Selected Yambient Words

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Someone's Stalking the D'Archetypes

Orifice Vulgatron (Foreign Beggars) flexes his guns for the D'Archetypes... while a creepy Nerm watches on from behind!

short short story 3: there is an ocean between us

Short Short Story 3: There is an Ocean Between Us

There is an ocean between us. A body of water that separates our bodies. We are closer now than we have been in months and I can feel you moving mere miles away. Your presence is stronger to me here. I can feel its each throb and pulse with the ebb and the flow of the water.

I walk down to the water. The lights that engulf Mumbai line the length of the coast. I search for Kenya, across the ocean, hoping to catch a glimpse of you, feel the shudder of your curly hair, watch your movements and reach out and hold your hand.

I wave to you. Hello! I whisper into the sea breeze. I can see you in my third eye (see how Mumbai has made me spiritual?), feel you, I listen to the soft crashing of the calm waves and I can hear your voice, poetic in its rhythms, calm and soothing, beautiful and moving.

There is an ocean between us. A body of water that separates our bodies. We are closer now than we have been in months and I phone you. You answer. We smile and laugh together. I can see you, I say. I can see you too, she says back. She goes to her balcony and looks out across the barrier of water. I walk down to the beach. We talk, a quick catch up. She worries about my phone bill, I worry about our distance. We both do. We’re not that worried though. We know we will see each other soon. I dip my toe in the water and send a positive vibration full of love and passion and intensity across the watery ripples in the direction of Kenya. My love is carried in those waves, growing in force as they escape India and stroll over to Kenya. I stifle a tear. She does too. This is quite romantic, she whispers. I wish I could see you, I whisper back.

We lift our hands like antennas to the sky. We are already connected by the telephonic satellites in our hands. Our hands are more organic connections. As we lift our hands like antennas to the sky, we will the other to see the movement. As we lift our hands like antennas to the sky, they start to glow and emit small beams of light upwards and then across the ocean that separates us. The beams are enough for us to catch a glimpse of each other for just a second.

We say goodnight and smile. I return to my room.

There is an ocean between us. Sometimes geography is only a state of mind. There is only an ocean between us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

short short story 2: Vanessa Hopes Vinod Doesn't Call

Short Short Story 2: Vanessa Hopes Vinod Doesn’t Call

Vanessa is drunk beyond belief. She can’t breathe, she can’t focus her eyes ahead of her, the upper echelons of her head throbs with spiralling gesticulations of dizziness. She can’t wait for this taxi ride to be over. The taxi driver keeps asking her for directions, despite the glare of the satellite navigation system on his dashboard telling him where he needs go. In reality, he’s just trying to keep her awake so he can gauge whether or not she’s going to throw up in the back of his cab or not. That would not be nice to clean, not after the long week he’s had.

Vanessa cradles her phone in the palm of her hand, trying to work out how close she is to home. She passes through what she thinks is the familiar glow of Brixton High Street (actually Waterloo) and closes her eyes in comfort. Ahh, nearly home, nearly bed. She’ll force a vomit out before she goes to sleep, she decides. Everything’s spinning, and an empty stomach will calm her sick dizzy feeling enough for her to pass out.

She really really hopes Vinod doesn’t call her. She is really anxious that he’ll try and give her a bell, like he promised he would earlier on. That would not be good. She can barely talk, she definitely can’t communicate. It would be disastrous. And she might say something stupid. And then he might have a window into the truth of her soul because in vino veritas and there was a lot of vino tonight.

It’s always awkward in those first months of a relationship. Everything is lovely and amazing and full of roses and breakfasts in bed and amazing back-breaking spine-tingling sex. But on the flipside, there’s the making sure your dirty pants are picked up before Vinod can see, making sure your toilet is clean and making sure that you’re not rude to waiters and bartenders like you are in your usual routine. Or like, when you go out with your girls and go dancing and get wasted to the point where you can only babble, you start phoning people up and saying stupid embarrassing things about sex and your paranoias and the ridiculous lengths you go to be the cool one in the bunch are revealed… stuff like that needs to be put on hold until the second or third “I love you” or a decent-sized first argument… everything else is just too early on in the relationship.

God forbid Vinod phoning now and this perfect world – this honeymoon period – comes crashing down around Vanessa. That would not be recommended. He would definitely not be interested in this warts and all person passed out in the back of a cab. It was bad enough them both deciding earlier on that they needed a night off from each other and needed to have some laddish and girly time and thus going their separate ways. The results… are this mascara-strewn sprawled mess before you.

