The Rant about ‘The Long Night’

spoilers

The latest episode of Game of Thrones was stunning, yes, but honestly, judging by the way they fought I wished they had all died. I wanted Night King to die but not in a single episode, not like this. Great work, Arya, epic scene but it seems the writers only cared about you. I wished the other characters could have done better things than screaming at Viserion, discussing their marriage, and warging into crows. Bran – what the fuck bro? What is your three-eyed-raven-ness supposed to do anyway? Whatever happened to ‘You won’t walk but you will fly’ shit? The best of characters were there at the same place on the same side fighting this epic war; the greatest warriors, the greatest strategists, the greatest advisors, the smartest minds – All in Winterfell – for what?

How I wished killing the Night King would have been a bit more difficult! How I wish it was a beautiful collaboration between Bran, Arya, and Jon. How I wish, wish, wish the living at Winterfell had thought of better strategies – digging up deep trenches, lighting them with fire, setting up more traps, using the two fully grown dragons to their full potential. One could fight against Viserion. One could burn off the dead. Something, anything better than sending the whole Dothraki army on a suicidal mission, when Jon and Dany knew what was coming, what was out there, and how futile it would be. And they knew Night King would come for Bran, why did Melisandre have to put that idea in Arya’s head?

And the Night King, the supernatural, the super warg, the unburnt, the dragon slayer, the father of undead – who the fuck knows who he is? Will we ever know now? What was he planning to do with an eternal night anyway? What is this enmity between him and the three-eyed raven that he had to leave his security and kill him himself when any wight could have killed the damn cripple? I wish Night King had made it to the south, and met Cersei and destroyed her ‘Golden’ Army – just so Cersei could have known what was coming. And maybe then, all the living would have finally teamed up and defeated the Night King together. Cersei returns to being the bitch she is and the Game of Thrones continues.

Cersei is a good villain. But Night King was a great antagonist too and he deserved more victories, a harder death. I may be going too far with this but Night King was symbolic, the climate change of our reality, our DayQueen, the long boiling summer. Night king represented that grave danger that’s above politics, but far more pressing than anything else. Dead with that dagger, eight years vanished in a few seconds. Just like that. Was it really so simple?

But of course, I must be patient. I must remain calm. There are three more episodes to come. But I just had to say this.

*

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A Brief Introspection on Blogging,

I can’t say I have not been writing. I have but not for this blog. Didn’t even invite a guest writer in the meantime – if I can’t write for my own blog, why should anyone else? The problem is not that I don’t have anything to say. It’s just that I have been thinking a lot about what this blog stands for.

This blog started because I liked to write. I had found a small audience. I wrote for them, I wrote for myself. It was an easy way to escape. Though now that I look back I can’t tell what exactly I was trying to escape. Many of my posts weren’t properly edited. After revising the same piece about fifteen to twenty times you become blind to errors, especially the most stupid ones. But that didn’t matter, those who read still read and most of them even liked it despite all the mistakes. Some of them have been corrected. Some are still there waiting to be corrected or maybe, most probably, it doesn’t even matter now. I think those flaws have become the characteristics of those writings.

There was nobody to impress, there was no “target audience”, there was no motivation to be “good”, I hadn’t started this blog to have an “online presence”, I started this blog because blogging was fun, my writing was being read by people all across the world. I had no clue how they had ended up here but they did, and some despite being from different countries, different continents related to what I had to say.

What did I have to say?

Theories? Manifestos? Propaganda? I am not that smart to call out on those kinds of bullshit. I talked about lonely parks and lonely nights. I talked about cemeteries and dumb advertisements. Head to Holland, Beer to Bees, there wasn’t a connection, except they were all written by me.

But during those days, Writing was a hobby. Now, it’s much more than that. I thought this blog should show that change. But how? I wondered. Several months have passed. I still don’t know.

I started this blog because through this I could say whatever I wanted to say. Somehow it wasn’t much of a concern that this was the internet. INTERNET. This was PUBLIC. It was stupid. It was lame. It was bold. It was fearless. It didn’t matter if this was about nothing and everything. It was okay and it was still important that I say something.

It’s been a long journey and I have lost that freedom along the way. Freedom to be stupid again. Suddenly, nothing is good enough to be here. Good enough? Good enough? Who is saying this to whom? Who is passing this judgment? Especially here? This was my space. This is where I grew. This IS my space. My old self has been invaded by the new me and today I sit here thinking of her…In doing so, I am about to do what she would have done – Publish this random musing. Who cares? This is our blog, isn’t it?

