I want to bury my nose in your cheeks,
with our fingers intertwined,
Your body resting on mine,
And me, taking in all your smell,
And I shall call it heaven.
What a year it has been.Particularly, the past few weeks. The last semester was project, which meant a lot of things to do. Long tiring days of work+project,and I was chosen as the project manager.Though this means I had less to worry on technical stuff, stressed myself a lot unnecessarily.And then some major stuff at work that I had to plan, including technical stuff.
A lot of worrying,and stressful days. But hey, there are finally over.An end to the 2.5 years of self-doubts and torture called part-time degree.
Now that I’m done with the degree, the relief is immense. It is indescribable. I feel a weight has been taken off my chest(and my brain).
Now is the time to unlearn and start learning what I really want to learn.
The only problem is finding out what I really want to learn.I want to learn everything,
so I find myself jumping from topic to topic and going in circles.
Anyway, taking a quiet and much deserved break for myself now. I’ll get to travel to Germany next year,in January, (oh wait, that’s next week!) as part of work,
so there’s that. I would so love to have a traditional dinner with a German family, but that is perhaps hoping too much.Starting the year with a travel to an unknown place, weather and people.
And the best part is, I somehow feel happier. That the best part of my life is yet to come, and there is urge to start writing again.
This blog has remained silent for long, and that shall be the case no more.
I think next year is going to b-e-a-utiful.
കല്യാണം കഴിഞ്ഞിട്ടിപ്പോൾ ഏകദേശം പത്തു പന്ത്രണ്ടു വര്ഷമായിക്കാണും. ആദ്യമൊക്കെ ഇടയ്ക്കോർത്തിരുന്നു . പിന്നീടെപ്പോഴോ പൊതുവെ മറന്നു. അങ്ങനിരിക്കെ , കുറെ നാളുകൾക്കു ശേഷം അവിചാരിതമായി ഒരു പഴയ പട്ടു കേട്ടപ്പോൾ അറിയാതെ അവളെ ഓർത്തു പോയി. തിരഞ്ഞു പിടിച്ചു ഓർത്തതല്ല. പണ്ട് ആ പട്ടു കേൾക്കുകയും പാടുകയും ചെയ്തു കൊണ്ടിരുന്നപ്പോൾ മനസ്സ് നിറയെ അവളുടെ മുഖമായിരുന്നു. വരികൾ വർണ്ണിച്ചുരുന്നത് അവളെ പറ്റി ആണെന്ന് സങ്കൽപ്പിച്ചു കൊണ്ടിരുന്നു. ആ പാട്ടും അവളും തമ്മിൽ തന്നെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം അഭേദ്യമായ ബന്ധമുണ്ട്. ആ മുഖം, ചിരി, അവളുടെ ചെറിയ ഗോഷ്ടികൾ. ഇത്രെയും കാലങ്ങൾക്കു ശേഷവും രണ്ടു വരികൾ അവളെ തിരികെ കൊണ്ടു വന്നിരിക്കുന്നു! ഇനിയിപ്പോൾ ഇന്നത്തെ ദിവസം നൊസ്റാൾജിയയുടെ പിടിയിലായിരിക്കുമെന്നത് നിസ്സംശയം.
തെരുവിൽ കൂടി നടക്കുമ്പോഴും,ട്രെയിനിൽ കയറുമ്പോഴും , ഭക്ഷണം കഴിക്കാനിറങ്ങുമ്പോളെല്ലാം , ഇനി ചില സൂചനകളെ അറിയാതെ തേടി കൊണ്ടേയിരിക്കും . ചുരുണ്ടതാണോ നേരെയാണോ എന്ന് തീരുമാനിക്കാൻ ആകാത്ത അവളുടെ മുടിക്കായി, കാട്ടരുവികൾ ഒഴുകുന്ന പോലുള്ള ചിരിക്കായി, എന്നെ ചേർത്ത് പിടിക്കു എന്നപേക്ഷിക്കുന്ന മിഴികൾക്കായി. അങ്ങനെയിരിക്കെ ഒരു ചിന്ത മനസ്സിൽ വന്നു. ഇപ്പോൾ പെട്ടെന്ന് , അവൾ തന്റെ മുമ്പിൽ വന്നാൽ എന്ത് ചെയ്യും ? എങ്ങിനെ ഞാൻ പ്രതികരിക്കും?
