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Bombay duck

I have never faced such a situation before. The stage that I am going through, it’s hard to explain.

What do you say when a person loses his emotion? Is he dead? Probably.

Probably I am dead. It’s a zombie-like existence. I can’t explain what I am going through, but it’s strange. It’s very unnerving. Almost eerie.

I have heard that when a man is at the brink of his death, he loses all the interest in things associated with life. It’s God’s way of making him accustomed to what lies ahead. This might also happen to a man before he renounces the world.

I have this feeling that either I am going to die very soon or that I am going to renounce this world for good.

What makes you live? Definitely emotion. Definitely the lust for life or hatred of life. You need to prove yourself to someone something. That makes you go on and on and on. But I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. I would have been the happiest now if there was somebody who would have challenged me to prove something. But no, I am not even willing to take his challenge, however eager I was even a year-ago.

When I was in my last organization, somebody challenged me saying that I have no hope of ever becoming a journalist. And he said he would be surprised if, ever in my life, I would see a single byline of my own. “The magic of Indian economy is that it is booming my boy. Go, get yourself another job. I don’t see you having any future here in this field,” I clearly remember his words. I fought back. I fought back enough for him to come to me to bid me farewell and say that “We will miss you. You were one of our finest workers.” That was a triumphant victory for me.

I never could forgive that man for his audacity. But as soon as he said those words … I felt pity for him. I don’t know why, but I felt pity for the man I always hated.

But then, these are all part and parcel of LIFE. I thought, after I joined this newspaper as a reporter, I would be the happiest person to see my bylines in the morning. But three months now in this new job as a reporter, I am never thrilled to see my byline. When I see my name in the paper, often in the first page, I almost forget I am seeing my name in one of the finest newspapers in India. Similarly, when my stories get killed, sometimes without any proper reason … it doesn’t hurt me at all. I wonder why. I don’t feel sadness when I am supposed to cry, I don’t feel happiness when I am supposed to dance in joy.

When did I last hear about this syndrome? Well, I read about a young man named Siddharta who went to become known as Buddha, or ‘old’ in Hindi. But will I be able to ever become that old to be called a Buddha? I wonder. If this negative air continues … I guess very soon I am going to pop it.

Some huge mechanism has suddenly sucked the life out of me. As I said, I am nothing but zombie these days.

Is this the city? The much touted glamour capital Mumbai?

May be. I am not sure. But then all the people here should have the same outlook like me. I could see life all over the city. Why I am feeling lost? Actually I am not even feeling lost. If there were some feelings of loss, I would have known that there is still some life left in me. I am not even feeling lost. I am feeling like a ball of cotton moving at the wind’s direction. Like a machine, I am boarding the train with all other machines … lots of them. And like a machine, I am going to the office to work. Sometimes even for more than 12-14 hours at a stretch.

I wish I meet my tormentor again in Mumbai. I would request him to torture me again. I would request him to push me to the limits, drive me crazy, fill my heart with poison against him. At least, I would get back the meaning for my existence.

How boon is a bane sometimes.

I don’t argue with people anymore. Even if the taxi driver charges more than he should, a rarity in Mumbai, I don’t argue with him the way I used to do with Bangalore autorickshaw drivers.

Mumbai is a dreary city. It’s a sin city, no doubt about it. Where there is glamour, there is sin. I won’t go into that argument. I didn’t see the glamour part of the city. It’s just like any city to me with a screeching infrastructure at the verge of collapse.

Just to give an example, in Mumbai, there is a brothel or some kind of sex joint everywhere, at least, the areas that I have seen. Sex is as easily available as rice in a grocery shop. It’s convoluting for a sensitive person. One block behind my house, there is a bar where there are more girls than customers. One day I went to drink seeing the nice ambience from outside. A swarm of girls gathered around me. I had to choose one.

Though I am not a purist or a moralist, and my ‘character’ is certainly questionable to even myself (so much so that if you ask me “can I marry my daughter to ghetu?” … I would say “that scoundrel!! Hell No!”), I felt like a deer-calf among a pack of lionesses. I somehow wanted to run from there. I did so. I bought a quarter of whiskey at an exorbitant price (the price of the girl whom I was supposed to spend my time with included) and ran away from that place. Of course, I had to pay the guard some tips for saving mine and other customers’ reputation from the ever vigilant police.

I guess, my disassociation with the city started from that point. To round it off, something very nasty happened at a bachelor’s party. If I have friends like these, I don’t need enemies. Mumbai scoundrels.

