Saturday, August 30, 2008

Little red bicycle

I was ten when the shiny red bicycle in the shop window claimed me. I was obsessed with it. Every day I would check on the bike, hoping they hadn't taken it away from me, like it was the last bike on earth. But my dad wouldn't buy it for me. I couldn't have everything I wanted and I had to learn that early, was his answer to my persistent whimpering. And one day it was gone.
I am a little older than 10 now and I can buy many shiny red bikes but I have no use for them and they have no use for me. The little red bike refuses to set me free.

Monday, August 25, 2008

All aboard the night train

The violent rocking that lulled you into sleep eases into a weary hiss and you wake up to the smells and sounds of the railway station. You weave your way past dreams, snores and runaway bags on to solid ground. The railway station, at night, has a life of its own, like an alert sentry in a groggy world.
You smell the poisoned air, you drink sickeningly sweet tea in reused plastic cups, you stretch numb limbs. You observe humanity in a maddening hurry to clamber aboard. Then you hear the bell toll and the warning horn. You stay in rhythm with the clanging steel till you feel the earth move under your feet. You watch the lights of the station receding and the warm glow of the sleeping town flashing past. You sink back into the comfortable darkness. You have crossed another milestone without pausing to wonder. Your eyes are riveted on the destination.

Money for nothing

I want lots of easy money without robbing a bank or selling my kidneys. I want to talk rubbish all day and I want the world to listen. I want to sit in airconditioned comfort and get fat while the others slog it out in the sun. I want to be a cricket commentator my sweet lord. Pretty please.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The city breathes

The next time you wake up in the heart of the night, listen carefully to the city breathe. The reassuring buzz of collective snoring, the creaking of weary bones, the sighs that slip out between a toss and a turn. Listen to its heartbeat. Listen in on its dreams. Breathe with it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rainy day blues

The neon lights blaze
a radio blares
Rain beats a staccato
on the hood of a car
I pause at the window
hunched against the sleet
The warm aroma of tea
the harshness of light
The jukebox plays
a kettle sings
The heart remembers
those little things

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Give me a D

It's a brooding darkness, even the stars seem jaded and in need of a wash. I feel one with the still of the night. Silvery smoke rings coaxed out from my burdened lung float up in orderly unison. My fingers find the steel strings, the sweet twang of a Dmajor. Everything seems lighter. Will music save my mortal soul.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

shooting stars

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (RBI) has announced that it will reward Abhinav Bindra for bringing home a gold medal. Sweet. In return, will you please shoot some of our ageing cricket superstars in the bum and put them out to pasture, Abhinav? Think about it ok.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hell's matinee

I am scared. I think I will go to hell and they will force me to watch Om Shanti Om every day. Good lord, I promise not to throw stones at dogs and push fat people down the stairs. I will not fudge my Income Tax and not make Karan Johar jokes as well. Please lord, not that movie.


Do you ever think of that girl on the bus? The one with the braces who smiled at you just before the bus drove away. And you waited at the bus stop for days after, hoping she would come by again, and she never did.
Do you ever think of what could have possibly happened? That she may have grown up to be a rabbit-cooking psycho or Mayawati. That she may have forced you to listen to Britney Spears and eat dog biscuits all your life. Possibility is such a delicious word.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sole propriety

I have been trying to put my best foot forward all day. And all people have done is step on it. Kind of pissing off, having to walk with dirty shoes and a bruised soul. What I need is Edward Scissortoes shoes. You step on my foot again and I am going to borrow your toes my friend. No violence, my foot.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing bytes

I am so excited about the chopsuey Olympics. Can't wait to see the protestors getting beaten up by Shaolin cops. Do they know kung fu, I wonder? I am super excited about the Indian contingent too. They were all dressed like the extras in Monsoon Wedding. Cute. Would have been nice for Lee and Hesh to have done a chest bump in the middle of the ceremony. And I wonder if Shah Rukh is in Beijing to promote his new movie?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Water con

"An elegant velvet character when served at room temperature."
That's Australian for water. Kable's, a restaurant in Sydney, is sexing up water. The Kable's menu offers 20 types of water, with descriptions that would shame the most pretentious vintage. For the discerning water drinker, you have variants that you can sip or have by the mouthfull. That's not all. According to the restaurant, you can match a mouth feel of the water to the mouth feel of the food.
What next? I am thinking Cholera-flavoured water in Mumbai to be sold to tourists for an authentic Indian experience. Sir, would you like to try our house special, the gastroentritis vintage?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sense and sensibility

I am waiting for wisdom, not just a tooth, but the whole beast. I need one last waltz with wisdom before the white coats carry me away. Every time I walk into a glass door, I think it has arrived with that bump in my head. But it has not. I will wait for wisdom like Florentina Ariza waited for Fermina Daza. It will be mine one day, give or take a few hundred bumps.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mud on the dancefloor

My mama don't dance and my daddy don't rock and roll.
Because the cops didn't let them dance when they were young.
Bangalore's kids will grow up to sing this retarded verse twenty years from now because a retarded government is driving this city into an antiseptic age.
The Disco Nazis are out on the street, making sure young people in this city have no fun. First it was a 11 pm lights-out diktat, now it's no dancing and no live music. I am no nightclub faithful but this medieval law goes against a person's fundamental right to have legal fun.
And just what are these jokers trying to control. Is it our collective morality? Go catch those guys who are planting bombs. Immorality is an evil we can live with, life is something we can't live without.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Waiting for rain

The raindrop perches on my window sill, pauses a minute to ponder, and then topples silently on to the ground, mingling with the earth. In no time, another litle drop takes its position. And then I see them, they are all around, on the leaves, on the trees, hanging from my brow. It's a battlefield of raindrops, crawling into their earthern bunkers after a happy assault. Up in rain country, thunder claps in glee, announcing a fresh formation. The drops shudder and fall in quick succession, making way for the new. It's mesmerising, waiting for the rain.