Saturday, December 18, 2004

Idle Worship

My mind has been idling these last few weeks. Slight and continuous tremors keep the ol engine running, but nothing more. Another hour of mind numbing T.V. and there is likely to be a shudder followed by lights out. My idling, of course, is a concious invitation to the devil, who contrary to popular perception, is not a workaholic and enjoys his offs. He comes to mind late and with great reluctance.

He enters smoking a cigarette and spends a few drags at the door just to allow the knocking of my minds half horse power to fade into the background of his hearing. He is talking to Cora on the phone. She was my substitute devil for last week and left things in such disarray that the devil is likely to have a tough time even getting started today. The devil is organised. I repeat: not a workaholic.

"Cora, where have you kept the blowtorch?.... and the chainsaw?... and the goddamned sledgehammer? And just what in heavens name were you up to anyway?"

"You listen here Belzebub! If you want to get anything constructive from me, you're going to have to change your tone and cut down on your references to God. Call me old fashioned or dont call me at all"

He had taken a deep breath for the lambasting that should have followed but before he could let go Cora cut the line off.

He picked up a hammer, the tool closest at hand and began banging a long nail into the table-top on which sat the vice. He began with a few gentle knocks to direct the nail towards its ultimate direction. His eyes lost focus of the nail while his mind whirred and saliva accumulated in the front of his mouth - zoning out Monday morning style.

"Hmm" he thought
"Lamb.... basting!"
"Lamb of fucking god fucking basting!" he screamed banging the nail straight into the table top in two blows.

"Whatthe devil ismy problem" he continued, now banging the table-top, for the nail was now well embedded.
"She's right! I can't say two things without bringing Trinity into the picture. ....Fuck it all!" he said overcome and throwing the hammer at a the clock somewhere in the middle of my mind. He missed and shattered a memory or two that were in the workshop for some touching up. He just created more work for himself and as I said before, the devil is not a workaholic. He banged his head down onto the work table in resignation and finding releif in the drama of the moment, continued to bang his head, increasing gradually in amplitude and impact.

Collapsing into a cane chair, he stretched his interlocked fingers across his forhead pushing his head back onto the chair He sighed deeply and brought his joined hands down to the seat of the chair to a place in front of his groin where he sat. He closed his eyes for a moment and then realised that anyone walking in at that moment might mistake him to be in prayer.

"Fuck Fuck Fucking Fuck!..... Maybe I should just give up this whole farce and go back to my old job." He picked up the phone and called up Trinity.

"Peace be with you." rumbled a voice with depth of cosmic proportions.

"Get off the fucking voice modifier and stop being a wuss." began Belzebub.

"Bubba!" came the reply; a lot shallow and a lott more cheerful. "Son of a bitch! Hows my favourite man from down under doing?"

"Just great your fuckness. The guys have already begun to doubt my motives and ive had to give all the Gestapo down here regular jobs after they reported phone traffic to heaven from somewhere near where i live. Besides that, Lucifer has been setting fire to every Tom Dick and Harry he meets and though it does well to keep the whole 'hell thing' going, its really pissing the witches off who having being burnt at the stake already arent ready for a second helping."

"Yeah yeah the grass always looks greener........ which reminds me; They sent me this Baba the other day. Turns out hes been bonking his disciples. So im sending him down to you, with the tola of hash they sent along with him into the afterlife. These guys really know how to take care of their dead."

"Sounds good. Why dont you come down for a smoke? I got some stuff from a recent Mahkali sacrifice and loads of Lamb chops from when Tutankhamen came to visit last time. Boy those Egyptians know how to stock a fridge for an afterlifetime."

"Cant. Not today. Have to entertain a whole bunch of Seventh Day Adventists who went off a cliff." They are supposedly really pissed off and im going to have to pacify them and prepare them for when I send their pastor down to you. Is there anything I can ask Gabriel to send with him?"

"Thanks man. The only thing I need right now is good company. Im sick of metalheads and Tantrics. I need to get out, grab a beer,not worry about being scary or devisive enough. You know?! Take it easy for a few days."

"Chill man chill! Dealing with winged, obsessive-compulsive paedophiles isnt peaches and cream either. Besides what with all these down feathers, im developing asthma. In times like these, i just remind myself that Judgement day will make all this seem worthwhile. Just imagine.... the two of us sitting side by side while the world looks on in horror as you pull out a can and we split a beer. Good and evil united over a can of beer! We'll take their lists of sins and good deeds and light a bonfire to tickle our toes. Then we call on the Pope and ask him if he knows to salsa. Its going to be one big riot."

