Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little theatrics of the Exam-ed mind

This week is a full exam phase and fortunately my lofty ambitions of regaining GPA count have not been so wispy as a macro lens shot of Helmuth's fag. Three gone, literature and psychology are always the big dogs. For a reason. Literature is the paper I want to perform well in any condition. The sacred cow. Psychology is the first one I ever start preparing for and no matter what screw it up. Record on past four years except boards. The taboo pig. With literature gone today with a sweet aftertaste, I feel all my barking and obsession about the obnoxious negro rhetoric of being oppressed and their personal little articles becoming universally important with names like negritude ( that was not even original!), all of it has paid off. I read and read after photography paper. From 4 till 9. Came back home and collapsed. I still had to refer to Robert Young and Diaspora practices for an edge over my mortal classmates (snigger. I love reading up these hidden texts and keeping them for myself). I woke up in the morning and started again. By 12 I was bored and confused. I stopped. But I was quite confident. Finally I wrote and wrote. I put in all the privileged exclusive spice from those reference books. But the night was tormenting. I slept with s subconscious ringing voice saying "This much is not enough". I literally tossed and turned the whole night in the guilt of not having finished reading. Eventually by morning I could NOT resist. Phew-hah. It is gone, indeed for good. Welcome to my Obi! (Mutley grin)

Friday, January 23, 2009

To the brim I boiled and shot

This was a very eventful week. There was a fest that I participated. Since almost a year and a half, since I have moved to Bangalore and started engaging myself in questions of academic gravity, I gave up on things like debates, dances, theatre etc. But everytime I looked at the big stage in the world class auditorium, I wanted the spotlight on me and big photographs the very next day highlighting every pixel of my graceful poise in tragedy. Somehow, I never summoned enough energy and courage to actually make an effort. But, this fest was for all. The whole class. So, we all had to participate. Somewhere in the middle the steam was running off but they all pulled me in back. I finalny debated after a long gap on topics like "Animals should go to beauty parlors and spas". It didn't matter. We fought. I fought. Words just bubbled out and I was ecstatic. Not me. Not the me since the academic passivity. It was like a catharsis. I wanted to be sarcastic. I wanted to see the opponent shut her mouth. I wanted to laugh at her publicly. Everybody in that big audi heard me. I was out again.
On the other hand, dance has never been my favorite activity because my body is way too rigid. But, when we ran up those stairs like a huge carnival, a chinese dragon fiery, I was again someone else. We danced, I danced. Every moment of the harsh yellow light and cheering I enjoyed. We were wild. We were young. I was younger, wilder and shouting. I was the old mother of Ezeulu, the mother of the chief priest of village and these were all mine, not children exactly.
Probably, reading and writing more and not indulging in such performing arts has its own advantages but I realised that I need both of them. I am a wild child and I should not stop myself from apparent foolish, naive celebration of sadistic, fierce, extreme emotions of sorrow, pleasure from defeat and instinct to dominate. I savored every inch.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love in a spray can Blue Body Heat

Listen to the other half. We are sick, you know. And the immense tragedy that mars our two minds is that our world does not even realise how sick we are.
Royal Blue of Bril I always wanted Camlin ink. Christine, she is a strawberry girl, I love Siouxsie and the Banshees. You should listen to their music. Also, London Undersound. Nitin Sawhney. It may sound like extreme ranting from the churning hollows of my stomach but a blue heat of Bunsen burner runs through. We are all linked to the common pipe through intestinal pipes, anus, rectun, mouth, eyes and ears and other holes. The heat is cringing and flowing with a constant speed. The more constant the more it tortures me little by little. Turning more blue by the day and night.

Only at night time-I see you
in darkness-I feel you
A bride by my side-I'm inside many brides Sometimes I wonder......
What goes on in your mind, always silent and kind unlike the others......
Fuck the mothers kill the others
Fuck the others kill the mothers
I'll put it out of my mind because...... I'm out of my mind with you
in heaven and hell with you......

My Night Shift Sisters
await your nightly visitor
they don't bother me
no they don't bother me

The cold marble slab submits at my feet with a neat dissection......
looking so sweet to me-please come to me with your cold flesh-my cold love
hissing-not kissing
a happy go lucky chap-always dressed in black he'll come to you, he'll come to you

My Night Shift Sisters
with your nightly visitor
a new vocation in life
my love with a knife

Fuck the mothers kill the others
Fuck the others kill the mothers
I'll put it out of my mind because...... I'm out of my mind with you
in heaven and hell with you......

The only respite I see is in complete surrender to the power of hallucinogens or total rigid will to live upright, uptight for some apparently humanistic reason. This may not make sense to you but I feel singed from inside every moment I wake to sleep and keep staring at the blank ceiling for nights and run out on people's dance programs. The heat is producing passivity plague. And the passive state of being is eating us in. In this state it is that body mind are so vulnerable yet so unaffected that I could give them up to anyone and not understand if I feel sad or should I restrain. Such is time when neither love nor hatred, leave alone their universal maniefstation can penetrate within. Probably exactly how the Yorkshire ripper felt after a murder in the silent, dark, blue and person-less night to be the only active being...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dilemma of a national language: Dusting an old paper

I have tried to think through the issue of national identity and linguistic identity; the need for a common official language of communication, incorporation of what is national (common to all in the nation) and creation of conditions to make a particular language national and regional linguistics revolts.

This issue of linguistic identity juxtaposed against national identity, comes particularly in the light of the recent anti-Tamil and pro-Kannada movements happening in Bangalore. In fact the protest is not so much against Tamil as it is for reawakening the Kannada nationalism. Similarly, another instance of linguistic separatism came to light in Maharashtra where people of Marathi origin, essentially speaking Marathi, are being favored by Shiv Sena. They have gone to the extent of asking for special job quota reservations for Maharashtrians. It would be too vast in scope if I were to try and analyze all such linguistic conflicts that have taken place in India since independence. But I would like to narrow it down to the following points:

“Why is the national language such an integral part of the Indian identity?”

“What is the Indian identity?”

“English- the real national language?”

“The need for learning Hindi vs. the cultural subjugation of linguistic minorities.”

To start with I would like to draw in this magnificent idea harbored by all citizens of India of being an “Indian”. It is interesting to locate where, why and how this common idea of being an Indian comes to such a wide, linguistically, geographically and ethnically divided nation. This will take us back to the question of whether India is actually even a nation in spite of being so constitutionally. I believe that the basis of any identity formation would have to be the commonalities shared by the people who consent to it and integrate that identity in themselves. In the case of a nation and a common identity of its citizens, the most obvious binding factor would be the constitution which governs all of them and is accepted by will/consent of the majority. But there are various other factors which contribute to the manufacturing of a common identity. One of which is languages. It is precisely for this reason that there is a common “national” language. If one observes this statement, it does not only reflect a language in terms of the one that we speak, but also an opinion that we reflect. Hindi, the national language of India was made so after independence for several purposes. It became the vehicle of official information, news (AIR) and a means of speaking to natives of any state. It must have been necessary to do so in a multilingual country as ours to facilitate communication. But because of making Hindi the official national language, numerous linguistic disputes have arisen and through the carrier of a language cultural subjugation has also occurred. This brings us back to if all citizens accept Hindi as the national language. The answer is evidently no and it is this feeling of being dominated by a linguistically more prominent group which is leading people to redefine what is “us” and what is “them” in linguistic contexts. Hence, now Karnataka is being redefined and propagated on the grounds of Kannada speaking populace. Firstly, let us try and look at what makes learning Hindi necessary for one to be the quintessential Indian. Any language, as I previously demonstrated in my assignment (Use of English as a persuasive tool), is not a benign object merely used for accomplishing a task but is in itself, I may call it so, organic and alive. It is not an urn of power but is a power in flux which can be attained by learning that particular language and using it in a way that it restricts the scope of its accessibility. Today Hindi can go so far as to make a historical claim of having been accepted as the “independent India’s” language as opposed to the colonizer’s tongue. Since then, shrouded as the practical language to use throughout India, Hindi has much enjoyed a privilege in education. But there is a marked contrast in the acceptance of Hindi in north India as compared to the south of India. Narrowing down the argument to Karnataka, the recent uproar against emigrants from north-Indian states is only the climax to a chronic woe against Hindi speaking population. I believe the reasons for this are that the Kannadiga people, who now form a minority of Bangalore, are threatened by this majority which eventually undermines their interests and drastically changes the way they live, eat, dress and consume many other products. Also, here peeks nationalism. In fact, it looks like in spite of having merged all these states, owing to a unique culture in each state; one unified nation is quite an idealistic thing. To me a state looks quite an isolated entity when it comes to letting off one’s language, food and way of life to accept the Hindi way of life, dress, food etc brought in by the north-Indian people. And hence this resistance occurs. But the argument takes an interesting turn when we try and substitute the acceptability of English in South India as against Hindi. I do realize that recounting personal experiences and opining may lead to subjectivity and alter a critical vision but here, I dare mention that in the past 10 months of living in Bangalore, from the auto-rickshaw driver to a waiter in a restaurant to classmates in college, I have been able to communicate with all not using Hindi but English. The simple thing I wish to show by this is that the argument that English is spoken and understood by a small amount of educated or elite people of the society. Also, if one may wonder why people of basic services such as waiters, drivers etc may use English is because : a) in South India there are many regional languages as well, b) People speaking Hindi in Bangalore, Karnataka generally seem to possess a basic knowledge of English as well. These are probable reasons that I can think of and they could be completely wrong. But now if one tries to look through the scenario, Hindi appears inimical to what is “ours” to a Kannadiga while English appears to be “or all of us” since colonization occurred across the country. Referring back to the title, the word “dilemma” is extremely important. There is a myriad of confusion which surrounds usage of a language in different contexts which directly affects other’s opinions (favorable/unfavorable) of you and affiliation tendency. Hindi being made the national language does not bail it out of this dilemma, on the contrary makes it a north-Indian’s weapon in some cases, or even the language of the misers, rich, shallow etc (presumptions regarding people who speak it).

