Archive for the ‘ABSTRACT THOUGHTS /rendering of madness’ Category

“Writing a story is like the weaving of a mat. At the finish the ends needs tidying off, but they are only in reality cut short. Before and after each thread there is the possibility of a never- ending yarn. If people are read one can at the best make a random choice… picks it up.”

Peggy Appiah’s “A Smell of Onions” is not a trimmed off story of any one particular place or situation. It is a yarn of everyday life. It is a tale of everywhere and every place. It is a ship sailing on the vast ocean. It faces storm and it sails through the breeze. “A Smell of Onions” is a tiny window into the world of Kwaku Hoampam and his Ashanti society.

The book opens with the patriarchal figure, Kwaku Hoapam who is the eyes and ears of his village. He owns several cocoa farms but still prefers to manage his small shop from his verandah. Kwaku seems to hear everything that goes on in his farms from his own house. And he would go personally to threaten a neighbour who encroaches on his land or a timber contractor who steals or damages trees. “For this reason Kwaku’s family fears and respects him.” Appiah creates a figure who is respected and feared  by everyone in the village. “The fact is that his eyes and ears are ever open and little happens in the village without his hearing and seeing it.” But this great patriarchal figure is undercut by his second wife Akosua. The “energetic woman in the prime of life” is contrasted to the Kwaku who has “discovered the joys of being a man of leisure”. Kwaku sits in his “rocking chair by the door, watching the road, a pipe or chewing stick firmly clenched between his teeth, or perhaps playing draughts with his friends or drinking a companionable calabash of palm wine, which he sells fresh and cool from the big pot behind the counter.” Akosua has been to school. She is not uneducated like her husband. She travels back and forth to the city to buy the goods for Kwaku’s shop. She inspects the cocoa. She sees to that her children go to good school. Kwaku is proud of children but does not like to ‘interfere’ with their education. Akusua manages their school fees and pays for their clothes. “She is a good wife and Kwaku is proud of her.” Kwaku Hoampam is a much respected member of the community.

“Is he then not entitled to sit all day on his verandah and watch the world go by?”

The narrative shifts to include Mammy Mausa. Modernism (or western Modernism) invades the Ashanti village. It is decided to put up a post office in the village. The surveyors started “taking measureme nts” and Kwaku and the villagers “watched”. The old house where Mammy Mausa was staying had to be pulled down in order to build a post office and a telephone exchange in its place. “Where will Mammy Muasa go?” Mammy Mausa’s Opel driven relatives had already sold the old house. The village collected in the yard. “They were great talkers:. Akosua dismisses the men by commenting, “You men, that is all you do, you talk and talk and talk and decide nothing!” But by not being a part of the solution she too becomes a part of the problem. She justifies herself by saying “if I were not going to the city today to buy corned beef and milk for the store, I would do something myself”.

Appiah reflects the class difference inherent in the structure. The villagers were mostly farmers. But only few like Osei Kwaku and Kodwo Owusu who could break away from the traditional idea that “cattle could not flourish in the forest area” were the most prosperous of the lot.

“Did not the village need to be in touch with the outside world?” Kwaku himself is almost persuaded by the argument . But “Mammy Mausa’s door remained firmly closed”. Mammy Mausa did not bend down. She was not to be defeated.

“The spirits of her ancestor rose within her. She let out such a stream of abuse that the crowd was silenced. She pronounced a curse an all who should try and destroy her home”.

Mammy Mausa dies.

The news of her death spread through the villages. Relations come to arrange the funeral. “The people came, celebrated and went”.

But Mammy Mausa had her revenge in her death. She had made her official will. “This was not only a will but the expression of a determined personality.” Her greedy relatives were bequeathed only a Bible a piece. Money and worldly pleasures had made the youth loose contact from their religion and roots which upholder the respect to the elders.

Mammy Mausa’s old house was pulled down. A new building was erected. “The village forgot it had ever been without its post office.”

