The Ghost of the Last Dosa

From my understanding of pop culture, cinema and television, death row inmates are asked what they would like for their last meal.

“Blueberry pancakes”, is my favourite answer from a TV show and they aired another trailer for it this week. Fair warning, that the quote was from memory so, please don’t take up swords against me if I got it wrong.

Working away from your hometown and going back for a weekend brings a mildly similar scenario to mind, one that is starkly pleasant compared to death row.

“What would you like for lunch?”, my mom asks me over the phone a couple of days before I’m due to arrive. The answers will always be the same and I don’t frown and she doesn’t fuss because it’s what I really like to eat. My dad voices over from the background saying, “Why do you keep making the same things every time he comes?”.

That, is the deal with lunch. Breakfast and dinner are a more routine affair.

Dosa. Now, this is where it’s at, and this is where the title will begin to make sense.

There are six meals over the course of two days for my weekend and four of those, invariably end up being dosa. Not out of habit, not because anybody is lazy and definitely not because that is the only food available. It’s because, I absolutely adore it.

There have been times when we’ve cleaned up a weeks worth of batter in 3 days. Good times.

The train that takes me back leaves in on Monday morning (hail the graveyard shift that I don’t have to show up on Monday morning to work) and the bonus meal, the last meal for the weekend is also dosa.

Morning arrived and I sat at the table; dad opens up the hotbox and there are four golden and wonderful dosas waiting for me; munching my way through the delicacy with care and craftsmanship, I look up at the clock and realise that it’s getting late. The last dosa stays in the box and I dart out, get in the car and onward to the train station.

As I sit back in the platform, waiting for the train to arrive, the announcement booms across the speakers, “Train number <I think this one is mine> is delayed by fifteen minutes”

Disappointment grabs my face as the ghost of the last dosa gives an all knowing smile at me.

Now, don’t even get me started on molagapodi.

Fuck Farewells

No, I’m not going to apologise for the profanity. Seriously, fuck farewells. Also, the title is not clickbait. If that was misleading, I’m really sorry. We’re looking to vent, get this wrapped up and move on. There’s no cryptic first passage and random references. This is plain, simple and from the heart.

Farewells are when a bunch of people get together and say goodbyes, felicitate people amongst themselves and then some. This is usually in an educational institution and my case takes it specifically to colleges.

On the day, it does not make a lot of sense initially. We’re all hugging each other; we don’t exchange emails anymore because that is so 2005. It’s presumed to be some sort of a happy occasion because at the back of our minds is a very simple thought, “I don’t have to go to classes anymore”; this is not necessarily verbatim. Everybody has their own version. I, to be specific, was ecstatic that there would be no register signing anymore (that turned out to be a bummer).

Seeing through the lens is a gift that only the guy holding the camera gets. At any event, you look through waiting for the perfect shot and end up seeing moments that are uniquely yours; it would take a world of words to explain that to another person because you are caught up in the moment.

The one guy who wants a picture with everybody else; the one who wants to recreate famous farewell poses from pop culture and the others who generally goof around.

It was during all the mayhem of the photoshoot that I realised something. In someways, this was the end; the end to a life of limited responsibility and to a bunch of people that you have been stuck with for around four years. Saying that they are the formative years of adulthood is an understatement. There are friends, crushes, enemies, people you hate and people who hate you; but all is forgiven and for the few hours that transpire, all is well.

And then the realisation hits. I take a look back and know for sure that, most of these people, this is the last time that I will ever see them in person or have a conversation with them. Facebook and all other social media serves for me to stay updated on what’s going on with them but, the bottom line is, I’m not seeing a lot of these people ever again.

Ever. Again. Let the words sink in and then the title will begin to make sense.

Thank you for sitting through this! You’re a darling!

Entropy

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 01.52.52Entropy This is not a science article; entropy, is taken up, in it’s bare form, ‘the tendency of the universe to go into a state of absolute chaos/disorder’.

The, things that happen to you and me, they’re going towards a state of chaos. It seems like things will work themselves out in the end but we’re an image of the world around us; and boy we know what’s happening with the world around us.

It would then be grossly unfair to not let entropy have an impact on us.

