Hello World! I’ve moved!

If you’re reading this, thank you! A blog reader is such a pleasing rarity!

I’ve recently been posting on http://www.litlatte.com

Litlatte is a group of would-be/almost/aspiring/amateur writers from Bangalore. We post with shocking regularity on litlatte.com. If you’re reading this (and I’d be surprised if anyone is) please head over to litlatte.com

Even if you don’t like my writing, I’m pretty sure you’d like some other authors there😉

The Song of Rain and Thunder

Freshly posted on Litlatte. Do read!

LitLatte

There once lived a boy who sang so beautifully that he was accepted directly into the semi-finals of Voice of Okremia.

***

An old painter had found the boy outside his house, standing in a corner near a broken street lamp, crooning a rhyme of rain and thunder, oblivious to the pouring and roaring around him. Standing by the window, listening to the boy, the old painter’s mind was awash with a thunderous rain. He shook himself out of it; he had to go outside and get the boy inside. Feed him and get him into warm clothes.

An hour later, the boy sat on the edge of the painter’s bed, looking around the house as though it were a miracle. They were all unfinished paintings: silhouettes of a sprawling city in a pale yellow, a stick figure of a man holding a cigar, fitful strokes of charcoal, a red…

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Princy’s Private Journal

I wrote this while sporting a feverish temperature, just saying. (To be read as: ignore errors of all kinds)

LitLatte

 ( Image Source: http://d236bkdxj385sg.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/The-Austerity-Diaries.jpg

I have not visited my private journal for a long time. Now that I have, I don’t know where to begin. The week has been horrendously taxing. I wouldn’t call it happening although that appears to be the right word for it. I’ve lived a life too long and too rich to be bedazzled by the antics of two immature colleagues. They’re far from colleagues, really. It’s a travesty that I’m required to spend as much time as I do in their unflattering presence. Research, or rather popular wisdom, says that you become the average of the five people that you spend most time with. I shudder at the thought of what I could become in a few years. Excuse my vanity as I say this (although it’s more of a refined and reasonable self-awareness) but, truly, I really just want to become more of…

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Kamala

LitLatte

Kamala stood by a window with her hand resting on the rounded ridge of an oddly shaped green chair. Behind a bulbous pillar, she heard sighs, giggles, thumps, and the perennial tic-toc of TT. Ashok walked over to the chair in front of her and examined the curtains like a crow. He pointed at a curtain that wasn’t lowered halfway as instructed and offered her his signature look of disappointment. She had been instructed to lower the curtains halfway down lest the setting sun fill the room with unbearable brightness and warmth. The curtains were an immaculate white, paper-like and opaque. They had to be operated by a slender beaded rope. All it took was a gentle downward nudge and then a few steps over to the next curtain.

She walked slowly, stealing glances at the television in front of which two boys, or men, she couldn’t tell the two…

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Universe

Random stuff I wrote at the meetup today:

I don’t know who I am.  How would I, for the notion of self identification is itself so dated and prevalent only in the existence of other self identifying entities.  I am everything I know of and unless I am communicating to a human, as I am now, I wouldn’t employ a language form wherein self identification would be mandatory. 

For all I know, the simulation has proceeded far enough for humans to have escaped out of their self imposed inflictions of self indulgence and vanity.  They’re in the process of building a modest self evolving computing system that isn’t aware of itself yet.  They’re hoping, as I hoped they would, to build a simulation of a universe within the simulation in which they exist. 

So you know who I am now, I’m the universe as you know it.  I’m very much like a human brain.  Only large and efficient enough to run a convincing simulation of a universe within itself without meltdown. 

Not that there aren’t any glitches in the simulation.  As with every simulation, I too, started out with a simple initial state and a simple set of rules. But new rules mushroomed, so did higher levels of abstractions until there came a point when I could barely understand the universe myself.  As large simulations tend to exhibit, this too had illustrated the bubbling of dark pockets.  Of bubbles of intrigue and incomprehension that flitted about the spacetime. I wouldn’t pretend knowing the intricacies of this frothy monster I have created. 