*

Should you get a Pixie Cut?

He held his scissors and the comb in the other hand and asked, “Are you ready?”

“Are you sure?” my hairdresser had asked me. This was five months ago. It was a different hair salon. My hairdresser was a trainee (read cheap haircut). My hair was almost waist length.
“Yes, actually, I want it shorter.”
“This much?” She held her fingers close to my neck.
Shorter, I had wanted to say. Like really short. But her fear was contagious. I dropped the idea and nodded yes.
“Are you sure?” she asked again.
“Yes,” I said calmly.

I had loved them once, my long hair. I used to try different hairstyles. I learnt many braiding techniques. I coloured my hair. My hair was a dream. I had sported a bob cut for most of my childhood. “Why wouldn’t you let me grow my hair?” I would ask my mother.
“You are too young for long hair.”
I was more feminine when I was a child. I wanted lipstick and nail polish. I wanted to wear saree and salwar-kameez with dupatta. I wanted bangles and earrings. But when I grew up puberty convinced me that I was ugly and no amount of cosmetics and elegant clothing could save me – in fact, it was probable that they might end up making me look uglier.

“Yeah, I am ready,” I told Frank. I wouldn’t have been there otherwise.

This was huge. There must be a piece of dramatic classical music in the background. They were playing Shotgun again. It takes courage to do something like this – one of my friends had later commented. It doesn’t take courage. I just had to turn up at a hair salon and say the two golden words, “Pixie Cut.”

Khach.Khach.Khach.

I wasn’t sure if short hair was going to suit me. But certainly, it was bound to make me look different.

Khach. Khach. Khach.

“SO, how long had you been planning this?” Frank tried to re-initiate our conversation.
“A year.”
“Well, that’s a long time…”

“What if it looks absolutely horrendous?” I had asked myself standing in front of the mirror a day before.
“Certainly we wouldn’t know unless we try,” the mirror replied.
“I don’t have the face or personality to carry short hair,” I argued.
“Are you sure?”

No mirror had been so encouraging before. It had taken me a year and an entirely different country to find one.

Khach.

Frank was already working on the last section at the front. Small pieces were falling on my forehead. They were itchy. I had closed my eyes, though I wanted to sneak a peek.

“Do you like it?” Frank asked me finally, holding my chair from the back.
“I love it,” I said looking at the mirror.

I didn’t know for sure if it was the best hairstyle for me. But it was so different that I didn’t care.  I wanted to stare at the mirror and part my hair in different ways – see what looked best but I felt too shy to do it. I stepped outside, felt the wind blowing my ultra short hair. I smiled appreciating the fact that they were not all over my face. Maybe I was just imagining it but more people were looking at me that day. I looked right back. So I did have a personality for a pixie cut all this while, I suppose.

It’s been three days. I have been touching my hair 72 hours straight. There’s heaven over my head. I have admired how surprised people have been. Some of them hate it but most don’t. I don’t. And my advice to you, if you want to get a pixie cut too, would be – Just do it. There might be some criticism. You might draw some attention. You might be a center for debate for a while. Tell them it’s just hair really – we ought to talk about better things than some dead cells growing on your head. Period.

*

Featured Image Courtesy: myhoustondaily.com

Lonely Bunch of Fuckers

Aren’t we all lonely bunch of fuckers?
Trying to hide from our own demons in each other’s company,
Trying to find our own selves in others,
How does that even work?
How does it even end?
Our eternal search for eternal connection – something or someone who could save us from destroying ourselves.
Aren’t we all lonely bunch of fuckers?
Settling for company we don’t even like,
Listening to things that we sort of despise,
But better that than listening to our babbling brain –
The person will eventually shut up, the brain won’t.
Aren’t we all lonely bunch of fuckers?
We flee with numb solitude when we actually need companionship the most.
Such lonely misguided souls!
Wanting to lead, wanting to be led,
Searching for truth, searching for love,
And at the same time shit scared of both.

Aren’t we both such lonely pair of fuckers?
Cheers to yet another glass of whiskey!
Hope it melts the frozen insides,
And the frozen tongue,
So that the vocal words flow better than the thoughts.
There’s no need for love tonight, for love is scary and too fantastical to be true,
So let’s wait until the line between lust and love vanishes out of the blue.
I might agree to meet you next time,
and the next time next to that,
I might agree to see you, talk to you, laugh with you,
And hate you even more than I possibly can,
But that doesn’t matter as long as you drive my emptiness away,

Until it returns again.