ഒരു പക്ഷെ കുശലം ചോദിക്കും. രണ്ടു പേരുടേയും ജീവിതം മുന്നോട്ടു കുഴപ്പമൊന്നുമില്ലാതെ പോയതിൽ സന്തോഷം പ്രകടിപ്പിക്കും . കൂടെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്ന സുഹൃത്തുക്കളെപ്പറ്റി ഗോസ്സിപ്പടിച്ചേക്കാം . കുട്ടികളുടെ ഫോട്ടോകൾ അങ്ങോട്ടും ഇങ്ങോട്ടും കാണിക്കും. എന്റെ യാത്രകളെ പറ്റി അവളും , അവളുടെ എഴുത്തിനെ പറ്റി ഞാനും ചോദിക്കും. ചോദ്യങ്ങൾ ചോദിച്ചു കഴിയുമ്പോളുള്ള മൗനത്തിൽ ഞങ്ങൾ അസ്വസ്ഥരാകും. പൊങ്ങി വന്ന ഓർമകളെ അടിച്ചമർത്തും. ഇതാണിനി എന്റെ ജീവിതമെന്നും മുന്നിൽ കാണുന്നത് മറ്റൊരു ജന്മത്തിലെ ഓര്മയാണെന്നും സ്വയം പറഞ്ഞു ആശ്വസിക്കും . ഒടുവിൽ യാത്ര പറഞ്ഞു പിരിയുമ്പോൾ ഒരു ചെറു പുഞ്ചിരിയോടെ പറയും, കണ്ടതിൽ സന്തോഷം.
എല്ലാത്തിനുമുപരി ഒരു പക്ഷെ നമ്മൾക്കറിയേണ്ടത് ഒരു ചോദ്യത്തിനുള്ള ഉത്തരമാകാം. ആ ചോദ്യവും അതിനുള്ള ഉത്തരവും എന്ന് പറയുന്നത് ഒരു നല്ല കഥയോ സിനിമയോ പോലെയാണ്. ക്ലൈമാക്സ് എന്താണെന്നു അറിയുവാനുള്ള ജിജ്ഞാസയും , അറിഞ്ഞു കഴിയുമ്പോൾ അത് തീർന്നുവല്ലോ എന്നുള്ള വിഷമവും. യാത്ര പറയുമ്പോൾ, കണ്ണുകൾ ഉടക്കുമ്പോൾ , നാം ചോദിക്കാതെ ചോദിക്കുന്ന ഒരു ചോദ്യമുണ്ട്. നീ ഇപ്പോഴും എന്നെ സ്നേഹിക്കുന്നുവോ ? എന്ന ചോദ്യം! അങ്ങിനെ ചോദിക്കുന്നതിന്റെ പൊരുൾ എന്താണെന്നു അറിയില്ല. ജിജ്ഞാസയാകാം. സ്വാർത്ഥതയാകാം. വേദനയാകാം. താൽക്കാലിക ആശ്വാസത്തിനാകാം. വലിയ ഒരു ഭാരമിറക്കുവാനാകാം. ഉത്തരങ്ങൾക്കു പണ്ട് ലഭിച്ച അനുഭൂതികളെ മായ്ക്കുവാനോ മറക്കുവാനോ ഉള്ള ശക്തിയില്ല. എങ്കിലും, ആ നിമിഷത്തെ തെല്ലു ഭയത്തോടേയെ കാണുവാനാകൂ.
ട്രെയിൻ വലിയ ശബ്ദത്തോടെ നിർത്തി. സ്റ്റോപ്പ് എത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നു. ഞാനിറങ്ങട്ടെ. ഈ യാത്രകളിൽ ഒരിക്കലും കണ്ടു മുട്ടാതിരിക്കട്ടെ. പക്ഷെ, മരിക്കുന്നതിന് മുൻപ് അകലെ നിന്നൊരിക്കൽ കാണുവാനിടയാകട്ടെ. പറ്റുമെങ്കിൽ അന്യോന്യം തിരിച്ചറിയുവാനാകട്ടെ.
