Monthly Archives: June 2013

The First Porno in a Young Girl’s Life and other such concerns.

I can’t think of anything to write about properly despite having met friends and batchmates this week and having plans to meet friends and batchmates again. So maybe we’ll strike a chord with this – Let’s talk about Sex and Love (baby). If they have anything to do with the other, if they matter (Spoilers: Hells Yeah, at least for the sex), if you need one for the other, if you can really love objects, that sort of thing.

Please know, my primary objective here is to educate and inform yall about the various ways in which you can be completely unsafe with your body and emotions, and hence live life to the fullest. For those who want to be wimps, there is this amazingly awesome channel called Sexplanations on YouTube. Hank Green created, of course. It’s hosted, for lack of a better word, by this woman called Lindsey Doe (I know. Wickedly close to Lindsay Dole from The Practice. Oh, Law School days, how you come to mock me with your emotional link to certain TV shows) who’s a professional sexologist and really good at explaining some shit. I recommend it to everyone, especially guys who don’t have a clue (basically, most men). Also, there’s Laci Green.

ME: Watch it. You’re overusing brackets again.

me: Right you are (mumbles under breath) you pompous twit. [I’m watching a lot of British stuff these days. Is it obvious, darlings?]

Let’s begin then, shall we?

 

For any young’uns out there, especially those who read and watch TV and shit, it’s important to remember that your imagination and sex will always have a BDSM relationship, with sex usually telling your imagination to lie there with its twee all swollen while the sex drinks some coffee. Sometimes there’s a role reversal and your imagination will tell sex to try maple syrup, and sex will not like it at all.

ME: This is uselessly gratuitous.

me: it sells.

The first time I imagined sex, it was pretty much the exact scene from the very first Mills and Boon I read. It was called Willing to Wed, written by Cathy Williams. The guy was Irish, rich and called James Kellern. I have often postulated that my love for Irishmen may originate from thence (incorrect grammar?). The girl was called Ellie, short for Elliot. It was my first introduction to an actual sex scene. Before that, I had thought the lifeboat scene from Kane and Abel was the height of pornographic/ adult literature. Regardless, I read that book till it was literally ragged. Back then I used to have a habit of tearing off the sides and corners of pages in books and chewing them up to form spitballs that I’d very rarely spit (now I only do this with notebooks and old newspapers). The sex scene pages from Willing to Wed were the most torn off corners of any of the books I ever read or have read since then. It went missing during one of the many moves my family made during my adolescence. Perhaps my parents noticed the book, its contents and its condition, and decided that it had to be “taken care of” post haste. Either way, I have looked for the book far and wide. There are some sites that speak of its existence, but none that allow me access to it without paying money.

For those who know me now, you must probably imagine some seriously weird shit, ranging from angry slapping and other forms of abuse to absurd experimentation with sexual supplements. Let it be a lesson to one and all who are afraid they’re sexually boring at the beginning of their sexual awakenings (how many times can I use the word “sexual” before some sort of natural internet age-check comes along for viewers?), worry not, because you’ll get there if my example is anything to go by. The book contained the most ‘90’s Mills and Boon-y sex you could imagine. This was the stage of Mills and Boone after they started actually describing sex, and before they knew the meaning of a sexually aware and possibly promiscuous woman, not that they know too much about it now, but it’s a wee bit better. The basic story was the same – man and woman meet, initially don’t take to each other but are also clearly attracted. They eventually give in to their mutual lust only to discover over time, and to the insistence of a beautifully (problematic, I know) possessive/ psychotic guy, that they are actually in love. Then they get married, at which point the book ends.

When I first imagined it, not only was the sex exactly as described in that book, it ended with me getting together with the guy. Of course, my commitment issues were pretty apparent even at the age of twelve in that I always thought of life after marrying James Kellern and would always end up thinking it was boring and desperately trying to find ways to spice it up. When I learnt how to use the internet properly many years later, I spent a lot of time on sites which gave Cosmopolitan-esque advice on how to make my imagined marriage less dull. But the important bit here, lest we lose sight of it, is that I did imagine marriage, and I could think of only the most basic sort of sex – quite a bit of boob play, some cunnilingus, missionary style, break, shower scene, boob play, against the wall sex. There wasn’t even any blow job as far as I can recall, though my memory may be unprecedentedly wrong in this instant.