"You're right man. Just a few more years. Actually the condition is that since you've got the cushier part right now, I get to break it to mankind that were on the same side."

"Anyway you want it Bubba. Absolutely any way."

"Thanks a ton. Your celestial balls."

"Anytime Bubba."

"Ciao then."

"Ciao".The devil smiled as he put thephone back into his pocket. He sat for a moment or two up to his fangs in a grin."allright then.Back to work." he said.He sighed a sigh of releif and began to clear up Cora's mess.

A chunk of mind lay where Cora had left it in resignation last time. He locked it into the vice and looked at it with fresh inspiration. This one was going to be his masterpiece.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Can Can Can Can?

Today I opened a can of worms. They werent fresh. They had been lying there for a while. I am a supporter of Schrodingers charas trip today. Basically you cant say for sure that there are worms in the can even if the label says Kadi Chaval. The very event of opening it, by some miracle of calculus (wizardry if you ask me) could convert it into helminths in woucestershire sauce and there is nothing us -the mathematically disinclined - can do about it. Today has been such a day.

I resuscitaed worm one mouth to mouth. Coughing out sauce, he thanked me profuselyand asked me if I had some crap to eat. I told him these were no-bullshit days and so he ate a co-worm out of self preservation. Somewhat sated, we began to talk.

"Hows the writing going?" he asked.
"Going going gone"
"Ah; I see! Still obsessed with our own wit are we?"
"Not quite. I ve come to hte realization that i am of intelligence that is less than the sum of its parts. Added to that is the fact that my casual labour these days have added fewer parts than you'd expect".
"You see! Hence proved....... Shouldn't it be 'proven'."

"Bugger off ass wipe!" I squashed his first half with a plier and watched his tail wiggle to some ancient tune from the days when darwin was god. "No more mouth to mouth".

Worm two got electric shocks provided by the static in my flannel pajamas. All those nights of hard work finally paid off. She awoke.

"Saviour. My lord and master how can I repay you for getting me out of this soup?" I pointed out that she was in a sauce and that made things less dramatic.(i suspect worm one could have been right about my obsession with wit)
"Your wish is my command."
I examined my genitals. Being anatomically other, i decided to ask her something less predictable.
"Do the macarena" I said."Minus the pelvic thrusts"
"No im serious"
"Hi im Bloginder"
She looked at me, trachea welling (for she had no eyes) and began to wail. A worm wail is more like the high frequeny emissions on bus tube lights; but no less tragic than the ones were used to. It stirred a fat one from the top. Worm three. Succulent and fat like a baby water baloon.

"Whats it like being round there?" I punned. From somewhere deep in the can a laugh sent gravy bubbles rising in the woucestershire sauce. He ignored my comment and began to call for help in worm semaphore - ignoring me entirely. Worm two suirmed closer to the can leaving a trail of worm tears on the grey formica.

"Willie? Is that you?"
"Grace! My love"

The desperation of their attempts to move outside of their natural habitat became more deperate.

"There there willy. Im not all bad. Here let me help you two get things rolling again" I picked him up and placed him just out of reach from Grace. They puckered long and hard but stayed a worms whisker out of reach of each others lips. Will turned to me puckered with expectation written all over his segments. He turned back to face Grace and relaxed into the ball he is. He inhaled deeply and invested it in a sigh.

"You know what your problem is Bloginder?.... You always take jokes to the point where theyve gone to far and then try and backtrack with apologies and the image you have of yourself as a good boy."

I smacked him with my slipper, sending alpha helices of worm protein in a starburst from under my slipper.

"What the fuck!" Worm four was up. "You think your doing us a favour by saving us? You are only interested in saving so long as it adds to your holier than thou self image. Look at poor grace. She made a true gesture of appreciation and what did you do? Drown its intent and goodwill in corny half funny nothings." I looked at grace she was crying.

"Aww! There's nothing worse than the grating cries of a truly distraught lady" I began. "Especially when she runs the risk of dehydrating at the expense of her tears. Here, lets get back some of those precious body fluids back again." I picked her up gently and carried her to the can.

Then i began dunking her. Her wailing dopplered in and out except for the time she spent in sacue as worm four screamed worm expletives at me in an out of control sort of a way.

