Breeding Lucidity

In vivo. In vitro.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Shush IPL. Shush!

It is indeed a sad state of affairs when you log on to the website of a leading news channel and see "IPL" plastered all across. After IPL and news about Mallika Sherawat and Salman Khan, there is little space for anything else. The same media hyped up everything about the IPL and now it is also the one rejoicing at the crash and burn of a part of the phenomenon. Suddenly everyone is a self-righteous pundit about cricket and ethics. When did sports take over the first page of news? Sportsmen are doing a job just like any other individual out there. It is just that their livelihood depends on our patronage really. Instead of understanding that power relation, people, with the constant support from the media, have let them take over our lives. I understand the all consuming power wielded by a game or a championship. But the esteemed folks warming the editorial chairs across news channels and agencies are required to have the sense to know its significance and the fair share of its consumption. Sensationalism and commercialism have taken over,  replacing common sense and relevance along the way. I have not been a fan of IPL but I enjoy sports and completely understand the sentiments of followers of the game. However, that does not imply that we are to be bombarded with every event that occurs under the auspices of IPL. The media need to draw a line and right now it has decided that such a line is unnecessary. It is as though India is IPL and IPL is India. These cricketers are not the first one to be accused of match fixing and these won't be the last especially when the whole premise of the IPL is hinged primarily on money and a little bit of regional sentiment than any sense of sportsmanship. Give credit to the police who identified such activities and actors. Let the nation know that this discovery has been made and further investigations are in progress.  Engage reasonably in laws that could deter individuals from undertaking such actions in the future. Then move on to news that is worthy of air time and news that lets the nation know of its real and more grave problems, not the ones that plague the uber rich. You don't need to indulge in schadenfreude all day every day.  

posted by Ms.V @ 01:25   2 comments
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Day 25

You can scurry away for 
I grow queasy at your sight.
However, I can pet your sibling
and click left and right,
Helping me scroll since 2000 is the mouse
One of them tools that I use*

*Topic of the day
posted by Ms.V @ 23:45   0 comments
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Day 22: Fragile

The first word I remember being fascinated with was 'pretend'. This was around the time that I started writing poems quite seriously. I think my fascination with certain words was the reason I started writing poems. The word would play inside my head. It would start with the pronunciation and then I would start thinking of all the contexts in which it could be applied. Could I use it in a positive word if somehow the inherent connotation of a word was seemingly negative? That subjective quality of words kept me engaged for long hours. I would write multiple poems in which the word appeared; for me these were essentially multiple versions of the word. I distinctly remember my trysts with 'disillusioned' and 'psychedelic'. These were just a few that I have been obsessed with. I think I will probably have to add the word 'fragile' to the list now. I read the word and the image that popped into my head was that of a newborn, with eyes that are barely open, yawning away to let the world know her chagrin at being woken up with the only visible sign of that is the wrinkled forehead and that two fists trying to make their way out of the baby blanket wrapped around her. This was accompanied by the sounds of glass breaking and a delicate flower petal floating around. Then there was the fragility of the invisible yet conspicuous ego. It is indeed a weird mix of images. This is when I began to wonder - are most fragile elements considered equally precious? The baby indeed is. How about the others? Maybe it is because that it is precious that we understand and acknowledge the fragility of it. It seemed like the case of betrayal - it is always a betrayal only when done by someone we didn't think would betray us in the first place. Do we necessarily recognise the fragility of a glass mirror, say, in a shop? Of course, almost everything comes down to perceptions. And therein, I believe, lies the power for each of us to make things count or in some case, fortunately, to not make it count at all. I guess that is why the heart can be equally fragile and strong. It is a wonderful contradiction; one that makes for an interesting life. One that makes you look at that baby to "aww" as well as in awe.
posted by Ms.V @ 23:58   0 comments
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Day 21: Up High

When I took up this challenge, I had decided to write about the first thing that came to mind when I read the topic for the day. For a die hard optimist such as me, I was really surprised at what popped into my head when I read today's topic 'Up high' - Out of reach. I would have liked it if I had thought of the high one gets when one achieves something. Or maybe the thought of flying high among the clouds. It could have also been a dream. Then there's the geeky thoughts of space and Star Trek. But no. I thought of it being out of reach. Even more surprising was the fact that it seemed borderline positive to me. Yes, out of reach can be an aspiration that is just a little too high to touch. It could have seen me as the fox trying to reach the grapes. But suddenly, the levels changed. After the brief moment of despair, I sort of hopped, skipped, and jumped over to the higher level. Now I was out of reach. Maybe from my fears. Maybe from the negativity. Maybe from all the insecurities. Or maybe just from the chaos and noise of the densely populated lower ground. That makes me wonder if I am taking the moral high ground. In what context I've no idea. Maybe that is just presumptuous and slightly self-righteous. Immediately, I look up. Is there another high that is higher than 'up high'? Is that where God is? If so, would the moral high ground argument apply to that level as well? Is God self-righteous? I suppose it is better to consider this 'up high' as absolute. Why perverse the concept of God to placate my ego? So yes. I am here. Out of reach. Literally looking down on the rest and I cannot help but want to find the stairs. 
posted by Ms.V @ 22:00   0 comments
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Day 19 - Plastic

