picture this.

February 5, 2011 § 24 Comments

it’s easy to believe that this room will always hold you back, this view will always close you in, these grills will always be between you and the great beyond.

that your feet will dry and age and fossilise in these very shoes, that the thrum of the faulty airconditioning will seep into your ears and that your eyes will never look at anything but this flat cloudless sky. in the mornings we congregate, we laugh, we know these people, we are collusive in our kindness to their tics and their vanities, their soft white underbellies. in the daytime we tolerate, we are filled with the liquid camaraderie of a shared life, of this one amorphous, unwieldy Inside Joke we have created together. but some evenings, the gloss wears off.

some evenings, these jokes are old, these people stale, their friends shrill, their values ragged, their love jaded, their bottles empty and their cigarettes put out. your tea is cold, what now?

picture this!

a home somewhere! yes, a flat. a job? maybe even that job? crowded roads, Virar-Churchgate? maybe a car. a bike? could i ride a bike? a suncatcher in the balcony, moneyplant leaves trailing over my walls. i will buy a swing! i will have a sofa, a bright blue three seater sofa, and if i am very lucky, one or the other happily drunk friend fast asleep on it every weekend.

she will get married, that one, and have many bratty children. that other one is sure to have a house infested with dogs. for me i see roads and pictures, trains, oceans, countries! i see hatchbacks on cobbled roads with parisian women crooking elbows out of the driver’s side window, i see fishing villages, i see cliffs, i see myself leaping off those cliffs with a cord tied around my ankle. i see books bought on footpaths in three different continents, i see that keychain i will have made with one pebble from the grounds of the tower of london where they killed anne boleyn. if i stretch a little, i see college, lectures by the greats… the ones whose best work is always one  paid-subscription website away from our reach. i see libraries and theses, and that curious, amusing admixture of humility and conceit in academia.

i see a job that i will love-hate with the confusing emotion of a south american soap opera without subtitles. i will love it because it will be clever and nuanced and witty and unpredictable. it will also sometimes be disappointing, but that just makes for contrast, i refuse to believe otherwise.

i see summers in mysore, i vaguely remember the gulmohars flowering in may.. maybe it was april.

i see roads and roads and roads carpeted in fire.

the best part of all, however, may be seeing nothing. seeing nothing, in a rejection of the idea of a predictable future. luxuriating in the intoxicating thoughts of perhaps quitting my job one day on a whim and buying a llama or a restaurant. i want to construct a heisenberg analogy here but my physics is too shitty to trust.

anyway, you can’t dream too much or overreach like a toddler because your insulating pessimism will kick in. so you will make your project, you will write your test, you allow yourself to be read and watched and marked and ranked and sliced along every axis they can slice you, that they may attempt to fit the vast, drunkenly joyous uncertainty of your Future into little boxes labeled things like where do you see yourself in five years?

and so you will see yourself in numbers and qualifications and permanent mailing addresses because you have to.

but picture this!

large metal gates creaking open, a watchman’s wrinkles smiling at you under the sun, waving to you, goodbye, the world is waiting! ten steps away, one last look back, one last rush of uncertain emotions condensing quickly, sickly in your lungs before you turn and start walking.

you, twenty two years old, hoping love and sweating sex, fifty one kilograms of Someone Famous One Day, picture this.

picture this.

my butt may be in class, but my eyes are on the gates… and i feel lucky to be alive. :)


§ 24 Responses to picture this.

  • Eddie Willers says:

    that was beautiful.

  • Ankur says:

    and i felt lucky to read this post.

  • whizwoman says:

    Aww… i loved it !

  • Priyanka says:

    Serendipity.. a truly wonderful accident to come across your blog, thanks to Ankur above!
    a post which somehow captures the essence of all our generation’s hopes and aspirations.. wonderfully written!

  • Rahul Saha says:

    I will never have that job. You know why? Employers never pay employees to live they want to live.

  • wow, you guys, that was quick.

