The walls of my room are white; not the kind that blinds your eyes but the kind that escapes notice, fading into a very light beige over the years. That tends to happen when the air where you live isn’t great.
I love my walls. I love how they reflect the diffused yellow glow of the sun that leaks through the curtains in the morning and how they don’t dissolve into the darkness when I turn off my light at night. I like how they flaunt their bruises, parts of my life that are etched into them, reminding me of a time when I was shorter and obsessed with leaving a trail of glue or paint on the wall as I ran tracing the walls with my finger. Doodles in fading pencil remind me there was a time when I wasn’t living from the table to the bed and back, of an awareness of space that belongs to the least of these, to the ones that are small enough to live in corners and edges. The white walls in my room reflect people. They reflect me. In this, they have much in common with the canvas and the paper.
Tabula Rasa. ‘Form out of me what you will’
VIBGYOR spins endlessly and dissolves into white. It’s not a lack but the fullness of personality that defines it. Infinity is a mirror. So are my walls.
A white box is the perfect cage for me. I like preserving myself way too much. In the past year, I have gone outside only twice. I spent almost all my time inside this room and I never feel like leaving it. A bit odd for an extrovert. For some reason, the white walls don’t make me feel like I’m caged in. I’m starting to believe it has something to do with how reflective they are. Of me
“There’s no skin”, I tell myself whenever I’m lying in my bed staring at the walls.
Colours are like skin; like faces. There’s so much underneath that isn’t part of the obvious; things that make us human, things that make us love, laugh, and cry. Behind colour is the universal, unifying truths of life. When I see colour, I know there’s something behind it. Experiencing it feels like reaching beyond and entering a world that is so much more than what I can see and touch. It can be an incredibly intense experience; like a passionate kiss or making love. The inadequacy of the physical body to facilitate the expression of passion makes you exert yourself in a way that ends in something that feels supernatural and sublime because you just can’t believe your body alone could provide you with something so gratifying.
The yellows of Hemingway, the red of Raskolnikov, Faulkner’s bluish grey, they’re all I can see and feel of the universal truths that lay underneath. They’re like faces of women I’ve loved, the beauty of simplicity that veils the limitless.
But let’s not speak of love today. This is about one man and one man only. White does not remind me of my ability to love another but my acceptance and regard for myself. The white walls in my room don’t tell me there’s something beyond. It tells me there is something within. It reminds me that I have things to write and say. It does not remind me of purity or flawlessness but the possibility to preserve myself because it reminds me of a blank page
I look behind dark yellows and I see sadness, I look behind reds and I know what Raskolnikov felt. But when I look behind white, all I see is me. And oh, how I love to see myself. I have things to say, things to write about. The world should know that I felt something in this life.
That’s why I never want to leave my room. That’s why a white box is the perfect cage for the artist.
P.S. I hope you understand now why the illustration/painting has the colour of skin in it.
When a TV show’s over after a dozen successful seasons and there’s an emotional ballad playing over shots of the cast bathing in a strong reminiscent glow, you feel like giving everyone in the show a big warm hug. But even if that were possible, it would probably be a very awkward experience. However, hugging a CD seems like an oddly appropriate response. You can’t find most TV shows in such primitive forms these days. But even if they were, CDs are way too small for a good hug. Thank goodness we can entertain such thoughts albeit only in our heads and on paper.
P.S. I know this looks weird but when conceived the thought was purged of any jejuneness by the overwhelming ending of a TV show I just finished. LOL
I’m an Indian kid doing his undergraduate course in English Literature. Most people don’t know this but in India, the number of kids trying to get into Medicine and Engineering is insanely high. The competition is so high, there are literally lakhs of unemployed engineers. It is in the midst of all this that I decided to study English. When I tell people that I am studying English at college, they are mostly extremely unimpressed. And I can’t blame them, IITs and Medical Colleges rule India. I mean it does hurt sometimes. I mean, I did get into one of the best universities in India and I love what I do. I love it so much that I would rather be at college than enjoy a holiday. I would never be at such a great place in life if I had done what everyone else was doing. A lot of people go through life doing what they don’t love. Instead of their work life nourishing their personal life, it sabotages it.
A few days ago, I made a small track and wrote a small poem (though it’s not a proper poem) to articulate how hard it is to go out and ‘do your own thing’. I hope you enjoy it.
Th track is called ‘Leg-Shoe’ and I’ll share the Instagram link to the track here. You can also listen to it at my YouTube channel at Stef Guitar Geek but there’s something wrong with audio at some parts.
Here’s the poem. I don’t have a title yet. So feel free to suggest one. 🙂
I feel burnt out. Utterly inexistent
My legs have grown out
of the shoes that i have come to love
I find myself
locked into a room full of old worn out shoes
And I must choose. For
the world is not for a man with no shoes.
But I can’t. They
stink and they are revolting to the eye.
They are torn,
bleeding leather, but they are warm
They are warm because
they are worn.
Everyone wears them.
They wear ’em till they die.
