The Affable Anomie

Location: New Delhi, India

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ditties With No Tone

Welcome! This is the Wet O'Wild Beach Tropicana™ paper and we are in it. I am top nude, my flab’s hanging with hair falling like a waterfall and my thin bony-arsed fried friend is lying down like an emaciated drought victim, giving vent to his frustrations as he passes cynical comments on everything that comes on television. I wanted to do the jig when a goal was scored by an undisclosable team he supports but he declined because he wants to "relax". He likes men with small eyes magnified into moonlike proportions with spectacles like oyster shells. His cellphone is almost blotched with kissmarks which he makes each time his girlfriend gives a missed call.

A special correspondent (in pathetic nylon swimpants probably exchanged from a cheap Bangkok brothel) has brought in some news that is going to brighten up this blighted still life description. It seems that a certain lamppost in a lonely area (not like Narnia) was flickering until he came under it and came alight The next time he went beneath, it went off and the next time it went off and the next lamppost (that's why I said unlike Narnia) came on. He seems to think that there is some kind of ghost operating it and that it's some bored ghost. We laugh.

Whatever the case may be, a bored ghost can snap us out of a state of boredom. My deforested friend gets excited and lights a cigarette to celebrate this sensational news, revealing his black olive lips in the process, which look like two rotten bananas and juggles his coconut armpits to the gospel. Ghosts exist! What a wonderful world...Bored ghosts...Just like us! Hallelujah! And he breaks a chair.No one around us hears a sound because we are in paper.


Never mind that. The point my anonymous (a much abused word) friend is trying to make is that he has...HAS...muscles and there was a time when he used to gym. But now he smokes, attempts to fuck, chants a weird prayer and wants to become a politician. Little does he know that he needs to spike up his hair and then he'll be the bane of many an aspiring parched bachelor (Well, come to think of it, he has...HAS...deprived the fat ones.).

You might ask me as to why I haven't mentioned the waves yet.
1. Because it is irrelevant.
2. Because you and I won't hear them because we are on paper. duh!
It isn't much use offending my reader's intelligence because I still have to continue and I want you to read more.


Apparently, according to Marx, capitalism has alienated us, and we have become mere machines, one of which asks whether I want a Roman girlfriend (as a tribute to his favourite football team). He likes animal sacrifice, calls it a food festival when they are slaughtered to an unappeasable blood-thirsty god, an offence to civilization. His imagination has also been captured by a certain K-, who once came into our sheet (of the Wet O’Wild Beach Tropicana™ paper of course!), cut his bedsheet into pieces at night and disappeared in the morning, just like our special correspondent. Each time he needs to spice up his life (like our Spice Girls- Viva Forever girls!), he harks upon K- to arrive and cut up another bedsheet from his second favourite bed. (Scholarly footnote: Remember Shakespeare second favourite bed and not his sofa-cum-bed which his wife inherited from him.)

"What though the field be lost
All is not lost,
But the paper of cut up beds
And the high pitched cheering screams of K-
Surrealistic to the core."


Now you might ask me about the lost field. "Excuse me, but how did it come into the paper?" It is one of those "Oh do not ask what is it" kind of questions. Like "Why do women come and go into the rooms talking of Michaelangelo?" and "Why Michaelangelo and not Leonardo Da Vinci?". One possible answer is that it is because it rhymes in the Michaelangelo case and in mine, and it adds effect as it were an echo from Milton's "Paradise Lost". But the point I have also been trying to make is about alienation, about a lush field lost, which is why we are in the sand of a Wet O'Wild Tropical Beach™, inside a paper. And our field has a pot of gold.

Now all we have is a football, a TV and two seminude men crying "Foul!" and "I am going home today" in a Yorkshire accent. And a special guest appears in order to take away my cigarette in order to prevent the paper and the Wet and Wild Tropical Beach™ from burning. "Get out quickly and stop drinking water to stop the paper from getting damp!" he says. I say," Leave us alone in our temporary paradise."

(A piece of advice. Good rules of novel writing - Add quotes and direct speech wherever possible to make it all look real.)

My friend says that till now only women wore red knickers but other than them footballers wear them most. He's even echoing the advertisement of a UK based cellphone company which offers unlimited talktime and for just 25p a month. That goes to show what a keen observer of life he is. He's rumpled his hair doing this and has imaginatively decided to throw himself in front of a road roller in order to see whether he's got blood or worms. He is indeed a keen observer and it would indeed be a pity to lose him to a road roller. We always hate it when great observers of life die under road rollers or drown like Shelly or expire absurdly. Imagine Samuel Johnson doing a flip from the Empire State and diving to the Olympic 10 10 10 10 to the roar of a thousand claps!

Hemlock is all right.

Notes- Samuel Johnson was one the the world's greatest conversationalists, a foremost literary critic and the maker of Johnson's Dictionary in the 18th Century. His biography The Life of Johnson by Boswell is regarded as a classic.

Hemlock was consumed by Socrates at his death as a manner of his execution by the state of Athens on charges of 'corrupting the youth'.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another." Immanuel Kant- An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?

A more lucid conclusion to my thoughts has made me realize in myself more fully the contradictions inherent in humanity- somewhat like the active-metaphorical connection between the self and the larger world experienced by Saleem Sinai in Midnight's children. In me is a restless cataract(find the double meaning here) to know, the Faustian climb(if it indeed be a climb) to the hell of knowledge, and the burning reality of its unfullfilledment. Kant writes of understanding and its presence but the lack of resolution to pursue it to its conclusion; a pusillanimity which I much detest in another but find horribly buried in myself, infested with worms that suck out its pith and marrow, leaving behind only the brittle hardness of bone; and nothing else. Herein is the distance between the lost sailor and the elusive horizon, the banalized distance between desire and its fulfillment and this utterly palpable distance between insight and courage.

As I enter the twenty-fifth year of my life, the essence of reality stubbornly persists in me, the seedbed of experience finds its roots, but only passively, perhaps like a leech. But even a leech at least uses some kind of muscle, so maybe a more apt image here would be of a vegetative state, of having all the nutrients that contribute to a balanced diet when cooked; but raw, less than raw in its present state, covered by all the 'nitrogen' needed to sustain itself and even permeated by all that was needed by it. In other words, I find myself paralysed when it comes to action, in spite of all the "wisdom" I've accumulated.

However, I am enjoying the first cup of purely black bitter coffee I've ever had.