May 22, 2008

The Jelly Mould and Suicide Advice

Over the past few days I've been living inside a jelly mould. Moving involves an effort that I can't usually be bothered to take. Getting up off a bed is like fighting more than just gravity. Everything tastes the same uniform taste inside the jelly mould. Jelly. Conversations and personal interaction make it through some sort of viscous, colourless filter that strips everything down into a monotonous droning hum, sort of like carrying on a conversation after going 24 hours without sleep, but without the feverbright buzzing at the back of your head.

No I am not living inside a jelly mould called Daniel.

The tragic part is, this hellhole of a City has actually been beautiful over the past few days. Steady unseasonal rains for the past three days. Beautiful green streets and lovely weather.

It is sometimes possible for me to be unnaturally influenced by a recent piece of literature. Considering I've just finished reading The Bell Jar, I shouldn't be too surprised.

Not a jelly mould (but close).

Today I mildly pondered the possibility that I'm depressed. I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that one of the symptoms of depression was ennui. I also remembered that another important symptom was contemplating methods of killing oneself. Not merely exploring the possibility, but analysing the options, based on predetermined criteria. I then realised that I had never really given serious thought to the methods by which I may choose to kill myself. I have considered earlier the manner in which I would like to die (in my sleep, peaceful-like), but I realised that reflecting on how one would like to die bears little or no connection to how one would like to kill oneself. For one thing, the motivations for killing oneself may vary greatly from the motivations for dying (it could be argued that there is no real motive for just dying, but I don't really agree). You could kill yourself

a) out of sheer boredom,
b) out of sheer despair,
c) out of self-hatred,
d) as a simple 'fuck you' to the world or someone in particular, or
e) in rare circumstances, out of consideration for other people.
f) Any permutation or combination of any or all of the above factors

A reasonable illustration of motives a) and c)

A reasonable illustration of motive e)

While there may be other motivations, these are the ones I could come up with. Having selected a suitable motive or a bouquet of motives, it is then important to choose the general tone with which you could choose to end it all. Of course, according to your motives and your general levels of squeamishness, there are a variety of methods you could choose. In fact, the list of ways you could think of to kill yourself is almost limitless. However, for the sake of brevity, we could limit ourselves to a few important highlights. You could decide to:

a) Have a big, messy ending (e.g. jumping off a building)
b) Have a quiet, non-messy ending (e.g. take sleeping pills and drift away or the Sylvia Plath special)
c) Have a macho sort of ending (e.g. commit seppuku or shooting yourself)
d) Have an absurd, ridiculous sort of ending (take sleeping pills while standing on the edge of a tall building with a samurai sword strategically placed on the ground below. And a chicken.)
e) Have a long, painful ending (you could drink yourself to death like that guy in Leaving Las Vegas)
f) Have a long, (relatively) painless ending (slit your wrists and blow bubbles in your bath tub till you die. Or you could read a book, if you don't own a bathtub)
g) Have a stupid, desperate, suffering, extremely messy ending (hang yourself and void your bowels)
h) Have a long, drawn out, dramatic ending (drown yourself.)
g) Have an extremely psychedelic ending (overdose on something lethal and interesting)

Seppuku: A cool way to die

Chicken = What were you thinking?

may= +
Note: Studies have shown that an attempt at suicide by psychedelic drugs may result in seppuku with a chicken.

The presence or absence of witnesses at any of these will depend upon a number of factors, including whether you want the world (or that special person) to whom you want to deliver that final 'fuck you' to notice. Of course, in these wonderfully networked times, it is quite possible for you to deliver your message to the entire world with little more than a webcam, a laptop and a decent internet connection. Just make sure the angles are right because you know there won't be any second attempts for this little stunt :-) .

If youre really serious about this whole thing and not some sort of emofreak who's just craving attention, it is suggested that you please stop bellyaching about it to all and sundry before youre going to do it.

Also, it is inconsiderate and sloppy to get someone to help you out, so try not to. Unless of course, you're too chicken to do it yourself and you're paying someone good money to do it or you, in which case, it is advised that you hire a professional with good references.

A professional with good references.

Now that I have effectively contemplated suicide in as many of its motivations and forms as have occurred to me, I can officially classify myself as depressed. Hooray.

The moral of the story, children, is Look both ways before crossing the Street. Or don't. It's up to you after all.

May 19, 2008

Rose Fed Goat Bled

Mildly disturbing variations on a slightly disturbing rhyme.

Rose Red Rose Red
Will I ever see the wed?
I will marry at thy will sir,
At thy will.

Most fed, ghost bled
Why you like to eat the dead?
Eyelids tarry at thy spill sir,
at thy spill

Fish head, moonsaid,
I wish I could lie in bed
I would harry at thy gills sir,
at thy gills

Godsped Goatshed,
Mother nature's waking dread
In the moonlight screaming shrill sir,
Screaming shrill

Hair shred, axe head,
Mortified he turned and fled.

