Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On Occasion

As I stand lazily soaking in the winter sun, I see a monkey in the distant roof, doing the same. A closer inspection reveals a Ma monkey followed by one-two baby monkeys, with another monkey chilling in someone's balcony. 'Hee...bador bador', I gleefully observe. The Ma monkey then climbs down the grill, just like Spiderman. The young ones follow suit to join their Chacha (I'm guessing) in the neighbouring balcony.

Still giggling, I come down the stairs to find a wolf strolling about, in the guise of a dog. It seems to have enough fur to shield the neighbourhood for the winter. I share biscuits with the dumb blackie but those 5 biscuits vanish before hitting the floor. Finding I have no more biscuits to offer, it now decides to settle for the next best thing.

It begins to wag its bushy tail, I pat it a little. Two pats, and the wolf seeks to climb till my shoulder, like a chipku guy. 'Durey thako, durey thako', I order the wolf which probably weighs more than me. It calms down but still keeps on looking through the iron grills long after I have closed the gate.

I go back to shoot the monkeys on the roof but they have long since vanished. So I shoot the next best thing: Myself.

Gurgaon is a chiriyakhana. I like it.

5:30 am

5:30 am- That unearthly hour that marks the short interval between the dying echoes of night and the first whispers of dawn.

5:30 am- That whimsical muse who whistles away at the last few hours of a person's sleep; him desperate to finish the dream before reality faces him, once again.

On such a 5:30 am today morning, I decided to go for a walk.

Yes, me. The nightcrawler, the sun-hater.

I can't remember waking up so early except while catching trains.
And that one time, I climbed a mountain (or was it a hill?) in Rajasthan. I was very small, so even a hill seemed Mt. Everest to me. And how proud I was when I climbed it before the elders, right at the speck of dawn. I got a pack of Uncle Chips as reward. Something about the chips tasted even finer, I tell you. 

And now this. 

Another of my attempts at something new and different in the last 4 months.
Being healthy? Nah. The early bird? You're preaching to the owl.

And as the last shadows of night kissed the earth goodbye, we began walking. Talking, laughing, discussing everything and more, this bunch of crazies walked playfully. Shivering in the cold, I followed them first. Then, irritated at the slow walking, I began pacing fast. And faster. The way I usually walk. Like I was in a walk-a-thon. Walking under the sky, amidst the shrubbery, looking at the 18 to 40-year olds who had also gathered. To play, to walk. Who wakes up so early?

The early bird. The milkman. The driver. The working man and woman. The sun, for God's sake.
Certainly not me.

I liked walking with you today, Dawn. I hope to do more. But I am bad with promises. And as long as nothing's defined, it's still full of potential, innit? Pregnant with hope. So let's just keep it that way.
May be we will meet again. May be not.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Deal with the Devil

Pen and paper beside
Endless thoughts brewing on my mind
Let’s see, how to begin
Oh look, there’s a notification!

Listless faces, infinite stories
Such overwhelming information
Might I just take a minute’s break?
Any likes or comments- a quick check.

Time passes, months fly
The summer winds gently sway
This raving demon consumes my soul
It carries me up and away.

Such a possessive spouse,
A more obsessive partner I haven’t seen
We are in a co-dependent relationship.
We’d have to go to therapy
But ah Facebook, only you have understood me!

Now you love me, now you don’t
You make me feel pretty;
You make me sound smart.
I’ve never met anyone like you
I’d trade every reality for this illusory you.

It’s true I haven’t read a book in eons
Not even made a friend- a real one that is.
But it doesn’t matter you see
My Facebook friends are more than 450.

We are closer than you think
We talk everyday, sometimes by night
And when my neighbour (some name I forget) commits suicide
That’s what I put up as status.

My FB friends are very concerned
They shower me with affection
I know they care and they do.
I’m not lonely as that neighbour too.

Morning to night, I search
Crazy anecdotes, curious sightings, whatever I can find
To impress my invisible friends.
But the day my status gets less than 10 likes,
I gasp. I stare aghast, afraid
To acknowledge my worthless existence.
Why does nobody love me?
Am I that repulsive, that boring?
What would it take to just ‘like’ me?

Because you see, attention is a transient drug
Keeps you high till the effects wear off
Very soon, 10 likes aren’t enough.
You need more and more. As far you can go.

His photo got more comments than mine.
Does that mean he’s more popular, more charming?
Ah Facebook you bitch,
You have created a pool of contagious narcissuses
Each feeding off the popularity of other
Distracting us from the real world.

Attention keeps us high, in a vegetative state
We’re all kings and queens here
Just a reflection of our true selves.

So take my home, my pen, paper and soul
Take my beauty, my vitality, my youth
Take my knowledge, my urge, I care not
So long as my profile is ‘followed’ the most.