Thursday, December 22, 2011

The singer - songwriter

I know you are there
At the other end of the line
Waiting to hear what I say next
Hanging on my every word
I know that you want to hear
Every sound that leaves my lips.

Every time I write
I know you are there
I know you try hard
To understand every emotion
I decide to express
I try to pour my heart out.

But I must let you know
It is not me here
Behind this web of lies
I do not exist one bit
I am a channel and that is all
For this thing that flows through me

Not a note I hum is mine
I borrowed it from everywhere
Not a word that I sing
belongs to me
I borrowed them all
From you. For you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I don't believe it either. But it is true. I have made a Mike Wazowski / cyclops smiley. Here it is :

c-) or c-( or c-o for Mike's expression in that picture up there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Have you felt
that feeling
when all things
seem too slow.
Nervous acts
like shaking
your foot seem
to relieve,
Those are times
when you end
up with posts
like this one
Each line has
three, just three,
Now I have
transferred it
to you by
making you
to check by
counting it
is it not?
Include the
title too!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Analysis of humankind. On the 20th floor

The twentieth floor. It wasn't all that high really. But it stood above the whole city. I could see the whole city, the next one and the one beyond that. The cloud's shadow moved from over a set of buildings and went over what looked like a clump of trees. I am sure this 'clump' was really close to a forest. The sun weaved in and out from between clouds and I knew this is why it was described as golden. It truly was golden. Not just bright yellow. It was the glowing, soft and exquisite colour of gold.

As the cloud moved over the forest of trees, I was reminded of this childish game that I played not very long ago (a very short while ago and I am quite embarrassed to admit it) In the game I was the emperor of a country and I had a castle and a huge set of workers, farmers and what not to serve me. I would click on some piece of empty land and command those workers to build a granary and a school for warriors and a blacksmith's workshop and so on. Meanwhile I knew that there was a dark forest where a dangerous vampire-like creature lived and ruled. I had to encroach on his land, provoke him and bring him out to battle when my empire was strong enough. He had his own minions - silly looking creatures which were vile and caused me to lose a lot of my people and resources. But they were easy to get rid of. When they were all finished, I had all the land to myself and I was free to do whatever I wanted without any more trouble. The game was a huge flop. I am sure you have never heard of it. I probably was the only "fan" of the game.

I suspect my game was only a limited version and that was the reason why I could do what I did. I built more buildings and did the job of a peace-time emperor. I am sure it wouldn't be a good move for game designers to allow a game to run forever without a so-called objective. In other words without a bad guy that you are supposed to get rid of or a mushroom to be eaten or a maiden to be rescued, the game wouldn't sell. What fun could you possibly have if there was nothing to claim it from.

So this cloud moved further and the sun came out. It shone brighter. My coffee was getting a bit colder so I downed it in a large gulp.

The job of a peace time emperor. An assurance that there were no evil creatures and no silly flunkies. What a pleasant life. An assurance that everything would only go up from here and that the land and its unlimited resources would sustain the whole empire to eternity. I am sure this is the dream of every human on this planet. Yet, even in computer games where we could have the chance to have it, we don't want it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

B o r e d

She was bored. Again. She was bored of being bored.

She remembered the days before GreaseBook had taken over the world. It was not very different from now really. But she could look forward to some pseudo-human-contact in the form of cheesy forwarded mails.
She didn't really miss them either. She was left with one less chore in the day anyway.

What a snob. What a prude. What was so special about her that she couldn't just be unique and special just like everyone else.

She was sick of people expecting her to jump in with the milling crowd, in to the bandwagon and be one with the herd. If she felt sick of the whole idea of putting her life online, trying all the time to be witty and special and intelligent and unique when she really was not, there was nothing wrong with it. There were enough people trying to be all that and the world really didn't need her to spend all her energy in that.

Okay. Then why complain? She had chosen this for herself. She had made herself the outcast. And stuck to her deep and passionate boycott.

