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The Creaking Chair - Part XXVIII

  9th November 1988 When I was a kid, I was rarely exposed to any foreign language movie or play we came from a humble background and were just catching up to the so called ‘upper middle class’ and we had certain values which we adhered to and certain unsaid ways of living that changed when I moved to Delhi for a couple of years for my first tryst with life as an adult – that is when I could relate to the movies & plays I saw this was also the time when I had fought with my father in my effort to join the armed forces That was the beginning of a curve in my life that took me to twisted routes of ups and downs, of joys and sorrows, of adventures and misfortunes but none of them did I regret or feel sorry about even today had I not taken that route, I would possibly not have spent my time in Paris or Madrid I may never have met Paul or Jamie or Harshita or Vani ; I can go on with the list  all treasures in my memory vault I explored the emotion of love and the tickle in the stomach t

The Creaking Chair - Part XXVII

  17th October 1988 ‘Of evenings that smell of you’ Often times I have written about heavy clouds in an evening sky  and many a times of winter or summer evenings  all coming with their own character of restlessness, calm or anger but there have been only a few instances when I have written of a casual evening one that is uncharacterized by anything unusual, rather is surprisingly plain As I remember now, such evenings belonged to you, beautiful in it’s own serene ways And such evenings were divided in two phases in my life one was the phase when I spent those evenings with you  whether you were physically present around me  or we were separated by distance, yet connected by spirit and the other phase is one with memories  of you, of a distant me and of us  of reminiscence and stories and letters on the balcony But most of all I remember the evenings when I felt restless  and you getting out of your evening bath would come to sit besides me and my chai and the fact that your smell made

The Creaking Chair – Part XXVI

  07th April 1988 ‘A commentary on struggles and injustice’ this was the pamphlet in my hand  as I entered the market place in Toulouse on this Sunday afternoon I was out to buy some croissant and wine for an evening of recluse in my immaculately neatly kept apartment  a fetish I had developed recently and was slowly developing great pride in It was supposed to be a dialogue followed by a rendition of Warsaw concerto  and the orations would focus on the themes of ‘human spirit and resilience’, ‘the fundamental nature of the oppressor” and  ‘the anatomy of a revolt’ to my Sunday slumbered mind these sounded quite grand  but then the name of one of the speakers stood out to me  We had dated for sometime during my stay at Marseille  and I realized how organically had we drifted apart  The fact that the passage of time between us was so vivid in my head  was a revelation for me – I had barely thought about her for the last 5 months and it had been only 5 months since we bid our farewells t

If tomorrow never comes ...

If tomorrow never comes, Know that I tried, with all my might I may not have been broken, but I was tired And you must know I did not go away, without a fight The epic battle of my life, ironic   If tomorrow never comes, Know that I tried, to forget and forgive, all trivial, in this state of mind of all promises made and silences broken all mistakes made and paths not trodden   If tomorrow never comes, Know that I tried, to leave behind all my insecurities Of troubles nights and anxious days Of social pressures and self-imposed pains Of words you couldn’t understand or fears I could not speak   If tomorrow never comes, Know that I tried, to be ok with not being ok But then the hashtags disappeared And photo ops died, it was another cause they were rallying While I sat forgotten in my bed still nervous to be called mental   If tomorrow never comes, Know that I tried, to speak up and not bottle down my emotions Of the million times I ha

When I am sad..

When I am sad I go back to those sheets  in a forsaken hotel in a forsaken town on a forgetful morning  and to the sunshine through the broken window  When I am sad I go back to your habit of sharing dreams of nightmares of violence or dreamy weddings on a misty morning  and to the last drops of morning rain on the window pane When I am sad I go back to empty words scribbled along the edges of many a notepads  on a sleepless night and to the silence between those faded inkblots When I am sad I go back to that empty house on a shiny street, with facades and mirrors on a moonlit night and to the echoes of thunders, of peaceful sleeps ~ Ashk

The Creaking Chair - Part XXV

  The Creaking Chair – Part XXV 12th September 1990 There are days when your body and mind craves for a fight it can be in a brawl in a bar  or a war of words and emotions with your dear ones but there are days when you just crave for some kind of a outlet  of course you don’t want to  really  hurt anyone  or get hurt yourself – physically or emotionally  but you want to have that rush of adrenaline to cleanse your system The feeling is like that of a rusty door frame  the hinges are crying out to come out – to break into dusty forms  and yet holding on too afraid of the sound of a falling door  as if it would break the slumber of a sleeping giant in the room and that can not be good, is it? The dichotomy of emotions at that moment, it’s like the sound of wind slowly gaining speed before a storm they say silence is the deepest before a storm  I disagree, I think it is after the storm that the silence really kicks in  when you realize the magnitude and reality of the destruction caused 

