A Train of Thoughts…

What’s a relationship all about!? πŸ˜’


The train was late by two hours. Then, they announced that it’d arrive at platform number 4, which was on the other side of the world, somewhere around Peru. I was exhausted by the wait – rolling the trolley bag felt like hauling a dinosaur egg. I dragged it through the stairway – my palms tired and sweaty – overtaking slow, fat, redfaced aunties who had travelbags so large that you could suspect them of felony. When I landed my bag at the dilapidated floor of platform number 4 and heaved a sigh of relief, they announced that the train would – due to some technical issues – now arrive at platform number 3. So I hauled my luggage and tagged my soul along to platform number 3 where the train showed up after thirty minutes. Before that, I tried to update my phone using railway wifi, but it seemed Indian railways was still using pigeon services, and I did not want another pretext for my brain to go crazy, so I unplugged and decided to write a scathing article about the appalling fall in the standards of government bodies. But then I was too tired so I just watched a flock of birds fly away in the stratosphere above the high roof of platform number one and wondered why don’t they ever get tired. I also wondered if Icarus’ flight was worth it, if what he experienced in those tiny fractions of time would ever be felt by Daedalus, and if history has been unfair to him. Then, the train arrived and I crawled in.

Okay. Let’s establish the facts first. I had a hot copassenger. But her husband was a bit of an appendix. A wheatish poker face. And he wore a black sweater on a dark pink shirt which gave me sort of a headache. And what’s unfortunate is that they had a child. Picturing them having sex was kind of weird – like watching a cult porn or something. In small towns, you can have hot chics plus dowry if you earn well. I can, too. But what attracts me more is intelligence, which is a rare thing in both the genders. This intellectual friend of mine has even higher standards about which we shall talk later.

So, what kind of women do I like?

Well it’s tough. I can’t draw an eligibility chart. I’m in the last year of my teenage and I don’t exactly find Gwen Tennyson hot anymore. I like girls who play chess. But that’s not all.
I guess I liked Doctor. No, not someone like her or someone of the same name or appearance or intelligence or DNA coding or whatever. Just Doctor. It’s not easy to explain, didn’t I tell you.

In a relationship you look for compatibility, because love cannot haul you all along. So yeah, maybe compatibility is the word I’m looking for. But I’m not sure. It could be all about blowjobs for all I know.

Anyways, they looked kind of happy. I mean almost perfect. Compatibility. Blowjob. Or maybe both. I guess you establish that much when you’ve made a baby together. It’s a huge risk, and if it turns out ugly or dumb, you would most probably not relish wiping poop off its ass for years. But then, what do I know. I don’t exactly adore them.

The train trundled on the eternal tracks, and through the tinted glass I stared out; trees, throngs and time past me in a flurry of blurred paintings. I realised I am passing a moment and this was enough to make me sad.

to be continued…

The Cyclones πŸ’•

Now that the sea retreats, the sand has a doubt…maybe you’re just a thought that I thought…

I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.

-John Green, Turtles All the Way Down.

Chicken Biryani @ Rs. 80 – I read from the giant menu board with a picturesque background printed right out of Laura Vitale’s YouTube thumbnails, and me being in a state of starvation, the doormat at the entrance seemed no less than God’s own flying carpet. My brain felt like a centrifuge – and I don’t even know that word properly – it just felt moving round and round and round – as if my mind was Jupiter and my thoughts were cyclones. If I fell unconscious at the door, I’d lose my phone, my wallet and my key, and so I did not have that luxury, I reminded myself.

I trudged in and walked up to the counter. The receptionist was a lanky man. There was nothing attractive about him. I know as a writer I’m supposed to give you descriptions but when my great immortal love story is written, I am pretty sure we won’t need this guy. So stick with the adjective lanky for a while because that’s all I remember.

” Chicken Biryani. “I said. He looked at me, registered my voice, had them transferred to his basilar membrane where tiny hairs did a little piano show before transferring the message through electric pulses which hit his auditory cortex where the brain decoded it and then his primary motor cortex told him to get his hand out of his pocket through a really long chain of nerves sparkling with electricity and so he moved it out, took out his pen, took out another hand to pull out the cap, kept the cap on the table, then flipped the register on his desk, after which he put his pen on a blank space and made really slow loops.

Yeah that’s how long it went.

“That’d be 80 rupees. “He said. He didn’t like his job. I keep meeting all those people who don’t like their jobs. And then I wonder why there’s so much negative energy all around me. I took a seat and let my mind do a little free fall into the cyclone.

The world may seem quiet and everything, but if you flip every human being inside out, you’ll know what Dante Alighieri meant by hell when he wrote Inferno 700 years ago.

This is a sick place and a sick millennium. And that’s how it’s always been in every millennium and in every place. The utopias exist only in our imaginations. So here’s a little thought –

our utopia is almost perfect. The contrasts of it are limited to diverse shades of a butterfly, or diverse shapes of a snowflake, which do not, for example, produce energy equivalent to 50 megatons of TNT up somebody’s ass. So the ideal world that we create are free of our own concepts of sin, and are attempts towards a little more organised and beautiful landscape.

Now suppose you are the creation of an other worldly being. All your physical realities are the result of somebody’s overdose of philosophy. Just like your Utopian puppets don’t realise the fakeness of their existence, you don’t have the tools to realise the fakeness of yours. Just like you are making up a world of your own, sitting in a random chair at Bhagalpur Junction, maybe you too are a made up thought. Maybe somebody’s in a 4 dimensional sofa, munching 4 dimensional pop corns and thinking of a character at a railway station which is you. Maybe you are a part of his Utopia.

Having established that, I delve further into the world of higher beings. Previous versions characterise them as omnipotent, omnipresent noble beings – people with long sparkling white beards who’d make it rain bullion with a click of their fingers, for example.

But here’s a contrast – if we are a part of their utopia, we are, by their definition, at an ideal state. The horrible sins of our world is just a contrast of shades to them, a diversity of shapes, a difference that’s not really harmful. I wonder at what levels do the criminals operate there. Like, what sort of badassry is a bailable offence in a higher dimension district court. And like how do you divorce somebody?

It gives me deep chills. I dart my eyes around in nervousness and tell myself that I’m not a made up thought. My heart beats frantically. This demon of inside is hard to kill.

I am not a made up thought.

That’s what she thinks, too.

Shut up. She is real.

Is she?

Yes. I’ve seen her. We’ve chatted. We fuckin went to the same school. I’ve known her for half my life. She is real. Doctor is real. I’ve got her pictures.

Is she, though?

In Memento, Lenny creates the memories that drive his life. Without them, he’s just a working human body. At some far horizons, the difference between real and unreal vanishes. The solid land beneath your feet floods every full moon, but when the beautiful night is over, all you’re left with is a tide retreating back to the sea – a reality touched by an unreality. The imprints left on the wet sand is what you refer to as life.

“Here it is. “Said the waiter as he plonked the food at my table. My stomach started live drum ceremonies, so I ate like it was my last meal, the image of a retreating tide ebbing away in the back of my mind.

to be continued….

Bookstore @ Bhagalpur Junction

books and strategy πŸ˜‚

Bhagalpur junction is just slightly bigger than Godzilla’s ass, but it has got two bookstores. There’s a restaurant as well, and not to mention free wifi, and random switch bords with enough holes to allow half a million people charge their phones simultaneously. The icing on the cake, though, are the girls – hot and plenty.

I roll my trolleybag to a bookstore, browse around for a while and then check my pockets. Everything – phone, wallet, key – is at its place. I feel a sense of relief that otherwise only comes with peeing after a long time.

Probably I should stop masturbating, a random thought brushes my mind.
I start thinking about my dick after that, and it takes a while. Brain is a shitty dirty place. I mean you think about your loved ones and then you think about penises, all through just one organ. That’s really absurd if you see it that way.

Since the train is still a few stations away, I take the liberty of scanning through the stacks of books. There are Paulo Coelhos perched over Chetan Bhagats, there are Tolkiens mixed with Preeti Shenoys, there are Dan Browns lying around with Amish Tripathis – this pacific disarray makes me wonder that the world could be at peace if humans were just the books they wrote.

My eyes catch a book titled Omnibus. The author – one of my favourites – Jerome k Jerome.

“What does that cost? Omnibus? “I ask the shopkeeper as I point at the book. He isn’t much for books, if you ask me. Fat guy with eyebags, and he is using a Salman Rushdie as his tea coaster. It takes him about a minute to locate Omnibus. He checks the MRP and plonks the book at the countertop as if he were tossing a dustbag.

“200 bucks. ”

I flipped the book. 200 it is.

“Don’t you offer some discount? “I ask. I mean I love Jerome K Jerome but Amazon was offering the same at 175. And they give bookmarks for free.

“No. “He says. I turn around and start moving. An old trick I learnt on wikihow.

“10 rupees. “He calls.

Alright, it’s working. So maybe if I keep walking he’ll bring the price even lower. Good, you’re learning. Okay, if I have to draw a price-distance graph, at what point will the Omnibus reach the upper limit of my book expenditure fund?

Ummm, now would be a good time to check your phone. And wallet. And key.

I have reached the edge of the platform but the shopkeeper hasn’t called yet. Something is wrong. I could have carried on, but I don’t want to be found dead on tracks, so I move back, mortified, and start walking towards a fast food joint that promises delicious biryani.

to be continued…

OCD. πŸ˜‘

Another blizzard of unreined horses…

The smell was revolting. The bus felt like a death chamber. I dug my nose into my hands and breathed through my palms. The conductor busied himself with bashing the boy. His parents had to swear they’d clean it up once they reached Bhagalpur. I felt bad for the boy but I couldn’t dare to lift my eyes. My world squeezed into that tiny bowl of my hand and I told myself that it was just an OCD attack, and that unlike Aza Holmes, I can control my own thoughts, but that grotesque image of the puke won’t go away. The smell invaded my bubble and I felt my throat tighten. My heart stopped.

This is not you. This is not you. No, you can’t puke. You control your own thoughts. Brain operates vomiting. Your brain is telling you to stop. Stop.

The bus stopped at Bhagalpur bus stand and I raced out, covering my nose to block out all the air. Thirteen steps later, I puked near a giant tree, people watching me with disgust and pity.

I brushed and hailed a cab. I put my bags on the backseat. As we whooshed through the mad traffic, I couldn’t shrug the compulsion – I would turn back every four seconds to check if my luggage was still there. I knew it was there, I could have sworn each time. But the thought won’t go away. My palms sweated. I felt vulnerable. I felt like that little kid who loses his mother’s hand in a crowded carnival. I could feel the sweat on my forehead. I could feel the fear in my ribs.

Think about Doctor. Think about your last message. But, have you checked your pocket? Is your wallet still there? No. Think about Doctor. The message. Your luggage? It takes 5 seconds to scoop something up and disappear in the crowd. Check your luggage.

No people, I’m not fortunate enough to afford luxurious diseases like bone marrow aplasia, so I get petty Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. It’s like diarrhoea, except that it’s your brain that’s on the run. I had this for a long time, but it started screwing me recently. After I lost my bag in Patna a few years ago, it became pretty bad. Now I’m rechecking doorlocks like crazy. But it’s okay, it’s not fatal or something. And no, I won’t forget my baby in a bathtub.

As the cab reached the station, I checked my stuffs a thousandth time and carefully pulled them out and paid the driver a shiny little bill of 10. My mother would have haggled for a couple of hours and paid 9, but I don’t have that superpower.

I walked slowly, feeling the twinges and shivers of some unknown tragedy. It was cold. And there were 2 hours to go before the train would whisk me back to Delhi. I trudged myself towards the platform. It felt like stepping into the NullVoid.

To be continued…

The Last Message

when you are gone…

On the bus, I was thinking what would remain of me when I’m dead. Not as in the physical me, but the overall me which is a synergy of all my physical and abstract components. I know how my bones will melt and leave fossils behind, I’ve read that bit in std. 8, but is that all that’d remain of me? I mean what about my experiences, my voice, my actions? What about the imprints I’ve left on the paths I‘ve paved?

Vsauce says that the photons you’re emitting now will continue to glow for eternity. I don’t want to outlive time, I just want to live till everybody who mattered is ashes and dust….

It was a long ride through the frozen air. The city was sleeping underneath a foggy shroud. Not a soul fluttered, not a leaf whispered. This behemoth universe was a lonely cemetery, where death came quiet, and spirits were scared to step into light. Through it rode this small violet intercity bus, trundling on Vikramshila Setu, a 4 kilometre long bridge over the holy Ganga, taking people towards an end.

We all are rushing towards one – a thought brushed my conscience. Some get it quick, some have to wait till their teeth rot and their existence reeks of obsolescence, and they’re better dead than alive. And then, I began wondering what if the bridge snaps and the bus falls down into this icy river below. It does. That’s death right there. It’s slow but it’s also quick. You’re dying, your cells are dying every second, time is killing you like cigarettes – slowly and painlessly. But you also die very quickly, when the last string snaps, when it’s time, when your body can’t bear it anymore, and you’re dead within seconds.

I pictured myself drowning, flailing my limbs and gasping for breath, my leg trapped in the bus, pulling me down with its weight. I felt my lungs fill with water, the pain unbearable. I felt the squeeze, the choking. I saw my color go blue, I felt my body go limp, I saw it swell and rot, right here, in the holy Ganga. Headlines would cover it for a day and then, I’ll slowly fade away, drowning deeper into the sea of oblivion. What would remain of me? A few specks in the fragile memories of theirs? And even those would keep getting smaller with time. I wondered if Doctor would remember me. I could see myself slowly slipping away from her live memory, lying forgotten somewhere amid the clutter in her big cerebral stowage. That’s the place where light doesn’t reach, where toys rust and where innocence corrodes. It was a scary thought, scarier than death itself.

I thought about leaving a message for her. Like that cool stuff they show in movies. I couldn’t bear leaving her without something. One last message, something she could listen to and remember me.

I gave it a thought. All the things I’d say to her if that’s all I could ever say and that’s all she could ever know. I won’t harass her with proposals for sure, and I won’t lament the tragedy we have shared so far. I would tell her small things I didn’t, like the time I was planning to gift her an empty nailpaint bottle because she liked them transparent, and the portraits of her stacked in my almirah, and about the time I missed her so much that I downloaded 3 apps to record her voice but she didn’t pick my calls so I went back to play store and gave each of them one and a half star. I’d tell her that we could have been together for the sake of humanity. I mean our kids could be, like, world chess champions. I would tell her that I wish she didn’t marry someone dumb. I would even suggest her an iq test for an eligible husband. I would tell her to marry a genius and have kids, I would tell her to write a book about herself and mention me in a tiny little corner. I would tell her to feel that cold December wind and remember me.

The bus jerked to a halt. A boy puked at the door. Within seconds, the air turned rancid. I nearly gagged.
Don’t think about puke, think about her. Think about the message.

To be continued….

Cricket and Balcony


I’d start with a clichΓ© – In India, cricket is a religion. It’s the bond that binds a billion people. You’d know that better if you follow Indian media on the eve of a great ICC event. Or just tune into any IPL finale. It’s a huge thing, like, the first question they ask in UPSCE interview is this – Who is the first double centurian in ODIs on the planet?

It’s Belinda Clarke. She did this on December 16, 1997.

We have been playing a lot of cricket this holiday. A surprising change, however, has been in my status, which has miraculously shot up. I used to be the third man guy in my early days. On some lucky days, I’d be the umpire who also kept score. Umpiring, I tell you, is like this boring government job where there’s plenty of time to deviate and slip into a lovely trance. I’d imagine me and Doctor walking down a bridge or something, the sun lighting up the stray strands of her shoulder-length hair, her pearly smile lighting up my existence. And so, I’d often get the figures mixed. (The other reason was that there was so much Math involved in counting, it made me puke). They’d then send me back to being a third man, where again, I’d glance up at her balcony wondering if she’d be out there today. In doing so, I’d misfield a couple of times, and they’d rebuke me for that but not change my position. Well, after third man, there’s no lower point you can hit.

When the other team needed 40 runs in an over, they usually gave me the ball and say,

“We trust you. That’s why we are asking you to bowl in the most crucial over. ”

And then I came charging down like Shoaib Akhtar, jumping like Zaheer Khan and throwing like Majid Haq. And at the end of it, our team would win by 1 run and I’d be the unsung hero of the match.

This time, I’m the – wait for it – captain. Yes. I open the innings if I want to, I go bowling if I want to, generally I don’t, but anyway. Today, I got the innings fired up with back to back sixes in Mama’s overs. I am batting left-handed these days, and it’s coming off well. I might try it again. Hell, I might have discovered something legendary about myself.

I don’t think about Doctor though. Well, that’s the irony right there. When you mention you’re not thinking about somebody, you’re actually thinking about them. It’s so JohnGreen-ish.

Her balcony isn’t the same anymore. The ghost has faded away from those railings long ago. There was a time when it all came naturally, now I have to imagine her and place it there and at the end of it, it’s just artificial. It’s interesting how time erases life, part by part.

I don’t even know where she is. Do I care? I don’t even know that. Am I crazy?