The child does not know this. He wants to be like this. 8th Grade thermodynamics is hopeless in explaining the philosophical significance of entropy.

I’m an adult and I still have trouble in coming to grips with it.

The thought process is in simple terms; if things stay as they are, they will remain like that forever. We’re fooled into that false sense of security.

The adolescent or teen tries to grasp all this and knows that there’s a bigger game afoot.

That’s why he/she stays restless; trying to forever to challenge the status quo; trying to stir the pot and in doing so, manages to stir the chaos out of control.

He/she knows; but not enough.

What do we do then? Live in chaos? Well, most certainly not is what we come up with at first.

But let’s delve into this; into things around us. They’re not perfect but they work.

That’s when we become adults; we realize that there is a method to this madness. We keep stirring the pot just enough that it all makes sense.

But certainly, we can’t keep doing this forever can we? The constant stirring takes a toll and once in a while we slip a catalyst into the mix that furthers the chaos and the process is mostly unintentional.

A wrong decision there, a misplaced word here and boom, things tumble out of control before we can gather the ladle to sort the order.

This sounds like a rant to me on second reading but that’s okay. We’re moving towards disorder and it would be a crime to not recognise it.

For ’tis the fool who settles down with the crowd and believes that everything is meant to be when everybody else fights their fight to prove a point.

And out of the way in the words of George Carlin,

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.

Looking back.

At first, you see a scratch on the surface; not completely negligible, but you sweep it away still, calling it a ‘one-off’ or an anomaly.

Then comes the crack; it’s defined but it was not there before. You had not noticed. It’s prominent. The sheet looks worn. A small doubt runs through the back of your mind. The image is still perfect.

The crack progresses; in many places at once and you are pleasantly surprised; this has not happened before, or has it? You don’t know. You’re a little confused with the whole change of scenery.

The visible cracks start forming patterns that you had not imagined; that train of thought had never entered your mind because it was always perfect. Not anymore.

You’re slowly coming to grips with what is happening simultaneously processing and denying the reality in front of you.

That sheet of ice is flawed, cracked but only now and then you look back and you realize something.

The ice has always been like this, today, you can see things as they are.

 

And then you go Mad

Don’t mind me, I’m writing this on my short sweet way to sleep deprivation; insomnia, I think, is the correct term.

I’ve done this previously; writing something, early in the morning, just as I’m about to sleep. It helps because my thoughts and intentions are focussed about what needs to be written.

This one is also different from the train journey where I fought to stay awake from my regular schedule because I did not want to wake up 170 Kilometres away at a different town.

No, today, as I am typing this, I lay wide awake, staring at my ceiling, wondering why we did not have a regulator in place for the fan because the settings are between Mordor and North of the Wall.

We’re dealing with somebody staying awake against his will; but it’s not voluntary; quite the opposite. Tossing and turning in the bed for the last 3 hours with nowhere to escape to, it has spurred new content to my faithful blog.

It’s not a serious case of sleep deprivation with adverse symptoms setting upon as the day progresses; no, it’s a simple problem with a not so simple solution. We needs to rest.

Momentarily we’re gonna stop referring to ourselves in the third person and go look for ways to sleep and if that does not pan out, I’m gonna start researching about insomnia.

There is high chance that I might not remember this when I wake up; so, let me know if you want a follow up to this in the comments, I guess.

To the dreamlands and beyond.

Shutter

It was dark; as it always is, when these kinds of things happen. Kathir, our manager, was not in his best mood; his ex-wife had called him an hour earlier. We knew better than to prod into that story.

“I’m taking off early”, he said and was out the door before we could even react.

The last batch of coffee for the day had gone stale. Something about the gloomy weather we assumed.

It was also raining. Meghna giggled at me from across the counter. I happened to be the sore face that had to tell them that we were out of coffee.

“The weather I suppose” he said, and walked away. The rare good willed customer. He stepped into the rain and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

“How long till the rain stops?” she asked me.

“How does it matter? You get picked up in a car” I was the one who had to drive a bike, drenched to my bone.

“Lose the attitude. You’re not helping anybody” she said, with the classic cold shoulder. Doesn’t matter, she’s of no consequence to me.

