So-not long enough

More ranting and tears after a long break…

I tried writing. Tried. But I really, really badly didn’t want to write. I sat in front of the laptop and wanted to type but didn’t know what to say. Then I picked up my phone and looked for things on various social media platforms to give attention. I even thought about how tacky it was that I wanted to do something just so I could write about it. I never actually tried, tried writing. But I did think about trying to write. It was exhausting. I even made a list of things I’d write about

  1. The movies I keep going back to
  2. TV shows that I’ve been binge watching
  3. then I add something else and forget all about it

Because I was making all these lists in my head… And then I forgot.

But these are things that are…

© Vinay Green, 2017
My work space

I decided to watch Captain America Civil war, finally. Captain is my favourite superhero despite my disapproval of the things he represents at least in the first movie. I love the way his character is developed over the each film and through the series of three films. It’s a great watch and beautiful distraction from my thoughts that don’t let me sleep each night.

My blog has enough substance to have been running by itself for the last few months even without posting its generating 50-100 views a month and none of them is me! It’s something to be proud of but these posts are embarrassing and private thoughts that I put out for the world to see. I’m probably going to wait for the right push and delete the site after backing it up, hopefully. Or just archive it. I finally did manage to do some of the hard ones from my to-do list. Maybe I can finish more of them before I leave the city that I’ve always lived in.

© Vinay Green, 2017
A summer afternoon on the streets of Bangalore

I did a month of superb standard of socialising that I usually seem to muster in the months of summer when the sunshine is impossible to miss. Now the clouds are here and I’ve begun to ware out and my socialising strength is dying and I just want to rot. I’ve been constantly told, “You love to feel bad for yourself. Stop doing it to yourself.” and a bunch of other things that belittled my barley and vaguely existent self-esteem. I have whined through my blog and I seem to whine always and so much it was a joke to call me Whine-ay. Apparently, it’s very funny. I don’t see it because it’s at my expense but whatever. My whining is my call for help and I’ve been childish in dealing with it but that’s what happens when children are indulged.

Being called a creep wasn’t bad enough because I still didn’t stop trying to impress someone who only wanted to detest me. I have always loved the approval of a superior, teacher or anyone in the authority figures place and Freud calls it daddy issues and he’s probably not wrong. I was trying to compensate for all the attention daddy wasn’t giving. These were times where I was very impressionable like I have been my entire life and I meet people that I want to be like or please or am jealous of because they seem to please the people I bend head over heels to please. Now this obviously drives me insane but I manage to hold on to my sanity or whatever passes of for sanity these day to function like I’m normal.

Self portrait
Self portrait- a pink attempt.

To me trying to impress was an epic fail of historic proportion. In the end I was the reliable guy, dependable but not good enough to be what I aspired to be for two years. Moments like these are when my life flashes in front of me and the numerous times I wasn’t good enough or wasn’t white enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough and maybe even upper caste enough. I do want attention and I’ve never had a second thought in asking for it but I was never going to beg for it. When I knew something was over, it was over. I wasn’t going to pretend like it’s fixed but doesn’t mean I’d go around being silly childlike about it except when I’m “Whinay-ing” about it to a friend.

What will it take an individual to realise they are being a bully. Just because you were bullied doesn’t mean you can’t be bully. My degree in Psychology has helped me access information and valid proof that proves a dominant power position is all that takes to make an individual from a sweet, sullen and potentially harmless to a vicious and savage creature capable of monstrous things. And this transformation is so subtle that it’s impossible to spot it even when it’s painted red and right in front.

The beast
A kitty that can claw your eyes out.

I feel heavy at heart because a lot of hate was brewed against me. People who acted as friends were the ones after getting into troubles and graves that I didn’t even dig. I slowly learnt my lesson and by then I had found bigger fish that were taking bigger bites of my soul and flesh. I by now had entangled myself into a web that I had cast to catch dreams but it managed to pick all my nightmares and magnified them to an extent where I only wanted to kill myself because it was the easiest way out of here.

I came to the last leg of the race and I stopped caring, there were too many frivolous complexities that I had managed to build but couldn’t break so I let them all stay.  But I managed to build up so much hate, fear, contempt and just plain sorry for myself that it’s over flowing through me and I need to end this disgustingly heavy weight inside of me by setting on fire and purging this pain.

I’d forgotten what it felt like when a tear rolled down my cheek leaving behind a moist trail. (As it manages to curve down my 12 O clock shadow and jump on to my neck.)

 All the Pictures on this post belong to me.

© Vinay Green, 2017

Losing it

“I wouldn’t be surprised,

In the middle of the night, to

Find Vinay watching me in my room. I’d just say

“Go home Vinay, it’s creepy.””

