Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My life, right now, is trying to stand on its head and doing a pretty bad job with the balancing. I fall asleep by 10 every night and find myself waking up at unearhtly hours like 4 or 5. Which isn't really bad, and I'm not really complaining. Except I have a feeling I should be studying. Except I'm not. Then again, the bright side is if I was studying I couldn't be reading Death in the Afternoon. And given a choice between renaissance drama, post-colonial theory and Hemmingway, well I prefer reading about bull fights. So bleh.

I'm overwhelmed by remorse at this moment. Read this, early in the morning, and felt like howling. I don't regret any of the things I've done these four years, but I do have moments of extreme regret for the things I didn't land up doing. Sometimes I wonder if I could sit for the B.A. admission test this year, if only to attend Supriyadi's classes.

Excuse me while I go blow my nose.

College can not be over. Not. Would some prof be generous enough to flunk me this year? Pwetty please.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

lathhir mukhe gaaner shur, dekhiye dilo jadabpur!

The first time I heard this slogan was on a hot June afternoon in 2005, marching with a few thousand students from Jadavpur University down towards Writers Building. We didn’t make it that far, of course. Somewhere near the Academy of Fine Arts we were stopped by the police and we sat down peacefully to sing songs while cameramen ran in circles around us.
Two years down the line, if I close my eyes and try to remember, I have to make an effort to recollect every rationale and every logical argument behind the student movement, behind our protests. What I can remember effortlessly are the emotions , the sentiment; the feeling of walking in unity with a thousand strangers; of walking beyond exhaustion and thirst, for a cause that we believed in. Somehow that memory can still make me cry.

I can’t explain it if you weren’t there. I can tell you why I was in a michhil, I can tell you who was right and who was wrong and why I still believe that, but I cannot explain what it was that made me throw dignity and self-consciousness to the winds and scream slogans till I was hoarse. Maybe it was the policemen who were lining the roads, flaunting their uniforms, their batons, their right to beat up the innocent and protect the guilty; or maybe it was just my impulsiveness.
I still can’t find words to express what it felt like to walk backwards, down the main roads of kolkata, in the middle of two lines of quietly marching people and clap my hands and scream till every single person within ear-range was screaming responses not with their voices but with their hearts.

This university taught me a lot of things through five long years, but that afternoon I learnt what Passion can be.

Afterwards, to be precise, over the next one year, ten months that came after, I’ve been taught what Apathy is. It’s been painful at times, but worth it.
Because at the end of the day this campus; this warm, friendly, welcoming, inert, lifeless, unconcerned campus has taught me one thing. That no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much you feel like the world is coming to an end, most of the world around you will not care. It’s a lesson worth remembering.

Chances are, I’ll forget it. Because after all there is just so much more to remember.

I spent tonight crying over memories. Which was a little ironic, because every one of them was a happy memory. But the thing about leaving a place, when you have come to love it and when you have built so many memories around it, is that it's a little like leaving a lover. You know you have problems, you know you were never meant to be together forever, you knew from the very first day that one day, you would have to move off. But in between, the years have gone by and the memories have accumulated and you’ve made love so many times through golden afternoons, hazy with the heat, and foggy dawns, and the bitter cold of winter evenings that when the time comes to leave even the happiest memory makes you look back in love, in pain and eventually in tears.

But I’ll leave college with a smile. I promise you I will not cry. Chances are when the final day of exams and farewell parties comes I’ll be so drunk and high that I won’t even remember my name. Just tonight I needed to cry. For you, because I love you. Because you’re the most difficult place I’ve ever encountered, but you’ve made me so happy. And leaving is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to. But you know how my old mantra goes; no strings, no loose ends, and above all, no regrets. I can't promise to cut ties, I have a feeling I'll bump into you again and there are a few loose ends we didn't get to tie up but at least I can promise you, I don't have any regrets. Not one. Not for the times when I sat on the side-stairs and bawled my eyes out, not for the times I got drunk, got stoned, got caught in embarrassing positions or managed to get away without getting caught in worse situations. No regrets, only memories, that's all I can take away. And all I can leave is a little bit of love. For you, for the people I'm leaving behind, but most of all, for the dream that is JUDE.

