notes,scribbles,bubbles,visions,hallucinations and what have you

Thursday, September 30, 2004

we walk on by, past stores displaying handcrafted jewellery, handbags, wall-hangings, stone sculptures, chillums, second-hand books and bright coloured clothes- kashmiri salesmen wearing 'come on in' smiles. the wind against our skin feels like being baptised in icy cold spring water after the sultry, sunny day. children, wild-haired and dreamy are running hard on the soft loose sand, chatting, chanting and playing games with no real rules and zero purpose. foreigners with lonely planet and rough guide paperbacks are choosing their restaurants meticulously to consume masala fried calamari, tiger prawns in hot garlic sauce and a choice of brews for wash down the sea-spills.
the shore is scattered with catamarans and a few power boats. the ocean is dark except for one section where the three-quarter moon is doing a fiery dance on the waves. moonlight reflects on the black depths appearing like slivers of sliver dashing against each other in a languid mating sequence. magical fireworks inside the bay's belly. where the ocean is not lit by the moon, it appears raven winged in flight.
there's a single soul squatting near the water's edge, motionless, gazing into the distance. we seat ourselves on one of the catamarans behind the man so as to not disturb his meditative pose.
there are two men standing a little away from us wearing jeans and loose shirts directing their actions and attention to a small handset flashing an sms. upon reading it the men display immense amusement and guffaw intensely. we are joined by two more men in the boat behind us, locals in lungis and faded shirts, sitting crouched and conversing loudly.
we sit in zen like silence and listen to the symphony of the sea, never missing a beat as it roars, rises, recedes and falls with a sweeping shhhh. the man, squatting awfully close to the ocean's entrance now lifts himself and pulls up his trousers, which we had missed in the pale moonlight, bunched up around his ankles. shit happens. he walks away oblivious to us and the others around.
the men in the boat are joined by a third, with a bare hard sun-burnt chest.he jumps in and starts beating up the older of the two and then the whacks the other, who screams," what i have done," in tamil. the bare torsoed man unhands him and starts to focus all his attention on the older man. his hard hands land squarely across the other's face, thock, thock, thock. he then holds him by the collar and bangs his head on the wooden surface of the boat, repeatedly, till he tries standing up, uttering a soft cry of sheer anguish. macho-man resumes the fisting, one blow on older-man's jaw lands with such brute power that he's knocked off the boat. as he tries to flee the scene he's met with the machismo dripping stranger's knee smack in the middle of his chest.
we move away as the victim runs towards our boat and watch from one of the restaurants called sea-side(the owner must be a whiz with words). the backpackers are knifing and forking away their sea-chow unmindful of the bloody action a few metres away. the children continue chasing each other, shouting joyfully and brimming with enthusiasm. the two jean clad men are trying to get the phone to work after it has been dropped into the water after a suprisingly big wave doused them with a salt-shower.
we are hand in hand as we watch the two black silhouettes against the foaming waves, two figures, one riding the other,they could be easily mistaken for amorous lovers who overcome with passion started making love on finding a secluded boat.
as we walk away, i look back one last time to see a strong hand lift a comatose head high and then drop it down with a loud thud. the symphony of the sea, however remains unaltered. the shore temple in the distance, is standing proud on its high embankment, gazing,stone cold


Monday, September 20, 2004

i wait
for words
to spill out
like freshly minted coins
whirring and taking wing
lacerate unpalatable hearts and heads
soothing balm to a sagging soul
squeezed out like psychedelic colours
from a maverick rainbow
mercurial unfettered beacon
bleeding pearls on a sunless sorrowful landscape


Sunday, September 19, 2004

ACJ revisited
Vineeth, Neo and I headed past the light-house, the Marina swollen with enthusiasts braving the hot sun, slurping on ice-cream and raw mangoes. Once on Wallajah road, the familarity of Triplicane police station to the right and the row of fancy stores to the left has my heart jump in anticipation.I have rubbed rubber on this road a thousand times before, but this time it's different. Once inside the campus, we proceed diffident and docile to find Yolanda offering us a weak smile. Weak because I half expect her to spring out of her seat and start clapping her hands in obvious delight. We engage in polite conversation, she informs us quickly that none of the faculty are in today, it being Ganesha festival and all. She glances at the clock, she has twenty minutes before she can head back home. Understandable that.
I go over to the notice board, a new list of 87 names, names without faces and conversations attached to them. ACJ, feels like a home coming after a long journey and finding a stranger stretched on your favourite sofa and swapping channels. Enter the second floor loo, the pungent stench of phenol and fresh pee swamps my nose. Some things never change.
The library now, Neo, Vineeth and me head out in different directions, they want a look-in on their dissertations, I wander to the newspapers. "Hi, come here," two men in left-hand corner of the library beckon. "Are you an old student,"
"Yeah, I am,"
"Shhhhhhhh" I suddenly realise the library is deathly quiet and everybody is buried in their books. They then ask questions about my job, designation, salary, faculty, assignments, dissertation and the like. I answer nonchalantly, now since I am a bona fide journo and not some sales person who's had a quarter-life crisis with an ambition to be a journo. Yessir I even have a card and a pay check to prove it. I point to Neo and tell them," He's the one, has answers to all your questions, all the best,"
There's a crowd around Neo, he's a legend already, there are talks about not wanting to wash hands after they have shaken Neo's. A quick smoke at cancer corner ensues, we hear this story about how this girl and her buds got their wallets stolen in Pondi.
We head back with no tale to tell.


Friday, September 17, 2004

he traverses the bowels of the night
aiming the black steed through the eye of the storm
lightning burning a silver path
through green-grey marshes and withered foliage
she waits for the sound of her highwayman's hooves
where's the chorus for this song?
kaleidoscopic flurry of three headed stars
heaven unbuttons her soul
overbuzz drunken fireflies gathering helium baloons
birthday bash, fairies, bridge across a God's abode

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