When morning up-n'-waves, I would have you come in. Dont pause at the window, please-
The curtains were drawn by people who deslike crowing cocks:
[Ah. That said with a wry glint; I despise blondes and knock-knocks]
Who wear socks to keep out chill starlight-
Who kiss their wives on birthdays, unsmiling
[Only the cake showing signs of a lovebite.]
But I, I would have you come in, striding-
The roll of your hips, the gentle quiver of your cellulite, that
In your pride you carry
like a briefcase of birdsong.
You'd look at my damp skin with an indulgent smile, and then
Sit down, drying out the scarlet gaspings of the night;
Hanging them up in cloud-lines above the sleepy joggers and the delayed Indian Expresses...
...You'd wipe the questions from the angles of my eye, and drag my mind out
Into the heat of dosas and
5 year plans.
Donne must've had a hangover, for-
[Love and passion despite-]
I would have you come, O Sunne, because I like what you teach in the light of the morn:
That there are more colours than purple, and tongues that carress still have much to say,
That I must
Get out of bed for.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
When morning up-n'-waves, I would have you come in. Dont pause at the window, please-
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 7:36 AM
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Constants are funny things.
Just when you cynically grin at them, and have wednesday-morning-breakfasted them- jamming them between conversations with your father and the Hindu's supplements [an un-gluing exercise for your eyelids, nothing more]- they hop back at you, armed with the..erm.. Molagga Podi Of Memory, and the Id-lis of self doubt.
A morning discovery, thus.
Ideas are never cliches. Though the words and phrases we use to voice them often are. Love, Kashmir, World peace, abortion, the arms-race- They still matter. Just that thanks to bad news reports, school elocution competitons and other such monsters, they get cereal-boxed in our brain, and become things to pull out on birthdays, so's we can cheerfully pinch their cheeks and exclaim My, how you have grown!
Love, Kashmir, World peace, abortion, the arms-race...
God, how I have desliked that furry little bugger.
All my almost-two decades of living have been filled with him giggling and cartwheeling over the lawn of my conscience, crushing the slim leaf-blades of my..umm...pride?... Sense of completeness? Cheshire-catness.
On some level, I have loved the way I have come from everywhere. I have loved the way I used to come to Madras and thus my grandmother on holiday, and then return, ear-popped and smiling at the amber lights of the airport at Seeb, Oman telling myself "home".
I have loved that I could -gleefully- leave the caste and community boxes empty on all those school forms. I have loved that my lack of a vernacular language has caused professors and "aunties" alike to tie themselves up in knots over trying to entymologize "mother tongue" for me. I have loved that mum and dad never saw it fit to force a language I did not think in down my throat, in the name of culture and- roots. I have loved that my very presence, my very being has caused self-labelled anti-globalizationalists to go into cardiac arrest.
I have loved these things yes. But anomalies can bruise your knuckles... have felt very very lint-ballish too. A lack, I thought.
I respect the concept of the samurai, btw. The thought of walking endlessly, only honor and dignity and skill to call your own- Anyone remember Ronin? Yes, yes.. De Niro *Sighs* That dialogue that contexts the whole film? Yes, things like that.
"Where do you come from?" Damn. Another one of those questions I've never been able to answer. I live in Chennai. I have lived in Muscat.
"Yes, yes, but WHERE ARE YOU FROM??"
Ah, but I refuse to give into post-colonial debate... surely Sir Naipaul sits in that chair picturesquely enough?
And yet... and yet whenever I come across a piece of memory, told with all that clenching heart-break that only comes with the absence of a thing once known, still loved, still held to be one's point of origin... whenever I hear of ancestral homes, traditions passed down through grandmothers, and trees planted by men and women who smile in sepia prints- There's a quiet recognition. A knowledge, that yes, that cannot be my story, but it is that of a thousand people, past thousand years and into a thousand futures of dimly recollected languages and saris that smell of moth balls.
My friend Gul wrote down her story, delving into a memory-bag that... Jesus. I cannot talk to her of the future, of carpe dieming, of carrying forward, of walking different paths, finding new names, threading out from the many lines that have been before us. That is my story, my way.
