Friday, November 30, 2007

Encompassing November in One Post...

We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
In the cold November rain...
- Guns N Roses, 'November Rain'

And so, yet another November has gone past... Another December is upon us... And here I am, after a month long hiatus, 'come back from the dead to tell you all'... That, as you might have guessed, is another line from Prufrock... I've begun to sound like Bertie Wooster now, harping on his Scripture Knowledge Prize from private school...

The last few days have been spent coughing my insides out... I think the viruses that live rent-free inside me finally decided to stage a revolt against my constant efforts to fumigate them out... And their mutiny seems to have succeeded, with the doctor having advised me to quit smoking with immediate effect... BREAKING NEWS: Shreyas Sharma quits smoking... (Falsified information is not something journalists should convey, but who cares on a blog!)

So anyway, here are three posts I have written during the course of this month, but not actually happened to publish them...

* * * * * *

The following poem was written sitting in a hotel room in Goa with a hangover... Perhaps you didn't know that I went to Goa for 3 days with my cousin Richa and our friend Aditya earier this month... The first night, we visited a little beach-shack called 'Island View'... This poem talks about the experience, and the lunatic's ramblings inside the head...


A beach
A dirty moat with tadpoles around it
Chicken Xacutti at the opposite end of the table
And the old, faithful Red with the Monk and the Coke

There we are
Sitting around a table with a palm tree growing through it
Old Santan making incredulous faces
At the requests we heap on him
'Treble large for everyone'
Feelin’ groovy is the Old Monk

The sound of the approaching tide
Louder and louder
Does it want a piece of the liquid action too?

They leave for the hotel
Its just me and you now, Red
Like it always is
Your comforting touch
As I slip further and further into Euphoria and beyond
La Vita E Bella

The urge fills me
To walk into the dark horizon
To feel the salt all over me
Encrusting my matted hair
Burial at sea
La Vita E Bella

No end in sight
To this resolved crisis
Godot is in the house.


* * * * * *

After the enjoyable Goa experience, and a diwali celebrated with family and Chandru in Jaipur, one came back to the grind of the capital... And as is to be expected in this season, very soon thereafter, there happened to be a wedding one had to attend... It was a fourth cousin's wedding, a supremely boring affair, and doubly frustrating, since one had to drive 2 hours in a maddening traffic jam, all the way to Vikaspuri, then another hour n 15 mins back home... And no chicks to look at even... Damn! So the frustration poured out of my heart the next day in class in this form...

How The Great Indian Wedding is a Farce

Hundreds of people, the best clothes, jewellery, expensive gifts for the groom and the bride, tons of food gulped down greedily and the usual bandwallahs-ghodiwallah-tentwallah nexus. Welcome to the spectacle known as the Great Indian Wedding.

What, though, is the purpose of this ceremony? If you live in Delhi, and have done so all your life as I have, you might be inclined to think that pomp and show was the real purpose behind the whole shebang. Others may lead you to believe that it is a way for all the scattered branches of the old joint family system to come together and celebrate a grand event in the life of the family. Quite acceptable. Then there is the ‘official’ reason – ‘please grace us with your presence and bless the newlyweds’. All three possibilities are equally acceptable or unacceptable, depending on your point of view.

Personally, I question the very basic of this ‘solemnization of vows’ or whatever horse-shit we’ve been fed in our lives. A ‘wedding’, to me, is supposed to be a ceremonial walk around the fire seven times in order to grant a public-license to the man to have sex with the woman. And the gharaatis and baraatis, the family and friends on either side, are just there as witnesses to this official license, so that the woman cannot turn around and scream ‘RAPE’ later. The food, of course, is the bribe that needs to be given to them in order to make them swear the oath. After all, unhone aapka namak khaya hai!

And what of the bride? She is, in most cases, supposed to give herself to a man whom she has never seen. On top of it, her parents were (are) supposed to pay the groom to screw her all his life. Then, she has to bow down and touch the feet of every damn chacha-chachi-mama-mami-phupha-phuphi-padosi-and-padosi-ka-kutta that have come to witness her subjection. Most of whom aren’t even worthy of being greeted when you see them in the street. And then they pass judgement – ‘iss behtar bahu nahin mili aapko’?

Maybe I am too biased against marriages, or maybe I’m over-reading into the situation… But the next time you go to a wedding, which will be quite often in the next few months, dressed in all your finery and carrying an expensive gift for the newlyweds, think – what will they gain out of it and what will you?

* * * * * *

And then, there was the December-syndrome-come-early this time... As early as November 6, the night I returned to Jaipur from Goa, in fact... Life comes full circle every year for me... It has done so once again... Only this time, as I wrote in my old poem 'Another Phoenix', there are no ashes for me to rise from again... Only a little bullet lodged in my head, shot from the lip that I was once attached to...

Why is existence such an absurd series of unanswered questions? Why doesn't the comfortable embrace of death envelope you when you most need it? Why didn't life ever give me a second chance?

Maybe this is what life is about... Its like the cruise on the Mandovi, where I made friends with Troy... Two glowing cigarettes and a discussion on Bill Gates' driver... And then, the show's over folks...

But as I always keep telling myself,
The Show Must Go On...
And so I promise,
I'll face it with a grin,
I'm never giving in...
On with the show...

Coz nothing lasts forever,
Even cold November Rain...

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