Friday, April 13, 2007

There are days which are happy, not because anything wildly exciting happens but just because they're so-so-so-so full of laughter. Like yesterday. For the greater part of the hour and a half that we spent on the phone I was jumping around in front of my bedroom mirror. Not jumping exactly; it was more like hysterically funny faces and turning round and round because the world wasn't spinning fast enough to keep up with my giggling. And I decided no one, and just no one can make me laugh the way you can.
and *

Happiness is laughter in the morning.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

There are times when I feel sorry for my parents. Having to deal with me isn't easy on the best of days. And today just wasn't the best of days. Nothing happened of course. Nothing that was dramatic or eventful. Or even memorable. It was just one more day in a long line of days filled with mind games and power games and people fucking around with my life and my head. So I cracked in the morning.
Woke up at 7, sat to work. Waking up early is a bad idea, working all morning is a worse one. By the time it was noon, the house was pretty near flooded. Dad wasn't at home. Ma was, and she tried, poor thing. Tried laughter, tried stories, tried comfort, questions and closeness.
And I kept crying. Like some kind of brain-dead zombie.
It hurts to think about it now because it was so unfair on Ma. So bloody unfair.
But when do we ever think about parents anyway. Not we, I.
And then Baba came home.

We talked. I don't need to tell him things. He always knows, exactly what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. He doesn't know who or where, but that's because he doesn't want to know. And there are certain bits of my life that he knows for sure, but he won't say anything because he's letting me out on trust.
So I did the crying, he did the talking.

And he told me about the time I was in kindergarten. He would go to drop me off every morning. And every morning I would howl. And the teachers would tell my parents that I just sat in class and kept staring out of the window. So every day, my Dad would drop me off, and stand outside the window of my class.
I have no memory of this. I don't know how many months this continued. But I watched his eyes as he told me today, and I know that if he remembers it, it must have hurt him more than he cares to forget.

And today he offered me the sun, the moon and the stars if only i'd stop hurting. And I promised him I'd stop. So this is one promise I have to keep. Because I love him. And because for twenty three years whenever I've been hurt he's picked me up, defended me, protected me and fought for me. And when I was lonely he was there for me. So I owe this one to him.

Baba, I love you. I promise you I'll be ok. I won't let it hurt anymore.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I came home pretty early tonight, for once, so we sat and watched the nine o’clock movie. Which happened to be Walk the Line. We’re all suckers for romance in this family, in case you didn’t know.

Movie ended in sweet sappiness and the father went all contemplative, “ Jaast imagine. They were married for thirty five years. Ki bishal ghotona!”
Then realization struck him and he jumped up all excited, “No wait a minute. Eta bishal ghotona keno hobe? We have been married for thirty one years. Aaro unish bochhor hole ponchaash hobe!”

At which point of time the mother started simpering and I rolled my eyes at puppy love and left them to it.

Did I say we were all suckers for romance?. Correction. When I said *all*, I meant the parents and the sister and brother-in-law.
Love, romance and happily ever after sums them up perfectly.
Now you know why I’ll never get married, too much sappiness/happiness runs in the family.
But it’s good watching them.
Warms the heart.
And us fish have awfully cold hearts.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


My deadest deadline for submitting a story is five hours away. And I haven't the faintest idea what my story is about.

where have i heard these words before? oh. right. this is the story of my life.


So far I've written seven drafts for this one assignment.
To begin with, the story was supposed to be about a fish called Raghobboyal Bottoboyal who lives all alone on a planet of purple water and golden land and who is so big that a shark would slip through the gaps in its teeth.
But then I decided fish are essentially mundane things. And no one likes my stories anyway. So I'm writing about this lonely alien called Oolikibajenaamba.
And I hope the story is really really really bad.
Because by now I don't care how much I get for this stupid story, I just want it to be so bad that the prof who thought it would be the most brilliant idea of the millenium to force us to write stories for children gets traumatized for life.

I have class in four and a half hours. Sleep is obviously not happening. I need a walk, a smoke and post 1.40 tomorrow, once classes get over, I need to vanish. For a long, long time. Otherwise my head is going to implode. Which might not be such a bad thing after all.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Granny Weatherwax always held that you ought to count up to ten before losing your temper. No-one knew why, because the only effect of this was to build up the pressure and make the ensuing explosion a whole lot worse.

I actually waited a good twelve hours before ranting. I should probably have waited twelve months.The ensuing explosion might have been a lot worse, or there might have been no explosion at all.

I can't quit.
It's the one thing I cannot bring myself to do. I wish I could be strong and walk out and not look back and pretend I don't give a damn.
But I can't.
Mostly it's because of the memories. Because at the end of the day I'd still do it all over again, if only for the memories.
I'll still get upset, every once in a while. And then I'll come back to this space and rave and rant and pretend I hate everything that's happening.
But you'll know and I'll know and the big guy up there will know that it's all a lie.
Because I love you too much to forget you.
Because you're not just a cool address to spend time at or a good name to have on my cv.
Because you are home and family and everything else in between dammit.
Because every family has its black sheep and yours are the losers and wankers and soulless fence-sitting morons who will never take a stand because they're too afraid.
But most of all because you are my responsibility and I will not walk away.

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