An Exercise in Writer’s Block

Recently, I’ve been meaning to write many many things, but every time I try, things don’t come out right. I’ve been trying to stay patient, thinking ‘somethings going to happen, it’s bound to!’ (also said the man with erectile dysfunction. SNAP), but nothing did happen. All I ended up with was a chunk of meaningless Paulo Coelhoesque dribble.

So finally, I decided to just fuck it and write about what I’m doing. Can’t really hurt can it? And the fact that I’m perpetually doing something also supplies sufficient material. So here goes, the unedited continuous nonsense centering around my current activities:

The plane hurtled through the air, but on account of its almost excruciating tininess, it was more like a little capsule hurtling through the long intestine that is the stratosphere. It was one of the smaller planes, without all that ‘jet engine’ metrosexual poofy nonsense that’s all the rage these days. Instead, it had little black exposed rotors that suspiciously kept the plane in the air.

Anirban Chakraborty sat on the window seat at the rear of the plane looking through the window and half expecting the wings to flap.

It was a plain plane at best, without any class distinction as such-everybody got the same kind of seat. They still however wrote ‘economy’ on your ticket so you would know your place in the aero kingdom.

Anirban yawned and stretched as they cut through the sky elegantly, appearing to be motionless against blue pastel background, but actually moving because planes usually have to go somewhere. I’m guessing.

‘This is a no smoking flight’ said the hurried, heavily accented voice of an air hostess over the communication system.

They all are, thought Anirban. They all are. He played with the ashtray that was in his seat from days when that announcement did not have to be made. A happier time.

‘..Smoking in the toilets is also forbidden’

Well they’re part of the fucking flight aren’t they? Thought Anirban. He returned his attention to the corpus of the ashtray. Yes. He gingerly pulled it out of the the seat- it opened slowly. There was no ash inside. Just emptiness. Half expecting a burnished interior but finding-

‘Smoke detectors are installed in the bathroom-’

FUCKING REALLY? WE GET IT said Anirban. Perhaps out loud. Judging by the looks of the passengers around and the man sitting next to him slowly edging away, it was probably out loud. Or maybe he’d just grimaced. Or maybe they had traced the source of erstwhile occurring flatulence. It could have been anything.

An air hostess stopped in the aisle by the row he was sitting in.

‘What would you like sir?’ she asked in a softly lilting voice. She smiled, but there was sadness in her eyes that no prosaic language can express. Well truthfully, he wasn’t sure, but she was wearing what is best described as an upside down blue tin on her head. Such things can only bring sadness.

‘Sir?’ she asked again and she continued to smile. She was well proportioned; quite buxom. A fine ribs-to-funbags ratio. She looked at Anirban, her smile fixed. He felt a rush of feeling toward her. Most of that feeling was concentrated in a particular region, but at the same time he felt a hint of disgust. A hint of disgust that had no place being, yet was.

And suddenly- there was silence. He pondered his ambivalence, mulling it over in his mind, oblivious to the silence, the hum of the engine, the vibration of the plane-

‘Sir can you stop typing?’ she said finally to Anirban, who turned and flashed her a charming smile while continuing to type with one hand. A feat he could accomplish, because he was fucking awesome.

‘Yes m’lady’ he replied handsomely. This is also possible to do.

She tittered at being addressed in such a fashion. She was, after all a waitress in the sky and he, a liberal serving of man candy.

‘What would that be?’ she asked Anirban, who hadn’t replied yet because it takes much longer to type with one hand.

‘A whiskey’ breathed Anirban, dangerously.

‘Sir, we do not serve alcohol on domestic flights’ she said. Her mouth was probably wry, but this fact lay unverified on account of the aforementioned ribs-to-funbag ratio, coupled with the fact that Anirban had only two eyes.

‘Ah’ said Anirban, leaning back in his seat, stroking his chin with his free hand.

‘This is a domestic flight?’ he asked.

‘Yes sir’

‘I see’ said Anirban. This complicated matters slightly.

‘And where does this flight go?’

‘New Delhi, sir’ said air hostess funbags.

‘Dash it all!’ exclaimed Anirban for no particular reason, striking the tray of the person to his left, as his tray was occupied by his laptop, and no one hits the Macbook.

‘FUCK!’ screamed the man next to Anirban, whose groin had been splashed with hot coffee caused by table-banging. (The boring kind of table banging. It is also useful to note that there is no interesting kind EDIT: OMG yes there is.)

The air hostess was quick to begin to mop the spill. And leant over the man, undoing her scarf-

‘Sir, could you stop doing that?’ she said to Anirban, who was now loudly humming 70s porno music, while winking at her.
People are ungrateful, thought Anirban and resumed typing with both hands.

The flight landed in Delhi and Kanan sat in the airport terminal, having a few hours to kill before his next flight to Bangalore.

Now Anirban sat at the airport, with an hour more to kill. He proceeded to the smoking lounge, doing his best to look business-like. He struck up a conversation with a middle aged man, who was looking into Anirban’s laptop screen and was OVERWEIGHT and beginning to lose his hair and possibly the function of his genitals

“Hello” said the man, smiling benignly.

