Monday, April 26, 2010

Thread, Dragged, Lives, Red, Our, Across

I've been weighing up social choices for a while now and I think I've managed to articulate the conclusion that has been nagging me all this time. I know it sounds incredibly aspirational, but I simply cannot stand being around people who have no obvious talents or knowledge.

Which is why a lot of what has happened over the last month or so suddenly starts to make sense. A complete social recasting is now due. And it starts in late June. After what promises to be eight weeks of absolute madness: the end of five years at law school, followed by South Africa.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Eddie, Chris, my friends, I will be with you soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vindication via text message, no greater than fourteen characters

To the best of my recollection, I've only written about expectation from personal relationships twice before. Once, really directly, in July last year and once more, really tangentially, in December last year. The second experience was, like I said then, more a matter of awe than of broken expectation but the first one, the July one, took much longer to get over. And this evening, it confronted me again.

I know it is horribly self-congratulatory, but I really do believe I've grown up a lot since last July. Realising that no solution was ever going to really suffice, I decided that I would just do my best to make the most of any such situation and look on the bright side once the moment had passed. It wasn't, I admit, particularly original or brilliant, but I figured that, given my obvious weakness with regard to this sort of thing, we'd both be best served if I just chose to give myself up to loneliness and work hard.

But a close relationship, whatever it means to you, isn't ever that simple. And, slowly but surely, my "give yourself up to loneliness and work hard" mantra evolved into "give yourself up to loneliness and work hard, but when you can, give it some effort, give it some time, be a little selfless and don't get upset quite so much".

However, the last six months or so have made me realise that perhaps a lot more that is between us is compromisable. A lot more than I initially thought, anyway. And because it has happened slowly (and every step along the way has been explained to me with a patience that I find truly admirable), it hasn't triggered my irrational sense of self-worth so much. In fact, far from it, I've been able to accept all this and apply the modified mantra afresh every time it hasn't quite worked out.

This evening again, that expectation came knocking. And as I soaked in the joy of the McLaren one-two at Shanghai, took in Arsenal's implosion after being two-up at Wigan and watched helplessly as Delhi batted themselves right out of the IPL, quietly, in the back of my mind and thirteen kilometres away, equally quietly, in the back of her mind, we saw the expectation slide away into obvilion.

But the way I just described it makes it sound a lot more depressing than it actually is. It isn't depressing at all, in fact. Because as we watched what was meant to be six hours shrink to what eventually became no more than five minutes (with a forty-five second interruption), we became increasingly certain that those five minutes would end in a smile.

And even though it brought home to me more sharply the fact that I'm leaving in exactly two months, if I was put in that moment again, I'd take the five minutes every day over any six-hour long grand plans that my old enemy--expectation--might tempt me with.   

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You're Gonna Need the Good Lord to Help You

About ten days ago, buried deep in the Music folder on my laptop that I rarely visit, I found The Raconteurs and decided to give them another try. I'd heard bits and pieces from their previous album and had downloaded "Old Enough" on an impulse about a year back, having heard it playing on Vh1 after coming home from my Luthra internship one rainy evening.

One thing that really hits you about Consolers of the Lonely is how obviously indie it is and tries to be. Not surprisingly, this is a good and a bad thing. That I've been moved to write this at all is proof that it is more good than bad, given the fact that I have the musical taste the width of a peanut.

There are five stellar songs on this album, more than any other album in recent times that I've had the patience to listen to. Leaving aside my classification of "Old Enough" as one of these five, based, as it is, purely on the repetitive good feeling that TV overkill manages to generate (a feature that many people cite as the only possible explanation for Rihanna's "Umbrella" being even remotely tolerated by humanity), I have, believe it or not, been genuinely moved by the other four songs.

Normally, to consider "Top Yourself" a good song after listening to "Old Enough" would be akin to liking Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" immediately after complementing "Clocks" for the masterpiece that it is, so similar are the two in most material particulars. What makes "Top Yourself" worthwhile, however, is the gnarling arrogance that makes it a tough sell to practically anyone apart from people like me.

I'm pretty sure, though, that "Consoler of the Lonely" and "You Don't Understand Me" are more amenable to popular acclaim, particularly the latter for its mesmerising piano and off-key harmony. The album also contains the best closing song I've heard in a while--"Carolina Drama"--which is like a cross between Eminem's "Stan" and Robbie Williams' "Me and My Monkey", while staying true to the rough-around-the-edges feel to the group that has only been enhanced by the comfortably decent "The Switch and the Spur", "Many Shades of Black" and "Rich Kid Blues". I can also imagine why "Five on the Five" and "These Stones Will Shout" have proven to be live hits among the unique sub-culture that is defined as fans of The Raconteurs, but I have a bit of trouble digesting what strikes me as being incredibly wasteful music--a judgement I can only pass generously on "Salute Your Solution", the first single off Consolers of the Lonely.

But there's something about this band. Something very greatest hits-ey. Like a breath of fresh air that accompanies long-awaited rain. Like it is right now, outside my room. :)        

I'm not sure if there's a point to this story but I'm going to tell it again.

My photo
I've been wilfully caught up in the self-defeating quest to get to know myself for years. I've never expected anything beneficial to result from such a quest. I tend to evoke extremely polarised reactions from people I get to know in passing. Consequently, only those people who know me inside-out would honestly claim that I'm a person who's just "alright." It's not a coincidence that the description I've laid out above has no fewer than, title included, eleven references to me (make that twelve). I'm affectionately referred to as "Ego." I think that last statement might have given away a tad too much. Welcome Aboard.

IHTRTRS ke pichle episode mein aapne dekha...


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