{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Monday, April 30, 2012


Lets me start with an easy thing. Before I start, I should say that things are easy because they are not thought through properly. Easy and lazy rhyme too. Before I get into this mess again and not write for years, let me start with easy things. Easy things are sometimes just easy, and sometimes even directly from heart . ahh, here you go, you sentimental fool. Can easy is just plain easy, without interpretation, without shame or sigh. Plain like green of leaves, smell of flowers, easy to see, easy to touch. Ahh , again…. Lets start again, My easy idea was how memories are cruel, and how they change themselves to patronize you. Easy. Childhood memories are a bully. My adult life is often burdened by the goodness of my childhood. When I am perfectly happy, a harmless memory of a childhood lane with two porches and a tree during dusk come running, fitting itself as a Van Gogh in an All state art competition gallery. How can I ever match that goodness, it breaks my heart several times over. Poetically, I even thought to saying if my heart did not break a million time in that moment, it’s a god-damn stone. While driving in perfectly beautiful New Hampshire, I am haunted by the goodness that is my childhood in Muzaffarnagar. I remember that day when I wasted the whole day with nothing, and it seems so good in retrospect that I can be sure that memories trick. As an Indian, I have never understood what coming of age means, I am more used to cutting chords and corners. In college, one of my friends told me that life around me has outgrown me, though he said much more eloquently in Hindi like a film punch line where it cuts to the birds in sky or flowing river. As he said, I was intelligent enough to instantly realize that it will be a constant part of the soundtrack of my life. Seeing my melancholy reaction, he added, I feel the same. A good friend can lie for you.

It happens anytime, mostly during driving, sometimes while listening to music or talking to people. In fact, no time is safe. My life have burdened me with a perfect childhood that nothing can top. It has taken its own life. Sometimes I remember similar events differently intermittently blurred and focused to hit the right note, causing occasional lumps in emotional fool throat. The other time, a present feeling of happiness, is inadvertently compared to a similar thing in infantile past and is declared faded in comparison. My present is sepia and past Technicolor. The imperfections of past are like an odd-shaped stone, all the more collectible. The sun was better, and don’t even get me started on cheap ice and soda. Those are the mascots of simpler time, the alpha and omega of pure bliss. June sun and those cheap icecreams. Ahh. Well, I should not curse them, or blame them so heartlessly. They might leave me if I bad mouth them, I fear that . They are what a funny face or a loving kiss are to a sulking child. An instant nudge to some sort of elation – a shortcut to ecstasy, a trick nonetheless, but a sweet one. Those are like pennies for that big hole in my heart. All are lucky pennies, but the heart is out of luck.

Call it the emptiness of our better worlds or the a hearts tendency to flip-flop, it all is so warped with my daily life that calling it names here seems like a slight perversion. I love train journey’s – sleeper class – but who does not love them. Even the smell from toilet in the morning from your berth just seems special (a similar proximity on an airplane irritates you). The best are the times, when other people talk about their pennies and their faces glow as the hole in their hearts fill with bliss of perfect and imperfect pasts. As they tell tales. As they tiptoe on past like sunshine on tree leaves. A pattern emerges, we are all doomed, more or less. The life always hangs on a slice of life – real, imagined, reconstructed and re-evaluated. The images shutter past. The train cuts through a green pasture, and stops at a deserted station where you step down to get a quick sip of water, all the while keeping an eye on the train. As the you finish and see the train moving, time stops for a moment before you run and catch the train. I am talking about that moment. Easy.