once upon a second thought,
the third world sort of tripped,
upon the magic of its sudden darkness - tight-lipped
joyous and jubilant was its mouth, my only root
my only freedom gestured by its three-fingered-salute
it did not know its meaning,
cared little for time or space,
asked no metaphysical questions (while)
rearing our reptilian grace
i cannot ever repay it,
for how do you dissolve death's debt?
i can only love black women -
because it makes me forget.
by - suraj sharma on Saturday, August 15, 2009
once upon a second thought,
by - suraj sharma on Saturday, June 20, 2009
i sawed off both my legs to fall
in love with these crutches, i was
handicapped like my halogen dreams
haunting a highway
under two headlights chasing
the marked lanes of
a perforated destiny
half-torn by the swivel
of her free, unhinging slaps
over a thousand faces of my history
halfway between now and the tightly trusted future
sleeping in the back seat, i was,
swallowed by signs of indifference, already,
flashing like red beacons and screaming
like soft sirens breaking
the rhythm of a deeply breathing night.
by - suraj sharma on Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A jigsaw piece soulless and sorry,
I fall from defeated or frustrated hands
Until my methods like some gratifying static defy gravity
(or everything it commands)
Levitating over crocodiles and chased by nightmares
through those old and rusting corridors
built by communists and brandished by crows
before being bolstered by hardware stores
My dreaming self is feverishly praying to and nudging at the sides of
His melancholic metronomes, apathetic alarm clocks and to the noise
(from my neighbor’s stereo)
No safety nets here, just her coronets -
she is no country for cracked or cracking bones
Or offsets for counter-balancing kings
who are thrown off of their thorny thrones
I have cigarettes to keep me warm, and my questions
that light up the summer night sky
There’s competition here too, its an Olympiad for junkies
and when they “jump” one wonders how high
I’m content here in my contempt for the crass and the commonplace,
words that you stole
You can contemplate, connive, convince or confuse but
can you clone the numbness of my rigmarole?
by - suraj sharma on Sunday, March 08, 2009
Free man- casting
Over a concrete ocean
Into which one must scuba-dive
The future looks at you
With its retrospective eyes
Cursing your conundrum and blessing
Your disguise, you
Fall and rise, eat your fucking French fries,
Say your battery-acid goodbyes,
Surmise the escape to escape the surprise
Of a truth you hate and the love that lies
Between the wicked and the wise
You can stick it to the man,
Woman, elephant and child.
What are you waiting for?
by - suraj sharma on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Edit: This Article has been Published.
The bourgeoisie in India is under severe attack from all fronts. Social, Cultural, Economical, spiritual, you name it. Transition is the culprit attacking it - this transition is ever elusive and perpetually conclusive. As the clouds of an international economic crises loom above us, its seems as if at any moment it’ll tap on our shoulders to announce its formidable presence- and the worst thin is that few of us actually know how bad the real news is, we’re not that well-educated yet. Meanwhile, situation with Pakistan could have been better. I mean its all just a lot of fingers resting on a lot of triggers. Social triggers, namely the good old trio of Poverty, Corruption and the infamous lack-of-political will. Cultural triggers belong to the bigger guns like gay-rights - they’re going to be a huge issue once people start tumbling out their closets, which, I assure you, is just a matter of time. The second big gun is terrorism; cultural because its not here to stay - that much is certain, but it’ll take its own time to ‘disappear’ as it floats on at a cultural speed, economical triggers are already half-squeezed and lets not even talk about the spiritual triggers at this point, I’ll discuss them at a later stage. Also, why terrorism is ‘floating at a cultural speed’ is quite a different topic, it shall not be discussed here.
The next logical question to ask oneself is what does the bourgeoisie have to do with it all? I mean even after feeling morally responsible by generally being respectable, tax-paying citizens, the bourgeoisie finds itself in quite a rut. A rut of political impotency, cultural-menopause, social-syphilis (contracted from the west) and a spiritual AIDS. The bourgeoisie realizes, nonetheless, that it cannot solve new problems with old tricks but the problems it faces are so new and formidable that we haven’t the time to build tools to solve them. Innovation, as its popularly called, is the process of building these new and better tools to solve newer and ever complex problems and therefore it’s a necessity, not a luxury. The responsibility of constructing these tools, in our country has somehow found the shoulders of our not-so-urban bourgeoisie and this is how they fit in the whole scene. The accurate perception of Indian bourgeoisie and how it thinks isn’t all that obscure because their number has grown quite steadily and people look up to them because they’re educated, if nothing else.
