Sunday, May 14, 2017

Cut-moments

I wish I could gift you one moment

One moment of pure oxygen
Or one moment of my knees
Or one moment of the taste of beef
Or one moment of eternal bliss

You are silent.
Your silence deafens me.
Your eyes, I don't know, your eyes...
... I remember your eyes when I last left...
We had cried like babies.
An adult father and an adult daughter
In the International Departure Zone.

I wish I had taken pictures of
little moments like such

like cut scenes from a French film

so then I could piece them together
in a long reel of 'cut-moments'

and gift me one moment of peace.

No French films in the dialysis room.

'... yes, it is scary but, also, I feel like I am a burden to my daugh-'
'... I know this perhaps weighs heavily inside your head. I know you have never had any savings and no sprawling flat near coffee house. But you have brought up two great people. They are your investments.'
He smiled. Then they took him off for a fourth round of dialysis. Blood was pumped out of his body, filtered inside a machine, and pumped back into him. For four hours. Through his catheter. This would happen three times, every week, till his heart gives up. As a Hindi soap opera plays in the dialysis room television. No French films in the dialysis room. They pick their films for a broader audience.

'... you have a big heart, you know?'
'... yes, it is a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.'
'...umm... I mean you have been kind to people and are brave at heart'
'.. no, I am tired of living, and afraid to die'

We all are. Sometimes.
Tomorrow we go for a fifth round of dialysis. I say we, because it feels like we. Like blood is pumped out of my body everytime, filtered inside a machine, and pumped back into me.

I can't let his enlarged heart stop beating. But sometimes you don't have a choice, so they say.

'...if he dies, he won't die of cancer or renal failure or a cardiac arrest. He will die of old age.'
'...but he has to see more, I had thought, when he had beaten cancer 3 years ago. I guess I was wrong. Like so many other things.'

'...you should get him tea from First Flush, and creamcrackers and pineapple jam'
'...yes... that sounds wonderful.'

It hurts too much. It hurts too much to be in Kolkata. I promise I will never return here for memories.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sandwich

How was my day?

Ah nothing much.
Was making memories in
brains of lab rats by
shooting lasers.

Fake memories mostly.
But hey, they were 
happy and high.

Hey.
Was wondering.
What-if.

We are actually rats
in some 
lab we don't know of yet
And the ones
doing experiments on us
Are really also rats in someone
else's experiments, who are
also rats in some bigger experiment
and so on and so forth
ad infinitum...

Ah crap!! Tell me how your sandwich
was.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Blinds

I am alone in this, today
You are alone in this
today, you slowly
pull down the blinds.

Is it dark?
It is as it is, you say
Age is gotten on you, I say

And Immortal Cells
divide on your temples

You were meant to live in
Northern England, you joke
You don't belong
to the desert sun, you know?
How come you ended up here, then?

Random, like so many other things.
like holding my fingers one evening
like meeting at a layover in Minneapolis.

Weren't we for good?



Don't you let life slip away from you.




N.B: (Nov 23) They took out his cancer. They took out the frown from his forehead, too. Upon surgical removal of his frown, he looks younger and happier.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Of long ago


I had once loved a man, he had deep dimples on his cheeks and jade black eyes. I had left semicircles of teethmarks on his honey-colored shoulders. I had loved him without knowing how or why. I had loved him, simply. I had loved him in evenings on rocks where mosquitoes buzzed and landed on collarbones. I had seen him mad. I had seem him happy. He had seen me crazy. He had seem me happy. I had loved him in a different language than his or mine. My thoughts in Bengali, I couldn't express in Malayalam, his thoughts he couldn't in Bengali.

I lost him in the crossroads of life. But if I could return, I would return. I would sit on his lap and tell him stories. Tell him of the awesome things that would happen to us. Tell him that he was lovely, and a bit crazy, and that was okay, because it was better to be a madman than a walking corpse with Rolex watches, calendars, and brunch-plans.

I would. I would say that I'd miss him when he had stopped missing me, I would remember his smile when mine had just faded from his imagination.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

#

Love,
I know we are sad and we will be sad. It is a sadness that comes from a place that is too dark to mend.  It is a sadness that comes from the realization that things are ever rarely perfect.

My poetry strain to rhyme usually, and rarely do any of my characters feel real onstage.

I can understand when you stare for hours at your painting of poppies and feel glum about the yellows being not quite right. Just like you understand when I work on a comma in a verse, and stare at it for hours, and take it out and put it back and take it out and put it back.