Once there was post office the village began to grow. More people started settling in the village. This gave rises to water problems. Before long the village was connected with a tap. More people increased, the crime rate increased. A police station was built to ’police’ the villagers. Kwaku and Adumu Lafia, the policeman became good friends.

Adamu comments, “You people don’t know how lucky you are to be away from the centre”. Not being in the ‘centre’ lets the villagers create their own “problems”. Appiah deftly portrays how Adamu puts an end to the  petty differences among the villagers using his wit. The readers comes face to face with a cultural setting which is so distant from them yet are able to completely empathize with it.

“There were no more frivolous complaints.”

“The choir was good and the Good Lord must have been pleased at the volume of song which arose from the Church each Sunday morning”. Religion is a big part of the live of the villagers. Appiah paints the picture of the religion oriented education. A preacher from the town would come and take the service, christen the babies and administer communion. There was Bible reading and discussions. Appiah is not uncritical of religion either. “Where were the prophets these days?” The author uses beautiful imagery of “a snake swimming against the current”. The message drums are juxtaposed with the funeral drums.

Abena Ahoafe was the new school teacher. She was polite, charming – and distant. Kwaku found her “quite fascinating“. He was very attracted to her. “Abena made his wonder”. He proposes to her but is rejected.

“Could not the old man realize his age? He had a good wife. He had grandchildren.”

Abena married Kwaku’s nephew, Yao Poku.

I don’t care what Ecopress is but why the heck is it on my “free” blog.

It seems WordPress up to cheeky stunts: unauthorized ads sneaked in.

Ecopressed along with WordPress have decided to hoodwink the unsuspecting bloggers. Don’t be surprised if you see a ‘green’ ad of Ecopressed sneaking around the end of your blog post.

This is the new magic trick by WordPress. Blogging without advertisement as was sold to us (good faith) isn’t so and the benefit is to the “green” advertisement.

An ad after each post just before the comments box. Thank You, wordpress.

Is it my blog anymore? i guess not.

And the official reasoning (trust the online corporates to have some of these written down in some corner of there “Terms & Conditions”).

Official word>

“Note: To support the service (and keep free features free), we sometimes run advertisements. We try hard to only run them in limited places. If you would like to completely eliminate ads from appearing on your blog, we offer the No-Ads Upgrade.”


” Automattic reserves the right to display advertisements on your blog unless you have purchased an Ad-free Upgrade or a VIP Services account.”

So where do we stand? i guess on the way to what has happened to Facebook. Commercialization of personal blogs (space).

what is the alternative?

HubPages: is a website designed around sharing advertising revenue for user-generated articles and other content on specific subjects.

If my blog has to have advertisements then why shouldn’t the person whose so called blog it is, get a piece of the pie.

I firmly believe this is against the true faith idea of a free blog. anyways how does one blog’s words stand in-front of the giant.

Hi, my name is: Pluto Panes

Never in my life have I been: caught peeing from the top of a building.  

The one person who can drive me nuts is: my ‘adequately sane’ but imaginary neighbour Rufus Daruwala

When I’m nervous: I generally used to suck my thumb but nowadays i pee my pants.

The last song I listened to was: “free tibet” by highlight tribe

If I were to get married right now my best man/maid of honour: george w bush (any doubts?)

My hair is: black, long and tends to curl.

When I was 5: I had a pet hen called ‘laalti’. (it was only later in my life that i realised, chicken and men can never be friends.)

Last Christmas: I kicked santa in his nuts. and i apologied later. (i wrote a letter.)

I should be: studying literary theory for my entrance Exam.

When I look down I see: Narnia.

The happiest recent event was: the fall of Berlin wall.

If I were a character on ‘Friends’ I’d be: joey (now deal with it).

By this time next year: 2012 will be here. freedom at last.

My current gripe is: it’s 2011.

I like you when: i generally tend not to.

