31 January, 2007

am I thinking

We are a greedy lot.
I realised I was missing the person I was with.
Could I get any greedier?

29 January, 2007

I wouldn't call her beautiful.
Beauty lingered about her like the
pale aftertaste of a forgotten fragrance,
like the lost words of a loved song.

21 January, 2007

and then the ants ate the grey matter...

a memory is making pensive puddles
in a place i can't find
a silent forgotten corner
the back of my mind
i'm searching a dead end
for a reflection of me
a brick is loose
it is you i see

12 January, 2007

for whom the bells spoil

I am a phone-phobic. Okay. Don't gape. Research says if you leave your mouth open for that long, your lower jaw might decide to book a cruise to Honolulu. Research says that, I don't.

Yes phone-phobic I am. As a matter of fact I'm a baby-detestor too (do the hyphenated words I'm using exist or are they a figment of my literary genius?). Yes I detest human babies in all colours/ shapes/ sizes/ moods/ clothes etc (to the power of infinity). It sounds quite "un-human" (ok ok inhuman) and definately unladylike but after the initial gasps of utter horror from some aunties and smug when-you-become-a-mother-we'll-see look from others, I've seen it all.

Thankfully, not liking babies hasn't really hampered my lifestyle in any earth-shattering way. The side-effects of not going ga-ga over teeny weenies are =
1) not having dribble from someone's chin smeared on your clothes,
2) being pee-free even if some baby is literally peeing in his/her pants,
3) not having to make weird facial contortions to amuse them and
4) not having to emit vague grunting/ gurgling/ constipated sounds to convince the baby that hey you can be cute too.
But phonehobia? Ah...it bothers me every waking (and sometimes sleeping) nanosecond of my life.

I grew up on a wholesome diet of letters from all my relatives. A tear-stained, home-sick little me (hell I was little too once upon a time) would affectionately read and re-read letters from home on a warm patch of my bed in my school hostel. I'd eagerly await cards from friends and foes (yes those days even foes were decent enough. Now friends have a problem remembering.) my hands itching to reply to each one of them. Then I crept out of my hostelic haven and phones barged into my life.

Ringing phones have a startling effect on me - I want to be as far away from them as possible - mentally urging/ willing/ cajoling/ hoping/ pleading some kindred soul in the room to pick it up. Landlines have an anonymity that make them safe for phobics like me. A picks up the phone, takes a message for B. A goes out shopping, gives the message to C who will relay it to B. Work gets done, anonymously safe.

Then came mobile phones (grrrrrrrrrrrr). They retain all the 'phoney' qualities without the anonymity lifebuoy. But sms gave me a lease of hope - a rope for the drowning, a trapdoor for the faint-hearted world of phone-phobics. While my letter writing habits humbly bowed out (I did persist till last year but ill-concealed hints and finally blatant protests from friends made me shelf my letter writing gear), messaging became the invention of the millenium in the phone-phobia community. But mobile phones have gross terrors in store too. You are always accessible (yes I've spoken to people who have been in the weirdest places: on the shitpot, under the table in class, in the middle of a dream, behind library shelves, behind the steering wheel - okay the last one is a bad bad option but don't tell me, I can't even ride a bicycle). Also, anonymity is an obsolete term and things like call timings, durations, costs and missed call details flash away like no one's business.

My phobia, like any living entity, has a characteristic nature of its own. Its soul shrivels up on hearing the tring tring (or whatever ringtone you have...musical or not, it scares), it retaliates with banshee-wailing or suffered simpering silence. And it hates being made to make/attend/pick up a call. The phobia stems from the fact that I never know what to say on the phone.

Scene 1
Me (reluctant quivering voice): Hello
Mrs. Kapoor: Hello beta
Me: Errrrr who do you want to speak to? (for the record, I am a polite, well-mannered person but on the phone I become a blumbering mass of rude gibberish)
Mrs. Kapoor: Your mother. Is she home beta?
Me: Yes aunty.
I flee.

Scene 2
me: Hello
X: Guess who
me: hey please I'm bad at this guessing game.
X (irritating singsong tone): guess who guess who guess who
me: errr sita-gita-rita?
X: nooooooooooo
me (desparation setting in alarmingly fast): tom-dick-harry?
X: come on don't you know me?
me (angrily/unhappily/hand wringingly/on the verge of tears-ily): puhleees tell me. I'm no good at this game. Have mercy on me.
X: Ha ha it's only me silly.
me (rolling eyes/utter frustration at the futility of even expressing my anger/resignedly): Uh oh. Hello. Loooooooongtime (sarcastic crooning in syrupy voice)

My friends usually end up having a monologue with a plastic receiver. I guess they keep calling me because its therapeautic - like taking to a mirror. I love the robe of sympathetic listener/ good friend/ compassionate consoler my friends shroud my phobia in.

New years come and go. Resolutions are made, some kept, some broken. I don't even challenge my phone-phobia. I've missed the last bus, hung from that unforgiving edge and fallen, woken up and lived the nightmare. Now only two options seem feasible to me: either I transform into an answering machine or ... not.

P.S: As I was writing this, I was telephonically informed that a concerned comrade has taken up the herculean task of ridding me from my phone-phobia which, according to him, is a curable disease. At this point, all I would like to say is good luck and wow you are optimistic :)

08 January, 2007


Divine virtue: Humility

Punishment: Broken on the Wheel

Symbol: Horse

Demon: Lucifer

Colour: Violet

Jealousy is the queen of vices

Pride the noble king

And pray who, will you, to the dinner of seven sins

think honourable enough to bring?


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