Thursday, April 28, 2005

When I shake my marakkas they go chik chikki boom

'Swallow it whole, such a jagged little pill...'

I've got so many stories to tell you guys! The last couple of months have been plain bizarre. For now though, hi. I've missed fsftd. Kini, Hil... (waves hand wildly).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Drops of Heaven

I drop the basketball after half an hour of flinging it at an iron ring 10 feet above the ground only to hear that characteristic twang that a bouncing ball makes when it’s fully inflated. I move on to switch of the lights on the court (playing at night has a certain romance associated with it), pick up my shirt, mop the sweat off my face with it and fling it over my shoulder and head for my room. It is then that the Madras heat really begins to hit, like a jacket with a stuck zipper that envelops you rather mercilessly, after grabbing a glass of water I desperately search for an antidote to the heat and walk towards the bathroom praying that there's still some water left...

I come back to my room, flick the towel off the bar in a rather stylish movement, grab my soap-box and shampoo and head for the shower. The slippers slap in a sticky sort of way as they move over the moist surface of the bathroom tile, I reach the battered plastic door and unlatch the worn aluminium latch smiling at the flimsy arrangement that ensures a certain privacy of sorts to its inmates. Flinging the towel over the bar I remove my wrist watch, pausing at that moment to think about how humans are such creatures of habit. The fact of the matter is that my watch is completely water proof and I almost always wear it when I swim, besides it inevitably gets soaked in the shower anyway when it’s placed on that little ledge to my side, then why do I bother taking it off? My thought process then moves to that stunning observation of Chandler's where he says "Donald Duck never wore pants... yet when we steps out of the shower, he always has a towel wrapped around his waist! What’s that about?"

I then feel the fabric of my clothes glide across the skin as I undress completely, pause again, this time to think of how we've become so programmed to wear clothes that the only time we actually are without them is when we take a bath or have sex. Funny indeed. I step a little bit off centre from the shower head and reach out for the cold stainless steel valve of the shower. Twisting my wrist, I jump as the first droplets hit bare skin, and then I listen to the familiar hum of a stream of droplets hitting the tiled floor. Such a characteristic sound isn't it. It’s so amusing how almost everybody I know would be able to hear that sound if I just say the word "Shower". Tentatively I move directly under the shower head and then feel bliss.

The water slides over my bare skin like a potion meant to rejuvenate me, it mixes with the beads of sweat to form a warm liquid at first that slowly slides down and then drips off my ankles and tows, it's such a surreal feeling, water when it hits your chest is cold, like a stinging barb but when it slides off your ankle is just as warm as you felt an instant before. I reach out for the shampoo, I always shampoo first, not that it makes a difference but it somehow appeals to my skewed sense to logic to work from the top down. There's a funny thing I associate with shampoo, the thing is that just before I shampoo my hair, it feels like a coarse clumped mass of steel wool, once I wash off the lather, the wool miraculously straightens out into individual strands. Sodium salt of a fatty acid as my eight standard text book would have it, but to me it will always be the funky stuff that somehow straightens my hair.

As the water continues to beat down on my skin, now rippling along my flesh like an expert masseuse, I pull back my shoulder blades and stretch feeling like a feline predator that’s just woken up from its nap, I shake myself out of my reverie to inadvertently find myself humming coldplay's "everything's not lost" nodding in agreement to the lyrics I finish the formalities of my bath and lather up the rest of my being, the back is always an awkward spot to get, I wonder if there's a special technique to it, won't you be a darling and let me know?

After rinsing myself, I find myself shaking my head vigorously while holding the towel firmly against my head; this is when I usually miss my mother the most in my life in college. She used to give me the best shake-of-the-towel-to-try-my-head routine, mom you're the best! Proceed to dry myself of absently and then wrap the towel very neatly around my waist, thinking of the priest who taught me to do that with a silk dhoti during my brahmopadesam. With wet feet I step into those slippers to hear that unmistakable squinchy sound of wet feet in rubber slippers.

Humming Bobby McFerrin I skip along the corridors wondering one little thing...

"Why don't I take a bath more often?"

Monday, April 25, 2005

Gusts and glory

I sit on my chair, a comfy one it is as I listen to "the great gig in the sky". Floyd tells me that death isn't something I should be afraid of and then this beautiful voice spirals into what I consider is one of the best pure vocals that any human has come up with. At times like this I try and live everything, the note of pain and regret in the vocalists voice, the feeling of my fingers on the plastic, my breath as I sigh from saturation and the letters appearing one by one on the screen. At the same time I wonder, "how can we take life for granted so easily?”” why do we need something drastic to see something so obviously beautiful?"

Two days ago Chennai suddenly was struck by heavy winds, not a blizzard just heavy gusts, it felt like the city was being resuscitated. I walked to my hostel roof... then proceeded to live for a good 20 minutes.

The moon was out; I think it was about 3 days to full moon. I learned to read the phases of the moon when I lived in udupi and would go out onto my terrace every night and my neighbour would tell me how many days it was to full moon. The concrete was cool and as I climbed up the cold metal ladder onto the top of the water tank a gust threatened to throw me off. I sat on the concrete letting my thighs get used to the hard, coarse and yet cool concrete and as I did so rubbed my hands together to get rid of the flakes of paint that inevitably appear on your hands when you climb those ladders.

I looked around to hear my heart skip a beat, what I saw immediately made me sigh, the night had descended very lightly on Chennai that night, not like any other it was just that tonight it felt like a veil that hadn't quite landed on the earth... it seemed like the lights on the horizon were just keeping the veil off the ground, almost but not quite. Lights shimmered, both earthly and divine, as I asked that question that little kids always ask "why do those stars twinkle mom?” there was such a romance associated with that gust of wind. It didn’t feel harsh at all, more like a caress...

Almost as if a gentle lover had wrapped her soft hands around me and welcomed me into her abode. I sat there smiling as the wind slid across my face, I didn't know why I was smiling, until I realized that the reason was a feeling that I had yearned to feel for a long time. The feeling of being happy to be alive. The feeling of just being. I highly under-estimate the joy of being at peace with myself, I struggle constantly with who I am and what I’m doing... but the fact of the matter is, all these questions will be answered all in due time, provided I learned to be at peace with myself. Hard to believe that the wind answered all these questions.

"A Soul in tension that's learning to fly,
Condition grounded but determined to try,
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies,
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I"
-Pink Floyd

Thursday, April 21, 2005

See you soon...

"In a bullet proof vest
With the windows all closed
I'll be doing my best
I'll see you soon

In a telescope lens
And when all you want is friends
I'll see you soon
I'll see you soon

And oh, you lost your trust
And oh, you lost your trust
No, don't lose your trust
And oh, you lost your trust"
- Coldplay see you soon.

This song inspires so many emotions in me that i almost always smile this poignant smile inadvertently. Reminds me of when i was a kid and would run around the rain in mangalore without a care in the world trying to splash my socks with as much muddy water so i could see those funky dirt spots on them when i came back home and took them off. There would also be times when i would look out the window when it was raining in that gloomy atmosphere at 11 in the morning and try and convince myself that it was six in the evening. The games we'd play!

I wish i never grew up.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Return

Hello... Hello... Hello...

Is there anybody out there?

Hello?

Mike testing... Testing... 1, 2, 3...

Ah. It works. I'm back. In black.

This one's for all of kin's IIT-type-200+IQ-type-readers.


Hello.

I'm Sahil.

No, seriously.

I am.
 

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