"He's fucking mad! You might as well kill us all straight away."
"Good idea" replied I, dropping Grace back into the sauce. "Maybe thats what you deserve"
"If you didnt want to hear what we had to say about you, why did you open the can in the first place?"
"Youre right I shouldnt have" I said, shutting the frayed edges of the galvanised tin cover. "I should have done this in the beginning"
The tin sat upon a log as I lit up a cigarette and use d the residual calories in the match to set the log on fire. As the flames caught up. Worm four's voice was fuller resounding in the holow space between him and the cap.

"You cant face us. Not me, not grace, not anyone but the ol taenia at the bottom for she laughs at all you say. And shell laugh! oh yes laugh and agree with every inanity you ever utter till she gets to your bowels - for thats where your soul is. And thats when she begins to eat. You my friend are your own best freind and enemy. And dont dont think that everything will be baked beans and ketchup. No sir! For as long as Schrodinger is remembered, you dont really know what lies in the next can. There could be cats who dont give a fuck, but there could be more of us."

The red glow on the can reminded me of the ripe Persimon I left uneaten. I got up and went to the table. The persimon in all its invitation had a small hole near the base. 'Fungus? Hail mark? Worm!..... wont risk it.'

Now i am warm and comfortable and there are but ashes left. Tea is my partner in crime and i sit reassured.

Many thanks to for todays "keeda".

Friday, October 22, 2004

Wind vein

Today, I move back to chilled sinus of this cetacean house. A space that some might call an attic - but that in my opinion is pigeon holing. Today I announce the onset of winter. Yes children it is official - the dragons from summer have lost their fire and are cowering like those they terrorised.

I have bathed frequently in the last month (sometimes not more than 3 days between baths) and the world that knows me attributes it to my recently reacquired lonliness. But not even loss in love can inspire a man thus. It was my version of a saliva smeard finger looking for changing winds. The trauma of todays bath was cosmic. Only handwoven wool shawls would save me. The warmth of these shawls comes not from anything thermodynamics can explain. It is a love that the shawl and owner share in thanks for the creator of that length of hand woven wool.

The weaver of my shawl is god to me, for he is art, patience, and grace rolled into one protoplasmic entity. Hail weave rfull of grace.
I have figured this to be the reason why yuppies dont take to handicraft stuff well. It is an earthly bond and the shawl will treat you only as you treat it. If you bathe it for every haldi stain it gets, it will not be sympathetic. It is a true symbiosis.

The attic isnt haappy to have me back. Its hatch has its outh open in a shape that can only be interpreted as shock. It is shocked at my lack of facial hair and the generally presentable (this is a negative word..... trust me) nature of my clothes. I said sorry to my attic and added one more to this years never ending list of apologies. But the spirit of winter is unapologetic. If you find my farting unbearable go outside and freeze your testicles off. I will not apologise anymore.

I am the pupa where the class carefully watches as the creature appears, middle finger first, emerging unimaginbly uglier than before but happy to eat the heads of all the other pupae around the jar.

Love and lots of blood to come.

Bunkim 'Bloginder Singh' Donuts

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Why I am almost Christian

Once a year, Hindus demarcate a stretch of 10 days called Shraadein. 10 days of intensely bad luck. Im only half Hindu and that I suppose cuts the period down to five. If life must suck let it be now for today the shraads get over. My christian half might snigger, forgetting that come spring, he'll have to face forty days of starvation - or by the same discount 20. The question is, what is more unbearable: 20 days of hunger or 5 days of bad luck. Here is my testimony to bad luck.

Day 1: Ive lost my rechargables. That of course means I can't spend much quality time with Joe Satriani. When I give him time, he tells me it wont do. I try to tell him about the missing batteries but he dosent care. I try and make apparent to him the guilt when using zinc chloride batteries that I buy with hard earned money only to be with him for 2 and a half hours before the leaches in my discman suck them dry. I must also contend with the the fact that with the number of batteries Ive discarded, ive poisioned the future of 2 and a half children wholl come to me with buds instead of limbs and ask what was so important. Joe is not convinced. "Rattle your dags.... get your act together.... i cant hang around while you sort through your disorganisation issues". He leaves me in silence though 'the souls of distortion' plays on in my mind Pwaay pe pwaaywaayon. Pwayawaya wayaya ya ya waayaaon.

Day 2: I now truly regret those wasted zinc chlorides. At 14 bucks a pair and at least a hundred pairs.... thats 1400 bucks. Enough to have shown my true love something spectacular so she'd hang on to me and my dangling carrots a while longer. No such luck. She left me today and sent me back a few lines I sent her when about to succumb to the temptation of another woman. Being my own arguments, I had no choice but to agree. I suspect she succumbed to the dangling carrots of another.