What I can do, is to tell you that the colours and tastes and smells in this post of hers had me sitting here a long while, seeing in her words a world which has such a throbbing reality for her that it hurt for me to read: that so much could once be, and then float out into time...
...the way bad haircuts, old shoes, and Backstreet Boys posters do, but with a clawing dignity that Casper's ones dreams... through the scars of long-unused petnames...and those of flat lines where family trees used to be...
Come read her post. And tell me...when you have the time... one story or one song that was your grandmother's.... that she either fed you, or put you to sleep with...
Oh, and... This one's for appupa- my grandfather- Who changed his name for love. Whom I have never known. Who read Shakespeare to my grandmother. The man- or so my grandmother claims- who I remind her of.
by Philip Levine
My father stands in the warm evening
on the porch of my first house.
I am four years old and growing tired.
I see his head among the stars,
the glow of his cigarette, redder
than the summer moon riding
low over the old neighborhood. We
are alone, and he asks me if I am happy.
"Are you happy?" I cannot answer
I do not really understand the word,
and the voice, my father's voice, is not
his voice, but somehow thick and choked,
a voice I have not heard before, but
heard often since. He bends and passes
a thumb beneath each of my eyes.
The cigarette is gone, but I can smell
the tiredness that hangs on his breath.
He has found nothing, and he smiles
and holds my head with both his hands.
Then he lifts me to his shoulder,
and now I too am there among the stars,
as tall as he. Are you happy? I say.
He nods in answer, Yes! oh yes! oh yes!
And in that new voice he says nothing,
holding my head tight against his head,
his eyes closed up against the starlight,
as though those tiny blinking eyes
of light might find a tall, gaunt child
holding his child against the promises
of autumn, until the boy slept
never to waken in that world again.
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 12:01 AM
Saturday, October 30, 2004
It happened while scrolling Yahoo [forgive me if I leave out the ! mark, am feeling particularly sombre at this moment]. I saw this, and smiled at the inexplicable beauty [visions of pomogranates cracking open and jade lakes a-lapping by burntly silhouetted palm trees, swaying amidst twining stars] that I can't help but see on hearing that Cambodia has crowned an ex-ballet dancer their King.
Norodom Sihanouk, former King of Cambodia and the Leotard's pop, abdicated: the old man, who spends his time being an ambassador for his country to Europe, composing music, and being the conductor of his own jazz band, claimed ill health. Now his son, Norodom Sihamoni [the Leotard], chosen by religious and political leaders, blessed by buddhist monks, carried on a litter, smiled upon by his parents, blown at with conch shells... Now Norodom Sihamoni is King.
An ex-ballet dancer, an Oriental Bojangles. Sprucer though. And buddhist.
A King that dances. 3 days of celebration ensues, and the Cambodian people, at least on the surface, are happy.
And I would give anything to know exactly why Norodom is king.
He looks the part, well enough. Handsome, in a fresh-faced way... pale yellow hands joined in a cheerful greeting to the monks, smiling while being escorted by a little man balancing a very large gold umbrella.
[Grander than your average raindrop-protector, you do realize: goldy, fringy, and yes- Large.]
Is it because his father loves jazz?...
I have heard of kings being sculptors, architects, foodies, painters, musicians, yoga enthusiasts... but a dancer?
But isnt it a gorgeous thought though? If you will-
An empty long hall, pillars edging the marble floor, their tops gleaming with gilt work in ruby and emerald. It is night, spiced, with cries and murmurs that float across from the distant city... the King is alone till he snaps his fingers, or gestures, but it is here in this hall that he wanders when he thinks about his upcoming birthday, his aging father, and what it would be like to be jailed for yelling out on his coronation "Evil China! EVIL CHINAA!!"... music plays [He must have music, I cannot see this new king without music], and he?