All of the initial fantasizing based on the sex-and-love-go-together story has given me some pause in the past. I’ve often wondered if at some point in the midst of my utterly colorless teenage love/ sex life I purposely chose to forsake one for the other. That perhaps all the determined sluttishness and lack of concern for my feelings and those of the people with whom I badoinkadoink is some sort of defense mechanism. That would definitely fulfill the premise of a love story better – “I’m not really a slut, I just need someone to really love and understand me, and I’d give up this life of endless orgasms and weirdly satisfying fellatio in a heartbeat.”

I know a lot of people think so, including people who care about me. Almost everyone wants to see everyone they care about settle down, not really because of convention, at least not among us Ivy League-esque young adults, but because we all accept and know at some age that everyone will get married, and everyone will need someone with them in order to cope with the fact that everyone else got married. So I guess it’s natural that people should hope/ maliciously plan for me to one day meet a guy I fall terribly in love with and for whom I feel all the feelings which I have been making faces at and not really understanding and making fun of for all these years.

My school friends, knowing my tendencies, predicted quite incorrectly as it turns out, that I’d be the first one to get married. They longed for that day. The one I actively keep in touch with still waits patiently for lightning to strike me. I recently told her about a ridiculous offer made to me (that to be fair, I considered for half a second while drunk), which she chose to interpret as the offerer (offeror?) being in love with me, but I pointed out was said person being an idiot. She eventually came to see my point. I swear I saw hope dying in her eyes. It was fun.

My college friends used to tell me for the first two or three years they knew me that I’d be the first one to get married. I believe their hopes are also very close to being crushed. Of course after said two or three years they realized that perhaps I wasn’t going to be the lead-role in a romantic comedy. Mine was to be a tragi-comedy where the last scene is probably me dying of an orgasm at the hands of my gigolo at age ninety (fingers crossed).

There have been moments where I myself have wondered if they’re right. The idea never stuck. I can imagine the perfect guy and falling in love with him and I can imagine getting bored and wanting to leave and possibly never getting the guts to do so. Of course I don’t want to imagine meeting the perfect guy and falling in love and being left. Which of course would lead to the inevitable question – do I not care for marriage purely because I’m afraid? That’s never a good reason to do or not do anything.

But what finally settled it was poetically, what started it as well – pornographic literature. I found Ellora’s Cave – a publishing company for erotic literature. And this literature is not really Mills and Boon material. Yes, people get married and all that but this is the porn with orgies and role-play and anal and BDSM and bondage and stops just short of excreta (thank god for that – that would be the point where I use my safe word), not Mills and Boon. I was already introduced to the idea of a healthy yet intense BDSM lifestyle because of Secretary (Before watching that movie I thought James Spader was hottest as Alan Shore. Fuck no.) but that was the first time I actually encountered the graphic sex part of the life. It occurred to me then that while I may not be into orgies or anal or BDSM or the rest of it despite liking the porn, I was definitely not into settling for one person for any considerable length of time.

Maybe I’d be categorized as “oversexed” by most people, and definitely as “HUGE twat of a slut” by others and “always asking for it” by some utter shits. To be fair, what with the rumors of silent judgment surrounding my various exploits (not judgment for the lives they mess up, because I do deserve to be judged for that to some extent, no doubt, but for the exploit itself) I have often been a bit disappointed with myself. Not really because I felt bad for things I did but because I felt like I should ideally feel a bit bad.

Of course those were the days before I just stopped giving a fuck. I suspect that day came when I realized that a lot of people read my blog and were weirdly aware of my sex life. There comes a point when some things about oneself has to be accepted. I’m very far from confident and self-actualized in a lot of departments but I can honestly say that’s not the case when it comes to accepting myself as the sexual person I am. I used to pray for the day that I was certain about any one thing in my life, be it career or love or marriage or anything. I guess its only fair to karma-doesn’t-exist that it had to be sex and sexuality for me.

