Archive for category Ramblings
If a man could be two places at one time,
I’d be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
— If by ‘Bread’
In that momentary reverie by the turquoise waters of Kosi river, I realized what I had come to.
What I lost and yet what was not lost in me.
Time leaps but vagrants remain enshrined — sometimes like footprints sealed in fossils and at others; resting like pebbles in the river bed, once touched and forever waiting.
“Any grand plans for Valentine’s day?” quizzed Kaalicharan’s baritone voice.
“When have I had any?”
“But,” smiling sheepishly he added, “You aren’t a dog”.
“Who knows if I am” with a sigh, the pseudo philosopher in me heaved, “a dog inside this human flesh”
“Too early in the day to turn to Nietzsche, Calvy boy” with a smirk he added, “Why don’t you rant about the Valentine’s day like last year?”
“Kaalicharan, why are you sounding like Moe?”
“Ok, let’s talk of girls! What about Susie Derkins?”
“What about her?”
“Hah! Agreed that we are a little twisted, but mustn’t you forget that you are La Panza and I, Don Quixote.”
Kaalicharan seals the last word yet again.
Another year passed by and it’s still Waterson’s magical world which makes all the sense:)
A cursory glance on facebook and it’s easy to delve in the wave of wedding updates. The delirious setting gets still creepier when the question gets popped out to you of unassuming corners. At office cubicle, over a cafeteria conversation or an impromptu conversation, there is always someone who wishes to inquire ‘when’ as if the gyrations of the planet depend on a matrimonial.
Fernfly has never asked me on these lines. So it did came as a surprise when she chose to skirt around the same as an answer to my post on penning a hand written letter. Advising me to keep my eyes open for Susie Derkins, she painstakingly scribbled down Rosemarie Urquico’s essay on why one should date a girl who reads. Adding in post script with a different ink, “Must love dogs remain the primary clause. And why only date, you should marry her.”
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hoursbut she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
PS Images sourced from the internet.
“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.” ― Rollo May
What makes a human being?
The rhetorical question is as easy and yet as hard. Down the rabbit hole or up in hornet’s nest, the wilderness has a viewpoint which varies from valleys to the vagaries.
It is no secret that I don’t believe in humans with a halo over their head ― the ayatollahs, sacrosanct religious gurus and Swami Holier-than-thou and the Ulema Ulysses.
It is the hound I trust in. Period.
Always have. Always will.
Down go the religious connotations.
Science, ah you tricky magician! From Darwin to Dolly, the sheep, you have come a long way but pardon me an answer that summarizes humans as a motley of chromosomes, cerebrum and cervical. Genome and Gnome spell the same to me.
Art however is a paradigm shift; from Shelly’s Frankenstein to Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde) the answers keep coming. Hesse’s Sidhartha shows the way while Carroll’s Alice reveals how the greatest gifts are found on getting lost.
Amongst answers many, one is sure; it doesn’t take a t-shirt that proclaims the same to make you human. Take a leaf from Jack London on his idea of charity, an ounce from Gandhi on kindness and those dozens of saints walking all around you changing one life somewhere in their own way and then my friend, give it all back.
Happiness is a strange unit that multiplies when shared. Together we shall divulge to forget all over again.
Don Quixote lives!
PS All images belong to their respective owners, source: Bing.
The once quaint bazaars of Kumaoun hills, acquainted with only three color codes ― grey-white of students, bottle-green of army and the earthen shade of postman’s khaki, have of late witnessed a color riot of courier servicemen and pizza delivery guys. Somewhere in this milieu, my friend in khaki, the postman has gone missing.
Dogs have always had a special relationship with ‘Daakiya’ and I am no different. Unlike relatives and friends, the postman turns up every day! But like inland letter and post card; postman too, aren’t spotted these days. I sometimes wonder if children of tomorrow would be able to picture Thanappa, the amiable postman from ‘Malgudi days’.
With a tinker of hope, I reach under the rhododendron and dust the rusted mailbox at the gate of Old Oak, Sleepy Hollow ― a reminiscent of times that were. All that my paws can find amid ferns are some wedding invites, electricity bills and newspaper inserts that look like confetti. No one has written to me in ages. No, I don’t count the email. These paws yearn to feel the texture of paper with words in them. Words; written and not typed. Words, impregnated with inks of those who held love. Words, weaving tales of a land from far off, of people I know or once knew. And in those crisscrosses, scribbles on the marginalia, darkened impressions which seem to stress on the line, conveying a longing to return; I too, wait with the words. Words, written days before and yet not swayed by time. Words with their casual curves, that have forgotten to age, the ripening feel that only a cat can conceal and yet, reveal.
With a slow walk I retrace my path to the attics. I don’t precisely remember when I ceased to pen letters. It’s been so long that I don’t really recall the ecstasy that it was to rediscover moist laden inland letter from the folds of an old diary with yellow tinted pages. Sometimes the postage stamps from my collection stare back at me. And as I unfold the envelope again, quite like graffiti that adorns penultimate page of old textbooks, the world reopens to me.
If you know how it feels, let me know. And if you know how to heal, write to me.
Happy New year everyone! Here’s hoping that peace, prosperity and common sense prevails all through the shuffle of calendar this year:)
Sitting by the cinders at Himalayan valley, the madness and methods of world don’t really engulf me. It is on such cold evenings that I am reminded of a story Rusty once told me in my puppy days. This is a story for my little friends and those of you who still have a kid lurking beneath your mustache and mascara.
So like all stories of yore, it so begins…
Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted a puppy. She asked her mother if they could go to the puppy shop and get one cute little ball of fur.
She said to her mother, “Maa, I want a dog.”
With a kind smile, the mother caressed the pigtails of her daughter and queried, “Why?”
“Because I love dogs!”, said the little girl who was now brimming with anticipation.
“You wouldn’t believe”, the mother said “but there are people who love dogs so much that they never buy them.”
“They don’t buy dogs then how come they are dog lovers?” asked the curious little girl.
The mother smiled and said, “They adopt them.”
The little girl went to adopt among others, Rusty and me.
The collage above celebrates kindred souls who decided not to go to the puppy mills, the dog shops or the breeders. (Image courtesy Ayurdhi, Divya and Geetalima.)
So if this is the year you are planing to bring home the happiness that is a dog, please let it be through an adoption. For money can’t buy best friends.
Do let us know if you have adopted a dog, we always have a space for such cheery collages.