And she laughed loudly at me, then repeated it

To everyone around me.

We are… were friends, I tried many times to be

Friendly,

And not creepy.

“You’re so touchy!”

Yes, yes I’m touchy.

Because when you stand there mocking me,

Or joking about me or saying something to get a reaction from me and think

It’s “damn funny”

You are pushing me,

From the top, of my self-esteem, into a dark pit of anxiety.

I’m scared, if I stop being touchy

Then you’ll think, it’s okay to punch me;

Then I’ll be in high school again

Getting beaten up by the boys around me.

And I’ll be losing it.

I’m scared to go to high School reunions,

‘Cos my bully’s might want to throw a punch.

Or break my face,

Just for old time’s sake.

But I still met one, he convinced me

That maybe we could be friends, again

Like we used to be.

I met him in his car, we had a nice chat

And then he asked me

To blow him and I started crying.

I was losing it,

Every step into adulthood,

I forget who I am and end up in

My very own hell, inside my head.

Or don’t

Either you do or you don’t; it’s a yes or a no. Life in my defence has always been either white or black and nothing else ever existed in my world view. The grey  area never existed up until then and the first time we met, I nearly drowned in an ocean of self-pity.

Or is this all my entitled, privileged and spoilt child attitude. It’s a question that I can’t answer honestly because personal bias effects the answer or opinions involved with these questions or conflicting thoughts. It’s a struggle that’s universal apparently because as a child I thought the worrying made me different and special but it clearly doesn’t do very much at all, because everyone else does it too.

Or is it just my constant need for attention or self that is so desperate for human approval and this makes my needs and urges seem normal for that brief period of time. Like Lucy in the sky and a rat in collection of a hobo’s sale of needless things. Idiot things to be or just not be worry about being horny all the time.

The ranting on a expensive bed after a rich dinner I’d add is the epitome of laziness rooted in the Freudian slippage stags.

Vegetal: It smells Green

“It smelled like green and I thought Vinay will like this description” he told me as we sipped lemon tea at Chai chowk. He was in Madekari district last week and when he reached Abby waterfall, there was a strong vegetal aroma that he could only describe as green.

“What does green smell like to you?” He asked me. Green smells like freshly cut grass (I know how clichéd that sounds) but it wasn’t the first thing in my head but after I contextualised it made more sense and the grass was it. But the mental image was far more different.

I did see and smell fresh cut grass but it’s early in the morning, the dew on the grass is still cold and stepping around there is petrichor in the air but only subtly. This still feels inadequately described and that’s when the argument that was made in the book “The illicit happiness of other people” by Manu Joseph hits me. Language is a limited device, it can never completely help describe many things and that might just be a means to hinder human evolution. This feels like a conspiracy theory but honestly there are many things that sound or seem simple till I start describing it to another person and feel the incomplete.

This inability to describe is something I fumble into when I’m describing or talking about nature, smell, visuals, shadows, light or sometimes just how it feels to touch an object and how that feels against the skin.

Middle name: Second thought

I have second thoughts about everything, every step I take, every move I plan and sometimes even about eating. I don’t know what it means to not doubt my actions and just proceed with a thought. I’m not impromptu, never did anything spontaneous, and living everyday already feels too spontaneous to do anything else. Some classic second thought moments are below.

Breakfast: It’s pulav, smells great but don’t feel like getting out of bed. But I’m hungry, I’d have to brush my teeth too. I could just go back to sleep and get up for lunch but I may not fall asleep because I’m getting hungrier.

Meeting a friend: I’ll have to get out of the house and before that I’ll have to shower, wash my hair, dress up and talk to people. I enjoy getting out and meeting only people who are a delight to hangout with or I find interesting.
The Ride (to anywhere): I could still cancel, blame family and if it’s important say someone died and get out. But I tell myself, every few minutes to pull through the crap and I’d not hate it. Then as I get closer, the urge either gets stronger or gets weaker. Weaker it gets easier it seems to get through the ordeal, and on days it’s strong, I run back home from the venue and apologies for not showing up.

Ordering : I can never pick an order, I usually look up the menu a day before and decide what I’d want to order. It’s easy bit sometimes I fever EV CV hf

Day 3 Goa

We now have nothing else to see in North Goa. We went to the butterfly conservatory a private establishment, it wasn’t worth the travel or time or money. You could have spent that money on a data pack and watched a YouTube video which would be more informative about butterflies.

Then we headed to a Spice plantation that was another kind of a rip off. They offered a tour of the farm and food for 700/- rupees which was way too expensive even for an organic lunch. We want back to old Goa and had lunch at the River Isle Restaurant. They had descent food, very polite staff, a great view but the service was so crazy slow, my grandchildren from the future called saying they received the order I’d placed.

