Breaking the silence

It’s on the tips of our tongues

The words our egos will never let us tell

I look at him; no it will never be the same again

You broke everything I’d try to regain

We’ll move on, you faster than I maybe

For you’ve broken more than mine

And through my rose colored glasses

You’re festooned in my head

I can forget you in a second

But that second will take a year

We both know the story

They say it wasn’t meant to be

They say a lot of things

I’m not made for flings

Will you cut through the ocean

Will I cross the skies once more

To break the silence

Will it be you or will it be me

In this force of gravity

This mutual attraction

Maybe we’ll find salvation.

No I don’t remember us falling in love

But I’m sure that it happened

Gabriel Royal

Cookie Jar Philosophy

I’ve been job-hunting for the better part of the last hour and I feel like I’ve made no headway whatsoever. After a guilt trip induced by a bout of exuberant spending at the book fair (A brand new still-in-plastic-seal condition works of Kafka for 100Rs? Why the hell not?!), I’ve decided to make money instead of haughtily casting it away like largesse. But then again, that’s what we all say, isn’t it? So I’ve made a cookie jar to keep my spirits up. One cookie for each job applied to. Till now I’ve had just one, but that wasn’t because I applied for anything, I just wanted to test whether the cookies were fresh. Are they? You bet they are. I keep eyeing them every now and then but I’m practicing self-control. ‘CONSTANT VIGILANCE!’ as the fake Mad-Eye Moody would have said.

I bought 21 books at the book fair. I still haven’t finished the books from last year’s fair but it’s more the thrill of collecting that drives me (such consumerism, much wow). My new dream is to turn my hostel room balcony into a cafe where girls can come and chill around in their boxers because it’s not fair that guys get to chill at the roadside chai shops and stuff in their boxers but we can’t because for the sake of our own safety, it’s best we cover ourselves up. I dream of philosophical evenings spent drinking filter coffee brewed in the room while lazing around on that tiny 30 square feet platform in the sky, basking in the waning sunlight and discussing revolutionary politics in the backdrop of pink and orange sunsets and the flicker of distant streetlights. We might start a movement. For the sake of wage equality and the rights of hamsters; for food security and claustrophobic goldfishes; for global warming and stockings for amputated frogs. We must seize the day -and night- mostly night because we have classes and work during the day. Burning metaphorical midnight oil (because electricity) while metaphorically penning down (because MS Word) spurious ideas that make our eyes go wide, set our minds aflutter and our voices rise with passionate rage. We will print edgy bathrobes because t-shirts are too mainstream. We’ll sue oil exploration companies for stripping penguins of their homeland and build orphanages for polar bear babies. They who tell us our music’s not right and our morals too right, our socialism too idealistic and our weed too strong, we’ll make them cease and desist and then we’ll divide and conquer. We’ll make the rules and break them all. And then we’ll rebuild it all from the ashes.

I got a little carried away there. I think I found a decent part time job writing for a travel blog. I hope they take me. I hope they don’t mind my occasional attempts at overthrowing their management and practicing small scale coup d’etats.

 *fingers crossed*

Silhouettes

In the silhouette of a tree, I heard its cry. Greens and browns to gray; it told me how those metal boxes that whiz past it leave their marks by the thousands, millions of tiny gray particles settling on its body each day. If it could cough it would, but a sigh is all it can muster now.

In the silhouette of a child, I saw her tears. The refugee camp had taken its toll on her, the violence changing her organs, the shock scarring her mind. They told her “God is truth” before raping her innocence but the only truth she knew was that men are monsters and that God has probably never glanced her way.

In the silhouette of a dancer, I saw the pain behind the grace, the blood behind the beauty, how the muscles as they convoluted, were stretched and forced to conform to a set pattern of what they called a beautiful demonstration of liberation; but liberty for whom?

In the silhouette of a waterfall, I heard its anger. They dump waste, carcasses, chemicals upstream, the water carrying it unwillingly downstream, to pollute the rest of its brethren.

But between the silhouettes, maybe, there will be light.

Why Post Rock is Underrated

I don’t know too many people that feel this way but I know quite a few who do; I’m speaking of the feeling of watching a movie based on a novel. The movie can never compare to the novel, at least in my opinion. When you read the novel, you set the landscape, the characters, no matter how detailed a description has been given in the book, it’s going to be you who decides what the story looks like. You decide what colour the light is, what exact shade of green the author is talking about, how the wrinkles on the older characters remind you of your grandparents. Hermione didn’t look like Emma Watson in my head, Robert Langdon never resembled Tom Hanks. When I watched the movies, I felt kind of cut off from them, as though I was seeing fleeting parts of the novels the way they look in someone else’s head. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t something I could feel for; they were a passive form of entertainment, something that I wouldn’t go back to, the way I’d devour the novels over and over again.