The following is one of the first poems I have written. I remember looking at the plastic flowers that adorned our living room and scrambling for a pen and paper the next moment. It has promptly made an appearance in my book "Breeding Lucidity" as well. :)


I take those flowers in my hand,
surrounded by their beauty,
I try out their life to understand
they don't smell good even to the butterfly

I leave it to the sun and the moon
to fight it out,
the daylight or the darkest boon
what's my life all about?

Let me be
the guy in my dreams,
without an address
I breathe to see.

Each door opens a hundred heirs
A place for me,
My seat a twisted chair.

I long to remember
where I kept my reel of memories
I search my heart but it is never there.

Let me be
the guy in my dreams,
without an address
I breathe to see.

And of course, this was penned in the hope that The Verve would one day decide to use these as lyrics to one of their songs. And they give me hope by singing "One day maybe we will dance (again)..."
posted by Ms.V @ 01:20   0 comments
Friday, May 17, 2013
Day 17: Favourite Song

A while ago I had written about my love for words here.I had ended the post saying that words and music are two things in this world that I couldn't live without (of course, people are outside the purview of that list). So it is really difficult for me to pick one favourite song. There are way too many. 

Having done my schooling in Kendriya Vidyalayas, I've never learnt my mother tongue officially. I do not have a school certificate that lists out my score in that subject. I know how to speak and read it. But writing it has never been my strong suit. I will probably manage but as I learnt in 6th standard, my sincere letter to my grandmother while she was away for a month turned out to be unintentionally funny, providing laughter to her and the extended family of relatives she was staying with. So now I write in that language only for comic effect. This also meant that I wasn't exposed to the high brow literature of the language. Well, honestly, the only "literature" I was exposed to in that language was newspapers. This meant that my vocabulary was limited to regularly spoken words.Therefore, one of the things that attracted me so much to English songs was the fact that I could understand what they were singing about, after I got over the accent barrier that is. Till I crossed that barrier, I had internet sites telling me what was being sung. 

I was exposed to English music very early on. When I was very young, maybe around 4 or 5 years old, my Uncle used to listen to a few English artists. I distinctly remember two cassettes - Michael Jackson's Dangerous and Boney M's Best of Collection. However, the only two songs I remember hearing then was the famous "aaaooooo" from Michael Jackson and Boney M singing Bob Marley's "No woman no cry". Yes, I did listen to all those songs later. But these two are the only things I remember from them. Oh, also that I was pretty amazed at the openness with which Boney M sang "no woman no cry". In my head, with my limited knowledge in English and before my introduction to Rastafarian speak, it meant there would be no crying if there weren't women in the world! 

After that, it was mostly Chitrahaar and Rangoli. There were just two channels - DD1 and DD2. And of course, A R Rahman (ARR) came along. There were a few regional songs too. These faded away as ARR strengthened his presence in the household. We had almost all the cassettes to his songs thanks to my brother's undying love for his music. When I started my 7th grade, we had moved to a new place. This was a livelier housing colony. Also, by then the cable tv had made its way into our house. This meant that there were more channels, more exposure. From the (then) predominantly English music channel, MTV to the French MCM. Also, a few of our neighbours and later friends were aspiring musicians. A guitarist/bassist and a drummer. These two made sure that they passed on a healthy dose of English music to my brother. We did go through the Backstreet Boys, etc zone for a short period. I remember that I never liked the extremely pop ones like NSync. 

(Aside: I never in my dreams thought that I'd ever mention these bands on my blog. There's only Bieber left now I suppose. Ah. There you go.)

With that effort to somehow minimise the damage with the comment about NSync, let's move on, shall we? 

The first song that really stuck was The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony'. I remember my brother being super excited about the song. He heard it at our friend's place and he came running to the house to tell me about it. He then showed me the lyrics. He was right. It was amazing how someone could have worked with those lyrics to produce such an amazing song. It's not that the lyrics are rubbish. They are amazing. It's just that it wasn't the usual rhyming patterns we were used to. 

