Friday, 24 December 2010
Actually, you know what? I take that back. Whatever brings me back to writing, I guess. There may be a short interval as I shall be off in the town of getting laid often (without getting any, if I may add). To that end, this blog will now see you in the new year.
At that point, we shall look back at the dismal 34 posts that this year has seen, and attempt to top that number before the first three months are out.
Wait, don't look now, but I think I just made a plan, there.
Anyhoo. G'morning, folks. See you in the new.
(Points to people who guess the place I'm going to without already knowing. You have won your freedom, yo.)
I'm not cut deep enough, yet.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
I watch myself burn,
and it makes me smile.
But I know, very soon,
the emptiness inside
The demon blog-eater was going to snatch this one up. I decided against it. And clearly, I'm back to my bad-poetry self. Whoopee! Does this mark the return of jhayu the blogger? We shall soon see.
Monday, 20 December 2010
They grieved for him silently for the most part, once the initial shock wore off. Each in their own way. Slowly, as the news spread, people trickled in. At first, it was just family and close friends, then in large groups, acquaintances, old flames, college classmates. So many people remembered him; a kind word, a helping hand.
The memorial was beautiful. Some were weeping, but only silently. Everyone remembered and tried to respect his well-known wish: Smile at my funeral. Dozens of them spoke, telling of how he touched their lives, selflessly. Made them realise what it was they wanted to do with their lives. How his smile had moved them all so deeply. How he’d always been laughing, always trying to make everyone smile.
Towards the end of the ceremony, just as people were about to leave, his lawyers walked in. Said they needed everyone, just about everyone to stay. Apparently, he’d left a message for them all. A video tape, with the explicit instructions that it be shown to everyone who came.
A large television set was arranged for, and the tape pushed into the VCR. An expectant crowd leaned forwards; some anticipating a reading of his will, wondering what he’d left them; others simply curious to know what he could have known he wanted to say to them even before his death.
Static. Then a hand moving away from the screen as the camera was turned on. And there he was, sitting on a simple chair, smiling calmly like he always had. To many, it seemed at the time as if the dreaded event had never happened, as if he were just somewhere else, talking to them all via video conference or something. And then he started talking.
If you’re seeing this, I’m dead. Heh. I’ve always wanted to say that. I hope you idiots aren’t all dressed in black, weeping around an open coffin draped in flowers. I sure as shit hope to God not.Static.
Now, some of you are expecting me to start reading out which of my ample worldly possessions go to whom, and I’ve got a good feeling I know who you all are, too. Well, tough shit. My lawyers will do that in private, later. But I respect the fact that you’re here, eagerly listening, sitting at the edges of your seats, barely able to conceal your greed behind what is now your rapidly fading glee.
No, that’s not what this tape is for. This tape is so that those of you that have the wrong impression of me get the story straight. I know some of you would have eulogised me, said lovely things about me. Mary, I bet you told everyone the story of how we met. And Paul, how we built that treehouse one summer and I taught you how to hammer a nail in straight. I bet you all said how you really enjoyed all my annoying habits and that as you now realise, much too late, that’s the reason you loved me.
Well, this message is for all of you so that the record’s set straight. I hate myself. I always have. I couldn’t stand my guts and I don’t know how you idiots did. Mary, I cheated on you. Thrice. Once with your sister. I’ve done things that would make you people look back at me and ask yourselves if you ever knew me at all.
And the answer is no. You didn’t. No one did. And that’s why you liked me. And that’s why I hated myself. Because I knew me. And that’s why I’m in that coffin. You cannot imagine the relief I’m feeling as I tell you this. Good bye, and good riddance.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
They're there, at my door, every morning, in their pink and blue suits and large, yellow-rimmed sunglasses. I never understood the sunglasses; it's only about 7:30 in the morning. I think they have microcamera screens on the lenses to help them see the fragments of dreams hanging in the air around us. Did you know pink and blue are relaxing colours in the morning? The State told us. They saw it in our dreams.