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: Myself. “hey pluto you won.”

Take my advice: Don’t be perfect. rejoice your flaws.

The thing I want to buy: 5 kilos for manala hash.

If you visited the place I was born: You will find an old mining town and thousands of shattered dreams.

I plan to visit: the otherside of the rainbow.

If you spent the night at my house: you might not meet me.

I’d stop my wedding if: i know about it.

The world could do without: money and justin beiber.

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: accept god as the supreme creator.

Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: rolling papar.

My favorite blonde is: dumb.

My favorite brunette is: hipster. 

My favorite red head is: on Cartman’s ginger hate list.

My middle name is: bin laden. Pluto bin laden Panes

In the morning I: have a boner.

The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: elephants. (they can already swim)

Once, at a bar: lost our jackets, acussed the bartender of stealing, fought with the bouncers, thrown out of the bar, we realised my friend had our jackets .

There’s this guy I know who: who doesn’t exist.

If I was an animal I’d be: saber tooth tiger. and still be alive.

Tomorrow I am: going to pretend remembering today.

Tonight I am: just me.

My birthday is: Sometime this week.

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somedays it would matter
and somedays it wouldn’t
somedays the cat would drag
in the flesh
and leave it on the bathroom floor
intestine to clean, isn’t an enjoyable task
hanging internal threads
ripped off by the merciless cat
a lazy summer afternoon snack

Questions haunt the mind
Demanding answers all over again
Answers unknown
Answers quite beyond my comprehension
Unlike the carefree days
This lonely me finds
The very work of nature
Confusing, outlandish

What are the red bricks?

Can you see through darkness?

What is roggibobbin?

How much joy makes you happy?

Which is better- a strip of paper or a strip of cloth?

Looking into the world can be a tiresome experience. The red t-shirts and the blue skirts of the world in their daily journey to reach from x to y. through the maze and beyond the gloom of the daily life. A bag strung around. And meticulously calculated steps. 10 steps to the coffee house. 45 steps to the college. The pondering over the cups of tea and sandwiches. The reflection on the sunglasses. A tiny sun scorns at you from the tinted shades. A smile hidden behind the glares. No intension. No voice. Muted muffled stories doing the round. You catch one and make it yours. Three years back I was walking by the road when…

but it isn’t back. it isn’t where i began from. it isn’t where i left it rotting. with sacks of rat infested words. it is beyond that. or maybe not. maybe in between. like the lines in a journal that we skip past. to get to the end. to find out the meaning.
like in a mystery novel. who killed the girl? was it the butler? was it the old man? the lines when the knife slipped from the jar. broken and cut into pieces the pieces of glasses lay stained in vinegar. no one noticed when the ants dug the mole hill. and when the drain water flooded their lives.
maybe in this inbetween i will infuse myself. shhh… don’t talk. the ants might be reading this all.

Pour it. Swirl it. Sniff it. Drink it. When did wine refuse to be just another drink and became a cultural phenomenon? Maybe it happened right when the grapes got smashed. Maybe it happened when the grapes turned sour. Wine has always hogged the mindscapes of the modern world. There is something about wine that creates an aura behind the whole act of consuming it. If the communists had to comment they would call the wine the bourgeois means of upholding the class divide. Does wine drinking necessarily depict the class difference? Does wine drinking show an ever changing lifestyle of the modern age?

By the very fact that wine is indeed an expensive commodity, it becomes an object beyond the means of the average ‘aam admi’. The exclusiveness of the product by virtue of its price makes it an exotic commodity. But the modern day has found its own means of bridging the gap between the have and the have-nots. Yet India is still not ready to give away its fascination with the eroticization of wine.