It was not just the weather that was gloomy. There was something about the inner workings of this place. I was better off not knowing and am going to act the part even after I finish narrating this. It’s out there and I don’t want one part of it.

Ranjith, the owner, the liberal thinker, the modern art lover, brushed it off as rival rumours.

“It’s always the people that make or take the gloom” he said, and he brought in Meghna and she was a bundle of light in this place; she had an air to her that did not seem to affect her; bright as day she roamed, being the best of everybody.

It’s the plight of the bachelor to be the caretaker after dark; unsaid rule around this place. Meghna left, just after sundown. I was closing shop; on the outside, we were known for being open until midnight. Naturally, closing, is a pain.

A lingering glance around the expanse of the floor confirmed that the floor was indeed empty and being the lock obsessor that I am, pulled the shutters down, tugged at the locks twice for good measure before turning around.

My partner, PD, did not stay to close today; he was picking somebody up; he left as soon as the lights were turned off. I soaked my way to the parking lot after the shutters were down. Five seconds later, I realized that my keys were inside.

Normally, I wouldn’t mind opening to get back but the rain made it so much more difficult.

The locks were off and I froze as I lifted the shutters.

There was a girl, a smaller, younger version of Meghna, sitting in there, sipping a cup of coffee. She looked a little pale and the coffee did her no good. There was a cold tingling up my spine as she shot a glance at me and at that moment, I realized that I was lingering on far too much and I did not get paid enough for this paranormal shit.

Took to my heels and ran away without a destination in mind. I finally sat down by the beach and looked around; the rain was driving everybody indoors.

There was a jingle to the left and I saw my keys, on the sand, next to me.

There was a familiar tingle as I heard the words,

“The coffee has gone stale hasn’t it?”

P.S : This is based on a true story.

Happy Friday the 13th y’all.

Not To Be

That is the answer.

Cinema. Films. Movies. And everything else that they’re called in languages the world over. This is a little about cinema, real life and gaming. From the roots of loneliness stem the thoughts that might keep you occupied for the next minute or five.

Applauds all over when cinema is able to reflect real life in a perfect way; but why would cinema serve that purpose? If I wanted real life, I’d look around and not go to the theatre.

Then again, I don’t want one man flying around and beating up baddies; that is taking the idea to a pulp and killing it, one frame at a time.

Yes, the perfect movie is difficult; one that can please all audiences and still be relevant to the person who walks home.

Source for the words steam out of a lonely Sunday evening. The power cut on a gloomy day forced me outside to take a whiff of the city after sun down.

My royal steed and me took to the roads and if you’ve watched enough movies, you will get a third person view of what it looked like. Carefully avoiding the mud puddles, weaving through traffic and between the government buses who claim all roads in the vicinity for themselves. The angry 30-something with his wife who is late for the movie and is fuming because his car is stuck in traffic and the damp sunday air, for a moment, it did feel like the movies.

Real life lacks background music.

The sunday breeze across the beach road, the smug feeling of irritating that one driver who’s been honking like a madman when I am clearly out of road to drive into and the cop, who stands there, looking at me, without the helmet, in a busy road, on a sunday; but he does not stop me, he’s not bothered to take the effort. Well, he’s got a whole month to meet his targets so that’s the last of his worries.

I got lost on the train of thought about games, so, excuse me.

The question, I guess, is, loneliness. To be or not to be and I’m sure somebody has already said this before, but let me go,

“A man trapped with his own thoughts and memories is never lonely.”

Meh.

Do we become stagnant because we run out of ideas or do we run out of ideas because we become stagnant.

And with that, this has the potential to turn out to be a reflection of life, in it’s entirety or just this blog post specifically.

Something from personal experience that I’ve come to hear around is this, “Change the status quo”. Hooray for everybody trying to being about the change but, in all the revolutionary ideals, do they or by extension we, stop to think if the change is necessary?

What if the status quo seems ideal? Two possible outcomes come to mind. Either we have started living in a self satisfied utopia or it’s evil and similar twin, the dystopia. Dystopias spring revolutions but as a wise man once said, ‘It’s everyday life and routine that kills people’.