13th June 2017, marks an important day in my life.
I finished reading Orhan Pamuk’s book titled “Other Colours”. He is one of the very few authors, or author of the very few kind of books that I have read, who has made me reflect on life. While half way through the book, reading his reflection on Dostoyevsky, I suddenly realized that I have never seriously studied a novel before. Sure, I have drawn parallels and infused myself on thoughts on life in general, comparing the character’s circumstances and decisions made, about how the world is evil and not to be trusted, about how people are never what they mean and say, but do. But never in a studied manner. Never erudite, always a passive impassionate mode of thought. To think of it further, I almost never ventured to dig deep into books, or novels. I always assumed that they were pretentious at best, trying to please the audience.
I say almost because partly the blame lies on how literature is taught in schools. Putting critic’s reviews in textbooks may not be the best idea. Since these existed and I read them, I grew up with the idea that whatever critic I would make would be a replica of theirs. A number of half-witted, self-promoted intellectuals try to dissect and vainly identify patterns, link or ideas even the writer may not have considered, for example, in goodreads or Quora. “The curtain is blue” – the textbook would ask us what this could mean. It would try to impress on us that it depicts the writer’s depression, or whatever the critic decided to attest its meaning to. Codswallop in my opinion. I did not want myself to be associated with such people. In fact, I refrained from making any such assumptions and distanced myself from it as far as possible. In a way, it was good. The deeper meaning behind this book was not always something I concerned myself while reading. I read simply for the pleasure of enjoying the imagination of the writer, to visit new lands, to reflect ideas never discussed before, or to see them in a new light, a wondrous moment indeed.
Speaking of critics, one come across writers who write what they think, but these are rare, and I adore them dearly. The earliest one I have come across, is in my own native language, Malayalam. A critic of the acclaimed novel by Mohammed Basheer, Premalekhanam. The prose of the critic was incredibly hard, and fortunately, my teacher was extremely good. She made us think beyond the literary meaning of the critic’s word. This was my first true encounter with the critic. I harboured hatred for the critic for tearing down a wonderful novel – how dare he find meaning behind words! And a conflicting part of me developed admiration for him. I was seduced by how he painstakingly researched the time, condition and the mentality of the original writer and how all these influenced and lead to the novel, how it was received and affected the society, and how, the future generation of mine ought to read and think about it keeping all these things in mind. It was more like how they say Tolkien’s Mordor was inspired by the wastelands of the Word War.
Orhan Pamuk is such a writer/critic. His thoughts are well formed, his conscious clear, and he tries to be polite and humble when it’s not. When reading Isaac Assimov’s robot series, I pondered very little on his take on the role of humans in a robotic world. I assumed these were natural consequences of such circumstances. I never realised the depth of his thoughts when he depicted the world and his characters. Moving forward in this digital and futuristic world, I can’t help but feel that more than fiction, he was a visionary, and his novels not mere science fiction, but predictions, of a future yet to come. It is not utopian or dystopian entirely. After all, much of science fiction has become commonplace these days. Except time travel and inter-galactic travel. I have my suspicions that space travel will find tremendous progress in the coming decades, and I would witness some historic moment with respect to it. Time travel, unfortunately, is not something I think would be possible.
When reading Harry Potter, apart from falling in love with the magic world, I simply agreed with Rowling that power struggle is real and the magical world is no different world when it comes to basic human traits. Sure, there is a hero, a villain, anti-villains, traitors, but I still think the greatest character Rowling introduced is Umbridge. This, is what made me love the series even more. This separated Rowling to me from being a mere fantasy writer to an astonishing writer. You see, Umbridge is the kind of character I hate most in this world. Misusing and representing a position of power. A story of lies and deceptions, of their influence on unimaginative people, who in turn resented authentic ones. But these thoughts not occurred then, but a few years down the road. Until then, I always had thought Umbridge was simply a bad character. Only when I started working and witnessed true politics, did I appreciate what Umbridge truly represented.
In other words, it is high time to observe nature and society more. Even more essentially to me, to study books deeper. To read more classics and see what men and women, thought of people and society in general. It is not enough that I just read a good novel anymore. It is imperative that I understand more than the book, that I question the author’s circumstances, that I realize what the greater question is. I may not go to the extent of the critic, to break it down as finely as them, but would probably end up thinking a little bit more about the novel.