We went out and shopped at Mapusa market, it was a beautiful local market. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, clothes, jewellery, utensils, baked confectionery, crockery, you name and they will have it; we went looking for the famous pottery bazaar in the market.

We bought 8/9 pots all for rupees 500/- and then we walked around the place and bought some carrot cake at a bakery. It was dry, but when I microwaved it and added ice cream, it was heavenly, hopefully a fresh one would have been more moist.

We headed out to dinner from there and in the car I realised the irony in the idea of a Family vacation. It should be an oxymoron, because everyone goes on a vacation to get away from family, probably why people have mistresses too.

Goa, day 2

​We woke up late. Not just me but all of us, we got to breakfast only at 9:30 because they’d not serve us breakfast after that, we thought. Then we only left our rooms by 12 in the afternoon and no regrets there, it was relaxing and kinda carefree. I guess at least the care free part of the vacation is happening and I was good with it for now.

We headed to Divar island but landed in Chorão Island which was also a river island with a bird Sanctuary that was closed. Then we got off the island to find the next ferry to take us across the Monrovia river. The weather gets hot but the humidity balances it out and a fan makes living comfortable.

The real trouble was when my dad didn’t stop at the stretchs of grass to take pictures but stopped 2 kms later at the Mandovi river back waters. This was the spot where we’d get the ferry to old Goa, a nice ride.

We got off the ferry to run into the Church of St Catherine and then the Basilica of bom jesus. Beautiful pieces of pre-colonisation architecture and every step on the floor felt like it was a step back in to history. 

Then we went to eat at the first visible restaurant, Green yard Restaurant and the food was served after an hour of waiting. It wasn’t great food or bad food but it killed our dinner appetite, that was very disappointing.

Shopping on 18th June street and was a plan , but we didn’t really shop because there wasn’t anything local. Our walk helped us discover a coffee place there, it reminded me of Bangalore’s Indian Coffee house. The food looked so good but I couldn’t eat anything  because of the heavy stomach from a late and sad lunch, but the coffee place was worth sitting and exploring their variety of  cheaply priced food.

Another swim in the pool but I decided to watch TV while my parents chilled and then we had ice cream and fruits for dinner. I also heated some leftover chicken sukka from the previous night. Now we slept, in our warm beds and a cold AC.

Trying and trying

The entrance exam was appealing and for the first time in my life, I had nothing horrible to say about an exam. That made me want to get in to the course even more. There was this girl at the exam, big eyes and red lipstick. Her laughter sounded like wind chimes and the boy with her, I hoped was her brother; even tried to find resemblance in their appearance. I got home pretty early that day, probably the earliest I got home for the next three years; the wait for the results of the entrance test was excruciatingly painful that evening. It was 6pm. The BlogSpot which would post the results was being refreshed on my phone every two minutes. I waited. It was 6:30, my names wasn’t on the list. It was 6:34 and I almost cried; for the next ten minutes, I was lost, life didn’t make sense. I had no future prospects, and I’d already given up on Engineering. My parents were worried about important things like how difficult it would be to find a good bride for me, I roll my eyes as I type it. Christ University had kept my results on a waiting list and that didn’t sound promising.

I was texting a friend who was in the course, a big boy with a three page resume. Then my phone vibrated, it was an SMS from a Prof Arul Mani saying I’d made it through the entrance exam. And tomorrow was the interview, my heart made a leap. I was in the second group of interviewees. I met 3 respectable looking men who were going to be interviewing me. I had a long practiced response to questions about my writing and reading habits. It was a question I was sure was coming and my HOD of English from Jain told me to not overdo it. “Say you write when you read something interesting or when something catch’s your attention or interest.” I did realise it was true, but not as frequent as it sounded.

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© Vinay, 2016

School had always made me feel like writing was a punishment and reading was pleasurable. And it was even better when my parents disapproved it. I started reading things secretly, under the sheets with a pen torch like Harry Potter. The interview ended and they told me to go prepare for things that are a part of the course and I’d gotten in. I got through all the formalities and payed my college fees on the last day prescribed just 10minutes before the bank closed and I was Josephite. A week later someone called asking why I didn’t pay my fees yet; I freaked, but it was mix up and I was still in.

This was the beginning of the new reading and writing life I wanted and hoped, would be what sets future for a life where I’d be rich, famous and happy. Sadly three years later I won’t be any of it, but I’d be satisfied and leaning towards a future where that happiness thing might just happen.

Like expected, I was on over-enthu cutlet like most people in my class and on the first day of class I ended up sitting next to the girl with big eyes. She was funny, smart, mature and prettier close up. She laughed like a phone ring tone. We were in the same tutorial group and would chill once every week as we waited for our tutor. But once it was confirmed that she wasn’t available, I didn’t pursue. Weeks turned to months and the semester grew into an academic year, by then I met more women and also started writing like a mother-fucker. My writing showed improvement that made me proud and my tutor said, there’s more that can be achieved and that will always be true.

The year had managed to not kill my dark soul and there was still hope for a re-awakening and getting back to the light. But the next two years had things in store for me that only an Indian song could capture and could also manage to tell how much I died. The first year was painful, stressful, over-whelming and consuming but all of this only turned into things I could write about. There was so much to read, the course introduced me to Joseph Brodsky, Mario Vargas Llosa, Marjane Satrapi and so many other poets, writers, foreign films (and film makers), bands and texts; I was overwhelmed but not saturated and took everything it could offer. My reading grew a taste for graphic novels and comics; I saw everything in new light and the world was a whole new place that I never knew existed around me and in every corner that I’d been walking around for my entire life.

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© Vinay, 2016

Towards the end of the first year I met a girl who lived across the city, she might as well have lived in Hyderabad because that felt closer. There were sparks and then there weren’t. Then there were fireworks and then the explosions got out of control; life was spiralling out of control. But then I met a blue eyed girl who made me smile, who was funny, smart, and strong and could easily beat the shit out of me. She was here for a month, I knew but I let her become so much more than that, and when she left to go back to the land seven seas away, I was overwhelmed. It was more than her, it was how she made me feel. I felt loved, warm, happy, and that I could never feel sad again when she was around or running her hand through my hair. And we constantly sought an escape from prying eyes and ears to a quiet moment, life was adventurous.

Then she was gone and then I discovered disinterest, my writing increased because there was so much to write about. It kept my writing at good length and I had so much to say, almost every day for a long time. But my reading started taking a hit and reached to the basic of minimum class requirements and then done. I had so much to say, it turned into whining, but that helped purge out all things I held onto. The second year was a roller coaster, the girl from far away drove me crazy and managed to break me. Then I met a boy, it was nice. He was nice, but he was also scary and made me realise how he was no different from the girl from far away. Then the girl took a back seat, the boy and I were doing everything together, every day, week and month.

The friendship grew stronger and when I realised it was more, he’d already decided it was over and in the wind. It was crazy, violent and noisy, before we knew it the year had come to an end. I was fighting with him as much I used to talk to him and that too, ended. I still see him around, we don’t talk and after the confrontation where he yelled at me and ran, things were never the same again. And in all the confusion the second year was done and I was interning at the ladies finger magazine. The writing demands were constant enough to keep me and my mind occupied. I loved it, there was never any time for feeling sorry or to sit and do nothing.

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© Vinay, 2016

Third year started and I’ve been waiting to leave. I didn’t want to come back, it was weird and uncomfortable. But I could leave for good and with a degree if I just put up with another year and that’s what it has been and probably will be. An attempt in shutting my eyes to let everything fly so I could run, jump and leave the minute it all stops, but it just doesn’t seem to want to halt. In this process of shutting eyes I’ve manged to not read or write and I’m using completion and assignment as an excuse to write, write and write more than required because that is all I seem to be able to write. But writing now is painful, not the constipation kind of pain but pain where every part of the body and mind is sad and just wants to fall off and stay in bed and never come back.

When the past bites

​”I want to go home!” Fouad yelled, jumped, screamed and cried while clinging onto the nearest door, window or pillar as Mary dragged the little boy and threw him inside the room and with a lot struggle locked him inside and went to work. Ahmed after cleaning up the paint mess off the floor walked in and pacified the child. They went shopping for groceries and managed to make dinner for everyone else. A scene from the French film “the past” that is stuck with me.

The film is like the scene described in the above paragraph and it only manages to get more complicated after every secret is unraveled. As the characters open up, the plot thickens and the film only manages to make everything more frustrating. Each character is well built and shaped, even with minimal screen time most of these characters manage to leave an impact on the viewer.

The sound score was invisible and so well hidden that it’s existence isn’t even realisable till the closing credits. The colour palette through out was very pleasing and each shot was well framed, drawing emphasis to all the things on screen that the directer wants you to see. This makes it very appealing, visually and the pleasantness is of the right amount to keep all eyes glued on to the screen. The film is Ashgar Faradhi’s attempt to tell us a story we’ve heard of, been a part of or may have just caused. And these are the stories we know but don’t want to talk about or hear about.

Image credits: tribune.com.pk