And what, dear slightly disturbed reader, can you take away from this? Certainly not that you should disregard any inclination you have to be romantic or to not be romantic. Simply to be a bit open to the idea that you may or may not be a total sap or an unforgiving slut, and to figure it out independent of what the haters think about that time you made out with a man twice your age. I may be very certain about a lot of things, but I’m still open to the idea that one day perhaps I’ll go mad and fall in love with someone and it will last long enough for me to settle down. At least I think I am. After all, I still hope that one day I’ll find my way back to that precious Mills and Boon that opened up a magical world for me.

–          Billy

 

P.S. – Seriously, if anyone runs into that book, please buy it for me. Old Mills and Boons cost less than a hundred bucks. Just buy it and I’ll pay you if you want. Willing to Wed by Cathy Williams. I’m really nostalgic about this. It’s not a joke.

 

Also, here’s some fun gifs. If it’s not obvious, I didn’t make any of them and they’re all stolen If you want to find them, join tumblr and you eventually will.

 

This is why we love Rory Gilmore.
This is why we love Rory Gilmore.

 

 

Graceful.
Graceful.

 

This is by Shantidraws on tumblr. I want it on a T-shirt one day.
This is by Shantidraws on tumblr. I want it on a T-shirt one day.

 

Life out of college, People out of their minds, and my hopes for a Better Tomorrow for Entertainment and Myself

Be warned, ye who come here for either deep wisdom or hilarity, much like myself today’s post is going to be a very tepid mixture of both.

I feel restless, therefore I write. Usually restlessness is taken care of by going walkabout (hehehe) or spending some alone time with myself, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. Unfortunately, there’s nobody to walkabout towards what with me living in one of Delhi’s rich suburbs (and I know that’s not the point of a walkabout; I just wanted to use the word). Even more unfortunately quality time with self is not an option right now because locked doors are looked upon suspiciously before 9 pm.

This is my third attempt at writing this week’s post. And the reason it’s never panned out properly is that although my thoughts have something to do with each other, they’re very scattered and not cooked yet. I’ve waited for three days for it to cook, but no dice. I’m trying a fresh new perspective on, just for fun – this is raw thoughts. Deal with it. Writing about something that matters to me and is at the same time insanely personal (and by insanely, I mean it shouldn’t be personal but it is) is a surprisingly rare occurrence. It means I have to balance my tendency to be casually funny about things that matter to me and humorously morbid about things that are personal to me. The two don’t often coincide. However, nothing else is really on my mind. As a randomly poignant conversation from college recalls, “You have to try not to be afraid of creating something ugly. Embrace the ugly, Billy.” Must thank quote giver. Thank you Scooby.

As many/ most of you know, I graduated Law School sort of cum laude and am now living with parents while I write entrance tests for post-graduate shite. I met a friend of mine after a long time and we talked about the perils and various problems we have when we live with our parents after spending a considerable amount of time not living with our parents. The world of silent dinners at the dining table, constant questions that seem vaguely pointless (if there is such a thing), being asked to “sit properly” and the rest of it should not be weird but it is. And the strange thing about places like NALSAR (that’s the law school for those who don’t know) is that the whole world of average people in a country like India starts to feel weird as well.

It was a minor surprise for my friend to be apartment hunting in Bombay and be asked what religion she belonged to in an insistent and bossy manner. It’s weird for me to visit my Delhi friends and have their relatives pipe in with “Oh, my uncle’s mistress’s dog’s ex-owner’s lived next door to a wonderful Christian family” once they get to know my surname is Thomas. Me and my friend had to resist the urge to mention that we’re actually atheists and couldn’t give a perineum (I am determined to learn fancy-sciency words for vulgar body areas. Unfortunately, labia and vulva are apparently not fancy. Neither – and this was news to me – is penis) about religion or as the pseudo-secular put it, “community”. It’s an expected yet exasperating shock to know that your friends from school didn’t get to talk to their college friends about things like sex and sexuality and masturbation in an open and honest manner; all this while we shoved our dildos in each other’s faces (“we” as in I and “each other” as in everybody else) and talked about hand faucets and amplifiers and sex fantasies for five years. We also learnt some law but eh, who cares?