From "You are my fire / my one desire" to " 'Cause it is a bittersweet symphony, this life / trying to make ends meet you're a slave to the money then you die"

It was a giant massive leap and we couldn't hold our excitements in. We loved The Verve. This was just the beginning. Soon I was listening to Radiohead's 'High and Dry' while playing Speed. Slowly, more and more artists joined. Cassettes gave way to CDs. Albums after albums of music that didn't just sound good, but also had beautiful lyrics. That is when I realised that I shall always be biased towards songs that reflected some sense of melancholy. After the pop numbers I had listened to, these sounded refreshing as well as honest. Life's not a bed of roses. Yeah. Say it as it is Ashcroft! Richard Ashcroft, frontman of The Verve, inspired me to write poems. And reminded me again and again with his lyrics to keep it simple and to forget about the rhymes. More importantly, I realised that I didn't want to write about happy things. Yes, most of my poems end with having found a ray of hope to cling on to. But somehow I believed that instead of telling people that everything is alright it is better to burst their bubbles and open their eyes so that they can find a way out. Out of where? I don't know. But somehow, a teeny pop idea of the world just did not seem to be true. It was not an innocent idea, it was a deceptive idea. And dishonesty is just not right, and especially singing along to it! 

During these years, I have listened to many more songs. There is an indescribable thrill that accompanies the discovery of a song. It amazes me how people can poignantly describe emotions, make sure that they make music that does not drown out the words, and immerse the senses not just in the passive but the active activity of relating to words, to trigger memories, to enable us to feel the ways we have felt before or even the ways we haven't felt as yet. I cannot imagine living without music. And surprisingly it teaches us too, silently - the rhythms, the harmony, the immense patience with which it finishes each note, and the sense of belonging that it affords everyone who is willing to listen. I guess this is what Ashcroft meant when he sang " 'Cause music is power / let it flow through your mind.../ rocking like a cradle / it won't let you go"!

PS: Unedited version
posted by Ms.V @ 22:22   2 comments
Monday, May 13, 2013
Day 13 - a friend

As the day began, we sought each other out to wish away the strangeness. The world is too cruel, and heartless. Let us not wage war against the vagaries of life alone. Loneliness in itself is a battle. As the day progressed we decided to go it together. Afterall, they say unity is strength. We have fought individually for too long to sustain ourselves any longer. What they did not tell us was that the battles seem different after we put up a unified front. The two pairs of eyes perceived the world differently. Suddenly, all the vices of the world seemed irrelevant. In the company of one another, the harsh words and the loud hatred seeped into the ground silently. The silence was bliss. For a while. We were children of chaos. We needed the noises to keep us alive just as the sound of the ceiling fan has to lull us to sleep even in the coldest winters. As evening came, the sunset just brought darkness with it - one of damaged consciousness. We became louder and louder, trying to recreate what it was before we became. Suddenly, as though a portal to the other world had opened, the noises came gushing back. When the twilight gave way to the night, we were separated by that strangeness again. In our overlapping yet disparate world, I suppose we are still friends - in a parallel universe. But this one shall clamour each time to drown out all fragments of human foolishness. 
posted by Ms.V @ 23:35   0 comments
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Day 8 - Sugary

One of my friends, Melee, has undertaken photo-a-day challenges. Each time I have thought that I should take up one of those - except that instead of taking a photograph, I should write a thousand words about it. (Get it? A picture is worth a thousand words and all that!) I am going to follow the same challenge as she is but in the written word format. Since it is past midnight here, I will start with May 8th (and hopefully, sprinkle on a little bit of the May 7th topic - flashback). The topic for today is 'sugary'. As soon as I read it I was sort of amazed at the coincidence. For the past one hour I've been thinking about the bag of cookies that I bought yesterday. I sort of promised myself to hold off on it for a while because once I open them the chances of their survival beyond 24 hrs is quite minimal. This also meant that it would be very soon after the shopping trip that I would already start regretting having no cookies left to eat. Now that is a really sad spot to be in. Amidst all this, it dawns on me that my will to fight such temptations are really quite low. That is not a good realisation I tell ya! Once this makes its way inside your head, the memories reels are very quick to jump inside the recorder inside and play every instance back to you. There are some wonderful memories made out of this fickle will. But that can't be all of what life's about now, can it? Beyond those literally sugary memories and the metaphorically so ones as well, poking their heads out from under the carpet that you had so conveniently swept them to are the really memorable ones. It is amazing how a lot of the nice things you would have probably forgotten but the ridiculously dumb and insane things you have managed to do, no sir, they shall never stop reminding you of them. Ok, I am making it sound much more sour and bitter (keeping in line with the flavour of the theme. Ok I need to stop with the puns!) than they are. As soon as this happens, my favourite distraction is to marvel at the wonder that our body is. Isn't it amazing? I will not get into the evolution vs creation debate. Irrespective of how we happened, it is an incredible feat of 'engineering'. Everything's been thought of (for the creationists)/ taken care of (for the evolutionists). The limbs, the torso, the heart, the lungs. I remember sitting in my biology classes and marveling at how everything was connected and connected so beautifully without any disastrous overlaps. Apart from everything that makes our bodies function, we have the brain that helps us take in the beauty, and perceive it. The five senses that allow us to behold a sight, smell the earth after the first rain of the season, touch and caress our loved one, hear the melodies, and taste...the 24 hour countdown begins now. 

