Showing posts from 2017

2017: Year in Review

On the first day of 2017, I woke up at my friend's house, on the bed that we had turned into a fort with bed-sheets and blankets and fairylights, after what was my first ever New Year's Eve Special Sleepover. It was the first time I had done anything different apart from watching and geting bored with the same people singing and dancing on television to usher in a new year. I woke up beside my bestfriends, teasing each other and hugging each other and making promises to begin every new year the same way- well, one of those idiots is sitting in America right now and the other one is too busy studying for an exam to meet me but that doesn't stop her from baking enticing cakes and posting pictures of them on WhatsApp- I'm sure gonna remember this. And on my own part, I just returned from a trip today after a long overnight train journey so I am definitely not going to any parties tonight. But the point here, I began this year in a manner markedly different from previous …

Rounded with a Sleep

You know how kids think sometimes that movies are real? When I was a kid, I didn't think so. I even knew actors' names (learned from my mother) and understood that they played different roles in different stories. But I didn't know how movies were made, and thought that they ran in real time. And so I thought, I thought... that perhaps the life I knew- with parents, friends and school and vacations was a movie that somebody else was watching the same way we watched those black and white classics on the family television set on Sunday afternoons, and that someday the movie would end and I would discover that I wasn't who I thought I was, but somebody else. And how strange and exciting would it be to discover that it was all make-believe, that I was someone else, from somewhere else. 
Sometimes I think that I'm still waiting to discover who I really am.
I recall no dream but broken images of imagined conversations melting away into a void of disquiet- familiar places turni…

Of memories and farewells

Every joy brings with it its own sorrow, every beginning- an inevitable end. And there is bereavement in every ending, no matter how longed for. We walk, from day to day, goal to goal, life to death, and for what? Only to hope, to long, to desire, to dream, for what else is there to keep us going? And our hopes fail, shattering our hearts, and we pick up the pieces and hope for miracles. Again. The lines you see on my face, and under my eyes are where I glued the fragments of my unspoken dreams, so many times that I lost count. And we keep walking, and hoping, and sometimes our wishes come true, and our wildest dreams are fulfilled, and there is so much joy in my share that I will never be able to take it all in, say all my words, sing all my songs. So I soak in the warmth as the stories get overlapped and the faces get blurred. And I don’t even know how the time has flown. And then it’s time to go home. There is a charm about winter afternoons, like a thin film of invisible glass that…

Running from the Zombies

For a while, I’ve been wondering Just what would happen if I just took off? Without explaining, planning, packing or making reservations… And I would fly on the wings of drunken dreams Full of half-remembered DIYs on how to survive The zombie apocalypse. But I’ve been a little late to start And already I can feel the odour of rot But they say in the kingdom of the Moon One can be healed. So, I had this dream last night where the enemy was attacking using a zombie front and there were rather detailed, stepwise directions on dealing with it, but of course I don’t remember any of it, so don't look to me for help when it happens. But I think the reason why zombies go for brains is because at some deep level that they can’t access, they must be raging because they can’t have thoughts of their own. To be not able to think or feel, to be left with the empty husk of yourself with absolutely NOTHING inside, that is a terrible curse, one that we all fear. Isn’t that why we try to fill our heads with …

Silence, peace and other demons

And just like that, summer ends, and winter creeps in, stealthily, and the air around you is suddenly a little heavier, making breathing difficult as the clock-hands hammer away their way to yet another tired planet’s weary turn around a star. Quite an average-sized star in the sidelines of just another weary galaxy.
And all you want is to be somewhere else, be someone else, be some non-sentient being that doesn’t mind being devoured as the monster of silence parts the thinning air in its gaping yawn and leaves you just whole enough to know your own deadness. And you want to turn on the television, even that inanity could fill up some space, perhaps shatter the silent screaming inside your head, but you have no energy left for all that malicious slander seeping even more poison into your soul. And the airwaves, tired of being unused just leave you to gasp on your own. 
Take me somewhere else on the wings of nightingale song. Let the magic casements open and the faery be rediscovered.
If …

Lyric Post 3

Original Song Lyrics ©Ruchira Mandal

~ Once upon a death
When the sun has set for the final time The stars will long be gone The moon will be a vacant husk But my light will still be on For us to find each other Though the road be long And in the twilight of the world I’ll sing to you my song.
And though the light be dying The birds they still be flying In search of another sky where the sun will still be warm.
And we will wish, you and I That we had our wings as well But we lost them in our youth When we flew too high and fell. But I remember the wind and light And won’t have it any other way Every tale must come to an end And we’ve had our day.
And though the light be dying The birds they still be flying In search of a galaxy where love will still be true.
And perhaps they will take our song Somewhere the sun still shines And it matters not that we breathe our last For each love is yours and mine. And when the moonlight glows afar On stranger lips that kiss, You and I will live again In the wonder and the bliss.


Silver Linings

These days, more and more, I oscillate between the need for solitude, and the longing for companionship, searching for a place where happiness truly resides. On some days, the silence in a crowded room fills me with an odd tension, a fear, if you like, and I want to fill it up with laughter, with kisses, with the sound of television, with words. On other days, the sound of other voices push against the walls of my invisible bubble, demanding that I listen, interpret, understand. And sometimes, I don’t want to understand. Sometimes, I don’t want to listen. And my castle of happiness, built of the thinnest, brightest cards of glass topples before the winds of life. I don’t claim to be an unhappy person. I smile at friends, laugh at their jokes, love my family, savour my food, marvel at the beauty the world has to offer and enjoy the everyday platter of joy that makes our one constant, inescapable journey bearable. But sometimes on a bright, carefree day, a sudden thought like a serpent s…

The Hike

Hiking in the mountains is a strange feeling. You are absolutely focused on moving onward, reaching the destination, and so all your energy and all your concentration is spent on putting one step after the other. And then suddenly you stop to catch a breath and you realize how quiet everything is. And you are blown away by the beauty of the world and the stark loneliness of your place in it. It is not such a bad thing, this discovery that you are alone on your hike, for you feel suddenly, acutely- a connection with the world, and the marvel that is your existence in it. And you have this profound realization of being detached from the everyday familiarities of regular living. You breathe. You let the beauty sink in. You listen to the silence as you search for words and find none are needed. But then you notice the sky, and it is about to rain, and you have forgotten your umbrella. And you need to get back to shelter.
It’s a bit like life, really.

