Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Speaking

Even when gods fall, worlds and stars in them end, and hope herself walks unsteady paces, and the great old ones dissolve away in darker things, and even the beast of end plays a weary hand, the Essential within you will remain intact. Find that, now, in your human privilege. Find that with the fury of a thousand million universes set ablaze.

You sense it inside you.

I know you know. You have always known.

Let us speak, you and I, once you make the transition from the knowing of it, to its admission.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Deathless: Prelude

One lazy Saturday evening, I decided that I should make a film. To do this, I underwent 12 continuous hours of filming, scripting, narrating, downloading and software, ooh-what-does-this-button-do-ing, sound mixing, editing, and subtitling some footage. To see how it really works.

It produced 2 minutes and 14 seconds of film footage. It turned out a tad better than expected, so, here:

Thank you for watching, as they say.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bay Windows

As the monsoon uncertainly courts the subcontinent, but with the comfort of knowing that it will, in the end, arrive, my mind goes back to my house in Calcutta.

I love bay windows. My room in Calcutta has two of those.

I would just curl up there, and watch the rain- which, in Calcutta, doesn't disappoint for hours. The marble surface and the white painted iron grille became acute and blurred at the same time. Later, when smoking became an integral punctuation, I would sit there with my beautiful glass ashtray, or the copper ashtray that has -from where I'm standing- existed forever with those intricate shapes carved in it, and with a box of matches, and a pack of charminar, as day would slowly melt into darkness, unnoticed behind the dark clouds, till suddenly everything became ink and halogen, swirled over and over by the torrents. The cigarette smoke, sometimes smooth, sometimes in staccato, would mix into the world, like all things do. The smoke then, and the wonderstuck silence before the smoke began, had etched the monsoon into the greater tapesry of those bay windows in my being in a way that I find difficult to communicate.

I'm writing this from a quiet house in Delhi, where rain speaks her love far less prolifically. I took this apartment on rent because it has one window, a balcony, and an accessible terrace. Here, in Delhi, rain also brings with it struggle to get to and from work, struggle to ensure that the rickety living space doesn't get flooded, wading from muck to muck through muck, when, instead, my heart wants to just kick back on the chair that I don't have and immerse myself in the world, and in my head, and take long peaceful drags from a cigarette and short, peaceful sips from a cup of black tea.

As the monsoon uncertainly courts the subcontinent, but with the comfort of knowing that it will, in the end, arrive, my mind goes back to my bay windows in Calcutta.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

On Writing and Love

"Yes. Anybody in the world. .. But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take our breath away. Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg. Come, dry your eyes. And let's go home."

I write.

I write the same thing over and over and over, always crafting, inching a little closer to that which cannot be spoken. Indeed, what can be said of love? We all sense it in us, around us, and it catches us off-guard, when we're not looking. Because we're busy looking from the corner of our eyes, over our shoulders. Indeed, what can be said of rain? What can be said of the perfect crafting of a drop of water traversing its brief course through the sky, to forever reach the end of form, on earth.
We who are temporary, forever ending, say our prayers, long our longings, and forever vanish in the vastness. An end of form. Except, I, who is weak, vulnerable, and mean nothing, work with dangerous things like fire and kerosene and the Wine, and I burn. Loose structurings of the world, in the flesh, and in mind are so infinitely fragile, that you might as well wake up one morning and find nothing. All things burn, and much rather the flame and the ember than the rust, is what I feel.
There is a certain magic -a certain unpunctuable magic- in that which is called love, or that which I call The Essential, which outlasts us. It is that which sticks in the world like fishooks a little longer, after we end. It is not about creating a memory. It is about realizations. Forever, always, about burning a little closer, to each other.

Early on, I think, my spirit and the world agreed upon this. This is how it possibly went:
"Let's have fun with this, comeon. It won't be funny."
"Sounds good."

Survival makes for good stories, and a good soul, and resisting temptation pays off- but it is brutal, make no mistake. Every time you find beautiful things, know that there is an immense torment that is being battled, being embraced.

Creation is that moment of breath when you're drowning and shut down your mind and burn every inch of your body to reach the surface and gasp.

Creation is that moment of breath when you're drowning.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


I understand that suffering is important. I understand what it does to the human condition. What I do not understand is, what's the point?

I do not understand anything.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I remember the closest thing I may have seen to an alien spacecraft.

It was many years ago, and I was still sailing with my father aboard cargo vessels. It was a dark, quiet night. The shipnoises and the sea and the seabreeze had reduced themselves to a whisper in reverence for that moment of depth and isolation. I was very young, then, and my eyes were still gathering the seasecrets that I now have.

In that dark, quiet night, the black sea and the black sky formed a perfect globe of darkness, suspending the ship at its very heart. The milky way was a clear, wide band of stars and stardust and other things in perfect alignment over the ship, spanning horizon to horizon. I sat alone on a high deck, near the bridge, with the breeze ruffling my hair (which at that time had many, many curls and locks) and wondered what it must be like to travel to other worlds, as I often do.

And then I saw it. There were these two white dots -they looked like stars from where I was- in close proximity of each other, travelling across the length of the galaxy, spiralling around each other. I'm not sure at which point of the sky they appeared, but they sank into the horizon.

I have never seen anything like it before or after that one time. I still do not know what they may have been, but at that time I felt deeply assured.

In our confused journey as a living collective of species in this universe, we are possibly not alone.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


And the rain begins again.

I offer it my words, for outside of love, they are one of those few things I have truly known. They can be dangerous, terrible things. Words, and therefore, silences, are my medium. Or one may say that I am their medium.

Irrespective, the light polluted orange clouds, the overhead aeroplane, and the unsure rumble of the clouds -sometimes peaking into thunder- swirl slowly into music. As I steel my mind again, to move, in more ways than one, as is always the case, my heart falters just a bit.

The coldest, blackest, darkest cellars hold the finest wines, sometimes. The cloudtalk is gathering momentum, and the clouds are coalescing into a drizzle. I, who have nothing to offer, no mantlepieces on the shelf, and no footprint to carefully guard in this unexpected cluster of a city, am now stepping out onto the terrace, into the outside, where the wind becomes sharp, and the night becomes more certain.

The world asks me to become salve, and I do.

I sat outside, for sometime. As the sky slowly but certainly became the rain, I sat there, painted with lightning, which snaked its way in all directions, like the scribblings of mad, celestial scribes with electric pens let loose in this part of the solar system.

The earth poured forth that ancient smell of comfort and life that it sometimes does, when it rains after a long time. However, she quickly corrected herself, for a while, giving way to louder, brasher smells of a city rained on.

But the earth smells beautiful, when it rains. She knows very little, and understands even less, but she knows in her heart that rain is divine communion with the heavens, and with that which connects them.

Rain is a simple thing- just water falling from the sky. But magic is not just what it is. Magic is what we make it.