Resolutions or something of that nature…

Year X, Day 1, New Beginning Resolution Number: Infinity. The morning is bright- cheerful music, blue sky, golden sunlight– but it hardly enters our angled rooms. The sunlight, that is. The music pushes in through wood and brick and cement, making you feel like the accidental guest who has not been invited to the party. What are resolutions worth? For years I’ve been making and failing them, but sometimes I wonder if I fail them on purpose. Say we fulfill all our dreams and resolutions, what after that? ‘A man saw a bird and wanted to paint it. The problem, if there was one, was simply a problem with the question. Why paint a bird? Why do anything at all? Not how, because hows are easy- series or sequence, one foot after the other—but existentially why bother, what does it solve?’* And yes indeed, why do anything? Why sing, make art, bleed into canvas and paper? Why get out of bed every morning, commit to a daily commute, the crowd of office hours, ten million excel sheets- for food on …

Stocktaking: The Year that Was

I watched the starlings perch on a swaying stalk of long grass as the wind gushed about and thought, perhaps little birds need their share of adventure too. And when flying is one’s natural state of being, perhaps even the sky seems to be nothing more than an overworked old map. For don’t we all come from infinite source, seeking infinite experiences in finite things? And so the clock ticks, and the earth rolls, and another year comes to an end.

Things I’ve done for the first time in 2018:
Presented papers at two academic conferences. And it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought that would be, although, let’s be honest, it’s a little disconcerting to be talking to a room full of people while pretending you know exactly what you’re talking about. I think I did okay.
Participated in a poetry-reading. I didn’t read it as well as I had hoped to (see point above regarding a room full of people staring at you), but considering I hadn’t thought of myself as a poet for some years before I accident…

Nightmares and Meandering Thoughts

First of all, apologies for the long absence. Also, I know I promised a surprise, and I was supposed to host a writer-friend who was going to talk about his new novel, but I went on vacation, and then he went on vacation and somehow it didn’t sort of work out. To make up for it, here are not one but two whole disjointed rambles. Do let me know what you think in the comments and share if you like them.
1Last night I dreamt I was in school, going to class to learn calculus and having a generally miserable time of it. I keep having some variation of this dream at long intervals, usually at times when I am stressed or worried or sad- dreams where I go to class and the teacher has covered so many chapters of the math book that I have never studied and have no clue how to answer in the exam and then it takes me a while on waking up to remember that I didn’t in fact need to sit for that exam again. And so it was last night, except in the dream I made a very definite decision of quitting somet…

Dream Diary

My dreams weave in and out of train stations, crossing perilous oceans on un-navigated ships- always an anxious waiting for arrival, never reaching- promises of fabulous cities drifting away in meandering mazes or wrecked vessels, like that omnipresent thirst as cups of tea become as elusive of the alchemist’s secret formula cooked in holy chalices and old faces masking mine warble incoherent delirium that I cannot translate though they always speak languages I know in my dreams. And I wake from dreams where I am a drifting castaway in an island being dug all over by an army of automaton Man Fridays for treasure far more potent than Defoe could have imagined, the treasure forever slipping my grasp, with only a lingering sense of terror that I carry over to my Duolingo lessons.
Je suis une femme. La pomme es rouge. There is such comfort in the familiar stability of these words. It is easy to learn a language as a child, for the child’s world is still whole and solid and untainted by the…

The Validity of Perception

Last week, someone I knew on Facebook posted a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

It was one I had seen before- did I mention I was a big Calvin & Hobbes fan?- and shared with my academic friends, sort of as a light-hearted in-joke- a nostalgic reminder of our experiences as clueless students trying to hand in assignments within looming deadlines. As one classmate very memorably said on encountering a discomfiting question- “What’s the point of studying literature for all these years if you can’t use the language to fib and improvise?” Strangely enough, I had never seen this joke as a specifically literary one, but found its humour revolving around the fact that Calvin didn’t actually know anything substantial to say about the subject. As a teacher one knows that the less a student has studied, the more likely she is to “inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning” and write longer and more convoluted sentences. However, my Facebook friend graced this little strip with a caption, and it w…

The Friendship Day Post

I left a little bit of me at every place, A little broken trust, a little broken heart, A little bit of not loving myself.
I found a little bit of me in all of you, A bit of spite, the good despite, A little bit of old me replaced anew.
I left a little bit of me in your songs, A tattered toy, a dash of joy, A little story retold winded long.
I found a little bit of me in your love, A stronger voice, a truer choice, A little light along the road as we evolve.
How do you make friends? You are thrown together to sit at a table at 4 or 5 by your Kindergarten teacher. You run into each other during afternoon play because you happen to live in the same neighbourhood. At that age, that’s all that matters. You don’t think of big words like wavelength and frequency, because you don’t know your own frequency yet, and you can only like or dislike from amongst what you are given. When I try to recollect my earliest friendships, I cannot recall any great surge of emotions – affection or otherwise, just a des…

To Those Who Wander...

Some people live in the past. Some people live in the future. I fall into the second category. For as long as I can remember, I have survived the present by weaving stories about the future in my head, without knowing anything concrete about the path to those stories. And the futures became present and the stories never materialized and I moved on to newer stories, newer futures.

But this future that engrossed me was always of the airy variety- not the practical future of- if I practice X sums a day for Y number of days I will finish a chapter in my math book, or if I write points a, b, c in this order I will have a coherent paragraph. When I was in school, my mother would complain about my habit of always crossing out the first sentences of any essay I wrote.
“Why can’t you plan first and then begin writing?”
But I could not begin to think till I was in the middle of the business, neck-deep into a sea of scratched out words and by then, the thoughts had begun to take a life of their…