Sunday, October 6, 2013

The one about obscure joys and sorrows

I’m listening to the Wicked Game by Chris Isaak. The song that plays when Ross and Rachel are in the planetarium on their first date. (If you don’t know who they are we can’t be friends) Mushy mushy mushy. I love his voice. This song is so romantic. It makes me melt. I’m just a sucker for this kind of stuff. Sigh.
Possum and I have been gorging on Friends and unhealthy mid-night Balaji chips and cookie binges. I’ve realized we have memorized almost all the episodes now.  There is not one reference or a joke related to the show that we won’t get. It is amazing how they maintained the quality and the humour for ten seasons. Brilliant. There are some scenes I have to pause to laugh at. And I feel the same amount of sadness when they all keep down their keys of the apartment in the finale episode.

I’ve been reading The Alchemy of Desire by Tarun Tejpal. It’s quite intriguing. I stayed awake all night reading it. My head is full of the book right now. I like the way the convoluted emotions have been explained in the story. It seems like the narrator is unraveling them while he is writing all his revelations out. Since I was up all night, I went for an early breakfast. Ah, the mess was almost empty. Chattu and I sat outside the mess, sipped tea and looked at the misty view for quite some time. There were dew drops dangling on the green leaves and the small buildings looked like building blocks. I like it when all the assignments are done, and you can just sit back, deep breathe and relax. Ah, the campus is breathtaking then. If there is one thing I would crave once I leave this place is the silence. The sheer solitude and the peace. Now when I go to the city and I’m standing on a busy road I keep wondering where everyone is going. Why are there so many people? Why are they all in a rush? Where are they going? Why don’t they look happy? It puts me off. We have screwed up. We are way too many people. I’d rather prefer half the current population to just stop existing. It’s a transhumanist, almost evil thought, but seriously, either that or we have to bear the consequences of fornicating so much.

Do you sometimes enter phases where you’re sitting and you zone out of a conversation and start staring at nothing in particular? You’re not even thinking about anything. It’s like you just stop functioning for a second. Yes? Well, I have been reading The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and I found the exact term for that phenomenon. Ambedo: a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela.

That website is excellent. They have words for the exact emotions which everyone feels but no names have been invented yet. There is one which I particularly relate with. And indulge in. Gnasche: the intense desire to bite deeply into the forearm of someone you love. See? I’m not insane. This happens to other people. Or I don’t mind being insane. Who cares?

Some other terms I was vehemently nodding my head in agreement were:

 Sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

Vellichor:  the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.

Anecdoche: a conversation in which everyone is talking but nobody is listening, simply overlaying disconnected words like a game of Scrabble, with each player borrowing bits of other anecdotes as a way to increase their own score, until we all run out of things to say.

Flashover: the moment a conversation becomes real and alive, which occurs when a spark of trust shorts out the delicate circuits you keep insulated under layers of irony, momentarily grounding the static emotional charge you’ve built up through decades of friction with the world.

Wonderful, right? So intricately and gorgeously expressed. Go ahead. Google them!

In other news, chances are I might end up in Bombay for my winter internship. Nothing is confirmed yet, but fingers crossed. I don’t know what is in store for me. The city intimidates me. It has this throbbing, pulsating, almost unnerving sort of a feel to it. It’s exciting, but you never know when it might just pounce on you. My feelings toward it are the kind you have for your physics teacher you kind of had a crush on. He scared you, even annoyed you, but you wanted to attend all his classes anyway.

The classes for the third semester are over. Every time I say this out loud to Possum or tell her how much time is left, she quivers her lips and then covers her ears up. How is it that time keeps slipping out of your hands and then makes you realize that there was so much that you had planned to do and just couldn’t do it due to some reason or the other? Here’s a quick list of the things I have to do before I leave:

1.       Go to Depression point again
2.       Go to a disc/pub with friends and stay out at night
3.       Walk all the way down the campus and climb one of the peaks and sit there
4.       Go on one more trip with friends with the epicness greater or equal to the epicness of the Kashid trip
5.       Stay awake all night and watch the sunrise with the others
6.       Go to a Karaoke pub and SING
7.       Buy the damn thermocol sheet and make a bulletin board lest Possum peals my skin off

These are the ones that come to mind as of now. Will add more later. Can you believe I will be 23 in another month? I always thought 23-year-olds are responsible, independent, strong, career-oriented, ready-for-marriage type of women. I wasn’t even over the shock of turning 22. I feel 16. Where is my life going?

Before I start hyperventilating, I will move to happier topics. I always had this mental image in my mind before I joined this college, that I will have a big group of girly friends who will be always there for me, and we would share everything. Well. That didn’t happen. Lots of things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to be. I got a lot of rude shocks and unpleasant realizations about a lot of things. And that is how life is. The things you really want might not happen, but sooner or later you realize you did manage to squeeze out some precious memories and you do end up making friends. Because there will always be people who you can call your closest buddies. And life is just a little less dreary then.

And now, as Norah Jones is crooning in my ears, I’ll stop writing because this post is turning into a rather long disjointed flurry of scattered thoughts. So long!

P.S. Possum broke something that belonged to me a while back and so she got me an earthen wall hanging which is a half a sun and half a moon. Night and day. Yin and Yang. I love her! :)

P.P.S. I have a new possible pen name. The Radical Slug. How does it sound? Will explain the story behind it later :)


  1. So many new terms in one go! How will I remember them? I should start using them in conversations. Hope you're having a good day. BTW, do you remember all those terms?

    Joy always,

    1. I try to. They are beautiful terms, aren't they? :)

  2. Vivid to say the least and I can relate to most of the things you say! :)

  3. 'The radical expressionist' might be even better :)


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