Friday, November 15, 2013

Late night paranoia!

Dope unsettles. Well, a doped out romantic would say, only to settle you again. But has anyone ever settled? Fighting with these rather ambiguous thoughts, I stood there at the Kanpur Central. Shit was getting too messy. This can't go on. No I wasn't going to jump on a train, backout of the station. Standing at a pan ki dukkan, at late hours, smoking classic milds. Nothing articulates urban youths misery better than the smoke of milds. So there I was, it was about time for namaaz, with some smakiyas passing around. We started conversing with a young haryanvi baba cut man, a proud owner of a chillum. Smoking ganja, little by little, sitting almost on the centre of the street, right across the main station entrance. How does one not love this country? Anyway, we start talking. I don't remember much of what he said, but didn't seem to be much curious to talk to us. Why would a guy slightly older than me, who now wears an orange costume on a daily basis take me seriously? He'd not shaved for almost a year, where I was just modestly three weeks unshaven. But he did say something, that stayed with me. When we offered him a joint, he refused saying, "yahan toh nanga milta hai, usme toh kapde ka sauda hai."
"Waah waah.. Waaaaah kya baat hai" unanimous applaud. A friend sneakily whispers, senior hai bey. Sipping one of the most disgusting teas of my life, lost in that moment we all laugh. The laugh doesn't stop, but the pretension starts to shatter. "Why am I playing along? This isn't really taking me anywhere? What the fuck am I doing here right now?" As the thoughts keep getting more fierce, I take another drag. "Yes my friend, we do seem to have a bit of a problem here. what do I really do? I mean what can anyone really do anyway? I mean I know I'm way better than those million rags out there, but still? It's huge, it's fucking huge. How do you release yourself from the burden of normalcy? How do you convince yourself to be some weird cracko doing his own thing, when you've basically played safe all your life? Or wait.. What if I was just unconsciously always doing my own thing, while still being looked as normal? So is it about me or the world? Fuck it, I don't know." I call out for my friends. Walking to the pan wala, he already has my cigarettes ready. What a bitch of a beautiful man! A middle aged muslim man, with hyper interesting opinions. His story, well for some other day. But we were all seated there along the footpath, half doped out. My friends knew I was off, they knew not meddling right now is a wiser choice. "Ek story sunoge?" I decide to tell them a story I wrote. I start, I'm slightly shaky. The namaz seems to have started, it's growing louder. The fading street voices start mingling with my own. My voice slowly seems to be getting in sync with squeaky noises from road rags. I keep going. I have introduced my characters. I can see it all moving, I see it fly my side. Five minutes into the narration, I'm not even narrating anymore. The story is narrating itself. I'm just speaking. Just mere recitation. I don't know where this is coming from. The namaz giving the natural background score, bringing in the ever flowing unease. I'm sitting there, speaking. Speaking non stop, reaching my last lines, grinningly describing the dying sequence of my protagonist. As he takes that bullet on his chest with an ecstatic smile! Ufff. The train starts moving, moves out.. As if the train driver knew exactly when to give me that fading sound. I sit there stunned. I'm quiet. Quiet for next good thirty seconds. Friends, full excited for me. I knew what had happened. I knew it. I couldn't say it out loud, but I knew it. I knew that even though I had written that story, I was way smaller than that story. It's always that way. By the time I finished narrating, I knew I had fallen in love again with the most glorious job of all human existence. Stories. Fucking stories, if it wasn't for stories, I wouldn't be who I am. Forget me, if there were no stories, we'd have stopped living way before. Fear is a little part of the bigger excitement. I'll learn to fight it. I'll grow up. It'll pass. But all that matters is, something is happening. I feel it, but that's all I can say about it.
"Bhaiya ek classic mild aur milegi..."