Happened-stances

You know how sometimes you’re in bed fast asleep or you’re in the middle of mass listening to a  sermon or you’re driving around a crowded market street and it sneaks up on you. The thing you missed. The sign you didn’t read. The movement you didn’t respond to.

It suddenly finds you, when you least expect it, and for a few minutes it holds you hostage. For a few minutes, you can’t block it out. For just a few minutes, your body feels like it doesn’t have an owner.

You remember. All of a sudden, you remember. You don’t know why, but you’re sure you don’t want it there. You don’t want that stray thought floating around in your head today. Not while you’re sleeping, not while you’re driving on a busy street, not ever.

You wonder about it for a while, you re-live that conversation with an old friend or that old conversation with a new one. And suddenly the words find you. The right words, the perfect words.The kind of stuff that bad sitcoms are made of. And just like that you finally see. You see it clearly and you’re happy.

And then there’s nothing left to do but move on, sleep like a baby, plan your life in heaven and wheel right in to a tight parking spot.

White lies beneath

50 shades of white

50 shades of white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My ex roommate always teased me about my wardrobe. I had more white in there than the Alps. Almost everything I owned was white. White shirts, white t-shirts, white kurtis. All white. Pristine and perfect and white.

And white’s my favourite colour, so I guess it’s as good an excuse as any.

Today, I put on a pair of coloured pants and thought, oh well, it’ll work cause I’ll just throw on one of my many white tops, and it’ll be okay. And then I opened my wardrobe and went white as a sheet. I had not a single piece of white clothing left. Not one scrap of white in my cupboard.

I had changed, one white shirt at a time. And I didn’t even see it coming. My life was a white noise machine. It drowned everything. It bled me white. It made all my white clothes disappear. Disappear from right underneath me.

Did I mention white was my favourite colour. White IS my favourite colour.

Humourous Man, Serious Men

Manu Joseph's Serious Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This January, Manu Joseph impressed me at the Jaipur Literature Festival. He was simple, honest and effortlessly hilarious. The kind of man you’d want at all your dinner parties only so you can animatedly discuss how much you hate dinner parties. I had never read any of his work so I decided he’d be the new Indian author I’d try this season. So imagine my surprise when I saw that the title of his first book was ‘Serious Men’.

A humourous man’s Serious men, I thought. And picked it up immediately.

‘Serious men’ is a wonderful story of two men, from two equally real, yet equally unreal worlds.

Ayyan Mani – proud dalit, chawl-dweller, husband to soap-opera-obsessed wife, father to a supposed deaf genius, ‘Thought for the day’ enthusiast, Donna-like* Secretary to the Director at the Institute of Theory and Research.

Arvind Acharya – Director at the Institute of Theory and Research, Pope-whisperer, believer in collection of alien particles in hot-air balloons, unlikely philanderer to password protected wife, legendary astrophysicist, Pavarotti fan.

Acharya lives in a world of the extremely intelligent. Men- serious men. Men in suits and coats and boots walking corridors, sitting at desks, meeting together, lost in thoughts, extremely important and difficult thoughts, life altering, space altering thoughts. He watches as the world of science becomes more and more glamourous and exciting thanks to Alien life forms and all the possibilities of being able to talk to them, or even invite them to high tea if their hostility is manageable. This is his world, a world where it’s a real job to collect seemingly alien particles in hot air balloons in jars and stare at them for days on end.

Mani lives in a world where his wife says things like, “The end of an ox is beef, the end of a lie is grief.” He lives in a world where being sober and having a 9 to 5 job makes one a hero. He lives in a world where he imagines having a conversation with God who is an Albert Einstein look-alike. He lives in a world which has branded him into oblivion the minute he entered it, screaming.

He lives in one world and works in another. He looks upon the men and women of this ‘other world’ and says to his wife Oja, “If you stare long enough at serious people they will begin to appear comical.”

He sees them as they are, completely hilarious, completely ordinary, and completely human. The wry humuor used throughout the book is so poignant and yet hilarious. A brilliantly crafted out story indeed.

It makes me wonder about my world. The seriousness of it, the complete hilarity of it all. It makes me wonder about the many worlds around my own, and the hilarity of them too.

Maybe we’re all just part of some large cosmic joke. Who knows? I had my own serious man to think about right now and funnily, I saw the complete hilarity of him too.