Monday, July 30, 2007

No Expectations

Reluctant Captain's log. Stardate zilch.

If life gives you lemons, but you want a Boeing, you break all the lemons down into useless pulp, and begin the search for salvageable erstwhile-Soviet scrap metal.

Today, all my collective yesterdays are the yellow citrus fruit in question. To rebuild, you have to break down a lot of stuff - all the old habits you secretly hated, memories (the one that didn't really matter, at least), the voids where you would have kept your old hopes and dreams. In short, you have to burn every bridge.

This comes from Jaipur. The town where I went to high school, and lived for the longest time in the same house. But it was never able to teach me much, nor did it ever feel like a home. The face of the place has changed - the roads are wider and un-cowed, none of the familiar dust gets in your eyes that much, there's all these swanky glass and steel buildings cropping up, and some of the old joints are doing what old joints do i.e first becoming arthritic, then unviable, then being replaced by something new, slick and prosthetic.

This is true at its most gruesomely obvious with the cinema halls. There used to be such a bouquet. LaxmiMandir, all decked up in yellow, with arguably the worst parking lot ever conceived by man. The tastefully named MotiMahal, which somehow managed to have absolutely nothing to do with pearls. Polo Victory, the first thing you very Gateway-of-India-ishly saw as your bus dropped anchor in Jaipur. And Minerva, with it's morning shows doing so much to booost English usage amongst the general public by promoting films like 'Night Eyes' and 'Bolero'.

They were all herded up and butchered by multiplexes.

I headed to the bank this afternoon, and after doing the needful doing, strolled down to another one that had been out of business for two years. This one was called Gem - it's canteen was supposedly one of the last bastions of Campa Cola and Gold Spot. For me, Gem occupies a rather large house on memory lane. For the day my cousins and I went there in the summer of 1995 to watch 'Trimurti', was a day of many firsts. It was the first time we were watching a-first-day-first-show. It was the first time I'd been allowed to cut school to watch a movie.

And it was the first time I'd ever be whipped by cops in a mob.

Yes, apparently so badly did the assembled collection of gents want to get in, they started to tear down the door. And sadly only half of them had tickets. 1500 people, 9 cops. They did all they could, namely shut their eyes and thrashed anything that moved. My right thigh moved.

Gem now doubles up as a parking lot for people who come to the bank, and as a very large urinal for man and dog alike. Despite this having been such a theatre of pain, seeing it completely go to shit doesn't please me. Revenge is not sweet. Vindictiveness reeks of fermentation.

As for the ol' right thing, it still does hurt sometimes, but I'm not hostile to the ache either. It's one of the few things about the old place I remember with a certain degree of fondness.

I wore pants when I rubbed it then. I wear jeans now.


doomed doctor said...

when someone reaches at a stage when everything that used to sound absurd starts making a lot of sense,maybe the evolution was successful.
A thinking brain is bound to suffer from the acceptance of newly found reality,which again turns over rated after sometime.
Your blog is beautifully crafted and fascinating to read most of the times,but one cant help his inclination towards pulp fiction.....u can come up with a good one!

Shooflye said...
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