The Creaking Chair - Part XXIV

  14 th  October 1949 Habits form due to practice  but hobbies are not developed; it’s like having a feeling where they call to you that’s what I believe  have you ever heard someone say, I am on a 21 day course to develop a hobby !  And there is no specific time when a hobby may prop its lure in your head  and the trigger can be many for me my charm for cycling is one of those hobbies which happened to me I am not yet a professional level cyclist  but glad I am getting good day by day  today is special because I hit the 100 Km mark for the first time  And when I sat to write about it I realized the strongest impressions were of the last mile The last 10 Km gives you all kind of sensations  I am not even getting into the famed last mile stretch that the marathoners feel  thankfully, I did not feel any of those life changing, hard hitting epiphanies  or the absolute struggles of thinking how would I finish this infinite last stretch  to be frank, I don’t think I had the feeling that I w

The Creaking Chair - Part XXIII

  04 th  April 1991 There was a time in my early thirties when I was a rolling stone stumbling from one gig to another  like I had only a day to live and I had to achieve all that I could in that day  and yet I had not reached a stage where I was mastering all that I was doing or anyway close to it for that matter It was a race in my head that I was running more than anything else That was the time when I was writing a lot so many authors had said that write as much as you can when you are young, you would thank yourself later  so I was following the route of quantity  I set targets for myself and in that rut my focus wavered from the depth of what was penned down I should have spent more time to let the poetry settle in my head before it even had the far-fetched chance to settle on a piece of paper  so most of the work from that time was uncooked;  but at least there was quantity for me to prune later I was also dabbling with my musical instincts  restarted teaching myself guitar over

The manual of love

  She used to chide me often...I need to tell her how much I love her gifts..give her hugs...steal kisses when she least expected...where would u find a girl who comes with a manual on how to be a perfect and caring lover...her friends used to tell me..I'm lucky.. And stupid me..I often told her to be real...just like my love was...expressions I said need not be words..kisses need not always be stolen...smiles need not always be shared...for love does not come with a comes with a set of wild hearts...bent on taming the other...and its not the ones who win this battle who flourish in love...but its those who learn to loose these battles who live happily ever after... I still remember our fights...they were somehow different than the fights I had 6 months ago...did we change so much in 6 months...or did our love somberly hijacked logic in our brains...the debate was not if I should tell her how much I love her...the debate was whether it was good to

The Creaking Chair - Part XXII

22 nd  September 1992 Pratishtha visited us today after so many years Kamal had no idea she was coming  It seems it was Veena who had received her call last week and had decided to keep it a surprise for Kamal ;  My son was, let’s say more than surprised to see Pratistha sitting in the living room as he came back from his evening bicycle ride  boy, he was flustered First he looked at me, with the same innocent face  like the one he made some 17-18 years back when I first got to know about Pratistha and him I was more angry at him for not telling me that something was going on rather than the fact that he was dating someone I had always been cool about it, and I always thought if he ever gets serious he would tell me  but then he went and told his mom and she unwittingly told me  I was angry at that betrayal than anything else But how flustered was Kamal today it was nostalgic to see him behave like a young college kid who comes back from the playground and sees that his crush is sittin

The Creaking Chair - Part XXI

  27th October  1992 Sahil has been very quiet for the last few days  generally he used to come back from school and be all chirpy he used to keep pestering me to listen to what happened  what was the latest trend in the playground  which technology were the kids of the new generation drooling over  and of course which girl is he starting to have a crush on I am like the cool grandpa  something which Kamal is often jealous off but he has to raise his game if you wants to compete with me Just because he is my son does not mean I let him win easily  especially when it’s about being the BFF of my grand child   Sahil told me what BFF means Last month he also asked me to come along with him  to this gig thing that they do  it is just like the jamming session that I used to do when I was young but they do a lot of things there from singing and music to debates and someone also showcases his paintings on and off reminded me of ‘Dead Poet’s society’ and I think he was just over enthusiastic to

The Creaking Chair - Part XX

  21st February  1986 I have hit a ‘Writer’s block’ I have absolutely no doubt about it  it’s been 6 days and I am stuck with the same 3 lines  no new rhythm in my thoughts and no cadence in my words It’s like being stuck in a passage where you don’t know which side to go I am not sure if I have to let go of this thought  and move on to writing something new or should I persevere with this and be patient   22 nd  February 1986 I went to a coffee shop today thinking maybe that would help  looking at strangers sitting and sipping their Mocha and Cappuccinos  engaging and thoughtless conversation with a random stranger  would help I thought to stimulate my grey matter  as if they would involuntarily push me forward in my endeavor  to pen down the next 3 lines  and then maybe I can come back here again and wait for another stranger  willing enough to come & sit by on the empty chair in front of me and I would write another 3 lines that night     23 rd  February 1986 I have bolted mysel

The Creaking Chair - Part XIX

4th April  1998 I have a very strong will power over years, I have been able to resist a lot of my urges  those which would have caused me much trouble  and even those which were more innocent  But being able to control my desires so that they don’t consume me  has always been something I have prided myself on And well of course, this is painting a broad stroke  the picture has a lot of finer details  times when I have completely given into my urges  even those which have definitely put me into a lot of trouble  and also joyful stories if I look back at them now  I am no saint, right? Remember the five night brawl in the winters of my 33 rd  birthday? But then there is one pleasure which I could never give up on the absolute joy of eating sweets – and I know some of you would never get what I mean you need to truly admire the release of happy hormones in you  when you put that morsel of ultimate bliss in your mouth I had a record in the house where I had eaten a kilogram of  rasgulla 