She checks her last text from him: Hey fitness, avin a bangin time wid da boyz. Hpe ure wll. Will call u 4 night-night. Kisses, V.

She can’t actually read it in the state she’s in, but she’s sure it says something like that.

“I have to talk to him about that teenage text-speak bollocks…” she suddenly says out aloud to no one in particular.

The cab driver turns around. What he heard: “ Talk abaa… that… teenager….bollocks.” He shrugs and speeds along through Kennington. Nearly in Brixton where he can get rid of this fallen angel with lipstick on her teeth.

She sighs. Please don’t call, she wills. I don’t want you to hear me like this. Please don’t call me. Please don’t call me. Please…

God he is fit.

She wants to stick a finger in his arse.

He is so fit.

She can’t believe she just thought that. Oh fuck, if he calls, there is a huge possibility she’ll tell him she wants to stick her finger up his arse… and put make-up on him and… oh god, please don’t call… I’ll say something embarrassing. I know I will. Hurry up cabbie! The sooner you get me home, the sooner I can pass out and ignore my phone. Please! Vanessa drunkenly urges the cab driver to hurry in a silent way. She actually snorts while thinking all this but doesn’t realise.

They pass Brixton Academy, where thousands of goth teenagers are emerging into the night. Ugly pricks, Vanessa thinks, I hope you all die…

Her phone starts vibrating in her hand.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

short short story 1: A Yam on the Pull, or juicy avocados won't last the afternoon

Short Short Story 1: A Yam On the Pull, or juicy avocados won’t last the afternoon

The bananas had told the yam that the juiciest avocado fancied him. The yam couldn’t really get this through his head. She had never said anything to him. Plus in that pretend humble part of his brain, he thought, no one ever fancies me! On the one hand, the bananas were outrageous gossips, so they could very well be lying. On the other… the juiciest avocado had been seen harrumphing every time he had been picked up, caressed and fondled by one of the shopping ladies. She had been throbbing with juicy jealousy at the shows of affection the yam was being shown. The bananas were now backing up this story with their snickering gossip. The yam wasn’t sure what to believe. But he decided to give the bananas the benefit of the doubt, because the juiciest avocado sure looked tasty.

The yam needed a plan. He needed to find a way to find out the truth. Obviously, the yam thought, the easiest way would be to just go up to the juiciest avocado and ask her out. But, the yam had grown up on a steady diet of American sitcoms, and he had learnt everything he knew from those sitcoms. He knew that the only way to ask a girl out was to come up with an insensitive emotionally stunted unnecessarily outlandish plan to win her over. He thought for a few minutes. He came up with three separate plans, which he actualised over the course of the day.

Plan A: The yam picked on a bunch of cherry tomatoes, squelching them all with his immense weight, feeling their juices pulse out underneath him as he crushed them, menacingly. This was meant to demonstrate a display of power and strength.

Plan B: The yam helped a particularly old and yellowing broccoli be picked up and sold over the newer, fresher broccolis. She was being left behind while the new (and organic) stock was being picked. He helped to push her over the edge into a passing basket. The customer did not notice, and thus, the old decrepit broccoli was bought, and saved from death as mulch, or rubbish bin. This demonstrated his kindness, sensitivity and willingness to help people in need.

Plan C: The yam planted a microphone under the box of juicy avocados, to try and eavesdrop on their conversation, to ensure that the juiciest avocado did fancy him and was talking about him. Also, he wanted to find out what her favourite things were, so he could pretend they were his favourite things too. This was a secret mission, and meant to demonstrate his cunning, initiative and ruthlessness in getting what he wanted. He found out that the juiciest avocado enjoyed hummus, travelling and books by Will Self.

The yam, armed with his new knowledge and the kudos from successfully carrying out plans A and B, strode over to the juicy avocado’s box, with some tulips and strawberries in his arm, ready to ask the juiciest avocado out on a date.

He looked up in panic and horror, as a blonde yoga teacher from Brockley picked up the juiciest avocado, smiled at her juiciness, mumbled something about craving guacamole and skipped off to find some organic smoked garlic and bell peppers to actualise her plan. The yam shed a tear and returned to his box, sad.

The moral of the story: Time waits for no yam. And don’t watch too many American sitcoms.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rogues Gallery

So here are the headlocl photos from the Indian Electronica Fest, courtesy of Mr Lingo's camera...

Yamtastico vs D-Code from Shiva Soundsystem

"What's that coming over the hill??? IS IT A MONSTER??? IS IT A MONSTER??????"