Apparently there is method behind this madness that surrounds the outside world almost all related to such all pervasive logic as, “That’s how things are out there in the real world”. Which is where I think I have the most problem I guess. In fact, I think that’s where most of us coming from law schools and other colleges which come under such descriptors as “elite”, “intellectual” or “we’re better than everyone else”. I never thought about it this way, but I’m sort of Ivy League. For those who know me, it must be pretty clear that this is not something I take pride in. That is the nature of life, I guess. You try to get into law school after high school in an attempt to spend five years “finding yourself” and instead you spend five years in a world that seems eons away from the real one where people seem to still watch K serials or their equivalent, and still care about the way girls sit even while we wear jeans, and still think gay people are kidding themselves, and still place an irrational amount of importance on your religion.

And yet as I sat their, discussing TV and life and eve-teasing and parents with my friend, we decided we were pretty lucky, historically speaking at least. We talked about Beginners and Bombay Talkies and wondered what hell people like us would have had trying to find a world for ourselves even so little as ten, twenty years ago. I remember my dad telling me quite a few years ago a production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at Deshbandhu College in the ’80s. For those who don’t know the plot, its about Nora, who’s a married woman who decides to leave her husband towards the end of the play when she realizes he’s sort of a dick. The girl who played Nora was harassed by people in college. It has no sex scenes, no lesbianism, nothing. She was harassed because she was on stage, playing the main role and the role is sort of feminist. God knows if I did the things I do today, and was as indiscreet as I am about it, I would have had a very bad time twenty years ago [For instance, refer to above mention of private sex life]. Neither would my friend, who has less public stuff to deal with (reason being that her blog is private).

You ask for how things are better? Well, they aren’t really. But I can wear skirts. I have a moderately safe mode of public transport in the most unsafe city in the country. I can visit the gynecologist without feeling any shame (As long as my parents aren’t around. My mother’s not that evolved yet.)

And the thing which I consider my biggest hobby – looking at things on laptop/ TV screens – is not too far behind me; even Indian things to watch on screens. One of the ways in which I gauge how good or bad things are is by looking at movies and TV. It’s like Susan Sarandon said – it’s important because they’re the creators of collective dreams of entire countries if not the world. And today, we have movies like Cocktail (gag) and Yamla Pagla Deewana and some seriously turd filled regional soap opera my mother watches religiously of which I never bothered to find out the name. There are of course a LOT of crappy films in India, regional and otherwise, which if they’re anything like Telugu films, encourage stalking as a form of courting. It’s not a very good scene. On the other hand, we have Chak De, and Dev D and Bombay Talkies and Gangs of Wasseypur and that show called Connected Hum Tum (Which is next in my list of things to check out) with Abhay Deol for which I have moderately high hopes. If it’s any good, I expect the show to get cancelled soon enough much like The Great Indian Comedy Show, which is where I first remember Ranvir Shoray and Vinay Pathak from.

So things may not suck entirely by the time I leave academia behind, which I will have to do at some point. And maybe one day, very much like Hank Green put it when he recommended we put things on our heads, we’ll stop telling kids to not do things that don’t hurt anyone (wear dresses or make-up or shorts and sports bras; try to be authors and painters and musicians and learners and dancers and things they actually like doing, as long a the y stay far away from me). And maybe one day, about a hundred years later, the world would sort of resemble law school, with its tacit acceptance of people coming out of the closet, and extremely enlarged egos that make for unbearably pompous company.

I don’t know how to end this post. I don’t really care. Sorry not-friends. I’ll try to be better next time.

