Square one

Saturday, December 31, 2011

So, the tumblr experiment was epicfail. Not that I didn't write on the other blog. I just couldn't figure out tumblr. But then a friend said that tumblr was way easier to figure out than blogger. That probably confirms my hunch that I am indeed slow. I knew it all along. While the world thought that the slowness was confined to Milan Kundera's books or my running on sports fields, there was a part in me that suspected otherwise. But that brings us nowhere, does it now? If I knew I was slow, how could I be slow? I again suspect that one day I shall start resembling Bertrand Russell.

As far as resemblance goes, I was watching television while I was home in Calcutta (which again is quite astonishing given the fact that my dad always holds the remote tight in his hands and falls asleep), and I couldn't help but notice that this famous bengali actor totally resembles the wild boars in Asterix comic books. Without the horns that is. I am in no way implying that the actor is not horny or kinky. That I have no way of knowing. Or so I atleast hope.

As for the word "kinky", it can be traced back to the famous rock 'n roll band from the 60's called "The Kinks". Now, why they called themselves that, no one had any idea. But they sure knew what they were doing because soon enough one of them (probably someone called kink) developed certain kinks in their ways and wrote a whole song for a transvestite. Henceforth, anyone who wrote songs for transvestites are known as kinky.

Last but not the least, the title. If I was writing a book, I would never use that. You know, square one is one itself. And given the fact that paper is so expensive nowadays, it is always advisable to use one instead of square one. Saves atleast a word. After all, its only words and words are all we have to take your minds away from the otherwise seriously mundane and mundanely serious matters of life. And now I am quoting pop bands. I am telling you this is not a good year.

Dialogue pura filmi hain

Monday, March 22, 2010

I was tagged by The Adlibber. The original purpose of this tag was to select some of my favorite film quotes and enter the selection for some dumb contest for winning a free copy of some dumber book written by a dumberer man. Since I refuse to associate myself with such atrocities, I will just restrict myself to enlisting my favourite quotes. Which in itself is a particularly tough job. Especially with all the Tarantinos and Lumets and Allens writing films. And also with the other Marx coming up with the best one liners ever with every passing breath. But I will still give it a try.

So, here we go...

1) Don Lope de Aguirre : I, the wrath of God, will marry my own daughter and with her I'll found the purest dynasty the earth has ever seen. I am the wrath of God. Who else is with me? (Aguirre, der zorn Gottes. Which was originally shot in English and then dubbed in German)

2) Travis Bickle: Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man. (Taxi Driver)

3) Blondie: You see in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig. (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

4) Professor Wagstaff: Whatever it is, I'm against it. (Horse feathers)

5) Rick Blaine: We'll always have Paris. (Casablanca)

6) Lt. Aldo Raine: Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps. And all y'all will git me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis. Or you will die tryin'. (Inglourious Basterds)

7) Harry Callahan: I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? (Dirty Harry)

8) Allan : That's quite a lovely Jackson Pollack, isn't it?
Museum girl: Yes, it is.
Allan: What does it say to you?
Museum girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.
Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?
Museum girl: Committing suicide.
Allan: What about Friday night?
(Play it again, Sam)

9) Terry Malloy: You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. (On the waterfront)

10) Cody Jarrett: Made it 'Ma, top of the world! (White heat)

11) The Joker: Why, SO serious? (The Dark Knight)

12) Dr.Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. (Silence of the lambs)

13) President Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room! (Dr.Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb)

14) James Bond: The name's Bond, James Bond.

15) The Terminator: Hasta la vista, baby! (Terminator II: Judgment day)

P.S: Anyone reading please feel free to tag yourselves. And let me know so that I can go read and make snooty remarks.

Ode to a city.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Part III. The City of lost souls.

The city never belonged to us. Nor to anyone else. Ever. But we still hung on, didn't we?

There were children playing on the streets, there were men and women making love on the fields, there was love in every breath of the city. The guitarist played a sad tune, the visitor sniffed the moist air, the hobo sang of unfulfilled promises as every heart skipped a beat for love. Mon amor, this was a city of love, a city where everyone fell in love, a city everyone fell in love with. But then, as the cars hissed by, so did sordid moments. And then suddenly, we were left with gin and tonic. But why, but why my love did it have to go wrong every time? Just where did we go wrong?

