Sunday, October 25, 2009

It isn't fair.
Everytime I look at you I am reminded of what I'm supposed to do. The World According to me must constantly be replenished. But what do I do when the world , according to me, is refusing to let me replenish it. For one thing there is work. For another, there is angst. When, beloved blog, did you transcend from distraction to duty? I do not know whether this transcendence is benevolent; for love is demanding. By its very nature it cannot but pierce you to do right by it.

And so, I pen this seemingly pointless missive, delivered on the binary coded wings of cyberspace pigeons and sincerely apologise. Every day I look at you and wish I could. But I ask you, with humble hope of acceptance, to wait awhile.

I will return.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Hostel Humbug-II: Return of the Plaintive

In my long career as a hostelite, I have learned that every hopeful rookie must expect to have to go through “tests” and interviews prior to admission. Most of these tests usually involved the wardens of these esteemed sanctuaries interrogating me on the values of values, the inflexible nature of the rules of the institution (which often seemed to resemble particularly limber gymnasts) and stern threats of eviction and other dire consequences if one so much as put a sliver of the toe-nail of your littlest toe out of line (which meant displease Her Majesty, the Warden.) The rookie’s job is to look like a complying doormat – contrite and vaguely guilty for being dirty.
With experiences like these to contend with, it was not surprising that I found the University Hostels’ lack of such procedure dubious, to say the least. Un peu disconcerting. All that built up adrenalin for nothing. Or so I thought. Within a fleeting minute of stepping through the peeling portals of The Old Women’s Hostel, the deceptively docile reception morphed into monstrous hydra. Ok may be not so much. It suffices to say that our experiences in the Old Women’s Hostel aged us considerably. Four months of freedom later we, “the stragglers in the desert”, to borrow a phrase from the great Ezra Pound who consumed the greater part of our minds and our collective sanity during the past semester, straggled back to the University and its questionable charms.
The glaring construction pits and sand scabs that scarred the face of the campus faded in the glow of the million megawatt smiles adorning reunited comrades and collective happiness. Of course the lights dimmed drastically when we faced our prospective quarters. The New Women’s Hostel, magnificent in its towering facade should by all rights have been a step up from our Old days. However the step up was several storeys up in this case. Pair this with gargantuan luggage that needed to be transported up three flights, minus the benevolent charity of an elevator, and we have a winner for spontaneous hyper-tension. While all this was manageable - given the efficient training dealt out by the Old Women's Hostel - trudging three flights on a sweltering monsoon day, tugging about 5kgs worth of luggage; only to find a locked room because the squatter who was assigned to your room happily scooted off with the only key, pushed the author clean off the edge of sanity. Several minutes of screaming later the rest of the luggage was herded, by which time the author was too exhausted to commit murder (which explains the presence of aforementioned squatter in good health).
Given such an...interesting entry, it is only natural that the future would bear similar fruit. The New Women’s Hostel comes with its own background music- drills and construction work noises, accentuated by the screams of hapless inmates skidding down the permanently wet bathroom floors followed by the inevitable crash. You see, ever since the University began employing the supremely intelligent scheme of filling every square inch of destroyable land with building, sunlight and ventilation have become scarce entities. And for the same reason, any drenched surface has all possibility of remaining that way for a very, very long time. But the New L.H is technologically empowered! It has three non-functioning fridges and one sort of working washing machine! Plus, because any movement to the Outside will require a battle with the killer stairs, students naturally gravitate towards rest and never leave the room at all for fear of converting all that potential energy into something else. The New L.H is also the preferred abode of the Doggy Matriarch in training, Chaka; who is all set to take over the mantle from Sundari. We have yet again taken to locking our rooms at all times so as to avoid canine visitors.
Be that as it may, the New L.H is not a hell-hole. For one thing it offers us the unimaginable luxury of only two to a room. Similarly, it is also equipped with Godrej Cupboards, as opposed to pokey little fake-wood whatnot that used to adorn our Older abode. And all said and done it is truly palatial in comparison to the ghettos in which our male brethren reside. After all, how can one find fault with our lovely living quarters when our comrades live four to a two-seater and have liquids of dubious nature dripping into their domestic area. The University takes trouble to teach its students the value of perspective. And they are not averse to making their students susceptible to diseases with and without names in the pursuit of this greater goal. Ah what an enlightened batch we are, that we have the good fortune of living through such times where the contractor can ‘forget’ to build bathrooms in the Boy’s Hostel and the management brings out the innovative suggestion of ‘mobile toilets’ – a scenario that most sentient beings would shy away from in horror. With such training, we will forever appreciate the little things in life. Like sanitation. Or silence, for that matter. After all we are alive.
For how long and how sane, is the question.

For those interested in the prequel, here is the link

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Cynic Romantic

There is a fine line between love and hate
For love is not what they say it is.
It is a cancer in the soul of the soul
That consumes itself while multiplying

Love is no joyful glory
That beams out in happy streams
It bleeds in unloving loving
Red and gray and black and green

There is a fine line between love and hate
For what is love but the happy hate?
The same as hate but only lighter-
For it hopes to survive in goodness
While the other glories in truth.