Some words on the actual novel itself. First of all a word on the title. An apt title, a breath of fresh air that also truly reflects on the content of the book, which is the authors breadth and width. I am quite happy to have witnessed the dear writer’s mind. Or whatever he chose to publish to the world. I was sort of surprised that he spoke little about philosophical ideas such as love, jealousy, ego, faith , pride and happiness, but greatly on turkey, childhood and the east-west conflicts. Perhaps this is what truly concerns his mind most of the time and the others, well he has written in his novels. Another part of me was partly happy because to be honest, I was bored by some of the articles because they were quite dry in nature. Even a great writer like Pamuk can also write something that does not concern or interest me was surprising to say the least. There were two particular chapters that invoked an emotion that I was unable to identify or name. These are “When Ruya is Sad” and the final chapter, “My Father’s Suitcase”, which is his Nobel prize acceptance speech. Apart from these there was a particular article whose title might be “No Entry” which I think was quite clever and would like to leave it to the readers imagination to read and reflect on them. The former is a very short piece which touches lightly on melancholy. The speech which begins with a slow and dreary pace but soon picks up emotion and ends up in a spectacular paragraph on why he writes. I was so moved that tears welled up in my eyes. I choked and had to dry my eyes at the library. It would not be an understatement to say that the book has inspired me again after ten years, after reading a novel called Snow. That the same writer can have the same effect on you after such a long time, when you have undergone so much change is just purely incredible and to that Mr Pamuk, my favourite author, I owe you a lot.
This is not a post giving you pointers to how to quiet your mind. There are dozens of such posts on the internet, go search yourself.
How does it feel to have your mind talking continuously? Ever got so bored that you just started doodling on paper? You know, just making your pen go round and round and round. Then you start crisscrossing just because you fudged up the nice circles. And now you are going all over the place, you are striking it off, and you have torn the paper, crumbling it now, throwing it at the bin with furious anger, missing it, stomping all over to the bin, picking it back up, going back to your fucking place, but you just can’t make it and you want to stop, but you can’t. That’s the closest imagery I can think of.
Perhaps it’s this phase I am going through. As you might have seen, I haven’t written much here. I did however scribble here and there on paper, on nights that refused to let me sleep. It seems I am rather concerned about who I am, what I want to become, and what I am doing, in personal and professional life. Currently I am not working, for I resigned from my previous role because there was a job mismatch. I never should have taken the role. There was this gut feeling that something was not quite right. And it did turn out that the role was not what I expected, it would end up being a menial job. Every time I denied my consciousness, this gut feeling, things never worked out properly. From a statistical point of view, it is better to start believing in gut feeling. Wanting to become a logical thinker on the other hand, it does not help to rely on the gut feeling.
Anyway, one month later, I am still jobless, but not to fret, I have a feeling that I’ve been shortlisted for 2 roles, so hopefully, I can take a deep breath by the end of next week. This one month has seen its share of ups and downs. But to be honest, the thing that surprised me was, and still is, that I am rather passive about the whole thing. The only thing that irks me is the endless answering of all the questions these recruiters ask,not to mention the haggling to lower the salary. In one way, it is good because I am not stressing myself out. On the other hand, it’s not good to take everything so easily. It’s like in the movie “About Time” – a simple movie with a great message. To stop stressing and enjoying your life. Well I can’t exactly enjoy because finance is pretty tight at the moment, but once a job is settled, that should clear in two or three months time.
Coming back to my main point, as you can see above itself, my mind is drifting all over the place. Many a times, I found myself day dreaming, making grand plans, and ignoring the present. This is particularly frustrating while trying to study. The technical nature of my job require at most attention, and there are a lot of tiny detail involved. Another reason is the amount of distraction I am getting. I removed facebook, but even then, I find myself peeking at my phone, expecting a message and don’t know what. I don’t even have a girlfriend damnit. I seriously want to remove whatsapp, but this is my only point of connection to friends and family, so there’s that.
