Tuesday, October 19, 2010

its complicated.

Relationships are weird at this age... in college, you thought that the relationship you’re in would last forever, u do silly things like plan futures.. then reality sets in and u realise that you’ve changed as a person from when things began,.. so things have to end.. and it hurts.. when reality and the future encroach on this idyllic world you’ve built for yourself..
I see far too many unhappy couples around me lately..When reality has begun to make its presence felt.. when career and marriage and future are not abstract anymore but decisions to be taken in the very near future.. when your actions have an impact on the life of the people around you and you’re now grown up enough to see and realise the opportunity cost of living in your dream world...
The thought of the end is terrifying.. coz that person’s been a part of your life for so long.. you’ve grown up together, changed into the person you are now, together.. and suddenly it seems like the fit has gone wrong.. the parts that you played in each other’s life suddenly become unsustainable.. do you cut your losses and run? Or do u fight to keep going when every step gets harder than the last??
And when u come to a place where going ahead seems impossible, you teeter on the brink and wonder which way to go... it’s the hurt and the fear that is uppermost then..  how could this happen? Does this not matter anymore? Why does it feel like i’m the only one who wants this to work?
I also see people who’ve come to terms with what the future will hold... they know that they have to part someday.. and yet the thought of parting now is impossible... ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”.. and yet they live in the shadow of that inevitable departure.. afraid to make themselves more vulnerable, afraid to leave and start over..
It takes a long time to heal after losing love.. there are things that you cannot bear to do, places you cannot go to, nights that you can’t sleep..
I sat around talking to a friend today who recently broke up with someone after 5 years of being together.. and she says that she doesn’t know how to deal with the loss of a future she had planned with him.. another feels suffocated and neglected in her relationship but doesn’t know how to let go of someone she’s spent years with.. another guy is afraid to acknowledge how much being with this girl means to him because he can’t guarantee that they will survive life after college..yet another can't seem to deal with the drama he went through just a short while ago..

and i find myself wondering where all this heartache stems from.. how does one untangle oneself from the complications and deal with the real issues in life..

how has humanity survived romance this long.........

Saturday, October 16, 2010

“Just because you haven’t seen her yet doesn’t mean she isn’t out there... the one you’re meant to be with...”

“I never see anyone but you bella, even when i close my eyes n try to see someone else.. I only see you...”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

of perception and zombie cats

"The absence of perception of the counterpositive is a necessary precondition for the perception of the absence of that counterpositive"

It took me about a minute to figure out what that sentence meant... specially since dad quoted it at me in sanskrit and it took a while for me to translate it to english... he had to translate it for me at the end coz both mom n i simply got confused at the sudden flurry of incomprehensible words...

A student of dad’s asked him to teach her darshan shastra- vedantic philosophy. Dad being the practical soul initially refused but then agreed coz his student kept badgering him... now he has had to spend several hours with sentences like these and analysing ancient Indian philosophy.. he is both repelled and fascinated by the sheer vellapanti of philosophy.. coz if u look at it, the sentence above is simply common sense. You have to perceive that something is absent before you KNOW that it is..

Philosophy is such a weird thing... to construct long winded sentences with attendant explanations to say something that is so glaringly obvious that no one ever stops to THINK about it..

Was talking to a friend a couple of days ago about plato’s pholosophy.. specifically his analogy of the ‘cave’.. how perception shapes our worldview.. if you nor anyone else around has ever had to see or experience anything differnt from what everyone else doe sthen you will not have different ideas. You will accept what teh socially sanctioned view is because you don’t know any better and there are no other stimuli affecting your perception...

A few years ago, i was told about a rather facinating theory in quantum physics.. Schroedinger’s cat theorem.. atleast thats how i remember it.. don’t know if it was even the real name.. the essential sense of that theory was that if a cat is kept in a box through which neither the sight not sound of the cat can be perceived, then in a state where it is not known whether that cat is alive or dead, it exists in both states. Effectively, there’s a cat thats both alive and dead..

The absence of perception is essential for the perception of absence of a state...or alternatively, if you don’t know that the thing (that does not exist) does nnot exist, then at that moment is exists for you..

