Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Life of Music

There are songs in us which give us life, songs we grow up on, songs that grow with us, win our hearts, grieve with us, make us calm when we need it and mean several different things to us at different stages in life. They are as alive as the sea in the city I grew up in, the train journeys that I romanticized and the trees that are evergreen. The sea means as many things to me as the time I spent being connected to it and being away from it and reminiscing it. The sea has always been alive in my mind’s eye. So has Ilaiyaraja’s music. No words would be enough to describe the genius of his music. I’m not the best person to comment on his genius anyway given my technical incompetence in music except for the few irregular lessons in violin that I took some years ago and a part of his song is the only one I learnt to play on it all by myself. Talk about motivation! His music has been there for me when the best of my friends couldn’t. It meant to me all that I wanted it to mean. It helped me grieve during the loss of a loved one. It helped me smile when I celebrated. It helped me calm down when I was anxious. Can something be more alive? It spoke to my heart directly. No words were needed in any language. It helped me be detached, it helped me love myself, it helped me love others. My mother tongue paled in comparison to the warmth with which his music seeped into me. It made the planet a lovelier place. It made the train sounds melodious. It made me feel the leaves dancing to his tunes, the wind blowing to his rhythms, the rain tapping the earth to his melody. It brought back memories from the past, it made me nostalgic, it made me imagine the future. It made me crave for things I might not necessarily want and gave me solace when things went gloomy. His music is a prayer, is my religion and my spirituality. I need no gods or myths or invisible powers.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lazytalk, Hanging brains, Hanging heads

"May in Ayemenem is a hot brooding month" So is June and July for me at home, near the waves and the monsoon. Thanks to my joblessness. I wish for everyone to be jobless and free. Employment is a scam and a euphemism for slavery. But if that is the only way to livelihood, who do we blame? I blame the powerful, how inhuman!

The guilt of inaction while brooding away seeps in deep, to a spot where I cannot differentiate between leisure and boredom and the arbitrary suffering. Mad people I think. Stupid people I think. Don't they see? But I'm not the one to tell them, to try to show them, see see. I say, sometimes. But I'm too lazy to talk about it now. I'm as lazy as a leaf in a breezeless summer. I let it be. I believe too little in my own self. Who am I anyway? I would often think of disappearing into a background where no one notices me. Please do not. It's fine.

I drown in guilt but I am lazy and I'm guilty that I can afford to be lazy. I can live silently in the background and die one day hoping no one registers either my absence or presence. But if only, right? That never happens. Too many memories created already. It's only in my own head that I suspend my own self to disappear. To identify with the air or the leaf or the grain of sand that is always around but will never be noticed. Can I be like that? Like, I don't interfere or do anything. Like, I have no aims or plans. I'm just there, as well be dead. There's not even an I. As I could be as many things as there are in the background.

This is babble. This is cowardly lazier too the worse. Who fancies words and blabber blah but is too lazy. A coward who can see, is aware of her cowardice, who resigns and dreams of complete disappearance. Who likes the monotony of the ceiling fan. Why the ceiling fan, no, that's too much, just a hand fan, which we used during power cuts when I was a child. The dull monotony of just staring into nothing, when meanings were not formed, ambiguity was a fact of life. She loves it, wants to blend into it. It is monotonous, yet familiar, comforting and passive. What is the need for anything else. But the paradox is I have no interest in preaching this. Please suit yourself, just let me be. Too comfortable in my own shell.

And anyway, lazy people are harmless, no? They're too lazy to harm. Sometimes, disillusion with all ideologies brings me to find solace in laziness, fiction and random reflections of words in my head. At the root of everything, is complete arbitrariness. There's no real reason or cause for suffering or happiness, it is built upon arbitrariness piled on arbitrariness, maybe that's what Camus calls absurdity. From whatever I have read, there is no root or origin of any phenomenon, good or bad, it is created and believed in and forgotten and it goes around. I will come back to hate my own cowardice and say, you bloody hypocrite, you, but you have your own history, on which your life is pitched, you cannot just find solace in all this root talk! Okay, lets wait. It's not the end. I have lived a quarter century of a useless life, already. Come on, I didn't choose to be born, you see. This life, this world and its problems are my forced inheritance. I would be happy to die if it was an effortless death.