“Top o’ the mornin’! ” replied Anirban cheerfully.

“Uh..”

“Yes.”

“I’m [not paying attention and even if I was, I’d have forgotten by now] ” said the man. “Saurabh, actually” said the man, who Anirban had forgotten was still looking into his laptop screen the motherfu-

“I’m a business man” replied Anirban stiffly, brushing off the shoulders of his Spongebob T-shirt.

“Of course you are” said fucking douchebag who was wouldn’t stop looking into Anirban’s screen.

“Lets cut to the chase shall we? Who are you?” said Anirban, in an business-like fashion.

“I just told you I’m [still not paying attention]

“So you are” said Anirban. “Listen, what do you want? I’m kind of in the middle of something right now”

“Uh. You started a conversation with me, and then pretended like I started it. I can’t help but notice that that fact is not reflected in whatever you’re writing” said the pretentious douchebag who continued to eyeball fuck Anirban’s screen because of his general ineptitude and lack of understanding of PERSONAL SPACE.

“I try to be as accurate as possible” snapped Anirban.

“Can I ask you why exactly you’re doing what you’re doing?” asked the man, who we may now note had stopped looking into Anirban’s laptop screen. Bitch.

“I have writers block” said Anirban woefully. “This is a desperate attempt to overcome it”

“Ah. So you’re a writer!” said the man.

“Very much sir. Very much” said Anirban, moving a little closer to the man.

“So you write, books, screenplays, articles, what?” said the man.

“I..er. I have a blog.” said Anirban.

“Oh” said the man. “thats..uhm..”

“I’m a student!” cut in Anirban, quickly.

“So you’re studying writing then? Or just some general English litt. course?”

“Umm. Kinda. Well, in the sense that it’s less writing and more engineering”

“So you’re an engineer” said the man, with a trace of disappointment in his voice.

“Engineering student” replied Anirban, feeling continuously worse as this conversation proceeded.

“Don’t feel bad about it” said the man, who it appears had begun to look into Anirban’s laptop screen again, the nosy little bitc-

“I’ve stopped looking” said the man quickly, causing Anirban to stop gritting his teeth ferociously.

“Think about it bro” said the man, who for some reason felt that he had reached bro status. “Writers get writers block, musicians the same, creative fields are dominated by words to express a lack of creativity, but really they’re just general slumps. And slumps happen in every field. Even engineering” he said, with unnecessary drama.

“Achieve to be the highest you can be, and persevere through the slumps, that’s just life. Be all you can be, reach the highest possible platform, the zenith, rise up to the sun-”

“SUN BLOCK!” said Anirban. “Sorry. Necessary joke, but too easy. Carry on”

“I’m going to leave” said the man.

But Anirban beat him to it. He may have failed to push the man down the stairs. At that might also have been a completely different man. He may also have spent the next hour hiding in a coffee shop till they called for his flight’s boarding. Prove it.

As he boarded his next flight, he realized that weird nosy laptop screen staring man had an extremely valid point. Maybe writer’s block was like sun block. It shielded the skin from writing and prevented rashes and tanning.

That’s what life is really about.

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How To Take The Perfect Selfie

If you don’t know what a selfie is then there is no hope left for you in this world. So I’ll be jumping right in.

A good selfie requires that:

1. You need to be self-aware. Or have a nice face. Or at least, think you have a nice face. Or most probably just be delusional, obnoxious, vain and a self righteous prick/bitch. (depending on your gender).

2. You need to own a smart phone, preferably one that can flip the screen around so that you can see how to pull the most idiotic expression you can come up with, before capturing it for everyone to laugh at. And it needs to be a decent smart phone for nothing says: “I’m trying too hard” like a low resolution picture. And remember if all else fails you can even use a mirror, but please be aware of what might be lurking in the background, for as with most mirrors, it will be captured in the reflection. Oh and before I forget, remember to use a flash, for that might hide your face and protect you from serious ridicule.

3. You need to be on a social network. Sorry, let me rephrase that, you need to be on every social network known to man, alien and other semi-intelligent life-forms. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and what ever else may be out there at the moment. It’s all those places where the people who lost the ability to connect in ridiculous ways, like talking for example, hang out. You see you need to cast your selfie over the vast open spaces of the Internet, and in so doing you’re spreading happiness and joy, for everyone needs something to make them forget their troubles and break out in hysterics. Besides you’re also providing a service to parents like me, who now have an indexed album of examples, of people whom my kids are not allowed to bring home. Ever.

4. You need to be able to pout. Like when your eating a lemon after being stung by a bee on your lower lip. No scrap that, on both lips. Think Extreme pouting. Or just visit any mediocre celebrity’s Instagram page for a sample. You might as well wear a shirt that says “I’m cheap” when you don’t commit and give a mediocre, half-assed pout. Technically, pouting your lips is body language for I’m a whore, and I’ll do anything for I’m desperate and alone, but that’s just my interpretation.

