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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The Absurd Struggles of a Writer

When I told my mother that I wanted to be a writer, I expected some kind of disagreement. She was not very delighted but she wasn’t angry either. I got a modest and an are-you-sure okay and soon we both forgot about it. Somehow, sluggishly, I finished college and I obtained a degree that said I was an Electrical Engineer.

Even though I had told a few people that I wanted to be a writer I wasn’t really serious about it. I fantasized about it yes –  Living in a big new strange city, lost and lonely among millions; I am sleeping on the pavements, cold, helpless and yet the fire in my heart kindles and I dream and I dream. Often I don’t eat, often I forget to eat, my writing is all that is and all that will be. I stay in my miserable room devouring two-three books I have, day and night, again and again. But those few books are my life. War and Peace, Madame Bovary, The Ulysses, and oh how I read! Like a demon. My room is built with bricks and rejection mails. And still, I breathe. And still, I write. No one in my family is talking to me. I have no friends. The fumes of my cigarettes and a glass half filled with cheap warm whiskey are my only companions. Yes, it is hard. It is so difficult that almost all kinds of poetry make sense to me. But I am on my way to be a great writer.

The reality, however, is that after graduating out of college I joined a company. We manufactured switchgear, did our bit in providing safe electricity to people. It was a normal 9 to 5 (or 7 or 9 or sometimes 10) job, which I grew to hate within two months. But I could have continued doing it for the rest of my life if it wasn’t for my family.

‘You don’t deserve such a job,’ my mother used to tell me. ‘You should do something else. Do you have anything in mind?’
In my mind, there was a dream that I never thought could ever come true.
‘I don’t know’
‘How about MBA?’ she asked.
Another trending degree that I am actually not interested in studying but I may get a better paying job with it so yeah why not.
A day later, she called me again, ‘How about English?’
That would be wonderful! Wait, what?

No, Ma, you are supposed to force me into choosing a ‘practical’ degree.
You are supposed to be an antagonist so that I could be a protagonist.
You are supposed to say things like – ‘Just because a few odd people praised your writing that doesn’t mean you could be a writer!’  Then I am supposed to leave home, burning with fury and ambition and say stuff like, ‘Oh but you are wrong Ma. I am leaving now. Forever.’ And out of this tragedy, a great writer shall emerge.

‘Why not study writing if you like writing so much?’, my mother told me instead.
You are supposed to resist my dream. You are not supposed to make it your own. What’s wrong with you! What kind of broad-minded dreamy mother are you who sends her daughter to study creative writing all the way to England?

They say that artists live wretched lives. They say they have the worst family. And that somehow contributes to their genius. I have a decent life, a supportive family, so does that mean I am disqualified?

And I wonder…

Do I really need to be Charles Bukowski or is it okay to be the way I am and still be a good writer? I don’t smoke cigarettes and I don’t drink cheap warm whiskey. I haven’t read War and Peace. And no, most poems still don’t make sense to me. Sometimes my own poems don’t make sense to me. I live in a decent apartment. I don’t have money in my bank account but I can’t call myself poor. I can afford to buy books. I have Kindle, Netflix subscription (which I just canceled), and a car to go to the nearby library (which I never drive because I don’t know how to drive). Such is my writing life – not ideal but still privileged, and the only real hurdles I face are mental. Hurdles like questioning whether I am actually a writer if I haven’t struggled enough to ‘know the reality of life’. Hurdles like – Can I ever stop wondering what life would have been as an engineer? As a management student? Can I really be at peace knowing how my social rankings have slipped now that I have switched to humanities, that I can no longer consider myself ‘smart’, that Engineering to me is just a paper in my folder, that I have no knowledge regarding that field anymore, that I never really had any, that I have no idea what I am doing right now, did I ever have any such idea, does anyone have any idea, that I am not designing any kind of artificial intelligence, but I am sitting here writing a dumb book. But I love writing that dumb book. So shut up.

*

Infinity Loop

The other side of the dream
lies another dream
lies another clean slate
that you need to start scribbling on –
Infinity loop
According to my disoriented head
And according to my head high with hope
I am just in a bad mood.

The other side of dream
lies new sets of insecurities,
More shit to deal with.
What did you think, you’d get away so easily?
What the hell is wrong with you?
I think even happiness hurts sometimes
When I laugh
often my heart yearns for the solace in sorrow.
Crazy, isn’t it?
What the hell is wrong with me?
Most of us don’t even know how to live!
Why do they not train you before throwing you out to Earth?
Here, we are trying to decipher the meaning of life
through random Instagram posts
deemed inspirational according to current popular culture.
Perfect.
Hence, the training,
Hence, my point.

