Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wicked Games

"Bring your love, baby.
I could bring the shame.
Bring the drugs, baby.
I could bring the pain."
- The Weeknd

What is happening to us? Why is it suddenly so hard? Everything I do makes you upset, everything you say makes me angry. We kiss and hug and make up and then hurt each other again, and again and again. This ain't no way to love, baby. This ain't no way to be. Why can't we go back to the time I remember, where all you wanted was to spend time with me? Can't you see that I'm shaking so hard I could break the world? This is my heart you're cracking. These are real tears in my eyes, girl. Can't you try and understand? And every time I try and tell you, you tell me I've done the exact same thing to you. I've said I'm sorry, how many times do you want me to say it again? Let's stop using what he did to each other as an excuse to do the same damn things over and over again. For everything I say, you have answer, that I did to you too.

I'd drive through this city twice for you, top to bottom, I want to bring you nothing but joy. I want to hold you in my arms, away from these hungry people, and raise your spirits up so high. Why won't you let me? Am I really such a monster, am I really so difficult a man? All I want to spend is time. All I want is for you to want to, as well. And when you say you want to see me, don't tell me you suddenly can't. Of course I'll get angry at that. Damn it, I'm allowed to. And if I made you feel that way once, why didn't you tell me so I could make sure it never happened again?

And after a night like we just had, after a day like today for you to send me a message that says "You're right, and I cannot say anything to make you feel better, just know that I am not wrong either and I'm sorry" - WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY? You say it's not my fault, so why does it always feel like it is? You say you're not blaming me, but your face says it anyway. If I hurt you, I'm sorry, if I was confused, now I'm clear, if I was hesitant, I'm so sure it hurts. Just please, stop punishing me for making you wait. I just want to love you. I just want to love you. But I can't if it's so damn difficult.

Let me in. Let me through. I'm standing in the shadows of every door, waiting for you. This is love, it shouldn't hold so much pain. This is truth, it shouldn't feel like a law we're breaking. This is you, I should be treating you like a treasure. This is me, I'd burn down the world if it hurt you. Why are we hurting each other? Why are we here? Me on this damn laptop, and you surrounded by people you'd rather be with than me, and still sending me messages.

I just had the kind of night where the laughter was deep but the pain lurked a lot deeper. Where the cigarettes were all unwanted and nightmares will come hunting for the sleeper. What happened to the man I used to be, who walked so tall? When did I become the man who wants to set fire to it all?

Love me or leave me. It can't be difficult. I don't want it if it is. I don't want to keep making you cry. I want to love you from morning to sundown, until the morning star finally abandons the sky. I don't want to sit alone at home and smoke a cigarette I shouldn't, punching pillows that did nothing wrong. There's only so much a heart can bear, for only so long. So here we are, darling. On opposite sides of this city. We could have been something amazing. We could have...sigh, shrug. Pity.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do Yourself a Favor

Right into it my friends...

1) Do listen to this song by Jack and White. To say nothing about the lady's lovely voice, I love that she sings so truly about love and desire in this cellphone obsessed generation. Our phones have become the repositories of our faith, the gateways to Love, the instruments of our heartbreak and we can't do anything about it. We're all addicted.

2) This is a new discovery. Never heard of them, but played it tonight, on a low night and felt uplifted and renewed. Then I played it again. And again. Enjoy, What the Water Gave Me by, Florence + The Machine.

3) Whatever you do, DO NOT watch the new Conan movie. What absolute, and egregious drivel. How dare they get my hopes up by promising to retell a wonderful character's story on the big screen, and slap me across the face. Robert E. Howard is turning in his grave fellas. You took his lifetime of work and pretty much wiped your soiled bits with it. Good job.

4) Do yourself a favor, take the woman you love and kiss her long and kiss her slow. And don't pull away even when your lips do. And whisper you love her. That you'll do better, even if it's a lie.

5) Watch this trailer. I've been reading fantasy novels and comic books since I can remember. All my secret dreams happen in worlds with no technology, the crack of the reins, the feel of a horse, the weight of a sword, and the gossamer smile of a forbidden woman. So for me this shit right here, is like drugs to an addict. The Immortals, can't bloody wait. They better not do a Conan on me.

6) A lot of hip-hop heavyweights have released albums this past couple of months. A lot of hype and a lot of chest-thumping. All to mostly disappointing results. Let's really face it, Watch the Throne was a disappointment, The R.E.D. album is too damn safe and thus sub-par, and the Carter IV is just plain doo doo. So do yourself a favor and get your hands on Kendrick Lamar's mixtape/album "Section80". Here's a man who has a completely unique sound, and a wonderful lyrical gift, and the ability to talk about more than the number of girls obsessed with his penis, or the cars he rents and pretends to own, or the jewelry he gets on referral. The two songs I recommend you hear first are Keisha's Song, and Poe Man's Dreams. Enjoy...

