud of wood against flesh reaches our ears, and we go..'Oooh! That must've hurt' and we want more... its the fucking colloseum of today!"

It is said that whenever you smoke you feel a slight pain at the base of your throat and this pain was what generated the whole masochism.

Consider this,

Situation A: You've totally fucked up your life, you feel like life's been treating you like a bitch, so you grab yourself a cigarette and inhale deeply, sucking on the butt like there's no tomorrow and you feel that sting and then you say "that’s the shit!" that’s exactly where the pain is at, this is so much easier than actually dealing with the problem. This way I can feel sorry for myself. Yippee, self pity for Rs.3 only!

Not very different from this is the concept being cutting, you cut yourself, with a razor blade, a blunt knife, heck with a rusty nail if you want to and then you see the blood, red as hell rushing out of your punctured skin and then some perverse part of the human psyche takes hold and you go, "this pain is in my control, I caused it, I’m to blame and so finally I have control!" Ha! This train of thought makes me laugh the fucking hardest, you can't take the pain from the fucking outside world so you become the ultimate hypocrite and pick up a fucking blunt blade and shove it into your own skin. Great idea Sam! You’re gonna get real far with that sort of rocket science!

I write this not to say that I smoke, or that I cut myself. I've tried out cigarettes a couple of times and I’ve never cut myself. But I’ve done something far far worse, I keep trying to make everything to be my fucking fault, so that I at least feel like I’m in charge, and that my dear friends is the bloody oxymoron of the friggin century! I just realised the stupidity of it all after feeling sorry for myself for about a week, for what I beg you don’t ask...

For all those idiots weak enough not to overcome a freaking nicotine addiction, which by the way is fucking purely chemical, and hang on to vague oprah like justifications like, sucking on a nipple I bloody say, "You're kiddin yourself bud!" and for those geniuses who cut themselves so they can feel the bloody adrenaline rush... "Go jump off a cliff! And don't tie a rope to your legs if you still intend to go back to the blade!"

As for myself... I shall pick up the pieces, get a fuckin’ ego and move bloody on!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Quo Vadis

“Buy me a drink young man”

The ragged beggar who made this request looked liked he’d already had enough…

“Go away you pitiful fool, drifters like you make me sick” came the reply from the protagonist.

“Drifter! Ha! Quo Vadis Senor?!! Quo Vadis?” said the beggar and staggered away laughing to glory… all the while yelling “QUO VADIS?”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
He drove home that night… knowing quite well what he was going to do.


As he entered the apartment complex there was the cursory nod to the valet, somehow he didn’t feel the pleasure of driving anymore. It was just one more mundane activity. He went straight for the private elevator and pressed the button that would take him to the penthouse.


Staring at his own reflection in the silvered surface of the elevator doors he let the maze of thoughts running in his head take control. As the elevator beeped he stepped out into the penthouse or rather his home. At 27 he’d made quite a life for himself. He swiped the card as the door opened and the lights came on. He liked pools of light… he always had, just like his dad.


The place was something that he had always dreamed about when he was 17, minimalist yet stylish furniture that was an elegant combination of metal and wood. Low flung couches, top of the line home-entertainment systems and walls that were completely made of glass and afforded a fantastic view of the city that was strewn below. The lighting was almost always somber in his room; he loved the way the pools of light would play on the metal surface.


There was a reason he liked pools of light, it gave him a sense of solitude. He would sit on a chair and switch on a table lamp that would just about light up the area where he was working leaving the rest of the room blank. It was a blanket, an artificial blanket created by darkness, he somehow found a sort of solace in being alone in a room with an atmosphere like that. The kid always wanted to be alone.


He tossed his coat aside and walked towards the balcony, sliding the glass door open he stepped out and was greeted immediately by the nippy winter wind. The kind that sliced across his face, he smiled. That sort of a sting only made him smile these days. He stood leaning on the railing looking at the city whiz by him. He was part of the race now; he was well and truly a part of the rat race. He had almost begged for it when he was younger, now when he thought about it he could only chuckle softly and shake his head.


He thought of how much life had changed for him, the mere concept of love for example. At 17 when he’d first fallen in love, he’d been the ultimate romantic, going to every possible length to make the woman he was then in love with feel like the queen of the world. Since then though cynicism had taken its toll. Now all the women he met felt like a parade of empty conversations and meaningless intimacy. What he once called making love, he now called clearing his head.


Work had always been something he had looked forward to; right out of his MBA he’s joined a top of the line consultancy company and moved away to live alone, since then loneliness had become a sort of addiction. He never was any good with friends, they had always either been the sort of stormy tight friends that never lasted more than 3 years or the loose acquaintances that popped in to say hello once in a while.


But what killed him the most was that work didn’t make sense to him. What killed him was that he had never found anything that he was intimately passionate about. He had always been brilliant at everything he did, maybe not the best but brilliant nonetheless, but the matter was that he had never found anything that he was ready to die for. It was empty, all of it; his mind, his heart, his work, his life.


When he pulled the compact colt from his trouser pocket, he was filled with a sense of defeat that brought him down to his knees. He thought about his dad that had told him about life and winning, he thought about the first girl that he fell in love with and how he’d promised the world to her, he thought about his days in college and how he’d wanted to change the world then, he thought about his writing and his philosophy that he had been so inanely passionate about when he was younger… then he thought about that one drunk beggar meandering about on the cobblestone lanes of Italy who had defeated him with a single question…


As he cocked the trigger he whispered the sentence again, just before his hand touched the metal for the last time…

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Quo Vadis?”

“Where are you going?”


Remember when you were young,
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes,
Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!


You reached for the secret too soon,
You cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night,
And exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
With random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

-Pink Floyd "Shine on you crazy diamond"
 

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