Thursday, April 17, 2008

When the lights come on...

Last night, I was hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends at the bar. I had originally planned on spending the evening reading a book or maybe watching one of the DVD’s that have been vying for my attention for sometime now. I miss watching films as much as I did in the past. When I was living in New York, I would go to the movies at least two or three times a week, preferring to spend my evenings in a darkened theater, hunched low in the plush, soft, seat, loosing myself in the mesmerizing adventures of someone else. Forgetting my own reality for a moment, living someone elses instead.
An uneasiness stirs my soul, it a mixture of anxiety and excitement that titillates my senses. An unexplainable feeling, both intuitive and strong, I sense a change of pattern to occur in my humdrum universe in a monumental way. I don't how this will happen, but just like the movies, something fantasic and unpredictable will eventually come my way, knocking me out of my senses and culminating into an explosive finale.
I often get the feeling that I have been wasting my life for the last months. Uninspired, afraid, complaisant and apathetic, I have ignored time and again the burst of creative yearning that intoxicates my senses. I ache with the desire to create something extraordinary from the most mundane of things that encompass this life. One of the reasons I have been so incredibly unhappy and unsatisfied is because everywhere I look, I see a story that I can narrate through an image or a verse and time and again, I walk by, turning a blind eye to the magnificence of the ordinary.
One of the reasons why cinema fascinates me so is because often it is the reflection of the simplest moments in life told with great honest and sincerity. To me cinema is the greatest poetry ever created, a harmonious balance of visuals and verses created to shock, please and reflect the world. It is zenith of all art forms, finding its ultimate emancipation in a burst of light and color even in the dreariest place, making me believe in the existence of God. Only he, the mysterious, all powerful, all knowing almighty, has the power to bestow man with such unfathomable genius.
So M, A and I were chatting at the bar, discussing the days gone by, reveling the experiences of our past. We sat there listening to each others tales, our ears taunt from the effort of deciphering each word over the loud clang of the music, momentarily silent, drawing and deducting our own conclusions from each others experiences, extracting information and inspiration that we could possibly utilize to enrich our own lives. How similar our conversations and interactions are to those that we see in the movies! What plays on the screen is a chain on interactions that cluster into a tale. Films make us laugh and cry, they hold the power to influence our existence and sway our ideologies and beliefs. But, at the end of the day, no matter what the message maybe, whether it's blatant propaganda, a bitter sweet reflection or a string of absurdity, what one takes away with him after the curtains rise and the lights come on is personally unique. Much like our own interactions in the real world.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere....

As someone who can be a complete idiot at the most inopportune moments, I often fail to recognize the signals that life throws my way. These random, arbitrary, subtle signs that lead to infinite wisdom and insight go past me unnoticed. Even when I do recognize danger, I stubbornly refuse to heed to caution and continue to do just as I please, even if it may not be for the best.
I have been on super crazy party mode. Every weekend is unfailingly spent drinking till the wee hours of the morning, whiling time away, with mostly good conversation and a never ending supply of vodka and cigarettes. In my own silly way, this is my rebellion against the so-called moral code of conduct set forth by Indian society, which does not let its women live a life of drunken debauchery. I often come home at the wee hours of the night; I stumble into the house, ignoring moms agitated curses at my blasphemous lifestyle and collapse upon my bed barely conscious of her anxiety and apprehension. In my own silly, stubborn way this is my desperate attempt to hang onto a life of complete freedom and isolation that I once had and had come to love. Sadly, I don’t really feel all that free or liberated, the evenings get repetitive and stale, the conversations have a vaguely familiar ring to them. Sometimes I don’t really feel all that eager to step out, preferring to spend time in the company of fictional characters in books and films, favoring them over real people. Instead of following my instinctive urges, I step out, in the company of strangers and friends, making small talk that requires effort, all the while, longing for my bed instead.
I had an incredibly busy, stressful, hectic week at work. The responsibilities piled on, one after the other, sometimes seeming to have no end. I tacked them head on, to the best of my ability and even managed to do a pretty decent job at finishing most of them. S, my boss, yelled at me all of like three times this week, a matter worth cheering about. I felt happy, mildly satisfied, and truly, utterly exhausted. Someone with a little sense would have rewarded her effort with some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Instead I stayed out till six in the morning, again. Sadly, neither was the evening all that fun nor exciting. It started and ended as predictably as I had guessed. I yawned time and again, secretly yearning for my bed and sighed inwardly, hoping no one noticed it. I have stopped paying too much attention to the way I dress anymore, it seems rather pointless, most of the men I meet are interested in everyone else but me. Short skirts, low cut dresses, sweet smelling perfumes, soft supple lips and smoky eyes have stopped affecting men in a way they once did. They remain oblivious to my womanly vials as I remain aware of their masculine allure. With every passing tick of the clock my exhaustion and impatience grew. I was too bored and tired to even attempt an interesting conversation, the mere thought of it utterly draining. I was lying on the couch with my feet turned up, vaguely paying attention to the several different conversations happening around me, when I turned to my friend M. A knowing look passed between us, as our eyes collectively swept the room.
“I’m going to be single for ever!” She exclaimed.
“ Want to grow old together?” I offered consolingly.
We smiled at each other both amused and saddened simultaneously. In a room full of men it is as if we didn’t actually exist. Well, at least not as an alluring specimen of the opposite sex kind of way. We were just one of the boys, someone they saw way too often to ever consider appealing in a non-platonic sense.
“Water, water every where, not a drop to drink.” I whispered sadly and went back to my bottle of “Aquafina Pure Mineral Water” that I have been nursing all night. M nodded in acknowledgement and took another large swig of her wine.
I developed a very sore throat the next day. My body burnt with a raging fever and my head throbbed with an endless pain. I lack the strength to conduct the simplest of physical activities and I feel like shit. I wish I hadn’t sacrificed a good nights sleep for another night of hedonistic activity.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bombay Fantasies

