Saturday, September 15, 2007


Stumbling back to wakefulness the dream already fading into nothing, just fragments, like shapes seen through thick mist; eyes blear and head and body feeling the muzzy numb that comes from over sleeping. I had dreamed of a house that was, in some way a poem, written by a poet who had killed herself for love, long ago. The coffee in the percolator is stone-cold. I pour myself a cup-full of dregs anyway, put it in the microwave and set the LED for 70 seconds. As the coffee goes round in the little metal box, I realize that the poem in my dream was both beautiful and true, and that it was genuinely important. I feel sleepily proud of myself. I add cream. The house was the poem. I remember hovering disembodied about the house's exterior, while the sonorous words licked around me in marvelous mellifluous cadences. The coffee is foully bitter, but it serves to drag me further into the waking world. Transitions. I was about to find a pen and scribe the poem down, when it occurs to me that I’ve lost the words. I don't even know what it was about. Oh well, easy come, easy go. I don't know why Sam Coleridge bitched so much about his man from parlock: he got 55 killer lines on paper before he got distracted, didn't he? And the stuff you bring back from the dreaming is free. "And wide this tumult Kubla heard from far ancestral voices prophesying war..." later I was unable to categorize the events that followed. Certainly I smelled gas. But by the time I smelled the gas I was already running through the bedroom, towards the fire escape. a sudden feeling of sheer disbelief as I realized that I had grabbed my wallet from the table, and that I was already shielding my face with my arms, as I jumped...a shattering of glass. I landed on the fire escape, my face stinging, my right arm wet with blood (the pain would come later), and over the side, hang down as far as i could...and then let go. Smash down jarred and shaken, to solid ground, bones aching, skin all scraped, bleeding and just run for dear life, and just run...just. Shit. That was too close...adrenaline-giddy, i stumble into the supermarket. Clothes first. Then shoes. Then out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Relationship Blues

There’s a new fashion in my college, definitely in my batch. A sudden spurt of blogs talking about a mature and sensitive topic like a girl boy relationship can be seen, so much so that it would seem to an outsider reading them that nothing less than a full fledged war is being waged within the boundaries of one of the most prestigious institutes of the country where students are reckoned mature enough to understand the complexities of life.
Let me begin by defining the term ‘girlfriend’ (the definition of boyfriend will follow). Is it merely a girl who is your friend? It is not. She would then merely be a ‘friend’. There is a certain amount of lust, eros, involved, which is not so with a friend (of course, it is a different matter if you have a feeling of lust towards your lady friend but are afraid to confess it, or if that is one sided). By lust here I don’t mean lust alone, in most cases love too is involved, but that love is predominantly erotic, as against agape, love that a friend feels towards another, a mother towards child and so on.
Now let us come to the point under consideration, the whole issue of girlfriends and boyfriends. Is keeping a girlfriend in fashion? A status symbol? More often than not it is, especially at present when teens are committing suicides for the sake of love not knowing what love is. However, let us not foil the genuine love between a man and a woman by saying that all lovers are following in a trend. Did Romeo think of impressing Mercutio when he fell in love with Juliet? Or was it Krishna trying to show off his Casanova skills to Balram when paying suit to Radha?
No one says anything when a boy talks with a boy, but then why do we hear Chinese whispers when he talks with a girl? Maybe because it is a taboo to talk with the members of opposite sex. Maybe because most children from the very childhood are taught that a friendship between a girl and a boy is not healthy. But is the discrimination justified? I don’t think so. On the contrary, I believe that a friendship between a man and a woman is one of the most beautiful one. They complement each other. I personally feel that women are emotionally more mature than men, and I go to them when in any crisis, be it a friend, my sister, or my mother. Similarly, I’ve heard from many a friend that men make better friends than women. Not every friendship is based on lust. There are numerous cases of platonic relationships, but somehow the society can’t comprehend it, and it brands them as ‘affairs’. Ridiculous! But the multitude can be pardoned for their anachronistic beliefs, but what do you do when a bunch of young intellectuals behave in a similar fashion? It is nothing short of blasphemy!
Now the question remains: is a physical relationship between a man and a woman wrong? No, it is not, given that the parties are legally sanctioned to indulge in such an activity. Sex is one of the basic needs, and lust one of the basic instincts of the animal kingdom. Indeed, Freud placed sex, along with food and shelter, at the bottom of the pyramid of success. Without them, no person can achieve contentment, and emotional security, unless of course he or she is a saint. Only recently a young lady belonging to this institute was found in a compromising position with a few male friends of hers in a hotel room. A lot of resentment was shown, and the institution decided to expel the lady in question. It is not only ethically, but legally wrong to do so. Ethically because an institution has no right to moral police consenting adults, legally because the act was done outside the premises of the institute with the permission of an adult person. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that threesome is illegal! What point am I driving at? Simply this: whether a man shows off his trophy, whether a man is in a relationship only to satiate his carnal desires, or whether a man is in it for emotional and intellectual support, as long as he is not harming his friend it should be no one else’s concern but his. The same goes for a woman. As for relationships, no one can define what a good relationship is, for if you get down to it, you’ll have to come up with a billion definitions, for every person has a different need which he seeks to satisfy from it. Of course the ones that are most readily shattered are the ones based on ‘trophy love’. But that doesn’t mean that it is bad, for there is no good and bad when it comes to relationships.