Some never even take
They go to bed in
them. They bathe in them, some even make love while still in them
They are definitely
not for me. My toes want to feel a virgin pair.
So they can in time
rest in a pair of their own.
A pair that has formed
into the shape of my feet.
Not in worn out shoes
they can’t even feel.
But I am locked in.
The keys do not even exist.
I do not know how to
pick a lock that isn’t there.
So I examine the worn
They are introduced in
pairs, yet were undeniably incongruous.
But I persist. I put
aside my pernicious eyes of judgement and peek into the intricacies of creation
I see where the needle
cut into the leather. I look at the lines and curves.
I search for marks
made by time but seldom come across one
But I come across in
plenty , marks made by man.
Marks made in his
haste to conquer, but sometimes because he lacked succour.
For years I’ve been
dragging my shoeless feet, leading my eyes onto more worn out footwear.
My mission is to make my own worn out pair, a pair that Iooks like my feet.
I pick up the pieces
of leather falling off the shelves, I bring them together with the threads that
I sew them over my
feet. Sometimes, I feel a prick or two but never in the same place.
Like the men with the worn out shoes whose toes feel pain again and again.
I really hope this inspires you and encourages you to go out there and do what you love to do. God has a plan for all of us. So be brave!
Silence. In some cases, we strive in our efforts to push it out of the picture. But in others, we love it, are amused by it and find solace and comfort in it.
It’s morning. The sun just peek-a-booed into the sky. The tree leaves moved gracefully in the wind. The branch of a crooked coconut tree was somehow serving as an eyebrow to the sun. The face of the earth was dipped in yellow. A yellow that smelled of novelty, hope, victory and simply colour. It was raining too. But the skies were clear. It always confused me when that happened.
There is a silence in my room. I shift inside my blankets to try and sleep some more but end up just lying there, my eyes squinting into the sunrise. The silence is loud. Outside the window of my room, the signs of life are so evident, it’s loud. It’s waiting to enter the silence in my room and break it. Not that it is evil. The loudness outside is very beautiful, extremely calming too, ironically. But letting it in, would mean giving up the silence. I would be giving up a perspective of reality inside the boundaries of my room. One that I was starting to enjoy.
Silence seems to add an iridescent beauty to all movement. It does so by just existing in a world of inactivity. The only thing that let’s us know it’s there, is time. But when it takes over, it lets you know that it is not brining about a cessation to activity, but rather adding meaning to it. In other words, it is a pause. And I find that so beautiful. If you follow this blog, you would know how much I love playing the guitar. A good musician has to know when to let his instrument speak and when to keep it silent. I would spend hours and hours, honing my skill of knowing when to allow silence to take over. When silence takes over in the middle of a song, it’s definitely not a cessation of activity. On the contrary, it feels incredibly similar to standing still while your heart is beating like it’s on a rollercoaster. It is according to me, the best example of inertia, but one on an abstract level. And that silence, I find to be an ephemeral display of amazing.
Almost everything I have has some kind of cartoon or doodle. If you look at my laptop, among all the crazy things I’ve drawn on it, you’ll see this: Silence is a Perfect Sound. And I hope that today, I have given the world, a muddled up, arcane reason why it’s there. And if you didn’t understand this post, don’t worry. I’m still learning how to put silence in the right places.
Today I am going to attempt to share with you how I see music in the surroundings around me. I hope you like it.
The sun just came out. It’s morning!
I slide out of bed on to the floor and just lie there looking at the blades of the fan on the ceiling as they cut through air. The sun fills my room with a yellow light. A flickering shadow appears on the ceiling above my fan as it’s blades cut through the light. I smile. I lie down there and say my prayers. ‘Good morning, God. It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?’ He smiles down at me.
I look at the ceiling again. The light from the sun is more of a brighter yellow now. As it flickers on the ceiling, I see a silent beat. The fan’s blades swish through the air like the drum sticks in the hands of a drummer.
I smile. Welcome to my new song, ladies and gentlemen. So glad you could drop by. I jump into action. I moonwalk into the bathroom, brush my teeth dancing, put on some clothes and grab my guitar. The silent beat I saw, playing in my mind.
I go into the kitchen, give my mom a hug, say hi to my dad and open the front door. It squeaks. Like a synthesizer.
Now to get my bassline.
I go to the lift. It’s at floor 8. I press the button. The lift comes down one floor at a time. It stops at 5, then resumes it’s descent to my floor. I follow it’s progress in the language of music. Silent music. I hear a ping as the lift opens. Bassline?
I get in and I start ascending. I am heading for the top. On the way, I hear a baby cry. Hmm. Shorten the time period, increase the pitch and you get a classic Michael Jackson. My song starts to feel like an old 80s song.
I get to the terrace. I make clap sounds as I climb up the stairs to the terrace.
I am out in the open now. The wind hits me with a gentle nudge. I hear it pass through small cracks here and there. There’s a flute in the house!
