Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dear Aarya *

Dear Aarya,

This is going to be a very random letter. It hopes to meander along like the long winding roads I have spend the last few days in. Don't hope to see any points . These are just observations. Mine. Observed within the limited space of my head , processed and filtered by the colors of my past and expressed , with full awareness of the futile attempt, in a language that doesn't speak you.

So, shall we begin?

I was in India last week. I love going there. Its the surrealism of being in the desert one second and then driving through the winding roads of Uttranchal hours later, that gets me. Its like time travel. Two days back , I was freezing my butt out, warming my internals with several shots of tequilla, with the Himalayas laid out in front of me. I am not capable of defining what is sensed. I am okay with that since it seems to limit the sensed into the paradigm of words. Insulting it.

You can watch the Himalayas. You can watch it for hours and the eyes drinks it in, like the dry ground that meets the rain.

The distance that separates me with the land that effects me, probably taints my feeling for it. I heard a man who lives there mention something about 'ghar ki murgi' . I realized I was hungry.

Food.

India is an assault on the senses. After the relative routine filled life in the Sand City, just stepping out into the Indian roadside is akin to exposing all your sense organs to an orgasmic high.

The smell, the colors, the pace, the noise, the silence,the tastes, the people....the people...

The food.

Dhabas.

Eating fried pakodas, steaming rice ladled on with hot lentil, topped off with tea.And that was just breakfast. Far cry from the customary dosas and idlies. Assault but so tasty.

Peeing on the road side, seeing a pile of shit, covered with flies. Watching the flies flicker for a while when the splash from my piss disturbs their delight. So natural. Things are where they are supposed to be.

Industries. Radisson Hotel. Ginger Hotel. Co existing with the two children who , dressed in tattered clothes play with the sand that clothes the earth.

Life goes on. Undefined. Until pointed out.

My land. My people.

I watch TV. Every Indian news channel talking about pornography. Something about ministers watching porn during a parliament session on their mobiles. I see the fuss, the debates, the outcry .

India. Ever questioning. Seeking , yet refusing to see the cause. To see that porn is a creation of our own rules we have established upon ourselves. To hide, to cover, is to make something natural into something stronger. When denied, it becomes desire. Something to covet. Porn gives us the illusion of fucking another without the complications that comes with a relationship.

We are a horny species with self imposed restrictions, creatures led by our libidos, tied to a single partner for the assurance of our continuity. So we find ways. To indulge, yet, conform.To fuck several without moving an inch. Every one is happy. Porn is a necessity. It has to be , otherwise it would not be there.

We care not for the industry that has arisen due to this want. The innocents that parade before us for a fleeting wank.

India is sex. It is sensual. It flaunts itself in every nook and cranny. It is beautiful but not respected. We unload ourselves , then hide behind our morals and the convinient culture, pointing our fingers which was holding something else a second ago.

I guess that's how it goes.

Painting something black to make ourselves look fairer. Or the other way around.

We are all guilty of it, so I guess that makes it okay. Guilt is easier when it is shared by everyone. Theres comfort in the falsehood of righteousness.

I trekked a lot. Walked up through the forest of deodar trees to stand in front of an ancient Shiva temple. Next to it stood a structure made of stone which was the rest place for the priests or worshippers who had to spend a night there.

Have I told you, Arya, how one day I lost the ability to pray? I do not know when it happened but it did. I could no longer seek for anything outside myself. My wife worried about the days I spend in the mire of hopelessness , like a child who had lost both his parents. I felt alone. Then one day , I learned to walk alone. No. Not learned. I think I started walking only from that day.

I sat outside the temple for a while and then I walked back down to the house where my lunch was being prepared. I smoked the marijuana that seem to grow here like the weed it is. I ate freshly plucked oranges , sliced and sprinkled with rock salt. I shared one with the 2 children, who watched me from afar, with no trace of emotions. I was thankful when they accepted and silently ate the same.

I took pictures. Soon got bored of it and stopped.

I stuck to looking.

Back at the Delhi airport, the gigantic hands in mudras that served as the interior decoration betrayed the generic similarness of all international airports world wide and proclaimed 'This is India'.

I walked upto the immigration desk to face a man with a poker face. He looked at my passport. Scrutunized it. 'From Kerala?' he asked. I nodded.

' Ninte perentha?' he asked , with an accent that clearly stated his northern roots. I gave him my name and said I am impressed. He said he has a lot of mallu friends. Don't they all? I replied. He smiled.

I like India. Its my kind of place. Its not everyday we get to visit and select the place we hope to die in one day.

So how you been, my friend? I am dying to know.

Love Tys



* This was written long ago after my last visit to Uttranchal. I wanted to do a travelogue written like series of letters. This was the first attempt. Then, I guess, I lost interest.But upon seeing this in my draft, I thought I will share it.

15 comments:

abhilasha said...

Sir, u write so well.. Awesome it is.... If possible try to increase the frequency of ur posts ...
-abhi

tys said...

@abhilasha : :) thanks..will try and post more frequently..cant promise though..my spates of absolute laziness is very anti creative

Jules said...

It was fun to read it. I love the vitality of India as well.. hence my love of Indian culture, Indians, Bollywood and Hindi music. *sigh* I'm not so sure I'd love seeing a pile of crap on the roadside, though...

tys said...

jules, ever been there? ... iam afraid shit is something you will have to deal with....not all the time but it does happen..

Jules said...

No I haven't been there, but I'm quite aware of what the realities are. I don't think I'll be contributing to the roadside poo though, should I ever find myself in India.

tys said...

jules, i hope not but to be fair, nature intended that stuff to go back into the soil...we are big eco freaks..we recycle everything, including our souls.

Anonymous said...

@ TYS

When were you in Delhi? Just asking. I was there in march 2012after many years and you know what, I was still left culture shocked despite being in India many times before. Do you get this, or is it only me who gets shocked in how things still are?

You know one other thing I found about India is that it never fails to amazes me still. When you land you get shocked, then you go throuh variety of emotions and then it becomes part of you which you never forget and that's what I love about India.

How's Mrs and the kids? Give them my best. :)

If you want to know, I'm still getting my arse tanned by my fourteen years old, who's now more stronger then before and I can't get out of his head lock. :)

HARRY

tys said...

harry, this was some time back...i think in the beginning of the year..i had gone to uttranchal to do a rece of a place with my brother...i do get what you are refering to...for me its not emotional...but rather an assault on all my senses....it triggers these various stages of feelings...i do get it....

mads and kids are fine...iam going back for good ...

we need to do something about your son...maybe we can gang up and trash him...i cud always arrange a mallu quotation team

Anonymous said...

@ TYS

Are you moving to India For good? That's big step. But why? Are you being offered the better opportunity there, or is it Mrs who being offered better?

Which part of India are you moving back to, is it Kerala?

I wish you all the best and do tell me as soon as you are there.

HARRY

PS If you are ever in my neck of the woods, then there is a bottle of JD with your name on mate. Take care.

tys said...

harry : actually iam moving back to india to start off on a socio project in the uttranchal..giving up the rat race and going hermit...wifey is going to be the bread winner, while i go and attempt to run a business that will have a whole himalayan village as its share holder...thats the plan anyway...will keep you posted about it...
where is your part of town? JD is strangely appealing now.

Arunima said...

it was amazing. loved the shifts in the tone. suddenly food, dhabas, pornography ...

LanternSaturdays said...

well written!

The UnMighty said...

I've never had a desire to visit India til now. So, well said.

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