Who the heck comes up with this stuff???????????????????????????

the idea that simply perception through any sense is the reason why things exist in a certain manner for us... it is mind boggling coz its so glaringly obvious.. if one does not know better, one continues to do what one thinks is right... it applies to everything, from seeing that something you kept on the table is not tehre anymore to explaining why people act in an absurd manner... if you have not perceived it though some sense, then it doesnt exist for you...

Monday, October 11, 2010

bin tere.. I hate luv stories...

Hai kya yeh jo tere mere darmiyaan hai
Andekhi ansuni koi dastaan hai
Hai kya yeh jo tere mere darmiyaan hai
Andekhi ansuni koi dastaan hai
Lagne lagi, ab zindagi khaali
Hai meri
Lagne lagi har saans bhi khaali (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere (lost and lonely)
Ajnabi se huye kyun pal saare
Yeh nazar se nazar yeh milaate hi nahin
Ik gani dehaayi cha gayi hai
Manzilein raaston mein hi gum hone lagi
Ho gayi ansuni har dua ab meri
Reh gayi ankahi bin tere (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere (lost and lonely)
Raah mein roshni ni hai kyun haath choda
Iss taraf shaam ne kyun hai apna muh moda
Yun ke har subah ik bereham si baat ban gayi
Hai kya yeh jo tere mere darmiyaan hai
Andekhi ansuni koi dastaan hai
Lagne lagi, ab zindagi khaali khaali
Lagne lagi har saans bhi khaali (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere (lost and lonely)
Bin tere, bin tere, bin tere (lost and lonely)
Koi khalish hai hawayon mein bin tere ..

running away...

“shit yaar.. mujhe bhi lagni chahiye thi... then u remember it.. yaad rehta ki hum ghar se bhage they....” 
this was ati’s statement once we were safely ensconced in my room and i was done putting band aids on my shredded wrist...

She’s spending the night at my house.. and in the middle of the night her sudden hankering for adventure had us doing something i’d never thought i’d do.. attempt to sneak out of the house at night.

 (background: For several years now, i’ve been living in a 90 year old- british era house which has a gorgeous lawn all around and a courtyard into which the living area opens.. it also has ornate grills on the huge picture windows and no access to the roof.. basically at night its a fortress with high unjumpable walls and barbed wire on top of the roof and all that jazz... the doors are heavy, old wood or metal that creak like a demon’s wail if u try to open or close them...
 the point is... i’ve never been able to sneak out at night....)

tonight, with the streetlight throwing ghostly shadows on the roof and our neighbour’s cats mewling up a storm.. we sneaked out to the verandah through the bathroom window and climbed up to the roof.. with the help of a window grill and my pushing her butt up as she clung to a water pipe in an attempt to hoist herself up...
 i shimmied up a water pipe, sat on the roof and watched the cars fly past on the tree lined road.. all the while praying that parents wouldn’t wake up/hear the crunch of our feet on the roof/otherwise decide to check on us in my room... it’s SCARY how the night light left on in the lobby looks through the mesh on the window specially when seen from the roof on the other side of the house..

oh and before i forget, we also arranged piles of my clothes under bedcovers to make it look like we were sleeping incase mom woke up to check on us in the duration of out adventure...

so we reached the roof and spent the next 15 mins arguing over an exit point... once we did get to the roof, i remembered exactly why i’d never done this before.. my spatial sense being the holy mess that it is... standing on the roof and looking down is really something that gives me the heebie jeebies.. i’ve looked down from tall buildings and high mountains and other assorted high places... but the roof in the middle of the night scares me silly...
she wanted to jump down from the roof, quite an easy jump.. for a cat or a monkey or someone with wolverine’s prowess and powers of regeneration..

while ati wanted to jump/climb/use a ladder off the roof, i exercised my authority as the elder and more mature of the pair to forbid any such acts.. my declaration was greeted by a resounding cry of despair from my beloved partner in crime who accused me of being a coward though i was merely exercising my judgment and enforcing the aforementioned authority..
and that too using that authority to say no to a scheme of jumping down a 17 foot high roof to brick pavement below..
then she dropped the idea.. because her boyfriend called n she happily settled down to talk to him while i enjoyed the quiet serenity of the night..