–          Billy

ME: That was plenty ugly.

me: Fuck off.

P.S. – Did anyone notice how that scene from Bombay Talkies where the girl tells her brother that their dad was angry because he was wearing girl clothes and he asks “Why, what’s so wrong about girls?” was so painfully and beautifully reminiscent of that scene from The Cement Garden which Madonna used in her song? “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, cause it’s okay to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think being a girl is degrading…”

P.P.S – Also, the latest Jane Eyre vlog comes out tonight. I hope for more colorful socks wearing, tattoo having, Game of Thrones quoting Rochester. He always kicked Darcy butt as far as I was concerned.

Magic, Making Out and Feminism

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m on my period. [Good beginning to blog post.] Maybe it’s that my dog is also on her period (she has it worse/ better. On the one hand she’s spotting all over the house. On the other, her dog brain don’t care, bitchaas). Perhaps it’s because it arrived after more than a month’s wait (such a wait is a gift whenever it comes). Maybe I really miss some parts of college life right now what with the group chat I have with my friends seemingly dying down a bit. It could be all of the above – why I watched Practical Magic and felt nearly sentimental.

For those with hanging genitals and/or no cable TV in the early 2000’s, Practical Magic is a movie with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock in it. They’re modern day witches coming from a long line of witches all of whom are rather kick-ass, give people chlamydia without any physical contact or even having chlamydia themselves, cast spells and nets and shit, and some of them fall in love sometimes. It’s also the movie because of which, no matter how old and wrinkly he gets, Aidan Quinn will always retain a sexual position in my mind – figuratively and literally. He’s the police chief guy in Elementary, for those of you sorry asses who don’t know. This is him.

 

Nice
Nice blue eyes but he’s a bit too normal and white for my taste under most circumstances. But man oh man was he good at slamming Sandra Bullock to the wall and making out with her. I got a tingle at that when I was 12 and I’m proud to say the tingle reaction is still strong for that scene. It tells me I haven’t lost my romantic streak.

 

This
This is a younger picture. You can sort of get what he had going for him back in the day.

 

Getting back on point, I always liked the movie. Because it had magic, pretty girls and that hot make-out session. But I watched it again, admittedly for the make-out, and I realized I like it now for additional reasons. Let’s discuss said reasons while also being feminist-y, shall we? In a fun, sexy way.

One of the new reasons to like the movie is the Bechdel test. It’s a simple three step method of identifying holistic portrayals of women in works of fiction. First, there has to be more than one named female character in the work; Second, they should at some point talk to each other; and third, they should talk to each other about something other than men. As a guy on TED put it, if someone outside of our planet tried to understand us based on our popular culture, they’d think this never happened. And surprisingly, Practical Magic passes the test quite well. And its surprising because most of the movies I like for things such as “magic”, “pretty girls” and “hot make out” usually don’t.

Which is really sad for people like me. I like girly shit like hot make-out sessions and pretty girls in movies. But for the most part while I watch movies in which they’re present in abundance, I can’t help but feel a wee bit cynical. I’m not saying I’d criticize an otherwise good movie for not passing the Bechdel test, but it’s a bit… disorienting, after you’re made aware of it the first time. You suddenly realize that you’ve very rarely seen a film which even touches upon the manner in which women think or talk, without making an utterly one dimensional, mildly misogynistic caricature out of you.

One way of putting this in perspective is with the example of Brave – which is a good movie for the most part, but not as fun(ny) as I was expecting from Pixar. One telling complaint from a viewer was that both the main characters were women and all the guys were sort of left on the sidelines and had very little to do with the plot. To which many a feminist/ woman calmly replied – “Welcome to our world, cuntface.”

I understand why this is a problem – there just aren’t enough women writers in the entertainment industries, and unfortunately this is a trend that seeps into even the newest and awesomest avenues of entertainment. The internet is barely becoming popular as a ripe field for sociological study, and usually I try to base arguments or ideas on (or off) books, movies or TV shows, or if none of them pay off, on news.