Getting used to something would then mean the end would it not? Stir things up once in a while to keep it interesting; sounds a lot like relationship advice and therein lies the beauty of everything around us.

I mean, not relationship advice per se, more about taking ideas from once aspect and projecting it onto something else entirely to see if it would work.

That, I guess, is how we do not keep running out of ideas. You do two things a thousand times; what would happen if you switched the way you did them?

Nothing like demented philosophy on a Monday morning. Good times!

Murphy and Karma

There is the notion of starting out by having ‘One Rule’ that should never be broken. As adults, as kids, as organisms capable of sensible thought, this is something that everybody has chanced to look upon at least once, if not many times.

Fool proof as the idea may seem, it’s not really practical. ‘Drink but never get drunk’ might be one of the harsher ones; but in a room full of friends with no plans for the immediate future, it makes sense to bend the One Rule a little. But, where does this stop?

Story time. The laziness quotient allows and controls us to do the maximum amount of work with the least effort, either physical or mental; the desire to do them, is in a different box; there’s also the question of loyalty, dependability and being a good Samaritan in general.

Cue me, wanting to play Ultimate, service my bike and go watch a movie. Ideally, they need not cross paths because the game is after office, the service station is closer to where I work and movie time is generally balanced by my current sleeping habits. This is where Murphy’s law comes in.

It so chanced upon us ordinary individuals to play the game on the day whence we had booked the tickets for the movie (based on a whole ‘man of my word’ deal). Now sparks the brilliance, where I decide to throw the service in, because, hey, I’m gonna be up all day.

So, the game and then I’m back home where I fight to stay awake till the service station opens. Phase I is a success as I walk out of the service station, figuring it’s a quick cab to the rendezvous point for the movie.

This is where the s#%t hits the fan, or turbine, depending on how you see it.

My network bails, leaving me with no way to book a cab. No problem, we have recharge shops every 10 feet. Nope; the network has bailed on them and I’m still stranded, zero balance, sweating and at this point, awake for close to25 hours (graveyard shift).

This is where karma steps in. I offered a ride to a random person on my way to the station and here, as I stood, the shopkeeper in the last shop, allowed me to use his data to book a cab.

Murphy’s law is a b%^&h but so is Karma, if you don’t treat her well.

There was another disaster after that but it’s enough words for now.

Adios!

Plastic Melts

An idea is like a, something that I cant remember to recall. The point of that train of thought was get ideas down to writing as quickly as possible but, clearly, it’s lost on me. Another day another post.

Getting things into perspective will solve a lot of things in our mundane everyday. That each person you meet and see is the hero of the story; they have the villain, first crush, best friend and a bunch of other extras. Now, the perspective thing is a little clear when you are part of the main cast or even the supporting one for that matter. But, take a break for a minute to imagine yourself as one of the extras. A nameless face with a little to remember by will be all that is left of us. Little bit scary.

Then comes the traffic signal. You start caring for a bike like a child, keeping it clean, making sure it does not go over to the dark side and most importantly, making sure that it’s safe.

I wear flats (flip-flops, depending on where you are from) most of the time and this line is just a rant about how how it is in my part of the map; I feel the waves caressing the open half of my feel as I place my foot on the brake pedal.

There I was, blissfully speeding along with the one unified thought that everybody had, ‘To get out while it’s still green’. I glance around and there is the boy in the work clothes, looking tired after a hard day at work. The averagely rich lady inside her taxi with a couple of moderate shopping articles in the bag. The really rich lady with the german car and the hat wearing chauffeur, holding on to bags of stuff that I only really know the names to; have honestly got no idea what those things are. The taxi driver impatiently honking the daylights, in a magical attempt to do away with the traffic; he must have himself confused with the dude who split the sea.

The green rolls on, 4,3,2 and BAM, I turn around to find this woman/girl staring at me with an apologetic face towards the lights. Determining her age was difficult because she was wearing multiple components of clothing over her face to protect it, I guess?

Anyway, here I am, and hopefully, some distance away, in this very city, there is somebody with the very same story with the difference that they bumped into a Bullet on the way home.

Adios.