Blind-colours

I wake up every morning at 5:00 am; to the sound of blaring alarm from the red alarm clock on my bedside table. At least that’s what they told me. I wake up in the dark, like most people. Along with my eyes closed. Unlike most people.

I don’t grope about my bedside table to hit the off button. I know exactly where to place my fingers to stop the blares. Unlike most people.

I peel off the blanket off my body. Can’t afford to be late to work today. Like most people.

I sit up, at the foot of my bed, head bowed, hands folded. No, I am not praying. Umm, like most people?

I patiently wait for the second alarm to go off. This alarm clock is placed on my study table. This one is blue, so I have been told.

After a few quite minutes, the second alarm goes off. I stand up straight, walk straight towards my study table. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven; exactly seven steps away from my bed. I switch the alarm off. Pull out the old, rickety, cushioned chair. I carefully sit, making sure that no sound escapes the chair. Once seated comfortably, I pull out the book I was reading yesterday night, A game of thrones.

There is a reason I have two alarms placed at two different locations in my room when one would suffice. Initially, when I move into new apartments, it would take me a while to get used to the layout of my apartment. This getting-used-to would cause me delays and minor accidents, which are, well, very inconvenient. So when I moved in here, I came up with a plan, inspired by the triangulation theory that I came across while reading the The martian. I placed the alarm clocks at specific locations in my apartment, with alarms set at specific time intervals. They would behave something like beacons, guiding me around the house until I got a hang of it.

Once I set them out, I would create a mental map of my apparment, I would place other objects relative to these locations. This would smoothen my tour around the house for the first few days. Yea, tour.

After I had all my furniture settled in the new apartment, with the help of a few friends, I placed the first alarm clock on my bedside table. The next on my study table. The third on the kitchen counter, opposite to the refrigerator. A fourth in the living room, beside the DVD player, below the wall mounted television. I placed a few more at similar locations with alarms for specific timings set on them and let the mental image of it slowly build in my mind. One of my friends who was helping me set up my apartment asked me if the clock colours had any significance w.r.t where I placed them.

Roses are red, violets are blue. Colours are something I never knew.

To me, roses are smooth petals with stems of thorns and violets are tiny and thin stemmed. I don’t need colours to describe objects.

With the help of the alarms the first few days went pretty well. My mind was able to


Written long ago but never published blogpost number 2. This was drafted on 27 November 2017.

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Deception

Someone around me is chattering about about her boy friend. Giggling and passing lame remarks among their group of friends. Bottles are being passed cause someone is dying of thirst. As I pass the bottle I sniff and realize it’s not water. Deception, successful. Put on a poker face to not looking disgusted and pass the bottle along. Deception, successful. I used to play pass the word and now I am passing bottles filled with liquor. Which one do I hate more? Oh, it must be passing the word. It involved me speaking into waxfilled ears of humans who didn’t bother to hear the word correctly or clean their ears. Accidental miss pronunciation, childish giggles, tickles and interaction. Nope, do not want to indulge in that. So, yeah. Passing bottles is better. I start to doodle in the margin of my notebook, tiny thin strokes along the border of the margin. There is still a quarter of the margin left undecorated when the ink starts to fade and then finally stops leaving its mark on paper. I rummage through my stationary pouch, loads of coloured pencils, a 2B faber castle pencil, a pencil sharpener, a faber castle scale and a non dust eraser. No gel pen. I throw away the pen and pouch, into my bag, annoyed. I look over at the other occupants at my desk, hoping someone would have a gel pen I could lend to keep myself occupied. Nope. No gel pens on the desk. Actually no pens on desk. A few books carelessly thrown over the desk, rumpled xerox sheets jutting out of the books. Bags that hadn’t been washed since their births. Empty lunchboxes. Glowing cellphones. But not a gel pen in view. Yea I know what you are thinking, “Geez!! Why can’t you use a ball pen?” It’s simple, I can’t. I see a few staionary pouches. There might be a possibility of a gel pen in one of those zipped pouches. Why do grown ups use only zipped stationary pouches. Why dont I see anyone use a doubled sided pencil box with magnetic box locks and a built in pencil sharpener? Anyway, No gel pen, the quarter of a margin has to stay blank until I get one. I start to wonder what I must do to keep myself from dozing off. When I hear a scream.

“You! In the maroon shirt. Stand up!”

Maroon shirt guy looks around, realizes he is the only guy wearing a maroon shirt in the general area of the room being yelled at and stands up. I kind of know this guy. Not know, know him. Hmm.. how do I put it. Just a nodding acquaintance.

“What is the solution to the equation on the board?”

Dazed, he rummages through his un-maintained notebook. Trying to find an answer in his notebook when the question is on the board.

“What are you looking at in your books? Tell me the answer!”

Sudden calmness envelopes the room. Few seconds later, a guy, two chairs away from him hisses a number. They play pass on the message until the answer is receipted by the maroon shirt guy’s ear drum. Processing the payload message, he sheepishly repeats it.

“Come here and solve it.”

Visibly shaken, he shuffles around his seat. Slowly gets up and starts making his way to the front of the room. Picks up the white chalk from the long white desk and turns around to solve the equation. While he is fumbling with the chalk, someone knocks at the door, asking to have a word with the person no longer holding a chalk. No-chalk-in- the-hand guy acknowledges the request and walks out the door. Someone walks up to the front of the room, slaps the guys back, writes down the steps to solve the equation, hands the chalk back to the maroon shirt guy, dusts his hand over the maroon guy’s hair while wording something equivalent to you owe me big-time with a few abusive words thrown in, walks back to his desk and takes his seat.

Soft murmurs start to spring up from my side of the room. Some start throwing crushed paper balls at the maroon shirt guy. He amuses his seated friends by welcoming a few, while dodging the rest. When the crushed paper ball ambush stops, he looks at the chalk written solution for a while, while doing his version of SHMing. He looks at the door, seeing no one enter, he picks up the paper balls and throws them into the bin kept at the far corner of the room. On his way back to the ambushed area, he puts on his Ray Ban aviator sunglasses and does a good imitation of MJ’s moonwalk. I knew they were Ray Ban aviators cause I have one of them too, that’s how I established a nodding acquaintance with him. Someone starts playing ‘kaala cashma’, he breaks into a hip-hop/bhangada move. The song gets louder and the dance, better.

Hearing the raised decibels, the person in authority returns. Sudden calmness resurfaces. Everyone’s eyes dart towards the solution, as if to confirm its presence. The questioner assigns a different question to him so as to ascertain his credibility. He ponders over the question for a few minutes. The questioner soaks in triumph of having rightly judged his lack of ability to solve the question or rather, having caught the lie. Deception, failed.

I know what you are thinking again… “Is the questioner the professor? Aren’t you supposed to be calling him with his designated name?” I bet that’s what was written on his appointment letter, but do I care? Short answer. No. I care about not having a gel pen to decorate the margin with.


Was going through the huge pile of drafts. Was surprised to read quite a few drafts… Not because they were particularly atrocious, but because I don’t particularly remember writing them. Probably cause I wrote”better” stuff back then than I do now. So thought about publishing it even though it’s incomplete. Not sure what my mind was upto when I wrote it. Probably wrote it in reminiscence of my days at college. Enjoy it while you can… I mean your days in school/college, not the blogpost. 😛

Whirlpool

A settling whirlpool served, contained within a circular steel walled vessel, which fits within the palm of my hand. Bubbling with energy of my young effervescent mind. Brimful with the bribe offered to wake me up every morning – until middle school – or so I think. It’s fragrance meandering, reaches my nostrils, drawing out memories of lazy mornings from forgotten corners of my pulpy, boxed up brain. It’s colour, the colour of my clothes on a rainy August evening, boasting my boisterous endeavours on mudroads leading to my house. Each sip a reminder of humble taste we collectively admired. Back when it came in just two flavours. Back when I completed with my siblings to be the first one to be handed the drink. Back when my taste and appetite determined food intake, not the blemishing glances from friends and passersby. Back when no one scorned at my choice of drinks. With each sip my thrist for something vicious fades away. Sipping the last drops, licking the remains adhering to the sides of the vessel, innocence grips onto me. The world seems to be a better place to live in… Even with whirlpools in it.

In other words… I had a tumbler of simmering Horlicks last weekend. A drink I don’t remember having in over a decade.

