Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Are we there yet?

Why is it so difficult to take a strong stance on a burning issue? Yes, it's difficult. If it's easy, it's not strong enough. It's just a wave of the hand. That's never strong enough. 

You have an opinion. You recognise that you have an opinion. You see that it's birthed out of certain fortitude. Principles that you've held dear for a while now. Principles that you consider to be formed not out of a whim on a Tuesday evening, but you are sure are seated deep within you. Principles that you know would take a lot to be shaken out of you. What would it take? May be that's a question for another Tuesday. What else would it take? Surely, that's a question for this Tuesday.

Is the issue burning enough? Of course. Thousands of your peers, at least that's what the papers and the tweets and the news say, have been moved. Moved they have been, enough to take a few hours out of their lifeworld and march towards a random building. A symbolic building, but meh, buildings and symbols and V for Vendetta type analogies are also for another Tuesday.

Surely all this must bother you. You, yes. And me. And the person next to me. For the thousands out on the street, there are ten may be twenty times more inside their homes. Reminds you a bit of The Dreamers, yes? Don't get distracted now. It definitely is very bothering. Everything that you understood as being valuable enough, everything that you ever considered worth raising your voice over a dear friend's for, and everything else you one day sidelined for later appraisal, is all being done away with thanks to a simple wave of the hand. Hands that need to be tied down for one fucking moment while you... do what, exactly?

May be it's a question you're uncomfortable to search an answer for. Answers, if you are happy with them, can be very troubling. Answers can make you want to never seek answers again. May be it's an answer that you've always thought was begging for a question. The question has arrived. The answer is being ignored for you know what it means. The passivity is cowardly, albeit a strand of cowardliness that doesn't get seen by the outside.

Restraint is damn funny business. The more you exercise it, the harder it is to seek credit for. Happiness, oh yeah. Visible like the Hindenburg. Restraint needs to be pointed out. Hey, look at me. I'm not over-emoting. Look, damn it. To exercise restraint is the least narcissistic act a fellow could do, I suppose.

Restraint has its time. Everything does. There is time for quiet observation, mulling over the happenings, waving that hand and bidding adieu. But it is not now. Wake up calls usually come at the end of a slumber. Slaps on the wrist are more timely in their arbitrariness. 

You have your opinions. You have based them on principles. You decide to exercise restraint. 

For shame.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Sometimes, you might want to take a walk...

You want to take walk. You've just witnessed something, seen something, heard something, listened to something that makes you want to, it doesn't matter. You just want to take a walk.

But you're appreciative of the fact that you can't. You just can't leave things as they are and go for a damn walk, can you? But isn't that wasn't you want? It's a walk. You have no idea what good it'd do to you. You don't even know if it'll do you any good. You just want to take the damn walk. You've not really been the 'take a walk' kinda person, though. A walk is something you've never sought. It's just been these last few years when you've thought that a walk could solve something. How does it, though? You live by yourself. Even if you aren't literally by yourself, you live by yourself in your head. You can stand by yourself when you will it. You can be by yourself whilst in a crowd. And yet, somehow, you think a walk would help. If being by yourself, if being indifferent to company, is a thought away, why take a walk?

Because walks are romanticised, aren't they? You feel as if a walk will most definitely solve something that, say, a session on the pot won't. A walk will help resolve matters, the most immediate matters, in the way a drink with a good friend won't. A walk is a walk for a reason, as they say. Not always.

This particular walk, though. What can you say about this particular walk that's different from all the other walks you've wanted to take? This particular walk is something special. All of them are. Not because this particular one has context, all if them do. Not because this particular one is a spur of the moment thing, all of them are. It's because this particular walk is pressing. Not all of them are. Sure, some of them are. But this one is more pressing than any other. Why should there even be a comparison between walks? Aren't walks like cups of tea, each one special and warranted irrespective of others?

You want to take a walk. Not only because sometimes you want to. Sometimes, you need to

Monday, 21 September 2015

Crisis it comes and crisis it stays...