But YouTube is a new media and if there’s anything Lizzie Bennet and a recent not-more-campy-than-usual Law and Order episode I sat through proved anything, it’s that New Media cannot be ignored. Or at least it should not be if one wants to have one’s “finger on the pulse of our generation” … which let’s face it, all old people want that and Bob Dylan is one of the few references they’re likely to understand. If they don’t understand us, how could they distract us from the shit they’re up to? Wow. That was supposed to be funny but it came out in Britta Anarchist. Take that reference, old people. Ha!

ME: Stop pussyfooting. Get to the point.

Right. For the most part, I love the kind of stuff Youtube provides me with – vlogbrothers, Hoezay, ZeFrank, TheViralFever, Daily Grace, ComedyOneNetwork, Lizzie Bennet, Laci Green…. largely men. As John Green pointed out, mostly due to safety concerns and the general assholery of people on the internet, very few content creators, even on YouTube are women. Because no woman wants to be stalked (or worse) and then have to listen to people say, “See? if you hadn’t coveted and hogged all that attention on the internet, this wouldn’t have happened.” Which of course means that the content on the internet, like in Hollywood and Bollywood is largely made from the male perspective with very few relatable female characters or interactions. Which is fine, but as I said, a bit disorienting…. refer to the Brave thing.

Take for example one of the latest Viral Fever videos. I love those guys. And I don’t think sexist or misogynists at all (though from a meta comedy perspective it would be hilarious if they were) but the one about Men Who Understand Women sort of made me feel weird. For the same reason that Pyaar ka Punchnama made me want to reach into someone’s body and tug out their pancreas. Why were the girls universally illogical, irrational and manipulative? And why were the guys illogical, irrational, pathetic, desperate and unable to see the basic lack of maturity and various other flaws in these women?

I know the biggest defense guys have for this is “You’re only angry cause they’re going for the hot girls.” To which women like me, heterosexual with a ranging-on-voyeuristic appreciation for women, would say, “I will cunt-punt you, motherfucker. We don’t like it cause not only are you going for these idiots, we hate that they’re always given the character of idiots in movies just because they’re hot. A lot of smoking hot women don’t make me want to throw up. I would pay to watch men go for either of the women in Practical Magic, or for Kristen Wiig, or for either of the women in In Her Shoes, or for the women from Friends (at least they’re not one dimensional), or for Annie from Community, or for Elliot from Scrubs, or for Tina Fey in everything, or for Ann from Parks and Recreation, all of whom are very conventionally hot people….. excuse me while I go watch some man on woman porn.”

This particular ViralFever episode was really not bad. The above ire was actually directed at that turd-testicle of a movie – Pyaar ka Punchnama – I say it like Malfoy says Mudblood. The ViralFever skit was funny in parts. And I have no problems with men not understanding women and making a skit about that. I just need a little diversity in the type of women they talk about. It’s early days yet and they’ll probably (hopefully) be good at that. Or I’ll be left trying to make a show about women not understanding men when they say things like, “ey babe, I love you” half a week after having met us.

At a personal level, Practical Magic reminded me of college, especially the Midnight Margarita scene where they all dance around the table, laughing about men, magic and being labeled (mostly as witches, but also as sluts and cat-killers, etc.). It made me think of the time we threw a nineties themed party for a friend and danced to such classics as Hit Me Baby One More Time and Rock DJ. Also, did the ball-dance with imaginary partner around the pool table to Pehla Nasha, the whole motherfucking song, because what else do you do when Pehla Nasha plays? Also belted out Kiss From a Rose, I Want it That Way and Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha.

It also reminded me of the times we got together, with or without alcohol and told each other about our problems, fears, jokes, dirty thoughts and other such things. On one occasion on a train to Goa we made up a whole rap song with background vocals and human beat-box. It was called “Slut-Bag Ho”. It was a post-modern, feminist re-telling of Roxanne. Or it could have just been the product of a raging endorphin and adrenalin high.

