Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Windmills of my Mind

Powerful associations are made of this:

"like a circle in a spiral
like a wheel within a wheel
never ending or beginning
on an ever spinning reel
like a snowball down a mountain
or a carnival balloon
like a carousel that’s turning
running rings around the moon
like a clock whose hands are sweeping
past the minutes of its face
and the world is like an apple
whirling silently in space
like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind" - Windmills of your Mind, Springfield/Feliciano

"Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
The summer's out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I'm drivin' by your house
Though I know you're not at home" - Boys of Summer, Don Henley

"Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence" - Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel

"So I just did me some talkin' to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleepin' on the job
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'" - Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, Burt Bacharach

"Baby, I'd love you to want me
The way that I want you
The way that it should be
Baby, you'd love me to want you
The way that I want to
If you'd only let it be" - I'd Love you to Want Me, Lobo

"I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free" - Money for Nothing, Dire Straits

"I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have
Been any clearer
If you wanna make the world
A better place
Take a look at yourself, and
Then make a change" - Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson

"Well, I hear the music,
Close my eyes, feel the rhythm,
Wrap around, take a hold
Of my heart
What a feeling
Bein's believin'
I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life
Take your passion
And make it happen.
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life." - What a Feelin', Irene Cara

"Tropical the island breeze
All of nature wild and free
This is where I long to be
La isla bonita
And when the samba played
The sun would set so high
Ring through my ears and sting my eyes
Your Spanish lullaby" - La Isla Bonita, Madonna

Dad, Aneeta Masi, Geeta, this one's for you:

"And you read your Emily Dickinson,
And I my Robert Frost,
And we note our place with bookmarkers
That measure what we've lost.
Like a poem poorly written
We are verses out of rhythm,
Couplets out of rhyme,
In syncopated time
Lost in the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives." - The Dangling Conversation, Simon and Garfunkel


"Such a feeling's comin’ over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I won't be surprised if it's a dream" - Top of the World, Carpenters

Revant, for rejuvinating my interest in contemporary rock:

"Never made it as a wise man
I couldn't cut it as a poor man stealing
Tired of living like a blind man
I'm sick of sight without a sense of feeling
And this is how you remind me
This is how you remind me
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am
This is how you remind me
Of what I really am" - How You Remind Me, Nickleback

Roshan, this one's for you:

"You win again
So little time
We do nothing but compete
There's no life on earth
No other could see me through
You win again
Some never try
But if anybody can, we can
And I'll be, I'll be
Following you" - You Win Again, The Bee Gees


"Turn out the light
Just say goodnight to yourself
May I remind you
When you find you
Are all alone is when you
You’ve got to be strong" - Save Yourself, Sense Field


"She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that
special place" - Sweet Child of Mine, Guns 'n Roses


"He could’ve tuned in tuned in
But he tuned out
A bad time nothing could save him
Alone in a corridor waiting locked out
He got up outta there ran for hundreds of miles
He made it to the ocean had a smoke in a tree
The wind rose up set him down on his knee

A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings "Hey look at me now"
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh power oh" - Given to Fly, Pearl Jam


"Sunday all the lights of London
Shining , Sky is fading red to blue
I'm kicking through the Autumn leaves
And wondering where it is you might be going to
Turning back for home
You know I'm feeling so alone
I can't believe
Climbing on the stair
I turn around to see you smiling there
In front of me" - Babylon, David Gray


"lightning crashes, a new mother cries
this moment she's been waiting for
the angel opens her eyes
pale blue colored iris,
presents the circle
and puts the glory out to hide, hide" - Lightning Crashes. Live

and, Matthew Uncle, this one's in your memory:

"Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door" - Knocking on Heaven's Door, Bob Dylan

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Last time, first time, no time, this time, anytime

"What was the last time you did something for the first time?", thus goes the nickname of my housemate who decides last weekend to return to the world of online chat after a 3 month hiatus. It's an interesting question actually, a wonderfully simple way to measure whether one is just living from day to day, or living for the day. It captures the essence of that niggling thought that hits you in those contemplative moments, when you are only accountable to yourself for what has transpired. Or, sometimes more accurately, for what could have, but did'nt transpire.

Thinking back over the past couple of months, there is some cause for jubilation if one thinks that doing the 'new new thing' is seductive. I can confirm that it's been action packed, but I am more reserved on the issue of seduction. At last count, these are the first-times that have taken place since September 2004:

1. Paying someone close to $100K for one's freedom (as close to bail as it gets without committing a crime, I figured)
2. Reading a 700 page book in a day
3. Getting a cell phone stolen by the security guard
4. Sending the security guard to prison
5. Getting the bird (the finger kind) from someone you've just met as a friendly way of introduction. (Talk about cultural differences!)

There's more to come, of course :) I cant reveal all at this stage, but what I can say is that I've hit on this novel idea to help people out. So much of the seductiveness is in the unknown, no?

On the issue of time, 'no time' has to be one of the oft-repeated phrases of the day. It's the plague of the 'information age', our 'knowledge economy', this 'connected world''s cool to be perceived as a person who has no time. We are not necessarily guilty of falling prey to our ambitions; a lot of the time, 'no time' is what it takes to stay afloat in this landscape.

Nidhi provides useful insight into resolving this when she says that she's resorted to scheduling meetings with close friends who live down her hall in her calender, lest she forget to meet them! Lets not kid ourselves, its emblematic of a wider phenomenon. When will the day come when future generations get a smartphone or PDA on their third birthdays, because they cant keep track of the people they have to meet between TV, crying, eating, sleeping, extra-curricular activities (in Singapore only), or IIT preparation (in India only)?

No time's distant cousin, 'this time', reflects another tussle within ourselves. How many times do we think, 'this time' I am going to wake up and go for a run, 'this time' I am not going to get shortchanged in the bargain, 'this time' i will work harder, this time I will *not* sleep at 3 am in preparation for waking up early for work the next day, 'this time' around, i will stay in touch, and not say that i have 'no time'. Outside of the 'no time' quandary, this time must be right up there in occupying our thoughts these days.

Which leaves us with precious little time for the best kind of time, 'anytime' (Saumya, are you reading?) Initially conceived in jest as a way of acknowledging thanks for a favour rendered (ironically, the favour entailed a time commitment, more often than not), 'anytime' symbolizes the hope that remains in our world. A hope that when you need it most, there will be someone who will put their hand up and be counted. It's the hope best captured in Cyndi Lauper's words:

"If you're lost you can look and you will find me
time after time
If you fall I will catch you I'll be waiting
time after time"

Maybe need-based time is the only kind of time that can be reliably counted upon, but hey, that's way better than 'no time'!

P.S. Susmi, this one's for you.