Sunday, August 30, 2009

The silent partner

Disclaimer: A few wonderful people have indicated that the post below casts them into moods of depression. Yes, it is rather tragic, but being able to articulate about reality as it is helps in a way. On a positive note, I suppose am making a mark as a novelist if am able to evoke such extreme reactions! End_of_disclaimer

"Honey! I am Home!". Three magical words, that would no doubt cause immense joy and strange, but happy biological reactions within millions of people. To me, they cause despair, deep anguish, and a feeling of being stuck where I don't want to be...

It's been a few months now, since she moved into my life. I didn't want her in my life, but then not everything in my life has been about my choices, and what I have wanted. She comes and goes as she pleases, and is fiercely possessive about me. Possessive almost to the point of suffocating me. She's pretty no doubt, but she keeps changing her visage in line with the trendiest fashions. I hardly know her true face. She lives with me some days, and some days she's off traveling around the world. She's always back and talks to me about her worldly experiences, experiences, which I can only dream of...

Sometimes she stays overnight and at night rests her pretty face on my chest. She asks me to hug her tightly and I oblige willingly. As I hold her, I think about the day, when she would be out of my life and a small smile appears in the corner of my face. She can sense my thoughts. She gets up and looks at me without blinking, with her chin on my chest, until the smile is transformed back to the familiar nonchalant neutral expression that am famous for. Contented, she snuggles closer to me and a whiff of the male deodorant that she uses, en-wraps me just like her.

At morning, her pretty face still nests comfortably on my chest. She pleads with me for another five minutes, as I try to get up. I let her plead for a few more times, until I give in to the cuteness of her pout and concede finally. It is a pleasure watching her sleep. I know that her day would be very tiring. She works as a door-to-door sales woman and almost everyone bangs the door hard on her, and it's only the comfort of having me in her life, that keeps her going. The clock ticks slowly, but surely and the five minutes grows into five hours and finally I get up to leave. She blows me a kiss and waves me a goodbye.

As I get into the car and shut it, a familiar thought and there she is knocking on the glass, with all smiles. I turn the key to let the power windows work it's magic and catch a whiff of her, but she thinks that I am running away from her. With tears rolling down those pretty cheeks, she rushes back leaving me despairing at my plight.

She doesn't like me socializing much. One moment you see that smile. One moment you see the nonchalance back. It perplexes people a lot, and they wisely keep away from me. She nods approvingly at the gleeful prospect of having me all to herself.

Many a time I have commanded, ordered, asked, requested, and even begged her to leave me alone. She dismisses everything with an air of, I don't even know the meaning of that statement. At times of utter desperation, she promises me, that one day she will leave me and that would be the day, when she knows that I am where I need to be. I look forward to that with hope, but I don't know if I will ever see the light of that day...

Amidst all the agony she causes, all her possessiveness, she lets me have my freedom. Freedom to do as I please. She doesn't say back one harsh word. Never one to say anything more than a few words, her actions speak a lot more. As I write this blog, I can feel her steady breath, as she glances over my shoulder, reading the very words that attack her so vehemently, with a pleasant acceptance of how I feel about her...

My name is Huck and her name is loneliness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The finale! - VII

Live on Television

Huck: Welcome to the final episode on Huck's talk show!
Producer: It's about time! Your viewers have been very very patient indeed!
Huck: Whose side are you on anyway?
Producer: Since it's the last show, I thought I'll speak my mind for once! you better have a good reason for the delay! and an acceptable one at that!

Huck: Folks, I know we promised you a date of August 15 and we are well past that for this last show, but am sure you don't mind. Chew on what am going to say next for a minute, before am judged harshly for my delay!

Huck now walking around like Guna in the movie Guna!