5. If you don’t have that much of a face, and you know it, well first off, kudos’ to you! But please don’t let that stop you, just show some cleavage. Your rack will distract all attention from the ugly features of your face, so no one will even notice. Especially if you show some real inventive ways of showing off the twins i.e covered in hair or nothing. For guys, same rule apply. Show some pectoral muscles, and if you don’t have any…Well then…I don’t know.

6. Have long arms, the longer they are the better. The problem with a lot of selfies is that it’s either out of focus or it’s cropped showing one eye and some facial hair. And then there is the numerous photos of men… Take a moment and consider how much of your face will be in the shot. If you can’t fit the whole thing, then revert to the mirror technique. People don’t want to guess which idiot they are seeing, they want the full reveal.

7. And if you can’t do any of the above, well just take a picture of yourself doing something really amazing, like hanging on a door, showing off your ass, touching your lips or eating a hot dog. Because we can all do with a little inspiration.

And with that I’m done. But seriously :

If you want to post a photo of yourself, get someone to take the frigging photo for you, at a decent angle, with some consideration for composure and lighting. Then crop and edit. It’s that simple.

It remains one of the most ridiculous things on the Internet today, in my humble opinion. Well that and the fan page for Kanye West.

Elevator Tetris

Had I not been pursuing a degree in Electronics, I’d have aggressively pursued sociology. Well, the fun parts of it anyway.

I’m a people-watcher.   I love to study them, the way they move, their quirky, inexplicable habits.  Trying to capture these details with my own body is my way of immersing myself in the study of people and of society and is one of my favorite parts of being an actor.  And it is for these reasons that I just adore watching office folk.

Last week, in a very surreal turn of events, situation made me visit my uncle’s office, which I long since craved and everytime denied. An imposing building right beside LalBazaar Police Station, it stood tall withstanding the test of time, the red plaster now hardly visible. Scrutinizing the details, I walked into the office which absolutely took me by surprise. The transformation startled me. Outside it was the classical Indian office in its most primitive form, and just inside the gates was an office flooded with every imaginable modern amenity from dazzling wallpapers draping from the walls to free food counters to water purifiers to capsule LED-lit elevators!

I was continually amused by the society that had been created there.  I was an outsider – the likes of Jane Goodall – throwing myself into a world to live amongst these creatures and to study their interactions.

One of my favorite parts of the office is Elevator Space Relations.  This is true in any elevator scenario with more than one person, but I find it particularly interesting at the office.

I was heading down from the top floor to buy some snack and joined the 2pm elevator party just after a particularly high-level executive. Before we got on, however, he did me the good service of pretending to be interested in how I was today and I did the same for him. I told him I was good and he told me he was good.  This is another fun one for me, because let’s face it: when anyone asks that question who isn’t your best friend or family member, they don’t really want an honest answer. I totally felt like junk today. I came in to the office because my uncle promised me a treat from Zeeshan, a food joint, a promise he’d long since been evading to fulfil. When he asked how I was, an honest answer would have been something like, “Oh, I’ve been better. My head was a giant, disgusting hot air balloon filled with evil pixies smacking their wands on my frontal lobe and making it through this day was no small feat but I was too afraid to call off and look like a flake.”

Something told me that would have made the last 10 floors even more awkward.

And so we stood in silence – the entire time from the top of the building to the bottom. There’s only so long one can stare at the blinking number at the top of an elevator before they feel like an idiot! It’s like we all got together one day and decided that there wasn’t enough time between point A and point B on an elevator and that since no one knows how many people may join on the way up or down, there is little possibility for discussion outside of the weather and the number of days ’til Friday. So we just stopped talking altogether.

My next favorite thing is how beautifully people will align themselves in an elevator.  It’s like one big spatial relations puzzle.  Every time someone new enters the picture, people in the elevator, without talking or making eye contact, will naturally work together to adjust themselves so that they leave as much room for a personal bubble as possible for everyone involved.

It’s like the bathroom stall game, where if there are three and the nearest one has someone in it, you go to the far one.  Who made up these rules?

I’ll admit, I like to rebel.  Sometimes when someone asks me how I am, I actually tell them.  And sometimes, I actually follow-up when they lie and tell me they’re good just to see if I can shake a human answer out of them. Furthermore, I sometimes make people uncomfortable by choosing the stall directly beside them.

I get myself through my day with these little games.  I’ll admit that just a few days ago there were 3 people joining me on an elevator ride whilst one of my puja shopping sprees at a local mall and I didn’t move from my space.  Yes, I felt the air thick with anticipation. I felt their discomfort with the fact that there was not even spacing between the 3rd and 4th temporary members of the steel ride society but I was comfortable and deemed that everyone had an adequate amount of room.  And then an amazing thing happened: everyone else adjusted to me.

I felt powerful.  I felt like an elevator god, directing human traffic with my mind. I was the awkward T shaped Tetris piece and everyone had to start a new row to adjust for my addition to the stack.  It was glorious.

I think I’ll start to use these powers for my rise in human society.  I will be the immovable force around which others must accordingly adjust themselves. And slowly but surely, I will make my way to the top of this stupid world. One awkward elevator ride at a time.