We will never be happy with each other. Because we will never be happy on our own. Because we try to reach to the depths of our beings to bring thoughts out to our verses and canvases, and that is insane.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Clarendon metro

I take a train to Clarendon and watch life passing by.
Life, science, traveling and the theater have humbled me. I find happiness in unexpected places today.

A black kid with a toy. A little girl's little fingers. An old woman reading peacefully. An awkward dude with a coy smile -trying to begin a conversation.

I talk to a stranger about drug rehabilitation. "The brain, it just grows back, you know? I can smell cinnamon again, it's wonderful."

A homeless person tells me his story.

I smile thinking of my last theater class where I was a chimp. So committed was I to a chimp, that my knuckles still hurt under my bandage after four days.

I look at a mad woman pulling out random things from her pockets. Memory is like that crazy woman.

I am sad today. I am thinking of M. We have not spoken well for a while. We only fall asleep on Skype - happy to hear each other's breaths after long days.

I am hanging in there, trying to pull off my PhD, sending money home, and a long distant relationship.

"If nothing else, all this has at least built character", I think.

And I freeze in horror of what a full-blown adult I have become.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#

For the last couple of days, the only thing I have enjoyed doing is to figure out the various ways of reaching StudioTheater in DC from Ashburn in Virginia. The optimal time-point in the day that I should take the shuttle. The optimal route I should take to reach 14th Street NW by 5:30 PM from Mc Pherson Square Metro Entrance at 5:15 PM. I have done this again and again. Because, the only thing that I am looking forward to in my life right now, it seems, is starting my Septemer acting classes. And I know I am going ridiculously overboard with this. I have reduced my bank balance to approximately zero. I will have to leave work in the middle of the day every Monday. I will have to commute almost 2 hours each way, each day. Which is, 8 hours of commute every week. 32 hours, every month. But I really have convinced myself that I need to take these classes, for my sanity. (They say, 'choose happiness because no one else will choose it for you'). So, come September, I will have acting classes on Mondays, and improv classes on Saturdays. Plus, I am thinking of taking a few leisurely trips to DC on the other days, to watch some shows. And I do not know how I will finish this PhD thing meanwhile, by the way. Don't ask me. I may or may not graduate. But life is too short to be taken seriously. Amen.

Monday, July 27, 2015

#

Last time I was leaving, we couldn't hug. He was asleep in the ICU. With half of his colon and a third of his bladder ripped off from his insides. I had left him a letter. Saying that he was brave and I was proud of him.

This time we hug and cry. I'm leaving again. I'm not sure when I will see him again. Maybe a year, or two, or three. But times are better now.
Though, that's when I feel it: the feeling of being in the middle of an endless, free fall, as if, even if I hit the floor, I'd still be in the middle of falling.


Saturday, May 02, 2015

#

He is named Ostrich. When he is not sick. When he is sick, he is Guacamole.

He calls me Vanilla Bean. When he is particularly full of mush, I am 'Sweet' Vanilla Bean.

Our stuffed animals have strong personalities - Piggy and Fox, and Fuzz. Piggy is an American rock-star (so Piggy thinks) with a long fan-following of hot women. Fox is German, and quiet. Fuzz is currently writing a romantic novel.

We are five-year-olds as far as mental age is concerned. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

#

I feel so incredibly lucky to be in this place. To walk through the same corridors as some of the masterminds of science have walked. To sit in an auditorium listening to people I had only had imaginations about, when I was little. To randomly discuss a book I am reading, with a Nobel Laureate. I know now all these are not a big deal and all those are normal people, but at some point in my life, those were dreams.

I cannot believe that I have at least partially lived some dreams I have had since I was ten. In trying to understand how the brain works. Or working with some incredibly cultivated, intelligent and creative people. And, traveling to places I had touched with fingertips in atlases, from that dilapidated house in Kolkata that was once home.

And there are things I had not dreamed of, necessarily: like getting paid more than what I know what to do with, all just for playing around and doing experiments.

And I have got a feeling for both the horror and wonder of doing research. How draining, but how addictive.

But the most important discovery I have made about myself is this, that I love these fleeting feelings and moments of discovery. I love to question myself. I love to open my eyes and see what I have not before, and sometimes, to be the first one to do so in the universe.

While some of these discoveries are real, most of those are not. That is how science works.

And, I believe, that is only okay, because science is not a story. It is the truth.