So where does that place me? Do I take up the fight against the bourgeoisie and shun this means of class divide as my pseudo-comrades of Jawaharlal Nehru University would like me to? Do I have the ever awed fascination of the expensive liquor? Well I made friends with wine long back. Wine came into the imagination with sentences like older the wine better the taste and same wine in different bottle. Times I would come up with my own conspiracy theories. Maybe these were the attempts by the western media at cultural domination of the east. Getting educated in a communist infected university can very well make one utterly paranoid. But it wasn’t about the western media or otherwise, it was indeed about me as the tag says “Wine and You”.

All the while it was about me. Where do I see myself? Where do I place myself? “Wine and me.” Wine drinking is not a modern day phenomenon. Yet somehow it is/has become the one big symbol of modernism and most of all modern lifestyle. The elaborate wine tasting ceremonies almost gives it a scared air. Therefore wine drinking becomes a sacred ritual to be enjoyed by few. I do agree that that kind of exclusiveness seems to be disappearing in this modern day yet it is hard to deny that wine has always had that elevated distinctness to it. Right from the production to consumption, wine is treated differently than any other liquor with almost a feel of reverence. My essay seems to find more questions than answers but there lies the whole mystery of wine drinking. (One may assume that I talk about some secret dark magic but all the while I indulge in, one may say, wine drinking.)

The Greeks of the antiquity praised the secret powers of the wine. They even prayed to Bacchus, the God of wine. John Keats in the “Ode to A Nightingale” wishes to fly away with the help of Bacchus. The creation of the aura around wine which has trickled down into the modern day is indeed a creation of the ages behind. It is a culmination of the years of fascination.

When the world started looking towards a world of sophistication, a world of polite manners, a world of art and culture then started the world of wine drinking. The German Football lovers took up the beer. But what exactly fascinated the modern world about wine. It is indeed difficult to find out. Has the modern day grown more used to the pleasures of slow life? Does it want to in someway imitate what is considered to be the good life?

The media is somewhat responsible for the modern day influence of wine drinking. The media depicts and tries to fashion what is the ‘right’ lifestyle. And in many a ways, the whole act of wine became the reflection of the good life. Taste apart, wine became the status symbol. Wine became the favourite accessory to the ‘perfect’ life. The rat race became all the more faster with the ‘new’ toy. And they said that one needs to develop the taste. And they said that one must enjoy the subtle flavours of the aroma. I get that wine tastes great but isn’t the place of wine in the modern lifestyle about something more than just the taste. Isn’t the fascination more about the fascination rather than the object? The object just becomes the means of desire rather than the object itself.

I am not hinting at the communist line of thought that wine is the means of class divide. I am actually hinting at is that wine may have to come out of its old casket and refuse to fake as something else. Well my essay doesn’t make much sense. It is contradictory and hugely ambivalent but then writing about wine drinking can get results like this. All said and done, I don’t really have any idea about the influence and Lifestyles of modern day Wine drinking.

the universe is rather indifferent towards you and it is gonna remain the same till you stay interested. it’s true. my rather eccentric neighbor (who is only partly senile) told me so.

i am not the guy who has the answers. really, i don’t. ask my college professors. but i am the guy who has realized (after years and years of swinging between self-loathing and world hatred) that there aren’t any soluble solutions out there. sadly not even on the Tumblr. every question invariably leds to a plethora of even dirtier questions.

so where do i stand? what do i believe in?

i believe what my dear old friend Plato once said, “Nothing in this mortal world is worthy of great concern.

life renews itself everyday. there isn’t one life. there isn’t one me. there isn’t one you. we are just recyclable figments of imagination.

tomorrow will be another life.

we are but strangers lost in the haze of remembrance. life is always as we imagine it to be. aren’t we all actively constructing it everyday.

how am i?

well the exact answer is i don’t know.

and all that talk about job n things. i just was kidding. i don’t really care about job. and it isn’t really tough to get a job. it just that i love to cry about how sad my life is that’s all.

and who told you that i am good with words. i am not. check out this new site of mine

well the fact of matter is that even by JNU standard i was weird. but i am not really weird. actually i am quite normal. well not just normal but recycle. aren’t we living in the plastic ages. we are the recycle bin of the glorious history. and i am just another polythene. if even by being weird (and thereby unwanted) i stand out. i don’t wish for that to happen. it would destroy everything i stand for. and what do i stand for. well. i don’t stand for anything. no cause. no logic. no magic. no nirvana. no final answer.

ah… the comfort of being a non-being.

according to you god has planned our meeting. that’s cute. so be it. let our figments of imagination rule our glorious destiny.

