Midnight Music:Lana Del Rey


Extended weekend has messed with my sleep cycle,and I love it.

Night has always been my favourite time of the day-the quiet,the stillness of the wee hours has always been where I feel most comfortable.

So nights like these,I seek out music-occasionally movies and books,but most often music,for company and with Lana del Rey,I return to an old favourite.

Maybe favourite would be a misnomer-for I have long had a complex love-hate with her,but I remember the fascination she held me in when I first discovered her-her sultry voice,her Lolita references unintelligible to the younger me,her unconventional videos,her invented persona.

Then she would recede to the backdrop-remain a steady buzz,a background score but always find a way to resurface.

I come back to her again now,I find her ideal company when I’m having one of those sad nights.The subdued sensuality,the potent plaintive tone-it is comfort.

Lana’s music isn’t the kind of sad that you wail your heart out and empty buckets of ice-cream to,there is a certain dignity about her melancholy.

Lana is simultaneously catharsis and escape-there is something so atmospheric and a little fairytale-like about her music.Be it the evocative lyrics,the richly textured sound,the almost other-worldly quality her voice sometimes takes on.Her music has a way of whisking me away-almost as if I am transplanted in some other body,some other time,some other world.

Perhaps what draws me to Lana is what critics have picked her apart for-the way she is fiction,a figment of imagination,a creation.And somehow,that infuses her with an odd old-wordly charm reminiscent of old Hollywood,of Kerouacesque road trips,of decadence,of escape.



im trying to look for other men bathe in new loves reaching out to the past and finding only ashes but scattering them over the flames of my poems anyway  all in a vain attempt to hide your stench smeared all over my words,trying to keep you away from the new ones but you creep in you always do


the cruelest thing about hope is that it doesnt kill/ just leaves you /alive/enough to balance precarious /on the brink of despair /but not quite there/ the way it chains you to the rusty roller-coaster of desire /and you are always flushed heart deafened ears/as reality rushes past

my father compares/me to an ostrich for the way/they hide their faces in the sand/ as precaution against the storm/and i am  always/burrowed in a daydream/breathless from just having got off/its wings

once i decided to love/wrote poems about a boy i/never knew because our love story/would then resonate/with every strain of romeo and juliet once i/almost fell in love with a boy/because/he looked like allen ginsberg at a certain angle/only to see him as he and/realise there was nothing there/for me/i was always/playing god with my heart/framing every universe it ever/inhabited

but now im soaked/in crimson sunsets/im all rotting insides and gleaming flesh/and sunken cries/now i/still hope/in the white 3 am/between my pillows/i breathe in dreams/press them into place/with the driest tears/then i go/back to sleep/back to daydream/now i/still dream/i still hope/and it/leaves me/transfixed

On Nostalgia

I think nostalgia is interesting.The way it sneaks into the crevices of our mind,colouring and blurring memory,unraveling itself across the distance between the here and the then.

Nostalgia creates and erases distance in the realm of time,it adds weight to certain memories and frees others,leaves those light and airy to float across the map of your mind till they fizzle out to non-existence.

I never knew how nostalgic you can be for the recent past-the very recent,the barely past.But that is because I never understood time before-how the ticking of the clock cannot keep track of it,how numbers are redundant in containing it,how an entire lifetime can crawl into a split second or a second spread out across years.

It is summer now,or as good as,and summer is hot,it is blazing,it is sticky and uncomfortable-it is cruel.And I am uncomfortable in time in a way I have never been before-I find myself being swept forth in its current,ceaselessly and unwillingly.I want nothing more than to hop off,to opt out and I go back to life before the sun beat down with quite this vigour-the nebulous calm of winter nights,if not the flushed,muted radiance of fall.I want to be taken back,and I cannot return-I can go forth,and find myself in another glorious September-in a way that will allow me to believe,if I try hard,that I have taken the roundabout route and returned,but I will not return,not really.And the utter irrevocability of time has never seemed so unforgiving.

I’ve been relegated to my parent’s room slash the living room slash the other room today.Maa is in my room,supervising an elaborate and long drawn,semi ceremonial cleaning out of all the junk I’ve managed to accumulate in the various cupboards,shelves and drawers,over the years.I am called in from time to time,asked to pass decisions on whether certain items will be held on to or thrown out.Relics from what seems a distant childhood surface-those “autograph books” we made our classmates and teachers sign before parting ways in class 10,notebooks with scrawls and scribbles from when I was twelve,an assortment of cards and notes from friends on different occasions,collections of sea-shells lovingly hoarded from when I still remembered how to take pleasure in the simple things.

I keep the notebooks but I subject a majority of the other odds and ends to a ruthless verdict.Maa remarks how things lose significance over time-she still retains some things-old projects for school from when I was ten,essays,report cards.

I look back to the girl gazing up at me from beneath the layers of dust and grime-the girl who had so much to be enthusiastic about when she turned to her diary,who was lonely and maladjusted it was true-more glaringly so maybe than now,but who still had so much to laugh and hope and be happy about,whose academic finesse was what her classmates knew her for,whom teachers were forever fawning over.

And I look at myself,sinking slowly and surely to mediocrity,to unobtrusiveness,to a deep,barely explainable exhaustion.I think how proud my younger self would be of me-in the university she wanted to be,studying the subject she wanted to,”good” results in board exams to her credit.

So much and yet.

There is consolation to be found in this-the way everything manages to evaporate into nothingness over time.If my ten year old joys have all boiled down to naught-shrinked into a handful of crumbling paper and dust,so will all my eighteen year old angst-someday.


I want to write,about nothing and everything so I try to string them into words but I feel so drained-drained in a way that I cannot think,or read or write or do anything but lie in bed all day only dimly aware of the world rushing by around me-a world I feel so acutely distant from,a word i can’t quite seem to believe myself to be a part of.

Sometimes I am attacked by sudden and intense bouts of wanderlust which almost always have to be abandoned.

I want to take off,leave behind the unbearable claustrophobia the city engulfs me in and make my way to-i don’t know,anywhere else  but to clearer skies,to red roads or palm trees,to some place where the stars aren’t too shy to meet you-or too exhausted to come out before the human eye,i don’t know which.To fresh air.To solitude.And above all to oblivion.

There is so much I want to leave behind,to set fire to,to forget.And I know this sounds-and is silly at 18-but to be free,to be limitless,to be boundless,to start afresh.

I want to take off,but my parents say it isn’t safe for girls to travel by themselves.And they are too busy,always busy.

So I sit here and I dream and I seek a certain freedom-one I’ve been hungering for ever since I can remember but can never quite seem to reach.I’ve been aching and aching till my longing reeks of exhaustion.Maybe one day I’ll run  away and I will reach my own little fairyland and there I will be free and start dreaming afresh.