Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cant get enough of Borges :)

Even in my umpteenth re-reading of the single book I have of the old man, he manages to fascinate every time.
He said that he imagines Paradise as a library, and I imagine Paradise with his infinite narratives:)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bergman on Imperfection of faith as well as denial

I’ve seen some of Bergman’s movies before, his perceived masterpieces, Persona and Cries and Whispers, as well as the faith trilogy and Autumn Sonata.
The most recent addition was The Seventh Seal and one of the most powerful dialogue sequence made me smile.
I went back to my blog and re-read Pantomime and Sultry mornings
and wondered, would I have written these had I watched the movie before or the self imposed compulsion of sounding original and incomprehensible—part vanity, part fear—even in most universal of conundrums might have stopped me. It seems funny, when no one reads this blog anymore, I am giving away the key to two of narratives, which I tried so desperately to conceal.

Anyways, here is some part of our protagonist’s confession to death, disguising as a priest.

Block: Is it so hard to conceive God with one's senses? Why must He hide in a midst of vague promises and invisible miracles? How are we to believe the believers when we don't believe ourselves? What will become of us who want to believe but cannot? And what of those who neither will nor can believe? Why can I not kill God within me? Why does He go on living in a painful, humiliating way? I want to tear Him out of my heart, but He remains a mocking reality which I cannot get rid of. Do you hear me?
Priest/Death: I hear you.
[Block turns to kneel before the priest behind the confessional screen.]
Block: I want knowledge. Not belief. Not surmise. But knowledge. I want God to put out His hand, show His face, speak to me.
Priest/Death: But He is silent.
Block: I cry to Him in the dark, but there seems to be no one there.
Priest/Death: Perhaps there is no one there.
Block: Then life is a senseless terror. No man can live with Death and know that everything is nothing.
Priest/Death: Most people think neither of Death nor nothingness.
Block: Until they stand on the edge of life and see the Darkness.
Priest/Death: Ah, that day.
Block: [laughs bitterly] I see. We must make an idol of our fear, and call it God.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Times have changed and in these times, I don’t read at all. It’s been an year or so since I last read a book.

But still there are temptations I succumb badly and sometimes embarrassingly to. For example, anyone reading anything around me, I just have to know what it is :)
For those who knew me in my passionate days would know that is a small left-over from an addiction that mesmerized me for years though has left me now, but still with cravings.
Anyway, on my flight back home, saw a woman reading 'The Inheritance of Loss', and I, again quite stupidly sneaked around her until I found the name of the book. And during a boring shopping day with elder sister in main market, I walked into a bookshop for second hand books, while she was fighting with the tailor, and found that for 75 RS.
I haven't read it; I am not even keen on reading it.
But it starts with a passage of Borges, a passage I hadn't read before.
How bad can it be when Kiran Desai has read Borges?
I am not sure when would I read it, maybe I won't. But I know, even if it’s as bad as her mother's, I won't be hating it.

Here's Borges' Boast of Quietness

'Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them.
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword,
the willow grove’s visible prayer as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive'

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Two pieces

After quite a while I jumbled up my first narrative in months and then another and read these. Then re-read both.
They don’t flow. (Its funny, how for me, above anything –verbiage, theme etc—flow mattered)
Why? I don’t know.

On a sidenote, I wish 'nakefeet' start writing again.
And had to go back to Valium after years...

anyway here they are...

On Reminiscence, and the writing that flows:

Not all means. Not all is a confession. But it’s a making, making of silence that sweeps through, carried on wings of Notus, the calmness after the storm has passed, and in for this silence all angels and satans alike, seek refuge in the every bosom of God crying over their deafness. What good could be a hymn or a curse without hearing when you utter it? Immortals are not Beethoven; they can’t create music they cant hear.But what this silence brings to us, the innumerable children it bears, 1001 for ever soul, for these souls they feed on, functional vampires drinking enough just not to kill, but suck the soul out of our souls.
I had these children, my children, but I am alone now. Sometimes I hear them giggling, calling out my name, as I bleed out through all the pores in the sun, inciting them, inviting them to come back to me and feed on my soul.
Nostalgia or the absence of it—who knew not having a pain is painful as hell.
They left one in me, one that hopes that one day they’ll return, sailing on cotton clouds and spring breeze, scream out their delight and make me write the writing that flows. They’ll carry me that day, above the hovering winds, and that day I won’t die.

The Differential of touch:

Read your name on my lips as I struggle to say it, shivering in the coldness of my heart. You said we made love in this snow; I only feared the fatality of an embrace. You said you touched my hands in the dark; I only washed the blood on your thighs. You said the laughter was real; I searched for the screams of agony beneath it.
Your glistening hair brushing against my face etched bleeding paths of grace or disgrace on my destiny.
Few moments, always fewer words to say of differential of touch and obscure eyes.

