Friday, 1 May 2015

The ghost of Cafe Garden.

chai mein idhar ab woh bhaap nahi,
garam rehti hai fir bhi hamesha
chini-mitti ke pyaale mein.
Yaadon mein ab woh baat nahi
fir bhi basi hai idhar ek bhoot ki tarah

Got a yes in confirmation earlier. Was happy to be making plans about it. To capture it forever before it could be taken down. Like all the other things in life. Before the ghost could consume me, I had to bury Cafe Garden in my own breath for eternity.

Such simple choice of words today. 

Went there a couple of days back. Sat there. Sketched. Wrote. Endless cups of teas and received innumerable number of looks glancing towards me. Took pictures and footages. Thought I will go ahead and make my move. The old kitchen was being broken down. I heard the flooring is going to be changed. I later heard that the place will be shut for a month. Shit. How will I paint on my canvas now? How will I ever going to frame it on the walls of my memories now? For a change I sat for more than required. For a change I romanticized with my reality with this city a little more in all it's glorified loneliness. For a change the bill was not of Rs.78, but of Rs.130. A cup and bun maska extra. I was scared if the yellow old dirty walls and ceilings will be replaced too. So much change, so much irony, so much symbolism with regards to my own reality. 

But luckily I have been missing the ghost by a few minutes or hours or days every time. So much so, that If I ever come across this ghost, the ghost of cafe garden that is, it won't be a mere co-incidence. It will just be a resident ghost visiting his own yard of thoughts other than his mind. And me, the haunted migrant to this city, picking up the pieces of my past to be taken and submerged away in the deep waters of some delta forming zone of the world. At least someday. I am not sure the pressure of the water bodies will be enough though. Deltas seem slow. Like the end of certain relationships. Like the end of the relationship of the river with the land beneath. 

good for nothing rolls. But pretty looking rolls. Panchgani ones are better.

Not for me. Only for the people at the cash counter.

I feel like this cup sometimes

Maybe the ghost sleeps inside the middle one

And when Im not here, It sits on that chair.

Back to self-obsession.

Just another attempt to shoo away the ghosts.

The Almighty one which has almost seen it all. But the ghost knows better. 

It lives in these chipped off crevices I think

I change my position. Some sort of scarred symmetry.  

That place seems safe. My favorite spot. The last one in the corner.
But not that day since the flooring was going through renovation.
Water tank issues. Yes, the tank had broken down that day instead of me.

Who knows whether the recent changes are bothering him as well?
It's a an old establishment. From the 60s. Or maybe he is just submerged in his phone.
Look around dude! The plug points are more interesting here. 

What if the ghost breaks through this 'roshan-daan'? 

Or make this part of the ceiling rot too? 

I bet it can't break through the metal part of the ceiling.
Maybe one day I will be as solid as those beams and balance myself out too. 

Does Munna, my imaginary friend, looks at his reflection
in this only available mirror sometimes? 

Munna is not the ghost, you know. He is the migrant.
But that table used to be my favorite too.
But now nothing is permanent.
'Favorite' changes. 

So much uncertainty was today. So much dilemma. This place is dilemma. Some people scratch nostalgia out of dilemma and call it romance. The yellow here speaks of pure melancholia at times. Is that what I have been assuming as romance all this while?
I assumed that the place did not want to be captured. Maybe it wants to be captured by someone else. Who 'maybe' loves it more than me. Feels more possessive about it. I am certainly not. I need to go one day. I am practicing the art of detachment everyday. Surprisingly, the forces have been going strong. I like to tell that myself everyday. 

The universe opened up and gave me other options. Opportunities. That is how it is going to be. 
A similar ghost once asked me, "Shubhanshi, why do want to be a film maker?" 
I remained silent. Like always. After a few hours I realized, maybe I will myself know the answer, once I have made a few good films myself. 

After an year, even though I still haven't, all I can say is, or ask myself rather, why is it that, films want to be made by me? What have I done to earn such respect from a story that it wants to be made by me? Hope I get the answer soon. Otherwise I am wasting everyone's time. 

That evening I think I saw the ghost. That night, I could not sleep in my bed. I twisted and turned till 3:30 am. Then I thought of the ghost. The ghost put me to sleep. The more I saw the ghost as that was the only time I could spend time with him, the more my eyes and body refused to move. Probably he was the best place to visit in all of this city after all. I had comfort to myself at least. I din't feel haunted anymore. I just had to accept the ghost. 

I sat on my second favorite table next to the grill at cafe garden today. After a long walk through the dastur meher's and the taboot gali, I sat. To my delight, Naseer khan was back at the cafe post gallstone surgery. I could have asked him for permission to shoot there. But by that time motherearth had given me what I needed. I thought to myself (and dear Pragya, this is for you), somethings better be non-judged-non-analysed-unfilmed ( vocab-lord is gonna kill me) and what not. I understood the importance of the word 'personal'. The ghost was trying to tell me something. No matter what I do, I cannot capture the ghost on film. Maybe someone else will one day. Good for that person. But to see your personal feelings getting criticized is not a nice feeling.  

Capturing this personal space is like filming yourself having sex with your loved one and sharing it around with the world. The only thing being disrespected and at stake is the experience itself. The experience will be so upset with you that it won't happen to you ever again. The same happened with Rajhans. But I am happy about it. It was some sort of a brainwash. But it wasn't happy when it happened with the other ghosts. 

That's why I did not try for the permission. Let the place be. At least for once, one emotion of my life should not be made public. Images are fine. Soundless, movement-less, harmless. 
Also giving a chance to the one who gave me priority first was important too. So Plan b is not always like a bad compromise all the time. 

The ride back to the dusty land was unusually beautiful. I was without my camera so I was soaking in the visual tapestry of this world even more. 

Enough abusing of time. Time to sleep. Without the ghost hopefully.