getting back down was another challenge.. i ended up hanging half off the edge and scraping off the skin on my wrist as i swung my body down.. she had an easier time of it than i did.. probably coz i was again standing below her offering her my shoulder or hand to use as a foothold..

so we giggled back to my room where i’m now all band aided and writing this story while she preens in front of the mirror... and she's telling me off for not letting her have the adventure she wanted..

on a completely unrelated note... i'm in LOVE withe the song bin tere from i hate luv storeys.. the longing in it is palpable.

..... ADDED
she woke up this morning to discover that she has also scratched her wrist in the little bout of climbing (as opposed to being pushed from below by me) nowhere near the gash on mine, but she thinks its fun.. i'm currently looking around for a psychiatrist.. :)

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Re-reading  Urvashi Butalia’s ‘The other Side of Silence’... actually reading sections i hadn’t earlier.. this book is part of the reason i have been tempted to take up law and do something to help victims of abuse and violence..  but thats not what i want to talk about right now..
So many were killed in the name of partition, hatred, religion.. as someone who is more than 40 years removed from the horrors, for someone whose family stayed more or less safe in delhi and someone who has never heard personalised stories of the partition or even of the ’84 riots.. its incomprehensible to me how ordinary people can be capable of such bestial acts of violence..
How is it that people live with themselves after having taken someone’s life...

There have been so many episodes of violence in India during the short span of my life.. and sitting in my protected space in Delhi i’m so far removed from it all that i can’t even begin to understand how people change into animals.. how an idea becomes more important than humanity and life...
I’m surrounded by insulated intellectuals.. people of middle and upper middle cass origins who have stayed within the cocoon of their own circles through teh upheavals...
My grandfather tells me how during teh independence movement he and his brothers, young school students then, would carry around messages and stick posters on walls.. my grandmother has stories to tell of the great -great- grand-somebody who was beheaded and his head stuck on a pike outside the thana after the 1857 revolt.. nani’s family had to run away from lahore.. they never knew of what happened to their things that were left behind.. and yet they escaped the kind of violence Butalia and others have described as the most commonplace occurrence during partition.. my father tells me of the refugee camps he and his friends helped manage after the ’84 riots and how bad the situation was.. and yet none of them were really THERE.. they came before or after the tremors subsided.. they helped clean up and bandage the hurt people... they don’t have personal stories to tell because they were spectators,... just like i am..
And in my selfishness i thank god for that sometimes.. for being away from the horrors.. for having an open, intellectual background where my family does not have bitter recollections of violence perpetrated against or by them.. they have stories of hope and rebuilding, of helping and human charity after the storm has passed...

How is it, why is it that throughout history, the women have borne the brunt of men’s ‘honour’? that it is the women who are abducted, raped, paraded, beaten, all for the sake of a group identity and honour.. stripping teh honour of another group almost always involved subjecting their women to some kind of violence while the men were renedered unable to defend them..

I understand the basic animal instinct underneath it.. that it is the women who create the next generation, physical and mental control over women automatically translates to control over the coming generations..
What i fail to understand is how has this gone on for so long in this so called civilsed society? That even today, the first signs of violence are marked on women and children.. i think not just about the partition because that was something dealt with by a previous generation. My incomprehension is about whats happening today.. Honour killings, forced marriages, seclusion, violence against women who choose to step out of the home for anything.. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


when you're with someone you want space for yourself.. when that person is not around you have trouble sleeping without hearing their voice...
its the wisdom of the ages.. which rave learnt today...


whats feminism?? trying to prove that we're as good as them or accepting that we're different and there is simply no comparison  between the two sexes?
i had to answer a questionnaire on feminism and activism today.. and can't stop thinking about the questions it asked and the semi-articulate answers i've given..

am i a feminist?
not if feminism means that i have to strive to prove that i'm 'as good as' a guy..
yes if it means that i proudly proclaim that i am what i am and those who want someone else can eff off...