There are other deaths, there are deaths where a stranger hangs another stranger and gives death. I wonder, how can one do this as a job. Of course, I'm too privileged, and with guilt, to sit in judgment over anyone. But what a world, where you can pay for someone to kill a complete stranger as a daily job. And not just the one who is at the end of the act. A whole institution, a whole country, actively or passively supports it or resents it to no consequence but to kill. I'm not too big to oppose nor am I too tiny to disappear or be dead. I'm alive in this whatever space I occupy and I have the guilt of privilege that I have not given up. I seek solidarity, I wait, it's neither an end, nor a beginning, it is a passage, that I would cross as time leads me on, to resolve the web of meanings that have been constructed. It is our knowledge of history, one version or the other, that makes us ideological, as I define and am defined by my own.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Happy" WoMen's Day!

9:30PM, Mar 8 - M1:

9:34PM, Mar 8 - M2: Kya hai be M1 pagal hogaya hai kya bey
9:34PM, Mar 8 - M2: :D :D :D
9:35PM, Mar 8 - M2: Or is it how the country1 porn works :P :P
9:38PM, Mar 8 - M1: Jaago grahak jaago
9:39PM, Mar 8 - W: Jaago
9:39PM, Mar 8 - W: M2 jaago
9:42PM, Mar 8 - M1: M2, equality to men and women means no more special treatment to women required. You don't have to work hard for finding dates 😉
9:43PM, Mar 8 - W: special treatment for women, you mean rape?
9:44PM, Mar 8 - W: Or porn?
9:49PM, Mar 8 - M2: See what have you done M1
9:49PM, Mar 8 - M2: You just gave her ammunition
9:49PM, Mar 8 - M2: :D :D
9:50PM, Mar 8 - W: M2 turned feminist kya.
9:53PM, Mar 8 - M1: W, chill. There are some who want are brainwashed from the centuries of patriarchal mindset who feel women need protection and treated like princesses/dolls etc. Men and women are at fault for this
9:54PM, Mar 8 - W: But what is the special treatment?
9:56PM, Mar 8 - M1: It is a big essay. If I say it in a sentence, I'll be misconstrued or blamed for something else altogether
9:56PM, Mar 8 - M1: :P
9:58PM, Mar 8 - M2: Now it makes sense
9:59PM, Mar 8 - W: M2 ji you were talking about country1 porn
10:02PM, Mar 8 - M2: He he :D:D you are interested Tho M1 can send you some I suppose
10:04PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya, happy women's day to you all feminists. Enjoy porn.
10:05PM, Mar 8 - M2: Come on now that's racist coment
10:05PM, Mar 8 - M2: Porn is for everyone
10:05PM, Mar 8 - M2: :D :D
10:06PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya for everyone, for all rapists, perverts and male chauvinist pigs. I guess that covers everyone
10:06PM, Mar 8 - M2: :D :D :D
10:06PM, Mar 8 - M2: Am not going to fight you on auspicious day
10:07PM, Mar 8 - M2: But yes it's for all
10:07PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya go watch porn
10:07PM, Mar 8 - M1: In the country you two reside, some forms of porn are watched by women as well
10:07PM, Mar 8 - M1: It's in the statistics
10:07PM, Mar 8 - M1: :P
10:08PM, Mar 8 - W: That makes perfect sense. Porn should be made legal I guess. You should fight for it on facebook
10:09PM, Mar 8 - W: Why share women's empowerment and all.
10:10PM, Mar 8 - M2: :D :D :D M1 tere liye hai
10:10PM, Mar 8 - M2: Counter that
10:10PM, Mar 8 - W: M2 you too.
10:14PM, Mar 8 - M1: Haha, I'm not saying it's good or bad.
10:14PM, Mar 8 - M2: I never shared any myself
10:14PM, Mar 8 - M2: :D :D
10:14PM, Mar 8 - M2: Am devoid of those things
10:14PM, Mar 8 - M1: People just watch it, so an industry grew out of it
10:15PM, Mar 8 - M1: Haha
10:29PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya its very funny. Wow. Porn industry. And there are so many rapists. We should encourage porn. More porn is good. Maybe girls should also watch porn and learn.
10:30PM, Mar 8 - W: And ya porn is not good or bad. Rape is also not good or bad. Girls are misunderstanding it
10:30PM, Mar 8 - M1: :o :o
10:30PM, Mar 8 - M1: :o :o
10:30PM, Mar 8 - M1: W, what are you talking?
10:31PM, Mar 8 - M1: Watch Don Jon once
10:31PM, Mar 8 - W: Why. I should just watch porn I guess
10:32PM, Mar 8 - M1: No no, I am serious. That movie clearly shows why porn is bad
10:32PM, Mar 8 - W: But you think it's good
10:32PM, Mar 8 - W: M2 thinks it’s awesome
10:33PM, Mar 8 - W: Even girls watch it. You were saying no?
10:33PM, Mar 8 - M1: I am saying even girls are watching it, so that's even more dangerous for the society dude
10:34PM, Mar 8 - M1: Look at the way society is headed
10:34PM, Mar 8 - M1: Unrealistic expectations and
10:34PM, Mar 8 - W: Yes. It's dangerous.  Girls can’t watch it. It's men's birthright to watch porn, to rape. It's only natural
10:34PM, Mar 8 - M1: Lol! :o
10:35PM, Mar 8 - M1: Are you okay?
10:35PM, Mar 8 - M1: I think we both are on same side on this.
10:35PM, Mar 8 - W: Yes. Absolutely.  We should celebrate porn more openly
10:35PM, Mar 8 - W: Why don’t we do that right?
10:36PM, Mar 8 - M1: Nope. We shouldn't. Lot of molestation and rapes in are because of the porn industry
10:36PM, Mar 8 - M1: Direct correlation has been established
10:36PM, Mar 8 - W: But you and M2 were just saying how funny it is
10:36PM, Mar 8 - M1: And FYI country2 has more reported cases than country3.
10:37PM, Mar 8 - M1: And authorities don't take it seriously there as well
10:37PM, Mar 8 - W: Who cares where it is more