Soon, after someday, I realized the disease of indifference has engulfed me. I am slowly turning into a walking talking mummy. Did I say talking? Nay … I don’t like to talk anymore too.

I know after reading this much Kaushik would quickly comment, “go to the dance bar” or even some stupider shit like “you need a girl”. The fact is that I don’t need a girl. My parents are more than willing to find a girl for me. They are just waiting for my one mistakenly uttered ‘yes’. Within one week, I would see myself married. They would hurry about it, because they know I change my mind quite often.

But that would aggravate the problem than solving it.

Even if I forget about the other covenants of marriage, the most exciting part of a man-woman relationship is the physical proximity. And sex is such cheap dirt to me now that I have started realizing that a human being can perfectly live without even uttering the sex word. Copulation is nothing but a biological ploy. Well, naturally I have to pull myself to do that ‘S’ thing with my wife and I cannot hide for long my unwillingness, if not inability, to do such an act. I don’t see my marriage lasting long in this scenario.

But I was all for being a happy victim of this universal ploy. I had sex. Lots of them. At one point of time, I used to think this is life and this is the essence of all animals and human beings. When I grew up a little more, I realized it’s the most effective universal binder of all the forces available. I was knee-deep in love and lovemaking that time.

Not anymore now. The first casualty after I spent a week or two in Mumbai is that I have stopped thinking about hotties … even in my dreams! That’s more than I can take. That’s death of a salesman.

All glamorous things said about Mumbai are so stark and naked that there is no glamour in it. Mumbai is definitely the biggest disappointment of my life.

I met a famous heroine that day at a press conference. SHE IS SO ORDINARY!!!! SHE IS SO OLD!!! God!!! There was a time when I could feel my temperature rising seeing her gyrating at those Bollywood national hip-shaker tunes. God!!! My maid is more glamorous than her! I am sure, after looking at her, any girl with proper assets in place can become a heroine any day.

Sad! I realized I have a disease when even her deep shiny cleavage failed to excite me. I didn’t give a second look. If I was healthy, I would have perspired and panted like a dog as much as other male reporters were panting. It was so hot an atmosphere that the girls, my reporter colleagues from other papers, were not feeling safe at all. They were moving making a group. Asking questions in a group. Going to the washroom all at a time. I tried to chat with P. She always chats with me at a boring conference. Lovely, witty girl. All that she did was frown and looked away at the wall. The atmosphere was tensed.

I was disappointed in not being able to join the heating session.

Actually, in several press conferences, I quite often meet celebrities. They behave as such complete idiots. You don’t have to be super intelligent to find out that these glamorous people you see in your idiot box everyday and idolize are so super dull. Or, at least very predictable super bores. If I was healthy, I would have still liked to screw one. But end of the day would have liked to go back to the girl I proposed in Bangalore and embrace her to say “I love you”.

So what makes you continue to live on when you see that everything around you, things that you always held as truth, are so wrong … so false. What for you live on?

Yes, Mumbai taught me the biggest lesson in life. Nothing is true in life. At least those things that we think is true are definitely not true. Thinking is illusion. Seeing is more than believing. And I have seen enough to believe that I am going to renounce this world very soon or that my ticket is booked for some interplanetary (I don’t know where you go after death) expedition. Perhaps it’s faster than I think it is.

As for now, I am a zombie.

No girl, I can’t kiss you with the same passion I once did. Find yourself some other guys who still are in super shape. Mumbai just managed to fuck me. I am a rape-victim now. And like any rape victim, I am disillusioned whether consensual sex is good or gang-bang is fun.


Vincent said…
I have been waiting for you to post or to email - or anything.

Now I understand. it is a soul thing. You have explained. I feel it. I'll write to you - not with any solution, of course. Just because.
Ghetufool said…
yes vincent,

i am sort of handicapped these days. i will mail you tomorrow. i didn't visit your blog for a long time. will do so.
Sayantani said…
come out of it man. are you missing reuters?!! coz i'm missing you man...those inane conversations on the verandah, bitching gossiping, laughing! come to cal in jan, v'll have fun.

may bombay grow on you. fell in love with the city again coupla weeks back.
preetim said…
i came back again for a second read after skipping the first time 'coz it looked real long.
mumbai does that to a person ghetu. hang on tight and don't let go, of yourself and what you are.
this too shall pass. indifference is the first step towards movement.
a very happy new year to you even if it is a whole month away.
remember, you still have friends you can call on or write to if what you need is a kick on your butt.
preetim said…
i came back again for a second read after skipping the first time 'coz it looked real long.
mumbai does that to a person ghetu. hang on tight and don't let go, of yourself and what you are.
this too shall pass. indifference is the first step towards movement.
a very happy new year to you even if it is a whole month away.
remember, you still have friends you can call on or write to if what you need is a kick on your butt.
kaushik said…
Ghetu: I am convinced. This is not about Mumbai. This is about a mind which is racing. You are gifted with a mind which can process emotion faster than the ordinary folks. Thats all. That can be a bane. That can be a pain as well. But i think that is gift. All that you need is an avenue to let it flow. The blog is an adequate medium for that. Its like the saying "Dhooder Shaad Ghole".

