Thursday, 26 September 2013


Obsession is no longer about double checking things sometimes. Obsession is the willingness to commit to the memories and the reluctance to forget. And obsession is the acknowledgment of the repeated reappearances of the past. Many a time obsessions give a pause to all reliefs and make way for the reappearances of certain encounters, disappointments and even helplessness of the past. And in a state of being obsessed, memories would refuse to stop haunting us.

Obsession is not upsetting thoughts that appear frequently, anymore. Obsession is the compliance of genuine courtesy to the past we left behind. Everything we see, whatever we hear and wherever we walk is another sequence of repeated reappearances. Obsession is the willingness to accept the similarities. Everybody is obsessed and forced to feel déjà vus all the time.

I am obsessed, and if you are obsessed too; never be reluctant to commit to the memories. It is the obsession which makes us believe that we too have loved once and we too have walked that way and we too have lived and we too have the right to be remembered. And obsession makes us reluctant to forget. And we exist for we refuse to forget.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Silence of the Snow

Surprise that, Orhan Pamuk came to Tavistock Street on 22 July. And asked me not to remember the year, for later it would perhaps appear nonsense to realize that, he gave me his 'Museum of Innocence' even before he actually started to write it.

It was a strange dream. I was watching Pamuk's interview and his speech after having received the Nobel prize; and just slept off.

I don't know the reason for all my dreams being strange and eccentric.

It was a birthday gift. And I was quite sure that nobody would get it as a birthday gift at least for next five years. So it was a unique gift; rather the only gift I would refuse to thank for. But I told him that I know the fact that acknowledging an ‘act of giving’ like this is a gentleman act. When he was about to leave, I scribbled on the wall; I may be obscure, dubious or even irresolute; but I would never be reluctant to remember and commit to memory.

It was Ayo’s boyfriend who woke me up. I gave him all the letters addressed to Ayo since she left Tavistock Street. And Pamuk was still on the screen thanking his readers and well-wishers after having received ‘Nobel prize’. And he was concluding by saying that “he writes; for he is afraid of being forgotten”. Since battery was almost empty I plugged it in once again.

Late in the evening is not really a good time to wake up. But before even forced to realize that lonely ‘nowhereness’; it should have been understood that; it is not really good an idea to sleep late in the afternoon.

Ayo left Tavistock Street last year. And after that, there was hardly any music heard early in the morning. And weekends remained lazy and lethargic. She used to make 59 Tavistock Street pleasant and maintained it till the time she left. She used to play ‘Boney M’ and ‘Akon’ every morning. She asked me not to cook during Christmas eves and New Year nights. She used to make ‘Concoction rice’ and her special ‘Plantain cakes’ for me. She liked Chinua Achebe very much as someone well-known from her place. She used to give me old classic movies. But during week days I hardly met her.

Ayo came to 59 Tavistock Street long before I did. She was not the first one I met when I moved in. It was Falu. And he actually welcomed me to 59 Tavistock Street with his own way of strange smile. He smiled at me and said “my pleasure” when I said “nice to meet you Falu”. He used to visit me often even after he shifted to Canary Wharf. And I often asked Tomy, Falu’s one and only sister, if she hears from Falu recently.

Pamuk always find it difficult to pronounce certain words. ‘Civilization’ was a classic example. He talks like a child sometimes, and appears extremely humble in interviews. Late in the evening I would always find it difficult to figure things out. Everything appears strange and scary late in the evening. And I feel it a time when you realise the intensity with which you committed to memories. You would find yourself terribly homesick. And the worst part is perhaps sun sends strange lights that peep in to windows making weird shadows of shapeless edges.

I don’t remember the first movie Ayo has given me; but it was ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, she gave me last time. One night when it started snowing in Tavistock Street, it was Ayo who called me down and said ‘it was all white out there’ already. And when I looked outside it was like cotton balls floating all around; and the silence was remarkable and uninterrupted and that December lasted long with the silence of the snow.

Ayo’s boyfriend was happy and said ‘it was from bank and O2 (mobile service provider) you would get maximum letters on a regular basis. He left saying he would probably pop in next month. I asked him to tell Ayo that I would definitely miss her ‘Plantain cake’ this December.

Pamuk concluded his speech in Stockholm Concert Hall. And I switched it off and thought of watching it next time when he visits me in my sleep. It is no longer an evening now; it is almost night. And shades would certainly have some shapes. Tommy was getting ready to leave for night mass. It was already dark out there in the Tavistock Street. And I think this time I miss my friend.

Monday, 23 September 2013

I See People Only in Slow Motions

Saturday nights are always special. George Street would find it difficult to make way for the cabs. Even when taking a tight turn, drivers would probably refuse to down the gear. There would always be someone drunk, having a narrow escape and feel satisfied with abusing the driver. Drivers always wait in a long line in their cabs one behind the other; perhaps down to the ‘Eleven Screens Cinemas’ at the street end. They pick people from ‘Liquids’ and ‘Galaxy’ and sometimes from ‘Royal casino’. And most of the times they are asked to stop on their way at ‘Roosters’ or ‘Peri peri’. The night would remain incomplete without ‘chicken n chips’. Every street would smell fried hot potatoes.
Cab drivers assist drunk girls to get inside. And if you dare to condemn those midnight beauties they would probably say that “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly”!! Bouncers would find it hard to keep peace among the fighting ‘cow boys’. People dance in the ballrooms.

And when I enter the ballrooms, I see people only in slow motions. Many people would dance in the ballroom. They drift along the vast reaches of the ballroom as if nobody is watching. They sometimes float down the corners clasping in the hands of each other.
Every night I used to walk these streets in the town centre. ‘Brewery taps’ and cemetery fence line the Vicarage Street. Cemetery looks beautiful like a garden. Maple trees and bougainvilleas make it colourful. It never reminds me of any wandering bloodthirsty vampires. Cemetery was just behind the night club. And do not expect silence around in the weekends.

Girls bob ‘up and down’ out in the street as if they refuse to get rid of the hangover. Love knows no reasons and waits for no logic, it just happens and when they fall in love, taxi drivers continue to refuse to down the gear and George Street would find it again hard to make way for the cabs. They are drunk, Miss and in the morning they would find no reason to believe that they ever fall in love. I remember the story of Narcissus; the Greek hero who denied the love of nymph Echo and as a punishment, “he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into a flower that bears his name the Narcissus”. You would find it out in the cemetery.
And again in the ballrooms, I see people only in slow motions. Many people would dance in the ballroom. They drift along the vast reaches of the ballroom as if nobody is watching. They sometimes float down the corners clasping in the hands of each other. They dance all through the night. And I used to walk these streets all around.