Friday, December 27, 2013

Time to do the end of year reflection tag again, but I'm just not feeling it this year for whatever reason. Last year was pretty shaky too, come to think of it. Perhaps end of years are usually blue for me. The whole Boston and India trip was pretty epic though.
Birthday's soon, but I have to keep reminding myself of it 'cuz I keep forgetting.
In other news, I am completely obsessed with Doctor Who, and I watched Sharknado at 2 am with a new-friend while packing, and chugging juice straight out of the carton. The makers of the destruction of whatever was left of Tara Reid's career, really don't know how to movie.
Someday, oneday, I will stop being afraid of being abandoned. I will. I will stop being afraid that my trust is going to be broken into tiny little pieces, and I'm going to be left feeling like the biggest fool in the world. One day, I swearitt. Until then, I shall keep at the whole being absolutely reasonable, calm, and chill on the outside,  and telling myself to ignore the sinking sensation in my stomach accompanied by blinding terror every so often.

Edit: You know what this means. I'm going to chop off my hair again.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

For a friend, far away

It started as a joke but rapidly took on a life of its own. I have always wanted to live with a friend, I've been lucky to have some wonderful women fall into my life, and I would very much like for this to happen some day.
Here's what I see: I see us in a room with grey cool floors, and a third floor balcony sitting by the window, watching the Delhi sun slip beneath the horizon. I see you with your glasses slipping down your nose and a contented black cat at your feet (or a tabby- who knows which stray creature you'll bring along home), singing absently along with Nina Simone. Or the Beatles, who've never let us down. I see me with a book by the window, a coffee stain on the page, that I wipe away guiltily with the corner of my skirt. I see fairy lights strung around the window and a banjo by the mantel and I see a whole lot of contentment and peace.
So, come. Come live with me, and we shall live out our youthful fantasies. Perhaps we will let our boys come visit. And a rag-tag bunch of friends. 
It is winter and I miss my friends, the sisters of my heart so very much. I wish I could encircle them all with my arms, gather them up, tuck them up tight into the corners of my heart. But the earth is so very vast and we are all so far away. Soon we shall be farther still- scattered twinkling lights, like fire-balloons that drift across a pink sky full of kites. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Colour

Let us talk in rapid bursts of colour, you and I.
Like ripe mangoes bursting out of their skin in our hands,
the juice running streams down our
elbows.
Like the brief fury of red in the air,
when someone throws gulaal at you in the frenzy of holi.
Like the first time we kissed in a dark stairwell,
and it was crap, and I said so-
The words tumbling out of my mouth
and into your big eyes, which took no offence
but looked lazy back at me, smiling ‘Then teach me’.
So I did, and it wasn't much better-
but there were stars exploding underneath my eyelids
As i felt your warm mouth,
hesitantly touch
mine.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


We have:
gnarled, veiny hands and forearms,
(and feet too, from too much walking),
an interest in the blues,
a propensity for hedonism,
a love for the written word,
an appreciation of beauty in stretches of untamed road,
contrasting views of the world,
and an unceasing fascination with each other.

- dug up an old tidbit I’d scribbled sometime earlier this year. Inspired by something Shalmi said.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bijoya'r pronaam, Didibhai. I think about you more often than you would expect, and all I feel still is a sense of utter bewilderment.
I hope you are well and happy wherever you are.

Love,
Kachu

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Number One Goal as of now:

To productively utilize my free time

Monday, September 23, 2013

On Secrets

I was talking to my boyfriend a couple of weeks back and we were speaking of secrets. I told him, a little surprised at the realization, that I barely had any secrets any longer. ‘So does that mean you’re less interesting now?’, he teased.
I don’t think it’s that though. I think I am just less ashamed now. Back in high school, even near the beginning of college, my secrets were all about things I was ashamed about.
Mental illness, a dysfunctional family, crippling anxiety and self doubt, sexual assault, OCD episodes, hooking up, my writing which was less about love-stories and more about things like a fifth grader watching her schizophrenic sister being taken away for the last time, the fact that I trained in classical music. My jealous nature, my bad temper, my desire which remained hidden behind the veil of being a ‘good girl’. The intensity of my emotions, my depression which was all but undetectable behind the ‘bubbly-smiling-pretty-girl’ facade. And so on.
I like growing up, I do. I no longer have to hide. I’m not judging myself any longer, and if people turn away from me because it is too much, then well it’s a loss, but I’ll survive. So far, they haven’t for the most part.
When I have secrets these days, it is usually about things I am waiting to come to fruition and don’t want to tell people about just yet.
Here’s to more of the same :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

dropped into my life
with whiskey-blood and a mouth full of smoke.
my feet forgot the pull of gravity
for months afterward.
I should have paid more attention to what the storm was singing.
the happiest I have ever been
is struggling not to fall asleep on strange living room floors,
on make-shift beds,
beside lights strung in bottles-
losing track
of which of these limbs belong to me.

-For N who complains that I only write depressing things about him.
(And spectacularly misses the point. And is too much of an editor to love free-verse or cummings.
And is willing to admit his mistakes, and is the best friend I could have asked for.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

8-9-2013

To the best person I have ever known,
I could not see you. The consequences of choosing to leave for further shores are many, and so deep, that I could not possibly have foreseen them when I left at a naive, chirpy seventeen. So I did not see you. And the last memory I have of you is not hooked up to the dozen tubes and one half of your already barely-there frame. The last memory I have of you is of you holding my hands in yours and asking me “Kobe ashbi?”. I glibly assured you I’d be back in seven months. I’d be graduating. “Ei baar toh khoob kam shomoy, Didibhai”. In my mind seven months was nothing. Barely seven days later, you were in the hospital with poison in your blood. I wish, I wish- I wish I’d lingered then. ‘I wish’s are so useless aren’t they? So let us not speak of this now.
I wish I believed in heaven. The conventional happy-place. I really, really do, because I want to believe that you’re in the best place you could be, getting all the things you deserve, in peace, in comfort and in happiness. Now more than ever, I wish I believed in heaven- because then I could see you again. Right now, the news hasn’t registered really- and it keeps hitting me in fits and starts that next year when I return, your old familiar face, and gentle hands and constant anxiety won’t be on the bed underneath a lazy fan to greet me. It is unreal. And painful.
But let’s not speak of that. Going by what I believe, you’re bigger than your body now and you are energy, the universe(!) again- and what could be more wonderful than that? We are the only ones deprived in this situation, and you are not suffering- which is fine with me.
I don’t know if I can honestly believe in heaven. But I would really like to believe that there is a special place where souls like you go, where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
You cannot give anymore, and perhaps that is for the best. I hope that you are being taken care of for a change. I hope that you feel strong, and free, and are finally, finally rid of chinta.
I love you and I will miss you. I will miss you next summer, and I will miss you this winter. I will miss you when I’m living in India, and I will miss you when I get my PhD. I will miss you when I stay out late and when I come home before seven. I will miss you when I get married and when I have children and when I eat, and when I sleep and when I wake. I will miss you.
I am happy that you are at peace now. Ma told me that after it all- of course you spared them from having to take a painful decision- you looked peaceful. Like Didibhai.
I am grateful that I am your granddaughter, grateful that I know that in a crazy, bad world, there is reason to hope. I know that goodness lives, and I will have faith, because I have been privileged to see it in front of me for nearly twenty two years- as has everyone who has ever known you.
Thank you for everything. 
Love,
Kachu.