The bourgeoisie logic until now has been one that sees invention as the daughter of necessity, instead of how it really is - the mother of innovation. Think about it, because of computers (invention) we are now processing more and more data personally and professionally then we ever could in the past (innovation), how do you deal with so many passwords, emails etc. if not by evolving? Evolution is nothing if not a stage in our capacity to innovate. But the bourgeoisie dilemma is a genuine one too, it complains of the instability and insecurity it faces every single day, how is it to evolve if there is no free time? No, not Sunday. By free time one intends mental leisure, not physical one. Sunday a physical day of rest, but the young Delhi girl isn’t completely unafraid to walk on the streets in broad daylight. The goons don’t take Sundays off and perhaps that’s why they’re against the idea of her wearing skimpy clothes or making out in full public view. Their logic seems to be, “bring back old culture and the old problems, these new ones are not our job”. They deserve all the pink lingerie they can get. The right to experiment with clothing is the first step towards allowing innovation to happen, if ideas stay inside the head they become what Zefrank calls “brain crack”, so the first thing to do is allow miniskirts and Mohawks. Inalienable and fundamental as this right should be, it should come with a tag “participate, don’t just stand there and tolerate”. Tolerance is an old solution to an old problem. How long will we Tolerate gays and goons or miniskirts and Mohawks? The feminists never talk of Tolerance because its not an issue for them, no one wants to be tolerated.
Remember the Directive principle about Fostering a Scientific attitude? I don’t need any statistical data to prove that our educational system does not foster any remote sort of scientific temperament at all. One look at the ratio of number of engineering colleges that opened in the last month to the number of patents registered in the last one year validates this theory. We have more engineers than we have jobs for them and still so few innovators. More IITs and IIMs are an old solution to an old problem. More technical workforce and followers of management thought will soon be deprecated simply because they have imbibed values that automatically reject the radical and adopt the regular. The problems that we face are anything but regular, we need a new milieu, a new paradigm to solve the technical and scientific challenges including issues like intellectual property, Bio-ethics, Nanotechnology etc. The way out is simple, spend more to inculcate science at primary and secondary levels of schooling - make world class TV animations for kids and adults alike, encourage the use of video games by opening educational game-kiosks in slums and villages, make textbooks even more attractive to the young minds (there’s been some progress here but we need to up the ante). So, the second step is foster scientific attitude, but the obvious question is do we have the money?
As soon as the talk of money comes up, everyone starts eying the subsidies as if that were the real threat, but those are not the real threat. The real threat is from the leech-like schemes that we have implemented to no avail, the real threat is useless spending on American education, the real threat is from buying more of those bombs called Collateralized Debt Obligations or other bombs like it. Steal out of these dead investments and others like it, and push that money down the education system’s inlet pipes to see the overall quality of education improve. Steal out of the defense budget and talk not of “Grass-without-roots” but of the “roots-without-grass” - the honest civil servants which are present throughout the bureaucracy and have some radical ideas to implement if given the nod and resources, or sometimes just the resources.
That the industry has much to do with education has already been demonstrated wonderfully by the IT crowd. The key idea here is that they could use computers because they knew English, they were educated. Entrepreneurship today is not seen as it was seen 10 years ago, the era of manufacturing and other traditional forms of commerce associated with Indian market have all given way to the blue and white collared employees living in a very “flat world“. The fundamental problem of living in a flat world is the fear of falling off over either side of its surface. It is this fear that has gripped us and forced us into submission and rendered us docile enough to follow. Entrepreneurship needs innovation which needs courage and risk-taking abilities of a magnitude previously unheard of. Facilitation and encouragement of the said risk taking abilities should be the primary task of any government regardless of whether its “rowing” or “steering”. This can be done in at least two ways:
Firstly, put measures in place to check brain-drain. This could be achieved partly by following the ideas given above (more room to experiment, development of scientific temper) etc. and facilitate little revolutions of thought that actually encourage mind-muscle over body muscle…encourage thinking, start media campaigns that make research an interesting career choice. Even in some Indian states like Goa, freedom of “thought” is given preference and it reflects in the state’s adoption of weird, quirky, creative artists and boosts tourism by a certain level because it provides a spiritually free environment aside from the scenic beauty. Other states should adopt this model because, as one famous Punjab university professor (who eventually migrated to America) once put it, “Brain-drain is better than Brain-in-the-drain”
Secondly, there’s the issue of the Spiritual AIDS that we have contracted that needs to be resolved. This is something crucial if innovation is ever to become a way of life for us. This inability to innovate that we are facing right now is the sole symptom of a deeper, more profound problem with our society-in-transition. It reflects the workings of a capitalist ideology, which we received as a free gift when we started following the American way and dreaming the American dream and this ideology is the only thing that’s bad about American brand of capitalism. It stifles self-growth and encourages reliance and dependence, making our economic “immune” system totally dependent on the global economy. In such an equation of dependence any talk of self reliance and sustainability makes no sense and we have to resort to the old technique of spending more than we could on calming people down and blowing the deficit to bits and pieces. In trying to save the deficit, we end up ruining the employment or inflation statistics.