7) And lastly here's a enticing new TV show that starts airing by the end of September. If you loved Human Target and similar shows this one shows promise. And it's got Jim Caviezel who is bad-ass. Check it out here.

Stream of Consciousness

Tonight was a night of lingering laughter and sudden sadness. Tonight was a night where even the truest smile seemed a little forced. Tonight seemed a stranger to me, sitting in the corner and staring at me. I saw a woman dance tonight in a way so alien to my own rhythm, in a language I could not understand, to a style my eyes could not decode. And yet it was beautiful. Mythology and grace twisted around the twirl of an ancient gesture. Lifetimes of pain, and oceans of joy held in the bat of an eyelash. She danced until I began to understand, the reasons for my mysterious melancholy, she danced until my every demon sat still. And yet when I could have gone up to her and told her what it had meant to me and given her a sliver of the joy she had given me, I sat in a corner hoping she would notice me. What a strange creature our mind can be to our soul. So inexplicable are the things we do, so inexplicably does our mood shift, divorcing us from a simple moment of contentment on a whim.

Tonight was a good night, despite my best efforts, thankfully. I had a car full of friends on a long, monsoon drive. The music that played was good, and the stories we told were all funny. The table was thumped often, and breath was caught more than once. We hugged each other goodnight with a gentle gratitude, for bringing such simple happiness to each other. The food was divine, and that last cup of coffee a panacea. And yet for a while, whilst everyone else was laughing through another anecdote, I faked a phone call and went outside, to stand at the edge of the rain. With a pocket full of confusion, and a heart stumbling to an unfamiliar song.

I tried to lift this one up. You can see that I tried. I could have lied and written something different. I could have pretended. I do that very well. But I wasn't up for it. Sometimes you need to go to the edge of your inconsequential abyss and laugh at yourself. Sometimes going down is the only way you begin to flap your wings.

Lay me down in your boudoir and fill my lungs with your breath. Take off your clothes slowly, in increments of heaven. Take me away, from the pointlessly dark. Tell me you love me. Tell me I matter. Please. My thoughts keep stumbling towards you, like refugees.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Do Yourself a Favor

One of my dearest friends told me today, that I should take some time and put recommendations of all the things that interest me on this blog. Share my interests, because some of my interests are highly...interesting. Movies I've seen and loved that you might not have watched, music you might not have heard, places you might not have been. And the idea resonated. I love poetry and all my stream of consciousness work and I love that you read it. But it was never my intention to turn this into a purely literary blog.

So...Do Yourself A Favor shall be my new thing. A list of things you need to see, do, watch, get lost in. Enjoy.

1) The Weeknd - an R&B artist from Canada who's been putting out songs on the Internet as mixtapes that, too put it modestly, are revolutionary. Such a lilting, high voice, that could have been annoying if projected and used badly. But the man knows how to croon and put together his music. Plus he's got lyrics like this - "Bring your love, baby. I'm going to bring my shame. Bring the drugs, baby. I'm going to bring my pain. I got my heart right here. I got my scars right here." Do yourself a favor, my friend, click this and turn out the lights, and call your significant other over slowly and kiss 'em long and slow to this song called "Wicked Games"

2) Frank Ocean - another Internet R&B artist that is doing exactly what the Weeknd is, which is slowly but undeniably introducing a fresh new perspective and sound into conventional R&B as we know it. He's got such an odd delivery, like a rapper that can sing, with his almost stream of consciousness lyrical style that it spoke deeply to my introspective soul. This one is a deep deep favorite right now. Queue this next and don't stop kissing your lover - Novocane

3) Saw a film tonight that absolutely devastated me with its power and performances. It's called the "Devil's Double", directed by Lee Tamahori whose previous works include the stunning survival thriller "The Edge", the bond film "Die Another Day" to name a few. But all those aside, this film, about the true story of Latif Yahia, an Iraqi soldier who is chosen by Uday Saddam Hussein to be his body double and 'brother' is a stunning portrayal of power and corruption and psychosis. Top it off with an jaw-dropping performance by Dominic Cooper and this is one movie that you absolutely, absolutely have to watch. To those in the West, get your ass moving, and to us poor unfortunates in India who get to see only a fraction of the wondrous cinema out in the world, somehow the God of Cinema sent this film to us. It's running right now. Open a newspaper, get online, get in the car. You can thank me later. Check out the trailer here.