*

Fuckboys

You are beautiful,
You are beautiful, almost,
When you forget to sync sound to your thoughts,
God I am soaking wet under your accented syllables (just the syllables?)
Sometimes they make sense,
Sometimes I forget to make sense out of them.
You are beautiful,
Really, in all your peculiarity,
The hair falling on your forehead,
The walk with your shoulders slightly converged,
Snigger, giggle, god if only you’d shut up,
I can paint your naked portrait in my head,
And maybe even worship it,
If only you’d shut up
And kiss
And touch
And what not.
Man, you could call me the one with weird choices,
Benefits of doubts, suppressed judgement and mostly I, trying to choose the right thing among infinite voices,
A mistake – I know it,
But trust me I have read the Terms & Conditions,
A mistake – I know it,
But what’s life without one?
So, hey weirdo!
I invite you to be among my favorite anecdotes,
I invite you to invite me into a situation that none of us has to care about,
Kiss me again, I know you would,
Lust wins after all,
I might just find meaning out of your babbles,
Once, twice, maybe a couple of more times,
As long as I keep experiencing paradise under your dexterous tongue,
Among other things.

*

How’s life in England?

“So, how’s life in England?” My phone notifies me of yet another text bearing the same question I’ve heard daily since the past two months. And I am left wondering, yet again, how the hell do I answer this?

How’s life in England? Each day, I wake up with a slight hangover because somehow I have developed a habit of mistaking beer for water. The morning begins with me brewing a tasteless tea and slicing an apple, often along with my fingers. Then I connect my phone to the speakers as I eat my so-called breakfast and start preparing my lunch. Two months back, cooking was my least favorite task and now it is my top choice for procrastination. I chop vegetables while dancing to some 2000s rock. I still don’t know how I manage to pull that off. The day progresses as I finish cooking my lunch which is almost never completely consumed by me. I leave some curry for my flatmates. And by the evening, there’s no trace of it left. My utensils are cleaned and neatly placed back in my shelf. Cooking a little extra so that you don’t have to clean? I figure it’s a pretty good strategy to go by. But this is not what you want to know, do you?

How’s life in England? Well, mostly it’s the blue sky and chartreuse grass spread across remarkably vast stretches of land. Each day I discover a new breed of dog. Each day I come across those cars that I never thought I would see in three dimensions with my own eyes. Each day I meet different kinds of people. And almost each day, I write about them in a small cafe with a small blackboard placed at its gate happily flaunting the beautiful handwriting and the supposedly reasonable rates of different kinds of coffees. Hours pass by as I type random stuff on random things and before it gets too cold (and it’s not even Winter yet!) I return to my kitchen to enjoy a multi-cuisine dinner cooked by flatmates. My kitchen is not a particularly attractive one. The dining table is almost never cleaned. Sometimes, the refrigerators stink. Noone is ever able to find his/her plates or spoons or coffee cup on time. When one of us burns food accidentally, we don’t pray for our own safety. Instead we pray for the inefficiency of the smoke detector. I look at the small exhaust, the electric heat stove, the rarely used oven, the toaster that partially works and the silver platform that’s turning grey – This kitchen is as ordinary as it can be. I look at the people I am dining with. This kitchen is my favorite place. But this is not what you want to know either, is it?

How’s life in England? Whenever the sun shines outside my tiny window my heart swells with happiness and hope. And then I think of the pending work, my spinning head and my heart immediately sinks. My table is splashed with my clumsiness. I am running out of clean clothes to wear. The bedsheet of my bed is beginning to stink. The mattress has given me a permanent back ache but I love my tiny little corner. My cupboard is bare but surprisingly, I don’t hate my limited collection of clothes. I am slipping below the poverty line slowly but steadily. However, somehow I don’t hate my depleting financial state. I am not sure why I am here sometimes. To write life? To live life? Sometimes my room haunts me too – to make it more eerie, there are unexplained bruise marks on my limbs. My financial burden haunts me. My insecurity and uncertain future haunts me. My dreams haunt me. But I am here anyway, I guess, happily haunted.

Days in England – It was clear sky a second ago and it’s suddenly raining. And despite the unpredictable weather, I can safely predict that it would never rain when I do have an umbrella with me. The cloudy night sky is bit of a shame but at times when it is clear I can almost get lost among the diamonds shining above, along with the silhouettes of the trees caressing the edges of the river. And then there’s the moon. The same moon I wrote a letter to saying that I would do what I love to do and in some surreal way I am still keeping that promise. I like to picture myself looking at this satellite somewhere someday in the future and instead of the moon, I like to believe that I would be looking at my own present self. We would briefly acknowledge each other, smile and whisper, “It is going to be alright.” The moon is my imaginary time travelling machine. When I look at it now, I suddenly see myself searching for it through the clusters of buildings back in Vadodara or strolling under the moonlight through the peaceful beaches of Goa during my final undergraduate year or picturing nose or eyes on it during my kindergarten days.