Relating to English is the very interesting phenomenon of “nativization of English”. Dating back to pre-independence, all nationalist leaders were generally bilingual, regional + English being the formula. It was in English that the idea of a nation with linguistic homogeneity was developed. People like BankimChandra used the Bengali and English syntax to generate a kind of Indian English which even now distinguished Indian writing in English from the others. The native’s interaction with English like in Raja Rao’s Kanthapura (Rumina Sethi) portrays the “Indian flavor” infused into English speech. To elaborate on this flavor, I would like to point out the stylistic differences. The metaphors and the way one’s experiences are written in “Indian” English are an almost perfect translation of one’s thoughts generating in the regional/native language marked by the culture in which it emerges. To come back to the question of Hindi vs. English in terms of literature, since English is used throughout India in education, it has led to an acculturation so significant that it has become a part of the “intellectual make-up” of the educated Indian English writers. Also, attempts to write in English have been made from people across the country while writings in Hindi have been limited to Hindi speaking regions. The evolution of Indian vocabulary in English has also led to its increased acceptance as the medium of writing wherein the necessary can be translated and the authentic words of our own culture can be preserved, catering precisely to the needs of a very “Indian” population after independence. There is a certain absorptive quality in English which has permitted it to become the vehicle of old, historical literature to the modern world keeping intact the “indianisms” attached. But same is not the case for Hindi which in terms of writing has also been treated as a regional language. Perhaps, this is also one domain where English emerges to be nationally accepted in the educated masses of India. Important is not whether a large population in India is literate but to see that English forms a national pattern in its usage. To oral literature, English granted the label of “Indian” and unified distinct cultural patterns. A major credit for such extensive incorporation of English goes to the bilingual intelligentsia existing pre-independence who in Lord Macaulay’s words was “Indian in blood and color but English in taste, opinions, morals and intellect.” This intelligentsia contributed a great deal to the phenomenon of “print capitalism” and English writing in India. It is to this intelligentsia, that comes the idea of a “nation state”.