Yamtastico vs Radio 1's Bobby Friction (who appears to want to lick his nips)

Yamtastico takes on Shiva Soundsystem's NERM

Yamtastico vs. Dr Das

The message: YAM YAM HE's OUR MAN!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

short story... "...We Are Friends..."

“…We are your friends…”

It all started the night Cam and Roy went to the party and Vijay chose to stay at home and study. Well, he said he was staying home to study. The truth was that he was new to social situations, especially those taking place at night, and he felt really uncomfortable at the idea of being around weed and alcohol at some stranger’s house. Cam and Roy were astounded. They couldn’t believe he was turning down the opportunity to go to this party. They were flabbergasted. The girls from the sister school were going to be about. There would be drink and weed, and girls, and tunes, maybe some new Ice Cube or Gang Starr. The host, Rishi, had come back from America, armed with brand new hip-hop tapes. His parents were away for the weekend. Rishi had the house to himself, and knew all the buffest girls in the sister school and even had a dealer and come on, Vij, you have to come. Vijay made some vague comment about being grounded for something or other and he was going to have to stay in. They should go on without him. He had yet to experiment much with alcohol and weed and girls and his cheeks burned at the thought of being in the same room as all three. Obviously, he was up for experimenting in the abstract. The reality scared him so it was much easier to make some crap excuse and stay at home.

Cam and Roy accepted this. They were generally okay with his disappearing acts and ‘studious nature’ and his painfully shy social demeanour. In private, he was funny, scathing, silly and action-packed. In front of others, he was stoic, like a flunky or a henchman. They wanted to break him out of his shell. They really did. They were all good friends, and he could do with loosening up. But they didn’t want to push the issue.

The night Cam and Roy went to that party… That was the night it all started.

That night, Cam and Roy got dressed up in their Toking hoodies and their Spliffy jeans and headed over to Rishi’s 4 bedroom detached house in Northwood. The leafy exterior celebrated the suburban taste in the air. The driveway up which they walked was gravely. They smiled at each other, impressed at being invited into the inner sanctum of the school posse. They weren’t too experienced with weed and alcohol and girls either, but, fuck it, they thought, you have to start somewhere.

Meanwhile, Vijay was sat at home twiddling his thumbs. Dinner and ‘Only Fools and Horses’ became a Blockbuster rental became comfort in the warmth and safety of his house. He understood these four walls. He could cope with them. He could talk back to his mum and dad with the utmost confidence, and throw stroppy teenage tantrums with the best of them.

Mum and dad eventually retired to bed. Vijay snuck upstairs and fetched his Pamela Anderson Playboy tape. He put it on, placed a Kleenex within reach and began to fast-forward to the good stuff. He loosened his belt and unbuttoned the top of his jeans. He stretched out on to the whole of the sofa, feet up, toes akimbo, other protruding implements pointing to the sky in celebration. Pamela strutted with her nipples akimbo.


“What the fuck,” Vijay whispered as he yanked his trousers up and ran towards the phone. Guys may not be able to multi-task but they are certainly able to disguise a wank on the pretence of doing something else with the utmost lightening reaction. He grabbed the phone by the fourth ring.

“Hello?” he whispered into the ether.

“Yes, Vijay. Yes, yes Vijay, easy now…”

“Roy? That you?” Vijay coaxed more authority into his voice.

“Yes, yes, what’s up man? You cool?”

“Yeah man, safe, innit. How was the party?”

“Still there innit…”

Awkward silence. Vijay fumbled with his semi-hardness, silently easing it into a more comfortable position.

“… so yeah, Vij, man, listen, there’s this girl here… Natalie… I’ve been telling her all about you, man. All about you. She’s seen you around. She told me she fancies you big time. Big time. You know what I’m saying?”

“Right,” said Vijay, bashfully, his heart perforating with pride and fear. “ Right, okay…”

Awkward silence.

“… Vij… you still there? You wanna talk to her?”

“What?!” Vijay was momentarily distracted by the fist-pounding sounds in his heart throbbing, his bowels slackening with embarrassment and his erection disappearing into itself.

Awkward silence. Shuffling on the phone, Vijay took a deep breath and wiped his forearm against his forehead. A female voice announced itself on the phone, gravely playful and full of mirth.

“Hello, Vijay?”

Vijay’s jaw dropped, his heart pounded faster, his mouth was stuffed with thick cotton. He stammered out a positive answer… yes it’s me became… yyeed itds rgrunfrew.

“Vijay, Cam and Roy have been telling me all about you.” She spoke like a really bad actress, over-egging every word in a failed attempt to sound sincere. “They said you’re amazing. I’ve seen you with them. Boy, you are buff, ya get me. You get me? You are buff.”