How’s my life? Each day I am going older. Each day I am learning something new. Though I can’t specifically point out the change but I can still feel a certain kind of novelty running through my blood. Life in England – It’s the walks among the pretty homes in red bricks. It’s playing with the amber leaves lining the footpaths. It’s being marvelled by the sparrows with orange necks. It’s walking through the trails lining the river. It’s catching a brief experience of forest and making an escape from urban life during those walks. Living here is modern and ancient at the same time. I am simultaneously falling in love in Swedish beer and cutting masala chai found in the streets of India. I am simultaneously falling in love with butter croissant and Latte and also with freshly cooked potato paratha made by my mother back home. I am amazed by the quiet and peaceful locality but at the same time I sometimes miss the crowd and the cacophony as well.

It’s writing, so much writing, reading, scribbling, dancing, drinking and being terrified of the fact that these days are disappearing much faster than they should and also the fact that I would miss this more terribly than I can ever imagine. My life in England? Well, honestly, life seems to be chasing me instead of I chasing it for a change. At first it was overwhelmingly surreal. Now, it’s overwhelmingly busy. Like the gas compressed in a cylinder, it seems like a whole lifetime has been squeezed into a couple of months. Weeks are long but yet they fly by. And sometimes all I do is breathe and watch yet another sun explode into thousands of shades of Crimson and Magenta and all those hues that I can’t even name.

“So, how’s life in England?” My phone is still beeping with that whatsapp message.
“Good.” I text back.

A wasted vocabulary

Words give away, you know. The snitch. Ratting bastards. Force your detachment, a vehement denial or a secret acceptance for a fiction juxtaposed on a non-fiction and yet they would make the forbidden revelations anyway. Tell them not to and they would confess loudly and openly your hitherto secrets even before you could confess it to your own self.

Words give away, the treacherous cartographers! They would shamelessly plot a map of your vulnerability; leaving it for others to discover and explore. Don’t use them on drawing books. They’d sketch and re-sketch your nakedness in all its ugliness.

Words! Don’t know how to handle them! Such confused creatures! Make them too simple and they would convey your message as a cacophonous crow’s call. Coat them with luxurious vocabulary and instead of glorifying the beauty of your thoughts they would fashionably accentuate your dishonesty and pretentiousness.

Words give away! Oh dear! Don’t trust them! The ultimate occupational hazard! Once you let the valves open there is no emergency button to shut them down. Keep these deceptive creatures away – they have several pathways leading straight to your heart, welcoming everyone, sparing none.

Words give away, the misleaders, the irritating fuckers!  Once the chosen ones hit your head, no synonyms can help you. Replace them with all the fancy syllables you know and yet they would stay out of tune until you use that clichéd set of musical notes that you had meant to avoid all along. Words leave you at odd times! They wouldn’t appropriately describe that amazing moment you had so desperately wanted to capture. And yet they would perfectly document the embarrassment that you resolved to forget permanently.

Words give away, don’t trust these babies and if you can still runaway, RUN! But if you can’t. Then welcome comrade! How have you been? Lie back. What can we do? Let us write a poem together. Don’t let someone else read it though. If you do, we would forever be trapped in the act of differentiating between false appreciation and honest compliment. Nothing would ever be good enough. But nothing can be bad either. Nevertheless, stay here, don’t go! Let’s marvel at the innocence hidden behind their maliciousness instead. Let’s watch them catch our ugly truths with infinite gracefulness. Let’s bloom without wondering about the odd colour combination of our petals. Let’s watch them make way for our idiosyncrasy carefully peeking out from the blanket of our sentences. Let’s swoon to the awkwardness of the lyrics that we just penned down. Let’s dance to the sorrow it conveys. Let’s share the tears at the joy it expresses. Aren’t you amazed by these supernatural abilities? Words give away, the lovers. Once they connect with you, there’s no way to break that bond. Words give away, the interpreters, they would translate the message that can never be spoken or seen. Words give away, the saviors! Even with all their treachery, how do we learn to live without them?

~Musings from the coffee shop

P.S. You can find more posts on the musings from the coffee shop here .