PS: Unedited version.

posted by Ms.V @ 00:25   1 comments
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Tattoo Away!

This post is inspired by a conversation with a friend. In that conversation, my friend mentioned his apprehension at getting close to anyone for fear of ending up in a position where the two parties ceased all communication. I suppose this is an extension of the general fear of not feeling vulnerable; vulnerability is typically the result of increased closeness. However, he added that due to this fear coupled with his belief that he was to be blamed for it since it has happened multiple times, he was reluctant now to venture out to form any relationship. Please note that the term relationship is used very loosely and includes all forms such as friendship. That sort of got me thinking. I was equally upset and offended by the idea that someone would just absolve the other part of all the blame, irrespective of who was on the other side. That seemed like an easy pass for whomever he has interacted with. I believed that there were two ways of dealing with any issue that came up.

1) The most obvious and adult thing to do would be to sit down and talk about it without letting it escalate into something that is so deformed, by the time that you have given the issue to breed and multiply and mutate, that you do not recognise it anymore. In case a resolution is not possible, then the next best thing would be to keep your distance yet be civil about it. Not everyone in this world gets along with everyone else. Hence it is even more difficult to go through the process of stranger-ly behaviour towards an erstwhile friend (that, by the way, would be the antonym to 'friendly behaviour towards a stranger!). It is too much effort. Much more effort than being pleasant and understanding. 

2) Figure out the complete opposite behaviour of (1) and go about behaving just like that. This would include ceasing all communication. I believe this mostly stems out of the idea that one can do no wrong and the only way a compromise can be reached at is if the compromise is essentially my way. There could also be other reasons. Maybe it is a move for self-preservation or one that results from the right or misguided assumption that this is for the best for the other person. I have my reservations for the latter for in believe assumptions are not the best guide for one can never truly and completely know someone and that someone's reaction to a particular situation. 

After my conversation with my friend, I realised that there is also a third way.

3) Appropriate all blame onto yourself and make sure that this reflects in every possible relationship in the future.

I've gone through my share of these experiences. It is not a walk in the park. Well, unless by park you mean a wasteland with absolutely no scenic escape! I am trying as hard as I can to not come across as preachy. But this is what I have learnt from my experiences. There are always two people involved. Pulling off (1) involves both parties to choose to do so whereas (2) can be a unilateral decision. Therefore, this appropriation of blame on yourself is really unwarranted. There is no point feeling helpless instead one could just find solace in the fact that one tried. I think everyone is just as lost as the next person. The difference arises in some people admitting to it and the rest assuming that this admission would somehow make them seem weak and a compromise will somehow dent their's and others' perception of them as a fiercely independent and individualistic self. I've always believed that being given the ability to exercise one's choice is the best gift. However, there are times when such ridiculous stubbornness just makes sure that the choices made are a little wonky. I am not saying that the person's choice to cease communication is never right. I am just saying that it is not always right as is assumed. But again, I come to the point that another person is involved. One cannot control another person just as much as one wishes to not be controlled by someone else. So things may work out. Things may not. In the latter, it would be nice if you could go about it in a way that hints at setting out to erase the past. That is just futile and there is no way one can un-know a person. However, if it does not end amicably, maybe you should do what people do to 'erase' tattoos. They just make another tattoo on top of the one that needs to be 'erased'. So make new friends. Make new memories. It is a far more worthwhile use of your energy and time than the use of it to remind yourself to be extra cautious! 

PS: Unedited version.

posted by Ms.V @ 23:33   2 comments

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Name: Ms.V

Home: Karnataka, India

About Me: A 23 year old trying to take over the world. I am currently trying to perfect my evil laugh.

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