He does not wait for an Anna- his eyes suddenly gleam. He shrugs off his gold-cuffed coat, takes a deep breath and leaps forward, diving into the cold welcoming space that twirls around him as he flies and hops and spins and stops and points, the marble floor snapping at his ankles.... servants running, sober-faced, to make sure its Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Gershwin and Greig, with the volume just so, over the surround sound...
Makes sense, actually. While the Cambodians fall asleep fitfully, worrying over economic growth, pollution, and voodoo chickens that cluck SARScastically [Ahem, mea culpa, I apologise..couldnt help it]...their King dances, his lean yellow wrinkling body shimmering in the moonlight, pirouetting in his pyjamas.
A delicate film of timing shines on his upper lip, his breath comes in defined inandouts, the silk clings to his upper back like a young, tenderly-loving grass beetle, till he rips it off, arcing in the middle of Carmen- He dances the rain, the elephants, the education crisis... and the children smile in their slumber and dream waltzing buddhas.
Shiva dances, when happy..when a tad peeved. What less could a king do?
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 5:34 AM
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Right. Now- it is said by many wisemen that to type when one is raging, icily mad is not an intelligent thing to do. Especially when the cause of anger is a comp that suddenly chooses to turn commie.
But therein lies the point. One does not write to be intelligent, one displays GMAT and IIT entrance scores for that. One writes when one is moved by such passion as to fear any other, louder mode of expression. One afterall, does not really wish the expiry of elderly relatives, or the baying of neighborhood dogs, or the souring of milk.
Personally, at least-
I write when there is such excrutiating rage that deathly quiet happens on my external features only because one-mouthed word is all that's required to unleash the gates of hell upon unsuspecting humanoids, who arent really sure where the brimstone is coming from... mm does anyone know how cosmically unbalancing an ill-timed, "whats wrong ..Oh, its just the computer. Im sure it will get fixed soon" is?
No ma, the comp is not a starfish that will grow back an arm.
It is, in fact, cerberus at the gates of hell. It, and all its technical bugs sit there with a bestial greyness, declaring to all the world that THIS is what hell truly is: To have work sitting there, waiting, undone, trembling in its nudity, and to have a machine barefacedly throw up errors and boink sounds at you, accompanied by those disgusting little yellow triangles, telling you- No. You cant proceed. You cannot mail. You cannot upload. Ha.
This is my karma. This is retribution- for all those mothers I killed in a past life, while yelling in Norse... for all those stolen baguettes in the street of 18th century Paris, making myself a club sandwich while some poor sod got lighter-headed on the guillotine... this is where whatever god there is points to me and says- You. Grovel. Realize your puny self is no match for the way I can unravel the strings of your fate, or knit them together in a horrendous everlong green sweater that the aunt you hated the most insisted on giving you at christmas when you were 10.
My comp will not work. It has steadily declared so, inspite of restarts, curses, thumps, tears, yells, dangerous teeth-gritting stares and more thumps.
It is now that I truly realize my helplessness.
Yes. I have turned into that which I had feared the most. A Puter-Wraith.
My life, my work being centralized via this machine, I am left- quivering, gasping, and without bearings- when it decides to "error" me.
Call me impetuous, presumptuous, melodramatic and you're bloody well right. I pride myself on my plumage, do you hear????
At this point, this rock-bottomed darkness where slimey things play chess and discuss politics in a nasal tone- At this point, I require those I love to be with me [Dictatorial too, true]- Holding me, soothing me... taking away this god-damned rage because jesus... its getting a bit much.
I cannot I WILL NOT have someone who walks in, eyes the machine with a gleam [and me dispassionately], hops into the whirly-chair and then clickety-clacks away at the OS and the antivirus, clearing up bugs nonchalantly the way my mother removed aphids from her moneyplant in Muscat.
I WILL NOT have someone who then declares, "there- its fixed now" and then walks off humming into the other room, probably to check cricket scores or the commentary on the UEFA cup. Thus, I will never live with a techie.
I will however, have this trauma recognized: candles burnt, kisses taken and slowly then... when breathing returns... to have the comp suddenly back to normal order, the way it happened this afternoon. A miracle, to put it simply.
