Othello is waiting Slicing his sword Othello is waiting Bare and bold Out in his dome Leaving Des alone To fight with her past Erase it till it lasts A large audience In O’s arena Stares in silence At O’S furious red eyes Where is Des gone? In whose bed she lies? Des lies trapped In her dreaming room Broken bars of the asylum Conceive her doom
Fate cast its spell And Des jumped in the well Outraged Othello pushed his sword Into his feeble heart, and roared The crowd in silence Huddled to lament Until Othello found Des In a parallel universe Freed of her spell, He held her in his sight Redemption he begged Stripped and exposed Of his imperfect self Des looked up into his guilty eyes Cocooned her skin in his chest And the dagger that was love Became ambrosia instead.
"One Electric Iced Tea and one Mohito comin’ right up!" "Oh my god, they are playin Floyd!" "Hey, buy me that t-shirt!!" "Are you sure you can walk to the souvenir store without banging onto anything??" The seats are close together. The people sitting on it are even closer together. In thought, in words, in prayer. Not just hands, eyes and feet. The moon is shining somewhere brightly outside. The city is caught up in the humdrum of monotony. But those two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl are too dizzy with joy to care about the world outside. The music is making them sway and things that were unsaid are expressed in the words of Floyd.
Heads come closer, lashes meet, lips touch and the two lost souls belong.
Prologue: Psychologically, they say that sex is exactly similar to eating large amounts of chocolates. The same hormones are secreted during sex and the process of eating the cocoa bean. Lately, I have moved to surat, this place is so boring (after having been high and definitely not dry in Bombay) that even those 27 diffused bombs failed to create any excitement in my life. I have no friends here and all the Mirabens (the lady who brings tea at my office) and Atulbhais (my autowala) have become buddies of my daily routine. But every afternoon, my mind goes into a severe silence of anguish. I feel like a billionaire brought to the streets. Even though my salary remains the same, my lifestyle is like that of a bored college professor who cannot control his noisy classroom. Hence every afternoon, for ten minutes I disappear from my place of work. Do you know where to find me? I’ll be at the local kirana store where uncle calls me beta and hands me any chocolate I point at. It all started with a simple Rs. 5 Kitkat. But the allure and temptation of sin was so intense that I had to go back the next day for a Rs. 10 one. That bar of kitkat was a real devil! Just like the devil it was charming, seductive and of course adorned in Red. For those ten minutes under the tin roof of Uncleji’s shop life was heaven. Sometimes it rained and at other times it was warm and sunny. This has become a ritual of my single life. Unfortunately, I am not living in New York or even Bombay. Hence I can’t just dive into an Hermes showroom or gift myself a massage at a plush spa or even have coffee with a cute guy. Hence the chocolates! Thanks to logistical support you can find them anywhere, be it Orange County, Wisteria lane or Surat. If you are the kind of gal who likes a flamboyant boy friend who makes it impossible for you to predict what he’ll do next, Cadbury’s Fruits and nuts is the right choice for you because you don’t know which nut you’re gonna bite into next (no pun intended). If you are the kind of gal who likes a hot guy, I recommend Cadbury’s Temptation. If you want to enjoy a rough and bumpy ride pick up a Crackle! If its true love that you seek, I suggest Dairy milk. If you prefer younger men, buy a Wowie! If you are old school; just bite into a Milky bar. If you love biker boys and rock stars, 5 star is the one for you. If you seek a sophisticated and flamboyant man like Vijay Malya or Kabir Bedi; go back coz Uncleji doesn’t stock Ferroro rochers. If you are someone like me who doesn’t know what she wants yet, then taste a new flavor everyday! But the easiest thing that would save you some money and keep your figure intact would be to go out and make friends! That’s where I am headed next. Uncleji, do you have a son, a daughter, or a pet dog maybe?
Smoke on a layer of ice a quarter of a year, lived a lie a dewy window pane outside a deserted lane jittering teeth, a frozen tear numb limbs, a heart in fear no sensation at palm ends is this where the journey begins or life ends? nerves craving for a feeling skin thirsty for a healing lips dried up and pale gaping at their tale tired of asking questions worn out of their explanations hands folded, crossed legs the chill now reaches the brain the soul doesnt bleed again pale blue eyes have forgotten to complain if pain can replace inadequecy, then let pain show thy some mercy if a burn can replace this emptyness then let her light her furnace and fill up this cold room with her fire let to the sun, the frost aspire.
Today I woke up with a restless mind that decided to do something really cool with her time which is mostly spent idle (especially in the office.) Many people write dream journals where they keep posting their dreams on a regular basis. I know that nobody really cares what dreams they had after about 11 minutes of waking up. We soon forget the besieging thought, the soul searching question and the innerving imagery in the hustle and bustle of our daily life spent running like the family members of Eshaan Awasthi in the song "hai duniya ka naara... jamey raho”. So I decided to do something the dyslexic kid would enjoy doing. I have decided to articulate my dreams in a blog which I have proudly christened the-dreaming-room. It may sound tacky but I am going to come up with all these marketing gimmicks to make it look gothic and intriguing when it appears in search results! Yes the dark side of the dark side exposed. I am quite sure that my dreams have got the genuine potential to give Goosebumps to anyone, especially myself. But mostly they just end up giving people a lot to crack jokes about. Be it horses or be it Lucifer, my friends would tell you how much my dreams have contributed to the laughter and theatre of many. So wish me luck on my first marketing assignment of creating a scary/weird/psychotic/arKane dream blog called the-dreaming-room. Humor on this subject will not be appreciated.