The spiritual crises stems from the hypocritical dichotomy of cultures where, in order to preserve our own heritage, we’re unable to fully adopt the means of cultural production from the west. This results in an ideological schizophrenia that’s debilitating and paralyzing and therefore leaves little room for innovation - entrepreneurial or otherwise. If innovation is the essence of all development, then it shouldn’t be dependent on anything else - not even education. This is the key to solve this dilemma that our generation currently faces. We cannot better the education standards unless we spend more on education but innovation isn’t the prowess of the rich and mighty alone. Therefore, there is an urgent need to separate the idea of innovation from the idea of better education for education teaches us to follow but innovation causes us to lead. Sustainable growth is a direct product of sustainable innovation and there are a lot of examples of east Asian countries innovating their socio-economic systems despite an evident lack of available funds.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that the single greatest source of innovation of any kind is ultimately leisure. As already pointed out, leisure does not mean a time to rest but instead a breakaway from the routine drudge of engagement in our daily lives where we blindly follow targets in hopes of achieving them before deadlines. This may sound a little radical at first but if investigated closely, we realize that all innovation ultimately happens when the mind is unburdened with the everyday tensions so that it can freely contemplate on the larger issues. Article 311 of the Indian constitution does exactly this by providing the Civil Servants of India a constitutional security of job because if they themselves are always worried and insecure about putting food on the table for their families- they can never provide a sense of security and complacency to the people they are in-charge of. Policy makers need to take heed of this fact and promote “Special Innovation Zones” where people can think and implement newer and more radical ideas after careful brainstorming. It is said in the Bible that if the blind lead the blind they both end up in a ditch and the clarity of vision amongst westerners has been continually an issue of doubt and suspicion -especially after this economic crisis which is a direct result of negligent policies. That we need to become independent in our mode of thought is an evident truth, but this shouldn’t mean that the urgency involved with innovation is foreboding in any sense. I mean the world isn’t coming to an end anytime soon, is it?
by - suraj sharma on Sunday, March 01, 2009
Stop-lock-picking with your shoes,
Its not nice - Does not amuse
Its no recently breaking news
That I don't Cut, I only bruise
Should you know it, don't refuse
Cut me free or cut me loose
Like it or not, choose choose choose
Choose your condoms with your booze
Play it safe or let it cruise
Play it by the ear or noose
Keep it tight or let it loose
You can't stop me, or my muse
Kill the Jews or spare the Jews
Let the running out of time confuse
Watch the evanescent diffuse
Return now all your borrowed views
by - suraj sharma on Saturday, February 28, 2009
This Idyll that I have found
It goes on round and round and round
Greets good-day to the green green ground
This idyll that I have found
Doesn’t astonish nor does astound
The feasting vultures all abound
With beaks, burrows and a burial ground
The green green green green burial ground
Does not hinder nor does hound
My motive or my mother’s mound
Of busts, bullies and a burial ground
The green green green green burial ground
by - suraj sharma on Sunday, February 15, 2009
I am, nothing but,
A fool pretending -
To be clever
You are also,
You're also -
by - suraj sharma on Thursday, February 12, 2009
Surrounded by thick mystery
Life unfolds before me and all I can understand
Are words as the book is flipped through
Figures of people swaying as they emerge out of the fog
But they never say anything
As if they only appear to remind me
That I’m not alone
Sunlight is a deeply satisfying privilege
So is this quartet of jazz musicians playing
Their greatest hit: on a doomed lifeboat
So is this cigarette that dances with it all
So is this library is that’s keeping me afloat
I wonder if this is also a dream
I might really be driving my convertible somewhere
On the gold coast of Australia
The water is freezing my legs off…
by - suraj sharma on Thursday, February 12, 2009
by - suraj sharma on Saturday, February 07, 2009
by - suraj sharma on Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Better off is slightly worse
Who is this throwing his passion at me?
Who’s that who cries in verse?
