Confessions of a Vagabond

travelblog final copy.jpgMy alarm goes off at 4:30 am. My hand slaps towards my phone as if it is an actual clock, finally managing to silence it, if only momentarily. As a precaution I have set an alarm at 4:25, 4:35 and 4:40 lest my body goes on strike and I miss my flight (which has happened). I hate my life in those early moments of the morning, the sky is still dark and the city (whichever city it is I’m in) is still sleeping.

I’m dazed for the first few moments of whatever musical interlude I’ve chosen to jolt me out of my REM cycles and then all of a sudden my body is almost excessively alert. I sit up straight and especially of late, have a few moments of not remembering where I am.

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The Things You May Not Do

The things that cannot be bought
By money, self-satisfaction
Synthetic smiles or shared
Rose-tinted delusions
You may lull me into
Submission for one night
Or two or three but only
In flesh, muscle and bone
Skin deep, yet to pierce vein
So wipe away that smugness
Scrub it, scourge it from your face
Underneath your pathetic
Naively utopian
Hallucination is
A dusty barren wasteland
Where few roses can bloom
Un-fragrant, Unforgiving
That wilderness cannot be
Owned, contained or restrained
Nor is it yours to take
Because once the veil falls
And you shake the cobwebs
From your eyeballs, Turning
Off your pretty filter
You will learn you cannot
Sow a tropical paradise
In the scorched desert sands
Or sculpt an ocean out of
An oasis or turn
Dust to rich fertile soil
Else you may end up all
Alone, clutching the last
Of your wits and dignity
Watching helplessly as they slip
Through your fingers and vanish

Mock, Stalk & Quarrel: A Review

Mock, Stalk & Quarrel - A Collection of Satirical TalesMock, Stalk & Quarrel – A Collection of Satirical Tales by Indrani Ganguly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mock, Stalk and Quarrel is a delightful collection of 29 tales of situations that we’ve all witnessed in some way. The voices and subject matter of the tales vary.

In some we see very familiar political or media personalities, in others we see a lackadaisical attitude towards Ones job or family, in others we see neglected children. The cross section cuts across gender, religion and socioeconomic status. The underlying theme in every story is the hypocrisy we find in all areas of society particularly in those that claim to be serving our society. I also see it, maybe due to my own personal journey in 2016, to take a long hard look in the mirror and see which of these I may be guilty of.

I think it’s very fitting that I read this close to the end of the year. I think New Years is a great time for reflection, and my own personal journey has led me to a point where I need to identify my own hypocrisy and blind spots and I think there are some very poignant examples of how we can slip into that, within the pages of this collection.

The one great thing with the satirical tone of these stories is that they tackled heavy subjects often with a light hearted approach and tone. Humour is a much easier way to absorb some of these social ills than a style that is very heavy and intense. This has been a year of a great many changes for our country, so that adds a whole other element to what I brought to this collection.

Overall a great light read, and the fact that there are 29 stories means that there are 29 different styles each with their own nuances and perspectives. I would definitely recommend this one 🙂

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An Open Letter to Mahesh Shah, CEO of Hometown

Dear Mahesh Shah,

For the last ten days I have been begging for forgiveness. Begging for forgiveness for whatever twists of fate led me to purchase furniture (through Pepperfry) from Hometown. I’d had an awesome experience with Pepperfry as long as it was their customer service, deliveries and carpenter services, but with Hometown I have had an absolutely awful experience.
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The Pieces of Who You Were

Words, it bears remembering

Are simply acoustics, sounds

And breath warmed by the body

Mixed till sweet, sour, bitter or pungent

They cannot break your skin,

Choke air from lungs, pierce organs,

Burst arteries or sever limbs

Yet somehow they tear through

Eardrums, towards skull, seeking 

Deepest abscesses of minds

Darkest corners of souls

Rooting out the weakest spots

Ravaging them like carnivores

Eating away at the spirit

Till your heart shrinks, 

collapsing Into itself, 

your sense of being shatters

And you kneel, trying to gather up

The shards of who you used to be

Squeezing ragged edges together, 

cutting yourself on the sharp points

Of memory, insecurity and failure

Till the cracks finally stick

And you can pretend you are whole again

An Ode to The Old House

The lobby smells of cream, that’s the only way I can describe it. It’s a nice comforting scent that lingers in the entrance area – not too strong not too weak – the baby bear of smells. I stand in the room surveying the space around me carefully.

There is a long hallway of an entrance with a washroom on the left hand side. If I stand facing the entrance there are a series of closets on my right, a balcony on my left and an arguably excessively large wooden panel in front of me, presumably for mounting the mini home theatre system someone has decided I will undoubtedly own. Continue reading “An Ode to The Old House”

The Storm

Questions, emotions, thoughts
Stew in the recesses of my mind
Winds gathering speed

Bitter-tinged words rise from my heart
Up hoarse overworked vocal cords
Clawing their way to my tongue

I stop. I open my mouth. I swallow.

Air gushing, throat clamped in protest
My heart, a disgruntled woodpecker
Hammering away, willing shallow breaths

It cannot win. I open my mouth. I exhale.

The words that were never mine
That threatened to consume me
In dark places within and without.

They die at my lips, casualties of the storm.

My Inverted Rainbow

Fantastic blog post I came across on art and censorship. Just wanted to share on here 🙂

redefiningidentity's Blog

My Inverted Rainbow

–Utkarsh Amitabh

My grandmother introduced me to the world of colors when I was in second grade. Every afternoon she sat by my side and together we colored the newspaper cartoons with color pastels. Soon after that, she read out my favorite folk tales and put me to sleep before I went out to play.  Grandma tells me that as a kid, I loved painting the apple blue, the forest red and the sky green.

I distinctly remember having a big diamond shaped prism. I would sit by the window, let the sunlight pass through it, and jump in joy as the spectrum of colors inverted on the lavender wall in the living room. I felt thrilled on having inverted the rainbow. This was my rainbow – I had reversed the order, and there was no compulsion to set it “right”. Creative distortions fascinated me and the…

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The Journey to Haci Abdullah

Haci Abdullah, Istanbul
Haci Abdullah

It is our second night in Istanbul, and we have just finished surveying the Grand Bazaar. When we are done, Aditi and I sit on a bench to plan dinner. It is dark, and we are eager to get back to our side of Istanbul. We make a plan to go to the Golden Horn, but upon asking directions get diverse and often contradicting instructions.

It is a 30 minute walk, which we decide against, our feet tired and blistered from a day of sightseeing and walking around the Grand Bazaar. We get to the tram station, which is packed with people, and are not able to get on. It appears the King Streetcar phenomenon of waiting for six to pass before you’re able to get on, has also reached Istanbul.

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