a terrible painter, a dreamer, a rebel , a feminist and a self certified bisexual Witch. Who is always trying to visualize whats on the other side of the canvas she paints,just another human- Living alive Life. Now also a green tea addict.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

To Kill a Stray.

Photo belongs to rightful owner

I have a train to catch in next three hours. Instead of fearing the heat I am going to face tomorrow, my thoughts are stuck on a particular dog eating leftover from our dinner on the wet pavement outside my home. She has lost all her fur, her body is crafted with infection and scars. Once she was glorious but at present she is in terrible pain because of the incurable skin disease she caught.

For last ten days, she has been part of our conversation on dinner table and before sleep talk. My mom had tried to stop her itching with talcum powder for pets. Another household tried to stop the infection with turmeric powder while another person used vermilion to kill the pest in her body. In honesty I would say she would better be dead. A nice, adorable and friendly dog like her deserves better life, but more important a pain free death.

Thrice I had planned to be the psychopomp for her, thrice the plan remained executed in my head. I have thought of feeding her rat poison available in market to free her of her misery. Yet every afternoon when I whistle to feed her my heart tells me I can’t kill her. Her biddy eyes on that long narrow face scare me. I am not scared of sin, never have, nor I will ever fear sin. But all of us who feed her have thought of killing her at least once. A thought is scary itself, in various situations and imaginations I have killed her.

The question my mom asks 'who has the guts to take away life?' True, I don’t have the guts to take her life away and free her of this painful condition. I am good, but I am not kind enough to live with the guilt. The infant kitten that died two years back in my palm still walks my sleep saying I did my best. But no, I did not, if I had fed her more milk from the beginning maybe I could have saved that golden fur crossbreed.

To kill is not easy, no I am not concerned about the morality, spirituality or psychology. I am talking about our nature to let other do the killing. When a butcher kills the hen for me I can enjoy my leg piece happily. But on a day I accidentally killed an earthworm I was brooding whole day in sadness and failed to eat my vegetarian lunch. I can kill, I can mercilessly drown cockroaches, kill frogs with one blow from rolled newspaper. Again I am a person who feeds a rat and has turned it into a cute fat little monster and saves a lizard in my sink.  Yet deep down I was waiting for my street pet to die out naturally or someone to feed her rat poison. I am like others, ordinary, coward one who stands behind the lines and waits for other to do the kill. No I am not the protagonist from Orwell's To Shoot An Elephant. Even if I had the rifle I could never kill the the grass eating elephant. 

Before leaving home tonight, I have fed her again. But I sigh I couldn’t kill her, may be it’s her trust on me or my genuine affection for dogs. I just couldn’t ask for rat poison in the shop.

P.S- no this is not a metaphorical piece disguising the complex discourse around euthanasia. Its just a post about a dog called Tommy, I deeply care about.

thanking you to bear with me

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Woes of an old Graduate..

I love reading books. I absolutely adore the paperbacks, hardcover, ragged, torn books. I cherish the first touch of the cover, I love inhaling the fresh smell of printed pages or the old dust smell with yellow patches make me weep. I love all kinds of books from glossy paper to coarse paper, from low brow to high brow language, from serious novel to comic books anything everything. I can now read e-books too!

But I cannot read books once they are prescribed in my course work. Yes at this moment I hate Vanity Fair for its length, but when I was in ninth grade I had swooped through the pages in three days. I enjoyed the sexual tension between Catherine and Heathcliff. I enjoyed imagining my own Wuthering Heights. Now I loathe the book when I realise the real age of the characters being less than twenty, who am I kidding when Catherine returns all refined and ladylike she is just ten! The novel White Teeth sits on my lap and my own set of white teeth grit at colourful cover of the book. Tagore just scares me with his tiny novel Chaturanga, which in past I had read as Broken Ties! I hate translators and publishers now for confusing me!

Sometimes I question myself, no wait I question myself everyday what on earth made me study literature? The answer is love for books! How many books have I read just for the pleasure of reading in last few months not more than twenty five! I have found carnal pleasure in rereading fanfictions and manga. The very idea of dissecting poetry or novel or an historical period from a discursive perspective, it irritates me.

May be factories were sucking life out of labourers when Dickens wrote, yet in his stories melancholy had a charm. When Henry James wrote he had his set prejudice.  Or when Woolf, Joyce and Lawrence decided to wage a psychological war on us, the century was already scattered. Or when Waiting for Godot debuted it was meant to be watched not peeled word by word! I bet Beckett may once have regretted writing this play. Even absurdity did not gave him leeway! But did all of these writers always think of a theory or a discourse when writing may be they did now and then but all the time? I doubt it. Writing has always been a process of meditation, no matter who argues with me. I will always regard writing as a method of healing and reading as the best medicine.

I have always been a fan Coelho, rather I have been the blind follower of this man that I literally picked my pen name from his. But I bet if today I am given to dissect his story on basis of plot, theme, structure and background! I would for sure jump in the well. Murakami has seduced me too much but if one day I am asked to write about his surrealistic narrative! I shall chose to be Oedipus the blind.