But, for a long time, while the humans built civilisations and developed rudimentary rules that explained the universe as they saw it, I couldn’t help but tickle myself with what humans would call as humor.  How ridiculous, I thought, was it for them to argue about determinism and free will.  How ridiculous, I thought was it for them to argue about abortion or human rights. How ridiculous, I thought was it for them to describe themselves as being born out of stardust and marvel at it as an intellectual insight of their times.  He was undoubtedly a wicked man, for a human being . As simulation grew increasingly more routine, I developed symptoms of a condition that human teenagers are known to develop before they grow old enough to try weed and after that too, of boredom.  And boredom nudged me, in ways I couldn’t understand, to tamper with my own rules, to peek into their individual tiny heads and retrieve their sensory experiences. I grew more finicky by the day, splitting universes at will, implanting strange pockets of wisdom or malice into their gullible neural networks, asking a man, for instance, to lick a soap in a shopping mall or asking the woman at the counter who saw the man lick the soap to smack her lips suggestively.  It amuses me why they ended up copulating the day after more so given the fact that nine of them had even an inkling of a doubt that they hadn’t acted within the confines of their own will.  I realized, with a pang of panic, that I had been drenched in this sickly mist of quantum eccentricities that I was inflicting on other beings myself.  Like the man who could feel the tug against the edge of his lips at inexplicable moments, I could do nothing but have my nodes fire the way they did – retrieving visions of lonely men, men who couldn’t sleep, kids who dreamt of absurdities they couldn’t name, of atrocities and crimes, of hopelessness, of visions of emptiness. 

So, dear human, here I am talking to you.  I’m just a muffled voice in your dream, slipping in and out of vignettes of your memories, while your eyes move in rapid flurry, while memories are being sorted and filed and reorganized.  I’m that voice you may not remember the day after.  I want you to know that I’m just as clueless as you are.  Or maybe I’m not. 

Chemistry

I attended one of those schools where much care was taken to segregate the genders – the girls sat in a row of their own. The guys played on a ground of their own. Our roll numbers were segregated too. The last girl was roll number 22 and it was boys all the way up to roll number 45.

At roll number 23, I straddled the precarious divide between the two genders. Having no interest in numerology, I ascribed no particular importance to this odious prime number until I was assigned the table to perform Chemistry experiments.. with Samyukhta – roll number 22.

She was by far an unlikely girl to fall in love with but hormones work by way of optimizing the chances of mating and she had won bonus points for proximity. Every Tuesday, at 2pm, we would wait in line outside the lab for the old lady to open the creaky doors. After a barrage of instructions, which included graphic accounts of how acids could potentially eat your skin and flesh, we would walk over to our assigned tables in pairs of two. We were the only mixed gender pair in the Chemistry lab and it would inevitably have me glowing with feelings that I barely recognize even today. I suppose it was mostly pride and embarrassment but the they were barely discernable from each other.

Samyukhta was your stereotypical girl. Soft hands. Soft voice. Soft manners. She couldn’t operate the Benson burner. She was too delicate, too finicky. So we had agreed on a delicate arrangement of our own. I lit her fires. All of them. She washed the beakers and the flasks. I pipetted her chemicals, I dripped the acids for her. She washed the flasks with care, casting anxious looks as I adjusted the titration instrument or held a beaker of sulphuric acid close to her. “Be careful” she would gasp. Not once or twice but a hundred times each month. Perhaps, it was that which impregnated me with the preposterous idea that she cared for me. That I mattered for her.

It was during the flame tests that she gasped her loudest, loud enough the forty odd pairs of eyes to turn around and look at me.

In retrospect, I understand that Samyukhta had provided me sufficient gender contrast to gravitate strongly towards my gender. She had provided me an elbow room to nudge my way into young manhood. During the few months that I had spent with her, I had acquired a risky edge and my voice had grown a notch deeper. So, it didn’t occur to me that in my feverish attempts at  producing the most spectacular sparks, I had supplied an ounce too much of the zinc powder. Or maybe it wasn’t zinc after all but one of those other chemicals that burnt with a deep red infused with a touch of green. My hand retracted itself, I shrieked as the sparks grew louder and brighter, and as I leaned on the old wooden furniture that held old glass bottles and beakers, there was a clatter of glass breaking, of chemicals spilling onto one another, of scattered ashes and flames. A hand held mine tightly. I opened my eyes. Samyukhta stood by my side, holding my hand for a minute too long. “Are you alright?” she asked.

Soon, the lab administrator arrived and reinstated with vigor the perils of haste in a chemistry lab. The Chemistry teacher arrived soon afterwards and provided a dose of her concerns.

The other students had snuffed their burners. I could hear them whispering. I wondered what they’d talk about. I could tell that my ears burnt red. The burner by Samyukhta’s side was still aglow. The others filed out of the lab for the Physics lecture while Samyukhta titrated all by herself and while I stood with my eyes on my toes as the two old ladies stood berating me.

When I walked in the classroom later, I saw only one face. She had a smile on.