Ever since Executive Decision 47065B, our dreams are property of The State. They're collected so that The State knows what the people hope and dream for and can give it to us. That's what all the campaign commercials said. So yeah, they give the people what they really, truly want. And they'd know, right? They have the only copies of our dreams.
They come in your door, bright and early; right after you wake up. I guess they have advanced sensors that tell them when we've gotten out of bed. The Dreamcatcher Wands don't hurt. They wave them through the air around our heads, and the blinking blue lights help us relax while they suck the few remaining shards of dreams out of our peripheral memory. The State tells us that The Wands are like vaccuum cleaners for our brains. Just as safe, too.
Don't tell anyone this, but I don't trust The State. That's why I have this plan, see? I've figured a way to get around The Dreamcatchers. And they'll never find out.
You see, I have a dream diary.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
He was the first – perhaps the only one – of his kind. Your own personalised storyteller. I know what you’re thinking; anyone can read you a story. Few can even make one up as they go along.
But he was different. He’d spend time with you. Days, weeks, months. Whatever it took to get to know you. To become your best friend. Until then, he’d be a fount of information, effortlessly holding his own in any conversation. Drawing out your likes, your dislikes, your preferences. And then one day, when he was ready, the stories would begin.
Fantastic stories. Stories you could never have imagined, stories you’d never hear, others you’d encounter later in life. Stories about life and love and dragons and oceans, serpents and fairies. Everything your heart desired, everything you needed to hear. New stories, made-up stories, stories as old as the world. Every day, he’d take you through stories, mixing them up so they’d be just right for you. Leaving out the bits you’d hate, adding in things you’d love. Things that drove you wild and set your mind on fire. Some days, he’d tell you only half a story, leaving you aching, begging to know how it ended. And then just when you’re losing your mind, wondering what happens next, he’d finish it for you.
And sometimes, just sometimes, when he felt it really necessary, when he was sure it was something you couldn’t deal with, he’d change the endings to suit you.
I’ve had this post in my head for the longest time. This one’s for you, anna. Someday, I hope you will know how much I looked up to you then, and how much I think of you now.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
And in the depths of the city, beyond an old zone of ruined buildings that looked like broken hearts, there lived... the storyteller Rashid Khalifa. ...he was Rashid the Ocean of Notions... the Shah of Blah.
Then the thing happened. The Unthinkable Thing. Rashid went out on to the stage in front of that vast jungle of a crowd, and Haroun watched from the wings - and the poor storyteller opened his mouth, and the crowd squealed in excitement - and now Rashid Khalifa, standing there with his mouth hanging open, found that it was as empty as his heart.
I've lost my words. Until I find them again.
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Just tell us where you're going, how you'll travel, who you're meeting and what you're going to be doing.
We'll call an hour later and ask where you are, what you're doing then, what you did, what you ate, if you had any alcohol, when you're coming, how you'll come and how long it'll take for you to travel.
Okay? Good boy."
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Dark as unpolished onyx, she loomed over me, her features seeming to harden even further as she scrutinized me. I placed her at over 40 cycles, but with her kind, it's hard to tell.
She flitted gracelessly to the counter, rummaging through her supplies. Returning with what she needed, she began buzzing her instructions at me. And when her chitinous flesh came into contact with the skin on my forearm, the most surprising thing was that it was cold.
Sticking in the needle and drawing the blood only took about five seconds. She was good at her job, I'll give her that.
But she was cold.
Monday, 23 August 2010
There are no words that adequately describe what I'm feeling for this man right about now.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
You want to rain down on me? Go right ahead. You want to fucking drench me, then you bloody well do it. I enjoy that shit.
But if you stop halfway and say, "Thanks, I'm done," one more time, I will break my foot off up in your ass.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
He sat down on a bench and took off the shoe. The sock was sticky at the big toe. Gingerly, he pulled it off to find a rather large hole at the end of his toe. Later, he remembered thinking how remarkably little blood there was for something of that sort.