    @:P – ok :D

    @eddie – thank you.

    @ankur, whizwoman, priyanka – verrry blusshing only

    @rahul – part of this post came from wanting the life you blog about!

  • Karthik Sivaramakrishnan says:

    I read your blog for gems like these: “in the daytime we tolerate, we are filled with the liquid camaraderie of a shared life, of this one amorphous, unwieldy Inside Joke we have created together.”

    That sentence is just sublime :)

  • kknundy says:

    Now here’s a Heisenberg analogy. Look at the future too hard, and it remains the future no more. If you’re lucky, it becomes the present, and with time, the past. For most of us lesser mortals however, it becomes a myth, “a secret, deep inside herself, something she once knew to be true… but chose to forget”. for the safer if not the happier pleasures.

    It is good to believe that this is how things would always be, or that it will change only for the better. But what truly is change? And what is better.

    If change is turning into something different, how do we all end up the same? If better is what we seek, why do we fail to define it. I’ve heard people say, “Anything is better than this.”, and then things turned worse.

    And what we claim to be our own, our visions, our dreams, if they are truly ours, how do they get stolen so easily? If we can’t keep them safe, don’t we deserve to have them taken away?

    P.S. So good to be a woman, isn’t it, 51kg at 22 and that’s cause to celebrate, while we men a myriad grams (no literally) heavier are dismissively marked as emaciated.

    • yes! exactly! i was going to say something literal about velocity and position but yours is nicer. as for the rest, i am hoping that being certain of what i want will increase my chances of having it (them) one day.

      re the 51kg… i’d actually like to be heavier, but that is a sad story for another day. ;)

  • Chuck says:

    Oh wow, probably the best college-leaving post I’ve ever read. I’m not too much into philosophy and stuff, but if that’s not what the post was intended to be about (:P), that’s how I interpreted it.

    You toyed with words like how VVS Laxman toys with hapless Australian bowlers. He knows he has them all at his mercy even though they consume all the others quite easily. And then at his very whim and fancy, he decides to create a masterpiece out of them. Phew.

    Read and re-read. This post is a winner.

    – Chuck

    • hah, i saw your name and the first thing i thought was, have i made a grammar mistake?!

      i don’t know that this is philosophy, it’s just me being obnoxiously dreamy ;)

      ironic that the ‘best college-leaving post you’ve ever read’ was written by someone who has over a year to go to leave college? impatience is i. :)

  • moni says:

    superlative writing.. free flowing emotions.. i am in awe :) thank u for making my day!!

  • Shanu says:

    contemplations wonderfully expressed…gr8 post
    thanks to priyanka fr leading me to this post

  • Sowmya Rao says:

    This post is genuis. I have read, and re-read it and I love the way the sentences sound when you read them out aloud. Always a sure test of briliant writing.

    I hope to read a lot more of you.


  • kroswami says:


  • @moni and shanu and sowmya and kro – thank you!

  • abhishek says:

    bahut accha likhti ho! likhte raho :)

  • soin says:

    the watchman was guarding the archway that had no gates no? and everyone feels so happy to get out. tut. like those dead people say, the way is shut & shit. it was made by those who are dead. and the dad keep it. have fun working.free

  • @mudra – you has surfaced!

    @abhishek – hah, absolutely.

    @soin – onnum puriyala :( as for having fun working, yes and thanks.

  • ManD says:

    It’s a pleasure reading your thoughts.Your thinking definitely glows with positivity…
    as for the post, it’s a sin to use words this way and have them at your beck n call…you know the watchman part made me think of this sentence i just made somebody laugh at “Log kehte hai bhagwan har dil me baste hai, aur bhagwan mere watchman ka naam hai” no connection whatsoever, but still it crossed my mind :)

  • Today, with all the fast way of living that everyone leads, credit cards have a huge demand in the economy. Persons coming from every discipline are using credit card and people who not using the card have prepared to apply for one. Thanks for expressing your ideas on credit cards.

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