Monday, October 24, 2011

Miniaturesque

As dreary afternoons go-
I'd seen drearier;
Thought I'd go with the flow-
Couldn't get any scarier.

Brains dimmed and eyes died;
Thought I'd had enough.
Solace, 'twas long denied;
Thought I'd had it tough.

Thought I'd be going somewhere,
To private thoughts nurse;
Instead I sat and grew my hair-
Going from shit to verse.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shorter Stories #2: The Nemesis Principle

The Nemesis principle had finally come into effect.
If, like so many, you didn't believe in the Principle, the end result was that you would. It's a brilliantly-engineered concept that only accentuates the dystopian view so many hold our world true to; the fact that, for
twenty four hours every day of every week of the year, you were being watched.
Not only are you being watched, but your actions, your work, your choices are all being judged.
And not only are you being judged by the smallest, least significant movement, but you are in imminent danger of having punishment meted out for that same, insignificant movement.
And thus, the Nemesis Principle.
Someone is watching, someone is judging. And someone is coming.
It is precisely that sort of self-suspicion that allows for a constant craning of the neck to watch your back. The
problem is, keep watching your back long enough, you run the risk of something taking a more direct, frontal
approach.
But it'll come, anyway.
Like bad karma, no matter where you hide, or where you try to make a stand, nemesis approaches.
And she isn't smiling.
I'm going, too. It's a human instinct, or even a primordial one, wherein the only thing left is the will, or the
need, to survive. In that little time, humanity disappears and you can pretty much see the beast under all the
walls, the codes of ethics, the morality society imposes on us.
Because when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back into you; and as Nemesis fixes you with her cold, angry eyes, you scratch off that out patina, and inside even the shining glory of the mightiest hero, lies a monster.
So? Run. Run, and wait, forever wary, forever fearful... feeling, knowing, that the Nemesis Principle is at work.
-------
(Interesting enough to be continued, apparently. Conspiracy theories are always worth following up.)

Shorter Stories #1


I stared out of the window.
He looked at me.
The room suddenly seemed too quiet, too small; like that minute of reflection where you see yourself reflected in the barrel of a gun, or in the deadly glimmer of a honed blade, it was an ominous silence. The air throbbed with energy, danger, risk.
We lived for that risk, he and I, lifelong enemies.
They say that a good enemy is better than a bad friend. That when you finally bury him, you miss him as the brother you didn't have. A north american story goes about two tribal chieftains who were utter rivals to the very end- so much so that they were burned together, their hatchets embedded in each other's flesh. Legend says they went to the spirits and took the sign of the brothers.
It was like that to us; we'd never hold each others' hands in a pinch- but we'd dare each other to take the first
step, and quite likely we'd have stepped forward together.
The bird I'd been watching, it fluttered its wings. As one, we tensed, he and I; in that eagle's talons rested the
soul of our battle.
Not unlike gladiators, were we; waiting, watching, or even like tigers fighting for the hunt... circling each
other, our primal instincts urging us toward victory.
And the fowl took to the air, wings seemingly ablaze, silhouetted against the sun.
And it began.
His hand tensed, and softly, he muttered so no one else would hear- 'Go.'
Our arm-wrestling tournament began with a promising start.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Truths of the Fiction

"Heil, Hitler!" I bellowed.
With those words I was thrown out of the hostel. Unfortunately the warden knew too much about Germanic history for me to have escaped his malice.
Not that I wasn't expecting it, anyway.
The air was warm, and utterly humid. It felt like May should, you know; wet, willing and waiting.
That sounds perverse. Let me rewind.
*
May was a time when my college decided that it had had enough of idiots blemishing its corridors and let them out into the open world to let them know: Aap chutiye hain.
May was also, therefore, the time when I would plunge headlong into any sort of trouble.
This sort of trouble began a lot closer to home, a lot closer to stupidity.
Never, in any life, agree to something you don't have the measure of. 
Like many idiocies in my life, this happened when I was piss-drunk and couldn't hit an elephant at four paces. Someone thought it'd be a brilliant idea to see which of us could keep from passing out on the open road. So we got ourselves three cars and started. 
I'm not quite sure where we started from, but I remember flooring the accelerator.
There is something about the open hood of a Jeep- that old Mahendra- that is conducive to driving. There's no feel quite like it; it's a car meant for the open road. I remember feeling the vibration in its chassis, the rumbling power under its hood. It felt alive. I felt alive! Dr Frankenstein was nowhere to shout "Eureka" so we had to do without that fallacy.
Now comes the crazy part. You don't pass out at the wheel. Right?
Right. I didn't pass out- I just blacked out. 
So when I came to, my mobile registered seventeen missed calls from the owner of the jeep, two missed calls from the master of the opera and three from my sister. Kinda skewed call-ratio.
I managed to drive until I had enough, and checked my watch. It was seven-twenty. In the morning.
And I had started my consultancy sessions with a bottle around twelve hours back, give or take a few minutes.
What was a man supposed to do?
Apart from find a nearby dhaba, get cleaned up.
Now, sorry; but this still doesn't explain how I got kicked out of the hostel. The rest of it is explained in this letter a friend sent me, a scan from that day. Some details have to be blanked out for confidentiality's sake (and to save my own skin).
*
To,
XXXXXX
XXXXXXXX
ABC, PuXX

Sir, 
      This is to bring to kindly notice that your one colleague by the name of XXXXXX XXXX was expelled from our hostel at XXXX at 12.30 on the same date as this letter when being written.
      Your colleague not only had been causing many mishaps in the hostel premises but also was bothering other people in the hostel. He did not have any identificational proof on his person at the specificated time; if he will not answer as is requird to the necessary authorities and clear up the problem with college committee then your colleague can be charged with police action if needed necessary. 
       There also is matter of his being in unsound mind at the time of expellation and below influence. The hostel is not equipped to take in a vehicle without numberplate missing as is required by traffic police and regulations of RTO.
       Since you are the only availabel contractor he would be giving, I am addressing this letter to your home only. Charges brought against this student demand utter and immediate clearing or else will cause problems for your colleague afterwards.
       One thing to keep in mind also is that his age is still too young to be given amenities like car, jeep, mobile etc. While it is prudent to make sure that people remain in contact with each other over long distances, freedom is spoiling of those who cannot appreciate it.
        I have also provided another letter concerning his immediate relatives' attention on this matter. I hope you may reach it and also contact me at the other number given below. It may be that an arrangement can be made so that matter can be solved at the grassroots level only.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
XXXX XXXXXX
XXXXXXX
(Big long line of address follows)
*
Now, several things wrong with the writer of the letter. Corrupt bastard.
If you go through the letter it just makes for a lot of fun. The base of it was, that I stumbled into some hostel at some point in the day, while making my way back from the evening's trip (a literal trip); convinced someone to take me in (presumably a student. My persuasion skills wither during my "being in unsound mind").
Digging up your past yields surprisingly unexpected results. I was hardly able to stop laughing at the email which contained this letter; for a moment I thought it was about my current course but no one in their right mind would write like this and not get nominated for a refresher course in English Grammar.
Nuts. Enjoy, like I did. The letter's typical, ghati maharashtrian. Something I haven't had much of in the past few months.
I guess I am too North Indian for my own good.