Aeons ago, we were still humans. We were still lovers walking around this same city, my love. We dreamt of moonlit nights and dancing around bright fires. The rooftops of all the buildings seduced us like centerfolds, the dark nooks kept lovely surprises hidden. We shared smokes, we raised our wine glasses and our moist lips spoke of beautiful futures. We forgot we had suffered. We forgot the city eluded us in the past. And we forgot that what is future but reliving the past once again. Just as we made love in the heart of the city, the roads were flooded once again. The city swept us apart like leaves in a storm. But why? We had still not learnt, had we?

For what is it to love you without loving this city first? What is it to sing of you without writing the hymns for her? We all did embrace her. The city is but our first love. The window sills beckoned us, the solitary streetlamp lulled us into deep slumber. We looked for rest into her gardens, we found life in her labyrinthine alleys. The city made us humans, the city always gave birth to us. Just like a messiah she always showed us the ways of love. And yet when we learnt to love her, we held to her close. Just as we did to each other. Smelling one another's pheromones, we slept in tight embraces. The one thing we didn't know, the one thing that mattered most. That when we loved, the only thing left was to give up. Why didn't you let go my love, why didn't I? Of each other, of the city?

And the city never belonged to us. Nor to anyone else. Ever. Neither did we belong together. It is but a city of lost souls. And we my love, walked it together.

Ode to a city.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Part II: The City of strangers.

Would you know me, my love, if you saw me again? Would you? Would I know you?

The city has always beckoned us. The wet reflections of a neon on a pavement, the sad demureness of a yellow light on a lonely cobbled street, the darkness of its unexplored labyrinths; they all have beckoned us. And I, and you, and we all have given in. We have all walked the streets of the city. With each other, with friends, with family and in loneliness, we have all walked the streets of the city. We have sat on every park bench, looked at every man, turned all the corners. We have. But still the city remains a stranger, the people remain strangers to us.

My love, we were strangers once. We looked at each other from faraway lands, we looked for familiarity through dreamlike fogs. We passed each other on the pavements, our hands touching just a little bit. And we stared in crowded subways at the one standing right in front. We longed for us, didn’t we? But then all strangers do. That is the beauty of being one. All strangers seek another, look around for fondness. So did we, my love. We were strangers once indeed. And you took me in, I embraced you. And we spent the night on the large terrace, staring at the lights of the city. We made love like strangers, and lost ourselves in deep slumber. Dreaming of the city, dreaming of familiarity and the lost magic. We slept, hoping to see a different face by us in the morning light.

This city, is a city of strangers. I don’t know anyone, nor do you. No one knows us. But then, when we pass a coffeeshop, browse through a bookstore or just lift our heads to steal a glance at that woman on the other side of the road, do we still remain strangers? Somewhere in my mind, somewhere back down there, there always will be a moment when I passed that coffeeshop, or when I looked at the woman. Somewhere in her mind, will remain a memory of me. Then, do we not leave a part of us in every building we pass, every man we look at? Is it not familiarity? But we go on, we go on. We go on collecting memories, bits and pieces of people around us and we become a new person every passing moment. Transience, my love, is the only form of permanence. The city teaches me this. Every night I walk down the same old street, amidst the same old faces, and still it’s all new to me. The magic remains forever, floating like an impish fairy in that empty space between us. The magic remains in the air. And we, my love, remain strangers forever. To us, to the city.

I wouldn’t know you, my love, if I saw you again. You wouldn’t know me. And we will be trapped in the arms of the city forever.

Ode to a city.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Part I: The City of lights

And the city never sleeps.

Have you seen the lights, my love, have you seen the lights ever? Did you stare at the neon and think of the river of dreams? I once saw a picture of a woman standing on the city roads. The cars whizzed past her in indistinguishable blurs. The swarm of blurs surrounding her on a busy street, she stood by a river, didn’t she? Oh, images, images. How they rush into my head and make it uninhabitable. I once was a happy man. I have not known the city then. My friend used to say, it’s the most beautiful city in the world and I didn’t believe him. Then I went there. I walked her streets on broad daylight. And when the sun went down, the sun never did go down. It was after all, the city of lights.

