Monday, July 28, 2014

Rainy Day Essay Revisited

The rains are upon us, incessant, like the wailing of a baby in the night time, fraught by unknown fears in its heart. 



I am harrowed, exhausted, suffocated in the few hours (or is it just an hour) that it takes me to get to and from work rather than the 8 hours I spend at office. When I'm stuck in the cardboard box shaped taxis or the burgeoning buses with it's heaving breasts and shoulders I always think of this city drowning. I wonder how much water it would take to wipe everything out...it's lush green, dark angel, sweaty bus ticket remains. And then I hear the sighs, yawns and exasperated screams around punctuated by incessant notifications of a door bell ringtone of yet another whatsapp message and I feel like everyday it is... Drowning...

I don't know why the rains amplify the tenuous actions of day to day so much.

So, I thought I'd be clever and ask my cab driver to drop me to my house instead of getting down and taking a rickshaw from a convenient point like I usually do. Mostly because I thought I wouldn't find rickshaws given the state of the rain. But as I guiltily made my way  in my cab chariot I saw a long queue of obedient riders. A part of me wanted to get down and forget about being so lazy. But the other part said hey, don't I deserve this little bit of luxury? Of being dropped home directly when it's raining ponds outside? 

How weird that I thought of this when we stumbled upon the water logged streets leading to my home and the taxi driver asked me to kindly get the fuck out of his car. And so I did. It isn't even a coincidence that I'd read this post on Facebook on that very day. 


This is what happened to an abandoned mall:(http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/6/30/5856856/abandoned-mall-in-bangkok-has-been-overtaken-by-fish) This picture seems like its right out of  the horrors I store in my mind. 

Wading through the waterlogged fishes and snakes and leeches clogging my paranoid mind, I kept the fear of being swallowed whole by a giant sea monster safely at bay by trying to hurry through it and gasping and panting and finally falling face down into the mush. 

It strikes me then that I am stupid. That rather than the monsters in my head I should be worried about the acid in the rain and the saliva of random strangers who spit on the street all the damn time. And the biggest enemy of all: my rampant clumsiness.

With that comes the startling realisation that my face just got marked by the  kiss of a thousand strangers and all I could think about was that poem about the road by T.S Eliot: "You had such a vision of the street/As the street hardly understands."  



So I waited it out till my knight in shining rickshaw came and took me home after charging me triple the standard fare. There's something to say about these men who ride....maybe not as vicariously or on the edge as a vehement bike rider... But a slow rhythmic clickety clack rickshaw journey. It's  like a dance:  all sinews and legs and hands... with a hint of a different era: ancient, slower, glowing times. 

"I am moved by fancies that are curled 
Around these images, and cling: 
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fragile Things

 My cousin brother is all set to leave for college, to the very tip of the country. It's been a while since we've spoken properly what with his exams and just... life getting in the way. It was startling to see him all grown up, talking about his first heartbreak.... and how it felt like going away to college right now was tantamount to  being an escapist. 

Growing up we were pretty close. Till he became a teenager and me a college going elder sister that suddenly developed this armour of judgmental bitch around her to justify not having a life. 

 And what struck me was this thing he said : " The last thing I want is to be is a lonely dick. I am really relying on my friends to get me through this." I felt weird about his looking down on lonely people given that I love being alone so much. I'm not a lonely dick, I wanted to tell him.

 But I couldn't because he just seemed so...driven and motivated to win the world. Like if I gave him one whiff of air he'd catch that and fly away that very moment. 

His impatience was infectious but something I cannot relate to anymore. 

When he was leaving I bought him Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things. Because he was gushing about this wonderful quote he read on "the wall of a friend on Facebook, it's called the day the saucers came...have you read it?" My brother usually doesn't read. And when he does it's normally short stories because he has the attention span of a fly. So I thought this book would be perfect for him. 


The Day the Saucers Came by Neil Gaiman. I feel like he's the Tim Burton of the literature world.This going to be read at my wedding

He asked me if I would write something for him on the book. And although it was difficult to concentrate with the song in the shop blaring its raucous tune I did manage to write something for him: 

 "Dear B, Congratulations....
 In life you will find that fragile things need the most protecting. And almost always? It is completely worth it."

 I forgot to sign my name at the end. But I'm sure if I did I'd write "Lonely  Contented Dick" and watch him make a face at me.