*that reminds me. watched inglorous bastards (tarantino). brilliant movie. a classic tarantino.

what else?

people make too much out of happiness. and you know why. because people have quite unique and abstract ideas about what that is. anyways if my unhappiness displeases you. then i shall refrain from being unhappy in front of you. i shall hid any hint of sorrow that might cause you to feel uneasiness. (it sound so cute.)


Posted: February 3, 2010 in ABSTRACT THOUGHTS /rendering of madness
Tags: ,

>>>i hate my life. i hate it. why god? why me? what have i ever done against you? yeah, once in a while i did say that you are santa claus for adults. but then i believe in santa claus. i even dress up in red and say ho ho ho in december. i leave cookies and milk at night. which i later eat and drink in the morning. but still. but still. what have i ever done to you, my god.<<<

this is not the smell of fresh roses that i exchanged my moments for. not the quiet spaces taken up by these spiteful times.Not today. not that day. did i bargained for all that i lost or gained nothing.petals of roses exchanged for burnt ashes of autumn leaves. maybe it wasn’t an exchange at all. maybe i lost it all. in one sweep of fancy. in one brief wishful thought. blinded by the rush. oblivious to the odds. i jumped and i plunged and i fell.  i can not walk any more.

don’t listen to my whispers.
they lie.
about the spiders i caught at the wrong web.
about the time i spent swallowing spit.
about the anger i hid.
it is nothing but not old cobweb tales.

i die. i long. i see. i die again.
a wrong step into a wrong web.

don’t listen to my whispers
they don’t know what they talk about.

luck and me. we aren’t really close. once in a while we did sleep together. but then it’s been mostly one night stands. when she’s drunk at night, she pretends to like me but in the morn she hates my guts and stays away. she says she’ll call but she never does. that’s our sweet n SOUR love story.
but i don’t give a damn. i don’t even care.
when i was in the dramatic society of my college at DU, i always got the lead in the tragic plays. always the fallen. always the broken. always the discarded. maybe it was always a subconscious choice that was suppose to reflect my future. (but then Shahrukh Khan did say in that stupid movie : if someone wants something real bad then the universe conspires to make it happen el la Paulo Coelho ki jubani.)
so and therefore since i have always seen the half empty part of the saying, i think destiny (“Hahaha! gotcha, sucker”, said she with a smirk.) has finally decided to fulfill my wishes. and that’s why Gurukul Chottopadhyay always says: be very careful about what you wish for, it might come true.
and it has. i always liked the tragedy. i always reveled in the sadness. i always hated the happy stupid life. so voila. i get it. damned.
but as i said earlier i don’t care.

apathy is the greatest of all human virtues. indifference the manna to all maladies.

what will i do with the money?


you ask me that question. there are three hundred and twenty eight plus one things that i can do with ‘the’ money.

i can buy a sack of potatoes and sell deep deep fried french fries outside India gate.

i can buy a street at CP and name it ‘red light area’

i can go on a backpacking trip to mcleodgunj and camp at Triund.(and i’ll take you with me.)

and you ask me what will i do with the money. shame on you.

but seriously speaking i don’t really have any idea how to get a job. never worked before. am like one of the manufacturing defect toys that never work.

my resume is blank. no experience. no qualification. no brains. no ability.

what if i worked as a bartender then i would always get to drink the leftovers.

anything. yes anything. all hints included. if i am paid right i am willing to do anything. that includes becoming a personal slave.