Friday, September 6, 2013

When I think about my childhood, there is a lot of summer-afternoons-spent-reading-on-the-big-flat-green-stool-that-used- to-stand-by-the-tiny-balcony-by-the-kitchen-upstairs-in-my-mama-bari that stands out. There is a lot of running around on the roof- back when there was one big roof where the pigeons would come to roost and I would feed them leftover bhaath- white, soft, fluffy rice- and I would dance and show Pishimoni bharatnatyam, and then we'd run up to the second roof to smell the rose garden and the adults would talk and I wouldn't know, wouldn't care what they spoke of- only know it was grown-up-language- like the roses, which the adults appreciated more. I was only a kid. I was happy to be a kid, more interested in clambering up the guava tree, messing around with the brown muck of the plants that grew chillies and tomatoes and if you crushed a leaf from the lime tree in between your palms and rubbed the bits together, you'd have a wonderful citrusy smell about you for a while. Inevitably in these memories is my Didibhai, making chaa for people, with her hard-gentle hands, her standing at the downstairs verandah waving us goodbye, for all eternity Didibhai at the downstairs verandah waving us goodbye. When I grew older I would put my head on her lap, despite the giant lump of hernia she carried with her. I would find a tiny spot of knee and shove a bit of my head on it, lazing on the sofa, reading, listening to the buzz of the adults. So I was sixteen- still a kid to be sure.
It doesn't seem real. Writing is no relief but I must seek refuge in it because what else is there. So come run on sentences, because it seems like this is reality whether I write it or not. There is no question of makings things real. I am helpless and I just want there to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I want it to be summer again, and I want to be putting my head on faded soft cotton, that would be offered to me to blow my nose if I so wished. I want to be holding wrinkled hands. I don't understand this day, this time. This needs to un-happen. Else, it needs to finish happening and go on to next summer when I can go laze on a bed between two old people whom I lived with as a lost, skinny nine year old. I remember being told that I spin like a kite in my sleep and choking with laughter at Hajabarala. I remember the disgustingly huge cockroaches and kind eyes laughing at me- Kichhu hobey na. I remember tetul'er chutney and korom-chaa'r tok and aam'er tok. This is not the way things are. I want to go back to a sleepy nine where I watch Chattaan despite school tomorrow. I want to be fed yellow rice balls in tiny glass bowls by a veiny hand that cares.
I want to be able to breathe, secure in the knowledge that things are okay. Please.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tumi bolechile tumi ashbei, tumi ashbei, tumi ashbei
joto deri hok.
Ekhaane akashe aagun legeche dur pahare'r maajhe

In times when I am most upset and grief stricken, I find that I do not know what to ask for. I don't know what to pray for. I resort to pleasepleaseplease.

Universe, be kind. Please.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

So there could be worse things than saddrinking and laughing over Bollywood tumblrs while roommates make me pasta and hot sauce. Walked an hour in the heat and came home sweaty, with nose scrunched up, wanting to cry like an ugly monkey. Look into the mirror,see that contrary to all expectations, I look an attractive woman after all. Two ciders down, pleasantly buzzed, nodding head to punk rock. Somewhere a heart is ticking, and I am not in it. Ah well.
So here's the thing: you can only push someone away for so long until you succeed.
Here's another thing: dates are important to me. Birthdays, anniversaries, the works. They're basically saying: Hey, I'm so glad you were born/ we met / this happened/ we fucked /whatever. You may be a weird motherfucker, but my life is richer because you're my weird motherfucker.
Ah well.
Everything is an excuse for art. All is balls.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The crackle at the other end of the line
told me that he was still there,
despite the dead silence.
The click at the back of his teeth,
and the sudden sharp uncontrolled intake of breath,
Impatient at the rising pitch of my voice,
wavering perilously close to tears.
Tremulous and shaky,
for the third phone call this month.
I am stricken by the irritation in his voice,
and struggle to make amends.
I apologize for being irritable,
for being a bore, for being predictable
and for the lack of sparkle in our conversation.
I dredge out the same dull things each time.
The worry in my thoughts
translate to a crease in between my eyebrows,
turning into a ceaseless litany of woe on the phone.
I can imagine the mouse
hovering over a link in red
and the impatience perched at the corner of his absent smile.
I hang up feeling stupid.
That evening sitting with work,
with cats lolling on the floor,
and stray roommates behind closed doors,
I remember my grandmother,
and us children rolling our eyes, every time her voice would start to rise
about my dead grandfather,
about money, and the servants.
The crack was coming, we knew it
because it came so often.
Impatience, and irritation.
'I love her, but why can't she just keep her misery to herself?'
I did not think those thoughts,
I did not vocalize them,
not even to myself.
Am I a bad person,
I wonder.
Don't think so much,
a friend told me over the phone.
Isn't it exhausting,
she asked, bewildered, frustrated.
Yes, I said.
But not giving shape to the thought in your head,
doesn't un-make it.
But I am a fool,
who thinks too much, and sleeps too little, and gets confused,
and cries on the phone.
Offering apologies, swallowing the knot in my stomach.
So I keep my feelings to myself,
and try to take up littler space.
I will not intrude in your world.
I will back away one half footfall at a time,
and you will not hear me leave.
You will not care.
And I will make a mental note to myself,
to be kinder to my grandmother
when she tries not to cry.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Grumble. Skip reading.

UFF this is like fake pre exam time. can i please go somewhere else, be someone else. i'm sick of umreeka. want to go live somewhere in india where i know lots of people but will see no one because i'll be sitting, no lying down on a green bedcover in an ac room with green curtains, reading, reading, reading.
i just described the master bedroom in park'er baari. dhyat.
i am just sick of being told what to do, and sick of thinking so much about it all the time. wouldn't it be nice if i could just know what i'm doing next year and be happy with it, no unexpected surprises, thank you very much.
i'm sick of being politically correct and understanding, sick of being a hard worker, sick of a neverending to-do list, sick of people and their egos. i'm sick of having a house without a fan, and a blocked nose. i want to be in kerala with my family, ten years old, taking pictures on a dinky toy camera. i also want to be a goat, but a pet goat, not one that is being slaughtered to make delicious mutton curry- "kheye nao, shiggir, rontoo"
DHYATT.
i don't want to have feelings ever again. NO MORE EMOTIONS, THANK YOU. ALSO NO MORE CATSICK ON THE STAIRS WHEN I WAKE UP. also no more people saying things like 'lovely femmeness'. also i cannot listen to music anymore. 
the baba (not the father, the sattam) emailed me and told me not to do this thing with my eyebrows where i look like a nervous, sad puppy, when i give my talk. i was trying to figure out what the devil he meant, while doing it, such is life etcetera. yesterday i wore a dress from the seventh grade that i used to wear a tank top under, only i didn't yesterday because i'm bigger? but my boobs were on display, and i kept alternating between 'WORLD HERE ARE MY BOOBS' and 'ughh i wish i had a bib because they are DISTRACTING'.
i woke up from uneasy sleep where i'd buzzed off all my hair and was passing as a boy with some strange name like Rat. also crazy amounts of police sirens outside my window for a longtime, and in my sleep i thought they were coming after me 'cuz i hadn't finished my presentation. 
dhurr. i am sick of glitter, sick of being politically correct, and having to think about whether i'm being 'oppressive' every time i open my mouth.
all i want is to be on a footpath somewhere, drinking thums up and waiting for an auto.
okay? okay.
i have probably written too many things i shouldn't have, but fuck that. in other news, i showed ma something fictional and now she's paranoid that i'm sleeping with my boss (I'M NOT. I'M NOT, UFF RUBBISH).
fgkhfdgknfhpjj

