Archive for December, 2011

Did you catch the midnight?

Did you, my reader, catch the midnight?

Did you, limitlessly swaying your waist and martinis, over immoderate lights and sounds, hear another year step by like a barren wife to let a new bride embrace her husband?

Of course you did! You there, the young thing in the iPOD, heard the blockbuster splint through your veins in vapid enjoyment. And you, the gorgeous girl, with no-shed-dread clothing let your last vestiges of morals slip through the discreet hymen in some plush washroom with your drunk lover, working up a storm of passion.

And me. Well, me, I litsened to Janis Joplin, middle fingering God who hasn’t yet send her the Mercedez Benz.

Happy New Year guys.

(Just to clear doubts, am not drunk or in any other altitude of inebriation. Thank you peskies.)

2011, was especially painful for me. Things happened and did not happened. I shouldn’t be sitting here typing away. But I am. I went to this astrologer who told me my personal life’s all messed up. I’ll probably do good in life. I paid her fee and shot outta the place. Yeah probably.¬†

So, well, you know, photography bothers me. I mean, what does a photograph mean, anyway?

Whazzit? There was this amazing play I read where a character said that we’re creating memories every moment. You know. The word I typed before this word is now a memory. And this. And this. So what’re we capturing? A moment. You’re posting. Hey, you, stand and smile. I know you’re feeling terrible. But you know what? The sea’s looking b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l in the background. And we can make it better once we take out the photoshop tools. So just smile. Smile the way you look best. It’s a photograph. We can continue the quarrel back at home. But here, you’re being captured. So say cheeeese!

Until I saw this.

Shell Shocked by Don McCullin

Above is Shell Shocked by Don McCullin. Look at the picture carefully. Or maybe not carefully at all. Just look. This man wasn’t posing. Unfortunately he hadn’t the priviledge to feel the breeze blow by. This man went blank. You know. You must’ve felt it too. Your exam – sometime? Question paper’s in front of you…And you go numb..only for a second..then you gain it back, your senses, your control. This man was in wronger exam. In a war. Where blood was poured like water. Where organs lay about like heaped woollens at a winter sale. When I saw this courtesy my friend and a genial photographer Soham Gupta, I flipped up and said, “Hey, that’s not photography! That’s youknow, what-do-you-call-it.”

That’s that. There’s no word for it. It’s like being maddened with something. An emotion, a passion..and then you don’t want to say those overused three words, I love you. Love You? That’s insulting! How can you even dare to name that emotion.

If you’re back from celebrating the new year. Do celebrate some silence. Celebrate some thoughts. For those who wished they were dead by now, for those who dread the time passing by. For those who can’t say cheese.

Very Happy New Year guys. Have fun ūüôā

Yours, Joblessly      The Jobless Ideator

Categories: Uncategorized

It’s disgusting, I tell you!

Last night, I was taking my lonely walk home from office, I saw two young lads, all decked up in their youth, approaching from the opposite direction. I was in a hurry, ‘coz I had a lot of jobs to finish off. I had to shop for some cooking and send off a courier. It 8ish at night, and the cold was beginning to tell on my infected throat.

Just then, off at earshot distance, I heard one saying to another,

“Kolkata is a dead place. There’s nothing to be gained here.”

So why the hell are you young man? Why have you chosen Kolkata’s dimly-lit, pothole afflicted streets to enjoy your prime? And what about the hours you spend with the neighbourhood chaiwallah drinking strong milk tea on credit until your bill outstrip a year’s pocket money?

They say the dead elephant is worth lakhs. Everybody, including me is dissatisfied, discontented with what we have.

A legend goes that a crying mother carrying her dead son came to the Buddha and cried, “I’ve heard you can perform miracles. Give back my son’s life, O Lord!” The Buddha, opened his eyes closed in meditation, smiled and replied, “Bring me rice from any household that hasn’t faced any sorrow. And I will grant life to your boy.” The woman went from door to door. Everybody was ready to help her with rice. But there wasn’t a single household without sorrow. The woman learnt her lesson and did not demand her son’s life another time.