10:37PM, Mar 8 - W: Did I say country2 or country3?
10:38PM, Mar 8 - M1: All your undirected aggression is for naught if nothing comes out of it. I am as much pissed as you are. And I have been pissed since long before all this came out in the media with nirbhaya and India's daughter
10:39PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya, sure, but we still worry about special treatment for women and find porn so funny
10:39PM, Mar 8 - M1: I know the only way to counter this is to educate people in schools, meetings, gatherings etc consistently
10:40PM, Mar 8 - M1: We were making a pun okay!
10:40PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya it's very funny really. Pun on porn
10:40PM, Mar 8 - M1: Women shouldn't be treated specially. They should be treated equally. No less, no more.
10:41PM, Mar 8 - M1: All these years of trying to 'save women', 'protect women' is the same crooked psychology as the ones on the other side
10:41PM, Mar 8 - M1: Nobody has a right!
10:41PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya that's what.  They've been given too much special treatment. Rape, eve teasing, domestic violence, sexual harassment, funny porn
10:42PM, Mar 8 - M1: And what about the objectifying women in film n entertainment industry
10:42PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya that too
10:42PM, Mar 8 - W: Too much special treatment.  Women just love it
10:43PM, Mar 8 - W: And they think it's so much fun
10:43PM, Mar 8 - W: They feel so special
10:44PM, Mar 8 - M1: FYI in some places in country3 indoctrinated women stop other women from liberating something
10:44PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya women are women's enemies.  Men should protect them like they’ve always been doing
10:44PM, Mar 8 - M1: It is an institutional problem
10:45PM, Mar 8 - W: Women will start raping women too
10:45PM, Mar 8 - W: Maybe it's already happening
10:45PM, Mar 8 - W: Who knows?
10:45PM, Mar 8 - W: Men should tell us
10:46PM, Mar 8 - M1: If you are as brainwashed as the rest of em. I'm out! No point talking. I'm not gonna take this shit that all men are assholes and we are all the same
10:46PM, Mar 8 - W: Yes. Of course. Women are all assholes. Men have only been trying to save them all the while but they never understood
10:47PM, Mar 8 - W: It's not men or women. It's patriarchy which is in outer space. Women rape women as much as men do
10:48PM, Mar 8 - M1: Temme one thing, have any of us treated anybody the way you portray all men as?
10:48PM, Mar 8 - M1: If no, then stop blaming all men for what a few do
10:50PM, Mar 8 - W: No, all men aren't.  We should only look at the good men and be thankful that they aren’t giving us special treatment like rape etc. We are too negative when we only look at these other men who treat women specially
10:50PM, Mar 8 - W: Let’s only talk about good men
10:50PM, Mar 8 - W: They’re so good.  They don’t rape
10:50PM, Mar 8 - W: Wow
10:51PM, Mar 8 - W: Let’s not talk about rape itself or any other special treatment.  Let’s just be happy there are good men
10:52PM, Mar 8 - M1: Thank you W. Why don't you join a group of like-minded people and go on a killing spree. That way all men will be dead and you can finally be happy
10:52PM, Mar 8 - W: On women's day, that's what we should do. Thank all the good men who haven’t raped yet. They haven’t exercised their fundamental right yet. Such sacrifice
10:53PM, Mar 8 - M1: Are you alright? Fundamental right?
10:54PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya, I'm a terrorist. I'm only thinking bad of good men
10:54PM, Mar 8 - W: I can't see their goodness
10:54PM, Mar 8 - W: Too blind
10:54PM, Mar 8 - M1: Great!
10:54PM, Mar 8 - M1: Let’s see if you are gonna do something about it, or just rant on , like the rest of them
10:55PM, Mar 8 - M1: Good luck to you
10:55PM, Mar 8 - M1: If you have a problem, work towards solving it
10:55PM, Mar 8 - M1: I am definitely gonna work towards it. I intend to
10:55PM, Mar 8 - W: And good men can do their duty by saying, “look, we didn't rape, okay? You get raped by other men. It's not our fault. Stop blaming all men. Blame women.”
10:56PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya all I do is rant
10:56PM, Mar 8 - W: I’m so jobless. I don’t get what’s funny about porn or special treatment towards women
10:56PM, Mar 8 - W: I must be crazy
10:57PM, Mar 8 - W: Maybe I should see a psychiatrist
10:58PM, Mar 8 - M1: I apologize on behalf of M2 and I. 'We men' are insensitive patriarchal bastards who don't know better, and only make 'small' mistakes. We were brought up in you know
10:58PM, Mar 8 - M1: We really feel sorry for all that
10:59PM, Mar 8 - W: But no, you are not. You only joke about porn and think it's all because women are given special treatment.  You can’t be accused of patriarchy
11:01PM, Mar 8 - M1: :o What I am saying about special treatment and what you are implying are totally different things
11:02PM, Mar 8 - M1: I'm for no treatment of any kind. Special or special. Women have same rights as men
11:02PM, Mar 8 - M1: And it is time they claim it!
11:02PM, Mar 8 - M1: That's all I'm saying
11:03PM, Mar 8 - M1: Nobody to take, nobody to give
11:03PM, Mar 8 - M1: It is to be claimed
11:03PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya since I'm a woman I don't get it I guess. I'm so ungrateful that I didn't realize that I’ve always been given such treatment
11:03PM, Mar 8 - M1: 

11:04PM, Mar 8 - M1: This way!
11:04PM, Mar 8 - W: Ya women didn't realise it enough to claim it.  They thought they were unequal all the while. So men just harassed them to remind them that they should claim it
11:05PM, Mar 8 - M1:
11:05PM, Mar 8 - W: Women are so lazy. It's all their fault. They have no unity
11:05PM, Mar 8 - W: We should all go to Iceland
11:05PM, Mar 8 - W: And learn how to claim our rights
11:06PM, Mar 8 - M1: Please educate on what should be done then. Cos whatever I say is wrong cos I am a man right. So I humbly request you to enlighten me in this
11:06PM, Mar 8 - W: Porn is not funny
11:07PM, Mar 8 - W: And women haven't got any special treatment other than harassment
11:08PM, Mar 8 - W: I don’t understand why men get defensive rather than accepting this
11:09PM, Mar 8 - M1: Neither is the law in which many men have been brutally criminalized cos some of draconian laws
11:10PM, Mar 8 - W: Protective laws are there for women as protection against patriarchy. Every law is misused. That doesn't mean we get rid of all laws, right?
11:12PM, Mar 8 - M1: What about the city1 girls issue
11:13PM, Mar 8 - M1: I am sure you know how law is misused
11:13PM, Mar 8 - W: And it amazes me that men still choose to get defensive about men rather than have any solidarity with women
11:13PM, Mar 8 - M1: Without proper procedures
11:13PM, Mar 8 - M1: For the record I have no solidarity with anyone
11:14PM, Mar 8 - M1: I prefer laws being swift and just
11:14PM, Mar 8 - W: Yes it is misused. Which law isn’t misused?
11:14PM, Mar 8 - W: So which law is so perfectly implemented? Please educate me
11:15PM, Mar 8 - W: Yes, if you have no solidarity, no need to talk about women
11:15PM, Mar 8 –M3: Kya subah subah itna sab padha diya. Jao sojao sab.
11:16PM, Mar 8 - M1: Sorry M3
11:16PM, Mar 8 - W: M3, you go sleep. Mute your phone. Sorry for the disturbance
11:16PM, Mar 8 – M3: Chill maro sab. Sunday night ha tum logo ka :D
11:18PM, Mar 8 - M2: He he super M3 to the rescue