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bout of nostalgia

Annesha's latest mix made me listen to the Gangs of Wasseypur soundtrack again. Right now I have 'Womaniya' blasting through my ears, and I want so, so badly to be back in Cal, on that day when I first watched the movie. That morning we reached Forum nearly three hours too early, crammed into the metro with a hundred other jostling, sweaty bodies. I was afraid that there was going to be a lot of awkwardness with someone who was there because of drunken antics that had happened a little while ago. There was no real awkwardness, and our motley assortment of people wandered Elgin Road searching for Crossword, taking the longest route possible. I remember sitting on the top floor with said person and looking out at this gigantic hoarding of Shahrukh Khan advertising some sort of vest(?) that bordered on the obscene. We were listening to these new-ish old songs and sharing a bowl of something or the other that was not enough for a single person, but we had no money. We kept getting the song names right, and then we wanted to look at the CD that was playing but the manager very firmly told us that it was against the rules. He took it out and let us stare at the CD cover though- lurid pink hearts and all. Then we walked back to the movie, and the Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi theme song began, and then the rest of the utterly brilliant movie followed. I was blown away by a Hindi movie after a long time, and when we staggered out into the sunlight, we were wobbly on our legs, and I was starving, but still broke so Chandrima fed me some sort of egg-fry thing from the roadside vendor on the footpath opposite Forum. It was delicious and then Squg turned up, glasses and all- and we debated for a long time where to go adventuring. Finally we let our stomachs guide us, and stopped at Sharma's because K wanted kochuri and puri of which I stole some. Then A did his impression of Arunava which was incredibly spot on, and I laughed, and then I felt guilty for laughing, but it was all in good fun, so I laughed some more. We were back to wondering what to do next, and then someone started chanting 'momos, momos', so we started walking to the Metro Station to get to Denzong's. I remember walking down the Gujarati part of the city for the first time and I was doing my usual thing, stopping to take pictures of cars, and saying 'Byeee' to random passersby on the street. Squg and I didn't know each other as well back then, and she was torn between amusement and firmly taking me by the hand and dragging me along before I could cause any trouble. Anyway, so we wound up at Denzong's and I remember texting N maybe(?)- we were always texting back then- and we settled down on the stairs/road next to the shop, and there was a cat mewling at us, and a turd somewhere close by, and ants too, but the momos were delicous, and salty, and the soup burned my tongue, and I wasn't paying, so I sat down and gobbled a plate and a half. Then I went home, and I was very, very happy.
I loved Wasseypur 2 even more, if possible. N came along for that one, only the viewing experience was super uncomfortable for me. We watched it at some seedy, shady cinema hall- Roxy or something like that, with a coolio bar-lounge monstrosity on the top floor that said 'On the Roxxx'. My seat was right in front of the AC vent, and I shivered through the entirety of the next three hours. I stuck my ice cold hands into N's shirt out of desperation, which didn't help much, and made him squirm. We'd just started dating though, so he didn't say anything, just twitched his lips and looked amused. My favourite scene was at the end when Faisal just would not stop shooting at Ramadhir Singh's body. Sweet, sweet release it was, and it fed my bloodlust, and man, Sneha K was a genius with the score. 
I don't really remember what we did before and after very well- I vaguely remember walking with N along New Market and trying (and failing) to pick out a decent tee for him at Sanjay's. Chandrima and Squg were straggling behind us. When we got out of the theatre, blinking in the sunlight, we were starving as usual and we wanted to go to this place that Tridipta kept telling us about. So we walked all the way, but it was a Sunday, and it was closed, so we wound up eating roadside chowmein again. Then we wanted lassi, so I stole about half of N's mango lassi. Then someone wanted shoes or something, so we walked along the tram line where Tridipta told N and I that if he ever had a girlfriend, he would like to sit with her on a tram and not get off for the entirety of the way, and just talk, talk, talk. I thought that this was great, and poetic, and all that, only I remembered some Splitsvilla episode or something equally heinous where one of the vapid girls on the show had to impress Rannvijay on a tram journey like they were hitting on him- so that ruined it a bit- but I didn't say anything, just smiled and nodded. 
I think about last summer sometimes, and it's strange that it happened to me. It was so great, so much fun, so- life-altering- which is a grandiose statement to make, but it really was. It brought a bunch of people into my life who are now my people, and there were so many new things I tried, and just good emotions I felt. I guess if someday I have to remember being young, and being happy, that summer will stand out even though a lot of great stuff has happened since- stuff that has been a lot shinier, and a lot more exciting. We airbrush our memories though- I cried a bunch over summer, and did many stupid things- but I do know that last summer, I'd never been happier in my life.

I go home in a month. Everything has changed. People are now old and familiar, like ha'pant-genji, and I love them infinitely more. But there are people still to meet, and new experiences to have with the old ones. Chaa awaits, and aimless rambles, and stuffing face, and getting wet, and lazy afternoons with music and kulfi, and falling asleep happy together, if I can.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Here is a hard truth about distance: No matter how much you love each other, and how fascinating you find each other, and how many interests you have in common, there are some days on which there simply isn't anything to say. Nothing earth-shattering has happened, nothing sounds particularly amusing over the phone, and one of you probably keeps saying "What"? after every alternate sentence. Now this happens even when you're in the same place, but can usually be bridged by doing something together- drinking chaa, killing time with small talk, lying around listening to music, getting stoned and watching something, cooking, fucking, whatever- and that, *that* is the crucial thing which long distance can never, ever compensate for: inhabiting the same space takes up so much of a life. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The barista at the counter was someone I knew. Hooray, I thought. Free coffee. 
She blinked at me, when I went up and said “How’s it going”, with the familiarity of someone you’ve met. Half a beat, and she realized who I was. Now she looked bemused. 
“It’s funny”, she said. “You look like a different person every time I see you.”
“Is it a good different?”, I asked, uncertainly. This was the same girl who’d told me that I was a beautiful person, the first time we’d met. Awkwardly she’d explained that no, she was’t talking about my soul. “With the hair, and the face. It’s good for my eyes”, she’d said.
“Well, the first time I met you, you were wearing this really nice frilly dressed up shirt (it had been an indian tunic). The second time- yesterday- you looked really chill, like really dyke-y ” (I’d been wearing black pants, and a black sleeveless sweater with loose shampooed hair, tired, and kohl-smudged eyes). And today, you have the glasses and the lipstick and the bun.”
“It’s just funny”.
I grinned at her, took my free iced coffee, and headed upstairs to my nook. I’d never been called dyke-y before. I was carrying a copy of ‘The Feminine Mystique’, and living in a feminist commune at the time. Clearly, they were rubbing off on me. Being called dyke-y made me strangely happy. I wasn't entirely sure about the rest, though.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Look, the heart of the matter lies in a little worm. The worm eats away at your core, day by day. Little by little, it crawls into your brain and nestles there, spinning away. It is a monster worm, this one. It spins a glowing black cocoon out of doubt, and misery, and old patterns. Again, and again you try to spray it into oblivion. Futilely, you throw drops of happiness, and security at it. "Shut up, getout, leavemealone!"
It merely grins its hideous grin, and oozes its way into dark corners. It will resurface; it always does. It knows this and you know this.
I will claw your heart out, and suck the marrow from your brains. I will lick my lips with great relish as I tongue back an artery dangling out of my mouth.
"Man, I love it when we tongue".
How many other tongues have you loved?
I will cut off your tongue, garnish it with salt and pepper, and feed it to my little giant worm. I have a gremlin little cat, who likes to listen to electrohouse. He climbs onto the drawer by the record player and cries in time to the drop. Little cat, little cat, little black cat, won't you please eat up my worm? 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

