Apr 25, 2016

Love and Longing in Nirmal Verma's literary world

Love! For those short sentences and the long ones with curves. Sensuality. It's exhilarating to experience someone's yearning and it tugs at memories, some familiar, some forgotten. The cold knots untie themselves when  you meet the narrative you've craved. He takes away the noise of feeling, and probes the silence.

It's not often that I let myself be hooked to a book on love and I refuse to use a pseudonym that can only snatch and tear away at the meaning, with each connotation and implied sense. I want the core, and I want it now. His language has the intensity of something that is most often fleeting. That which is inescapable, honest, and brutal yet silenced. He wins my heart. I normally, hate to use terms indicating victory or anything grand because it undercuts the fragility and indicates unwarranted strength. But, I've found this emotion in literature to be a challenge, and shied away from stories that had love somewhere lurking because of fear that it may have been dealt with frivolously.

The gaze of a young narrator feverishly desiring a friend, whose neck crevice is all that tells us about his passion, is utterly bereft of any trace of sadness. It's that intensity, and I was compelled to look for anything similar that I've read in other books (English/Hindi) but I couldn't recall, maybe Browning and Marquez. And unlike me, it's unhurried. There's cadence, rhythm, like a lingering note from Thomas Newman's music. They are tinged with longing, yearning, and he's a master at that.

The matter-of-factly tone to talk about something annoyingly depressive, such as a girl watching a couple from a distance, the man's fingers, and her incapability of expression, is charged with the author's restraint. Annoyingly so. You want to know more, and somewhere you feel he's letting you crave. He's a tease.


Mar 3, 2016

How to be around people - Lessons in Stupidity

I've known myself to be a colossal bungler of conversations. It's not a newly-acquired skill or trying to be that much more relatable but it's just something essentially missing in my head. Common sense, is what my gut says, and I've never really doubted it. From being casually funny to being an in-house embarrassment, my personality is a combination of most features a clown might die to have. Last night, our boss's place, I dropped a measly tomato piece next to his carefully placed plant and a fork eerily close to someone's shoes. When you do these things, you must always ask yourself - do I belong here? Try and quietly move to the other room before someone even notices the lettuce at their feet. Or, when you happen to tell people what others have named them. Strike that. Don't do that. It's not welcome. Back in mid-2000s, people may not have noticed with too much smoke in the room, but now you're probably earning more than you should and someone's bound to call you out. Or put it on the social media, but you're not in U.S. and in India, half of us are busy taking selfies anyway. Yes, you don't do much of that too unless you know how to crop your colleagues from photobombing pics with "Wtf are these two up to?" looks. You also don't, may I emphasise, tell your colleague's girlfriend that he skipped work to bring her to the party or tell her that he made her sit next to you in case there was a food accident waiting to happen. You don't mess with people's relationships. You take it easy and take a rain check for office parties.

Oct 12, 2015


I am a bit removed at this hour
The roads are awry, turning dark
I am not sure if it's me or a ghost 
whether i walk further or don't 
My lament dies with this post

Sep 27, 2015


"We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."  Tennyson