Impressions 'n Expressions

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Uneasy is the night

He woke up with a start. He didn't know what had waken him, but something definitely had. Wide awake he could feel his heart thump against his chest. There was a very faint smell of something very familiar, but he couldn't place it. He wondered if anyone else was in the apartment, but then dismissed the possibility. He tried to peer around the semi darkness and didn't seem to find anything unusual. The door that led out from the bedroom to sprawling balcony that overlooked the sea was slightly ajar. He tried to recollect if he had closed it, but then decided he might've forgotten to shut it firmly. He listened hard to see if he could hear anything unusual, but other than the steady humming of the AC and the very distant rumblings of a probable thunderstorm he couldn't hear anything else.

He reached out to his watch kept on the table beside the bed. It was only a quarter past 3 am. Something was bothering him. He looked around to where he usually kept his bottle of water and felt a trifle annoyed at not finding it there. He thought he remembered seeing it there before he slept. The uneasiness increased as he felt a trail of sweat on his forehead. His mouth was parched and he needed water desperately, but something about night made him hesitate and slightly scared to move out of the relative comforts of his bed.

Finally he couldn't control the dryness in his mouth and he got up and groped for the bedside switch. The room was awash in light and for a moment the eeriness he was feeling disappeared, until he noticed a trail of water leading from his bed to the dining hall, which wasn't there when he had come in to the bedroom. His heart beat faster and he found himself following the trail of water to the room beyond. He tried switching on the light, but inexplicably the light refused to turn on. Now he was positively scared. The bedroom light coming out through the door lit a path directly to the fridge. He found that the fridge door was slightly open and water was still dripping from inside it. For a moment his mind stopped thinking and he looked at the gray-black 350 liters fridge. He stood still for a seemingly long time before a trace of smile appeared on his smile.

He realized that a bottle of water kept in the fridge must have fallen and the water must have poured out. That explained the trail of water from the fridge to the bedroom. Intense relief surged through him as he realized how irrational fears can consume you until you almost become stricken with paranoia and let your imagination take over.

He silently let out a whoop of delight and realized how scared he had become for those few moments. Feeling slightly foolish, he walked back to the bedroom and taking a cigarette, lit it and walked to the balcony. The sky certainly looked dark and the heavens were waiting to open up. Looking out to the ocean, he took a long drag and exhaled slowly. Far down below, all of 34 floors below, he could see the waves turning into froth in ribbons of faint white against the inky blackness of the ocean waters. In all the excitement, he had forgotten how thirsty he was. As he turned towards the bedroom, he suddenly caught that whiff of familiarity again. He puzzled over it as he walked back and found it strange that it seemed to be coming from the dining hall. It was certainly strange, but unlike earlier, he was not that perturbed about it.

He realized that in the relief that enveloped him, he had forgotten to close the door of the fridge properly. He walked towards it and yanked the door open...

The sharp crack of thunder did not die out the screaming.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Writer's block...a blessing?

Then it happened.

I didn't know what to write. No, that’s not correct...I have so many ideas, but nothing that lasts. The half life of most of the stories that flit through my thoughts is infinitesimally small. Compared to it, the lifetime of most particles generated in one of those massive cyclotrons that lasts for probably some billionth of a nanosecond, seem long and interminable. Needless to say, neither do these stories - or ideas bordering on an idea for a story - generate enough electric impulses to trouble the afferent and efferent nerves to issue any command that remotely resembles acting on an impulse.

I will be flattering myself and giving even those average hacks who can concoct and come up with a few thousand words at the mention of a theme - sometimes they don't even need that - collective apoplexy followed by paroxysms of violent behaviour, if I say I am in the middle of a writer's block. But then, no one has a monopoly over a term that has outlived its use, since the advent of the Internet and more recently...the blogosphere. The BLOGOSPHERE for Nathuram Godse's sake...where did that come from. New words keep cropping up…new words, re-inventions of old English, bastardization and corruption of words and grammar that will have Wren and Martin wanting a few pills of the amphetamine variety to try and reconcile themselves to a world that has crushed, powdered, dried and repacked the English language to a new and improved front loading multi-cultural, multi-regional in your face lingua franca of the world. But, with the reliance on oh-so-pure English, with its Victorian connotations, idiosyncratic spellings and pronunciations and a structure of grammar that can make anyone scale up a wall, not really a necessity why am I not able to produce industrious amounts of literature to ram it up the conscience of unsuspecting travelers of the blog world. I, who rarely if ever, appreciated the adage about brevity being the soul of wit and would struggle to keep my comprehensions and precis writing efforts to the required minimum number of words, am struck. No one has accused me of being concise in my arguments, while I have always thought that I haven't been elaborate enough. Its another matter that occasionally my well rounded conclusion on whatever I was talking about, may not have anything to do with the topic of discussion. But just goes to show, how well versed I am and how you should give me the liberty of elaboration if only to feel enriched and feel more scholarly after spending a little time with me.

Oh I am with not a clue as to what to write about and going on about something that I really don’t care about...well not too much to write about anyway. Language as they say is another mode of verbal communication or misdirection...and I have gotten lost far too many times for it to be ascribed to communication alone. Some say it has to do with my inability to condescend to understand another person, while I guess it has more to do with my own sense of exalted erudition in conflict with the average imbecility prevalent around me...well its my opinion alone and so please hold back on all those verbal assaults and insults. If you cannot desist, please mail it to my id…I can only take so much insult in a public forum.

Well, I hope to be writing soon, which I am sure might be in conflict with your wishes, but then we rarely get what we wish for anyway…and sometimes, as you are soon going to find out, it might be a blessing.