Colours fade, but they won’t vanish
I’ve learned that—that’s the night and the shroud. That is my fear, of making you all that has to be-becoming of anticipation.
I wish a return to innocence, not vampire stories, not losing religions, not cupid arrows, to the first language that there ever was, before God taught me the names of all things. To revert back the evolutionary corruption to 'this' language, to be with you before the start of time, to know you and wonder to come up a word for us, and experience your touch, not knowing what to call it.
Imagine me, in front of four thousand galaxies, forty million years ago, as we approach the elusive the definitions of touch, of embrace.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Of 14th April.

What will cometh, in after a turn-play of eight days and nights, is not the end we sought with such perseverance and love but a promise of its realization (given a continuity of breaths and heartbeats for the years to come). We’ve come afar, over the years, of times when we clogged our consciences with imaginary dirt and realized that in that hypothesized descent we found the elevation of our souls. I prepare for the day with hopes and longings, taking hours to decide what to wear and how to smell, and reservations that this is day I’d be judged by people who loved you and claimed you till now.

When of glory, our story lacks it. No lengthy blogs can be written about a happy ending for it’s the flagellation (or the pretension of it) that is deemed glorious. We couldn’t have a fetish for sadness and hence the muse that draws admiration from similar imbeciles. Remember, right from the first day, we knew we’d make it work. Right from the first day, we laughed at the heart-wrenching tales of those seekers of sadness who remain totally oblivious that their tales of tears were not the mourning for a lost love but a celebration of the love they found—that funny trail of clich├ęs and blood.

Of sacrifices again, we don’t have the scars to prove anything. We did whatever had to be done without a vestige of regret, so then again no ‘real sacrifice’ and no glory. I am so fortunate to have found you love, for you sought togetherness for togetherness, not for the pain that resides in its shattered debris

Of memories, we made some—rich, aromatic and blissful. Memories that’ll stay with us not for the things we did, for all that will be nothing new in coming years of growing old, but for the inexplicable dilemmas we faced in their making, the tremble and uncertainty of approaching each other and sensations that has never left us since. Such grownup children we were then.
Looking afar still, instead of weaving fantasies of perfect day, we care more about the things that can go wrong. And perhaps that feeling will never let us be free, but then again, better being together then being free. I’ve lost my eloquence over the years, and patience to find a line that fits; some otherday maybe, when I’ll have a day for myself I’d search for it. Till then, in these incoherent lines and such unimpressive narrative, I wanted to say, Happy Engagement. We've come through :)

P.S.
I remember what to throw at whom-literature at your dad, movies at your brother and jokes at your friends and all. In all that, I hope I get a moment alone to say something to you, something that is not so carefully pre-thought.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And finally Scorsese got an Oscar. Its a shame: Academy didn't nominate the guy for Taxi Driver, didn't give him for Raging Bull and now they honour him for The Departed.
A total shame :S

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wish you were here.

Anyone noticed the gloom in the air of Lahore today?
From the dark sky and seething susurration of cold winds through the tress, from the lifeless brouhaha on the roads to midgets pretending to be in love, everything is fading as a smoke ring would do.

Wish you were here. Not because it is Valentine's day, which I never believed in, but because today only you could rid me of the sadness of this city.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Passage from Eco's Foucault's Pendulum.

I’ve seen your files, Pow, Lia said to me, because I have to keep them in order. Whatever your Diabolicals have discovered is already here: take a good look. And she patted her belly, her thighs, her forehead; with her spread legs drawing her skirt tight, she sat like a wet nurse, solid and healthy she so slim and supple with a serene wisdom that illuminated her and gave her a matriarchal authority.

Pow, archetypes don’t exist; the body exists. The belly inside is beautiful, because the baby grows there, because your sweet cock, all bright and jolly, thrusts there, and good, tasty food descends there, and for this reason the cavern, the grotto, the tunnel are beautiful and important, and the labyrinth, too, which is made in the image of our wonderful intestines. When somebody wants to invent something beautiful and important, it has to come from there, because you also came from there the day you were born, because fertility always comes from inside a cavity, where first something rots and then, lo and behold, there is a little man, a date, a baobab.

And high is better than low, because if you have your head down, the blood goes to your brain, because feet stink and hair doesn’t stink as much, because it’s better to climb a tree and pick fruit than end up underground, food for worms, and because you rarely hurt yourself hitting something above you really have to be in an attic, while you often hurt yourself falling. That’s why up is angelic and down devilish.