Background laughter, quickly stamped out with shushes. A quiver of mirth in her voice. Vijay ran through the possible scenarios in his head. She told him one more time how buff she thought he was. There was more laughter. He saw what was going on here.

He gulped, took a silent deep breath to try steady the rhythms of his heart and concentrated on his voice. “Errrrmm…. Yeah…. Thanks…. Can I…. speak to…. R-R-R-Roy please?” He was talking to an actual girl. How amazing.

Confusion back from Natalie quickly replaced with an overly sexy, “Sure, anything for you, honey.”

Awkward silence. Shuffling on the phone.

“Yes, Vij… you’re welcome. That was a short conversation, man. What’s up? You wanna come out now? Meet her? Some alone time?”

Big laugh quickly stifled. Vijay took a deep breath, grabbed his penis, adjusted it, grabbed the wall, screwed up his face and spoke, “Fuck you, Roy, you prick…”

He hung up the phone, and breathed, in and out. He was proud. They were laughing at him, taking the piss, mocking him, playing on his insecurity with girls, laughing behind his back. He stood up for himself… wait, what the fuck had he done? What the fuck had he done? Oh god, he’d just hung up on his mate… who had been taking the piss out of him… it was fine, he was in the right… even so, the guy didn’t deserve to be called a…


Vijay snatched up the phone.

Roy’s voice over the line cold and clear… “I am going to make your life a living hell.”

* * * * *
Monday morning was tortuous. So much so because Vijay misjudged his journey in and arrived at school half an hour earlier than he needed to. He wandered around the school, panicking about his fate. It was one of those abnormal November days where there wasn’t a cloud in the sky but not one iota of warmth in the air. Vijay huddled himself in his Karl Kani bomber jacket and listened to Wu Tang’s first album, rewinding the same song over and over as he prolonged his arrival at his form room’s door.

Wu Tang Clan ain’t nuttin ta fuck wit’
Wu Tang Clan ain’t nuttin ta fuck wit’…

Vijay wasn’t sure what to expect. He had thought about phoning Roy, or the more level-headed Cam all Sunday, but had thought, if they wanna phone me and apologise, they can. Also, if I phone them, and they’re pissed at me, I will make it worse. I can’t make it worse. I fucked up big time. I shouldn’t have answered back. I should have gone with it, you know, for a laugh. Stupid idiot. We were all still new at this school. Now I had gone and messed it all up. I felt like a fool.

He sat in the classroom, quickly ingratiating himself with some of the nerdier kids in the class. They made for a good comfort zone, they could deflect any blows and also there was safety in numbers. The entire class arrived. Cam came in first. He had walked up to Vijay, made as if to high five him and then turned his back and walked to the other side of the class, shaking his head. Vijay had been mid-high five at the time, and was left hanging. Cam tutted at him and called him a ‘prick’ under his breath.

No show from Roy till mid-registration. He strolled in, cool as a cucumber. He strolled over without a care in the world and plonked himself next to Vijay, smiling inanely. Vijay breathed in, it was all fine. Panic over. It was all fine. Roy leaned in close to Vijay and put a hand on his shoulder. Vijay smiled and nodded and Roy. Roy nodded back and smiled, half-listening to the form tutor’s announcements. Vijay turned his head back to the front. Roy spat in his hand, a thick globule throbbing with green phlegm, and smacked it on Vijay’s head. Vijay recoiled in horror and disgust.

Roy laughed, the people behind them laughed and he got up to sit somewhere else. Vijay wanted to cry. He struggled to find enough of a tissue in his pocket to wipe it off. He felt disgusting. He felt dirty. He felt like the spittle was still daubed on his forehead, inching it’s way towards his eye sockets. He couldn’t think of anything else.


A tuneless chorus rose from a whisper behind him – 3-5 boys all singing his name out of tune, trying to harmonise like they were singing Beatles songs, but failing miserably and purposefully.

The teacher was so spineless. He never said anything. He got through the rest of his announcements. Vijay tried to tune out the chorus of his name, sweating, wanting to cry, but outwardly appearing quiet and stoic, like nothing was bothering him. His head was bowed, his knees were clenched together, his hands shaking, his forehead warm with spittle remnants. He asked to go to the toilet.

As he got up to go, Roy starting blowing loud abrasive kisses at him. He turned away quickly and left the classroom. Vijay ran out quickly.

