I will never learn.

Why am I incapable of working systematically? Everyear, I tell myself that this time it will be different, this time I will be prepared, and everyear it's the same old story.

I tried, I really did. I've been bloody living in the library for the past month, so why haven't I done any work? What was I doing? 

I was howling about this to Friend, who, very puzzled, said, "I don't understand. I've been seeing you in the library everyday. I thought you were working." 


"But what were you doing?" 

I don't know what I was bloody doing, when I think back to the hours spent in the library, my recollection is fragmented: reading books that had nothing to do with college work, reading the occasional tutorial assignment, writing out long emails to far away friends and never finishing them, playing Phish and - I have A.O. to thank (blame?) for this -Johnny Flynn, over and over and over again. 

Alright. Maybe that's why my assignments are still unwritten. 

But that's not it. The past four days, I've put everything on hold. Just to work. AND I HAVEN'T WORKED. I start working on Heart of Darkness as a modernist text, I don't know how to go about it, so I switch to Nature being the ostensible protagonist in Wordsworth's poetry, and that just bores the hell out of me, so I switch back to Heart of Darkness again, and I don't actually do anything because I am a useless fool. And Mawii's no help either. She's been sitting at her desk diligently everyday, but every time I look across the room, her head is in her arms and she is asleep. 

It's all Mawii's fault. If I was living with Naomi or Supurna this would not have happened. On the other hand, if I was living with Naomi or Supurna I would have drowned myself by now from sheer agony at my own ineptitude. Back to Mawii. She should be inspiring me to work. Watching her sleep is not inspiring. It just reassures me that there is someone out there, very close by, who faffs as much as I do, and having someone else faff validates my own faffing. 

Oh good. I feel a meltdown on its way. 

So I will do what I always do when I'm having a meltdown: sleep. 



A makeshift circle. Cards, new and crisp. Beer. Wine. The same old, same old, same old, same old.

An attempt to disconnect, an attempt to view it all dispassionately but then someone draws a Queen and it's a waterfall and the wine slips so effortlessly down your throat, and your vision gets that much hazier, and your laughter gets that much easier. 

And it is genuine, you can't deny that. 

"Never have I ever done hard drugs." 

No one swigs their drink which is quite strange, because everyone is twenty at the very least and everyone smokes up - some more than others - and everyone drinks (hello, you're playing Kings after all) and some of them are what the people who speak the same language long dead critics do when they're sitting in the ugly cafe and looking disapprovingly at the length of your hemline would call, if this was twenty years ago, fast. 

Later, someone comes up to you and wonders in a vague, uninterested, just to pass the moment kind of way whether you're going to record this and you are, you knew you were going to even as it was all happening, but what is the point really? 

One evening is pretty much the same as another, they flow seamlessly: the same faces, the same jokes, the same music, but the truth is it doesn't make them any less fun, it doesn't make them any less welcome. Mindless moments of laughter are not to be dismissed, not to be allowed to grow old. Precious, useless, timeless. 


They don't make men like this anymore. To quote Jason, not always the most articulate of people, "He was class, man."


Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway.

Turner is generally considered to have deplored the Industrial Revolution. The absence of men, and of man made objects (apart from ships being ripped apart by seas) from his paintings, suggest the dominance, the arrogance, the victory of a Nature more sublime, more divine, than any person could comprehend.

Looking at his paintings makes me feel small. The dazzling light, with even shadows being aglow with crimson and gold, the suggestion of space stretching beyond fences set by eternity, the brush strokes that veil a sharp, clear scene in a hazy mist of light, elements of the awesome, the titanic: a sort of gentle rebuke that the world is, always has been, and always will be, greater than we can possibly imagine.

This particular picture disturbs those fragments slightly. The eye is instantly drawn to the black train, the solid bridge, away from the sky in its gently coloured turbulence. The train is not still: it is moving, and moving fast, so fast it should be a blur, and it is a blur, but at the same time, concrete and arrogant, master of the painting.

I can't separate the painting from the artist. What was he thinking? What was he trying to say? If you look at the Romantic artist as a prophet like figure - is this the prophecy Turner was making? Did he, with shimmering oil paints in lieu of a crystal ball, look out of his window one morning, towards the end of his life, and feel, with a sharp, short stab, that the future was one of rain, steam, speed? Goodbye seas that play merrily with history's ships, goodbye endless skies that throw Icaruses down, let's all get into a train and move as fast as we can, try and run over Time itself, and see where it takes us?

And what of the hare towards the bottom right corner? Nature runs too. But can it beat the flashing black steamlined monster that is beautiful in its way: human hands are capable of creating beauty, even the sounds of harsh screeching metal and spitting steam cannot deny that.

And as the old man set his brushes aside and gazed at it, in his studio perhaps, with polished wooden floors and a wind scented sunrise pouring through the windows, did he think to himself that he'd created a promise, or a warning, or perhaps a bit of both? Or did he simply smile ruefully, knowing that all the black steam engines in the world wouldn't be able to strip the sun that he'd spent a lifetime worshipping of its splendour, though vainglorious attempts would try. 


Susan asked me to. (Sort of.)

10:25 susan: trisha do you want to contribute something to our journal
10:26 please please?
 me: dyou want to take something from my blog?
10:27 susan: wouldnt you rather write something new to be published?
 me: nope.
 susan: its coming out end of this month
 me: aaargh. if i think of something i'll send it in then.
 susan: write about the rain
10:28 its been raining like mad in the nights
 me: im not going to write about the rain.
  i'm asleep at night.

susan: same here

  i keep missing it
 me: hahaha
 susan: and in the morning its fucking wet and everyone's talking about it

They say it rains at night.

Dark clouds rolling their way through darker skies, splitting apart, ripped apart, by shreds of silver stark lightening, tidal waves broken into teardrop fragments crashing their way to the dusty bowels of concrete cities, winds by the thousand churning the still and murky air.

And inside, tucked away in tiny walled boxes, you sleep. You sleep, with sweat trickling down the end of your nose, down the crevices of your neck, forming patterns around your damp hair on your bricked pillows, and you toss and turn uncomfortably.

What passes through your mind? Glimmers of unread tutorial readings, perhaps. Or the knowledge that the next day's going to be as hot as the day that has just shrivelled up and died: as hot as hell, basically. Either way, you lie there, half asleep and half awake, not hearing the welcome sound of rain lashing and whipping the walls and pavements, invisible even to the unlit street lamp that never works, the one that stands just outside the temple where they start singing in unbearable brash voices at six in the morning.

Strange how you don't hear the rain, but you hear that music (a word used loosely) and the ringing of the bells and you crack open an eye, knowing you still have an hour to sprawl ungracefully on your filthy sheets before being late to class.

And then, finally, when you step outside in a valiant attempt to tolerate a new day: the sun. It shines, it shines, it shines, and your head hurts, and water starts trickling its way down your neck and it's not because you didn't dry yourself properly after your bath.

The ground is ever so slightly damp though the steamy morning will soon dry it out, and later, at college, while you're sitting in the library, Dhruv plonks himself down next to you and describes to you, loudly and unabashedly (and you thought libraries were supposed to be quiet), how hard it rained last night and how cool and refreshing it was, and how he sat watching the rain thinking thoughts appropriate to a third year student of literature (green tea versus peppermint, though he will lie about this if you ask).

You're still thinking about rain as you cycle your way home and perhaps this is why, when you hear a faint rumble and the air suddenly cools for the split half of a second, your heart leaps in a way that portends cardiac arrest in the future, and the corners of your mouth prepare to turn upwards to form a rusty smile.Perhaps things are beginning to look up.

But no. The rumble was a bus that just thundered past you, forcing your cycle into the gutter, and the coolness was because you passed the metro station and a smear of air conditioning had escaped onto the street.

Heart settles back into place, corners of your mouth turn down again, and as you lie awake later that night, waiting for the rain that does not come, you comfort yourself with the thought that winter will have to arrive eventually, conveniently forgetting the frozen, smoggy months spent shivering under two duvets and layers of thermal underwear and a monkey cap (if Bengali).

Lesson learnt: if not in possession of air-conditioning or heaters (specific to context), the only thing that's going to see you through life is that old cliche, a bad memory.

Note: The day after this post was written, it rained and rained and rained, and the weather is currently all things wonderful. You just can't catch a break sometimes.