He turned his foot around to get a better view. That's when he saw the maggot inside his toe, eating away at his flesh. He woke up screaming.
He could still feel it, inside his toe. Quickly, he pulled up his foot to check. Nothing. Sleep didn't come back to him for a very long time.
He felt it on the bus, going to college. Frantically, he pulled his shoe off to check again. Nothing. 'Get a grip,' he told himself, pulling his windcheater on and stepping into the rain.
Through three classes, he paid rapt attention, willing himself to concentrate on anything else. His friends found it odd that he was so quiet.
In his head, he was screaming.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
2. I like to eat a full meal. Ronald's food leaves me hungry half an hour later. This fact is simply horrific in light of point 1.
3. It has people that wave their heads and mouth the words to 'My Dil Goes Hmmm'.
But far more importantly,
4. It plays songs like 'My Dil Goes Hmmm'.
Monday, 2 August 2010
So understand my trepidation as I pick up Small Gods. And on the very first page, this happens:
Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.
The tortoise is a ground living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.
And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger.
And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap...
And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground, but five hundred feet from it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle.
And then the eagle lets go.
I'm sold, Terry.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
For another moment, she stared longingly out the window. Then head bent, she continued to sketch.
(Found this lying in my drafts since October 2008. It was practically finished.)
person with the best sense of humour
Saturday, 10 July 2010
I mean, what do I have to do? Just sit here? Look interested as these rich motherfuckers walk past once every hour or so?
What time is it? Fuck. Seven clusterfucking hours to go.
Yeah, I'm smiling at you, but I'm not going to put in the effort. Fuck you. And your prissy little car, too. Go fuck the tailpipe, jerk-off. The least the bunch of you twerps could have done was get me more than a little hut at the end of nowhere. The fuck do you expect me to do here, huh? I got two plastic chairs and a fucking phone that doesn't dial out.
What time is it? Aaargh! Five more hours of this shit. I swear I'm going to shoot someone.
Oh, fuck. Look at the legs on her. Walking around like a little slut. She knows exactly what she's doing to me, the little bitch. I see the way she glances at me and whispers to her little friends. No, you little cunt, I have eyes just for you. Yeah, walk away with that ass swaying at me just like that. Fuck yeah.
What time is it? Oh, yes.
Yay! The most exciting part of my fucked up job! There, it's closed. You feel all cozy and snug now? Not afraid anymore? Can you sleep now? Motherfucking pussies.
What time is it? Oh, fuck it.
Why's she out here at this time? Why's she looking at me like that? Why the fuck is she dressed like that? Oh, fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. She's calling me. She's fucking calling me! With one finger! Oh, I'm going to make you do things with that fucking finger, you tease! Yeah, go behind that wall there. Yeah. Sit on that ledge just like that. I like it out here in the dark. You do too, don't you, bitch? What's that noise? Shut up, bitch. Aaargh! What's that light?
Wha..? What time is it? What's that noise? Fuck.
Yeah, I'm coming. Hold on! Quit fucking honking, will you? There, it's open. No, wait! Stop! Which house, jackass? Oh, you're the secretary? Sorry, sir. Mohan, sir. Yes, sir. 9.30 am, sir.
What time is it?
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Nose blocked so bad you could barely breathe, keeping you up ALL of last night, check.
Said blocked nose deciding to run like a leaky tap this morning, check.
One snot-soaked handkerchief, check.
Cumulative lack of sleep over the past four days, check.
To-do list descending into the seventh circle of Hell, check.
Boy, it's going to be creamy buckets of awesomeness this week, isn't it?
Friday, 25 June 2010
Waiting for his bus, he bumped into Andy. Andy wore a simple shirt, trousers and a watery grin. They exchanged pleasantries, deciding when to catch up for drinks with the boys. And as their respective buses arrived, they went their separate ways.
Jack to his office, and Andy to college.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Dude, you HAVE to taste the cold coffee today. It’s awesome.
I take a long look at the glass mug with a straw sticking out of it.