So I guess it’s a bit sad that while normal, smart, pseudo-intellectual men have Dil Chahta Hai and Boston Legal and any number of other shit with which to reminisce about good times with, we normal, smart, pseudo-intellectual women have to scrounge till we find a few things which make us nostalgic. For people in Yotube and other internet or independent arenas who want to know how normal, flawed, smart women interact with each other, here are a few references – Leslie and Ann from Parks and Recreation, the girls in Girls to some extent, the sisters in In Her Shoes, the women in Community to some extent…. The fact that I’m finding it hard to come up with more pop culture references should really speak to this.

Oh well, off to watch some TV. We finally got Comedy Central.

All of this is obviously not as important as the fact that we may have a genocide assistant/instigator as our Big Cheese in the not so distant future. And as that whole situation plays out, I may write about something related to it, but right now, this is what I’m talking about. It has to be at least as logically relevant as lingerie mannequins that cause rape, right? And I know that was last week’s media talking point, but I don’t care. Fuck you.

Also, have started on my first John Green novel – Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Then there’ll probably be a Terry Pratchett followed by The Fault in Our Stars. Wish me luck.

 

–          Billy

Is my development arrested? And other mind-mastrubatory thoughts. While walking.

I have gone walking for the past two mornings. I don’t mind it but its one of the last things I would pick for a regular exercise regime. However I have no choice because my foot was in a cast less than three months ago and apparently I can’t afford to stress it. Usually I don’t agree with what doctors tell me to do unless there is some overt pain or discomfort, but this was the first time I was ever in a cast and I don’t care to repeat the experience by far. So instead of jogging and pretending to be healthy in the giant park we frequent, I’m stuck walking and because of the short stumpy nature of my legs I’m barely able to walk faster than uncle-aunty speed at the park. Which is a giant shame what with the existence of fifty-year old (I’m guessing) men who jog past me with round, protruding bellies. I don’t know how that happens, but it is simultaneously comical and disheartening given my walking pace.

But the good part about walking is that unlike while jogging I’m not constantly thinking “oh fuck oh fuck, man this is hard. Just imagine yourself with Jennifer Lawrence’s body. A shorter version. Nope not encouraging enough. Crap my lungs, MY LUNGS, WHY IT NO FUNCTION? I DON’T SMOKE, WHY IS THIS SO HARD ON MY LUNGS?? Ok relax, it’s functioning. Motherfucking ball crushers, this is hard. Ok ok, time to bring out a hot guy from TV running in front of me, just out of reach. Who will it be? Louis? No, I love him but that’d be funny-sad. Colbert? Not today. OOOOH. Matt Smith. Matt Smith is doing his jaunt, walk, cheeky smile thing at me from right ahead. Jog towards him, Billy. Jog right at him. Get to him and you can be the next Good Queen Bess. And you can try and sneak into the TARDIS. Oh yeah…”

Instead, because of the lack of strain on my lungs (can’t say the same for my calves) I can actually think random thoughts that stop just short of profound. And like with pre-sleep conscious dreams (there’s a scientific word for those that I can look up on SciShow but I can’t afford to be distracted by Youtube right now) the thoughts are usually about whatever I was obsessing about just the night before. In yesterday’s case, this was Arrested Development. I re-watched the third season and then watched the fourth. Somewhere in the middle of the latter, I began to think of it less as comedy and more as morbidly funny social commentary on the American ease of life. Not because it wasn’t funny but because it was funny about exactly what the title says – the manner in which people remain stuck, not growing, never really learning, primarily because for some reason everything you do is to affect other people, specific people who will also never really change and so you’ll just never grow.

If you didn’t notice, somewhere in there, as always happens, my brain made me the center of this problem. What if I’m stuck? Is it to family? To college? To friends? What if I have never learnt anything? It’s possible. My teenage diaries are very embarrassing to me right now, but the basic way in which I think has not really changed much, has it? But now, I may be aware of it, so have I not changed? Whhiiinnne. Mehmememememe. And that of course brings it back to why all of us do things we do.