Post rock is the novel. Rock and roll is the well-directed movie, the one you’d like to watch when you’re curled up on the couch after a long day. EDM is the genre I’d just avoid altogether, like those over-hyped, over-advertised movies that leave you disappointed because the trailer turned out to be better than the full-length thing. I love how almost all post rock is instrumental, how they just don’t bother with the human voice, how it makes you realize the insignificance of our species. Classical has too much structure, it is beautiful but in the way you’d call a well-groomed, well-to-do woman, beautiful. Post rock is beautiful the way your girl-next-door with no makeup is when she’s fully absorbed in her craft, eyes wide and focused, hands poised, hair astray and mind working overtime with a pencil in her mouth. She’s more relatable, has more depth. You can empathize with her difficulties, her struggles and see how strong and beautiful she is through her character. Lady Classical however, leaves you admiring her from a distance, a beauty that’s practiced to perfection, out of your league, carefully manicured and maintained, few struggles in life, always in the care of some man with a sharp mind. With no craft to speak of and no dramatic story to her life, she’s someone you’d get bored of after a few hours of listening to her. The man says vivace, she runs fast, but always in dainty little steps; the man says lento, she slows down to a waltz, timed to the tick of the metronome. Classical is the mandatory reading on your high school literature class reading list, Julius Caesar’s arms conducting the symphony.

I love how post rock has weaved its own space in the music world, albeit with lesser fans. Where’s the music video? Where’s the twerking or the lead singer that’s stoned out of his mind? Where are all the supermodels and rich kid parties, clubhouses and big titties? There is something so classy about post rock that parallels the likes of Bach and Chopin. Something crazy and rebellious about it like Prokofiev, playful like Debussy and genius like Mozart. There’s something dark about it like Dream Theater; something violent about it like Avenged Sevenfold; something meaningful like Guns and Roses. It’s not about love stories and heartbreak, it’s about everything. Everything that the world encompasses and you can fill the music with your own lyrics, your own thoughts, shaping them like a forest, towering above the oceans. It’s your landscape to paint, the music gives you the mood, sets a background score. It’s a beautifully underrated genre. I wish I could say more but I do not want to bore you. Here’s a list of albums to start off with, I think YouTube shall do a better job than me at providing recommendations after you listen to these (these are in no particular order; I’d recommend the band ‘Break my Fucking Sky’ to start off with) :

  1. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – Explosions in the Sky
  2. Eviscerate Soul – Break My Fucking Sky
  3. All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone – Explosions in the Sky
  4. The Bones of a Dying World – If These Trees Could Talk
  5. All Is Violent, All Is Bright – God is an Astronaut
  6. The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place – Explosions in the Sky
  7. Not All Who Wander Are Lost – Paint The Sky Red
  8. In Silence We Yearn – Oh Hiroshima
  9. Circles – Degree of Arc

(I have a soft spot for ‘Paint The Sky Red’; they’re from Singapore)

 

 

No courage for news

I once read a story about how moths were actually pretty, colorful butterflies prior to the Industrial Revolution, during which the manifestation of pollution and soot in the atmosphere caused it to settle on their bodies and get inhaled by them, eventually causing the successive generations of these butterflies to gradually turn grey and dull. Albeit skeptical about the story, I’d like to believe that they’re actually beautiful creatures on the inside. I wish the same could be said for humans. Maybe even the most monstrous person you hear of might be a butterfly on the inside, just the years of piled ‘soot’ by the society he grew up in that caused pollution in his mind.

I wish I could un-hear all those stories of child rape and torture and re-hear all the stories of liberation and love. The news is not good news anymore and while it hardens you, it also conditions you to the constant barrage of bad news; so much so that nothing shocks us anymore. We’ve gone numb to war stories and human rights violations we hear of in distant oppressive regimes; statistics just make us sigh and turn the page. You’d think this is the limit to atrocities each time you hear a case more vicious than the last, but each time you’re proven wrong. There is no end to how ugly human nature can become, to cruelty or evil or how low we can stoop. But in the end, I’d like to believe we’re all just misunderstood moths searching for a flame.

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Anchored Cloud

I have a mind
that has a mind of its own
it leaves my vision black and blue
the world screened in grays and wild hues

I don’t want to be
a shadow of a shadow
of a woman I dreamt I’d be
picture-perfect but has no glory

I have a will
which lets me forget the will
I’ll have to write someday
live in the now for death will come one day

My soles, they walk the miles
that my soul yearns for
always almost worn out but never quite there
through museums, coffee shops and the book fair

I have you
for how long I do not know nor care
as I drift across the sky, shouting out loud
you keep me grounded like an anchored cloud.

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