PS: The dreaming room screening process: each and every dream will have to go through a screening process. That doesn’t mean they have to be screened on a 70 mm screen. The dreams will be scrutinized on their content and nature. Reader discretion is advised.
Sitting on the edge of a crowded seat, at the Surat railway station, platform no. 1, I realize that I have 30 minutes to kill till the train comes and rescues me from the boringness and gujju-ness of this bomb-proof city. Habituated to the hustle and bustle of Bombay life, I got ready an hour early and now I lie here like a loser, bloggin' on a railway platform. I started writing with some other subject in mind but now I feel like writing about something else. Maybe, about the goodbye speech I never made while bidding farewell to friends/colleagues at work here. A change is always exciting. So when my bosses told me to go to Surat, I was; well 'excited'. They say you shouldn’t make friends at work, shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, shouldn’t trust your colleagues etc etc. but I broke all those rules, although cautiously and I am still alive! I made friends in people of the kind I had discarded all my life. But still learnt immensely from them!
I was here for a month. If I was here for too long, I would have got attached to this place and the idiosyncrasies of this race! However, I leave today with a smile after raising a glass with those 3 friends in the same Dil Chahata Hai fashion that I always fantasized.
Now I am headed home. Right when I thought I was 22 and liberated, they put me back in the comfort of my own home with everything served on a platter, a car, a driver, world space radio, DVD, laptop, TV, fridge etc among other things that I was doing without in Surat. Important among those other things are mom, dad, sis and granny. The sun is shining brighter now and the engine's whistling louder. I can see my train at the distant track calling me home...!
So there I was, a young twenty one year old small town girl discovering freedom and independence in the big city of Bombay through my 2 month college internship stint. Fortunate enough to work at the ‘happening’ linking road, I generally take an auto to the Bandra station from where I become one of those millions who hang on to the steel handles of the Borivili fast local. But this day was different. I had just heard news of mayhem in Chembur, buses being burnt, two wheelers set ablaze and the like. My well wishers asked me not to take the train but travel by auto instead. However, I was too stubborn and adventurous to miss my favorite train ride with the wind in my hair, and the tracks at my feet.
But when my auto halted at the Bandra station, I realized I don’t have the much needed chutta (change) and it was predictable insight that the auto walla didn’t have it either. So I hunted frantically and asked girls in weird Om Shanti Om inspired hair bands for “sou ka chutta” but they didn’t have it. I asked everyone who passed by only to be disappointed. Then there came this simple looking lean-built, middle class man. He only had a Rs. 20 note with him. Another disappointment, but I made my thanks, anyway face. But this man offered to pay the fare and suggested that I could buy him a Pepsi from nearby instead.
This idea startled me. Being taught not to trust any strangers especially with theChembur drama around, I said that it was alright, thanks! I would take the coveted chutta from someone else. Meanwhile my auto walla cum silent spectator to chaos was getting impatient. Apparently he was parked at a no parking and he started complaining that he couldn’t stay there much longer.
This untrustworthy stranger, with the simplest and humblest of human expression I have ever seen said that he would pay the money, “chalega”; he said. But I couldn’t accept it, how could I? But there was no way out! He had already shelled out his twenty, I muttered a confused and baffled thank you and before I knew what had happened he had walked away after paying my fare.
I was amazed, I was confused, I was baffled I was surprised. I ran inside the station and asked some bhajiya wala if he had the still coveted chutta, but he didn’t either. Now I knew that there was no point running back and trying to give him back his money because he would have already disappeared in the Mumbai shehar ki bheed. The favor had already been done.
I caught my Borivali fast local and also became one in the Mumbai shehar ki bheed, but with a tear in my eye. I realized that amidst a backdrop of fear, hatred and violence there are still strangers who will surprise us with their humility and kindness. Amidst stories of rapes, murders and suicides there will also be a story of hope, help and humbleness. Mumbai still confuses me. Is it bold and selfish or kind and humble? Is it rash and rich or poor and begging? Is it hip and starry eyed or is it silent and coy. Whatever it may be, Mumbai as a city will always make me smile when I think of my auto rickshaw odyssey.
Screech. Bump. Tear. Blood. Pain. Numbness. Sleep. Trance. I could have wondered where the whole gang disappeared but I was too busy searching for nothing in the pitch darkness. I couldn’t see my own hands and feet. I felt like I don’t exist. Suddenly I heard music. It wasn’t Floyd, nor was it Nirvana (no pun intended) but I was in a perpetual daze. Suddenly I felt a hand, which pulled me towards it. It was a feminine hand that led me to a dance. I started swaying purposefully to the music. She said, “Don’t. Just let yourself free”. I obeyed. Soon enough my body was in a slow rhythmic motion. I held her tight, as tight as I could. But the more I held her, the lighter she became. It felt like there was no floor beneath her and I was the only one holding her. I could feel her melting in my clutch. She became infinitesimally light and then her frame vanished without a warning. I woke up in the ICU. I could remember nothing but I could still feel the aura of the other world. Those three minutes in the clasp of death still entice me to return.