On the surface of it

one day we will own a house with shabby comfortable couches, that you can sink into, and french windows. one of the rooms will have rust coloured walls and a fake fireplace on the mantel of which will live an empty frame that i have spray painted gold. we will own a cat whom we will name Murakami. Murakami will like you more but love me more, like children often do their mothers. i will have faint frown lines that finally show between my eyebrows and you will have the same old metallic frames housing your gaze. your hair will be more tamed, with a few blotches of white in it. mine will have resisted and have gotten messier than ever, clinging to girlhood. we will have a record player cohabitating with a stack of books we don’t read very often, but like to look at for their covers. perhaps they will have grand impressive titles like ‘Sarte on existentialism and bacon’. Actually, that is a book I would like to read, so scratch that. I should have been an art director in films. Perhaps I will be an art director for small films, and you will be writing something you like. one of the walls in one of the rooms will have lines from poems and books we love on it; parts will be yellowing, but we like it better that way. there will be a stack of dirty dishes in the sink that i am putting off doing, and there will be a line above your forehead, signaling your growing impatience,as you sit in an armchair and read The Times cover to cover, leaving out the obituaries and the tabloid. i will be traipsing around the house with a vague look in my eyes, in purple slippers and a long t-shirt that i have stolen from you. i cannot remember what it is that i’m looking for, but i keep throwing glances at the refrigerator each time i pass it, and finally, i settle down with a block of dill havarti (in a coloured jar with a paper label saying ‘I Can Haz Cheez’) on the other armchair on the opposite side of the room. i sit cross-legged, open Ulysses (which I have not managed to read in all these years), and catch you looking at me.
“what?”
you just sigh. “never mind.” a slight twitch of the head.
“what?! why must you always leave things hanging?”
“i suppose you’re going to want me to do the dishes again”.
i smile in what i think is an endearing manner, but you don’t catch it because you’re looking at the kitchen and besides, you stopped thinking it was endearing about forty two weeks ago.
“only if they bother you”
“whatever”, you snap, and bury your head in the paper again.
sunday crawls along. i’ve never liked sundays. bloody evil days providing you with time to mull over things you have no business thinking about.
one day we will own a house, and a cat, and comfortable couches, and grow old and tired of each other. or perhaps not.

*I was wilting on my deflated air-mattress with pet-byatha (acidity), and feeling grumpy because I really wanted to be productive but the Festal I had taken wasn't working. So I wrote this.*

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Half Baked

I am a dust mote floating,
caught on a single ray of sunlight
that is your eyes,
and your laugh,
and your touch,
burning into my skin.

Look, goodbyes are all I know. They mean that there are more adventures to come. With me, it's always time to go. But, well...I knew right away that there was something different this time around. I didn't want to be anywhere else. Around you, my guilt seems to melt away, and time feels like an alien concept.
"Are you ever happy?"
Everyone has times when they know that they're happy for the most part, but moments of pure, crystallized happiness are another matter altogether.
"I can pinpoint certain moments in my life when I've had this pure burst of happiness. It's like- hang on, let me say this right... it's like... I was floating, suspended- a dust mote lit up by the sun. If i could explain the fierce blaze of happiness I felt with my entire being- that's what it was like. Like being tiny, tiny, tiny but so large that the happiness consumes you. In a good way. It wasn't like being overwhelmed by a flood- it's like floating, suspended, with a mind wiped clean- no, not like being high- like... I don't know. I was never much good with words. You know what I mean."
I was really, really happy that time in the fourth grade when Mrs. Gomes, my favourite teacher said that I was an asset to her class. I looked up the word 'asset' in the big green and black Oxford Dictionary we had at home, and I felt like I had something to be proud of.
When else? When we, my brother and I, were at the backseat of the family car, tired out playing Antakshari and finger chess. We'd fallen quiet and our parents were talking, laughing about grown-up things that did not include us. Not fighting. Never have I felt so happy to be excluded.
Watching cartoon after cartoon on Fox-kids, watching Spiderman with Ma and Bhai in the master bedroom made me really happy.
When else? Laughing till my skinny ten year old sides ached, my head on a kolbaalish as my Grandpa read 'Haw-jo-baw-ro-law' to me. The story about the crow(?) that I've now forgotten.
An evening on a deserted college campus, after the rain, with a cool breeze, and a few errant souls and old music playing on their phones. I wrap my arms around a lanky frame, and push my chin into the small of a back. Close is not close enough, I realize. All the time is not time enough. Kissing is not kissing enough. Too much all at once. I am startled, and taken aback by my discovery, but fiercely, fiercely happy.
Another sort of happiness- lying on a too-thin mattress with an eye peeping at me from behind skin, blurred, Neruda streaming into reality.
Almost every time I've danced un-selfconsciously, I've been very happy. Almost every time I've allowed myself to get caught in the rain, I've been happy.
Reading really, really good books, realizing that I was beginning to love them, I've been happy. Fahrenheit 451 comes to mind, curled up on a couch at a cafe, with crumbs from finished butter-tarts littering my clothes.
"Listen, you probably don't remember this. The first time I came over to your new place, when you lived by the cows-"
"I did not live by cows!', you interject.
"Uff, you did. Yes, you did! We passed them everyday on our way to your place. Before the auto and before Papon De, but after that advertisement in Bangla we couldn't read"
"Yes, but that was a good 3 minute walk away- that is not the same as living by cows".
"Okay, okay fine. That house, anyway."
"Yes, yes, carry on".
"We were supposed to go exploring. North Calcutta, and old houses touching elbows, and sweet-shops. But it started to rain buckets, so I came over instead. We had the place to ourselves because Lahiri- bless his soul-was in Sodepur. And we wanted to watch a movie about a talking lizard. Johnny Depp was a talking lizard, and I really liked Johnny Depp so we were going to watch that movie. But then you slid over to me and wrapped a long arm around my tiny waist. You bent down and put your face next to mine, and breathed into my ear. "Koto din tokey dekhini", you said with feeling. It had only been three days. "Far too long", you answered, and that was that.
Something deep inside me was singing then. Happy-happy-happy, it went, and I knew how happy I was. Who knows what strange twist of fate, or chance brings people into our lives, but how unutterably lucky, lucky, lucky when someone you could really love comes along and rubs their eyes, disbelieving, at the dumb luck of it, too.

