Showing posts from May, 2020

The Creaking Chair - Part XII

28 th  May 1999 I have an abnormally large collection of photographs moments I have captured over years and I use them as mirrors to keep me grounded on a plane of simplicity so my pictures are not the regular friends laughing in a pub kinds or teens banging their heads in a rock concert or even the quintessential birthday party as a kid with the lettered cut out on the wall calling out ‘Happy Birthday’  and the beaming smiles of friends behind the cake & the Birthday Boy. My collection has a rather abstract view of life A fallen eyelash resting on a copper pooja thali; the queer expression of a rebelling atheist An aimless braided chair sitting idle on a sunny day with a hint of cloud in the background; the untainted memory of a peaceful afternoon embossed upon the mind  A rope line with my mother’s freshly washed saree hung for drying the untarnished smell of unfiltered warmth spreading through the heart A shuttered public library w

The Creaking Chair - Part XI

10 th  October 1986 The first thing I saw as soon as I got out of my car was the non-descript street light It had a spooky feel to it, but also romantic  like something ancient was peering back at me  how many such long stares would it have endured in the last centuries But then what makes me think it has been standing tall there for centuries.. It felt like I almost knew. The murky yellow light from the lamp was rather dull but it was the only thing which stood out in that countryside on yesterday’s spring night Mikhail, his elder brother and me had decided to take a road trip  They had done all the arrangements – the car, the tent, the camping stove to cook  and of course the path we would take  It was not a like a fancy camping trek you see in the Hollywood movies It was a discreet retreat into the desert wilderness  I have been on this ‘tour d’experience’ that’s what I am going to call it when I grow old and tell these stories

The Creaking Chair - Part X

08 th  June 1999 The other day I was speaking to Aman on telephone  and we ended up talking about how we came to be friends,  Not in the obvious sense, both of us were in the same batch in my graduation  but more like when did we actually start talking, what were our first words; non-verbal cues to each other that our frequencies match as Sahil would say in his generation and not for the fault of our fading memories  but neither of us could genuinely remember that moment of first encounter Its quite ridiculous how easy it is to portray in a biography, a musical or a documentary  ‘We met for the first time in a sports bar while playing pool’ , or  ‘The first time we met was when Calen introduced us in one of her parties and we hit it off right away’ Realities always work differently, and hence the allure & charm of fiction I guess  I repeated the experiment with Steffi and Manu and guess what? We drew up a blank

The Creaking Chair - Part IX

04th December 1999 Last night I could not sleep properly, It was a cold winter night and in order to keep the chill out I had closed the window in my first floor bedroom since evening But it was not the cold that kept me awake It was the sound of a dog barking outside Poor soul must have been feeling very cold And it kept barking till 4:30 in the morning I spent a wakeful night with it, musing too. What I was surprised about was how had it stopped crying in the early dawn For that is the time when it gets really bone crunching chilly In these Northern states of India Reminds me of those early morning motorcycle rides with my graduation mates As I stepped out in to the bedroom I got my answer, Sahil was calling her Bruno And Veena was staring at him with daggers in her eyes ‘How dare he get her into my house?’ she asked Looking at Kamal, she said, ‘You know why I never got a pet for the last decade, right?’ Poor Kamal felt stuck between