So much to do and so little time, this has always been my trouble with life. I invent these grandiose plans to attain artistic satisfaction, sometimes almost brag about it, but at the end of the day, what is left is nothing more than a head full of amusing ideas and observations and nothing concrete to really show for them.
Take this blog for example, after the sincere attempt to keep writing and trudging along in my half-hearted literary pursuits, it is only now, some three odd weeks later, that I find the time to actually update it. I do exaggerate when I say that I lack the time, what I however not jest about is the serious lack of energy to anything remotely constructive on the personal gratification and growth front. I guess this would make me machosistic, purposely causing myself pain, for squandering such great potential, or so I convince myself to believe!
I am inherently lazy, a dreamer, an observer, a writer who doesn’t indulge in her passion often enough, but sure spins grandiose dreams around it. At the end of the day I am absolutely uninspired to get to the computer and write. The sad fact is that none of this is due to lack of ideas or inspiration, they thrive aplenty. It is my stubborn refusal to ultimately push myself beyond the extent of regular necessity, is what will bring my ultimate downfall.
Bombay, the city of dying hopes, fading dreams and aspirations, a city rich with its multitude of characters that make life amusing and interesting. These characters stand as rich sources of literary inspiration for the men and women in my stories. I observe their every day lives, their outwardly visible joys and sorrows, their quirk and idiosyncrasies. These humane qualities of people around me get emulated by the characters in my stories, fumbling around life like everone else. Maybe one of the biggest reasons I like writing so much is because I get to play the God of my universe. My characters and their lives sprout from the recesses of my imagination, the courses of their destiny at my command. Perhaps, I’m sick of living life on someone else’s terms, being bitterly disappointed every step along the way. My stories and my writing liberate me from my own bitterness and disappointment, even if it is for a short while. Now I can channel it into the lives of my characters, deriving a sadistic pleasure from their sadness,disappointment and dejection, confirming my belief that hapiness and contentment are merely illusions.
Perhaps, one of the biggest reasons why my work ends up being so melancholy is because I have spent a huge portion of my adult life is such utter loneliness and isolation. The bitter realization that in spite of everything and everyone, at the end of the day, I feel a terrible sense of loss and emptiness that never really goes away. It is ironic that after moving to Bombay this has gotten worse, what is more ironic is that I have never had these many friends in my life to date. Every night can be an occasion of celebration if I choose to make it so. There is no shortage of people to call if I wish to drink myself to oblivion, to distract myself from my self imposed bitterness. Each of us masking our pain under an envelope of false cheer and goodness, I feel exhausted at the end if it all, unable to cope with my own insincerity, yet too exhausted and dejected to infuse my fledgling energy into letting anyone in.
I sometimes enjoy narrating to the world my Mumbai fantasies. Wild dreams sexual escapades with cab-drivers, vegetable vendors and mailmen. It is the Indian equivalent of a badly produced American porno with the hot pizza guy or the sexy copy repair guy. In a vaguely American context the idea almost works, but in a society, which is so class conscious, a young educated woman having a wild fantasy about someone in a much lower socio-economic bracket is blasphemy. This strange world that we live in, does not even allow us the small liberty to dream outside the confines of our tax bracket. To dream big is to be ambitious, but to dream of having a good time with someone who may not come from the same world is just plain lowering ones standards.
What does this city have to offer any way other than rich fodder to my already fertile imagination? Where is the time, place or the energy to establish meaningful relationships with someone one new? Where are the people to establish these relationships with? At the end of the day, I lack the motivation to make any attempt to appeal to those around me. It feels false and stupid. I’m not interesting or fabulous enough to have people fawn all over me for who I am. Honestly, there are so many better looking women out there. I am neither terribly interesting, nor do I possess a sparkling sense of humor. I look about average and I maybe almost fat. With mediocrity being the bane of my existence, the chance of meeting someone truly wonderful who stands for the text book definition of a great catch is bleak. What then is so damn wrong to draw a small amount of thrill and excitement from a fantasy that will never materialize but makes life a little interesting?
Last week was both fun and humiliating. The humiliation set in after the fun ended. My stubborn refusal to initiate any romantic connection with someone new, who might actually like me back, lead me again to a place that I promised myself I would never go to. It ended badly the first time, I was sad and hurt. I swallowed my pride and pain convincing myself time and again that his friendship was more important than my silly little crush and a few stolen kisses. It would be unwise to throw away years of trust and companionship over unrequited love that would eventually fade away. I have always cared about him with a burning fervor that time cannot extinguish, more than he will ever know, more than what he will ever feel for me. I doused the flames of my passion in the name of friendship, but the embers blazed on unknowingly.
He has always been incredibly cruel. Sometimes I truly resent him for it. Time and again he tortures me with the cruel knowledge of all the women that he has possessed, knowing fully well that I hate to hear about it. I have learned to expect very little from people, least of all from him, yet he torments me with his kisses, awakening my desire just one more time, making me wishfully wonder the possibility of what if…
Sometimes, I’m almost convinced that I’m capable of having an adult sexual relationship with my best friend without the messiness of all the feelings get in the way. After all, as a sensible adult with no time for love what else could possibly be better? I’m okay with the once inherited knowledge that he shall never ever feel the same way about me; But to reminded of it time and again is cruelty and humiliation at its best. Accepting the truth life has been disappointing has never been hard, but to hear it reverberated time and again is something that I’m not yet fully capable of.