Yes I still post. And has it been over a month already? It's the new job's fault, really. Don't know what they would do without me :)
Anyway, something relatively strange happened to me on Friday night. I'd been unwell in the morning, with a head that felt like a tub of mercury. Added to that, I had a typically long day fussing over punctuation and text placement. So I figured that I was in for a good night's rest. But I didn't sleep as much as a wink that night. Tossing and turning is only exciting for the first two and a half minutes. I got bored of the extremely random conversations inside my head as well. I even tried reading a truly godawful book called Tall Dark & Handsome, which was so gruesomely bad that I could only persist for ten minutes. As a last resort, I switched on the radio, hoping that music would lull me into slumberland.
So there I was, lying in bed with my eyes wide open, while my ears were assaulted with a mindboggling variety of kitsch. With nothing else to do, I started listening to the kitsch. And found some of it actually resonating within me. Pithy wisdoms in everyday melodies. The songs we hear but don't listen to. So uncool because they are popular. But so infectious that they give us headaches when we battle to get them out of our heads. So evocative of forgotten and not-so-forgotten things and people.
We're all history sheeters. Reminisces lurk around every corner of our stylishly spiralled minds. And there's always some Bollywood song to encapsulate these memories.
Like sleeping on the back lawns in LSR in third year. The smell of grass and the warmth of the sun. Watching Ankita write in her journal, or Simran reproducing Impressionist art. SKT's foot up in the air while she dozed. Or Reeju with a bag that was perenially bursting at the seams. Hum na rahein kabhi yaaron ke bin.
Or Gitanjali, Shreya and me in the first few months of the Masters programme. The most awesome trio with the shortest life span, before Gitanjali and I became leftists and Shreya became a centrist (in terms of seat preference, not the political spectrum). Akele hain, toh kya gham hain?
The hostel experience. Staying up till the wee hours, talking about absolutely nothing. Giggling while tipsy, or not. Sitting on the floor of the hall at 3 am and insisting that Absolut vodka was made out of the finest potatoes in the world. Ranjit and Bindiya, perenially setting each other off. Akhila, Tanu, Pallavi, Reeju, the four directions of weirdness. And Pia, the one who cried because I told her that just because she spoke loudly, it didn't mean that she said what was in her heart. Katra katra jeene do.
The one time we ran into RPM, to dance for five minutes after the movie. Spontaneous and awkward at the same time. Ten minutes of unadulterated fun. Pappu naach nahi sakta.
Vasudha Pande, with her luminous eyes and her easy smile. Drumming modern Indian history into my brain with the lightest of touches. Me marvelling at how suddenly economic history became so fascinating, while wondering if her glasses would actually fall of the tip of her nose someday. Ho sake to is mein zindagi bitade, pal jo yeh jaana waala hai.
My sisters and I. So exceptionally strange. Can't shut up, and can't talk either. Always wondering what the other is about. And where we're gonna land up eventually. Golmaal hai bhai sab golmaal hai.
Finally, Jaane tu, jaane tu ya jaane na. Jazz, and a smoky Chicago in the 1920s. Or in this lifetime, a boy and a girl, whiling the weekend away at Marine Drive. The boy likes peanuts, the girl prefers roasted chickpeas. He points out the crabs on the stones below, she takes enthusiastic, if somewhat pointless pictures with a woefully inadequate camera. He gives her a poem in a matchbox, she laughs because she doesn't quite know how to react. Or a day at the Hanging Gardens, where they laugh uproariously at having become the biggest cliche of them all - The Couple in the Park.
At 3 am, clarity is at its best, even in a cluttered dustbin of a head like mine. So much so that I remember every moment after three whole days. My life and Bollywood, intertwined in their uncoolness and their kitsch quotient. And the sudden epiphanies that make it worthwhile.