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


If ever I had to write, I would write about loss. 
Like I attempt to do right now. 
Loss, pain, emptiness, loneliness, helplessness. 
As morose as they may sound, I’d like to write about them. 
These are the feelings which keep asking to be justified, to be addressed, scream for answers, at least some explanation. 
But never, never get one. 
And any explanation, however deep, cannot dislodge them. 
They keep coming back once they strike as long as memory exists. 
As long as the very basis for such emotions does not fade away.
A lot of it. 
Unjustifiable loss.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Stories in the Air

Too many words too few
To tell a story too many
There isn't just one
To attempt to word it all 
To get lost is easy if not likely
To dream and to know what is real is not easy
Like music without lyrics
There is as much meaning as there is none
As overrated as meaning might be
I need it as much as it troubles me
As impulsive as a thought can be
It springs this moment and makes it alive
And disappears without warning like a fire fly

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Starry Eyes

I do not see a perfect world but I know that beauty is possible

I do see it on nights like these

I can hear the song in the clouds and see the smile in the stars

I can immerse in the music in the breeze and float

As light as a bubble

The night unburdens me and gives me hope

To imagine

To play a tune in my head

The trees aren’t unequal

Nor are the birds

Nor is the sea and the sky

When I see my own insignificance, I can see

There is life beyond ladders

If I was granted a wish tonight

I pray that this moment of being one with the sky and the sea and the stars be lived

Isn’t this how it feels to be equal?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Contract called Marriage and Blah

These are just a few questions. And it is not an exhaustive critique of marriage as an institution.

1. The very institution of marriage is a private property version for sexuality, more so for a girl, what with they calling it "kanyadaan", which literally translates to donating a virgin. So much for virginity! What gives anybody any right on the virginity of any girl, their bodies and how they should be regulated? All their lives, parents are protective about this so called virginity of their daughters, which is amazingly hypocritical in its confinement only to girls, there seems to be no such concept of male virginity. If they are really so bothered about it, shouldn't they have made it equally applicable to guys? Why such selective regulation for one gender? And why such regulation in the first place?