Somehow, heights always remind us of th…

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere

Give me a little world to win.  That’s all I ask. One world to be applauded in, one world to be loved and adored and admired and feared. Just a little world that falls at my feet and stares at me with awe. And maybe then I shall have my answers. The Answer. To whatever question we are all supposed to be asking. There has to be some kind of purpose to all this, right? And when I have had my world and found it empty and when I have had all the applause and it’s all the same and I want more more more more of what I have no idea, give me a little world to smash and break. And may be who I think I am is not really me but an imposter and the things I hide in the dark even from the incoherence of slumber are the truths and maybe someday if I go mad the shadow will take control and there will be no more needs and no more questions and no more search for purpose. What if we all let the Shadow take over? Then there would be no more anguish. But love is our great weakness, our great downfall. It dr…

The Keeper of Books

The portal system broke down at 37 Hours Oneirian Standard Time. The robotic repair team had gone down years ago. Only MXNL8, his assistant robot that he named Manolin stirred feebly at times. His battery was way below optimum, and the charging consoles didn’t work anymore.   The old man logged into the catalogue- the one that he had painstakingly prepared over three decades, with only Manolin by his side. The catalogue listed 137996487500 books, searchable by planet, year, subject, author, title and genre. The screen flickered and went blank. The old man sighed. They were only machines, after all. There were supposed to be technical servicing teams and auditing teams and supply ships from the Galactic Capital every fifty years. There was supposed to be a team of sentient staff working under him once the catalogue once done. He was to have vacations while they took charge. That was eighty-four years ago. No one came. No one visited. No readers, no government officials. Well, he should h…

The Emporium of Broken Dreams

Hidden in a corner of the busy market street was a little store where nobody ever went in. It's entrance was hidden by a moth-eaten curtain that smelled of decay. Nobody knew who the owner was, nobody had ever seen him. As a matter of fact, there were so many other interesting shopsin that street that nobody ever bothered about this odd little thing- shops selling the richest carpets from Persia, lovely bright trinkets that shone like sunlight on the ripples of a fast-rushing river, mirrors that were framed by the most intricate craftsmanship, rich garments in every possible hue under the sun, and then some more, aromatic spices and wine. It was the most famous market street in the world, and merchants from every country brought their wares there. The street was never quiet. Proprieters vied with each other as they hawked their wares to the customers, balladeers strummed their harps in the hope of a meal, beggars wailed their sorry tales to the passers-by, and amidst all this, th…

On returning from a break

Hello people! Haven't been here for two weeks, written nothing either because with a packed vacation schedule you barely have time to think or be alone and now I have no idea wat to write. Ugh! I hate this part where you have to pick up the momentum after a break. So here goes- I'll just be thinking out aloud and hope something coherent comes out of the ramble. I might also be a little jetlagged and going crazy from the all the lovely cracker-bombs which ensured I couldn't hear my own voice when I sat down with my harmonium (another thing to pick up after the break) so I'm not entirely sure I can hear myself think. What could go wrong? Let's begin.

First off, these people with so much anger about what other people wear or eat or who they love or sleep with- I would like to ask why? Who's stopping you from dressing up like an gauze-wrapped mummy, or any other way you want, sir? What are you afraid of? Being alone? Not fitting on? Are your clothes or your food a…


I don't particularly like these, but they got written, so...
Original Song Lyrics ©Ruchira Mandal

The Road I stayed up all night, started at five For the road was long and dark But my pack was light and my hopes were high When I started on my walk.
And you know that I loved you I was true when I kissed you And you know that I’ll never look back.
I stopped at a crossroad, the people were friendly And my legs had begun to ache Got used to the warm bed and the meal that came timely And before I knew I was caught.
And you know that I loved you I was true when I kissed you And you know that I’ll never look back . The walk got lonely, the air got cold, The path got high and steep I posed to be strong and brave and bold For the fall was way too deep.
And I know that you loved me You were true when you kissed me And may be one day I’ll come back.

Broken I wish I could recall The memories of the rain But all that I have Are the damp and the pain.
And what is the weight of emptiness, you ask? Enough to crush your soul b…

Festive Times

To many more years of clashing dates and running late, of torn shoe straps and dreaded traffic traps, pink dresses and letdown tresses, missing friends and catching trends: I raise a margarita with a straw!

We were in class 11 when we started going out pandalhopping together. The first year, I wasn't in the city during Durga Pujo, so my turn came next year, when we were in class 12. I remember the frenzied planning involved- renting a car, chipping in the money, deciding a place to eat (and eventually not finding seats there), picking the outfits and so on. I remember trying to apply nail polish the day before and making a mess and frantically calling up friends (on the landline) for help. I remember people losing their ways on the perfectly straight road between Carmel High and JU Gate 4. And I remember the miles and miles of walking, in spite of the car, and getting foot sore from all the new fancy shoes and having to shop for bandaid in between pandals. I remember the group-hun…