I now hate cookies. Crumbling bastards who apart from causing havoc, often also get stuck in your molars.
So my work is delayed by a few hours....what is one night in the long trail of nights, each plodding desolately into its own shadow under the kitchen table?..
But it is the pity of the thing.... it is the timing of the thing, and its apparent little-ness. Easy for the moor to get up and stifle his wife after a round of billowing soliloquies... jealousy, pride, war, lust, natural disasters, tragic death- These are big things, and somewhere we are equipped with the hearts and words to deal with them. We hear bagpipes in our head. We remember heroes.
But these small, shameful, snide acts of karma? These ignoble moments of being hung in limbo, trying to see whether it is the time to ctrl+alt+del yet again?
It is these insect-bites that crush. That nibble away at your soul. That make you wish you did not laugh so much in your afternoon, because those smiles seem to make this moment worse.
Perspective? Aye. This being a terribly narrowed one, true.
[Dont be sniffy, Im terribly upset over here.]
You are alone, even if the techie is on his way. Even if that way is just the short distance from his side of the bed to where you are sitting, distraught and bloodless, in front of the beast.
Computer bugs reach down further than your hard drive... for me, at least. Cold comfort, a quick fix is. Such is the way that machines work: they KNOW when you use them as solely a means to an end, without the wonder that is noticable in certain cheerful males from Hyderabad, who converse about their capability, their RAM. Computers know your secret fear of them, the cause of your open contempt or at times, your sheepish tender-footing around, especially with .exe files during installing moments.
And they wait, in smug silence, for you to lose your wariness, and assume "heyy, it IS just a machine"... they wait, for a moment when you thump that enter key just a bit too soon and- BANG!
They have you.
White-lipped, as you restore your active desktop...shudder at blue screens....wail over lost documents.
What would I really like right now?
A large staedler pencil, 4 B. A thick notepad, filled with unruled paper that I can doodle, poetrify or lyric on. A hillside, with a shady tree, in a place where 4:30pm means cool sunlight. And with me, the people whom due to these "errors", I cannot reach tonight.
No, I will never live with a techie. Like gynos, they carry around their work in their eyes, their hands.
I am however, curious to know what the man who plays Barney the purple dino on kiddie Television is like.
For now though- I return.
To stay frozen by the grave of my undone night, watching more error boxes, refreshing more pages...
Bug, Be not proud.
You will never hurt us, those of us who were brought to your altar bound, only because you held the promise of words and visuals....
Us, who still dream of memories of beaten drums, of rock paintings, and clay-under-nails, and papyrus, fresh-written...
We will win. For we will restart. With the patience that can only come from knowing, that all in all.....
*shakes my head, smiling*
The Show Must Go On.
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 1:21 PM
..and saddle-sore, still curious I've come to wonder when the..umm..juggling, that Ive prided myself on for so much time, would end. Or at least, come to a point where it would all be apples, or all saucers, know what I mean? Mmm at least for a small space, to know the good earth between your toes, to 'do' something, to have a roadmarker along the way.
No really *grins* it has bothered me. Way too many comets and rainbows have come and gone, and other than to prettify our fairytales... hmm, truth to tell, I've never seen a comet sit down at the breakfast table, mumble over the Economic Times and ask for more coffee. Never seen a rainbow take out a sandwich in the park, blinking at a passing ice-cream truck, wondering whether a choco-cone would be too much. Would that it could happen. Ethereal is good, but mm am young enough, and presumptuous enough to believe that I 'must' carpe diem, and now.
The gleaming qwill, then?
Ah, well in search of.. *smiles* in search, lol- I came across a flyer from the USEFI office in chennai, announcing a Fulbright scholarship for the final year or year and a half of an undergraduate program in the U.S. It came, I saw, I sent in a filled application.
So the nominee list is out. So here's waiting to see what happens...
mmm an afternoon nap calls... To end on a wondering note, tho-
Anyone around, who saw the MacDonald's campaign ["I'm lovin' it", and wondered why the hell, when you have established a big yellow M as part of your brand, don't you use "'M lovin' it" and be done with it?
