Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And now for something completely different

Here is a different list.
It is a list of things I learnt while reading a translation of two passages: one in the Valimiki Ramayana and one somewhere more arcane.
Here is the list:
  1. Kousalya, contrary to her usual weepy-woman image, was actually quite fun-loving. Quite so.
  2. Much of the mantras chanted in the yajnas consists of playful abuses of a risque nature
  3. In the good old days, the chief queen (Mahishi) was not the favourite wife of the king. Never. The favourite wife was someone else. Always. And there was a rejected wife too. Always.
  4. The aroma of well-cooked meat (to be specific, horse lard) washes away all sins.
  5. Brahmins have been great cooks since those days.
Here is the relevant context. I never knew that just two paragraphs could be so enlightening.

To reiterate, Kousalya actually played with it all night.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A thing of beauty...and another

Here is something quite, quite sublime.The important point here is to enjoy it till the end, brood, ponder, ruminate, carry it in your brain and keep living it moment by moment, frame by frame.

Waring 1: As usual, not for the weak-hearted.

Warning 2: Can change your concept of beauty.

Warning 3: Working knowledge of Bengali (absolutely) necessary.

Check it out here.
And here's a follow-up.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tags old and new

Every blogger belongs to a network: a small, almost closed group that is part of another larger network of many such small closed groups.

We all have duties to such networks. Broadly, they are:

  1. Update own blogs regularly
  2. In these update, link to other bloggers within the network
  3. Provide a list of blogs read – which is a list of blogs in the network
  4. Comment on blogs in the network.
  5. Respond to others’ comments on own blog
  6. Pass tags around – strengthening the network.
  7. Respond to tags.

I have not done any of these lately, so I probably do not belong anywhere.

However, some kind souls who I did not know chanced upon my site and offered me encouragement. It was nice to meet new, very interesting people who are not really listed in my old list of blogs read. At times, I have even failed to respond to comments. (I am sorry, Arthur. Cat got tongue.)

Interestingly, the one link sending me most traffic was this, where a great Bong said that “Nothing Happens” is a rather apt description of Anil Kapoor’s “My Wife’s Murder”. I do not know how far the analogy goes, and I am scared to think.

I thought I would undo some of the sins of not doing any of the above sevens, and start with the seventh.

Here goes, the seven tag, which I owe to Urmea:

Seven things that I plan on doing (apart from the seven duties to bloggerdom):

  1. Live life for a few years in the middle east
  2. Write again in Bangla
  3. Read the classics
  4. Get back to India and teach
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. Have more ambitions

Seven things I can’t do (apart from the seven duties to bloggerdom):

  1. Get the payesh exactly right
  2. Quit smoking (do I really want to?)
  3. Set a daily routine and keep it for more than 2 days
  4. Say the right thing at the right time in the right way
  5. Stop thinking aloud (even when people are around)
  6. Take the distant future (like 3-4 years away) seriously
  7. Make any list of seven things

Seven things I say a lot :

I really cannot do this, given my proven inability to make any list of seven things.

Here comes the newer and more dangerous tag - the eight things about the perfect lover. Thankfully, it is a list of eight and not seven. But Vishkanya, why, oh why do you have to:

  1. make me make difficult lists – goes against my stream of consciousness approach, because my consciousness cannot count
  2. make me talk about the perfect lover – when I am not sure about the concept of perfection
  3. make me talk about the perfect lover – when I am not sure about the concept of love
  4. make me talk about the perfect lover – when I am not sure whether, assuming the existence of a lover, I want to brood on her perfection
  5. make me talk about the perfect lover – when I am not sure whether, assuming that I know what my perfect lover should be like, I want my lover (if any) to know my ideas on that
  6. make me talk about the perfect lover – when I am not sure whether, assuming that I know what my perfect lover is like and that my lover too knows my ideas on that, I want the wide world to know that
  7. make me talk about the perfect lover – when (after such analysis) I know there cannot be any

Hmm, now is the time to pass on the good/bad/ugly Karma. So, I tag the great Gamesmaster, who is suffering from a block. Incidentally, it was his tag that once before had cured me of blogger's block. So, I am hoping to return the favour.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Waiting for her on a Sunday

It’s Sunday, after all. Take it slow.

Look out the window. Life drizzles, everywhere, in tiny white dreamlets of snow. And then falls asleep on the grass, on the branches, on the shiny asphalt. Forget the cars whooshing past. They do not exist. Switch off your cellphone. You have nothing to finish. Take it slow.

Notice the firefly at the tip of your cigarette. See how it rests sadly on the groove in the ashtray, living its journey to the ashes. Follow the grey wisp that rises from it, rises and diffuses. Feel how it lives on, unseen, in the café nostalgia. Do not worry about her, she will come. Relish the wait, for it will not last. Caress the present, and take it slow.

Turn off the radio. Believe, that nothing happens. News is a form of fiction, anyway. Listen to their laughter. Listen hard. You will hear the Sunday dew dripping. And you will hear the stars that fell yesterday night when you were not looking. Look, so you don’t miss. Take it slow.

Do not think of what you have or what you do not have. Do not pine for what you have not done. You are not answerable to anyone, you are not responsible for anyone. You are the king of the universe. Feel the world, the rain, the snow, the mountains, the asphalt, the café, and the lingering music inside take a bow to you. Do not think of her. Do not think. Thinking is still an act. Just be. Be what you long ago promised to yourself to be. To get into your own skin, you have to take it slow.

Listen to the wafting music that someone must be playing somewhere. Don’t try to figure who, where, or what instrument. Just trust it, and let it take you with it. You can fly. You have a right to. You are too vast for these walls. Do not think of who you leave behind. Let your fairytales come alive. Don’t resist them. Let your guards down, little by sweet little. Take it slow.

Do not be afraid. Let the others in the café look. They will not know. It is only a Sunday, and you owe it to yourself to take it slow. There will be men coming in, and there will be men that will go. There will be those behind the counter that will remain, with their hurried handling of orders, with their quips, smirks and notions. They will want to talk to you, and you, the king of the cosmos, will stutter. But when their time comes, even they will go. So, do not care, and take it slow.

She too probably will have left. Thank her, and let her go. Just take it slow.