4) I've also recently started rereading George R. R. Martin's "Songs of Ice and Fire" series. I remember picking it up at the Harvard bookstore during my first weekend in America, far away from everything that gave me strength and security. I remember finishing it nine a.m. the next morning in my dorm room. I had read the entire thing in one night. It took me a few minutes to get the feeling back into my legs. Imagine the Lord of the Rings during the War of the Roses period in England: knights, beautiful women, power politics and intrigue, a land so rich with history you'll get amazed it even fits in a book.

Beautifully deep, accessible prose, and a cast of characters so replete with monstrous flaws and tender vulnerabilities that I dare you not shed a tear or two when they fall, and pump your fists and shout when they triumph. There's a reason that books will always be better than any movie could ever hope to be. Treat yourself to something magical and fantastic. The tired airport paperbacks and the serious novels can wait awhile.

The first book is called "The Game of Thrones". Do yourself a favor, pick it up. Winter is Coming.

Oh, and for the literally challenged, HBO has turned it into a rather magnificent TV series called 'The Game of Thrones'. The first season just finished so the thing is out there for the procurement.

5) For all Indians to read about their country and it's current battle against corruption. Click.

The current anti-corruption storm in India is highly amusing to me but for reasons that are far from what you think they are. I'm loving how wonderfully orchestrated and organized the furor over Anna Hazare and the UPA government is and not many people seem to notice. Maybe I'm just a conspiracy nut, but all this is looking too damn convenient to me. I mean children in the street know it's political suicide to arrest someone like Anna on the morning of the commencement of his fast before he even gets to the venue of his protest, a day after Independence Day. You really think that the people who orchestrated all of this were blind to it. You think after all the game playing and maneuvering that politicians have been doing for years, that they're going to be that stupid? Maybe you do.

And Anna Hazare's blind supporters amuse me greatly. They're so adorably militant about things they don't really understand. They understand the need to rid ourselves of corruption, but I don't think they understand the stage upon which the war is being fought, or the all the players on the field either. And that's a dangerous position to be - it's called being cannon fodder. I don't deny the man's charisma and his drive and what not. But putting a gun to a democracy's head and making them sign a bill isn't much different from a stick up. It's Gestapo tactics, even if it's being done to rid the country of corruption. A democracy already has its checks and balances on power in place. What should be done is to improve and clean up those current checks and balances, not introduce a Supercop committee that will sit atop all government decisions. And you mean to tell me that whoever gets to sit on the Lokpall committee will be incorruptible all the time, every time? Come on now. Getting down and dirty is what human beings do best. But I'm no political scientist, what do I know.

I pray this country gets a break and a chance to regain it's once magnificent soul. But until then I'm going to enjoy the free entertainment.

Hope you enjoyed some of the things on this list.

Have the memorable kind of weekend.

In the immortal words of Big Boi and Andre 3000 of Outkast - "Get up, get out, get something. Don't let the days of your life pass by. You need to get up, get out, get something, how will you make it if you never even try?" Shiiiiiit. Why don't give that song a listen too. It'll get you going.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

Some nights are blessings we could not foresee, coming upon us least expected but oh so welcome. They fall over you like sluices of the cleanest water. They remind you how much joy hides in the banalities. Did you know that coffee has the power to heal your soul? Or that the evening breeze carries within it the secret of secret flight? The palm trees in front of my balcony are old Sufis. Wise in their silences and joyous in their sway and their rustle. Blessings they are, friends I will have to say goodbye to soon as I have to move apartments soon. Don't want to, because this one felt like home, felt like an old friend's hand on your face. But c'est la vie you see? Onwards I shall dance, like a dervish in a rave, teaching people what dancing can do if you let your soul have the use of your legs for a moment.

I love you life. And I love you girl. You heal me by being, you are the magic in this world. Your smile is my most pressing ambition, your eyes are my nighttime sky. I wanted to burn down forests to dry away your tears. I'm sorry but that you might truly love me was the sum of all my fears. I'm sorry for the confusion, I'm sorry for all the unnecessary pain. I can't honestly promise I won't ever do it again. But you lift me to the Moon darling and can drive me to my knees. You made me stare at my Puja room idols and all my prayers start with 'please'. Life taught me everything but how to love a woman like you. Not that I couldn't or didn't long to. But I thought I wasn't anywhere near ready. I thought that happened later, when you were tired of the running around, lying gasping by the street. Someone would come and dust away the tracks of your tears, and lift you to your feet. I wasn't ready for Love to come upon me like the other car in an accident about to happen.

But here we are. There you are. Here I sit. Approaching the heart of the other with every breath. I love that this Dance has begun. I love that I get to dance this dance with you. I love that you know this. The palm trees smile indulgently at us. The wind whispers the secret and lets us take our first flight. And even this ugly city smiles, leaning in the corner like the oldest whore, who would have made a great mother, rubbing the sores of the usual out of her back.