Day 3: Rid of carrots I sat down to drink. Jim Beam was here to keep me company and I thanked him greatly. It began to rain unseasonally and I joked about the sky crying for me. It didnt stop crying. It beat me like a wailing woman screaming "Why? why wont you have me?" I look up to the rain to and shout back -"Ive had it!" Then the rain stops. Metaphors have left me and Im left with excerpts from filmi magazines doing cartwheels in my monkey mind. It stops raining and it is cold. The cold is always welcome and I let some in. I now speak in chatters. Hey Im Bengali..... Mister Allalone Chatterjee

Day 4: Fishing. Nothing like a little fishing to get your mind off things. I shave, have a bath and the bait is ready. I pull out pick up lines written on the back of bus tickets from college days. "Hey I sorta kinda likey likey you.... do you likey likey me?" is the closest one to usable. The friend who owns the copyright to this "concentrate of condensed milk" is now happily married. I will have to get myself spayed before I can shed enough machismo to know im going to sound stupid even before I begin.
I walk into a bar I frequent. I know these fish and their habits, so catching one is but a matter of anticipation. The german music playing is angry and the poetry sounds flawed even a few languages removed. I am suddenly German. When I turn around they look. It seems odd that a week of absence can make a "part of the furniture" bar bum seem interesting. We have never spoken and I am my only carrot. I would have used the nursing of my drink as an opportunity to glance but today my peripheral vision tells me that I am on. If only I could find out which one of them is a crossword freak, id take todays paper and say "3 across - An unquestioningly loyal subordinate..... 11 letters........... Apparatchik of course!" Id casually laugh and put the only 11 letter word i know to the task of winning her over. But she - and all the shes today are interested in me. Its almost as though they cant resist me. Their eyes wander this way in some sort of anticipation. Maybe women can smell a single man. I walk up to a shapely woman. She is the shape of the woman who just left me. She is tranfixed as I ask her I can borrow the menu card. I am not sure if I can control all thats on the tip of my tongue. Ill save it from tomorrow.

Day 5: Just woke up from last nights crying. I have never known a booger so persistent. It stuck to my nose hair like a yellow tonsil for what must have been three hours while at the bar all the way to the public loo some half an hour later. Texture told me itd been hanging around a while. Shiit! This is childhood stuff. I didnt have the strength to broach the issue in writing yeaterday and nor do I have today. I cannot go to the bar for I am now the boogerman. Today i took out teddy, amy and other stuffed childhood freids and had a tea party. Teddy spoke of his midlife stuffed toy crisis and a deteriorateing sex life. We exchanged pleasentaries and I dropped them to the cupboard with a new set of naphthalene balls. Jim beam came again but a shorter visit this time. I can feel the ebb of bad luck.

Maybe I am christian after all.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Up and Up

Ballu and Khumbi climbed up Kandodhar, the ridge behind their village leading to moraines at the base of peaks too great to be called names. Noses ran white vitriol as the boys scampered up the mountain. They started off racing to that point in the hill where new energy falls off and gives way to questioning how far you really want to go. Kumbhi arrived first, picking up pebbles to throw at the feet of Ballu who had slowed to an Ape like lumbering. "Achcha!" yelled Ballu. "Just wait". Speech gets shortened as altitude rises. He clambered up to the rock Kumbhi had claimed dominion upon and jumped onto Kumbhis back. "Here........ having fun?". Kumbhi dropped him to the ground, sat on top of him and began to ticle him. "Whos the king of Kinnaur?.... lets hear it. Lets hear it or ill tickle till you turn to stone." Wild laughter echoed a long while for altitude selects a breed of robust that is only matched by barren snow beaten moraines.

Just then a cloud stopped by to talk to the sun and shade made its presence felt. You learn to fear the obscured sun as you would a wild animal for weather moves as fast at the extreme edges of life. A hole in the cloud allowed the sun back through and the boys were bipedal again, shading their eyes. "My father says that behind these hills the clouds put out the sun fights with clouds every evening and gets put out. The sun then sleeps, gets up fresh and fights his way out." Ballu guffawed. "You son of a mule! you beleive anything your father tells you. If he told you you were a mule, you'd start eating grass also. If the sun and the clouds fought you think the sun wouln't win? Then why dosent this cloud put the sun off right now?"

