Thursday, May 31, 2007


Wanted to leave office early today. If not early, at least on time, I thought. Really, this is unhealthy -- this habit of staying late in office just to kill time. But, and there is always this big BUT, it's evening now and I'm still sitting in my cubicle, typing these words on my keyboard. Things like will-power and determination, alas, are not my cup of tea.

Whatever, I kind of like to go home late. I like the late evening breeze upon my face as I come out of office. I like to sit by the window of the last shuttle back home. I like to watch the bright evening lights of shops, malls, and restaurants. I like to walk back home through the crowded roads. I like the sudden silence of my apartment after a noisy evening.

Well, you know what, I always invent reasons to comfort myself even when I'm in a big mess.

I deceive myself to to be happy. I bury my head in sand and dream.

Monday, May 28, 2007

By the sea

Harihareshwar, May 2007

Just when I was showing serious symptoms of acute boredom, some of the well-meaning colleagues came up with this idea -- a weekend by the sea. Well, this was more than welcome for someone whose weekends were becoming excessively dull and lethargic. The concoction of 3S -- sea, sand, and sky -- was inviting enough for me.

So this weekend, four of us went to this little village in the Konkan coast, where the sea stretches to the horizon, green hillocks dot the shore, and fleecy clouds roam overhead in a perfect blue sky. We walked around the wonderfully deserted beach (there were only us when we went to the beach early in the morning), stood in knee-deep water, watched the waves crushing at our feet, heard the roar of the waves, felt the salty air on our face, and were generally looking happy beyond measures (the numerous photos in crazy poses are testimony to that). And of course, there were also those mandatory sea-bath and frolicking, some shouts and giggles, and some shining specks of sand on our skins.

Now, I don't really want to get into the details. I think you've already got the idea, right? We mostly acted like dumb and happy fools.

I doubt, with this happy trip, I've expended my quota of happiness for the time being. I've a premonition that gloomy days are ahead.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On boredom

The last few days had been wonderfully boring -- everyday I woke up in the morning, glanced the newspaper, came to office, worked a few hours, read some mails, sent some mails, went back home, ate a bland dinner, read a few pages, tried to write a post, gave up, and fell asleep. Yes, this is pretty much what I did. As you can very well understand, even for a comatose person like me, this sort of routine can sometimes get on the nerves. No wonder, these days I appear somewhat lost, subdued, unsocial, gloomy, and aloof (it's a bit difficult to convince, but actually, I'm none of these!). And perhaps the worst thing is, I do not even seem to make any effort to appear otherwise -- I'm blissfully ignorant and happily ensconced in my boredom. Friends, when I tell them about my present condition, shake their heads in disbelief and mutter some words of consolation as if I'm a hopeless case. Well, for once, I do not really have anything to prove them wrong.

But boredom is a strange feeling, I've realized. I do get bored by this loneliness at times, but I can stand this boredom. What I really fear is the occasional boredom I feel in the company of people. I really feel terrible when I have to endure that. (Just for the record, I should say here that I always pride on my ability to endure the severest boredom. It usually takes a lot to bore me. Any lesser mortal, faced with the kind of nondescript life I live, would raise his/her hand and surrender to boredom. But not me, I've grown resistant over the years.)

Anyway, so I'm mildly shocked to find that what I was feeling for the last few days actually bordered on boredom. Maybe, I over-estimated myself, after all.

Whatever, a good dose of reading and I hope to recover soon. The problem is while books give us company and food for soul, they also make us acutely aware of our deepest feelings, loneliness and boredom included.


Monday, May 14, 2007

A house for pranabk

So, this weekend, I moved, once again, to a new house.

Even as I write this, bags, books and a whole lot of other paraphernalia lie strewn in my new apartment. But thankfully -- and I pride myself on this -- my belongings are not much. In fact, until very recently I could stuff all my stuff in two big bags and move anywhere within an hour's notice. In that sense, one could say that I literally lived out of my bags. (Things, however, are poised for a change now as I am contemplating on buying a few more household luxuries -- a television, cooking gas, fridge, etc. But I repeat, I'm just contemplating and most of the time my contemplation does not necessarily translate into action.)

Anyways, after I shifted all my belongings, and was left alone, a strange sense of loneliness gripped me. I paced around the empty rooms and the balcony, inspected the taps and the sink, switched on and off the light bulbs, watched the dust and cobwebs. But all the while, my mind wandered off to a place thousands of miles away -- the only place I still call home. Well, almost a decade and four cities later the word 'home' still reminds me of only one place on earth -- of bamboo fencings, tiled roofs, red hibiscus flowers, branches of guava trees, mango shades...

Now, no one knows this better than me that I cannot go back home again. I cannot go back simply because, I know, my idea of home is rooted in a certain time period and not the physical place itself. My home lives in my memory.

So, I try to convince myself that home is a place where one lives, wherever it might be. I know the earlier I accept it, the better. I know all these, I understand, and I hard try to accept. But somehow, each new roof I sleep under unsettles me for some moment and reminds of a faraway home.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

BĂȘte noire

You smiled mischievously.

"What?" I asked.

"What?" you retorted.

"Don't give me that crooked smile of yours," I said with bitterness.

"Who said I was smiling at you?" your voice raised a little.

"Who else is here? Besides, I know that smile of yours. I know when you smile that way," I said accusingly.

"If you already know everything, why ask me," you hissed. "There's nothing I can do if you keep imagining things in your head. That's really your problem, you know, you imagine too much."

We stared at each other for the next few seconds. Then I averted my eyes and moved away. I could never really face your eyes for long. And that made me even angrier.

I hated you because I knew you knew. You knew every little thing that I desperately wanted to hide. You knew every embarrassing detail, every deception, every weakness. And now, the way you gave that mocking smile, I knew, you already knew what I was trying to bury so stealthily.

Needless to say, I'm exasperated.

One of these days, I'm sure, I'll break your head when you give that crooked smile from the inside the mirror.