So, yes, young boys, Kolkata indeed is lagging behind. 34 years of communist rule has wreaked into the system. There a man-holes open here, there are hospitals asphyxiating their patients there, there are schools choosing students in a lottery. But Ramu Da’s cha remains, the coffee house remains, the Dover Lane remains, Kabir Suman remains, Trincas remains. And you, who live and spread discontent like wildfire also remain. If you want it to change, get up and change it. Else, keep your traps shut. Thank You.

Yours, Joblessly,      The Jobless Ideator

Categories: Uncategorized

Dear Diary,

I’ve noticed diaries are no use. One just cannot be honest. Or go anywhere near it. When the curiosity got better of me I’ve peeped into diaries lying carelessly or too carefully (I tell you from experience, neither is safe). I thought I would come across startling secrets and mushy lives, adventures of the mind and the body. Most often I have been dissapointed. It’s hard to be honest to white pages. I feel the written word is always for readers. Always. Whether it is a diary or a blog. It is tinged with the urge to advertise your skills, which may range from your linguistic skill to your exaggarated life. I’ve read blogs and letters and books. Very very rarely have I found a virgin expression. Something raw and innocent, something that comes from a source unknown and sleeping in a clueless yet satisfied slumber. Some lines like this stay in my mind. Mostly they are descriptions. I’ll give you two examples. A line from Maugham’s “The Razor’s Edge” describes a russian or french wine (pardon me for my befogged mind) as being an innocent green in colour – the green you find at the heart of a white rose. Now, we’ve all seen a white rose (or so I hope, It’s my favourite flower in my favourite colour), but how many of us would think of describing the colour of a wine with the colour that lies at the heart of the flower. Lines like these give me a deep nudge and make me ever grateful to God for men like these. Another line like this had a similar effect on me. This one’s from Sylvia Plath’s “Bell Jar” where the protagonist describes her state of mind as the vortex of a brewing storm – silent, listless and overwhelmed by the excesses of activity in the fast and furious life at New York city. I have a strong feeling that when the author wrote these lines, he/she was closest to innocence and hence honesty. I do not equate Honesty with Truth. The same way I do not equate Truth with Fact. Honesty to me is an inexplicable quality that is very rarely available, atleast in the written word. Honesty for an author is to bring forth a moment in its virgin beauty and not tampering with the raw experience that he/she enjoyed at that very moment. Question may arise as to fiction being not true in most cases. I mean, a story is a story. How do you actually capture the protagonist’s experience, no matter how close you are with your character. Thereby, a certain distance is bound to occur between the observer and the observed, or more precisely, the author and his creation. Frankly, I have no clear answer to this paradox. What I have is evidence. Evidence from literature, music, painting and other arts where the Creator has fused with his Creation and what has come forth is honesty and simplicity, the two most difficult things to achieve in this difficult world. However, there are more problems. Truth is stark while honesty is mellow. It is not diluted. It is mellow. I’ll make an amateurish attempt to exhibit this:

Sentence A: I saw a corpse on the street. The communists had made sure it went beyond identification. Blood gurgled out in rapid spurts and the organs filled the streets.

Sentence B: A fine morning it was. Until the communists claimed their victim in the name of some complicated Marxist philosophy. He lay dead. A universe of thoughts and family had ended. What remained was a ghastly reminder of how heidious our insides look when butchered out for an absurd alibi.

Pardon me for an extremely feeble attempt. But the point I want to establish here is that, you need to connect. And what connects more – a murder or a crime? Think about it. Let me also clear the nibbling question that may be bothering your grey cells right now – “well, you’re romanticizing. you’re escaping. that’s easy. it’s reality that’s difficult.” Why do we need water to swallow a pill? Why can’t we just just chew it up. Works all the same, doesn’t it? We don’t because the moment a tablet/capsule comes in contact with our tongue, there’s this bitter taste that is unpalatable (try it!). The water smoothens the business. It serves the purpose. It’s not a shortcut. It’s not escape. It’s a method for betterment. This post seems to have taken up a voice of its own! I didn’t mean to write all this. Just happened. That’s the word. It should ‘just happen’. That is where the magic lies.