My love, I have never walked this city, your hand in mine. My feet always looked for another, a whole lot smaller, pair of feet beside mine. I seeked. I did not find. I tried to shield myself from the daylight, I closed my eyes. With outstretched arms, I roamed about. Instead of you, only the city embraced me. The lights blinded me, o sweet blindness I love thee, I couldn’t see the city anymore. Instead, I felt it. I felt it, my love, as I have felt you all these days, with all my senses. I smelt your sweet pheromones, I touched your navel. Blood gushes, the flesh turns crimson red. The blinking blue lights make it purple. The flesh rots, the wound burns. The stink fills the air, the smoke clouds the billboards. The pain, the love drips into the cityscape slowly.

There’s always a dark corner, hidden amidst the bright streets. Always, well almost. I take a turn, look back and there it is, staring back at me. For me, darkness has always been important. I wouldn’t have known how light felt without it. Imagine yourself in the middle of a thousand searing lights, you close your beautiful eyes and suddenly a shower of blissful darkness, a sudden refuge from the world, from all the people. Isn’t it wonderful, my love? If not for darkness, how would one dream of landscapes and lost loves? The city always has a dark corner, amidst the bright streets. Have you seen them? Have you seen the lights ever, my love? Come, if you haven’t, come not to me, but to the city. Come to it on a rain soaked evening, the lights forming unworldly images in the little puddles of water, come to it in the daylight. It will give you light, it will give you darkness, it will give you respite. And probably, dreams. Then you can weave your own river, just as I am, now. Come, my love, to the city of lights.

The city that never sleeps.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

I believe the words "curtsy" and "courtesy" convey almost the same meaning. Which I find funny since "curt" and "curtsy" does not go well together. But that is entirely beside the point. So is the fact that once I posted a picture of me sporting very impolite gestures as my profile picture in Orkut and changed my profile name to "Get curter". Let not the reference die on you because the Michael Caine version is quite a good film. But let us untangle ourselves from paltry wordplays and concentrate on more serious matters. Which obviously has something to do with courtesy or the lack of it. Or even worse, the excess of it.
Ever since we started going to school(read found us all by ourselves in treacherous social circles), the word "courtesy" have been hanging just in front of our noses. Quite like the carrot that a famous poet hung in front of his pet donkey. Let me make myself very clear at this juncture that I do not by any means intend to call anyone a donkey. Not even a donkey. That again is courtesy according to Mr.Vidyasagar. And also, nowadays people sue others at the blink of an eye. Which is absolutely true cause I heard of this woman who sued a man who blinked at the woman's child. She thought the man was making sexual advances. Anyway, as I was telling, "courtesy" is something we have been taught from a very early age. Even in India. But a walk around any Indian city doesn't suggest so. You can see the autowallahs happily cursing the passengers, the passengers shouting at bus conductors, the conductors swearing at cows. Its quite a circle. And for those who wonder, yes the cows in India are not very courteous too. Even they shout. Or occasionally run at unsuspecting pedestrians. But one gets used to such atrocities quite fast. I think growing up in it helps. It doesn't take one much effort to sneeze loudly in a public bus and not apologize at all.
But its different here in the US. I don't know about Europe. But US, yes its very different. Here people actually remember the courtesy tips they teach at school. Though they don't much care about the geography of the world or basic algebra, courtesy they know very well. Everyone is going to hold a door open for you, everyone is going to smile at you and ask how you were doing. They would all stare if you belch, farting is almost sin and blurting out "Thanks" is a protocol. And somehow, I find this more disconcerting than ever. In India, not everyone you meet in the streets smile and ask how are you. But the ones that do, mean it. They actually stop, ask about your well being and make some conversation. But here, everyone goes by the rulebook. They open the door because it says so in the books, they ask "how do you do?" and walk away without even waiting for the answer. A smile never gets you a smile back. Rather it may get you a lawsuit. Its a strange sense of courtesy they have here. And if you are staying here, they make you do it too. They mould you in such a way that even when you are alone in a bathroom and sneeze, you will say "Excuse me". Quite frightening, I must say.
And that sneezing and saying "excuse me" in a deserted bathroom happened to me. That is actually what I wanted to write about. All the introduction, observations and everything is, you know, just courtesy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ah the glory days are gone. The blog which once was invaded by women is now the grazing field for rampant spammers. The cruel hands of time have taken away all that there was and etc. Ok, Happy New year, Happy Swami Vivekananda's birthday, Happy Subhas Bose's birthday, Happy Republic day and whatever else that has passed in between. Its good to be back.

Note: Dear spammers, I can get it up myself without much difficulty. In other occasions, a female touch is sufficient. So, please go sell your erectile dysfunction drugs at worthier places.