Happiness is …

Happiness is –
– Our constant chatter
– Your voice on the other end of a call
– A notification from you
– Your sense of humour
– When you call out my name
– Your excitement over anything new
– The misheard lyrics you sing
– Your bindass moves
– The stories you spin
– Your witty comebacks to my taunts
– The ease with which I float around you
– Your chirpy giggle
– The smile glued on your face
– When I am the reason you smile

Ken

All I see is darkness. In that, what I mean to say is, I see nothing. I hear screams. Screams of fear. I grope around to feel something – anything – familiar. My feet crawl across the uneven ground, centimetre by centimetre, asseing the land above which I stand and move ahead. I twist and turn my head hoping the darkness lies in the direction I face, not with me. My heart pounds within my chest, the heartbeats getting louder and faster with each slide of my foot. I spread my arms, my fingertips aching for a touch of familiarity. They feel nothing. Slowly and steadily I move forward. Screams. I still hear them. Blindly I move towards it. I lose my balance as my feet slip into a grove. I let out a yelp and fall down. Feeling and freeing my feet out, I stand up and move in the direction I think, is right. The screams have subsided. I feel a hand wave across my back. I turn around to grab the wavering arms. “I found you!” We exclaim and grip each other’s hands tight.

As instructed, we wait there for a minute or so. Finding company, my heart fades its beat to a normal pace. Someone approaches us and says “I will guide you through”. She places my left hand on her left shoulder and my partner’s right hand on her right shoulder. With her guidance we moved, with mixed sense certainty and doubt. She informs us about the a flight of stairs winding down before us. We feel the shoulder sink down. We let out a synchronised cry. I lift my right feet above the ground and slowing bring it down. Unable to find ground at the expected height, my brain sent out signals indicating my fall. I scream. My guide tells me there are still a few centimetres before my feet touch the ground. I follow her instruction. As my sole touches the rocky step, I let out a sigh. She informs us there are still about 10 steps, of varying heights before we reach level ground. I curse under my breath and condition my depth perception deprived brain. I start hearing a lot of cries again. With a few more instructions, curses and a foot sprain, we reached level ground. We walk a metre or two and halt. Our guide slips our hands off her shoulder. Our blindfolds are removed. I look at the clear blue sky and the surrounding trees. Viewing a familiar sight, I am flooded with relief. I look around and see others steadily moving in to where we are. Their faces distraught-I am sure mine was too.

As and when the blindfolds were removed, huge exclamations were heard. I am sure they were of joy, of accomplishment, of having survived the darkness. Once everyone had their blindfolds removed we were asked to assemble around our guide forming a circle. She asked us us about our blinding experience. Responses ranged from thrilling to frightening.

We were being taught about the importance of sight. We were on a school outing. This was the most exhilarating learning experiences I have had while on a school outing.

What made me write this today was an incident today morning. On my way to work two or three blind folks get down at the same bus stop as I do. They need to get to the other side of the road. And this road is always bustling with traffic. Usually anyone getting down at their stop helps them cross the road. If no one does I help them get to the other side of the road (I am bad at crossing roads). Today, I was the only one getting down the bus along with one of blind person – let’s call him X. I helped him get down the bus and waited for the traffic to slow down. I look towards my left and saw a second one of them – let’s call him Y – a little further away, get down a different bus and assumed someone getting off his bus would help him cross the road too. (The dumb me! *Facepalm*). So I look the other way and while making casual small talk with X, wait for a clear spot to slip through the other side. He says he works at a call centre, gives me directions to his work asking if I could drop him off there if I am heading in the same direction. The traffic slows down, X and I cross the road. I turn around to see if Y has come through too. A crowd of college students are crossing the road and again I assume someone has helped him cross the road too. The road past the bus stop cuts into another street via three or four steps. I help X get past it and a little further into the street, past the under construction area – cause it’s Bangalore. I look back, still no sign of Y. I tell X to have a good day and head back to the main street. I find no sign of Y on my side of the road. I look past the traffic, divider bushes and crowd to see Y still standing in the bus stop asking help from strangers and hoping someone would help him cross the road. No one did! I was infuriated. How could no one from such huge a crowd not help him cross the road?! As I moved to cross the road in traffic. I saw a guy walk towards him, offering to help him cross the road. I waited for him to safely cross the road onto the street leading to the street where I dropped X off. I went my way, infuriated.

Empathy is getting rarer. All he would have asked you for was to cross a busy road, not buy him a iPhone X.

*Random trivia*:

A months back a cousin of mine told me about a restaurant which supported blind people. The restuarant had blind chefs and waiters. Customers were asked to be seated in a dark room with no lights. They would be served in dark. They are too in the darkness, relying only on there tactile senses. I would love to visit this restaurant.