Aug 17, 2009

Books and more books

What with inflation and all, as much as I would like to, I cannot buy books instead of dal and rice. So, in times like this, where the barely-there-salary goes into other things, I resort to free e-books for my mental hunger. And I thought I must share with you two sites that I absolutely love:

1. http://www.truly-free.org/
This one allows you to download about 5 books every 2 weeks and has the most amazing collection.

2. http://www.readprint.com/
Here, you can read all the good stuff online.

There is also http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/, but it is a little tedious.

So, while I sit back and have my fill, now you do that too.

Aug 14, 2009

In a hurry

I always seem to be in a hurry for everything. I just can't wait.

I was in a hurry to be born and came a month early. I started talking really really early, cos I couldn't wait to explore speech.

I was made to start school earlier than the rest, the result being I have always been a year younger than almost everyone in my class.

And this impatience has followed me everywhere.

It has resulted in a constant need to stay busy. And mind you, not with the same thing. The impatience has also brought with it quick boredom as a package deal, which means that I need to keep doing many things- constantly. I need to drown myself in a surge of activities.

As much as I crave for free time, the moment I get it, I start looking for something to do. Activity just makes me happy.

The impatience also shows itself with people. Have you ever gotten bored with people? I do. Regularly. In a way, maybe it is like a 2 year old, whose attention span is limited to a mere few seconds. In order to sustain the attention, something really interesting has to come up.

This is also the reason why I keep inventing excitement for myself. I turn even the smallest thing into something to look forward to in my head, and that preoccupies me. I try and extract meanings out of nothing, just so that I have something to be enthusiastic about.

Is that good? Maybe not. But sometimes yes. At least, my adrenalin continues to rush at the pace I want it to, even if it is due to something not entirely factual.

The point of this post? I don't know. I needed something to do.

Aug 13, 2009

Here is an old ad i found on Flickr, and i really had to post it:

Aug 12, 2009

A strange kind of immunity

I just attended a funeral today. Of someone quite close to me. And that had me think about death.

Well, you know how our body becomes immune to many things with the course of time? I realised I have become immune to crying at funerals. I may shed a silent tear, but just a drop. I cannot sob, wail or express any sort of emotion on the outside. It is a straight face that walks about handling responsibilities, chores, calming people and taking care that nothing else goes wrong.

How? I guess it is the fact that I have seen way too many deaths when I was young. Being the eldest in the family, I was close to even the distant relatives. And be it my granduncles, by great-grandmother, my grandmother and grandfather and eventually my own father - it was a surge of deaths before I was even 12. At my father's death the immunity took over. I haven't cried at a funeral since.

I have seen some acquaintances and some close friends pass away. Still no tears. It pulled at my heart, but it was dry sorrow.

There is another thing I cannot do. I cannot touch a dead body. I just can't go too close to it. It's not like I am afraid, neither am I overcome by grief. I just can't. The feet do freak me out, frozen and pale. But something else in me, I don't know what, keeps me away, like an invisible shield. Who knows?

And somehow I prefer it. I prefer not publicly showing your sorrow, not wailing out loud in front of people. I always have. It just attracts unnecessary sympathy, it just makes you the centre of attention.

Isn't it better to just let your grief phase out on its own? To let your mind understand the sorrow and learn to deal with it? If it is sorrow due to death, I believe it's a silent and more strong respect to the one who is no more. And if it is any other reason, it just keeps your life where it should stay- with you.

Aug 11, 2009

I just walk past reality sometimes

I am currently reading a magical realist novel. I recently watched an absurdist play that was all about the blending of that fine line between what is real and imagined. And I am forever confused on whether I am real or just an alter ego of some other more 'real' self. (Yes, this does happen when I am entirely sober)

It's strange but I have this habit of suddenly switching off. Literally. I switch off when I am just sitting down, or writing, or walking on the road, or even during conversations. I just stare blankly somewhere, and then its random thoughts bobbing in my head, popping in and out.

There are times when I have wondered how objects got names. Like why did a car get named car. I mean, the word 'kaa-aar' sounds more like a bird. Some little bird who flies really high and swoops down suddenly. 'Hey, a car just flew past and shat on my shoulder!' Now that sounds right doesn't it?

It is very much like a macho guy named Pinky or something. Someone else had a strange epiphany and gave him the name, that now is stuck.

At other times, I have imaginary conversations. I invent situations, and then invent reactions, and my reactions to those reactions. What is the point of this you ask? Really?

Then there are times when the illusions just invade concrete, tangible reality. Reality that could break a few bones (or probably it did). I am walking, or suffering another mode of transport, and everything seems to become hazy. Remember those dreamy, blurred effects in Bollywood movies? Yes, exactly those, sans the foreign locales, expensive clothes, background score and silly dances.

So, coming back to the point. The not-so-picturesque scene becomes blurred, and it seems like everything is moving at a slow pace. It seems like nothing around is real. And that I am just experiencing some time-space warp. Maybe with a click of my fingers, I will reach a nice beach, basking in some pleasant sun with a cool drink in my hands. The poisonous fumes of the bus next to me at the signal detoxify my vision.

I wonder. Is this life really the life we are living? Is it just one monotonous, routine-plagued alter ego of something else? Or is this real and is the lucky alter ego busy having its fun? What harm can a little talking-to-yourself-dreaming-on-the-road do? It's just like adding some dream sequences to the movie of your life. After all, you are the filmmaker and the leading lady, right?