Monday, April 23, 2007


It's run out of's got not much time left...Dammit! Times when words spread themselves on your tongue and tickle your uvula and get gibberish out instead of surrendering themselves to coherent talk. Paah! And that's what I said once cos I couldn't get the simple 'validity' word that would explain why I needed to go recharge in the middle of the night.

Words are like those slinky stinkers you find in comics. Those sideline snigger-ers. They scuttle away and peek from behind the corner to see how you're faring in the muck. And this muck has happened too often. But at times, kindly, it is refered to as gaffes. Anything to make the babbling seem light.

But even when in an interview!? Even umm and uhhs abandon me to scavenge for words and then when they're salvaged they come out in this sticky pizza cheese mess that finally snap and slop down my chin and then I'll have to quickly slurp it back before anyone notices.

Sometimes even the deranged hope, the kind your likely to face in oncoming death, gives way, and instead there's just this parrot stutter of blankness, like plain white flashes going bang! bang! bang! But you've got to credit hope for being thick-skinned. It morphs into the street smart and goes about figuring out the opposite of the opposite to the word that sits tightly wedged in a corner like an unreasonably angered child and refuses to spell itself out. Twisted but that's how I got reacquainted with 'altercation.' Truce...agreement...debate...combat...altercation!

Words are also a lot like gigantic unshapely boulders, the kinds preferred to get the sack with the body to lightless depths, where it can be nudged and nibbled by sea folks. When words go down they go down with grammar. Tenses mingle, words surrogate, conjunctions snip. But its these surrogate words that save you from falling face down into something vocabulary-less. For instance, I picked this post from 6 words back after 5 hours and it's not what I had in mind when I stopped. Even the most austere words can surrogate. I had anything but austere in my mind back then.

But context methinks gives word shape more than meaning. And any word can take the place of another, with a little help from conditioning maybe. A Clockwork Orange to start off with was interesting cos of its vocabulary which I took some time to piece together. But then tolchok, moloko, etc began to make complete sense and I even began using it in conversations in my head. That's when the book scared me and I put it away for three months, to rid myself of the vocabulary that had become part of everyday, before I started on it again. That book has proved its point of conditioning.

And words seem to be the other thing apart from music that induces hyesterical joy! Books make you fall madly in love with the most inane emotion, puts you face to face with unacknowledged fears.

Words are fancy creatures.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Summer Swelter Mad

The purpose-in-life question accosts even a coaster, wet and spilling over. A square water mark in place of the regular thick circles. Cubes thin and float like sliced strips of coconut and then go lookin like a tooth I lost when I was three and vanishes. This one too goes into the earth though a little bit more complicated than cracking up the earth and pulling out chunks of more earth and placing it within reach of maroon earth worms and then smashing it down by shoving unearthed earth back into an ugly mound to bake, crack and get chipped with the evening wind.

Rice is a turn off. So is sambar. So is food in general. Tall glasses of Orange by day. Tangerine dreams by night when I'm out on the verandah warming my butt on still-warm mosaic steps with a street lamp that's got an incessant wink, wishing to be by a beach with a whip and a staple diet that includes anything and everything citrus.

Deoderant addict. The zest with which I spray it on likens those of the eagerness of dogs dashing towards and rolling in any watery muck. Anxiety thrives in the heat. Showering four times a day has got me wondering about sobby taps and annoying watchman next door who falls asleep when the tank is jetting water slamming on to cement. Not earth even. Yes, I do want a commitee in place to ensure people turn off their motors on time.

Heat, lethargy and coffee. The latter seals me in with a pack of slugs strolling in my feet. Tea! is almost a craving. 4pm is a lovely time. It grows a lil bit more brighter right then but in a happy smug satiated way. Like crackle pop the engergy combusts within. And for the next 15 minutes I feel like a helium balloon.

At night there's only one pose to take on the bed. Splayed. Maximum exposure to whatever the fan chucks at you. Pai becomes much more luxurious than the fattest softest mattress.

Pretty scarves begin to smell tangy at the crease with brow sweat. It's a bit tamarindish with sea salt and maybe a pinch of pulichified dough. In summer a lot of motorists do stop before the stop line provided there's a nice big phat tree with its holey green above us. Even after being under these spurts of coolness why on earth do people cut trees?!!! WHY?!!!! WHY?!!! Guess their intelligence is only skin deep and that too only till the timer on the signal goes zilch and then green. Aaargh! As long as I'm riding it's cool. I stretch my hands while gripping the handles and stretch my legs on and off for the cool blast to get inside my kurta and the damp junction behind my knee.

A glass of white for restless nights on sticky sheets. Chilled buttermilk to squidge the gnawing hunger of 3am, to quench thirst from grinding teeth while restraining the urge to swat the mosquito and scratch like my life depended on it.

If I don't wash my hair on every 3rd day, I imagine itchiness that has me treating my scalp in dettoled water on the 4th. I look at my crackling strands and promise myself and oil hairwash every second day. But that half hour of soaking oil in this heat is close to hellish. The shower nozzle is something I've become thankful for increasingly.

Yet there's the human alpamness in this heat to have summer fruits who propagate more heat. Irony. Paradox. Unfair. I love mangoes. I have one all to myself and I'm against the wall with a thermometer tickling my under-tongue while my mum goes I told you so I told you so. And the watermelons go out of fashion too soon. I see them only on highways.

Freshly exfoliated skin is coated in dust within a minute. Matte finish. Menthol based skin products line the shelf. Blue is all I care for. I wear only blue. A psychological conditioning that barely works. Leaky taps fill up buckets cooled over the day and are fed eau de cologne, mint and neem leaves. I just wish I had a tub of it.

Aah tubs! Why the faff does Bangalore have fabulous ice cream parlours and Madras none!?! Shakes & Creams serves ok-fine stuff but only when the dollops threaten to run cause of their long standing policy of slow service. Why no Corner House?! Why no gorgeous mint ice cream! They did have in Casa Picola but they ran out of it in Jan.

But I do like summer. I do like the heat cause I feel alive. I pine for these days when the city's flooded. Summer redeems itself by making cotton an investment, nungu the recommended high, mangoes with vanilla icecream regular dessert, beach visits compulsory, re-introducing the joy of sleeping on hard cold floor, highlighting the importance of water, generating respect for greenery, permitting unlimited ice cubes with no threats of catching a cold, kicking me out of bed at 6 cause it's too hot to sleep and the marvel of mint.