But because what I said before, about my belly, is also true, both things are true, down and inside are beautiful, and up and outside are beautiful, and the spirit of Mercury and Manichean-ism have nothing to do with it. Fire keeps you warm and cold gives you bronchial pneumonia, especially if you’re a scholar four thousand years ago, and therefore fire has mysterious virtues besides its ability to cook your chicken. But cold preserves that same chicken, and fire, if you touch it, gives you a blister this big; therefore, if you think of something preserved for millennia, like wisdom, you have to think of it on a mountain, up, high (and high is good), but also in a cavern (which is good, too) and in the eternal cold of the Tibetan snows (best of all). And if you then want to know why wisdom comes from the Orient and not from the Swiss Alps, it’s because the body of your ancestors in the morning, when it woke and there was still darkness, looked to the east hoping the sun would rise and there wouldn’t be rain.

Yes, Mama.

Yes indeed, my child. The sun is good because it does the body good, and because it has the sense to reappear every day; therefore, whatever returns is good, not what passes and is done with. The easiest way to return from where you’ve been without retracing your steps is to walk in a circle. The animal that coils in a circle is the serpent; that’s why so many cults and myths of the serpent exist, because it’s hard to represent the return of the sun by the coiling of a hippopotamus. Furthermore, if you have to make a ceremony to invoke the sun, it’s best to move in a circle, because if you go in a straight line, you move away from home, which means the ceremony will have to be kept short. The circle is the most convenient arrangement for any rite, even the fire-eaters in the marketplace know this, because in a circle everybody can see the one who’s in the center, whereas if a whole tribe formed a straight line, like a squad of soldiers, the people at the ends wouldn’t see. And that’s why the circle and rotary motion and cyclic return are fundamental to every cult and every rite?

Yes, Mama?

We move on to the magic numbers your authors are so fond of. You are one and not two, your cock is one and my cunt is one, and we have one nose and one heart; so you see how many important things come in ones. But we have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, my breasts, your balls, legs, arms, buttocks. Three is the most magical of all, because our body doesn’t know that number; we don’t have three of anything, and it should be a very mysterious number that we attribute to God, wherever we live. But if you think about it, I have one cunt and you have one cock, shut up and don’t joke and if we put these two together, a new thing is made, and we become three. So you don’t have to be a university professor or use a computer to discover that all cultures on earth have ternary structures, trinities.

But two arms and two legs make four, and four is a beautiful -number when you consider that animals have four legs and little children go on all fours, as the Sphinx knew. We hardly have to discuss five, the fingers of the hand and then with both hands you get that other sacred number, ten. There have to be ten commandments because, if there were twelve, when the priest counts one, two, three, holding up his fingers, and comes to the last two, he’d have to borrow a hand from the sacristan.

Now, if you take the body and count all the things that grow from the trunk, arms, legs, head, and cock, you get six; but for women it’s seven. For this reason, it seems to me that among your authors six is never taken seriously, except as the double of three, because it’s familiar to the males, who don’t have any seven. So when the males rule, they prefer to see seven as the mysterious sacred number, forgetting about women’s tits, but what the hell.

Eight....eight....give me a minute...If arms and legs don’t count as one apiece but two, because of elbows and knees, you have eight parts that move; add the torso and you have nine, add the head and you have ten. Just sticking with the body, you can get all the numbers you want. The orifices, for example.

The orifices?

Yes. How many holes does the body have?

I counted. Eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, ass: eight.

You see? Another reason eight is a beautiful number. But I have nine! And with that ninth I bring you into the world, therefore nine is holier than eight! Or, if you like, take the anatomy of your menhir, which your authors are always talking about. Standing up during the day, lying down at night your thing, too. No, don’t tell me what it does at night. The fact is that erect it works and prone it rests. So the vertical position is life, pointing sunward, and obelisks stand as trees stand, while the horizontal position and night are sleep, death. All cultures worship menhirs, monoliths, pyramids, columns, but nobody bows down to balconies and railings. Did you ever hear of an archaic cult of the sacred banister? You see? And another point: if you worship a vertical stone, even if there are a lot of you, you can all see it; but if you worship, instead, a horizontal stone, only those in the front row can see it, and the others start pushing, me too, me too, which is not a fitting sight for a magical ceremony...

But rivers...

Rivers are worshiped not because they’re horizontal, but because there is water in them, and you don’t need me to explain to you the relation between water and the body...Anyway, that’s how we’re put together, all of us, and that’s why we work out the same symbols millions of kilometers apart, and naturally they all resemble one another. Thus you see that people with a brain in their head, if they’re shown an alchemist’s oven, all shut up and warm inside, think of the belly of the mama making a baby, and only your Diabolicals think that the Madonna about to have the Child is a reference to the alchemist’s oven. They spent thousands of years looking for a message, and it was there all the time: they just had to look at themselves in the mirror.