Friday, September 21, 2012

A song that raised a thousand bogeys

Last week while driving to work, I saw a sign which said 360 degrees, inexplicably that reminded me of my Yahoo 360 blog which was my space to ramble in around 2004-2007…while I was thinking of it, one of my favorites blogs there wound its way into my mind…a post there with the following lyrics from a Johnny Cash song is one of my favorites pieces I have ever written and brought in a sweeping stroke of nostalgia, both for the song and the times gone by. I rushed to office and spent the whole day listening to Johnny Cash. Though I often think about the times in which I was in college, it never really succeeds in wearing me down as much as it did that day…
The lyrics of the song go something like this

Save my love through loneliness,
Save my love for sorrow,
I'm given you my onliness,
Come give your tomorrow

I am no fan of English music but for some reason Johnny Cash’s songs get to me like no one ever has. Read through the above lines and there is so much you see, such angst, such abundance of love and so much suffering that it calls out to your own pain and forms a bond. That day brought in so many memories of so many particular things. Memory is sometimes so fickle, you feel a pang for the past but the past as a whole, you never think about the individual entities which made the past a whole. This day and that song brought back such individual memories that I was lost the whole day: the way I used to read Harry Potter every day for years, the way I used to snuggle on the bed with those no longer here and was so content, the way I was so hopeful about things, the many long walks to muse about life, the way life seemed such a huge possibility when I used to talk with friend, the obtuse passing of times at bus stops, the thrill if I actually went to a place I liked…much of that hope is exhausted now, much of that warmth missing and most of the optimism misplaced.

The journey from your early to late twenties changes so much of you that it is hard to believe that you shed so much of yourself and still are you. As I pause, while I am writing this…it is difficult to believe that so much has been slowly lost over the years…an accumulated angst has occupied the place of hope and has made it home…I know not what is worse, that it refuses to fade or that I refuse to let go.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Books I recently read and loved

Reading is a getaway for which I’m immensely thankful, allowing me to know more about life, people and experiences in such a vicarious and voyeuristic manner. Though my reading has come down, I have read some immensely wonderful books, in the past which have enriched and touched me in so many ways.
A suitable girl: Vikram Seth

This book is so huge that you cannot lug it around, I placed it on three pillows and read it just like old ladies read out from Ramayana at a prayer meet. It also amazed me (again after An Unequal Music) about the unrivaled genius of Vikram Seth. I fell in love at the contents page itself, instead of names of chapters, it has couplets with a tantalizing hint as to what you can expect in that chapter. The sheer number of characters and the exquisite detailing which went into it numbs you. Full of characters you can relate to, an old world charm which no longer exists, it was a marathon of a book and the fact that it has a sequel coming out is just the icing on the cake! My family heaved a sigh when I finished it in five wonderful days and was brought back to the world.

The help: Kathryn Stockett

Gifted by Na, on my birthday this wasn’t my usual book. Narrating the journey of black maids in 1960’s who raise white kids, it opened my eyes to the sort of exploitation we thought was limited to our own country. Full of humor, pain and courage it describes an inhuman human in an incredibly humane way. Two days after I finished the book, the adaptation came on TV which was good but was nowhere close to the book!

Em and the big hoom- Jerry Pinto
This touching book, which by the way is simply gorgeous to look at, with its black bound cover and colored pages was a gift from Pt and was so engrossing. A story about a mentally ill mother and her two kids who try to decipher the reason behind her illness, it shocks you with its crudity and makes you wonder about the concept of life itself. A semi-biographical account of the author, the sarcasm, lyrical humor, the love and the grief really affect you. I, for one didn’t want the book to end even though the despair in its narration was heart wrenching. A wonderful, depressing book!

Monday, September 3, 2012

On a rainy afternoon...

It’s been raining nonstop for the past 24 hours and feels absolutely wonderful. On days like this I wish for nothing but a good novel, a bed and my old quilt. To do nothing but laze around while the gentle pitter pat gives you company is the stuff my heart yearns for. Add a bit of Ilayaraja’s music in the background and some piping hot chai, and I am officially in heaven. I don’t have so much on me right now, I am at work but am thankful that I can see the rain and enjoy its gentle smells, feel the company of the drops and soak in the constant comfort it brings. The many memories it coaxes out of me and the many people it reminds me, rain is unparalleled for evoking nostalgia.

What is it about rains which makes me long for monsoons every year- is it the fact that life comes to an absolute standstill when it holds forth, is it the feeling of tranquility it invokes in everything it touches or is it just another thing to hold onto, one not threatened by change or confusion? Rains have a wonderful way of making me feel at peace with myself, just to watch, just to be, just to be a part of something so serene. Every drop bringing in the same force and fervor, touching everything with the same passion while ensuring that everyone is a part of it, that everyone is a stake holder.

Everything about the rains hold promise and beauty throughout its stay, the overcast gloomy clouds which herald it or the green green trees which it leaves in its wake. The cool breeze which sways with the rain drops or the many pretences it washes away. It brings such simple joys and so many myriad thoughts.

Rain. A gregarious friend, a gentle lover, a great companion.