"Thats because there's only one cloud" Kumbhi replied.
"Right! and there are Two hundred clouds on that side of the hill. WHy dosent the sun go the other side? And why dont the clouds fight in the morning."

"You think you know more than my father? If he wants to he can make even your father into a mule. He can squash you like a bed bug if he wants."

"My father will climb up a Sharu (Fir tree) and your fat father can sit and watch"

"Chal. Lets see. Well climb the hill. If my fathers right then hes better, if you are right then your father is better.... OK?"

"Chal" said Ballu confidently heading in the direction of the path that lead to the pass - a pass that only occaisionally in the peak of summer was used by herdsmen en route to the river valleys when other passes stayed closed.

They both walked with a defiant step, each confident that their fathers would be proud when they got back with stories of vicory. In preparation of the cold, Kumbhi put his hand inside his sweater and waved an amputated hand at Ballu before wiping the snot off on his sleeve. Ballu pulled his sweater up to his ears and did a little monster walk as the sweater pulled at his lower lids. They laughed and both hands and face were back in the pure but niting air of the upper reaches.

Things slowed to a rythym and Ballu hummed a tune about how children who misbehaved grew Yak horns. He made to horns and poked them into Kumbhis side. THere wasnt enough air to run already.

Walking amid the start of the moraines, they played hop on the larger boulders and picked up round stones and pretended they were potatoes. "Give this to your father so he can get stronger and fight mine." said Kumbhi picking up a round stone twice his palms. Ballu took the stone and rolled it down saying his father didnt need it.

In a while they reached that part of the mountain where their snot trails left cold reminders and wiping made them sore. The deception of mountains accompanies even the most seasoned walker as hope always interferes in knowing impossible when he sees it. Ill race you to the top said Kumbhi and they ambled the best they could, a far cry from a run but the best their dynamos could deliver. A sliver higher than where the race began, Ballu called it quits and sat down to a slightly bloody nose. Dizzy he buried his face between his knees and snivelled. Khumbi back tracked all of his three step lead and stood by Ballu in concern. When Ballu stopped snivelling Khumbi bent down to talk:

"Are you OK?" .... Ballu nodded without raising his head and inhaled heavily. "Are you hungry?" asked Khumbi. Ballu nodded a no. "Still," said Khumbi "have a potato" holding a round stone infront of Ballus face. Khumbi roared at his own joke and ballu managed a snigger. Khumbi offered his hand and Ballu got up. The ice had melted. They were on the same side.

Walking was now all about baby steps.... many many baby steps. Time would have stood still except that when the sun met whatever it did across the pass, the cold would come seeking to sweep up all stragglers. That was still far away but not to be ignored. They both grew in age with each step, deepening the crows feet that would landscape the sides of their eyes in years to come. Frost and Ice now interspersed the rocks and hands tapped on thighs to remind the body of their existence.

Silence. Nothing but the sound of air filtering through moist sweater collars. The pass was now wihin a stones throw. Now there were no stones and no possibility to throw them even to test their estimate. They made secret time calculations but fallibility as a concept sets in early in high altitude folk. They continued nonetheless.

The ridge of the pass came closer even as they grew disoriented - not trusting anything but the sound of the crunch under their frozen feet and the promise that they were making progress. Khumbi reached first and stuck his hand out to Ballu as he made the last two steps. They sat speechless and reeling.


It took a while for the fog behind their eyes to lift. They dropped jaw inside their sweaters and sat higher than the reference point of mean sea level would have us beleive. There facing them for the first time in the life of village boys, was infinity not hill obstructing their view. Just hills and fake potatoes going far beyond what their frozen little minds could comprehend.

They sat a while and let a bit of cold in. "Chal bhai" said Kumbhi beginning to walk down. They walked down a little unsteady at first but gaining in the confidence of their step with every moment of triumphant realisation. Halfway down (psychologically so) Ballu remebered their bet. He took the early bird initiative to distort reality.

"See I told you there were no clouds." he put his han on Kumbhis shoulder.
"Are you blind? you didnt see the clouds? Which way were you looking?"
"Im not a mule.... you want to go back and check?"
"Chalo.... lets go" retorted Kumbhi
"If your nose want so weak we'd go back, but if you die, yourmother will make Yak butter out of me"
"Make excuses. Make excuses."
"OK chal... you want to go again?" said Kumbhi and began walking upwards.
"Come on lets go, our mothers will be worried"
"If you insist" said Kumbhi triumphantly strangling ballu in the crutch of his arm and elbow. "Ill make yak butter out of you even if your mother dosent".