May 16, 2008

Blood Red - Drop 1

Welcome to my latest crackpot attempt at keeping up consistent output. From today onwards, I'm going to write 1 A4 sheet's worth of story and post it here. I know what my hordes of loyal and faithful readers are wondering: Why not chapterize? Why just 1 sheet? Do you actually think you will get off your metaphorical ass (or stay on your physical one) long enough to actually complete this? Well, I have a few answers to those questions:
Because fuck you. Because that's just the sort of random and arbitrary milestone I like to complete, and because fuck you. And, last but not least, fuck you. So, having completely alienated the 3 readers who constitute 90% of my fanbase (yes isn't it creepy? My remaining reader is only 1/3rd of a person!) and without any further ado, I introduce to you, the first instalment of Blood Red.

Blood Red - Drop 1

The girl's face peered up from beyond the murk of the city. Her eyes stared blankly ahead, her right arm outstretched in a gesture of supplication, her mouth slightly open. Behind her, a Mercedes waited for the traffic light, the sunlight catching its polished silvery hood emblem. Though the girl could be no older than eleven, her blank eyes seemed to hold some sort of portent. The light, shining as it did, shadowed the bottom of her forehead, plunging her eyes into gloomy pits from which little could be seen. Her ragged clothes resembled the vestments of some ancient oracle, as the chill wind flowed through the holes in her garments, billowing them in the wind like the wings of a grounded, recently roadkilled bat. As she stared balefully out at the world, her aspect seemed to morph the surroundings around her, turning the dull grey gravel of the roads into a wall of black and the flyover underpass into a cavernous mouth, waiting to receive prey. Vaguely discernible against the mouth of the underpass was a family. A child sat at the lip, staring blankly ahead at the motorcycle passing it by, as the father sat on the pavement of the road, his arm raised in a half-hearted gesture, his eyes jaded into dull grey orbs of resignation. The mother sat nearby, suckling a vague baby shaped blob at her breast. The Mercedes continued to shine smugly, its silvery emblem emitting a white hot light just behind the girl.

Suhan blinked his eyes and turned away. His face reflected his inner turmoil as he looked up. “I don't know how you take these”, he said. He passed the photograph back to Samrat, who knew too well how he took it. He had been standing at the crossing, waiting for the light to change, when the girl had approached him. The moment he saw her, saw the scene around her, the white light had flashed in his eyes. Mindlessly he reached for the camera, paused for a second to adjust focus and ISO, looked up into her pleading face and pulled the trigger. In the second he had taken to make his adjustments, her expression had set into the one staring from the photograph. He had driven away from the scene without giving her even a fifty paisa coin.

“Just lucky. So, what do you think? Do you think you can use it for your story?”

Suhan looked up from the picture, looked at Samrat, then turned away, eyes staring abstractedly into the wall clock. “It's a classic picture man. But I don't think I can use it. It's too dark, too frightening. Look at what you did to that little girl. She looks like someone from a horror movie. This sort of picture won't pull heartstrings.”

“Fuck, that's what she looks like yaar. You think she can afford to pretty herself up for the picture? She's starving on the street, trying to avoid getting raped, and probably hasn't seen clean water for a long, long time. What do you want her to look like?”

Suhan sighed. “Look Samrat, I understand. And I know what I'm looking at. But think of the goddamned readers. They need to see something they can feel pity and sympathy for. Not some sort of demon child, pointing some sort of blank accusing finger at them like they're going to hell. I need to find a picture that will pull at their heartstrings. Not something that will wake them up sweating in the night.”

Samrat opened his mouth to say something, then shrugged and put the photograph into his folder. “Fine yaar, if that's the way it is.”

“Listen, don't misunderstand me. I think the picture is classic. You need to submit it in a competition or something. It's just that I can't use it here man. Look, Mukherjee International is coming up. Why don't you submit it there?”

Samrat pulled the picture out, then shuddered. He recalled the act of taking the picture. He recalled riding away from the scene, and the guilt he had felt, exploiting a human being for the sake of a mention in a national daily. He shook his head sadly. “No yaar, I don't like competitions”. As he pulled out his duffel bag and put his things inside. “Anyway, best of luck getting the story through.” “Thanks man, I don't know how Saikat will feel about this. He likes upbeat, and I don't know if this will come through.” he grabbed the scrap of paper that represented his story, then headed towards the editor's office.

Samrat sat back, staring from his desk. It wasn't really his but that didn't matter. In the newspaper business, you can always find a free desk, just never the same one. He watched Suhan disappear into the cubicle, and listened. Scraps of conversation floated through the thin formica walls.

Ultimate addict

I have discovered that I have a problem. Even better than my problem,
however, is how I discovered that I have a problem. The irony of my
situation descended upon me when I googled the phrase "internet

Cartoon Crickets.

Chirp chirp.

Staring at this expansive white space, I can almost hear the cartoon crickets in my cobwebby brain, reminding me that I seem to have nothing to say. I saw a movie yesterday where a man stared at his face in the mirror and said "while there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory... I simply am not there." Staring at this screen, I feel somehow similar, as if, confronted by the infinite blank voidness of this screen, all the pictures and smells and violent impulses that constitute me have fled, and there is nothing in there except cartoon crickets. I think I suffer from screen fright. Every night I open a new document, to pour my life out into. Once I'm seated in front of this beautiful, slightly dust marred expanse of potential verbal wizardry, everything disappears. I stare at the screen, stonefaced, waiting for something important to happen, or some sound other than cartoon crickets. Then I close the window and play Half Life 2.

Wait a second, those are real crickets.