Anyway, the other side of dream
lies a new list of confusions
But wait
Why is this moron complaining again?
Can’t she just revere what she has?
Who’s complaining?
I am not complaining!
I am just trying to get rid of some pathetic filters of my mood
I hate it when I am poetic like this
I hate it
I hate poems
Though those are mostly what I write
I hate the honesty it drips with
And I hate how people simply don’t get it
Not their fault though
Poetry is pathetic.
Here, I admit it.

The other side of the dream
lies the new kind of rage
and ungratefulness,
New sets of blows to conscience
New sets of excuses
New kinds of cruel addictions
You thought you could get away so easily?
Sit back
Relax
And get another cup of coffee;
The door just leads into another room
for you to find another door
to yet another room.
I guess the key is to not lose patience
(At least, that’s what the tweet said)
What do you even want from your life?
Maybe food?
Or a quick nap?
Long naps, actually,
Very long indeed
But then you cross a threshold
And you enter into a series of nightmares
Not your position of particular liking,
But you are too lazy to wake up
And your brain is too desperate for you to do the very same.
So ultimately you give in,
Eyes open
Mind shut.
Inherent surviving skills, I figure.
I am impressed
Maybe they will come handy
when I am being too harsh on life
on myself,
like today?
Come on get me out of here,
Brain!
Brain?
Where the hell does it go when you need it the most?
Wake me up, will you?
No,
I know,
It will watch me suffer.
Let me get some popcorn for you
Loser. Fucker.
Oh, you need coke too?

But anyway,
The other side of the dream;
Welcome to the infinity loop,
To the Hotel California rules
It will be easier to ignore, easier not to perceive
That once you check in, you kind of never leave.
The hotel is humongous;
Infinite rooms, infinite doors
You are lost now
Just like you were lost before.
So does it really make a difference?
On the other hand,
I heard the room service is great
And the food ain’t that bad
And despite being in the gigantic maze of rooms,
And corridors,
And floors,
And halls,
And what not,
You can still easily find the bar.

I mean, just saying.

*

Things that I don’t understand – II

  1. Fluid mechanics. Office politics. And heart.
  2. Black holes. Black-heads. What existed before big bang. And heart.

So, what’s the most popular topic available in the market for us average folks? Politics? Partly. Sports? Partly. Game of Thrones? Yes, definitely. Shit, this post should have been about that. But, okay I settled for the second best thing – Opposite gender! Of course! The most common thing that we don’t understand yet! Yeah, yeah, yeah as mainstream as it is, this is indeed going to be about him. About that guy.  “What guy?” you might ask. Good question. He is the guy you mostly hate but secretly love. The guy you secretly love and that’s why you mostly hate yourself. He is the one who has technically departed from the circle of relevance of your life. But, oh, he is there alright. The guy you are almost tempted to text when drunk. But self-control matters and you don’t really want to climb down the ladder of self-esteem anymore. So, you don’t. But still you are “tempted”. Point to be noted, your highness! The guy you might have met just once but then that was enough. The guy who never bought you any flowers or took you on a “formal” date (or let you do the vice versa) but even the lack of these things was enough. Enough for what? Enough for your obvious inference that you need to stay away. But you didn’t. Because how could you simply do things that you shouldn’t and make your life a hell lot simpler? The guy who offends you, who disrespects you in the most obvious ways and yet he matters. The guy who is not interested in you even a bit and hence all your interest comes pouring down on him. Yes, that guy. You don’t like him. Or rather you don’t want to like him. You wish for indifference. You wish that the fact that he has a satisfactory life without you doesn’t bother you. He is that guy whose proximity might be something you yearn for. But you wish both for his presence and absence. He is toxic. So, you stay away. He is toxic. So, you search for an antidote so that you could stay with him. You don’t wish to acknowledge his impact on your life and usually you don’t. But for how long would you deny?  You can’t hide the truth from your own self. Your self knows about the way he is there in your thoughts – lurking, hovering and always peeking through the curtain. “Why? Why that guy?” You ask everyone present in your body. And oh so cutely they all nod their heads with innocence dripping through their faces and they will tell you – “On ne sait pas! (We don’t know!)” You don’t know. I don’t know. God doesn’t know. Science doesn’t know. So, who knows! Damn. That guy. “Come on! You could do better surely,” you tell yourself. But then why must you belittle yourself and him both by such line of thought! You could do better. He could do better. Who knows who could do better? He is not worth it. He doesn’t deserve you. But you don’t know that. Maybe it’s not you who deserves better maybe it’s him who deserves better. Maybe his negative projections in your brain are merely one of your futile efforts to get him out of your head. For what it’s worth maybe he is indeed amazing. Too good for you. Maybe not, who knows? Can we really have an unbiased opinion about this? But do we really need that opinion? So, why insult ourselves (and him) by this pointless debate? Pause. Let’s acknowledge that our paths intersected for a reason. Pause. Let’s acknowledge that nothing lasts forever. Pause. Let’s recall that there are many people who once meant the world to you but are nothing more than a name in your Facebook friend list now. Things like that happen all the time and with everybody. Pause. Yes, you both shouldn’t be together. And thankfully that’s not even going to happen. But can somebody tell you that it’s okay to think about him? Pause. He had been amazing and you are grateful. Pause. This is a phase and it will pass. You learn and move on. That’s life. Stop. Okay?

