Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Does a polythene have free will? I'm wondering. (Those of you who haven't figured, this is going to be a really weird blog so take it at your own peril). Anyway, so. Does a polythene have free will? I was sitting in an auto, early morningish, and I was looking out and I saw this black polythene flitting along the pavement. Just like that. No breeze, no one pushing at along, it was just sailing away. So I thought, who decides for this polythene where it goes this morning? Does it have free will? Is it a master of its destiny...Is free will only assigned to living things, to human beings?
I don't know... these days there are a lot of things I don't know... I have this hollow, empty feeling. It's like being lovesick minus the tears. And I can't believe it's for a city. I always hate Delhi when I'm there but I think it now symbolises and sort of signifies an important part of my life. It is the city where I have spent 10 years minus two in Chandigarh, so 8. More importanly I think it's the city where my friends, former colleagues are... my freedom, my independence, my mobility. I've been whining to people... you can't imagine what familiarity means, even if it's roads, trees, knowing when a certain row of trees in DLF will blossom into a huge yellow bloom. Knowing the ways, not feeling lost. Where is my adventurous spirit? Why can't I discover? Why won't I go for a movie alone... I don't know. On top of which listening to songs such as Amanda, Hotel California, Free Falling are not helping (it's a random selection; download the new yahoo messenger and go to newscast launch radio. Then choose My Station and you don't have to choose, they just keep playing one song after another...)
The train. I watch people. Two girls will be sitting next to me and one will be telling the other her entire life's problems. They just don't care if anyone can hear it or not. I am more reserved. I look twice around me before launching into a conversation like that in a public space. Some sleep. Someone is apologising profusely to someone at the other end of the line. I put msyelf in their shoes and imagine what their life must be like back home. Three young girls are going on about how some boy called Rahul eats like a pig. I stifle a giggle....
You know it reminds me of my days as a child, heading eastwards in a train. Maybe taking the Rajdhani from Delhi to Calcutta as part of the Howrah party (as the east-bound lot was called when we were heading home for holidays from boarding). The train would start at some 3.30 p.m. and you could see the small towns bordering Delhi turn to small villages and by evening when the sun was setting they would become hamlets... A lot of the route is very green because rice cultivation is big in the east. It is just beautiful, like reading a book in your head, like a mobile painting, and then the people. Someone getting home from work, after his day at the fields, children playing in the courtyard, scruffy, dirty, not a care in the world, some woman sitting at the chulha in her house. What is their life? what does entertainment mean? When they hav sex, in their one-room house, what happens to the children?
I have forever wanted to live another life, be in someone else's life, go through what they go through, compare notes with myself, because only I can experience that life and react the same way to situations and people... my other life is living in New York... but of that, another blog, sometime.
As of now, I am existing. You exist and you live. Sometimes you do both, sometimes you don't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humans and free will? Grow up, girl. Your resources, nationality, colour, socio-economic position, intellect, IQ, looks -- almost pretty much everything that matters is decided before you are born, and someday, sooner than later, you discover eveything else too is destined

09 February, 2005  
Blogger eM said...

Don't worry so much about missing Delhi. It's probably just homesickness. And the empty feeling is catching, trust me. Everyone is going through it. Give Mumbai another couple of months, you'll make friends and grow to love it almost as much as Delhi.
Hang in there.

09 February, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Hmmm... does a hummingbird float or fly?
Is that black polythene scene synthetic or natural?
Is man discerning or deluded?

No easy answers. But, still, let's face it:

Is it not a vanity of man's own device to assign the mundane job of determining one's own future to... er, the ultimate entity?

It's tricky enough defining one's own job, in one's own eyes, something well within our comprehension (if not fully control)... let alone defining what cannot.

Hey, cheer up. Ignore the doomsayers and gloomsters. Given a depth-of-field 'ash rai' perspective (wordy as it sounds), that leaves plenty of space for freedom and joy.
Exist/live? Do both.

09 February, 2005  
Blogger Tridib said...

Hey, you mentioned Howrah party. So did you stay in Calcutta at any point of time? Funny you should mention the greenery along the train tracks. In fact, it is the most noticeable thing that happens the moment the train crosses Asansol (well almost). The suroundings seem to transform, as if by magic, from the dusty aridity of the rest of the cow belt to the lush verdure of a typical Bengal countryside. Every time I am on my way back to Kolkata from Delhi on the Kalka Mail I get up in the morning to marvel at this. And it never fails to amaze.

10 February, 2005  
Blogger GSB said...

Yeah, Tridib. I didn't live in Cal but grew up in the east so always visited Cal, and yes the train journeys are fascinating and magical. And though Apex has ensured most of don't choose any other way to travel but air, personally I much prefer the road and the train, simply because the journey is so much more magical than the destination.

10 February, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


14 February, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Wonder of wonders.

Still, free will. So long as one doesn't begin to attribute supernatural power to one's own will/word.

14 February, 2005  
Anonymous Iamayuppie said...

I miss delhi!!!

15 March, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

"Ashaariya raai" as often said, needs intense reflection.

The destiny debate is critical: on this, I still say that people must desist from passing responsibility upwards... for that vainly assumes they can give shape to a force beyond human comprehension. na na naah

22 June, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

A touching free-will impulse ran thru n'lace-dangler Sania's head at Wimbledon in the third and final set against Kuznetsova. Already down 2 games to 4, and lagging 30-40 in the seventh game of this final set, she went for a sorta smash --- only to land the yellow rubber ball in the side-gall.

An impulse that lost the match but won her so much more (cheer up!!). She did it for the audience, but it was her own doing: she let her own mind overpower her hand.

It was a fantastic moment of self expression nonetheless. And she should continue to dazzle us so. She has the craft, has the guts and knows what she wants to say.

23 June, 2005  
Anonymous chandramukhi said...

she's got the look

23 June, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Ref: the mutually exclusive issue.

Just do both.

23 June, 2005  
Blogger the cowlick said...

Hi. I came upon your blog through conman's. Like what you've written.

20 July, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


07 February, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are you not blogging?

10 February, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a blog can't be forced

14 February, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe not.. but can be stimulated / encouraged / evoked etc etc.

21 February, 2006  

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