Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another day for me in paradise

Yesterday was interesting.

Reached Kochi by bus at the witching hour. Watched awful Tamil movie songs on the hotel TV for the rest of the night.

Made an hour long presentation in the morning. Put on my best smile and slurred my way through the PowerPoint. Wound up, shook hands and exited.

Went straight to a joint near the office. It’s high noon. Had a big serving of chicken biriyani first. Then downed three vodka & soda in quick succession. When the alcohol hit the stomach, it actually sizzled.

Hit the road again. Came across a colleague. Went to another joint with him. Knocked back two pegs. Light as a butterfly but still standing on two feet.

Got on Janshatabdi in the evening. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t read. It was like sitting inside a blender. A vibrator. For some strange reason dead mosquitoes were falling on our heads.

Got off the train at Trivandrum. Walked straight to Kirthi. Guzzled three more vodka & Pepsi’s. Fit.

Slunk into home without attracting attention. Browsed internet till sleep finally overwhelmed the mind. Had a great sense of well-being before I passed out. ZZZZZ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I was re-reading Maximum City and came across a para that was very perceptive.
It’s an exact and precise hell, the life of an unemployed young man in India. For eighteen years you have been brought up as a son; you have been given the best of what your family can afford. In the household, you eat first, then your father, then your mother, then your sister. If there is only so much money in the household, your father will do with half his cigarettes, your mother won’t buy her new sari, and your sister will stay at home, but you will be sent to school. So when you reach the age of eighteen, you have your worshipful family’s expectations behind you. You dare not turn around. You have been witness to all the petty humiliations they have suffered to get you to this place. You now need to deliver. Your sister is married, your mother is sick, and your father will retire next year. You carry a heavy burden of guilt for having heedlessly taken the best of everything. So when you go out with your matriculation certificate or your BA and find there are no jobs – you look for other ways of making money.

You will look for other ways of assuring your family that their investment wasn’t lost. You can take beatings, you can take rejection, but you can’t face your family if you don’t do your duty as a son. Go out in the morning and come back at night, or go out at night and come back in the daytime if you have to, but take care of the family. You owe it to them; it is your dharma.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

First Day First Show

Sreekumar was peddling tickets for ‘Sivaji’ and for a moment I was tempted. I wanted to break out of this stupor, and perhaps diving into the first day-first show melee could have done the trick. Doing something stupid just for the heck of it is supposed to improve creativite impulses.

Sadly, wiser counsel prevailed and I didn’t take up the offer. I am too lazy to sit through the ear-bursting, eye-popping, nerve-racking Rajni Routine for 3 hours. If I was 11 years old, I would have loved every bit of it.

I have watched only one movie on the first day-first show. ‘All About Woman’ is exactly what you think it is about. In my defence I must say that I was young, impressionable and probably, overloaded with hormones. Which, perhaps, explains this drastic decline in cinematic taste – from Bergman to English dubbed Hindi soft porn. (I read that Paul Schrader also spent time watching porn flicks. But then, he went ahead and wrote ‘Taxi Driver’, while I did zilch.) I ‘learned’ more about a woman’s body but not her mind, which turned out to be the real thing. Damn.

Anyway, to cut a lamba story chotta, I lost my specs, one chappal and two shirt buttons during the stampede towards the counter. Afterwards, I took an oath never to repeat the experience. Ever.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I don’t usually hunt around for quotes. But today, I came across one that was interesting. I don’t remember the exact words, but it roughly says, ‘Happiness is about finding something to love, something to do and something to hope for’. Hmmmm…

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Crossing another millstone

I turned 30 this April.

It’s a scary experience, especially for me. You are not young anymore and you have nothing to show for your years. It’s just the time to wonder - how did I screw-up my life with such perfection?

I look in the mirror and I see a fat, dark man with a funny mustache and no prospects. And to think of all the resolutions I made over the years!

At 21, I was renting and watching 4 movies everyday from Collection Videos, making a mess of my eyes and studies. I wanted to be Stanley Kubrick, if not Scorsese.

At 23, I ditched movies to enter the world of literature. I dreamed of being a best-selling, Booker prize-winning novelist. Like Arundhati Roy meets JK Rowling. Hoo-Hah!

At 25, I thought: forget it, who wants to be the literary toast of the season? Why settle for ephemeral fame like Roy/Rowling, when I could become a cult writer. You know somebody like Saint Exupery or Roald Dahl. Basic English, child-like sketches and a big fan following. Yeah, I could do that!

At 27, I thought, shit, I would settle for being at least a Ruskin Bond. God please, I beg you.

At 30, I still haven’t written a line.

It’s the law of diminishing expectations all the way. I look forward to a bleak future with great trepidation.

All Time Favourite Books

  • Dracula (Bram Stoker)
  • Sophie's Choice (William Styron)
  • Portnoy's Complaint (Philip Roth)
  • Rabbit at Rest (John Updike)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (James M Cain)
  • A Farewell to Arms (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Herzog (Saul Bellow)
  • Ham on Rye (Charles Bukowski)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)
  • The Secret History (Donna Tartt)