The Creaking Chair - Part XVIII

24th August  1999 Today evening was a surprise for me Kamal came and sat besides me on the sofa  and slowly he rest his head on my lap and lay down there Though he makes it a point that he spends at least an hour with me daily either during my morning ritual of reading the newspaper  or the evening time when we have the badminton matches  he rarely shows any sign of such sentimentality To start with I was worried  I did not know what was going through his mind but I knew he was tired, I could sense that in the way his body weighed on my legs it was as if he was letting go of all his the weight he was carrying  I started to speak, but then I saw his eyes were closed  like he was in thinking of something old  reliving a memory I should not infringe on He has been troubled for sometime now  I guess its been a couple of months – it shows on his face  and the way he goes inside his shell when he is troubled even as a child he used to be highly impressionable  but selective on whose impressi

The Creaking Chair - Part XVII

12th November 1999 One of the first books I picked up as a kid was a random cover about the Greek Gods – and I was hooked It was my first tryst with books other than my school books and I was only a 11 year old kid, so obviously I was excitable I used to go around asking people in the middle of a conversation  ‘what is your favourite book?’ – more like a hook for them to ask me the same thing,  irrespective of whatever they answered  And I would go on describing how I had found this book which described the history & mythology of Greek Gods and how they should definitely pick it up – of course I don’t remember the author ! The sheer pleasure of getting hooked to words, I guess coupled with the innocence of a child  But somewhere my love for mythological characters, superheroes, Demi-Gods & super-villains with mythical powers originated from that innocent choice of book And this is one of the reasons that I went to the Norway well the allure of ‘Northern Lights’ came much later

The Creaking Chair - Part XVI

The Creaking Chair – Part XVI 15 th  June 1999 I have not been writing for the last 2 weeks It is not the pattern I generally follow  The last time I stopped writing my journal was when I was in the prison but I had a sharper memory at that time  so could remember all my thoughts to be filled in the journal later The last 2 weeks were different though I caught some infection and felt horribly weak  it started as a throat infection & then started having chills & fever lasted 2 weeks, but now I feel better  but these days took me back to the times when I was writing my PhD thesis There were so many topics I had shortlisted and one of them which I had let go was “The true value of time” But had done quite a lot of work around the topic I found the entire idea of having a currency called ‘time’ quite absurd and fascinating at the same time how it controls everything we do – it has possibly the most control over our lives than anything else does We invented time to ensure we have mo

The Creaking Chair - Part XV

   30th November 1986 I like Suzanne But the only thing which we can speak of now-a-days  revolves around politics and the shift in world power  discussing if it is for the good or bad ; of the country, the people and more importantly world in general Now you would think that this is good  Conversations with substance and not just idle love making  That sounds like a relationship to look out for Well if I were to compare myself and my interest in politics to any species in the Animal Kingdom apart from the Homo Sapiens I would come closest to a Panda or a Polar Bear  And she would be the Chimp or the Bee or the Ant   So it’s not really a fair match And well to be frank, I am not apolitical I am aware of the nitty-gritties’ of the left wing and the right wing ideology And all that rhetoric which falls in between  I also have a well defined process of assimilating the political opinion  and the art of political warfare  But what I am not comfortable with is carrying my political belief o

The Creaking Chair – Part XIV

11th July 1999 “I am writing to you in a state of unbridled passion I have intoxicated myself on poetries from Pablo Neruda  and the 90’s Bollywood love songs  Remember how you found my love for ‘Zara Zara’ from RHTDM  to be hopelessly romantic ! I am in one of those moods right now  And it’s pouring outside completing the setting for reminiscence It’s funny how in spite of calling myself a poet, I have never written many letters to you  That is supposed to be the thing with lovers who are poets, right? Wasn’t that my biggest pull when I tried to woo you?  Oh those were the days ! The butterflies in the stomach, the incessant checking for text messages Do you even know how many times, I wrote an entire poetry  just because I wanted to tell you something  and was too shy to speak to you directly How far have we come from there From writing messages through my words  to concealing messages between my words  and you

Black Coffee

2 months and 2 days...and he still was lost for words...but he did write each a fanatic following his religion...he was pious too..he did write the letter each night and burnt it every morning...he sprinkled the last bit of the ashes in his coffee every single was a peculiar habit...but he was so full of peculiarities now..that his own reflection was a little baffled at his sanity...they din know he did that..if they knew they would chide him on how it could effect his health...but then he already knew how he was...he only din say... Why make it a sad story...every time I write...someday..maybe it will be a little more sweeter and saner than last night..maybe then he would post the letter...but he did not have the address..but then he still din have the final letter ready... Dramatics...never his trait...but he craved for applause...for critique...for honour...would his story make them cry...will those words finally fall into the perfect order o