Mad Ravings Part II (April '13)

"Mr. K, stop humping the kitchen door. You're drunk! Get your drink and sit down." J blurted out, falling sideways on the couch, laughing hysterically.

     "Fuck you! I'm not drunk, yet. I'm doing the Harlem Shake, bozo." K replied, finishing his drink. "Hey, will somebody please turn up the music?" He continued. I moved over to the music player, studied the controls for a while and moved my fingers over the right  switches. I made sure that the music was loud enough to wake up the neighbours. A gathering is never complete without inviting some trouble, I thought. 

      "I need a refill." K continued "Please, everybody, don't be pussies, huh. C'mon, do the shake with me. 
Hey, We'll make a video. Just cover your faces with your shirts and shake! shake!! shake!!!"

      "Alright!" everybody raised and clicked their glasses. "Cheers" they said. None moved. 

     There were endless rounds of chicken nuggets, fried fish and fumes. And as the evening grew darker, so did the conversations. "I'm a Buddhist. I QUESTION EVERYTHING." The guy in the blue shirt started. "I don't know God. But it is my duty to question his world." And then he turned to me "What about you? Do you believe in God?"  It was a rhetorical question but I decided to answer him anyway. 
"I believe in God like I believe in everything else. Nothing special. It is subject to change." 
"You're quite the strange one, huh."
"Thank you."

      "Hell, away with you philosophies. Hey Ben, put the music back on, will ya?" K called out, made his way back to the middle of the hall and started dancing again. "Hey, have you guys heard that joke... the one about the Gods, Britney Spears and Shakira?"
"No. Let's hear it, my man." I answered. 
"So, the Gods got bored of their wives, and so invited Britney Spears and Shakira to Heaven..." he went on. The music dissolved in the background. 

      The girls walked in at around half past ten. "Hello boys! We've got cake. Let's celebrate!"
My friend, old boy Terry, came out from the kitchen, excited.
"Holy shit! Why are you all dressed up for?"
"I wanted to look nice. Is that a crime." 
"No. no. You look beautiful. Like a princess." He helped her with the cake. 
We set the table and everyone refilled their glasses. There were around fourteen people in the room. Half of them were strangers to me. But I was not bothered. The night was still so young. 

     Not long after, the room broke up into little groups; private conversations grew louder with every passing minute. The guy in the blue shirt loved to argue. He was the loudest too. But from time to time, he would pause, finish his drink and recite a haiku. We all laughed and praised him heartily. The others were occupied catching up on old stories; contemplating the good old days. Before midnight, the gathering had turned into a school re-union. 

     "I'm gonna sit next to Ben." Princess pulled a chair next to me. "You guys keep talking about those wasted days. Damn."
"Hi, again." I moved aside a little and made room for her chair.
"What's wrong, Ben? You look depressed." 
"Yeah? I'm just tired. Didn't really sleep well yesterday. Actually, I didn't sleep at all. I was at a friend's birthday party. It went on till 5 in the morning. You know how those things turn out. Don't you?"
"Hah, right." she laughed "Seems like we can't really talk with these guys tonight. They're reminiscing the old days. Good for them. But I wasn't in their school and neither were you."

      "Yeah. We're both outsiders tonight. Cheers!"

Something like Olivia... the music played on.



You ain't goin' nowhere.



Another one for April. Thank you Nabokov, Kubrick... and, of course, Sue darling.


The Swedish Sphinx

Where and how should I begin? The only way to understand Garbo is to invoke the muses... all nine of them. And I fear that too won't be enough to comprehend this cryptic sibyl. She is Queen Christina, she is Anna Karenina, Mata Hari, the Wild Orchid, the Divine, the Temptress and above all the Mysterious. Ill-fated and melancholic, always, she tries to hide her feelings behind her chalkwhite Chaplin-esque mask, but her eyes never lie... it all comes screaming out; blue captured in black. Her voice too is lost in silence but she never lies. And I love her. 

A sketch of Greta Garbo I did earlier this year.


For Its Existence

And within the grave there is no pleasure, for the
blindworm battens on the root,
And Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree of
Passion bears no fruit.

— Oscar Wilde, Bittersweet Love


Mad Ravings Part I (Summer of '96)

I was five… and madly in love. Just the other day I had dragged myself into a fierce engagement with some other kids. A few days later, diplomacy failed and we got into a fight. We were after the same girl - little Miss M.

     One day, not long after the incident, mom drove me to school. I was reluctant to go inside, and I persistently pleaded my mother to take me back home with her. I was in no mood for school that day. Mother said “No” but I kept pushing on. Then, I saw M. on the balcony with some friends and I was seized by a sudden urge to stay back. “OK, OK!  I’ll go inside the foolish class” I told her, “please don’t forget to pick me up at Eleven. Bye!” I went inside.