2. Marriage takes the sexual orientation of people for granted. It outright excludes lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

3. "Infidelity" in marriage. The relationship may end for many people in a few years after marriage and they live dead lives fulfilling obligations. They might both want to break up but they can't because of unreasonable social pressure. And usually it's easier for guys to have extra marital affairs because of greater unrestricted mobility. If only the ladies also had that freedom! How many break ups don't we see in college days? Imagine if all of them had to still stay together because of social pressure. It's so convenient to break up and start life anew if it's just a relationship. No additional baggage. Families are also like organizations, they seem to have to exist forever whether they have a purpose or not.

4. And children, poor children. Everywhere while talking of children's rights, the most ignored question is the oppression of children at home. How family as an institution acts on children because of the institution of marriage. Children are rendered vulnerable from day 1 by being put in this institution called family without choice. They are trained to accept the power of elders over them from the very beginning. Love and power are often confused with each other.

5. And then there is that hypocrisy of confining respect only to sisters, mothers and others' wives. It's like the 'propertied' females deserve respect while those who are independent do not.

6. Relationships vs Marriage. Why is the latter legitimate while the former isn't considered so? Because they do not have wide social approval when it's not an official thing like a marriage? Because it allows scope for engaging physically and mentally with more than one person? In relationships, as against marriage, people can break up peacefully without all the divorce drama. Of course, women who are vulnerable and are likely to get adversely affected by a break up need to be protected, given that many women do not have access to any share of the family's assets or income though they contribute to it through their work that is rendered invisible because it is not valued, like for example, household work or are denied any opportunity to get their income or even when they do, it is not under their control.

7. And, in a marriage, one has to bear the stupidity and fight for one's freedom with another family. Especially for a girl who has done this fighting business for the slightest things like going out for an hour, it can be doubly irritating.

9. And finally, arranged marriage perpetuates the status quo on many problems in the society and promotes them further. One only has to look at the matrimonials to confirm this. People want spouses from the same caste (casteism), fair (racism), earning in lakhs (class inequality), education too (meritocracy). Why don't people only interact within their own caste then? Why send them to schools where everyone comes? Why benefit from a society where people from all castes are contributing? Talk to only fair people, make only friends with them? Do not eat food grown by farmers, do not depend on a society which consists of people other than your own community for anything, do all your work on your own!

10. There are many other evils perpetrated by marriage like dowry and domestic violence which are widely understood as problems to be dealt with but marriage itself is not seen as the root of these evils.

11. Lastly, looking at it for what it really is, marriage is actually a contract enforced by society by all means possible - religion, family, state (whether you get married or get a divorce, the state needs to know and approve it), you name it! Some might argue that marriage is protection for women. I disagree, the very idea that only marriage gives women a respectful position i.e. by accepting the idea of being someone's property or accepting someone's control over one's sexuality alone gets you respect is highly problematic. I hope this is not confused with opposing any of the various protective laws that are there for women who suffer in marriage and who need protection by the institutions of the state or voluntary institutions of women (however piecemeal efforts these might be). Here, the very cause of women's vulnerability and suffering is because of patriarchy and patriarchal institutions like marriage. So, if there was no marriage, more than half the problems wouldn't be there in the first place.

For opposing marriage, some take it for granted to view single women as sexual objects for perverted pleasures. Some take to that interpretation that women who do not use marriage and hence subject themselves to the risk of a less respectful social status want to objectify themselves for the pleasure of all perverted men. Frankly, this is trying to justify the perverted instincts of some men by blaming it on women.

I really wonder why this institution hasn't lost its legitimacy yet, so strongly enforced it is, in spite of being dysfunctional to the 'l'. There could be exceptions to this sorry tale of marriage. I mean no disrespect to those who are married or getting married or want to get married. I only wish to empathize with those who share these questions irrespective of their marital status.