Tellya.. ideate and everything... but push your pencil till cosmic sparks fly from that lead because otherwise? Its just. Not. Worth it. Or anything at all.
In a bit, O thousand and one Knights and Knightesses.
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 4:44 AM
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 2:12 AM
Like all good things, it started with a dream.
[Lmao, terrible line, but hey : ) its Joseph, nothing gets cuter than this]
Stella Maris College has a history of great drama; we're not really that old an institution [56 years. Go figure. Our country and us... *smiles* its interesting to see umm "progress" as a dynamic. Cant help it, its a thing with shared birthdays, you reflect each other. Every 15th August? Stella Marians cut a birthday cake, and sing the national anthem. Rocking.]: What makes us blazing is a quaint mix of tradition and the mad impulses of the new, the first, the strange.
Our college plays have ranged from Yank humor to puntastic evolved scripts, complete with MADish item numbers, and post-colonially snide local asides *grins*. Reviews of the college play over the past four years can be found here:
2001 SMC production- Hazaar Chaurasi ke Ma
2002 SMC production- Blythe Spirit
2003 SMC Production- Arsenic And Old Lace
2004 SMC Production- That, then... this, now
This year our focus is on professionalism, and incorporating the wide range of SMC talent into 6 shows over 3 days, and what better structure than the musical?
oh, and this baby's official- Everything, from requesting for the licence to perform from Webber's company to associating with the British Council's Culture Cafe, Chennai, to bringing in external resource persons to focus the creativity of us students through workshops, into amber-and-gold oomph on stage.
Its always purely a student production *proud little ahem mm, as part of the core production team* *grins*, and considering that we're new-year blimping this year's play, we're calling in some wonderful people as resource persons.
Yog Japee for instance, is our artistic director and apart from having a great repertoire: he's fantastic at getting people who normally are too shy to even mimic pacino in front of the bathroom mirror to get up and give it their all under the spotlight.
Dr. Aarti Kawlra from NIFT, and Mr.Thota tharani are helping us out with workshops for costume and sets respectively *gleam of "yes!!"*
Denver Nicholas [responsible for the choreography of 'Grease' that lately showed in the city] and Mr. Augustine [A man so brilliant with his musical arrangements that... le sigh.. come and hear him, people] are handling the distinctly 'musical' bits..
'Joseph' is a musical that been done time and again by amateur groups, along with the big-lights versions, simply because its that lovable, that basic, and has a certain for-everyone-hey-come-and-sing-along-with-usness.
We're not doing a straight copy of ANY previous performance, infact yog has banned the cast from watching the dvd : ) But to give you an idea of the visuals...
Facts and figures
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been the subject of at least 12 different cast albums in its thirty one year history.
'Any Dream Will Do' from Joseph was voted the Broadway Song Of The Year in 1981 and awarded an Ivor Novello Award in 1991.
Joseph has a strong history of first class productions. It has played in 13 different countries, touring extensively. The show has played over 80 cities in the US alone.
The 1991 London Palladium production ran for a total of 2½ years, attracting an audience of 2 million people, and earning a Box Office of approximately £50 million. Including the replica productions of this show, the total worldwide Box Office since 1991 exceeds £200 million.
Perhaps more importantly though, is the popularity of the show gained through the countless amateur and school productions over the 30 years since it's first performance. For all the splendour of the major productions, Joseph has never betrayed it’s roots as a musical written for schools. It is currently estimated that the show has been performed in nearly 15,000 schools or local theatres, involving over 500,000 performers of all ages, and with an audience in excess of 8 million people.
Today there are nearly 500 school or amateur productions each year in the UK, and over 750 in the US & Canada, together with other productions in Australia, Germany, South Africa, and various other territories world wide. The enormous fan base the musical has attracted over the years is therefore effectively renewed by a new generation of children, and their parents and friends every single year.
So does that mean we're joining the colourful bandwagon? Hell no. We're doing things with the direction, with the music [more tablas, I say!!] and with the scripts interpretation. All in harmony nonetheless, yes- It is about performance. more importantly, about communication.