I sit down and put my fingers to the guitar. I tap on it and give sound to my silent beat. My fingers now slide up the fret board, a little pressure here, a little pressure there. My fingers pluck on the strings. They come to life. The yellow morning sun makes a colourful reflection on my guitar.
I imagine myself in front of millions of people, like all amateur musicians out there ( I am pretty amateur ). The chorus comes in and I hear a choir as the wind gets faster. I smile. An electric guitar kicks on somewhere in my mind. A slow lead line follows. The clouds now move slowly. We end our first song with a crescendo.
I smile, thank God for the day. Now to get some breakfast. I’m starving!
For those of you guys who know me and read my blog posts( I am extremely grateful to you for your interest, time and feedback), you know how I am greatly inspired by rain and sunlight. One of my favourite hobbies is just sitting in front of my window looking out into the rain, my head resting on my palms and making up lines of poetry, not necessarily with rhyme schemes and alliteration, but just filled with what I love.
Today as I was reading some blogs, I heard a tug on my door. I looked outside and the trees were bending so hard, I thought they were going to break. I live in a flat. This means the only sounds I hear are the soft strokes of the heavy wind on my window and the small rain drops sky diving onto its glass.
I used to live in a house before where I could hear the pouring rain on the roof and the wind was more noisy. Here in the flat, I hear only the softest sounds as the roof is much higher above me. This thought absolutely inspired me and I am going to do something new today. I am just going to sit down and write the verses that come to my head, whatever they may be. This is an example of my ‘a day(rainy) in the life’. This is for all you poets out there. Please tell me what you think. I would absolutely love to hear from you!
I sit in front of the window, my head on my palms. My fingers lightly rub my cheek in the excitement of what is outside. It is as if the heart of the earth is beating normal, but its blood is going fast, craving for the heart to somehow keep up. For inside my room, the atmosphere is calm and gentle, but on the outside, where it really matters, everything is fast. It is a strange strangeness, a beautiful confusion.
I blink as a flash of lightning erupts in the sky, cutting the dark and bringing light. Seems very strange that from the very clouds that make it dark, a light would shine. God suddenly seems to whisper in my ear-‘Just as I make ‘everything’, even the hard and painful things in life work out for you for the better because you love me’. I smile and my eyes dart back to the rain.
The trees are now bowing, the branches like hairs on end. I get up and slowly and carefully open my window a few inches, air gushes in and sends the papers on my desk flying. They seem to be jumping up and down, happy! I stand and look. The door of my room slams shut and I am thrown back into reality. I shut the door and sit back again.
I hear the orchestra playing outside, like the ocean in a sea shell, somehow refined and coloured just for me. Now and then a drop hits my window creating a rhythm so consistent, it baffles my senses of logic. I lie down and hear the wind outside. Here in my bed, inside my blanket, wrapped up in a cocoon, like a butterfly waiting to go out, into a world that will be brand new in a matter of minutes, I feel nothing but hear.
My eyelids start to droop, ever so slightly and the lightning outside wakes me up. My eyelids droop again, this time, the lightning is not heard. My brain stops worrying about the rain, but I still hear it somehow and then I lie there still, my mouth slightly open. Why do I always sleep with my mouth open??
The rain stops after a while. It slows it’s song down to a whisper then to a single drop. Very much like the tap of a pencil on a cymbal, dull but unique. The song of the rain is somehow strange. Instead of starting with a whisper and ending in a crescendo, it does the exact opposite. God is indeed a great artist. His song of the rain is my favourite yet.
If you like this, also check out an earlier post of mine very much like this and tell me if you want more posts like these. Hope you guys have a fantastic day and God bless!!!!
Today, I am going to talk to you from the eyes of a poet.
Do you like to sleep?
You don’t know the number of times I’ve longed to get just 2 more minutes of sleep. At school I am the ‘sleepy guy’. Whenever I am learning something uninteresting, my mind starts to wander and before I know it, I am asleep, sitting.
Okay, that’s not the kind of sleep I like. That is what I call my ’embarrassing moment of the day’.
Coming back to the topic, I was in a similar situation learning something I felt so boring and my gaze shifted to the windows of my classroom. It was raining outside and as I looked at the drops of water that adorned the green clothing of the trees outside the pane of glass, I noticed something.
A tree was sleeping!
Scientifically speaking, the drops of water on the leaves had caused it to bow down like a person dropping into a peaceful sleep.
It was so wonderful that I praised God for that moment.
Many a time I have wondered why I felt sleepy when it rained outside.🤔
Was it the cold breeze that drifted into my room, making the curtains flutter and embrace me?
Was it the clean life outside making it look like the earth had been put into a washing machine?
Or was it the peace, the beauty that has put an exclamation mark in front of man for a long time?
Or was it the sleep of nature, the trees sleeping and the birds looking on in wonder as they cuddled their resting young ones under their wings that moved me to sleep?
Well, I will not answer that for you because I just don’t know what words will describe this beautiful phenomenon.
I would like to end this short post with one simple question we all can take some time to answer: