Author Archives: jastaunque

Yacking It Up

And now, I’m depressed. Not because of what this post says but because of what this post says. See? You have no idea what I mean. That’s the most depressing thing. I woke up today intending to write something on ‘depression’ and how it is not a disease but a socially-created symptom/apparition of futility and helplessness. While I was trying to find a humorous way to put it and wasn’t getting anywhere, my favourite blogger and virtual alter-ego, Jo Robinson, got around to saying it EXACTLY the way it ought to be said. Fantastic insight. You’re always in my head, Jo. And in a de-stressing sort of a way. It’s good to know that someone out there, in the big bad world, has tender, sensitive, yet well-reasoned thoughts on a subject like this. And I’d like to add that people who’ve never felt a pang of pain ever, are the ones who go about creating a depressed world. Yeah,yeah…that calls for a big round of debate and horrific slaying. So, prep your swords, readers. I’ll do some homework and come back to parry those moves with Jung on my side. Soon, i hope. Meanwhile, read on!

Jo Robinson

October is Depression Awareness Month. I’m not qualified to comment on the terrors that extreme mental illnesses might bring, but all those who suffer these things have my deepest sympathy, and respect for trying so hard to overcome their inner demons. Way down the scale, every human experiences sadness and depression to some degree. If you’ve never been sad or depressed at all then I don’t want you anywhere near my space. I imagine that totally unfeeling people could be a little dangerous. Everyone’s had the blues at sometime. Maybe just for a day, but sometimes for much longer. And certainly weeks of depression should raise alarm bells as it could be caused by much more serious anxiety issues.

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of depression about on the web. Maybe it’s the time of year. Sometimes the change of seasons brings on sadness and anxiety…

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So! Today I’m Not Happy And The World Can Go And Do One!

Haha…one of my favourite bloggers, Jennie Orbell, says it just the way it is. O.K. perhaps with a generous dash of horseradish but what the heck, that’s what I love her writing for. I was going to sit and write something on a similar issue but then I read her post and decided to kneel and promulgate through her. Read on!

jennie orbell

Hi All

If I were a lesser person I would give up and go and live in a cave in some far and distant land. Thank the Lord that I am not a lesser person, at least, not in the context that I am talking about. I mean, how difficult is it to bid the world to go away for a short time so that I can get on with the second draft of The Sleeping Field?

Today was pencilled in for writing and what happens? I develop an allergic reaction overnight to some obscure moisturiser (not cheap), and I have surfaced this morning looking like The Elephant Man. I have been so itchy that I haven’t slept for a second and consequently my eyes have virtually disappeared behind swollen lids, due to lack of sleep and allergy. I dragged my carcass down the stairs at 1.00 am and took…

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Does this kind of image look familiar! Bingo, you genius. Yes, if you are a facebook freak like me, you’ll know what this is. For others, this is just something said and best forgotten at a religious gathering. Posts like these keep popping up and down one’s FB homepage. Talk of abusing the right to express. And stupid as this is, there’re a hundred million likes/comments/shares or all, proving to us that irrespective of our physical evolutionary stage, we are still the species that worships the Fire God and dreads the Water Demons. Faith has a new name on FB. Stupidity.
I have nothing against God. I love him. Or her. Or both. Whatever is applicable. And pray frequently too, to keep his wrath at bay. The only annoying thing about this seemingly all-powerful giver and taker of things, is that despite the benevolence, s/he’s often a stooge. And more often than not, a really confused one. You are sure to get what you want. If you’ve begged, pleaded or died for it enough. 
For instance, if you own a guitar that you count your life on. One day the cords snap. You’ve got no money and there’s a smattering chance that you’ll be able to see the day through without its food-for-the-soul kind of music. Now, you go to your spot of worship and beg your guts out. You probably spend the entire day hoping, praying and even yelling at passersby to help you out. “We’d love to string you up that tree,” they yell back at you. The daylight fades and you’ve had so much disappointment and rejection that you begin to hate that cursed, wretched thing that once filled your heart with the love of God. Well, you hunt down the nearest junk-dealer. Your misery won’t end. Because God loves you and needs to make his presence felt as he wipes your tears caused by the junk-dealer’s ridiculously low bargain. Honestly, the bargain was just a cover-up. He just stripped you bare of your last, valuable possession. Anyhow, you come home, learn to let go, find strength in solitude and close the guitar-chapter of your life for good. That’s the only way you’ll get some sleep anyway. And it is necessary to sleep because when you wake up tomorrow you need to figure out a new way to earn your bread and butter on the street.Yeah, you could go look for some meaningful work but that happens only in movies. Where God plays lead role.
Now, just like me, you also clicked the share button in your dreams, two minutes before waking up (obviously, if the protagonist could afford an android phone and do it in real-time, we wouldn’t have this post at all). Lo and behold, for the love of God, what do you find at the foot of your groaning, sunken bed? The Lord’s favour. A set of sparkling, new G-strings. Strings! You’d begged and pleaded and nearly died for a G-string and look what you get? A heartbreak AND a slap? Another reason to face the mirror and want to break it because it’s God’s way of making real, your innermost fears. He was probably snickering away while you were busy decorating your prayer. Because if you had that guitar in the first place, you may have put that loin cloth on, seen your sack-like silhouette and tried to strum away the misery, sitting in the broken and dry bathtub. Obviously, who would let you play at the beach with that hideous shape on display? But now there’s no guitar, a mixed-up G-string and nowhere to take it!Or shove it, to put it correctly. So, it is a miracle in itself that these miracle-making posts find numerous, gullible followers. The rest just kneel down laughing and send the next post to God- ‘Dear God, thank you for a HAPPY day. Share, if God just saved you from the stupidity of sharing the previous post.’
And as for sharing this trash, God did do me a favour in two minutes. He made me want to get away from the comp and save my lunch from burning.
Thank you, you glorified stooge.
Cheers and clinks
God-awfully yours