Yours, Joblessly,     The Jobless Ideator

Categories: Uncategorized

Jingle Bells all the way! :)

Above you have the Hindi Title track of The Jungle Book. The Jungle Book, as you must be knowing, is a much-loved work for children by Rudyard Kipling. This is by far, the most easily remembered jingle from the heydays of Doordarshan. Back then, Japanese ‘hairy’ cartoon creatures had not bumped down the Idiot Box Street and a few of us, spending cozy childhoods in the early 90’s enjoyed something more substantial. Maybe because of the gender issue, or ‘coz am plain crazy, I do not subscribe to the mobbish fan following of Ben Ten, Pokemon or other such stuff that blast off the kid’s space like visual land mines. Anyway, So this came on Sundays followed by this

and this

and this

You can well imagine how I used to gobble up my maths tables (very unsuccesfully), rip geography apart (literally), skip the prepositions and sneak up to my sister’s study to gain additional support. My sis, equally excited, pitter pattered with the pens and balanced chemistry equations and her eyes on the watch, ticked off the time with a nervous giggle, and scampered casually into the living room of our exceptionally small apartment. And then, our black and white television crackled to life unwillingly, like an old man on gin, woken up at the wrong hour. And then. Well, then, heaven was ours. Since then, I’ve been an involutary collector of jingles. Old, obscure ones. Popular ones, forgotten ones, everything.

Take R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days for instance. I still haven’t seen anything like it. This had Carnatic Classical jingle, which was dripping with nostalgia of the old fictitious town called Malgudi, tucked away somewhere in southern India. The serial began with the music accompanied masterful handrawn illustrations by veteran cartoonist Chandi Lahiri.

Then there was the legendary Mahabharat and Ramayan. I was in Chinsura, Hooghly district at the time. On the days Mahabharata was due, the whole city changed from a lazy-go-lucky one to a perky-go-hurry one. Everyone, from the little lad at the tea stall to the bald middle aged intellectual in the dhoti,had a spring in the step, a twinkle in the eye. As if they had suddenly found something to live for. Everyone was in a hurry to finish off all the errands. Bazaars opened early. Haggling and bargaining on the fish was cut down to a bare minimum. The entire population was building up an apetite for the showdown. Today, Bheeshma was going to make the choice. Today, Krishna wasgoing to convince Arjuna to pick up the arms against his own people. Today, everything would be drowned for one hour. The maid that hasn’t been coming for a week was forgiven. The mother-in-law and the bride forgot their infamous brick-brat. The mother forgot about her son’s maths exam the next day. One hour. And eternity settled down.

I remember this incredible anecdote which just goes on to say¬†just what¬†this show meant. My brother and I are just 9 months apart. He¬†should be around fourish then. He developed¬†a jealousy towards Mahabharata. He saw the entire household go berserk, turn¬†all their precious attention from him to the show! So what did he do? He was too¬†young to figure¬†out how the television¬†set operated and therefore couldn’t switch it off.He simply parked himself right in front of the screen so that we couldn’t see the programme.¬†The elders coaxed and cajled.¬†He was always pacified only when somone¬†pulled out an oldtin of white puffed rice (bengali: muri), from¬†under the bed. He gave up, came back, and munched on the muri,¬†while all of us gaped at the screen. ¬†

And there are lots more I remeber. Little peppy numbers smelling of happy times.

Like bells jingling. Like carols rising over the babe in the manger. Like an ill timed cake just popping out of my oven. Merry Christmas guys. Let the Santas Live. Amen.

Yours, Joblessly      Te Jobless Ideator

“Shall we dance, Mr. Clarke?”

[It’s exactly 02.41 am on December 25, 2011 here in Kolkata, India. I wish you all Merry Christmas. And Mr. Gere, I love you ūüôā ]

You could guess from the title what am excited about. It’s an old movie called Shall We Dance¬†featuring Richard Gere (I repeat, I love him) and Jeniffer Lopez. So it’s Saturday (now, a Sunday) and I got some movies on hire, determined to spend time with myself, forget office, forget I haven’t a friend in this planet, forget that I’m depressive and boost a false ego saying that am on a life drug that’s gonna carry me through all the mess am in. So well, I sat down with this movie. Now, 2 years before, I would’ve loved it all the same. But there’s a difference now. Back then, I might’ve given it objectivity. And objectivity solves a lot of problems. You see the film with the mythical popcorn, which you have to eat no matter what to keep up appearences, and you really really REALLY enjoy it. But now, am in bit of a soup. You see, I tend to drift into stories more often now. I tend to get my heartstrings entangled more consistently. And tangled strings don’t always give you Beethoven. To cut a long story short. I got way too much involved and it hurt big time. A moment I caught myself gaping at the pair finding lost passion only to realize that some irrepairable parts of me are escapng a hard false vigil.

[I really do love you Mr. Gere]

I had stave it off with The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, watching it back-to-back. But then it again drove me to this blog. Have you ever experienced this? You know, a line somewhere, a scene, a whole movie, that gets too close for comfort? The cynical me is reminded that it’s all up for sale. You could just invent a time machine and go right back to the set of the movie. Miss Mitzi’s Dance Class, where John Clarke came searching for happiness. And what do you find? You find your tears and your inspiration’s worth a ‘Roll Camera, Action!’

Or you could look at it the oter way. Indian actor, Sachin Khedekar, said this in some obscure interview, “I love being an actor. It’s living many lives in one life.” Now, this is just one of the things that has stayed with me. If you look at it this way, it’s beautiful. Really. Here are lives within other lives, that are affecting other lives. You set up dreams, and some touch other people. You’re a God. You actually have the power to make a John Clarke, or a Godfather, a Hannibal, a Mr. Holmes, anything. You make money if it sells. You make good conscience if it changes something somewhere. I really hope somebody’s thinking this way.

Thinking of Sachin Khedekar nostalgizes me to the days when we as a family of 4 used to dote on this sitcom called Imtihaan (Test/Examination/Trial). Sachin Khedekar was a young actor just starting out in the sit com and the cable television had not yet barged into the scene with naked girls on satin sheets urging little boys to masturbate for the love of life. This sitcom had a beautiful sad soundtrack. (By the way, I have a peculiar love for title tracks of sit coms. I remember almost all from childhood. I’ll have a post about this if it fancies me.). This obviously wasn’t available on youtube ‘coz everybody’s forgotten it. So am just laying down the lines for you.

Aankhon se rokh le, ye hain assuon ka toofan/ye hi hai zindagani, har kadam pe hai imtihan

Hold back that storm of tears/This is life, a trial awaits you at every step

I hope you and me learn to do the same. For every passion that seizes us to forgotten tears, may we find another door open. May we, indeed hold back the storm of tears. Amen.

Thank you Mr. Gere. We all love you. (Well, me, maybe a little bit more!! )

Merry Christmas everyone. May the good old man fill your darnd stockings with loads of Courage.

P.S. – Just for the sake of the festive spirit, can I expect some inee minee comments. Please?

Yours, Joblessly       The Jobless Ideator

Categories: Uncategorized

Something in the Way

I’ve written other blogs before. And written them easierly. Mostly ‘coz they were the exhibitionist sort. Sometimes, it’s easier to do stuff which others will appreciate. That’s incredible, you may say. Incredible, that you already have the key to the pandora’s box. Incredible that you know how to attract people. Incredible that you have guys falling for you, newspapers lashing into your cozy bedrooms, intellectuals smouldering you with their cigarette butts at resplendant cafes across this curious planet.

That’s how the calculation goes. That’s how it goddamn should be. But for some, it’s not. The very fact that you have the means and power to have it all, bothers people. Like me. I was speaking of blogs I wrote before. Of poetry contests I participated. And every mercilessly crafted perfect word, shot an axle of pain through my gut. What the hell are you doing? This isn’t you.

I’m still trying to be me. Through this blog. For those who’ve unfortunately stumbled over this, and scoffed at the ‘easierly’ in the second entence, well, that’s me. I marched into my work space today, trying to keep to the words of the great ad guru, who says coming early settles you with the spirit of creativity. And the closer to sleep you are, the closer to clarity you’ll get. Next, I stumbled into this amazing blog called, Was Jack Kerrouc a Punjabi?¬†which goofed me up back to my easierlies. Then I checked out my inbox, and lo and behold! a twinkle and a belly o’ laughter tipped me over with Uncle Shelby himself!