Kissing you goodbye was not the hardest part because it did not feel real. Wanting so badly to reach out and feel your bony shoulders and bury my face in your neck- wanting to do that and not being able to- that was hard. It took me nine months to shed tears over the distance, but I did.
Dilli door nahi.

Disclaimer: Boy, if you happen to be reading this, wipe the smugness off your face, and remember 'inspired by', not about. You are not allowed to use this against me to win an argument. I put it down in writing, so there!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Inga Muscio writes in 'Cunt', that period pain is a myth made up by companies like Ibuprofen to exploit us. I wish Inga Muscio was close at hand right now so I could take out my totally imaginary yet still excruciating cramps on her. Looking at the moon like she suggests,  isn't quite doing it for me. Being locked up in an auditorium with about 500 other scientists isn't quite helping things either, even if they are some of the most reputed/ brilliant minds around. The complimentary cookies are terrible, and I'm on my second cup of coffee. Well, at least there's cocktail hour...during which I shall be presenting my poster.

Update: The food at cocktail hour included scallops wrapped in bacon. Wrap your mind around that for a second. They were delicious, but I only managed to get two; by the time I was done showing my poster, they were all gone. There was also brie with cranberries, wild mushroom tart, risotto cakes, and chicken tortillas with guacamole. Also alcohols- I had a Chardonnay, and now I'm sitting at a Starbucks slightly buzzed (I told my boss back at the lab that I 'swug' my wine). 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I have this feeling right now that if I were to slip away, suddenly, quietly- and just disappear, it would be a while before anyone would notice. (The parents would notice, of course).
I feel like I'm back in the sixth grade again, the new kid for the second time.
It is a strange, strange thing to feel this inconsequential, this replaceable, this nothing. I wish (and have been wishing for a while now) that I was someone else. Someone with a different life, a different brain, different thoughts. This is not a plea for attention, or sympathy, or even whining. I am not about to walk into traffic (ever). I am not falling apart at the seams or coming undone, or anything dramatic like that. Just detached observation. All I seem to want to do these days is sleep and possibly disappear into someone else.
I feel... nothing.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let Us Say Goodbye

Let us say goodbye then,
You and I.
Let’s walk away, and begin to forget.
The kisses, of course,
And the remembering -of firsts and quirks, a handful of dates.
Let us put behind us our secret knowledge,
And all those times you dropped a kiss on the tip of my
nose.
The first time I ever wrote a love letter, I titled it ‘This is not a love letter’
And put it in caps, to emphasize how much it was not a love letter.
Let us obliterate the memory of that;
Leave it to electronics and circuitry,
And the people who will stumble upon it one slow afternoon at work.
Let us erase the last traces of
That feeling in my chest when you laugh,
And how you call me 'bitch' with great affection.
Let’s rub away at the kisses
Till their last vestiges are wiped off the corners of our lips.
Let us kiss strangers till their tongues take away the electric of
Your tongue on my lips
And my lips on your fingers,
And your fingers playing a riff
In the dark.
Let’s forget the time you kissed my damp eyelashes (surprising yourself),
And pulled out the sting.
The world will not cease to turn,
And nothing will have been lost.
Except- a few brief hours
Where my hand on your chest was yours.
Nothing except laughing hysterically as we plotted murder,
and talked over each other, trying to win.
Nothing but staring at pixelated smudges on screens
Till our heads ached.
Nothing except the wind on our backs as we ambled home,
A happy tangle of limbs.
So you see it would be easy.
Let’s not make a fuss now.
Let’s not ascribe this affair undue importance
So the stars did not align for us
(They don’t align for anyone, you fool.)
The gods did not send any angels our way
(We never prayed for them, you see.)
Everything fades after a while,
Even memories, even pain, even something that came very close to being
Love.

Disclaimer: Having gotten a few 'DON'T scare me like that you freak's, and incredibly sweet, incredibly worried emails, I feel like this is necessary. So, for the record, nobody has said goodbye to anyone. This is fictional.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Postcard evening

It’s like there’s a part of my brain that always has you on its mind. There’s a corner that’s always tuned to you. Once in a while I remember it, and I look at it, and there you are. Right now, typing this, I’m sitting curled up beneath a red rug that I have ‘borrowed’ from the roommate for the time being. The roommate is hardly ever home, and her cat is beginning to love me more. Already he follows me around instead of her (it’s because I actually feed him). Anyway, I’m curled up on the air-mattress, as comfy as you can get on an air-mattress. The giant tabby cat is curled up, pressed against my feet with his back facing me. He’s quiet, satisfied, and he flicks his tail from side to side, erratically, like he’s keeping time with the music. I only just realized that the tail is a muscle a few days ago. It’s one of those things you know, but don’t know. So the tail is a muscle, like certain other things are muscles.
Here is what I do sometimes: I go to Grooveshark, and I click on you, and I click on ‘play station’. It’s a comforting thought that I can play you like you’re a radio whenever i want. Right now ‘Crush on you’ by Springsteen is drawing to an end, the tinny sound through my speakers, turning my room into an old-time cafe with a jukebox. I like having this option to play your station. It makes me feel safe, and warm- the way a fire in the fireplace makes your soul feel warm, as the flames leap up and lap at the wood. 
I want to write you a letter. “Dearest”, it would start. I want to write it in curling handwriting at the back of a post-card. but i won’t because I’ll forget, and we talk too much on the phone anyway, and where’s that letter I was promised? 
I’m reading ‘American Gods’; it’s interesting. It’s nice, this feeling of being wrapped up in a story. I’d missed it. I’ve missed you. I’ve forgotten how to kiss you, but maybe I’ll rediscover it when we meet. Through the prickliness of your ‘stache, or perhaps not. 
‘Whiskey in the jar’ is playing now. I’m going to get back to my book.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In fragile things

Who’s to say what happiness is?
I could never have predicted (despite all the predictions I made)
that you would be so close.
That you would nestle – like the word last read in a half-read sentence-
deeply, firmly, lightly embedded.
I play with chopping blocks,
and fixatives.
With resin.
Bloody hearts may lie strewn across my spotless white bench.
It gives off the faintest smell of formaldehyde
(-makes me light headed sometimes,
but nothing to compare with – no matter, that’s sop.)
And who’s to say that happiness cannot be found
In the rustle, as pages brush their bodies against each other for a moment,
In the middle of a story-
About October telling stories,
As February-fussy, timid- sulks,
and April sucks her dainty fingers clear of innards,
while May takes her side.
And I, I dream at the back of my mind,
About a wondrous, terrifying August.
On an evening, where the skeletons of trees look in through my window,
as I sit inhaling the hot breath of my brown-slatted-heater.
Fingers stained with chocolate that arrived in the mail today
(near a month too late).
Bearing solemn, sincere advice on a background of blue,
it brought with it the hope of a new year.
I listen to a pink moon sing,
And curl up by my heap of warm, fresh, laundry.
Who would have known that we would come to know
each other, from half a world away.
Through tangles of invisible wires,
and calling plans that rob us blind.
Who’s to know that happiness lies here?
In fragile things.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shubho Noboborsho

Bengali New Year comes at a time when I'm desperately in need of a clean slate. Redemption, the possibility of making good and starting over. Here's to a second chance to have a brand new sparkly new-year.