Not. A. Chance. The colour is too light for the coffee to be strong. If it’s not strong, chances are it’s not good.
No, no! It’s bitter! Really good. Try it.
I take the mug and sip lightly. Savour the combination of flavours.
You idiot. The bitter taste in your ‘cold coffee’ is the juice that was last served in that mug.
I walk away as he sips the coffee again, disbelievingly.
And behind my back, I hear a groan as he realizes I’m right.
Friday was our last day at the Worli office. Where the average workday consisted of three parts talk, two parts gossip, one part serious work, one part PriyankaBalls (no, don’t ask me to explain) and about five parts elaborate pranks. A place of tropical canteens (see pic).
The wonderful place where an unrecognized, practically faceless team got a room to themselves. A room where we let the rest of the office be damned, and did what we liked. A room that we will sorely miss, seated in a row of cubicles.
On our last day, we sat in that room for over an hour, just talking. Not about work, not about anything in particular. And when it came time to leave, we dawdled. None of us realised how strongly we felt about that room till that minute.
I was looking at my phone as we walked out of the building for the last time. As I reached the gate, I got a wi-fi notification that broke my heart.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
''Kickboxing! Or sparring!'' he said excitedly. ''You can try taking me down.'' She disagreed. Said she didn't want him kicking the tar out her physically as well. Apparently, he did that enough verbally. It took three weeks of convincing. Very persuasive convincing, at that. Finally, as a compromise, she agreed to try it out once.
The kickboxing lasted exactly three minutes. They sparred every morning.
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Mom's modus operandi is simple. Yell 'Get up' / 'Utho' or some other derivative of the same in her loud, scary, kindergarten-teacher voice.
Unfortunately, this appeals to the eternally-eight-year-old in me. Yes, that stubborn, never-do-what-you're-told eight-year-old. And I stay under the sheets, stuff my head under a pillow, only to have her repeat the cycle till I groggily tumble out of bed.
Dad, on the other hand, comes and sits on the bed next to me. Gives me a back massage. While I'm still half asleep, he asks (and I'm sure he's perfectly aware this is the best time to get an answer out of me) what's happening with me.
And somewhere, completely casually, he'll slip in one of those scary questions; the kind that are hard-wired to set off alarm bells ringing in your head. Questions like 'How much money is in your bank account?' And suddenly, my eyes are wide open, my mind completely alert. Somehow, I deflect his question and shoo him away. But I'll be damned if I can go back to sleep after that.
I'm not sure which I prefer.
Saturday, 8 May 2010
And yet, there is something perversely beautiful about it.
Something in the way these filth-covered, bloodied, bruised beasts throw themselves at each other. Twisting, writhing. Lunging for the other's throat, looking to rip out the jugular. With every last fiber of their being.
And you could gather a crowd, throw stones, even beat them with sticks. But they will ignore you.
Because the fight isn't over till one of them is dead.
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Sometimes, the best way to take the edge off a week is simply to sit back with a book, an old CD you haven’t heard in a while and a well-iced beverage.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Excuse me. Sorry about that. Anyhoo, last night, I was in a bar, meeting The Shrew and The Little Lady. This particular watering hole, popular amongst The People, was playing the match, and most were in attendance on a Wednesday night just for this reason. As the evening wore on and the spirits began to settle well and truly in bloodstreams across the room, the spirits of some of these MI (I can't even stand to write the full name) supporters began to soar, and they to become more more vocal with their support. Every time those blasted MI batsmen managed to get the ball past the boundary line, they'd cheer. This was more than I could bear on a quiet evening out with friends. This. Was. The. Proverbial. Sparta.
In the calm before the storm that was to be the next ball, I yelled, "Come on Jumbo!" Two people, thus far hiding their faces in their beer mugs in corners of the bar, afraid to show their true colours, saw their leader and yelled their support for their new champion. Said bowler ambled up to the crease, swung his arm and let loose. A telepath in the room may have, at this point, passed out from the sheer weight of prayers for a boundary.