Personally, if I really examine myself, I think my need to write and not compromise on that wish is based primarily on my innate lack of appreciation for permanence. This is something that took all of my resources and tears over many different sessions of “talks” with my parents to convince them of. I don’t think they’re (primarily my mom. My dad just thinks I’ll probably change my mind) really comfortable with or even believe that I don’t plan to get married. Very few people in India are unaware of the pressures of getting married. It’s practically a necessity here and sooner or later my mother will want to broach the subject seriously. Or maybe she brings it up jokingly every three to six months in the hope that one day me or my sister will answer without giving her a Lucille Bluth look.

But that’s about a quarter of the issue. As I mentioned in my previous blog, my family isn’t rich. We’re comfortable; and luckier than most people. But we’re not rich. Opting for things that are not immediately rewarding economically have to be weighed carefully. Not because we really want to be rich but because we don’t have trust funds or nest eggs or whatever you call a giant bank account full of crazy money that is given to young people when they’re twenty-one.

So it was an uphill battle. It was complicated and uncomfortable to explain to my parents that I can be and have been severely down in the dumps with bi-daily suicidal thoughts and crying sessions because of certain career choices that I forced myself to make, namely law and law school. It was equally weird to declare in a mildly sob-y but determined manner that I actually don’t plan to get married and I won’t be having kids. I’m not against marriage but I think its unlikely and its not one of the things in the list of stuff I want to do in life. Which means I don’t plan on anything happening in that area. I have no ambition there. And since getting married, having children and having a comfortable, settled life is not part of the plan, surely I can aim high and play the stakes as far as the rest of my life is concerned. My obstinate teenage self feels like I have the right to refuse to compromise on the one thing for which I do have plans. For which the argument is that I can’t starve while I “find myself” etc. etc.

It’s not that I don’t plan to not settle down with a normal job (even if its dull. I actually don’t mind dull work. My friends could always count on me to edit, number pages on their moot compendiums, stuff like that. Wow, this is one way of putting my years in law school into perspective) to make a living. But I don’t intend to find out at thirty that I can no longer go to college and do a post-graduate course that I like and at least try to find out if I can actually make something useful out of what I like doing – writing.

That is what finally got through to my dad. He said something about never having tried to go for football, which he was really good at, because he got too busy being a good student. I think he’ll regret mentioning that to me. He has a pattern of saying things like that and regretting it a few months later when I quote him back to him.

So here I am, living with my parents, writing entrance exams for interesting post-graduate courses and hoping for a positive result. If that doesn’t happen this year due to a number of reasons, I’ll be working for a year at an already determined office and then try again. At least that much is settled.

Which brings us back to arrested development. During the walk I got to wondering who my plans were for. Not romantically, but generally, who are they trying to impress? Maybe its my parents. Or my friends. Or maybe everyone who ever made me feel little. I could be a complete shite and start saying “I intend to impress myself” but that’s complete shite. Maybe I just want to be immortal before I die. Careful, my Godard is showing.

But speaking of movies, I’d just prefer to go the Roger Ebert way – I’ll make myself happy and tried not to make others unhappy. Blerg. Maybe. Tsk. Really, I can’t really speak too well to my intentions or inspirations. I don’t think it matters much. I’m no shrink and even if I was I’m pretty sure there’s a rule against mental masturbation. Too Late. This whole post seems a bit like me on a Saturday morning. Oh well.

 

I know I’m supposed to post twice a week but I realized I can’t. What with preparations, mopeyness and no stimulus, I will only be able to pop out pure drivel worse than this. But for last week, here’s the embarrassing secret – I had a weird dream where my college’s VC made a kissing move on me. I didn’t push away and it stopped in like 5 seconds. And I chastised him for it with a very marmy sexual harassment lecture. But I woke up and wanted to hammer my head in. Maybe it was my brain reacting to the excellent grades he gave me for his seminar? Doesn’t make it better.

I’m going to go watch a silly Comedy film or The Skin I Live In to get that off my brain.

Ok.

 

– Billy