A shudder ran down her spine as she realized that she stayed away out of fear of being connected irretrievably and densely with hundreds, maybe thousands of witty, special, intelligent, unique people and yet be what she was already. Bored.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Slow fast-realization

I sat in yoga pose
Content with the world
I had woken early
I was an early bird

I looked out the window
My phone began to ring
I looked at the wall clock
I began to think

It was 8.20 AM
The previous evening
I had set an alarm call
To ring at eight fifteen

Well frankly I thought, the alarm had
called me from the past
Then I realized,
My wall clock was fast.

--Amber Light

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Mini-Ode to the PC and the backspace key

I hit this wretched backspace key
More than I ever write
My blinking cursor goes left
More often than it goes right.

If it were not for the computer
I could never ever rhyme
If it were not for this machine here
I'd perhaps be a mime.

-- Amber Light

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Musical Memory

That voice, that delicate twist in tune, every variation in beat, every little imperfection, takes me back to that moment in time when I first heard it. It takes me back to every instance since.

Does that mean if my life had a continuous soundtrack, I could remember every instant of my life forever?

I remember every lyric of a song even after years of not having heard it. I can hum the instrumental fillers and tap out the beat on my table (or in my head). To an extent that I freak myself out about how I could possibly remember that detail.

After having thought about it enough, I am convinced that this could only be possible because our brains are made to understand and communicate through music much more efficiently than any thing else in the world. Which means that our memory is able to interact with music better than words.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wishing I was there

There is something very romantic about being a tourist. You see people and places and admire them. You imagine what it would be like to live in those pretty places. You dream of their perfect looking lives and wonder if there is that life in store for you sometime. You wish it was, because it looks so perfect and you have this idealized view of yourself and your life in the future.

I remember visiting Bangalore as a child and wondering how exciting it would be to actually live there. A city full of neon lights and buzzing restaurants and different people, exciting events happening all the time. When I did live in Bangalore, I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I had dreamed I would as a child. 

I sit on my favourite bench here, watching tourists from different places, races, cultures and think of their exciting lives. I think of the fun that they will have in their next destination. I think of the people they will meet, the food they will sample, the places they will admire and wonder if there is any of that waiting to happen to me. And while I dream on, I catch them looking at me, with the same wonder and longing in their eyes as when I look at them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some Resolutions

1. Eat appropriately when hungry
2. Live mornings
3. Get rid of addictions
4. Create habits
5. Spend time creating
6. Allow inspiration to present itself and be open to it when it does
7. Solve problems rather than try to bury them
8. Respect time
9. Stop to evaluate impulses before acting on them

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Bench

She looked around 20 years old. She wore a strapless white dress with red flower prints and some flecks of green that dropped to a little below her knees. She moved chairs back into position and as she did, she turned her back to me, revealing a glossy red ribbon tied into a bow around her waist. She seemed just a little conscious of her dress and tugged at it slightly.

She was tall, but her dress made her look smaller. She was not skinny, but you wouldn't call her chubby either. She had slightly freckled, fair skin.

She wore her long hair in a complex braid that rested on her right shoulder. She wore blue flat slippers with a thin strap that she held on to between her second and big toe. She wore a silvery anklet only on her right ankle. She held a tray in her right hand, with a couple of beer mugs on it, hoisted slightly at shoulder level.

She often slipped into a narrow doorway and re-emerged, each time with that tray in her hand. She came back to serve some new customers, very cheerfully.


She wore her short hair with a middle parting. She had black rimmed glasses. A fluorescent green polo t-shirt, with khakis folded upto below her knees. She wore black strappy sandals. She was about 5 feet tall and a bit stout.

I could imagine her at a desk, or a store, but not at a job that required the attention and admiration of other people. But of course, my opinion is based on her appearance, the way she sloppily and very ineffectually tried to catch someone's eye with a wave, the way she wore a handbag as well as a backpack on each of her arms, looking quite uncomfortable. I lost sight of her many times as I tried to observe the details of her appearance, specially because of the person with bubblegum pink hair who was walking a little away from her.