Polarities of politeness have crossed
The barriers of sound
This man is barking incessantly
None of these strays is a hound
Such are the witnesses of our harassment
Such are those sick fucking friends
Such is this sadness of our lore
But all’s well that ends
by - suraj sharma on Monday, February 02, 2009
Its slightly discolored or sunburnt
And lives off of the jealous undergrowths
Lush green like these forests along the spinal curves of this river
Holy river, this human life
Wandering, gathering, hunting I’ve seen it
Picking shoes with locks and locks with shoes
Crying like seagulls and laughing like hyenas
Celebrating the causes and mourning the effects
Strange creature, this effect
Self defense mechanisms hide it from predators,
Vapid and benign alike
Especially the darker skinned reasonable horses
But allow me to say no more,
This is quite a strange effect...
by - suraj sharma on Sunday, February 01, 2009
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his ass to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down you dig farting out the words. It was unlike anything I had ever heard.
This ass talk had sort of a gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go. You know when the old colon gives you the elbow and it feels sorta cold inside, and you know all you have to do is turn loose? Well this talking hit you right down there, a bubbly, thick stagnant sound, a sound you could smell.
This man worked for a carnival you dig, and to start with it was like a novelty ventriliquist act. Real funny, too, at first. He had a number he called "The Better 'Ole' that was a scream, I tell you. I forget most of it but it was clever. Like, "Oh I say, are you still down there, old thing?"
"Nah! I had to go relieve myself."
After a while the ass start talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time.
Then it developed sort of teeth-like little raspy in- curving hooks and start eating. He thought this was cute at first and built and act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth.
Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him: "It's you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we don't need you around here any more. I can talk and eat and shit."
After that he began waking up in the morning with a transparent jelly like a tadpole's tail all over his mouth. This jelly was what the scientists call un-D.T., Undifferentiated Tissue, which can grow into any kind of flesh on the human body. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands like burning gasoline jelly and grow there, grow anywhere on him a glob of it fell. So finally his mouth sealed over, and the whole head would have have amputated spontaneous- except for the eyes you dig.
- William S. Burroughs, Naked LunchThat's one thing the asshole couldn't do was see. It needed the eyes. But nerve connections were blocked and infiltrated and atrophied so the brain couldn't give orders any more. It was trapped in the skull, sealed off. For a while you could see the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes, then finally the brain must have died, because the eyes went out, and there was no more feeling in them than a crab's eyes on the end of a stalk.
by - suraj sharma on Friday, January 30, 2009
“How could you do it, Robert?”. Those were tears in her eyes. Real tears, not reflective bump-mapped lumps in a virtual simulation conforming to all the laws of particle and fluid dynamics. Robert, on the other hand, did not have tear channels. He didn’t have any eyes either.
“I was created to deceive, Chloe, I was programmed to do it”.
Sometimes, you can taste an algorithm functioning like you can ‘taste’ the smell of your own blood when someone punches you in the nose and an internal blood vessel is ruptured. Getting hurt smells bad. Getting hurt emotionally can be much worse, but getting hurt emotionally by a tin-can, that ought to be illegal. Or so Chloe thought.
"I'm sorry", said Robert the robot in a tone that was carefully crafted, recorded and mixed to sound just as honest as that of a man who truly was sorry, but now that Chloe knew the truth, it became synthetic. Fighting the urge to say, "Well Access fucking denied, Robert", she got up and left.
by - suraj sharma on Friday, January 30, 2009
Note: This is an unfinished story and is probably going to remain a work-in-progress for some time to come. I am, however, aware that this piece isn't immune to attacks from grammar nazis and it may even have a couple of factual/spelling mistakes, just putting this up here for you to review, comment and appreciate (if possible).
"Ladies and gentlemen", began the masked gunman, verily and with an ardent eloquence far surpassing that of those facing the barrel of his loaded gun.
"Let's not engage in theological debates right now" he continued, a bit louder than before "for time, is very much of the essence here". Everyone in the great hall gaped at him with a blend of awe, surprise, dread and loathing that people generally reserve for such threateningly unanticipated situations.
It was an innocuous gathering of distinguished people from all walks of life. One of those parties where people of intellect and conviction often meet to praise or mock each other with the kind of subtlety not known to passionate heathens. The party was in full swing when suddenly, out of nowhere, our protagonist- the masked gunman, appeared to swing moods in a completely different direction. Anxiety was easily introduced in the ballroom with the help of his little shiny pistol. All celebrations occasioned by a broken mould of mediocrity came to a perfect, sweaty standstill.