Routine. This is another thing that I have trouble fixing. If I have an interview in the morning, I am up and about running around, after spending a night tossing and turning around, worried whether I would wake up in time. Talk about irony. If I plan on waking up early and study in the morning, I would end up finding very interesting videos in youtube the night before, eventually sleeping around 2 or 3 in the morning, making waking up early near to impossible. One of my grand plans involve waking up in the morning and going for a run regularly. Now that I am not working this might seem like a distant dream, but getting a regular office hour work should fix this.
Another thing I noticed is that, again, like above, I talk a lot about what I would do. This is something I need to address. The only reason I am writing it here is because in case I still keep the habit, I want this to be a reminder to myself( screw you future Praveen, if you are reading and you haven’t). Learning guitar, cooking, a foreign language( french or german), driving. These are the things in pipeline, if you are curious to know what these grand plans are.
To be honest, long term goals never really work out. Perhaps I lack the patience. But this is not the Praveen I remember from my childhood. Somewhere while growing up, that steely resolve, that curiosity that kept the fire, that spirit is missing. After a lot of introspection, I think I have found out the reason. I stopped listening to myself and started listening to others. I found myself comparing my life to others. I envied their lives, blamed everything including me for the life I was having. Is my life horrible? Of course not. I have a loving family, had great friends, have a good career(had for now). By right, I should be happy,right? This comparison, this, this – I don’t even have a word for it, you see. This frame of mind is not exactly positive. I am challenging this attitude now, I want the old Praveen back. The one who laughed a lot, the one who read a lot, the one who wrote a lot. I am bringing sexy back.(Side note- I found this phrase the other day while watching this seriously funny standup – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-YHuPKNQ_c&t=230s. Gotta love Aisling Bea. Seriously, check it out.)
On further introspection, I found that being myself is what have worked out in my favour throughout the years. Granted, an occasional interesting party(internal monologue- potential girlfriend) might have been turned away, but if they turned away, they wouldn’t end up being us with anyway right? But this doesn’t mean being selfish or pushing everyone away. I was spending time with friends, yet I found time to spend on me own. Perhaps it’s about balance. Another curious , but nonetheless not surprising thing was that, being busy was the best way I enjoyed myself. Inaction made me lazier. The more time you spent home, the longer the nights get, the longer the crazy thoughts persist. Have things to do. If you got nothing to do, find new things. Or get out and do the next level for the things you love. Go to a different part of the city or town. Try out a new food. Call someone you haven’t spoken to for some time. Do something different, something that you makes your body move, if it makes you perspire, all the better. We are still descendants of the great hunters. Idling is not our default mode.
Long story short, please get out of the house more, spend less time on phone(unless you are calling someone). Make coffee, and most important of all, look at the big picture, and relax. Your life is only your own, be the captain, don’t let others point your way or steer your ship.
Sometimes, I do wonder why is it that we cannot be selfish. Or in my case, why the heck can’t I be selfish? Up till I when I turned 24, which was last year, I was pretty selfless. I was the good guy, the polite person, the person who never said “No” to a request for help. I felt that I was obliged to help, that it is my moral duty to be concerned about the lives of others. I felt good. I was the good agnostic Samaritan.
I did not help in the belief that I would be rewarded for my behaviour. But then again, life did not return any favors to me. I often helped and went out of my way for friends, even people I barely knew. The days after those where usually hard for me.
Most of the time I would turn to someone else for helping others, and in the end, I would be the one who couldn’t sleep at night thinking about what I owe to others. I would be the one who would kept waiting and apologize endlessly if I were the one to turn up late. I was the one who would initiate conversations because I thought it was me who should talk. I would be the one who would remember the birthdays, the one to call and care for others.
I’m not whining. No, strike that. This is my blog, I do whatever the hell I want. I am whining. I am sick and tired of people who takes me for granted. Man up! Grow some balls, you might say. Fuck you too. Some stuff are drilled deep down since childhood and its not easy to pluck them apart. Especially when your parents taught and still practises those.
All through my childhood, I saw my parents always helping others. They would worry themselves sick thinking about others. All said and done, they were pretty much left alone when the other parties came out of their troubles and got comfortable. I have seen the disappointment in their eyes when talking about someone. Now,there are few exceptional people in their lives who turned out to be dark horses, and gave much happiness to my parents. I always recall them fondly. And because of these few fellows, my parents are still selfless, maybe a bit less now, now that they had a whole lifetime to see how things turn out, and now chooses people after much consideration. I really admire those who are still selfless, however, I have witnessed how the lives of very such people deteriorate in front of my own eyes.