"What time the ice cream shop close. Because I like to eat ice cream." Two girls sat down on the bench next to me. They were obviously not from the same place, did not know each other very well and not comfortable with speaking English at all. Yet, they shared laughs. They made a very active and enthusiastic attempt to be friendly.

They left my bench and went over to another one when it became vacant. I wondered, where the conversation would have gone from that point. What do you talk about after asking about the closing times of ice cream shops. What do you say after sharing tremendously unique details like your love for ice cream.

I glanced sideways at them again, expecting to see moments of awkward silence that have crept in to their conversation and I was surprised to see them still at it. I could not hear them talk, but I could see their faces reflect genuine interest in what the other had to say.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What you are not

The movie came to an end. The giant screen went blank after the last credit rolled out. The song phased out. The silence echoed through the huge white hall. He looked at his reflection on the screen. He continued looking at it for a while.

It was late at night and the moon lit a large part of the hall, making it look silvery. The windows let in the cool air and he felt himself going back to his childhood when he would sleep on the open terrace under the summer moon. Since the time he could afford it, he had bought houses on the topmost floor of increasingly tall buildings. Every one of them with a skylight. It was a feeble effort to try and shut out the lights of the rest of the world while he tried hard to remember that childhood.

Nobody knew who he was or what it was like being him. Every body wanted to be him, dress like him, talk like him. But every one who did an imitation of him, did it differently, depending on the movie that they had watched. Because, in no two movies did he repeat himself. There was no characteristic expression or gesture that he carried from one movie to the next. Even when he played the same kind of role, they turned out different. Film makers had to fight their urge to allow him to play the same story with a few changes here and there, simply because his ability to bring a character to life inspired them to explore their own creativity.
He, on the other hand, loved the details that writers put in outlining his characters. There was depth and life in the roles that he played.

That night he lay on the cool white floor under the moon peeking through his skylight and he thought of his last conversation with his manager. People wanted to make a movie of his life. With him in the lead role. "It will be the easiest role you have ever done. No month off to get in to character, no research and no crazy costumes. Your fans will love it, easy money and little work. You can make the movie and then make it to that vacation you have not had for the past 15 years."

The moon had moved right in the middle of the skylight. He knew that he wouldn't make that movie. He had always known that his life would catch up with him some day. And he had known that when that happened, it would be the end of his career and life as he knew it. How wrong they were. It would be his toughest movie ever. He would have to take that vacation first. He would have to find who he was. And when he did find out, that would be the end. He would no longer be able to play any other role.

He thought of that night long ago. He had just come back home from the movies. He had watched his favourite super-hero thrash evil and turn back time to bring back the dead. He felt himself flying as the hero flew. He felt victorious when the hero won. He lived that life for 180 minutes and then wanted more. That night on the roof he had decided, that he would be that guy in the movies.

He had been that guy all these years. Now people wanted him to play himself. He would have to go back to that night. He would have to be that hero again.
He would have to turn back time to bring himself back.

The skies were becoming light and Manu looked outside the window. He had lots to write yet. He had so many details to fill in.

He would have to make it this time. He remembered his last bitter fight with his agent. "Everyone writes stories for movies. Who ever has heard of an occupation as a short story writer. If you want me to continue as your agent, you have got to write a movie script for me." How hard was it anyway.

He couldn't decide if his actor's childhood would be shown in a montage of clips or with a voice-over. How to fill in a 2 hour movie with just one actor and a voice over. There would have to be so many more people in a film actor's life of course. How would the story end. How would he depict these words without actually using them.

Manu went on writing, breaking just for badly made meals and a few hours of sleep in between. At the end of the month, he found himself standing over his paper basket. There were more sheets in there than in the pile that he felt he could keep. He still had a long way to go. He would have to make it acceptable to his nitpicking agent.

At the end of the next month, he looked at his story again. It had all the elements. His principle character was sketched out. The other characters had their roles well defined. There was a plot. There was a climax. The ending had a twist. It was perfect.

He sat down at his computer and typed in his story. Thanks to push button publishing, Manu had his next short story on his blog.