Shubho noboborsho.

P.S: I'm craving kosha mangsho like mad. If good fairies do exist, would they please drop by with mutton and mutton jhol'er alu? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” - Ana├»s Nin

Indeed.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

oh please let's just be (ir)rational about this and intellectualize everything, for fuck's sake. i mean that's how you go about life, isn't it?
a half bottle of chardonnay and several slices of cheese down, followed by some sort of brown mush that came in a microwaveable bag that claims to be punjabi eggplant curry. internlife ftw, no?
just when you're floating around blissfully, you get shot down by some perspective. dear face, say hello to ground. it's been a while.

also: if you guys see this, congratulations to speedpost and buchu for a probable-two year anniversary. i mean congratulations are definitely in order for buchu managing not to mess this up, and speedpost managing to bear with. okay, enough mush. may you waste some time for many more years to come.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I want to write but all I can seem to write in my head is "boobs boobs boobs". Not terribly profound.
I have been drinking Chardonnay and eating cheese. I slept almost all of today. I'm having a really great hair day in a swanky studio apartment. I finally moved off the sofa onto the air mattress behind the cabinets. Full set up it is only. And now I have windows that span half the wall next to my bed, morning light waking me up makes for a very contented Riddhi.

Listening to trip hop and thinking "oh shite, oh shite". Life, plij do not go to the dogs, I beg you. Being homeless and poor will not suit me. I need books and things, and I eat far too much to be happy with grits and gruel.
I am restless today. My mind is dancing on foreign shores somewhere. I want to go travelling. A friend who had come to stay left yesterday and there is a missing-ness in the air.

Greece
Rome
Banaras

I do not feel like going to New York anymore, I don't know why. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jumble

life is doing a 'moon river' right now. in a jumble: pancakes were given and eaten. with blueberries and strawberries and maple syrup as accompaniment. breakfast at tiffany's, and morning glory were watched. new lab manager is an adele lookalike and likes to bake for fun. she brought in a bundt cake two days ago, and her attempt at jaffa cakes with white chocolate and bitter chocolate and bits of orange jelly. boss (henceforth known as Dean) turns around to see my mouth smeared with chocolate and one grubby hand in the ziplock bag full of crumbs. he's too amused to be disapproving.
i had one of those discussions with Dean that you could label "deep". we talked about religion and god, and sentences like "because i know that god sees me, and i am loved" were said unironically. by a near 7 foot tall man who's known to reply to "i have a question" with "i have an answer". people surprise you. they continually surprise me, at least. i told him about getting inked soon, and he told me about his brother who's a chef and all tatted up. i was expecting judgement and condemnation. instead i got mild ribbing, and genuine respect. #whatthefuck.
i perform western blots and cry over them till hallelujah happens. only half a hallelujah though. i eat-drink lots of bread and soup, and fry salmon and eat it cold over the granite kitchen counter, standing up. first boston sleepover happens, homecoming minus the sex. sex does not happen- i'm sorry, vagina. i seem to have developed a penchant for the word "vagina". this could just be me acting out after having spent all of high school being repressed and thinking that "stupid" was a bad word.
or it could be my attempt to drive away my newfound admirers in dubai (yes, i see you and i have been told. what are you doing here, child? do you want to be corrupted?)
trip to rodney's secondhand bookstore happened. i had an almost-indie moment with a scruffy beanie wearer in a mustache. we smiled and talked about the book i wound up buying- the history of the blues which came before the pbr series. i walked away when he buried his nose in the musty smell of the film section.
there is this bizarre thing that happens and it is this: every time i have a spat with the boyfriend, one of his friends emails me. the two are completely unrelated, but it is a true.
anyway, i am sick of this last stretch of winter and i long for spring. tanki comes over in two days and i will basically be living on caffeine very soon. i am too tired to be excited anymore, so i am glad she's coming on a friday. 
in other news, passionfruit orange guava juice is the shit.  in case you were wondering what was with the incoherent mess of words, i'm falling asleep right now,and trying to put off taking a shower.  thank you for reading, goodnight.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beginning

Maybe I can win your heart
With funny links
And texts
that make fun of my yahoo neighbours.

Maybe you will fall in love with me
And we will have an afternoon on a roof
sipping beer.

Maybe I won't have to wait
So long
For my phone to go
Beep.


This has been rescued from my drafts folder. It was dated 16th June, roughly 10 days after I met the hobo. It was an exercise in creative writing, (almost) nothing more. Obviously.

Life is full of "little-did-I-know"s.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Every little hair knows your name

So today I discovered that my relationship has been built on a foundation of deceit, theft, memory loss, weed and alcohol.
Well, you know what they say…. actually, I don’t think they’ve come up with a saying for this yet.
In other news from the week:
One of the grad students from work put up this Facebook status on Friday after laughing for something like 5 minutes straight:
Intern tells her version of Genesis today:
“Eve eats the poison apple of temptation, and then God gets angry, and they are naked, and God casts them out of paradise and they need to work. Oh, and then they have lots of babies or something.”(5 minutes later)
“Clearly I am a heathen!”
(After posting this) Intern: “This is so embarassing. Public shaming. Hang on. Isn’t that what they do to heathens? Public shaming or something?”
————————————————————————————————————-
Also, A mentioned in a thread : Yesterday, R was on Skype, and I told her I could see Facebook reflected in her spectacles. She said– ‘sums up a generation.’ Truer words were never spoken. Ki pathetic.
The person in both instances was me, of course. For some reason everyone at work knew it was me because in their words- no one else would use the word ‘heathen’. The second I only bring up here to convince you that I am not actually a blithering idiot.
In less useless news, I have discovered Jens Lekman, a Swediesh indie pop artist. Your arms around me may just be the best thing I’ve listened to this side of alternate since The Stray Birds. His voice reminds me a little of Morrissey from The Smiths.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"kehta hain dil, rasta mushkil,  maaloom nahi hain kahaan manzil"


Because it's that kind of day. Because it's that kind of life.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Watch out, the world's behind you

It's the strangest thing. I was going to write about separating the essential from the inessential. And disconnecting. Then I read something which made me rethink and shape my ideas with more honesty and clarity.
What I have been doing: 
Separating the essential from the inessential.
Since the beginning of this year, I have turned (mostly) vegetarian, developed an easy camaraderie with people at work, stepped out of my comfort zone, and entertained the possibility that I'm alright.  