what is feminism though? the bra- burning, 'we can do anything you can' brigade is one side, the calm, stoic female boss who tells her male colleagues to look at her face when she talks and not a few inches below it is another..the young bride to be who turns away a baraat because the groom's parents humiliated her own is yet another, the young mother who walks out on a marriage with children in tow rather than suffer abuse is also one, as is the angry fighter who takes on chauvinist ideas and idealists intellectually and physically..

but there is the young woman, who left her career because she got married, who covers her head and touches her in-laws' feet, who cooks and minds the kids and keeps the perfect house, who defers to parents and husband... is she too a feminist if she brooks no argument when it comes to sending her daughter to school? if she raises her children to treat everyone as equals and to never believe that any of them is inferior to the other?
is one who wants to raise a family and doesn't mind putting her career on hold a feminist if she decides this on  her own as opposed to having been dictated to?
is one who accepts that going out late at night in a city like Delhi is unsafe an anti- feminist?

is one not a feminist if one refuses to join a march opposing violence against women?

is the hijab- clad woman in france who argues that she wears the veil as a symbol of her faith and not because of a diktat a feminist?
is the girl who wants to elope and marry the man SHE wants a feminist?
is one who enjoys dressing up, who wants male attention and approval a blot on the feminist sisterhood?

is one who believes that election quotas for women are simply eyewash striking a blow against women?
how do you define feminism?

i dont quite care about what roles are 'good' for a good girl or a devoted feminist.. i'm equally at home in a sari and in my own skin...
for me, the assertion of identity depends more on the intellect than on the physical structure of one's genitalia..

am i a feminist?? or am i just clueless about gender roles in this world..

Sunday, October 03, 2010

to my favourite couple...

i've admired you both for a long time now because you showed me something incredible about love.. u reaffirmed what i'd learnt in my own disaster of a relationship.. that you must put friendship over coupledom.. that telling each other everything created a level of understanding that no storms could shake...
i learnt it the hard way.. that if you keep something hidden away it can become a festering sore that affects everything thats good in the relationship and in life..
it was when i saw you two tell each other everything, expose your silliest and weakest and most vulnerable to each other that i realised that it was infact possible to be opposites and yet work out harmoniously... you could say anything to each other, including telling each other when you didn't want the other to be around..
that honesty and trust was the bedrock of it all i always knew.. i didn't quite know how it could be managed till i saw you two together...

and yet today i see you unhappy.. and it breaks my heart.. that two people who i thought shared everything no longer have the words to express themselves..

i love you both very much.. and i hope you find your rythm again..

Saturday, October 02, 2010

inspired by tinni's photograph..

I’m not sure if i’m dreaming or i’m awake.. it feels like a dream.. or a barely remembered memory.. maybe it is the flickering yellow bulb on the streetlight that throws shadows across the narrow lane i’m standing in.... the wall to one side looks like a corridor i’ve walked own many a times.. to the left is a blank wall i’ve never seen.. The end of the lane is bathed in shadows.. i know i’m meant to walk further and yet my fear of the dark holds me back.. even in the half asleep daze that clouds my eyes i can see that the darkness if the lane deepens ahead into what must be a doorway.. i have to walk through it,.. HAVE to get to it.. across the recesses in the walls beside me that i know someone or something awaits me in...

at the weirdest of times, the lyric of an avril lavigne song come to my head.. ‘Sometimes i get so weird, i even freak myself out...’ i laugh at my silliness.. Its weird how i have a song in my head ALL the time.. even now, when i stand atremble facing this dark narrow alley..

Is it a metaphor for my life? Or is it just another strange and beautiful sight like the millions i ignore every day.. the flickering ochre of the grimy bulb seems to follow m footsteps.. as far as i have walked, the light’s shines right at my feet turning the far end of the lane to mysterious shadows.. i can just discern the doorway because it’s a darker black than the shadows that surround it...

Something glints in the half- light..

Is that a bar on that doorway? I force my numbed eyes to look, squint into the gloom.. maybe, maybe not... damn that phrase seems to be the definition of my life lately..

But no worries.. there’s the alley, there’s me.. and there’s that shadow within the shadows that i know i’m walking towards through the deepening gloom..