Okay. But that guy, that person – ‘Why exactly’ is what I don’t understand.

*

The hot girl at the coffee shop

(And how I will never be as hot as she is – An unintentional rant on insecurity)

I sit here in awe as I watch you taking the seat next to my table. I am staring, ain’t I? But I can’t stop myself from doing this. For starters, I won’t deny that I am a bit irked by your hair and how the strands don’t strive to take weird spaces in the air, how they seem perfectly managed and cohered like they show in those advertisements. Then there is the length of your hair. Funny I seem to love long hair again because when my hair used to be that long, I used to look like a broomstick and I eventually grew to hate it. Well, not anymore I guess. Every curl of your hair, they seem to be a deliberate effort, not a mere accident but a perfect plan well executed. Ugh! How beautiful! And how very convenient. You get to be out on your good hair day. And there’s me – always trying to hide the hideousness of my hair in a bun!  Are my bad hair days ever getting over? And then there is your eyeliner. Boy, look at that symmetry! The smokey eye shadow surrounding it, did you notice that my burning heart? How glamorous is that! So, that is how you put it! I am talking to you my dear hand, that is how we are supposed to put it! And by the way, which shade is your lipstick colour? Which brand is it? I need to buy that immediately.

Stop it. What are you doing? What am I doing? Describing her, grandma brain! Don’t act so innocent! My eyes are glued on her because of your orders, not mine. So, don’t pretend to be shocked. You can expect me describing everything about her – Her grey crop top. Grey, notice that colour ; The colour of class. A wardrobe must have and yet we don’t have it. That’s because we are not meant to carry these beautiful things on our body. We are meant to make notes about others carrying it.  Her black shrug, her black jeans, her black sneakers and then there’s the stylish amazing contrast to everything – Her cream sling bag. Just look at that walking Zara showroom, man! How come everything that she is doing right now seem so perfect! This is weird!  I think that was the 100th selfie that she just snapped. Wow. Usually you would have found me rolling my eyes at her and her front camera but today this incessant act of capturing different positions of lips and eyebrows and hands miraculously makes perfect sense to me. Where is all my anti-selfieism spirit gone?

God, she is beautiful. Beautiful? Well, that’s a presumptuous word, isn’t it? I think we should settle for this other adjective – hot. So, she is hot! And also an unintentional salt on my wound. She is making me realize how I don’t know these things; taking care of my own self, putting efforts on myself and not just leaving things on fate and the hormones in my body. She makes me acutely aware of my carelessness, of my cracked lips, of my un-kept nails, of my uncombed hair, of my dark circles, of my acne. But that’s okay. I am not going to be jealous. We are not that kind! We are the kind who stand back and admire. You can imagine me leaning against a wall, taking a puff from my joint and just watching the people around.

Did you notice the guy at the other counter, by the way? Did you notice how he is engaged doing the same thing that we are doing? Yes. That’s why you need to get back. Go back to your book. You have a task to complete, turquoise ink! Don’t you remember? She is a pretty woman. We get it. But we need to get back to our work. And you are not even gay. (are you?) Shut up. Did you see that? How she looked at me again? I like the way we have exchanged glances during this whole time. The guy at the counter didn’t get the same treatment, FYI. But you know what, I do not wish to know her. I do not wish to talk to her and even know her name. As long as she does not object my series of not-so-stolen glances, I am happy just by looking at her. That’ s it. Thank you for letting me watch you, lady! Thank you for not minding my attention and even admiring it, if I may.

Ho gaya? Aur kuch? No. Nothing. You should be happy, you know. I think we just got a new bakri for our blog.

Yeah. The great cure for writer’s block. I think a glance at an attractive girl might be a possible solution for all our problems.  

~Musings from the coffee shop

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