The ball sailed through the air, flighted. The batsman misread it and swung wildly, knocking the ball straight up in the sky. Having just issued my challenge, with the surge of adrenaline and testosterone still coursing through my veins, I raised my voice in an emphatic cheer, joined in by my two I'm-too-scared-to-stand-up-for-what-I-truly-believe-in-without-a-strong-leader-type-to-show-me-how supporters. The sphere was now on its descent, gracefully parting the air before it, heading straight for the waiting hands of one of the Non-MI kids on the field. Projecting all the confidence I could safely muster without busting every electrical fuse in that room, I crossed my fingers behind my back.
The boy caught it. As one, my heartless supporters and I turned around, cheering loudly. Inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things, but loud for the three of us, anyway. By the time we were finished, we turned to smile (read: gloat) at the crowd behind us. Only to find them grinning back at us. I faltered. Hesitantly, I turned back to the television. Only to see the umpire framed gloriously on screen, one arm held out beside him. And then they erupted. Jumping in their seats, their yells much louder than ours. Jeering, leering, hooting. Defeated, I turned back to my glass.
And I grinned. I don't care either way. But those people there, when they go home, or meet their friends, they have a story to tell.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
His chafed, soaked fingers looked like bright pink raisins, shining in the dim light.
But were they clean?
Thursday, 4 March 2010
The ad is so magnificently bad, I'm not even going to get into the asininity of the carpet running across what I presume is intended to be the four corners of the country. I'm not even going to say anything about the sheer fucking randomness of the carpet travelling all over the country and ending at one stadium where suddenly the team Captains appear with children waving their flags. I will ask just one question.
Why did the carpet lead from the Himalayas to a stadium, and if it did, did those poor kids have to run the entire length of it?
Fine, so that's technically two questions. Whatever.
And while we're talking ads, Have you seen these?
Update (08/03/2010): It's not even a friggin' original idea.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
I hope all is well with you,including your health, job etc ?. My name again is Corine. I am 25 years old single lady,never been married before. I am from Sierra Leone in west Africa. Iam Easy going,down to earth,loving,caring,with a good sense of humor.some of my hobbies includes,long walking,reading,listening to music,gadening and swimming. I am not a trouble person,but peace loving kind of.
Presently,I am residing in the missionary here in Senegal,where I ran to for safety,because of the political civil war in Sudan. I am suffering in pains here in this missionary here and I really need you to help me out.I need your help also to get my Inheritance from the bank if you can. I will explain more about it to you when we get to that. In brief,My late father left me an inheritance in a bank.He deposited some amount of money in the bank and he used my name as the next kin as his only child. I need help from a nice person with a good heart like you to help me get the money out from the bank so i can come out of this situation that i am into right now and start a new and better life.
My late father Dr. F.D Conteh,was A wealthy business man in gold and dimaond in the western Darfur Sudan and in Sierra Leone until his death at the general hospital in free town where he was rushed to after he was shot. During the war,the rebel being loyal to one of the greedy business partner of my late father,attacked our house one early morning and killed my mother in cold blood,Injuired my father seriously and he later died some weeks after in Free town,Sierra leone.Is only me that is alife and so for fear I managed to run away to this country,Senegal where i now live in the missionary quaters as a refugee. I was able to escape through the help of the UN army though they did not know i was in the car until they crossed the border.Rev Arunna Frances,is the one incharge of this place and it is from his office computer that i use to send you this E-mail most times.I only use it when he is less busy and just for some minutes.
Please,i will also like to know more about you.Your kind of person,your likes and dislikes and the things you feel i should know about you. I will send you my photos when i hear from you again.
Do have a nice day until i hear from you and please write soon.
Yours Corine.If anyone wants to tell Corine about 'their kind of person', please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
We both knew we wanted a dog. She wanted to call him something silly like Booboo or Appu. I wanted to sound cool and name him a punctuation mark.
We went with Apostrophe.