Interestingly, if u didnt know this. I have become a Zombie too. And no its not because of SF.
gypsy said…
Ghetu, its about time you stop blaming a city man! when u were in blore, it was the city killing u, and you longed to get out. when you are in bbay its the city getting to you again....have you ever considered that maybe its you! you are probably wired probably get bored too easily..maybe you aspire to experience everything in this one lifetime, and so keep looking for some kind of 'activity'...these feelings of emptiness or just the feelings of 'non-feeling' are just symptoms of a mind looking for bigger things to motivate itself.
thats what i think of you.and myself. :-)
gypsy said…
oh and btw..have u tried stuffed "bombay duck" at Jaihind in Lower Parel yet?? if you haven't..u MUST! highly recomended!
kaushik said…
Ghetu: I realised i did an errata. I meant to say that the blog is an inadequate medium.

Gypsy: I would love to try fish in Mumbai.
aceospades said…
aye aye aye aye aye! Pagal ho gaya hai be? Bakwas bandh kar aur story likh! And for heavens sake, either make yours stories shorter or your blogs shorter. I cant spend about 10 percent of the time reading your works :)
Nautilus said…
Hmmm...I think you're giving more importance to the city than it deserves! If Mumbai is getting to you, where will you go? Escape to Delhi or Ahmedabad or Jhumritalaiyya? There you'll come across different kind of sins. You're not a zombie, just desensitized! And thats part of growing up Ghetu. Channelize your energies towards something that actually means something to you...and I refuse to believe that there's nothing in this world that means anything to you!!
Go home Ghetu. Put your head on your mother's lap and let out a big sigh! We all need that from time to time!
Anonymous said…
a long read.. too boring to read it all - lots of it whining!
u can't have everything in life.. u need to decide what want... u need to know what u want to give up in life in order u have something u really really want... sometimes the best solution is to let go.. decide what you want to give up - money? career? friends? health? ur mind? family? girl friend? job? to achieve peace of mind and look life out of the box!!! do u have the courage???? Its not mumbai.. ghetu.. its ur mind!
Anonymous said…
Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is
kaushik said…
Ghetu: Dont u think when RIP is too tired to write he uses an anonymous pseudonym.
Scout said…
haha... i agree with gypsy!! and i am not falling for any of ghetu's sob stories!
Ghetufool said…
ya ya. i understand what you people are talking about.
i know it's about my mind. but mumbai is not for me.

abhi toh rip ko maaf kar do. beachara. anon hoke bhi shanti nahi hey.
Anonymous said…
This too will pass. You have become "comfortably numb," know you aren't the only one, and then, this too will pass.
No one is useless, I'm not sure why that is true, but it is.


Anonymous said…
There is nothing called a "Prefect World" or a "Prefect Job". My mantra of life is similar to the Vodafone advt which says "a calm mind can even overcome a storm".
Don't get excited (even if you get the top job in the World) or disappointed about anything.

Everything is destiny.

Man’s horoscope is in the hands of god. Those who know this fact will never be shaken about anything in life.
Vincent said…
"Man’s horoscope is in the hands of god. Those who know this fact will never be shaken about anything in life."

Completely false rumour! If never shaken, never stirred to joy either.
Ghetufool said…
i guess, everyone is right here. it's all in mind.

of course it is. mumbai is not that bad actually. it's like any other city. only a little heartless.

as my friend anondo puts it (i guess the last anon is he) "everybody in mumbai is running. they don;t know why and to where. but they are running." it's a crazy city and i am sure you love a crazy sometimes. i am in the process of trying to love thic city.
Vincent said…
Well, I hope you don't try too hard to love it. You only need to make a temporary nest in it, in which to protect yourself from what you cannot love.
Ghetufool said…
temporary nest! where else this man will go vincent?
Vincent said…
The boneyard, eventually. We are all visitors to earth's inn.

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