What I have realized: I turn older, I run out of patience. I have no patience with people who are inconsistent, and who take more than they will ever give. I really love few people, and I love them fiercely. My time is limited, but I will give it without reservation to them. The rest I have no time for. I am not one for social niceties. I thought I was, but I'm not, and I'm strangely happy with this decision. I will not waste my time with people I don't really want to any longer. It is my time after all.
I am a possessive little brat. Who tries very hard to be pretend to be a grownup. I'm not really sure what to do about this, but I do know that I need reciprocity when it comes to being essential. To be really free is to remove oneself from the need for anything, or anyone save the few biological requirements. You are then the sole master of your heart, your moods, your life. I do not want this freedom. Another kind of freedom lies in trusting someone else with the capacity to hurt you. In making someone an essential when they do not have to be. This is the one I instinctively choose, and prefer for myself, after having given it some thought. 
Which brings me to: Sometimes taking a step back is necessary. A slight shift of the frame brings back the perspective that was hard-won and then discarded- slowly, and then all at once.  I have realized that you do not really need anyone. Not really, you don't. Allowing yourself to is terrifying, but it also brings with itself the second kind of freedom, that can make life immeasurably richer if you let it.
I have realized that I do not want to be a doctor. And that I want to teach and get my hands dirty with the children. That I am not a cynic, and I never want to be. That it s important to differentiate between what you really want and what you think you should want.
I have realized that I have a choice now between viewing my life as a straight trajectory of what I could do, and what would suit my career best, or letting it become slightly unpredictable and geared towards experiences I would like to have. Not having a straight career path is borderline terrifying, and such a choice would be something that I would admire in someone else. Using myself as an experiment, is both something I long to do, and something I'm incredibly nervous about.
I'm a clingy monkey, lazy and irresponsible. I want to be the opposite.
The old motto of the lab I'm at used to be "Do something". I think I shall try very hard to adopt it as my own. Do something.

I partied away the last two days, and felt really old. Today I woke up without a hangover to a phone call from the mater, and listening to my thamma's quavery voice over the phone. She is not amused with the vegetarianism. I skyped with Upi and had a brief glimpse of Mishtu and shared virtual hugs with Shalmus. I also devoured the majority of a pumpkin pie.

What I want to do moving forward:
gain some perspective. take a step back.
get the ball rolling on life after undergrad
take greater care of my hair and my body (time to read that damn yellow book again). i'm thinking it's time to get a haircut that always brings a change.
unpack my life, and set up house properly.
stop feeling obligated to do things and meet people and spend my time on things because it seems like I should.
be productive and a step ahead at work. do something. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For an arbit day

For Mishtu, S, Squg, Piu, Trisha, Tiyan. Also for newfound love, Tanki. "Friend" does not even begin to describe it. For being there in my darkest hours, for listening to me with infinite patience and compassion while I repeated myself, for being part of the lunacy and the digressions, for genuinely celebrating the good times, and picking up the pieces and taping them back together when I had given up. For being fascinating, beautiful, crazy intelligent, and kind women. You guys have my eternal gratitude, and my promise to do the same, with possibly a little more lunacy thrown in for good measure.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Willy Wonka almost-fiction

I love you, I love you, I love you.
I will whisper it into the pages of a book, and sigh it into the crook of my arm as I slip my hand underneath my neck at night. Curled up in the fetal position I will sleep. Dreaming is a distant land whose stories I can barely remember when I wake. The sun creeps in through the blinds at my temporary window, the wind howls and moans at night. It wails about things I think I've heard before, but long forgotten. It threatens to spill over, and reach right in and snatch me away into the night.
Somewhere in the world there is a lanky boy with unruly hair and a wicked grin. As he ambles about his day, he leaves footprints in my heart. There's a pitter-patter, and if you squint you can almost see the tracks before they disappear.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Laughing Heart

Favourite poem recited by favourite man. I love the artwork in this short. Thanks to the hobo (yet again) for leading me to the recitation in the first place. Thanks to the creator of this film for adding even more beauty to something wondrous.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Boston Chronicles 1.0

So life in Boston has settled into its own easy pace. Cambridge is being kind to me for now. Every day brings with it some sort of new discovery. Now if only I could find more permanent, affordable housing, everything would be perfect.
The hobo, contrary to all expectations remains in my life six months in. 
Friday: After a pretty unproductive day at the lab, I was supposed to go out with AH and two of her friends for a girl's night that promised to be wild. Her friends decided to bail on her however (blasted flu), and I decided to rescue the night and have a girl's night with a completely different set of girls. So I recruited J and P, and the four of us decided that it was Friday goddammit, and we were going to have some fun. After some mulling over possible places- drinks and good food without breaking the bank seems to be a tall order- we decided upon 'Brown Sugar'. Token American aka the boss suggested Bon Chon but AH dismissed it as fast food, thoroughly upsetting him. So Brown Sugar it was, and we set out on the shuttle, clutching our coats, ushankas and scarves. We waited in the lobby for a good ten minutes, making eyes at the puffer fish, and violently coloured snaggle-tooths in their aquarium before we got a table. The food was excellent, and served in preposterous quantities. I ordered Fishman's Madness which was basically an explosion of scallops, squid, shrimps, mussels, mushrooms and peppers in this delicious chilli-garlic gravy. I have discovered that I really dislike scallops- they remind me of the pork fat that hobo and company tricked me into eating, and taste like nothing but blandness and blobs. The texture itself puts me off. The squid was for some reason carved like pineapples, but the mussels were great. Post-dinner we dragged our Garfield like selves to this tiny Japanese place where I experienced the deliciousness of mochi for the first time. I liked it so much that on Saturday I walked for half an hour to Trader Joe's to buy myself some, which sadly turned out to be nothing like the real deal. I now have a pack of mochi lying in the refrigerator, covered in flour , all gooey and gross.
Saturday was spent waking up late, frantically running to the dysfunctional T and reaching Boston Commons nearly an hour late for my ice-skating date with the labmates. The weather was unexpectedly warm and sunny, the speakers at Frog Pond played old 90's music, and we spent a good three hours there. Now this was my very first time on the ice and considering that I can't even walk in a straight line, ice skating was really... interesting. My labmates were super patient though, and the scene wound up being something like one at each side, holding my hand while the third skated behind us. Every time I would wobble, the three would zoom up and huddle around me. By the end of the day, we'd all become a lot more physically intimate than we would have expected. Good first date, I'd imagine.
So after ice skating we grabbed footlongs at Subway and then I ran to Vanderbilt Hall at Harvard for choir practice. I got roped into it by AH. Here's how it happened: Hey, you should come see my acapella group. It's gonna be a shitshow, but it'll be fun. Hey, what's your range like? Hey, you should do liptorrals and sirens. Hey, you're a soprano. Great, our group needs help.
And so I'm singing 'Fields of Gold' in harmony with the Harvard Heartbeats at their cadaver memorial on this Wednesday. What's a cadaver memorial, you ask? Well, people donate their bodies to science, see? And this Wednesday the families of those dead bodies along with all of Harvard Med School are going to come to this program at Harvard and watch me sing a solo, and harmonize with 5 other girls (it's going to be a complete shitshow, since very few of them can actually sing and we're getting roughly one and a half rehearsals in before the show). Random, but it's a thing.
The other highlight of Saturday was the walk to Trader Joe's where I bought Green Tea mochi, a pack of three dark chocolates imported from Belgium, and Trader Joe's own smooth peanut butter cups made of dark chocolate (Dear Reese's, nothing compares to you). Came home to find a note on the fridge from the second roomie saying, "Help yourself to banana cake if you like", which I obviously did, and boy was it delicious- full of pecans and almonds and chocolate chip and dusted sugar. 
Sunday has been pretty useless, in a not so terrible way. Woke up late, stayed home, talked to the hobo, and finally made my new year's list. What I hope to do with the rest of my evening: shower, laundry, read papers and come up with a list of relevant questions, finish the new year list.
Other highlights of the week include visit to Rodney's Bookstore where the guy at the counter, who is writing a book and draws comics for an indie newspaper, directed me to the underground music scene and gave me recommendations on where to live (Allston, baby!). Also lunch at cafe Au Bon Pain, where Robin Williams and whatsizname played chess in 'Good Will Hunting'. Lunch consisted of rain and a salmon-wasabi bagel which was both delicioso and affordable. Trek to Somerville to look at a potential house which turned out to be completely unsuitable. Trek to Inman Square where I discovered the Bukoswki pub which I definitely intend to visit. Also multiple visits to Flour which is close to work, has hipster baristas, and  the most beautiful lamb sandwiches- gigantic, fresh and dripping with cranberry sauce.
In other news: I bought a guitar, and I'm getting a tatoo in March which is when T comes to visit. Life is definitely having a 'What R did' moment right now.