Monday, 22 February 2010
Go on, sir. Be a good vegetarian. Enjoy your wada-sambhar. Yes, that’s right. That’s a fancy-looking piece of bread to go with it. No, sir, it’s a very popular combination.
And you sir? Oh! Non-veg? You’re the rebellious, atheist type, aren’t you? With the tshirt over your shirt and the casually spiked hair. I bet you’ve got either rock or hip-hop music playing on those earphones. Rock, isn’t it? Here you go, sir.
What’s that, sir? The best part of the meal is undoubtedly the sealed packet of butter? Why, thank you, sir! I placed it on that tray myself. Yes sir? Oh, you thought the potatoes were particularly bad? Yes, that’s a special recipe; they’re just boiled, then lightly fried and sprinkled with stale, finely chopped coriander to lend the appearance of having been flavoured with some exotic European/
Continental herbs. Anything else, sir? You’re wondering what the little black things in the omelette were, since it had no discernible taste to speak of? I’m afraid I haven’t the faintest notion, sir. Dog hair, perhaps? Glad to have been of service.
Tea or coffee, sir? Wait, let me guess. You’re young and anglicized. Coffee, I’m sure. Oh, and you’re one of those pretentious types who have it black, with just a dash of sugar, no? Aha! I knew it!
Sir, you really must stop pushing that button so much. We have other passengers to attend to as well. Oh, just one statement and one question and then you’ll leave me alone the rest of the flight? Splendid! That’ll be lovely, sir. Yes? You’d like to thank me for the warm, flavoured water that I told you was coffee? You’re welcome sir! Anytime! Now, that question? Rather quickly, if you don’t mind; there are others waiting. Why does my head resemble a dog? I find that question offensive, sir. Please remain seated, sir. No, you may not have another packet of butter. No, sir, you can’t get out of your seat. Just over an hour to go, sir. Please remain in your seat, sir. Yes, we will land at some point, sir.
Thank you for flying with us!
(Inspired by the wonderful flights to and from Delhi I just had. On a side note, has anyone seen the wonderful instructions in airline lavatories? They’re well placed, since I’ve always thought of airlines as the perfect place to dispose of soiled underwear… Click to make it all big and sexy.)
Friday, 5 February 2010
She lay back, dreamy, exhausted. He reached over to the dresser and lit a cigarette. Adoringly, she whispered in his ear, "I love you."
Absently, he replied, "Yeah, me too," contemplating the benefits of mushrooms in a cheese omelette.
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Or do those symbols grant it a new life eternal?
Just a thought.
Monday, 11 January 2010
He cradled his head in his hands. Breathed slowly, deliberately. His head was pounding. His eyes were close to watering. And every muscle in his body burnt. All he wanted was to find a soft mattress of some kind and pass out on it.
The phone rang.
The headset was already plugged in. He looked at the display. That sappy executive at the associate firm. Again. No doubt asking his stupid, ignorant, inane questions. Again. Refusing to understand logic. Again. Trying to get three weeks’ work done in two days. Again.
The customary bout of arguments ensued. He tried keeping his calm. Gritted his teeth and rationally explained why it couldn’t be done in such little time. His calm lasted 30 seconds. As he exploded on the phone for the second time that day, at least three people looked up from their machines, eyebrows cocked. Others quietly, and wisely, chuckled to themselves.
He hung up.
He looked around, daring anyone to say something. A few gazes lingered, then quailing, went back to their work. Rubbing his eyes with the balls of his palms, he rested his head against his desk. More than anything else, he wished for the day to end.
His message tone beeped.
Certain he’d be looking at another mountain of work, he looked down at the screen. A pleasant surprise awaited him. It wasn’t from the account executive. Or biz-dev. Or his boss. Or any of the clients. He opened the message. It contained just one word.
He looked up and across the room at her. Their eyes met and they both smiled. As one, they got up and walked to the pantry.
And just like that, the first post in the new year gets dedicated to Pink. Because even now, she has no idea what that ping did for me.