Vanity is often marked by a stark absence of any sort of passion, which in turn, is often marked by a lack of raucous that usually accompanies human temperaments when subjected to a harsh stripping away of social security. This was exactly the case tonight, women who wanted to shout and scream couldn’t do it because they were too sophisticated for that sort of behavior, men who wanted to run away pretended to be exceptionally calm in the face possible death. They had to, because some of them would still be facing their wives in the morning, and a few others dreaded facing the mirror.
At this moment, the gunman stripped away his shirt to reveal a belt of nicely stacked and possibly home-made sticks of dynamite attached with some colored wires to a digital timer. The whole contraption seemed to lay dormant as it circumnavigated the gunman’s chest.
This was it.
In moments of extreme surprise, even the obvious needs the crutches of reaffirmation to be effectively communicated. Reaffirmation came aptly when a lady yelled out at the top of her lungs “IT’S A BOMB”. Inevitably, chaos ensued. The mob frantically rushed towards every exit facilitated by the building‘s design. It was a decision made by their collective subconscious, the justification was simple: because the gunman has a finite number of bullets in the gun, so let’s just let the game of survival take over the situation for the greater good. Some people might get hurt, others might die, but most will manage to escape the bomb.
Fortunately, denial gets no one nowhere. This was precisely what the gunman had expected. He wasn’t new to this blatant display of terror and neither had he undermined the pitfalls of human psychology to underestimate the underestimation of his intellect by the so called intellectuals in the room.
All exits were perfectly sealed. All modes of communication disabled. This was like a little island of prisoners where the masked gunman was the king out of necessity. So, needless to say, the mob could do little more than stand where they stood and squirm. Which they eventually resorted to, once the anxiety was cooled off by a couple of shots fired in the air causing the cheap distemper on the roof to sprinkle down over the masked gunman’s shoulder. Within seconds, all frantic activity subsided to a few gasping leaks of scented breaths and half-hushed tapings of crocodile skin shoes.
“You have two options”, the gunman started to speak again “the bullet, or the bomb, and if I were you, I’d certainly choose the bomb. It’s much less painful, because it’s much more confusing”.
While their potential assailant waited for people to contemplate the wit in his words, a hopefully brave (or profoundly stupid) voice chimed in “What do you want from us?” For a second, the gunman tried to locate the person who had the temerity to speak at such a grave situation, but then he continued “I have a third option for all of you, one that doesn’t involve death”. One could feel a slight sense of relief stroking gently through their auras. The gunman continued “But then again, we’re all going to die eventually. Unless, that is, we find a way to become immortal. And that, my friends, is what I want you to do.” He paused. Looked at their obviously puzzled faces and said “Reincarnation, I believe, is the only logical extrapolation of the law of conservation of energy which seems to fit so well within our normal purview of the sciences that describe our physical world, that it’s undeniable. So would I, my friends, be a fool to believe that I might be reincarnated as something or someone else after death?”
As the gunman’s tone swayed over the contours of the mob’s attention, it was plainly obvious that his intentions were not so much as to harm the public, but to rid himself of the phantoms of thought that haunted him. Also, he seemed to be less authoritative and more approachable with each word he spoke, perhaps this was all part of the plan, the skepticism still hung raw in the atmosphere.
“What I need from you”, he continued “Is not a way to reincarnate myself after death, but to work with me on the presupposition of the existence of my reincarnated self, and then, devise a trick that would enable seamless communication between any number of consecutive or non-consecutive reincarnations.” After pausing a few seconds to gauge the reaction of the mob, he continued “I’ll give you two more assumptions to work on here: One, that I shall always be reincarnated as a human and two, that my soul will never be hosted inside the body of a mentally challenged person.”
The crowd, utterly perplexed by the futility of the entire endeavor seemed torn apart between confusion, indifference, and perhaps even anger. Seeing this, the gunman introduced the much needed catalyst for motivation - a deadline. He said “I’ll also allow you thirty minutes to answer this riddle, or this bomb on my chest will turn us all into human lard. However, if any of you is able to satisfy me with a logically reasonable, and by which I mean, “practicable” idea, then I promise to diffuse the bomb and surrender myself to the appropriate authorities. That is all.” He pressed a little button on the side of the timer and it began it’s final digital voyage, merrily ticking towards 00:00.
“But that’s crazy! You’re crazy!” Yelled a female in a bright red cocktail skirt.
“Do you think sane people discuss philosophy at gunpoint, mademoiselle?”, his reply was cold as ice, which gave it all the more credibility.
“But I don’t even believe in souls”, a young man in a suit said irritatingly.
“Oh but you do believe in death, don’t you?”, said the gunman as if illustrating a secret matter-of-fact by sticking the pistol to the young man's cheek.
To be continued...