You put up with real estate builders building your homes and delaying your move-in by at least a year (if you are lucky!)
You put up with queues paying electricity bills, at the bank, at canteens, at malls, waiting for lifts when that time could be spent elsewhere.
You put up with traffic jams and wait patiently for the cars to inch a centimeter ahead (No point, the centipedes would still win the race!)
If you are a clueless(like most of them) client, you put up with those damn @#$@%$ software engineers and their haphazard crazy estimations under fanciful terms like agile, waterfall, spiral, twisted, convoluted @#$@%#%
You put up with wierdo families who come all (papa, mama, kiddo1, kiddo2) covered in masks to protect themselves against H1N1 and yet come to a theater and move along with the crowds, when they could just sit home and watch a movie on DVD (original of course)
You put up with polluted water, that you end up buying water, which itself is polluted with minerals!
You put up with scarcity of rain, and when it rains so much finally, you put up with flooded roads due to poor infrastructure planning!
If you are in Bangalore, You put up with never ending construction of flyovers, that by the time the flyovers get done, the amount of vehicles that ply on it would have rapidly multiplied, so you have the original problem in it's full glory to solve again! (What next a flyover on top of a flyover?)
You put up with mean spirited people, people who can't utter one good word to you

You put up with crazy religious beliefs, superstitions, astrological nonsense and are ready to believe anything and everything, including something as bizarre as if you forward a link to this blog about this talk show to 16 other people, then you will live for another 16 long years (doesn't matter if you are already 90 years old and pushing it...!)

You put up with people, who you are well aware are manipulating and using you for their own trivial needs
You put up with people who make personal comments against you and who take you for granted
You put up with the fact that you still don't freaking know whether the chicken came first or the egg!

a hell lot more put-ups (sorry no push-ups here)

Finally you put up with yourself for the number of times that you end up contradicting yourself, your own views, your own image of yourself, your resolutions and your constant breakage of the same @#$@$

Man! you mean to tell me that you can't put up with one tiny weeny delay about a non consequential telly show that is well past it's shelf life. Wow! If so, then I have just one thing to tell you and that is [beep], [beeep], [beeeeeeeeeeep]

screen flickering live

You see when you put-up with something, there is a delay (You don't need Sherlock Holmes to point you that much) and that makes you sorta immune after some time.

Let me give you an example. I personally waited for a long time to get one apartment deal to go through and finally when it did happen, it was at a totally unexpected time after all hopes have been lost. When it finally did happen, it was a victory, but a Pyrrhic one never-the-less. An inordinate unacceptable amount of time had been lost already. With time, all your dreams of getting the interiors done just go up in smoke, for you couldn't care less. Just gimme the goddamn place @#$@$@ and let me move in. That's the final attitude that you are left with and to come out of that does take something...

I could give a lot more instances from my life about my career, about relationships, about waiting for that one thing. After some time it's just pointless. Whatever you aspired for, your dreams, they are still out there, but they are pretty much just a part of the scenery. You don't recognize it yourself anymore nor do you care really. You pass along this lovely looking tall tree every day. You hardly pause to appreciate it in full bloom. The same it is with dreams, your aspirations, your hopes. It all becomes a part of the scenery. That's the inevitable natural course of things.

The point of this final talk show is not to talk about me, but to get each one of you to talk to yourselves. Did you wait eagerly for this talk show till 15th, 16th, 17th and then got to a point where you just didn't care whether it ever came or not, or were you eagerly awaiting till this very moment in eager anticipation, knowing for sure when it did happen, it would never disappoint you? No am not talking about the talk show now. Am talking about your own lives! What in your life, your dreams, that you desired has become so part of the scenery, that you hardly recognize it anymore? What? What can you do about it? Will you do something if you can?

Well, you see I couldn't talk about all this without actually making you put-up with a delay! and if you think am going to f****** apologize for the delay, for trying to make you better your own lives, well, then [beep, beeep , triple beeep]. You see all this talk wouldn't have resonated within you without the delay, without the 'put-up'. It was a special light bulb moment :)

With that, this talk show comes to a end! Thank you for tuning in to us today!

