Archive | March, 2010

Old Bottles

29 Mar

The downside of mature love is the knowledge that you can live-and even thrive-without each other. Work will fill those spaces earlier reserved for romance, you’ll make your peace with and perhaps celebrate singledom, and rejoice in the company of friends and family and a whole bed to stretch out on. No single object of affection is worth fighting, struggling, shrinking self or giving up haves for. You’ve sailed past that goal post and being on your supposed ownsome isn’t the bogeyman they made him out to be.

Daily rhythms cushion you, triumphs of the past buoy your troughs and the hours shrink magically, too few to bother with the likes of 20-something hankerings, their accompanying angst and the empty chores that make us feel needed. Peace is precious, choices dear, the self firmer, surer and less exploitable.

The upside of mature love is that it isn’t a necessity. Just an evil you can choose once you’re done figuring out the hours left on life’s timesheet.

Flash

25 Mar

In bed, he was a brute. Not nasty, he just didn’t realize his strength. Which is why I’m particularly touched when he wishes me on every birthday and Nourooz, taking care to include the names of his wife and son. Wait, how could I know how he was in bed? It happened on the floor.

The Fine Line

23 Mar

I could never be a poet. I demonstrate an appalling lack of eye make-up skills.

~Me to a girlfriend.

Hope springs eternal, though. Tonight we go goop shopping. Here and here. Suggestions, people? Any lesser-known brands that are gentle on the skin?

Urbs Prima Pedestria

18 Mar

Life gets more pedestrian every day. And far from being aware of this fact, we appear to revel in its fall-out without even realizing the implications of our choices. Take malls, for example. In what way are they a suitable entertainment option? If you need something, you show up and buy it. Or you show up, browse and buy it. Or go window shopping and indulge the odd whim. But who actively steps out saying “Ooh, let’s randomly hang around at a mall without an agenda and cloak ourselves in consumerism, ignoring more appropriate cultural/cerebral/child-friendly pursuits”?

The answer, sadly, is far too many people. Even though they may not have processed it that much. People for whom popular culture is the only route, whose idea of alternative is bright blue ice-cream, who take solace in identical mass-produced goods, chain stores and majority choices. Who believe Bollywood is the default setting, that one must necessarily burst into filmi tunes at a picnic/wedding/middle of nowhere and that branded is best.

So the little store around the corner languishes like a neglected hausfrau, small businesses are increasingly impossible to sustain, local flavor gives way to cities that could be clones of each other with the glass-facades of their retail temples glistening with consumerist entitlement—we’re big, better than bourgeois, we deserve front and centre. And so we eat. At tables housed in painstakingly identical restaurants around the world. And we shop. In a store that could very well be in Shanghai or Chicago. (And if you didn’t actually live there, could you even tell their skylines apart?) And we send our children to conveyor belt schools and sigh in relief at the “known name” that will take care of what is our primary responsibility, never mind that you can’t tell one rote learner from the next. And we amuse ourselves with consumerist pursuits—check, check, check, what’s next on the List? Bigger equals better equals shiny happy joy. And we take PRIDE in being just like the next person, oh look! We’re so with it.

Crossword is the default bookstore, PVR the default movie screen, the friendly neighborhood mall the multipurpose hotspot. Really? Is debilitating uniformity all we can offer ourselves in a time when choices are supposedly multiplying? Or is that a glimmering capitalist illusion and are our options actually shrinking by the hour?

I’m certainly no trailblazer. And not everyone wants to be. But a little thought, people? About things and ideas and possibilities that could be, were we not so cognitively lazy and ready to grab the longest branch, the shortest pole, the easiest available alternative that is in no way alternative at all. For all our streets jammed with new-fangled factory line cars, we’re more pedestrian than ever and what’s most alarming to me as I watch the trend burgeon and deliver grandbabies is that knowingly or otherwise, we’re unabashedly proud of it.

Provocans Ad Volandum

15 Mar

Translated: Incitement to Fly.

Credits: OJ and her now-defunct Canon PowerShot in sepia mode. And this fabulous institution, frequently ranked the number one arts college in the country.

Thursday Thoughts

11 Mar

All of a man’s worth boils down to how tenderly he responds to your post-orgasm sobs.

The Occasional Writer

8 Mar

The smell of egg

Offends you,

A cake is lemon sin.

Your thoughts collect

Yeast

And hankerings

And scatter nail clippings in

The wind.

The walk to the temple

Cuts your heels

Devotional scars sprout maps

What would they say if you

Hurried away, unwilling to roast the

Cumin?

Gandoo, he cusses at the

Newborn child

While grandma stirs his kanji

Your worlds they crash and spray

sweet gut,

the heart as free as

marmalade.