Amidst the close and general friends, there lies a section of people whom we hold a little closer to our hearts, yet lets you down almost every time.Sometimes I am really confused. Am I right in expecting something from them? Doesn’t that make whatever I do selfish?
But then aren’t they selfish too? Then, does that make the relationships merely fake? Is it worth keeping these so called friendships alive? Are we just adjusting ourselves, taking advantage of whatever the other person has to offer, enjoying the brief time, and then move with a glance back occasionally, as if to give out the sense that we will be present in hard times?
Maybe we ought to be more selective to whom we give our time, right? Give it to the right people, who expresses gratitude and won’t take us for granted. However, truth is that sometimes they may not be the company that we want. How confusing is it that the people that we love and hold dear are sometimes very selfish? Does that mean I don’t want their company? No! I like being around them except when they are not selfish. But then that would make us selfish!
Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Either because it actually is confusing, or because I am writing this at 4:30 AM in the morning, Singapore time, after watching 2 movies back to back.
Sometimes I think, fuck these people, I am going to live the way I want, and not care about the little shits. A day later, I will be feeling super guilty, usually.
Maybe, just maybe, once I get married (*audience laughs*), and “settles down” (*laughs again*) I might have a set of friends on whom I don’t rely too much, but enjoy their company as well. Most probably that might end up being the neighbours and my cousins.
All these thoughts actually makes me think of the people, who do actually care for me. My immediate family of course, and then there are some dudes back from my high school- dudes who kept the promises they jokingly wrote on the autograph books, few neighbours, who still gives a shit about me and wonders whether I got fat(which means better in my case), and lovingly advises that my glorious mane looks ugly as fuck. I absolutely adore these guys.
Wonder if I will find more such people in the days to come.
Ending this scribble with some dialogues from one of the most beautiful,perfect movie of all time, Predestination.Which came into my mind for no particular reason, yet somehow, these seems to be a fitting ending for this rant.
As I am sitting here on the train, after a long day at work, I just want some hugs. I just want to feel the warmth of a human body, a reassurance that I’m indeed alive and walking.
I think thats why people love pets so much. They can hold, hug, kiss them anytime, anywhere. There is a sense of comfort in that I guess. And no question of labelling the relationship. Wish it could be the same with humans.
Back home, once the days sets, I would probably be hanging around at my cousin’s house- playing with my sweet little Mabel and Marvel. Their tiny voice and crazy antics fills up my heart. I especially miss holding her in my arms. Still can feel her head on my shoulder when she falls asleep. Is it selfish to ask that kids dont grow up? Let them be kids! Let them spread joy and happiness and give us all that fuzziness!
Over here, in Singapore, thats what I miss the most. I live with my friends around the same age. We live harmoniously, is generally happy to see each other, but that sense of “family” is missing I guess.
Looking around, I think that is the case with most of the people. All of us just want somebody. Not necessarily to love and make out with, but just need them to be a presence, in an otherwise lame day.
I just want some hugs very very badly. Missing you a lot more Mom.
You exist,deep down
in a folder hidden so well
With distractions along,not because
other might find you,
but so that I shall lose
my way, from keep going back
You exist, hidden among thousand pictures
your laughter, gay and static
beside the beach, and with me
somewhere in the corner
and because of the thousand pictures,
I won’t pretend to see it
You exist,far back in my brain
as dreams and moments and memories
like waves in an ocean,
you come back at night,
during high tide,
many a sleepless night
you exist, among the hundred commuters
on the train, in the mall,
all the places that I go to
I try my best not to glance at them,
out of fear, what if i see you?
And sometime, I do see-
bits of you in the smile,
part of you in the child’s dance
the lovely glance of the old couple
And why do I keep all these memories,
these digital memories of you?
I tell myself I don’t want to look back
Yet, destroy them, I do not
So I will let those , let be
souvenirs of a bygone time
A happy time, nonetheless
a dot in my past,
A digital memory.