* * * * *

Cam wouldn’t talk to him. Cam refused to acknowledge his presence. Cam walked away when he approached. Cam was always the level-headed one, the one with an obvious heart of gold. Roy was always the slight loose canon, the one you couldn’t tell if he was joking or if he meant it. It was obvious now that he meant it. While Vijay wanted to melt into the background quietly, Roy was determined to keep himself in Vijay’s face at any given time. He took every opportunity to speak to Vijay. He sat next to him when he could, called him every now and then, made sure they were partnered up. Just so he could remind Vijay who was boss and who was the prick. He was aggressive, never physical, just mental, just scathing and cutting, edgy and spiky. Roy had been wronged. He had been hung up on. He had been called a prick. You don’t hang up on your friends after calling them a prick, do you Vijay? Do you understand, Vijay?

Vijay became more and more unbearable at home. He was more sullen, ate outside of family dinner time, was more brash with his porn escapades and stayed in his room listening to loud brash hip-hop as much as he could. He fell in with other friends, the geeks in his class, and other boys from other classes in the year who had known him for years. He avoided Cam and Roy as much as he could. Roy always found him though. Plus they always had classes together all day. He willed himself out of the school. He willed himself to find more cool friends. He willed himself an AK-47, like Ice Cube had… that would be a good day. He willed himself dead sometimes. He would run baths so he could read for an hour or two in silence without parental interferences. He would fantasise about drowning himself, or getting a razor blade out… just entertain the thought, without any reality in the situation. It was just a thought.

At school, the tide was turning against him. All the cool kids in the class despised him. All because of Roy’s influence. Cam was apathetic towards him, more content with acting out with some of the other kids. Vijay couldn’t take it. He would feign illnesses in the days when it was most unbearable.

“It won’t last forever”, he kept telling himself.

* * * * *

Four years later, Cam went to the same university as Vijay’s oldest childhood friend. They remembered each other from those difficult times at school. Cam was introduced to him by a mutual friend. He took one look at him and said, “Oh yeah, I know you. You’re Vijay’s friend. Whatever man, he’s a prick. I ain’t talking to you.”

Cam walked off…

* * * *

Eight years later, Vijay was a musician, he was living the dream. He was in a club performing. He had rocked the crowd. He was sat by the side of the stage, satisfied, when someone came up to him and congratulated him on the show.

“Do you remember me from school, bro? It’s Roy… remember?”

Vijay was amazed. It was Roy. He couldn’t believe it. Roy couldn’t believe he’d seen little sweet Vijay onstage.

They caught up for an hour, laughing about different people they had been to school with and the fates they had been given since leaving school. As Roy left, he touched Vijay’s fist and said, “Vijay, man, I’m sorry I was a prick to you in school. I was young, we were new, I wanted to make an impression. I’m sorry you picked up the brunt of it.”

“Safe,” replied Vijay and smiled.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Honey, I'm Home!

So we're back from India in one piece. We played the Tate Modern on Saturday.

I haven't had a chance to document our amazing India adventure. I will do shortly.

In the meantime, previously-blogged short story, "Tribes at War" is now on Pulp magazine!


Keshnan the Barbariyam

Monday, September 04, 2006

India this Thursday and other things...

So we're off to India this week to take the D'Archetypes tragi-comic hip-hopera to the desi masses.

First I was nervous but playing with such consummate professionals and talented bunnies like Sam and Amy, my only nerves are about remembering my lines. We shall, we shall ROCK IT...

Other things I have been listening to, doing and playing with this week:

- Missing Katie one hundred thousand million billiont trillion percent...
- Listening to some uk hip-hop... I thought I'd gone off it but Kashmere's insane album, Stig's drunken rantings have both pulled me back a little. I was a little yawned off by Doc Brown's mixtape. I can see how people will love it, but it wasn't my thing really.
- Staring in wonder at Cabein's new prints: I love the woman. Her eyes bother me in a wholesome way.
-Watching Serenity (boring), Hidden (not as good as expected... cop-out ending), and crap on mum and dad's Sky plus. I've developed the inability to stay on one channel. Why see what's on when you can see what else is on?
- Travelling all over London... Pinner to Lewisham to Forest Hill to New Cross to Colindale to Pinner... I've been travelling all over this town and you know what? It's hot and it's smelly but you can properly fall asleep on the underground. It's like when dad used to drive you around till you fell asleep.
- Carrying around wet wipes cos my faces is a constant smatterage of dried tears.
- Pressing refresh on my email account! Come on!! Speak to me!!!

That's about it... we've been rehearsing mostly and I seem to recall there was a Bank Holiday last week but I don't think I've achieved much in the last 7 days except learn lines!!: