Monday, January 30, 2006

Conscious Walks Through Subconsciousness

There are moments that each of us encounters, when the boundary between reality and fantasy begins to blur. Much like the days when the dream of the previous night had images so powerful that the scenes seem real, so too is the effect of an illusion that one desperately wants to believe in.

Such is the power of these illusions that it takes but little effort to pull one away from what one knows to be true and drags you into its insanity and temporary happiness. If it brings happiness though, however fleeting it may be, why do I call it an ill? Perhaps solely because of the fall that follows it…

For every want you ever craved,
And helping hand that you saw fit to raise,
For all the words and smiles around today,
Would you sing along or fume and rage?
An early dusk turns light to grey,
The leaves that drift are just a shade of me,
Longest walk on the shortest of days,
Reminding you to try and forget

Remember to forget those mists and dreams,
Adopting the mirth to forsake the inner realm,
See your face alone in a growing haze,
Did those words ever return other than in pain?
A life led to feed the halo and the crown,
But the heels never touched upon the ground,
When every gust brought a quiet storm,
How could the trapped help but dance about?

Eyes that train sights up to the stars,
Would ever live, but be shut to me inside,
And when the light was shining bright,
The flames consumed what was yours by right,
There was no way on where you sought,
Perhaps a door leading unto stone walls,
But when on moonlit night the dew will fall,
You’ll return to my truth once more

See once more the brooder enter the place,
Once more I close my eyes to ignore him,
Maybe someday when the times have changed,
I may recall today and myself hate,
The fallacies that rule me from day to day,
Twist you too but easily you forget,
For some would much rather turn face away,
Than tease the mind with shameful pain

Barbarians that don the guise of men,
And words that cloak in them the pill of death,
What price would you not pay for me to tell,
True moments from those in which you dwell?
The emotion of pacifying intensity’s a lie,
And the word that soothes, not balm but fire’s child,
But still beckoning at the doors of the mind
Violent happiness shall kill all inside…

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Yep, the fest is drawing to a close as I speak and life on campus shall hopefully return to the daily drudgery that it normally is. Been quite a decent one this time, with the high being the rock show for which once again I exhibited my broken leg on stage and the low point the total and blinding incompetence of the people organising the show, who did everything in their power to jeopardise the show...

OK, now will someone please help me understand if Parikrama have signed some contract or something with someone? I mean, let's face it, whichever rock show there is on whichever campus you choose to think of, it's an odds-on chance that Parikrama are the band playing there! Quite strange. I mean, this time, the Organising Committee almost had this metal band from Bangalore (Kryptos) coming down here and we were quite chuffed when we heard about that...but as I have mentioned, the OC has more than its fair share of nincompoops, so the moment they realised that Kryptos was not some gay band that played Indipop, they called that move off and tried to rope in some crappy Paki band called Paani...or was it Jal...oh well, something like that...

Anyway, the curse of a metal fan is not something to be taken lightly and the band in question discovered this to their own detriment when they encountered what we were told was a "visa problem". Our joyful sympathies didn't deceive them though I believe ;-). Anyway, be that as it may, this resulted in Parikrama being, once again, the act that I shall be witnessing here... I believe this makes IIML the seventh campus at which I will have seen this band perform...*sigh*

Anyway, the title of the post is Man(ia)Fest and I'm quite sure that I should at least attempt to show why the "ia" is included there. So, whether you like it or not, here are some incidents that I thought were absolute gems

Incident 1 (during the sound check for the rock show):

Me: Dude, raise the volumes for the lead guitar.
Sound Engineer: No, this is the maximum volume.
Me: Shut up! The speakers on my computer are louder!!!
SE: No, the problem is in that black box that the guitarist is using.
Me: You baboon! That is the distortion pedal. Metal is supposed to sound like that!!! Now just raise the volume!!!
Guitarist: I can’t hear myself man. I can’t hear me. Please…
A (a member of the OC who is also a guitarist who used to play in a band earlier): Dude, why don’t you guys just start playing?
Me: Because you moron, if the guitar is not audible, we can’t do a song!!!
A: But you just start at least. Then we’ll figure out…

This ended an hour later when SE with some help from some of the chaps from the band, discovered where the volume control was…

Incident 2 (During a practise session for the show):

OC: Guys, the chaps from XYZ Institute are complaining that they can’t sleep because they’re put up in the room below this room. So please reduce your volume or stop the practise.
Us: Err…but the show is tomorrow. We need to jam. Do they have a problem with the guitar or the drums?
OC: How should we know that? They have a problem with the noise overall!!!
Us: Firstly it’s music!!! Anyway, we’ll see to it…

Us (downstairs with the chappies in question): Hi guys, we’re the chaps jamming upstairs, so…
Chappies: Really? Hey thanks! We’re really enjoying it. Can we come up and watch you??

Us (next day to the OC): WTF was that all about???
OC: Well! They are our guests, so we assumed that they should sleep so that they can wake up early tomorrow…

Incident 3 (At the party where the DJ was some chappie from Bombay):

Somebody on the mic: So, do you want to say something to the crowd?
DJ: Yeahhhhhhh! Hello Mumbai!!!!!!!!
*and how many joints do you think it took?*

Incident 4 (Once again at the rock show):

Vocalist doing a mic test, after the guitar volumes were finally adjusted.

V: Lower the mic volume. Vocals should be lower than the guitar.
SE: Lowered.
V: No no, lower it further. This is metal. I need to be able to hear the guitar over the vocals!
SE: Lowered.
V: No!!! I’m still too loud for myself…*Oops*

OK, I don’t really know of too many other events (apart from the rock show and the party). Point is, who cares really? For me, that is all a fest should be about. Rock music and partying…anyway, am really tired now and I don’t want to miss the rock show and the party…

Parting shot:

Why the Hell is it that the closing ceremony for a fest happens before the rock show begins? I mean, does that mean that the rock show is not a part of the fest? Or does it mean that the closing ceremony does not close the fest? Or does it just mean that the authorities like going to bed early? ;-)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tread Softly Lest I Hear You

A few things have caught my eye of late and have led to my devoting a lot of thought to them; none more so that the statement by a certain person here on campus that “silence is over-hyped”. As per his theory, the first sign of a newborn’s well-being is the first scream. Then again, conversations lead to more geniality and friendship etc etc.

It is his view therefore, that people just hype silence and that it is not really such a great thing. At first look, this theory struck me as more than just slightly absurd, as I have always believed in the merits of silence. Solitude seems to go hand-in-hand with silence and I believe that solitude leads to peace and self-comprehension.

As I thought further though, another thought struck me. While we B-schoolers are often rightly accused of delving into meaningless droning on the topic of definitions, in the current context, I found it extremely pertinent to delve into just what silence really means. It seems innocuous at first. We all know that silence is just the absence of any sound around you. But is that really all?

What of the voices within my head? The ones that range from being the silent strains of a symphony of violins to the violent thoughts that reach a crescendo. Are they silent? There are times that I hear music in my head. It’s all there. It could be a song I have heard before or at another moment, just a tune that drifts through me. It could be a piece of genius by Bach or a lifelike take on drug abuse by Metallica or the searing brilliance of Roger Waters. What is a silent scream? The moment when my mind screams out and yet I say nothing…

Ostensibly these affect just me. They’re in my head; they’re my thoughts; my feelings. Is it still silent though? It may be outside me, but within me, the effect they have on me is the same as hearing them on a 150,000 Watt system. It’s not really silent within me. It never is. None of us can run away from it. There’s always something that is happening within you. And most of it is beautiful. Most of it is you actually. The real person speaking….to the only person who would understand…

What of silence though? The conventional outward silence. Is it over-hyped? In truth, I don’t think so. Silence is the only thing that really helps oneself. It is the only time that you can actually listen to what is happening within and realise the most beautiful things about yourself and your world. For nothing is more beautiful than a thought. Nothing is more enchanting than music that enthrals the spirit and captures, even if only for the briefest of moments, the thoughts flitting through the mind…

I have had occasion to witness quite a few interesting takes on silence though. Most people I know are afraid of it. They’d rather avoid it…run away from it. And yet, it’s right there. What is silence? It’s you. There is no other way to sum it up. The only reason to be afraid of it…would be if you’re afraid of yourself. And truth be told, while most of us do not believe this to be true and would never admit it, even if we did, most of us are afraid of ourselves…

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tornado of Puppets (yes, that is inspired ;-) )

Hmm…it’s been a while since I posted here. Have been quite busy by my own standards and that has scarcely left me with any time at all to even think, let alone blog! Among other things, I find that I am now laid up (since this morning) with a broken leg. In case that sounds familiar, hark back to around a year ago, when I was in slam-bang exactly the same situation…though of course on that occasion I had broken two bones in three places and this is far less dramatic…not to mention that my car was not in any way involved in this case…

Now, I don’t want to get into just how I got myself into this broken-leg situation, so I would be grateful if you limited yourselves to just expressing your sympathies in this matter… ;-). Oh and yes, in case you’re wondering, it is indeed the same right leg once again…the same one that has already seen two ligament tears, a compound fracture etc etc… On the bright side though, at least the left side of my body is still intact!!! Touchwood…

Me: Hi mom!
Mom: Hi, and going by the obscenely early hour at which you have called, I assume you are in a spot of some kind…
Me: Well, not exactly…just that I think I’ve broken my leg.
Mom: Oh! OK. Right leg, I presume?
Me: Err…yeah…
Mom: Cool. Go see the doc then and let me know how bad the damage is this time…Bbye…

See? It’s as if my folks treat my annual orthopaedic issues like some sort of routine. My conversation with my father ran along pretty much the same lines and even my friends are no longer even a bit surprised when I convey such information to them. It’s more of a surprise to them when I claim that I am in fact intact!!! I guess I just don’t live right…

It’s strange how things fall into place. Just yesterday, I was joking with a friend of mine about how odd it would be this year for me to be on stage for the rock show, without any broken bones…today I set that straight….strange when I think about it. When C made me sing the first time at NJJBTB, I had a torn ligament…the first show we did that we were paid for, I had my right hand in a plaster…Hmmm…maybe there’s a lesson in all this somewhere, but I can’t really see it at the moment…Naah!

The show now. That certainly is a bright spot. The only problem really is that if last year’s experience is anything to go by, my bone is going to be jarring with every strum of the guitar, which does not make for particularly comfortable jam sessions…not to mention of course, the excruciating thought of having to walk up and down two floors for each session…

But even as I recline in my chair, at peace with the idea of not attending classes on medical grounds for the next week or so, I am filled with the thought that there really is no other way I would lead my life. OK, so I have a cast on my leg which will be there for the next ten weeks or so, but then, that apart, there really is nothing I can complain about and the cast too has become such a part of my life that it hardly feels like anything out of the ordinary any more…

Far too often it hits me we’re just too preoccupied with matters that really don’t reflect the present. I mean, let’s see, I loved the way my life was at 18. It was complete. There was just nothing more that I could have asked for and I still feel that if I had to think of the most complete that life ever felt, it would be at that time… Most of us can recall such times. But they’re the past…they’re gone…and that’s life. I’d not go back to that time now. I don’t feel the need to. I find it strange that a lot of people can’t see that…

“You only seem to have good memories of that time…”
“Yeah…what’s the point of keeping the others?”
“Well…most people aren’t like that”
“Or maybe they all are and are just playing a role. Or of course, it could just be that I am not ‘most people’”
“Yeah! But it does seem better this way.”
“True. It always is better this way”

It’s similar with the future. Most people are just too involved in the mad rush to a destination about which they know not. I deride the blind followers of the Art of Living course for never having a clue about what they’re being told. I mock their insistence that they’re spouting wisdom although they are incapable to putting in words just what they have learnt. But for the first time, today, I feel that I understand what is meant by the line, “Live in the moment”. Not for the moment, mind you, but in it…