Friday, January 11, 2013

You've got the love

1. Invincible Summer. Vines. Morning slow dawning eureka moment.
2. Productive bus ride reading paper.
3. Discover old messages. Find unexpected peace.
4. Intelligent discussion with intimidatingly smart people. Fail to reject competence.
5. Visit MIT with colleague. Bond over rants and dreams.
6. Eat Turkish chocolate.
7. Decide to leave work early. TGIF!
8 Say goodbye, promise to let people know about party over the weekend.
9. Carry hand drawn map by coworker and find indie cafe on street corner.
10. Settle down with cappuccino and research paper and alternately read and eavesdrop on conversations. Initiation ritual to life in Boston.
11. Get up to leave. "You have a radiance about you. You're going to do great things".
12. Have long conversation with strange well dressed old man. Talk about life, Reiki, Harvard, and listen to all his advice about your life with pinch of salt, and some amusement.
13. Long train and bus ride home, listening to music and feeling at peace.
14. Find out that there's been an accident.
15. Heat up chilli chicken, bhindi, and tortillas.
16. Call up friend and manhandle oven while laughing over life, love, and randomfluff.
17. Settle down. Receive goodnews about housing and the kindness of strangers.
18. Be profoundly grateful for the xx. Notice what a great bum Florence W. has.
19. Plan springbreak with friend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Roaming girl, I cannot hold you

The thing is, it could be the time for a “nothing’s the same” post but it isn’t that kind of time. Apparently if you’ve suffered DMSO exposure, you start tasting onions and garlic. Now I can’t really smell so I’m just going to have to be very careful with all the strange molecules and drugs we like to play around with. “You belong here”, I was told. I felt like I should have been in a movie then, with quietly powerful music playing. There is a huge common area/ conference room with a huge sofa where you can expect to find people napping, glasses askew, shoes flung over at an angle, at any given time of the day. There are these huge glass walls and it’s a little surreal standing there, dangling my legs over the couch, reading- it’s the old penthouse dream I had.
I am the littlest thing. I am inconsequential. I am homeless. I am suffocating.
I used to think I liked the smell of smoke. It hangs around all the time and it makes me want to retch. Violence of emotion and then dullness. Please, please, please.
Please, please, please.
I am the most ungrateful wretch that ever was. Maybe it is the time for a “nothing’s the same” speech after all, but there isn’t anyone listening.
I can ask you to love me, I can indulge in fitful periods of unconsciousness and wake up disconsolate, but I cannot move you nor myself.
I turned twenty one, unhappily. A friend wrote me an acrostic poem. I flew across the Niagara and shared breakfast and music with a driver from the sixties. I can barely remember him now, but he had kind blue eyes, and when I told him that I was unhappy he offered me kind cliches and tales of how he’d been arrested when he was my age. Here’s what happened- they were smuggling their friends across the border to go buy alcohol where it was legal. So there are these two guys in the trunk of the car, and then the police asks ‘em to open up, and put ‘em up, and don’t you know. 
So there was that, and then I got into the airport and this strange, really disorienting thing happened. It so happens that my ringtone used to be this song by Dylan for various reasons. So I’m standing at the airport, filling out customs forms and suddenly I hear the song playing, with the distinctive train-whistle-like beginning. I look at my phone but it isn’t ringing, and the sound seems to be coming from elsewhere. I look around, searching, and briefly consider the possibility that I’m going mad. Finally I track it down to a speaker on the wall close to where I’m standing. This makes no sense, so I ask other people if they can hear it, and they can. They look at me like I’m a little insane. The song plays in its entirety and then there’s silence except for announcements. That was the only song that played the whole time I was there.
Lots of things happened, and didn’t. Family is a strange thing, distant family even more so. Living in the suburbs of Massachusetts is another experience altogether. I have my own sadness, man; I don’t need yours. I have not asked for your frustrations or anxieties or hopes. I am not as nice as you would like to believe, and I do not care. I do not ask anything in return, except to be left alone.
Going on a completely unexpected trip through my head. Everything appears slow and all at once. The universe is a whole and also fragmented and disjoint. I’m in a videogame and can’t feel my face. A speeding car and lots of nightmarish christmas lights and deconstructing absolutely everything. Boston at my feet, I’m in a car that’s turned into a plane. Prepare for take-off. It’s a sea of lights. I will never do this again. Knock on lots of doors, make lots of calls, find soulmate- whoops, something totally random and unpredictable says that you can’t have it.
I travelled up a lonely hill, through scraggly trees with only moonlight and someone in the distance. I stood on a bench and looked down at Boston. It was a lot darker than I expected. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Thewoodsarelovelydarkanddeep. I walked on water.
Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts made with aloha. Funny eared, frightfully important men. Virtual piles of ‘awesome’ papers. Two days and I’m reeling. Nightly phone calls that last for hours and stretch out over miles on foreign soil. Forcing concentration on talks that are strangely comprehensible and interesting. Being told that the future may not be exactly as I’d anticipated. Certain closed doors begin to swing open again, and certain open doors seem to never have been.
Lots of random chances. Lots of emotion. Blank. Give up hope. Blank. Overwhelming anger. Blank. Nervousness. Weakness. Comfort Seeking. Blank. Blank. Blank. Intimidation. Mind numbing exhaustion. Blank. Blank. Blank.
Retreat into self. Read,read,read.
I had a prayer. I said it over and over and it came from the deepest part of my soul. It went: please. please, please, please. please.
Please.