Producer: Man, I have to give it to you, but that was some deep deep stuff!
Huck: You know I've been waiting for something so much that I just realized how much I could do something about it now
Producer: And what's that?
Huck: Kick your bu** on live television! Hey you wait! Where are you running? Cameraman follow me! We gotta capture this live action! It will sell like hot cakes! And after me, you can have your turn tooo! There's plenty of space in this fatso to go around!

screen flickering

P.S. If you liked Huck's talk show and would like to drop in a note/comment appreciating it highly, we heartily recommend so! Do so! If however, you have only brick-bats, then we recommend that you hold it in your right hand (left hand if you are leftie) and swing the bat well around with all the force you can, until you make excellent precise contact with your own skull! (with a THUD! for good effect!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Anti climax! - VI

Live on Television

Huck: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Huck's talk show!
Producer: Are you going to tell them or not?
Huck: I am worried about the reactions, but anyways here goes.

brief pause and heavy breathing

Huck: Folks, we've run into problems with the censor board, the wildlife protection group, the red cross group, the income tax department, the education ministry, women's rights groups, national human rights commission, political groups and the association of 'well behaved people' (Who even knew they existed???).
All these groups have criticized the show for it's dripping satire and sarcasm. A few of us have been threatened with dire consequences, if we continued to host this show. A few of us have received murder threats. I now read out a long list of threats, comments that we have received.

Censor Board: Who the f*** gave you a certificate to host a show with so many f****** comments in it? f***, whoever granted the f****** certificate!

Wild-life protection group: There were no animals used in any of your shows! What role do we have in society if you are not planning to use any animals/birds? Unless you want to use them, our signatures are rendered obsolete! We, the wild-life protection group, are becoming an endangered species because of your senseless acts!

Education ministry: We condemn the episode on education. It made a motal tockery of education. Further sex education was not covered and was deemed out of syllabus. violation of protocol.

Income Tax: All those SMS's - the money that you raked in, have you paid tax on that? That swivel chair, that your producer uses, is that imported? What about the advts? How can a show be so popular and have only one advt? Where are the funds coming from? Swiss/Cayman Islands? Where are your accounts? Where is ...
(The list of questions runs to a 400 page document, but you get the general idea...)

Women's rights: In the dance show, the woman received less points than both the men. We condemn this outrageous act. This was a classic case of gender discrimination. We have filed a complaint with the national human rights commission.

National Human rights commission: We have received a complaint from the Women's rights groups. We are investigating it and you should soon be receiving a detailed notice. You have been warned! We will approach you to take your statements, where-ever you might be (We think the likely place would be a Jail, though)

Red cross: Not one paisa was contributed to charity. A show this popular, and so greedy. The gluttonous producer and the menacing uncouth Huck make only personal attacks against people and do not contribute anything back to society!

Political Group 1: I made a telephone call during the dance show to make my nephew (contestant 1) win. Why didn't he win? Boy! are you in trouble now!

Political Group 2: Did you know that Mr. IKL from your talk show is from the minority caste? Do you have any idea what that means? Tuesday will be a bandh to condemn your action in public!

Political Group 3: We deplore this talk show. This show is against our culture. Our culture is being vandalized by this show. (Come on my men! Let's vandalize their studio in return!)

Death Threat 1: Shut down shop and go abroad and settle, before it's too late.

Death Threat 2: We are from the underworld. Congratulations! You have received a promotion and now are no 1. and no. 2 on the hit list. The producer is no.1 and Huck is no.2. We are however flexible and willing to swap these positions, if you so desire. Wondering what the difference between these two positions are? Hmm. we would say about a minute or so!

Death Threat 3: Do you like to be burnt or buried? Our preference is to burn you. We can save some money on the caskets that way.

Association of Well behaved people: (letter follows)

Esteemed and Honorable Producer and Dear Huck,
It is with the deepest apologies that we have to write such a letter to both your respected selves. We find the content on the talk shows very disturbing. Please note that we love both of you. It is only the content that disturbs us. If you could please change the format of the show to be slightly more polite, we would be forever in your debt.

Thanking you,
Looking forward to a favorable reply from your respected selves

Mr. KF
Association of well behaved people

Huck: There you have it!
Obviously we can't fight all these groups. We have neither the time nor the inclination, and so sadly, it is with great pain that we have to announce that there will be only one more final talk show, that will be telecast live around the world on Aug 15 2009!
The day India celebrates it's independence, we will be losing it (satirical laugh)

longer silence

Huck: So much for democracy! Jai Hind!