I’m in the mood. Exactly the mood where I should be hallucinating the horses of death as in J.M. Synge’s Rider’s to The Sea. In the mood for delectable madness that often cringes out a hoarse wild free anger outta my gut. In the mood for bloodshot eyes and roving abuses which my dear mother fears and pesters about. But I gotta work. Like you. I gotta sit down and concentrate on a research document on how inflation has modified spending behaviour in my city.

It’s not bad per se. As long as I can do it my way. Which believe me, doesn’t happen. It didn’t happen with Kurt Cobain either.

I had this wonderful stroke of luck to have a phone conversation with Kabir Suman, one of bengal’s foremost musicians. He told me known things, things I’ve felt on many a lonely night when the whole city is drowned in meaningless carousing and wild numbers and lunging at artificially enhanced female assets. “Do you know there’s a human sub species, just like in other mammals? We’re that. We’re not human. We’re outsiders.” He said it with a gentlemanly vengeance which passed like a fire stoke through my body in the neon lit darkness. You’ll understand him a little in his songs here.

Ho hum, let’s get back to saleable promotions, and false pretences to get me through another day in this meaninglessness.

It’s not easy out here. There’s Something In The Way.

Yours, Joblessly       The Jobless Ideator

Categories: Uncategorized

We are Ideating!

Warning: Infuriating self-talk ahead

‘Hey! You gotta start writing something!’

‘(yawn) Wha-a-t? Me? Am in office mate. I get my best sleep here!’

‘What the hell do you mean, you fool? Why did you make this blog in the first place?’

‘Did I? DID I? O holy-brainless-jobless me! Suppose I have ta write now!’

‘Yes, dear! Cut out the false accent, will ya?’

Stricter Warning: Potentially serious talk ahead

A very warm welcome indeed to all! (stop imagining you’re the run up to Lady Ga ga’s stage show. Nobody’s litsening!)

Let’s cut out the cynicism, the pessimism and the dangerous isms that pull us down. I’ve started this blog with a dream. (Wh-a-at! Not again!! )

A dream to repair and salvage the goodness in our exceptionally complicated lives. And I’ve chosen a path for it – To Ideate.

Don’t even c-r–a–w–l to a conclusion. This blog isn’t about being a strategist, a visionary, a scientist. It is all this and more. It’s about loving life and celebrating imperfections. It is about laughing at your own expense, scoffing off problems and turning them to opportunities. It’s all very easily said.


But worth a try, ain’t it?

The name and inspiration for this blog comes from a certain IBM commercial (play it above!). The commercial is one that has stuck to my mind like an unforgettable dream. It might seem witty-funny and exceptionally impractical to you. But it gave me something to think about.

Ideating – Whazzat? Really – what is it?

Ideating to me is the germ of living happily. It’s like the Leonard Cohen song which asks you not to pass by life like a tourist. To stop and actually take stock of what you’re doing. To inject meaning, hope and happiness into every moment. Yes, I too, have seen it all. Love, loss, death. Am sure you have too. Don’t give up, I say. God’s given you the largest brain in this whole universe. And what do you do with it? Have tea, flip the newspaper, tap on the keyboard, yawn at board meetings, Tweet and Chat. Watch porn. Go through the motions. And one fine day, your eyes grow misty, your breathing becomes heavy, you don’t have the strength to even lift up that hand to wipe the tears of regret,¬†and poof! you’re no more! Startled? That’s exactly what’s gonna happen. I’m not telling you to go berserk, be a nomadic hooligan. No, that isn’t the only way. You can tap at your keyboard and still hum a song. This blog is just my way of saying: Wake Up! Think! Do Something!

And I am back. To the¬†less preachy self. Just come up here and share. Follow threads, participate in the Sickly Sunday issues and do pour your heart out. You need space there ūüôā¬†

Here I end my first post. Please do comment. Please Please. Please.

Cut it out! You sound desperate enough!

You sure? ūüôā

Yours, joblessly The Jobless Ideator

FBI*   Do visit the extremely uninspiring Facebook Page. And force yourself to share it. Thank you!

* FBI – Forgotten Boring Information
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