     M. and myself were not in the same class. Her classroom was on the first floor; the last one on the right wing, looking out to the road leading to the city. Mine was on the main block, on the ground level, four rooms from the principal’s office. Many a times was I taken there for my little innocent mischiefs, which I boldly committed from time to time. Back then, I was sort of a rebel with a cause character. The teachers’ would loose control and drag me to the principal’s office for counselling. Fortunately, the Principal happened to be a very good friend of my father, and was a real gentleman. He would dismiss the teacher and then hand me a bar of Kit-Kat, some blank papers and his personal roller ball point pen (always red). I would then sit on one of the cushioned chairs in his office and draw mad drawings while he flipped through his office files and made phone calls. I missed a lot of classes in this fashion. It was glorious.

     That fateful morning, after my mother dropped me off, I wanted to go say “Hi” to M., and so, slowly I started towards the stairs, ascending cautiously, one step at a time, fingers dragging along the wall. Suddenly, the morning bell went off, and I found myself facing a landslide of kindergarten children, all plump, with chubby cheeks glistening in the morning sun, mad and roaring in a hurry to get to the court to assemble for the morning announcements. It was utter chaos. Confusion everywhere. I was angry, but most of all I was heart-broken. She had disappeared with the crowd. Disappointed and defeated, I blasphemed and joined the crowd.

     Back in class, Miss S., after having taken the attendance, made us sing a couple of songs (nursery rhymes actually). I hardly sang as I was not the mood. My mind was made up; I was determined to meet little Miss M. that day anyhow. I told the boy sitting next to me to move aside and let me through, which I cleverly condensed into two words: “GET OUT.” He obliged, and soon, I, after having conquered the aisle, walked over to Miss S.

“You’d have to excuse me Miss S. but I have to go meet someone upstairs. Her name is M. Its important.”
“What? You can’t go out now. You’re in class!”
“I must. I must.”
“NO,” she put it firmly at last. Plain and simple.

      She was stubborn just like me, but my mind was electric that particular morning. I had to come up with some sort of a plan. "If she wins" I told myself "I’ll look like a fool in front of the whole class." Then the thought of fighting her to the death for my freedom crossed my mind a couple of times, and I looked at her once more - she was big and I was puny. But boy, I was ready to do anything that day, and so I threatened her with everything I had.

“If you don’t allow me to go, I’ll start crying!”
“NO! You can’t go out. And you can’t cry.”

     It was then that I let all Hell loose. I cried…and when she said “stop” I cried louder. And as the crescendo of my own passion rose, I shuffled and banged my feet hard on the floor. This went on for a good couple of minutes, then, I don’t know exactly what happened to her; maybe she took pity on me, maybe her nerves were shot, or maybe, just maybe, she was moved. After all, this was a grand love story (mind you, the year was ’96, before TITANIC came out.)

“OK! OK! OK! I’ll take you to her myself” she submitted, finally.
     Two minutes later we were ascending the stairs. Miss S. was holding my right hand; with my left I was drying my tears. “He wants to meet little Miss M.” she told the other teacher, having reached. She called out and a shy M. treaded slowly  towards us. “She’s here” Miss S. stared at me. M. held out her tiny hand, and I, barely recovered from my earlier emotional breakdown, shook her hand in a very business-like manner. It was a timeless, spaceless moment. Then, my heart conspired against me. I let go off her hand, embraced her and vehemently kissed her right cheek. Everyone gasped.

“See, I’m here” I told her. She smiled.


I don’t remember much of what unfolded afterwards, but I do believe that I ended up in the principal’s office. I also believe that I became the hero of the local kindergarten love story in the school staff room. 
     As for me and M., it was the beginning and the end of our little love story. I have no memory, whatsoever, of any incident involving me and M. indulging in questionable activity. But I did meet her again, nine years later. I recognized her immediately; she had a rare hair color. We talked a couple of times, as strangers, and I never once reminded her of our little moment in history. Her visage visits me sometimes, and even after all these years I still smile at the memory of walking up to her, confronting obstacles in retarded ways. She doesn't know, but I’m victimized by acute heart burns... every August.



I coughed up a river of blood last night,
and I didn't even care.
I see my dawn coming. 


Join Me For Dinner?

I have to admit, I'm getting better in the kitchen. Hah. 



12:22 am
the rich darkness is exquisite
the silence is unbearable.



Wrapped in rags of love
you pass through broken hallways
looking for a crack in the wall.