Guess its about time someone started humming about dreams and family... Lord knows we all need it...
We're building an unofficial site for the production, and dates, and the progress or lack thereof *gulps* will be posted there.
And here it is : )
The official website for the Stella Production of the Dreamcoat *Jigs around in ecstatic joy, feeling trumpets, angels and roses rain down from all over*
"We all dream a lot-- some are lucky, some are not
But if you think it, want it, dream it, then it's real
You are what you feel
But all that I say can be told another way
In the story of a boy whose dream came true
And he could be you"- Prologue, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Cross your fingers, as we look to every first star...
*jigs happily about to the finale megamix..grins* and aye, keep visiting, pretty please? : ) That.
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 1:31 AM
A while ago there was a song that showed up on [V] that I adored for its laconic singability- [heyyyyyyyy, it had a chorus of "pom pom, pom pom padada" and such :-)]
Why I loved it then- why I love it now- is for its Mcgoughish turn of lyrics- Thus for today, for this rainy-drainy morning that fills you with the need to do everything in an hour, but when you cannot seem to get past the half-full of your orange juiceand have been sitting, musing, nursing it since 9:10am...
Lyrics | 'Gin Soaked Boy'
The second single to be taken from 'A Secret History', 'Gin Soaked Boy' was releaed on 1 November 1999 and was the final release of The Divine Comedy's material by Setanta Records. It reached No. 38 in the UK singles chart.
I'm the darkness in the light
I'm the leftness in the right
I'm the rightness in the wrong
I'm the shortness in the long
I'm the goodness in the bad
I'm the saneness in the mad
I'm the sadness in the joy
I'm the gin in the gin soaked boy
The gin soaked boy...
I'm the ghost in the machine
I'm the genius in the gene
I'm the beauty in the beast
I'm the sunset in the East
I'm the ruby in the dust
I'm the trust in the mistrust
I'm the Trojan Horse in Troy
I'm the gin in the gin soaked boy
The gin soaked boy...
I'm the tiger's empty cage
I'm the mystery's final page
I'm the stranger's lonely glance
I'm the hero's only chance
I'm the undiscovered land
I'm the single grain of sand
I'm the Christmas morning toy
I'm the gin in the gin soaked boy
The gin soaked boy...
I'm the world you'll never see
I'm the slave you'll never free
I'm the truth that you'll never know
I'm the place you'll never go
I'm the sound you'll never hear
I'm the course you'll never steer
I'm the will you'll not destroy
I'm the gin in the gin soaked boy
The gin soaked boy...
I'm the half truth in the lie
I'm the why not in the why
I'm the last roll of the die
I'm the old school in the tie
I'm the spirit in the sky
I'm the catcher in the rye
I'm the twinkle in her eye
I'm Jeff Goldblum in 'The Fly'
Well who am I?
*smiles.. pulls on a party-hat for the rest of the morning, and gets back to ploughing through sponsorship details*
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 12:49 AM
Ah.. today is a day for this... this dialogue, these eyes, this pipping of oranges just before death. Why do I keep going back to this book anyway... Something about focussed ability...style?.. cold knowledge? Or maybe its just a 'mattress' kindo' time at this point of the yuga... all said and done, you gotta love this look!
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 12:06 AM
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 2:59 AM
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 2:57 AM
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Lordy, this is a bit funny.
I-Who swore I'd never blog. I- Who sniffed at such slimy wordology, and all the clitter-clacking of keys, journalizing one's life into pages that are cold and hard to the touch... [this said with my nose resting against the blinking monitor's screen]
Thus we all do fall. And tell stories... comes from being a compulsive worder, this HAD to happen, didnt it??
Geez. Anyway- Here then, in the annals of all that is role-play, subversion, politics, metaphysics and recipe-sharing....
I thus begin to blog.
Why does "munchkin" sound like a fatty t.v snack?
In a bit.. sic transit gloria mundi, there's an assignment to submit, and a bag to pack.
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 10:15 AM