Last cup of tea for the day, burning my sins away. Leaving me with nothing on my tongue but ginger and the aftertaste of honey, and it reminds me of you. Everything reminds me of you. And I'm a happy happy man.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Evening Stroll

I wandered along the hazy shore,
Picking shells out of the sand.
Each held a story in a whisper,
It had heard from the sea.
I held them up against the Sun
And squinted up to see.
Letting their silhouettes
Burn away all the images
I carried of you.
I wandered along that hazy shore,
Like a refugee.
Again and again your voice
Came to me. Carried
Maliciously by the wind.
I picked shells out of the sand,
And begged them to speak.
I placed them in a cracked,
Red, beach bucket.
And carried on walking.
Breeze blowing by,
Seagulls sitting disgusted
By the side, couples
Pressed into shadows,
Crows wandering the skies,
All paused to watch me,
Stumbling beside the sea,
With my bucket full of memories.

I forget when I stopped,
Or where. Beside
That unloved shore I sat,
Cradling the absences of you.
Until the shells started to stink,
How could they remind me of you?
You are not this lonely shore,
This soulless city, this tired ocean,
Or this listless breeze.
You are not my shaking heart,
Nor the tremble in my pen.
You are not this poem.
You are not here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Perils of Saying "I Love You"

In the entirety of human existence there are no words more terrifying than a sincere "I love you". Well perhaps hearing "Off with his head!" when the aforementioned head is yours, and "Is that a fucking tiger?" when you're naked and alone in a swamp come close. But if you've ever taken a good look into the pair of eyes you're trying very hard not to be hypnotized by and seen all the myriad futures of joy and loss and pain and heartbreak and serenity tumble across your vision like a hail of broken kaleidoscopes, you'll take on the giant pussycat any day.

The only thing more terrifying than saying it, is hearing it said sincerely. Because if you do, and you don't feel the same way, you're about to become one of the storied bastards in someone else epic story. And if you hear it, and you feel it in return and you're like me, then you feel that proper panic. Because it's not as if you're telling someone you like their homemade jam. You're going to tell them that of all the creations in existence, they bring you the greatest amount of joy. Your being vibrates in harmony with the Source when they're near, you begin to see what all the holy men and women have written about throughout history, you start to finally understand what Marvin Gaye was singing about all those years, and you start to wonder why the hell you're legs are not working properly. You better be damn sure before you say the words.

The problem is knowing when it's true. Our generation has so many damn options, so many dreams and ambitions, so many places we could go, things we think we could do, that we are thoroughly confused in our souls. We've been stretched too thin. Our minds have been rendered easily distracted and changeable. The whole world is suffering from a combination of ADHD, coupled with acute persecution syndrome, and a general skittishness at making decisions. We're all a little dazed and confused. Pardon me if this doesn't apply to you, you're probably the grand exception, but you might consider taking a good hard look at yourself all the same. We have too many options in too many things. And we think that most of our options are attainable and will enhance our lives and our selves.

It's no wonder we get into relationships with an eye on the exit door, even if we don't realize it. I read somewhere than the rate of divorce in Bombay has gone up to somewhere like 86%. And the article was praising this figure as a sign of how many women are now disregarding the old stigma of divorce and making a positive change with their lives. And perhaps that's true. But eighty-six percent? Damn. What happened to the Love? Where does that go? Can you even give that back? It's not like it's a damn CD collection.

I wondering about this because I feel myself approaching a turning point in my life. A point where if I say "I love you" to someone, it won't be that adolescent whisper that you hope leads to sweaty shorts and rumpled sheets as soon as possible, or that panicked muscle response because you don't want the other person to get mad you didn't say it, (because you know your partner is going to get frigging psychotic if you pause for too long before replying in kind when they say "I love you"). I'm a grown man now. Hard as that might be to admit, (or believe if you know me well enough), but it's true. I love women, always have always will. But I'm just so damn exhausted with it all. A person needs his soul nourished and healed, not gashed and depleted, which is all that much-desired playboy lifestyle leads to. When everyone thinks you're intertwined with another woman from out of their dreams, you're sitting at home alone, missing a particular girl you treated not as well as you should have, because you were too much of a coward to say the words you felt and would have meant, when she said hers.

I hope I'm ready when the day comes. I hope I meet the girl who makes me hesitate not for a second before I say it. I hope I retain a fraction of my confidence and independence after I've said it and she's laid claim to the entirety of my emotional spectrum. I hope I don't get crushed. I hope I don't hurt her at all. I hope we can work it out. Because we're ordinary people. Messing things up seems to come as easily as breathing.

Goddess watch over me. I see her walking my way.