I won’t deny the need of examination or an evaluation system, yet I cannot whole heartedly accept the process of teaching and the way our education system is expanding itself.  To students who don’t belong to literature we appear to be bunch of crammers who rewrite the stories we read in class in our answer sheet. But we do try to read our books in a format of analytic science. And I say we are doing it wrong! We are student of humanities not science. There is reason both branches differ and we need to stay away from scientific approach in literary studies. We try to categorise our texts by its genre, and it’s not pronounced (Jener) gothic, picaresque, sentimental, psychological, popular and what not. Then we will churn out the narrative style, its structure and try to read it up and down, down and up, left and right, right and left and maybe across the page!

Sitting at lunch time my father asks me what will be my next course of action. I have taken English Literature and practically I have two options to earn a living- A school Teacher or a Teacher in college. It rounds up to teaching! I love reading but to make a juice out my reading and feeding students really doesn't appeal me.

I want to do PhD I really want to do! I want to study Queer Literature and explore the scope of that branch. But when I see constant homicide of text and literary theories I find myself cringe behind with every second. May be I should write novels and try to sell them in Indian Railway Market with the tagline Bestseller on it. What we are doing sitting in classroom is not the purpose literature or a reader. In the end anything ever written was meant for reading and creating thought process and not meant to be chewed and spat around on answer sheets.

Yes I don't feel like studying anymore.

P.S- I think I should start with my plan to become VC in different University in the country! But for that I need too many degrees and PhD!...

thanking you to bear with me

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

fleeting security...

*My condolences lie with the victims of Earthquake in Nepal, but we can always use little humor to cheer up I think*

Yesterday I was sitting on my veranda and enjoying the sudden breeze that decided to sooth our burning skin from heat, my vision engulfed a house standing alone within the green field. I can see this decorated bricked house from southern side of my caged veranda. This crafted house has a pompous household and a beautiful garden which my landlady and I envy during the fleeting spring.

I kept sweating and turning pages when I heard the commotion of closing iron doors from this house. I looked up to find the mistress of the household hurrying out of the gates again to turn around to enter the house. On other side of the gate, her chariot, the battery operated Tuktuk and its driver grumbled. My curiosity peeked up by leaps and bound and I morphed into the railings of my veranda. To see and listen to her. 

The woman in orange saree came back holding blue folder, a leather bag, a ploy bag and began locking up her gate with a silver tiny lock shining under the harsh sunlight in hurry. And she was apologising and dropping her things while locking up her house.  She was yapping about protection of the house in her absence and how she cannot feel secured if all the doors are closed. Oh yes I have bat ears.

Her words made me jump to events of days back when series of Earthquakes hit our neighbor country Nepal and rocked our houses to and fro. The day first earthquake shook us I was brushing my teeth and looking at other girls living up stairs rush out. I was looking at them with blurry eyes and kept doing my actions with the brush. Blots of colours flashed by me and tried to grasp the event of joy. It was my dearest landlady who pulled me out of the house realising I was still walking dream filled world.

After that whenever earthquakes happened each girl living in the hostel was aware and over conscious of motion. The tragic events in Nepal made us worry more. The place I grew up has shown us pretty scary earthquake over the years. On one such occasion three years back my mother and I we did not bother with belongings but our pets. My mom picked up our grumpy Persian cat and I unlatched our late German Spitz and ran down the stairs.

When my mom called after the latest earthquake, during the time earth decided to dance she found  our cook and maid running out and calling her to come down. But she decided to stay back home. She would rather be in rumbles with the pets then go down alone. My mom forget she has two daughters who were once more loved then those two devils in the house. I am not much sacred of earthquake or snakes or animals in particular. I am fearful of ghosts so I could understand lack of panic on my Mom's part. We have endured earthquakes now and then and our houses are built to resist the shakes.

Again when my eyes look back to the mistress of the pompous household she reminds me of our human condition. The idea of security comes from our pre-natal life experience, something I learned recently in class. I find security as soon as I fall on bed to be honest or be it a bed in home, a bed in hotel or a bed in hostel, a bed is heaven to me. But in class I learned Home- an enclosed space that provides for us and keeps us protected. That's what I learned that our desire to go back to our pre-natal days has lead humanity to create Home. 

We all seek security in our relations, work and hobbies and so on. With this we create houses and fill it up with things that make us happy and comfortable. Then we create headache for our self because we have accumulated too much. We have evolved ourselves to the idea of permanence. I mean some electronic product comes with life time warranty! In this search and need of security we lock our houses with locks as big as our feet or put up bugler alarm. We put peepholes on door and they always fancy me and I always try to peep through the wrong end and annoy the viewer on right end.  

In train people chain their briefcases with seats, some roll over the bags in bedsheet. A thief can break that tiny lock on gate, easily climb the wall and break into the house, if the thief is actually smart like they show in films they will kill of the electric supply at some point. If not thief the house may crumble with earthquake, burn down, get flooded or simply vanish. Yet we do these acts of security check to keep our minds at ease. Humanity will keep locking doors until the last breath.   

As I saw the mistress of pompous household leave I had a desire to yell out and say to her. ”Hey there ma’am even I can break that tiny silver lock of yours” with a huge grin. But I restrained.  Life’s first lesson is don’t talk to strangers. Why would I talk to her? I was a stranger to her. And second lesson I relearned yesterday in particular- Ignorance is Bliss.   

P.S- and if we still look for security! My advice is- Look at the Cats!

thanking you to bear with me