To conclude, I would like to suggest that due to passionate linguistic struggles between Hindi and other regional languages, Hindi has not been able to acquire the “emotional” and “intellectual” status for the whole nation of “India” thus not making it the essential marker of the “Indian” identity. On the other hand, although quite restricted in its extent, English has been incorporated nationwide to represent oneself in writing or oral expression of thought to the outside world, thus successfully evolving into the lingua franca of the nation with its own share of indianisms.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Salami Souvenir

She would go all slurpy yummy imaginative the moment you mentioned Salami. I am a herbivore and always looked at like a grass eating cow. Nowadays herbivore imagery applies to life all the same. It is vegetating. Quite literally. The fifteen month clock is ticking away. I fit like like a big round peg in the small square hole. Little by little, trickle by trickle. By day and by night. I want to dance. Dance dance dance with a sheep's head, gain some fury and shred off clothes like fear and trembling would have it. What to take? Linguistics? Art History? Gender and Sexuality studies? Cinema studies? Philosophy? What to take? She also does not know yet she does not worry. Make me healthy. Cleanse my thoughts of such floating dark strokes. They look arty but they are not helping. Cook some vegetables. I want to read Pigs and the Place by Athol Fugard. I want free copy. Give.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Some personal scientifish smells

I just breathed out these that follow. Literally. One person can get you so highly reactive and can make mind race at X speed with a feeling of twirling laughter. Marcel Proust could not see me pitying my own past and reverting back to the old wall like a chewed gum. So, he did some shaman magic and I got a call. Only later, I realised he was a scientist.

Can you not know the fact that you like someone? huh? huh? Can you ever just be so and not want to tell it? Tangerine spice. Fungal webs on the old golden wired chappals. Cold earth starts tickling my feet, I know winter is in. Can you smell it? Can you feel me (and my extremely heaving longing)? Have you shaken a tree after rains?
If you have not, then you may have never passed the foolish phase of puppy love poetry. Sheesh. Puupy love poetry all around the "inderned". Proust is better. So is Claudel. But we need to find out fast if they are the aim or talking is an excuse to bring them up and much more. I love Fugly Schmuck. I am a fit baybe. Fugly schmuck fit baybe!

Oh blue! Did you know Russian toilets work the exact opposite way? Conversation: Yes, they sit facing the flush. But, then how would they know if someone barged in from behind and stabbed 'em? Probable cause why Soviet Union fell. Hehe. But these immigrants disrupt hygiene in India.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let me soothe your transit

Somewhere close to a dedication to a few friends of twelve years or so. Even others:

Your longing gaze that now, is ever flooded and drooling, oozing a strange batter of odd ambitions and little failures; your little flutter of a heartbeat that has long forsaken peace, sleep and the option of a graceful defeat, listen. Ahead is a lot of noise, I am afraid I will lose you.Come back.

You left today. I don't feel anything at all. You felt sad and uneasy while leaving this time. It is like this I think. Our life works in two worlds. We work with our minds and hearts shut to all pleasant heartwarming scenes and sounds in the world outside. Then, we eagerly run home in the break and suddenly our frozen bodies come alive. We laugh, talk and play. The real person that I am, the child within, etc comes alive. This is a magical town. Maybe some replenishing quality in the water. On the other hand, the world outside in those cities is like Gotham city, or the "Flying Dutchman" and its people are like those half dead rotting corpses. No matter how much they spend, what they eat it does not satiate them. Meaning: They cannot enjoy anything they do or cherish it in memory unlike you and me who meet every summer and talk the same and still feel joyous.
Who says that growing up is all this? Who says it means having to swear like a pro? I love the way you put so much effort in your argot and still end up like the funniest spoof of Max Payne. :) I like that you are so stupid sometimes that I want to "uplift" you from life itself.Hehehe.
Don't ask me how it feels to be left alone at home a day before leaving it. I can so dream the Hogwarts express tomorrow, cold and bleak, rain lashing at my windows while I am transported to the sea-version of Auschwitz where a monster (deadlier than Kraken) devours all buildings, people, memories, dreams, desires ( the usual bundle of words) but asymmetrically.
More I dread is those scumbags of scholars who have well fashioned me into priding the fact that I know I am not sure of anything in the smart world outside. They are the ones to blame if you and I think "The lover is actually the beloved" is a lame thought. Down with them if I cannot enjoy the Renaissance art and sing sweet old village songs. I hate Derrida and his deconstruction. I think he was a real nutjob to be not able to pretend that he liked the aesthetic of big pictures and start critiquing my nose hair.
Come back, I do not know where the train stops. The stops will change every few years but the train goes on. The point is how far are we willing to go? Figuratively and literally.