My crisis is my own. I own it, I live it, I experience it like you never can. I didn't just wake up this morning and decide that at 2330, I'd surrender myself to this instantaneous crisis and torture myself by lying awake in bed. It didn't find its way into my thoughts when I turned towards my water bottle. It was brewing, it was on a slow boil, it came to fruition, it saw light, it kept rising till it no longer could be bottled down. It might have been developing in the unconscious, it might have made itself appear in my consciousness at a moment it saw fit, but it's a crisis now nonetheless. It's called a crisis for a reason. It's not a mundane thing for you to tell me to forget about it. It's not an everyday occurrence for you to tell me that it'll be okay by the time I wake up tomorrow morning. It was born sometime ago and attempts were made to quell it then and there. Methods don't matter. Results do. It was put out there, like Blind Willie Johnson's dulcet moaning for anybody to catch and it was duly caught. Fucking ego. And now I struggle to make two thoughts connect. Don't come in here with your rainbow-flowing-cheery-sunshine and tell me it's all going to be okay. Tomorrow's just another day. For the crisis to continue, for me to wallow and for you to leave me be.


Some voices in the head are annoying as fuck.

Friday, 19 June 2015

A morning in Phnom Penh

The clock has just struck 630. Outside Phnom Penh's historic Orussey Market, the Capitol Tours bus stop is as busy as a movie set this Wednesday morning. The bus drivers hang around for the appointed departure time to arrive. The helpers load up the back of the bus with the wares of the passengers, placing my backpack on top of all the cardboard boxes with the trepidation one would usually associate with a cat that's unsure of the meal she's just been served. Outside, freshly baked buns fill the air with the smell that is distinct to bread just pulled out of the oven. The aroma of Cream-filled centres, pork buns, and jam buns wage a stately war with the fresh buns that are waiting for their fillings. This is something unique to Phnom Penh, both women and men selling the crispest baguettes, waiting with forceps on hand for you to point out to the filling that you'd like.

Phnom Penh gets quite busy at even at 630.

The six ladies at the helm of the ticket offices barely have the time to catch a gulp of water. Buses are leaving every ten minutes, worried foreigners are streaming in at about 3 or 4 per bus, wondering if the ticket they bought the previous night is legitimate. Locals are rushing in, parking their motorbikes with the deft swiftness that I have come to associate with Cambodians, and hurry to the ticket counters to buy tickets and head back out with the same alertness. Yet another set of motorbike riders are arriving, with huge packs of sealed boxes carefully balanced in the little space the bike offers between their legs. Pick up the box, drop it at the feet of the lovely ladies at the ticket counter, fill up a form, paste its copy on the top of the box, show the original to the lady, pay, and off you go.

The driver also picked up packets from strangers on the way delivered it, without any form of communication if I might add, to others down the road. Not Shady At All.
The driver also picked up random packages from strangers on the road and delivered it, with no form of communication if I might add, to others down the route. Par for the course in this part of the world I guess.

A few Khmer words on the PA, my bus driver rushes to his seat and taps the horn twice, and turns to find me sitting diagonally to the right of his shoulder. He switches on the music player and skips a couple of songs. Jiggles his shoulders with a broad smile. He's found his favourite. He turns to me and hopes to elicit a similar response. I smile. He's worn his sunglasses. Uttered a choice few words to the motodup rider blocking his way ahead. The bus and I are off to Kampot.


This is the start of a series of posts that I hope to write on my trip to Cambodia. In no particular order, of course. Simpler ones to write are the first to go up, I guess.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Exiled at home...

During a casual conversation in class the other day, I was introduced - unintentionally by the other person - to another side of what I've been very thankful for over the last 2 years.

Since January 2013, I'd been living at home by myself till I shipped myself to college last August. For almost 17 months, I was living by myself at the place I had grown up in, the place I had scrapped my knees playing cricket in, the place in which I made several friends who I still hold dear, the place I called home. I'd always looked at this as a rare comfort. What else would you call being in a relatively expensive city by yourself in your early 20s without having to pay rent or worry about the general things people of this mould usually worry about! I didn't have to worry about other families in the building constantly being aware that they had a bachelor living amongst them; about coming home late well past midnight or not coming home at all for a few days at a stretch.

The other side isn't this accommodating.

I was exiled at home. I realise now that the opposite of home isn't always exile and the opposite of exile isn't always home. The forced exile at the very home you grew up in, formed memories in, tackled early life in, got hurt in, got told that it's okay in, heard stories in...I came back to an empty home every night. Then there was silence until I spoke. Then there was stillness until I moved. Nobody to push, nobody to move, nobody to speak, nobody to speak to, nobody to listen to, nobody to shove, nobody to see. Nobody.

Home is when you're okay with the notion of home changing; drastically and dramatically in an instant.