“Fear me most”, said Fear…

“Looking at the reflection in the water of the man standing behind her, she…”

tried not to move. Still as the water, she closed her large, brown eyes and wished him away. It was futile. She could feel his presence inching in on her. She had only seen from a distance, the fate the others of her kind had met at the hands of men driven by unreasoned passion. There was only one option left. To dash across the rivulet, swim even, through the muddy and croc’ infested waters. She needed to fight the lesser fear first.

Well, this is the short story that I was working on and as expected of me, I took up too much on my plate and couldn’t finish it . And I never learn. But what I did learn from this activity is to try and identify a very strong emotion that makes the essence of this write up. 
Fear. We all have it. We’ve all succumbed to it, braved it, fought with it and let it win at times but how often do we reason with it? Or better still, negotiate with it. 
My greatest fear in life is that of water. Yes, that beautiful, clear, life-giving thing called water. The sight of a water-body any bigger than a puddle makes me either balk or break out into a run. If my car was ever to pull up in front of a rain-battered road, smocked with standing water here and there, you are likely to see me turn around and find another road to my destination. Oddly enough, as I am a strong swimmer and even though, I’m no champion material but I surely have no reason to fear a death by drowning. 
I remember when I started to learn to swim, I was nearly 15 years old. I was the quickest learner in my group and the most daring one too. It was a proud moment when it didn’t take me a moment’s thought to jump of a 20 feet high diving board! However, there’s something that no one ever came to know. I nurtured a paralyzing fear of water, especially if I couldn’t see the bottom of the area that is holding it. 
It was a rainy, drizzly kind of a morning. Nobody had turned up for the class; not even my coach! I was dedicated enough to be there. Since I was there already and had been diving and swimming independently in the deep end of the pool for a month now(with a lot of people around); I decided to enjoy my time in the water. So I stepped into the pool on the shallow side and started to swim towards the other end. I was nearly across the Olympic size pool, when I realised that I couldn’t see the base of the pool. I was surrounded on all sides by turbid water because of the drizzle. My internal alarm system went haywire as panic gripped me at the ankles and dragged me down. Mercifully, I wasn’t too far from the side and after splashing like  a maniac ( while imagining that some huge, dark octopus was pulling me down), I somehow got a hold of the gutter on the side. Needless to say, I sprang out of the water and nearly swore never to swim alone ever again!
Unreasonable, unfounded fear! The most vicious, cruel enemy. You never know when or how it’ll strike you and leave you lame for any excuse! I even try to reason with it by associating it to a childhood incident when while frolicking at Juhu Beach, both hands held firmly by my parents, I ran into the approaching wave only to find my feet entangled in some stray weeds. That was enough to make me scream. However, acknowledging that incident and trying to negotiate terms with my fear, doesn’t seem to help at all. If any, it only makes it bigger, better and stronger.
Not the one to give up, I keep trying water-sports with my heart pounding in my mouth! I have tried a few and the aftermath makes me laugh each time I think about it, but that’s another story for another day! Meanwhile, do you have any fears that you wish to acknowledge/confront/address? Do it right now, right here! Tear apart the fear, before it does that to you. “Fear me most,” said Fear…
I’ll back with those funny fear stories too.
Till then
Cheers and clinks and 40 winks!

Random Puppet Talk – a poem

On the starry stage I see,
blue lights and curtains green
rolling, fading in and out
and with them
comes the block routine.

All dance to someone else’s tune,
all smile only to please
who doesn’t want a heart-felt clap
their egos to appease
characters, things and even air
is full of expectation
and on the heavy floorboards bare
the dance of affectation.

There used to be a lifetime once
when bliss was not so rare
when eyes were full of honest-talk
and lies most lips did spare.

Waiting in the wings I am
for my turn in Acts
of lofty stuff in hideous chugs
I bring on ponderous facts.

Find me a sprightly kite, O Sun
that doesn’t want to fly
like a bird on the horizon
or a cloud across the sky
Find me a glossy mermaid, Thor
that doesn’t want to dance
in a ball by the prince
or by the shadows of the yacht
Find me the stiff-necked puppet, ‘Speare
that doesn’t want to hold
his own strings for once
without being snappily told
If never there was one
such actor, maid or kite
then i would also turn around
and make my cravings right.
I may be held
by glassy strings
that make the palms to bleed
I may be twirled
in waves aghast
hurled ‘midst the rocks of weed.
But ever if
my puppeteer
would look at me up close
I’ll look him in the eye
and say
I’m better off when loose
You think
you hold me nice and stern
and lead me right along
what then 
of that inner voice
(You put it there)
that says I’m God and
makes me want to turn?
hold on right there
don’t put me on the line
don’t turn Your back,
I may owe You
all my Time
on stage
but after hours
when I’m puppet no more
and You no Puppeteer
then ‘midst the floating
freeing light
You sure owe me Mine.