Monday, June 27, 2005

Why write in verse?

Why write in verse,
     when you can be simple instead?
Why go for a dinner date,
     when you can have breakfast in bed?
Why talk of politics and the world,
     when you can wallow in gossip?
Why have a cake and not eat it,
     when you have the old block and its chip?
Why ask a silly, confusing question,
     when you can have an intelligent answer?
Why wander in search of Anastasia,
     when you can be a Bolshoi dancer?
Why travel the globe,
     when you can surf the net?
Why go and shop for things,
     when you can bid for everything you get?
Why fall in love,
     when you can have sex?
Why read Harry Potter,
     when you can never cast a hex?
Why talk sweet and proper,
     when you can cuss at every word?
Why be honest at all,
     when you can run with the herd?
Why like any cubist art,
     when you are rounded all around?
Why search for a chalice of gold,
     when what is, cannot be found?
Why listen to a dulcet Kishore,
     when you can beat Britney at her game?
Why read a Parineeta,
     when Bridget will tell you all, just the same?
Why be a mere human,
     when you can be of divine birth?
Why spend a few gallons of oil,
     when you can spend the whole earth?
Why prove a theorem,
     when you know that it is true?
Why protect the Panthera tigris,
     when there are already so few?
Why be sensible,
     when you be of sarcastic wit?
Why work your way up,
     when you can be an instant hit?
Why talk to me again,
     when you can listen to your own voice?
Why choose to flirt with fire,
     when you can burn your own choice?
Why did you open a door,
     when you cannot guarantee a close?
Why am I writing poems again,
     when I can run amok in prose?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Spilling the guts

I am not sure whether sitting in my hot room, with an upset stomach, sweating it out in front of the computer has something to do with it, but I am feeling miserable right now. I feel like beating myself up. For everything that is my life currently - for the people who are in it, for those who are not, for the work I have not been doing but I should be, for being where I am and for being where I am not. Sounds crazy?

I've been thinking lately (as if that is anything new) about what kind of a person I am. I mean I have all these people telling me good things about me. Then why I do not feel so good? I feel like it is all a big sham! It's just so hard to get me sometimes. Not for other people, because I usually simplify myself for others. But for myself I am this complex, confused, conflicted person. What is that supposed to mean?

Today, just a while ago, I talked. Talked, because I really, really wanted to. I can, when I stop trying, when I let go, when I am free. I was not sure what I would write about before I talked. Now I am not sure either, but my fingers seem to have borrowed somebody's thoughtful demeanour. They are merrily going clackety-clack on the keyboard. I would have written about the way I feel (or felt, or have been feeling), but I am not very sure about what I feel. So this is not a poem, and it is not a story. It is a snapshot of my current neural mess. Where is the objective me?

Lying beside me, on my study table, are two thick papers. "Spherical averages and applications to spherical splines and interpolation." I have to read that. On top of that is lying a half finished sketch. I have to finish that. I was staring at a girl yesterday. Actually, I was studying her walk cycle. It is a miracle I did not get hauled up by her. It is a miracle I have not crashed my car so far, because of wayward staring at this or that. I have just finished reading a most wonderful book. It is like the Alice in me has fallen through the rabbit hole. I will take you along, once I see the movie. I did see Mrs. Smith last week. Yes, only her, because that was pretty much it. Curious thing I noticed during the movie was that when the Mr. and Mrs. were beating each other up, their positions were similar to the ones when they were making love. Ah! I see now. They were not making love, they were having wild, passionate, sex. Oh well, guess people get to do that too. What do I get to do?

The real part of any non-trivial zero of the Riemann zeta function is 0.5. I was asked today whether I can write in plain English, without resorting to poetry or fiction to say what I want to say. Although I said I cannot, I think can. I can as clearly as the Riemann hypothesis can. But I was never very good at mathematics, so I guess all my proofs and conjectures will be wrong. But you can understand me, can't you?

What if I am asleep, when you pass me by? Or looking in another direction? If that be so, just walk up to me and give me a tight slap. I'll know you were searching as hard as I was. And then we would live happily ever after. I always knew life would be a fairy tale, did you?

If you are still reading this, do you know why?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Principles of Trust

In simple ways of a simple mind,
If an outstretched hand I find,
I'll lend you a arm to grab,
If you promise to let go when you are done.

If still I see a leaning soul,
I'll let me be a supporting wall,
And bear your head and heart alike,
If you promise to try and stand upright.

Suppose then you want me to lean instead,
And fall beside you on my head,
Maybe I'll tip a little slant,
If you promise to take my weight.

If I should trip and fall,
Find you with me to break my fall,
I'll never let you fall again,
If you promise to let me help always.

If I believe in you further still,
And you have stayed all they way uphill,
Beyond all doubt you shall have my faith,
If you give all this enough reason to be.

Further in as you venture heart,
And treat it like a precious art,
You can have my thinking cap,
If you will let me take my time,

Deepest in, if you take the chance,
Effort alike, when we dance,
Life itself is yours to take,
If you will put your life in me.

If all that is above is true,
Even when I swap me with you,
Constant across your time steps and mine,
Trust each other, we shall, finally.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Proud Confessions

Ever since Teesta had joined his English class, Malay had been distracted. Not that he ever had good concentration. But now, when he was really trying to put up a good show, his mind would not stay put in one place. He had been caught gazing blankly at her in the last class, while the teacher was explaining Elizabeth's disapproval of Mr. Darcy. And of all the people who should turn back and look, Teesta! He thought she had smiled at him, but he was not very sure. He was not very sure about how she felt about him or even whether she felt anything at all.

He was a simple boy. Simple in thought. He could not think in convoluted ways, and had trouble handling more than one thought at a time. Thinking of her was a huge overload on his neural abilities. He could not handle the multitude of responses she evoked in him. She, however, seemed to be from another planet. Calm, confident, a very lucid speaker and she had a distinct halo about her. She had once said, "Hi" to him. He had stood there, fumbling, wanting to say something, anything. But all the words in the language, deserted him and ran for cover, the moment he saw her face.

"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." Malay was reading out loud in class. The teacher had made Teesta read out Elizabeth Bennet's lines, while he emulated Fitzwilliam Darcy. He was trying hard not to look at her. He could imagine the paint on the walls of the room in which they stood, the smell of the air filled with her perfume intertwined with the tension hanging in the air.

"But I cannot -- I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly." Teesta's voice rose and fell with the emotion she read out, and he could see her become Miss Bennet herself. She seemed cold, almost indifferent to his existence. The aloofness of her behaviour made him feel alone in the crowd of his class.

"And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected." He could not believe he had read that out. Malay could feel his heart throb a little faster. How could she? This was turning out to be most unfair. He wanted to protest, to tell her of every last morsel of feeling he felt for her.

"You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it." She spoke these words with such force, with such passion, with so much dislike. "From the very beginning, from the first moment I may almost say, of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that ground-work of disapprobation, on which succeeding events have built so immoveable a dislike..."

"No! This is not me... not me... I like you so... so much"

Disclaimer: All portrayed events and characters are completely fictional and any similarity to real events and people, living or dead, is unintended and purely coincidental. Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy and their dialogues are borrowed from the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Get it?

If for my every tit, your every tat,
When I do this, if you do that,
Do you know, or you do know,
It rains when hot, and when cold, snow.

This is slow for every racing fast,
After you have whizzed by, it will last,
If you be me, and me be you instead,
Why have two colours, blue and red?

Confused, modest, convinced,
A few words should perhaps be minced,
Bordering sense, lies the non of it,
Ah! But it is mine in every bit.

Why explain what you can force,
Take the water to the horse,
Push and shove in a rowdy brawl,
What begets of the pride you maul?

Laughing so hard, and hard work pays,
If you believe what everyone says,
Then I am like your every future ex,
Desiring more, more desired sex.

Secrets to keep, why do you ask?
Beauty, deep skinned, skin deep mask,
Leave me standing on my knees,
Of poised pose, say "Cheese!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Deconstruction et al.

This post was supposed to be Part II and reconstruction 101 all rolled into one. It was supposed to be about my (mis)adventures in shifting a home from one part of Delhi to another. It was supposed to be about a broken water connection, a conked out computer, a nail biting ride with the fridge on a truck at 6am, exhausted victory of having conquered such a mammoth task with a few breaths left to spare and finally a new bed. But I never knew that in the few days that I was going to be away from this blog, so much would happen.

Pyar mujh se jo kiya tumne to kya paogi,
Mere halaath ki aandhi mai bikhar jaogi,

Ranj aur dard ki basti ka mai bashinda hoon,
Yeh to bas main hoon ke is haal main bhi zinda hoon,
Khwab kyun dekhoon wo, kal jinpe mai sharminda hoon,
Mai jo sharminda hua tum bhi to sharmaogi...

My last post was a reflection of one of my low moods. I suck at goodbyes. Many people do, but not many people fall in love with their beds. It was not just that. It was a whole lot of inanimate, intangible things I left behind. Still more, as I wrote, it was about not being able to speak about things. Things I want to speak about but cannot. Agonizing? You bet it is. On the whole I was feeling quite miserable.

Yeh bata de mujhe zindagi, pyar ki raah ke humsafar
Kis tarah ban gaye ajnabee.
Yeh bata de mujhe zindagi, phool kyun saare murjha gaye,
Kis liye bujh gayee chandni.

Yeh bata de mujhe zindagi.

Kal jo bahon me thi, aur nigahon main thi,
Ab woh garmi kahan kho gayi?
Na woh andaaz hai, na woh aawaz hai,
Ab woh narmi kahan kho gayi?

It is almost a year since I started writing here, and it has been a wonderful experience. I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be read by anyone, let alone be liked. I have had wonderful readers, and made some really cool friends. And I have written my heart out. I have. I have also read and commented on others' writings, and it has been a joy writing to every one of you. And it has become second nature to me now. If you've heard Henry Higgins sing "I've grown accustomed to her face", you know what I mean. So when I find that three blogs I used to read have recently stopped, it puts the monkey wrench in my machinery. For a guy who cannot let go of his old bed, letting go of such enticing daily reads is quite heart wrenching.

Jab saamne tum aa jaate ho, kya jaaniye kya ho jaata hai,
Kuch mil jaata hai, kuch kho jaata hai, kya jaaniye kya ho jaata hai,

Chaha tha yeh kahenge, socha tha woh kahenge,
Aaaye woh saamne to, kuch bhi na keh sake, Bas
dekha kiye unhe hum...

This post is for you.

Ae mere kagaz ke lafzon ki humraaz,
Baarish se bheege panno par,
Har khwab, har dard ki awaaz,
Ke intezaar mein, hamesha.

Pyar mujh se, Yeh bata and Jab Samne are all beautiful Jagjit Singh songs, which my computer played while I wrote this post. Songs speak a language which I do not always understand, but I felt they wanted to be a part of this post too.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Things that I can never write about

I cannot write how I feel,
Feel every unsaid word,
I cannot write what I think,
Think of one in many ways,
I cannot write why I hate,
Hate every other who ever is,
I cannot write why I stay,
Stay rooted, rotting inside.
I cannot write why me,
Me always, and never you,
I cannot write where I want to be,
Be with, and never without,
I cannot write in clear prose,
Prosaic fears of being understood,
I cannot write who is happy,
Happiness bereft of my presence,
I cannot write how I live,
Life knows not it lives within,
I cannot write when I am dark,
Dark around and lit inside,
I cannot write when I read,
Read lines of unfeeling text,
I cannot write when I jest,
Jester in a royal court,
I cannot write of who I seek,
Seek eternal to never find,
I cannot write where is peace,
Peace rests in mortal awe,
I cannot write of why I am far,
Far adrift is destiny's plan,
I cannot write what tells time,
Time's tale is not mine to tell,
I cannot write of anything inside,
Inside only echoes play,
I cannot write of when I leave
Leaving me behind with you,
I cannot write of my return,
Return the dead do not to life.

Letting go

I was lying in a state of absolute bliss, on my bed. Now, now... Do not let your imagination fly. Stay with me. An engrossing novel in hand and a packet of biscuits lying carelessly somewhere beside me. And as I munched on, my cassette player decided to started playing...

To really love a woman,
To understand her,
You've got to know her deep inside...

I just let the novel go, and I lay there. Letting go of every muscle of my body is so relaxing at times like this. And as I lay there, limp and helpless and exposed, I could feel the soft voice of Bryan Adams wash over me.

Hear every thought,
See every dream,

I was a little sad. This was the last night I was spending with her. The effeminate object of desire I am referring to here, is my dear bed. My mom tells me, when she got back from the hospital with `baby me' I was put on this bed. And I remember the first night I slept away from my parents (and that was way, way long back) I slept on this bed. I remember sleeping beside Nani on the bed as she read me stories from Phantom and Mandrake comic books. I must have read countless novels lying, curled up on her.

And give her wings when she wants to fly.
Then when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms ...
You know you really love a woman

She has been a constant companion in all my dreams. And she has seen me fall of her, while still sleeping. And she has shared my fantasies... Ahem! I must not get carried away on this topic.

When you love a woman,
You tell her that she's really wanted.
When you love a woman,
You tell her that she's the one.

She has seen me steal away in the middle of the night, to cook up a packet of Maggi in the kitchen for that yummy midnight snack. She has also seen me cry. I think, besides my parents perhaps, she is the only one who has. What a depressing thought!

To really love a woman,
Let her hold you,
Till you know how she needs to be touched.
You've got to breathe her, really taste her,
Till you can feel her in your blood.

Oh! Of course, how could I forget. She has watched me write, even a few of these posts, which I first wrote on paper. She has also suffered my out-of-tune guitar chords, and my bouts of drawing frenzy. And though she creaks every now and then, and sways a bit, she has borne my weight on her trusted wooden beams for so many years.

And when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms,
You know you really love a woman.

She has become a little creaky from hearing my monologues all the time. And I am sad to let her go. For a mere Rs. 200... Sold to someone in the neighbourhood, because there is no place to keep her in our new home. Because she is being replaced by younger pieces of furniture. I just hope she will make someone else just as happy as she made me. Sayonara, dear bed. May you always be slept upon with love...

So tell me have you ever really ... really, really ever loved a woman?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shopping for pants

I was wandering with S at the Ansal Plaza. Loitering (in this `first' mall that we ever went to) is all we ever do here. Usually, that is. We had just had huge burgers at McDonald's and were feeling mighty pleased with ourselves. And so we went about gazing at windows of Lacoste, UC of Benetton's, Music World, Marks and Spencer and Planet Sports. S decided we should go CD hunting in Music World. So I followed him inside, and after a while he turned up raving about a combo CD he had found with Zeher and Dhoom songs. I picked up a Kaagaz Ke Phool vcd but kept it back after remembering the chaotic state of my home presently and the fact that my vcd player was in one home and my tv in another. Now, I was left feeling distinctly left out of this very rare shopping outing. I believe this low feeling is what gave me the idea to shop for a pair of pants as we passed by Shopper's Stop. That and the fact that the time was ripe to put my first five-year-plan about procuring much needed trousers into action.

So I dragged S with me, who could not believe I was willing to go shop of my own free will. After passing through sections selling watches, perfumes, cosmetics, belts, luggage we managed to clamber out of the first floor to the second. Now, as S has reminded me a hundred times, that the second floor is the ladies section, but my suicidal tendencies tend to drag me to that door, every time I climb those stairs. S, being the good friend that he is, managed to guide me to the third floor and we landed in a brightly lit hall, lined on both sides with stacks and stacks of denim pants.

I took a minute to breathe in the choices: Lee, Levi's, Wrangler, Pepe and perhaps a few more. A goofy looking chap with a huge grin turned up like djinn, "What are you looking for sir?" "Ah! well... I am just... browsing." He was suitably impressed with my answer and left me to my own designs. I saw straight, loose, bootcut, low waist, super low waist. S stood smiling, while I was trying to make up my mind about which of these made the most sense. A low waist was not a good idea. I have a bad habit of forgetting to put on my belt. That's when the low waist tends to go super low and whatever that ad on the tele shows (with the svelte examination invigilator checking for chits of paper in all the right places), I not a very have-it-so-flaunt-it kind of guy (primarily because I am not so sure of the have-it part). The chart showing the ladies fits had an ultra low too, and as I was checking out the model on the poster, the wide-grin-guy passed me giving me a even wider grin! Eeeks!

I quickly rectified my posture to a more dignified stand, and asked "Where can I see corduroys?" "Here sir, and here and there." "Thank you." S decided to intervene, "Abe tu kar kya raha hai?" I explained to him I had just remembered that I desperately needed a pair of black corduroys. "Excuse me, I want black corduroys, do you have those?" "Sirji, black...emmm." He made an expression which seemed to suggest I had just asked him the whereabouts of the treasure of the Templars. "Here sirji, this is it." With the enthusiasm of a greyhound returning a ball I had asked him to fetch, he handed me a Lee. I promptly unfolded the thing, and headed toward the changing rooms. There I saw a lady banging on the door of a changing room shouting "Does it fit? Show me!" I found the room which was farthest away from her and started... well... trying on. And what do I find? The very-eager-to-help chap had handed me a waist 28! Now, I am no in shape to compete in the Gladrags Manhunt, so I promptly went out and handed it back. S was fuming by now. It was already over an hour since I had started... browsing!

After much searching, I unearthed a Levi's corduroy in khaki. It was the perfect size, and when I tried it on, it felt just right. So I asked S, "How does this look?" "Hmmm theek hai. Will go with any dark t-shirt" Just to torture him a little, I randomly picked up another pair of washed out black jeans and asked "This or that." S gave me the most murderous of looks. I decided not to tempt fate any further and promptly walked off to the payment counter. Finally I came out of the store, the proud owner of a pair of khaki corduroys. I treated S to chocolate chip ice cream just to calm his nerves a little bit, and to complete this harrowing albeit perfect shopping experience.

And now for the next five years, shopping for pants goes right to the bottom of the todo list!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Little old me!

Forever, if I live in the question of my child, I can
Be young eternal, and fly out the window with Peter Pan.

I was walking to my car in the parking lot, talking to myself. I do that. In fact I do it quite often. So much so that the guard at the parking lot has long stopped staring at me (on an entirely side note: I've been drawing a lot of stares from much feminine quarters lately, but my theories on that are too outrageous to write here). I heard my precious ride-in-white scream out, "There you are! Are you out of your mind? Parking me like this, out in the hot sun. Couldn't you have found a place in the shade somewhere? How selfish of you... Look at my paint.. I look double my age already." "Ah! My dear, my dear. You know how it is with me. It is more out of forgetfulness, than selfishness, that I mistreat you so." I discovered the gross inadequacy of my answer when I had (or rather my bum had) to suffer a scorching car seat for the next 30 minutes. Imagine my state of heated distress. Or rather don't. I am going to tax your imagination a lot more in the latter half of this galloping-wild-horse of a write up.

It was turning out to be a boring, hot evening. So I decided to play couch potato to the last `o' and firmly established myself in front of the telly. It was then that I caught, between my innumerable channel-changing remote clicks, Finding Neverland on Star Movies. Now, I had already seen the movie at the cinema. And I had felt something which I wanted to write about, but it got pushed back into one of those drawers of my mind. You know, the one on the back of the highest, dustiest shelf of the cabinet, where I keep all my precious stuff. I remember having read Peter Pan for the -forgotten-again- time and thinking, "What is it that I cannot put my finger on here?" So I watched the movie again. And it tugged so hard at my chest of drawers that the whole cabinet came tumbling down on me.

I saw my shadow snicker at me as I sat massaging the bump on my head. Oow! That hurt. But I found in J.M.Barrie's (played marvelously Johnny Depp) tale with the Davies family the most exciting thing of all. I found my lost memory. I also found an enchanted looking Kate Winslet, but that is not for children to know. In pirates, and mermaids, and fairies, and crocodiles, I lost myself for some time in Neverland. The story had an undercurrent of melancholy somewhere, and it almost became a mirror to my life for a few seconds on that account. Besides that it was a whole lot of fun. Fun to discover that the inspiration behind the most wonderful of characters, was a child. Yes, I know that is the case with most things wonderful, but there are those complex things like love and feelings which also tend to inspire people at times.

Peter Pan. The boy who never grows up. Some may see him as one who is a deserter, shirking from responsibility, running away from growing up! But that's like saying one doesn't believe in fairies (and we mustn't say such silly things!). Peter is the unconquerable spirit of youth, who believes his world to life. A world of make believe, you say. A world made out of beliefs, I see. True beliefs. Innocent beliefs. Unconditional beliefs. Belief that something magical like a happy thought will make you fly towards `second to the right and then straight on till morning.' Belief that a fairy is born every time a baby laughs.

And Peter loved Wendy. He still loves Wendy. And every Wendy loves Peter too. I should not get mushy about such stuff, what being a boy and all, but I am under the influence of fairy dust right now and cannot be held responsible for this. Everybody who thinks I am being crazy here, raise your hands. Oh! Don't bother. It is going to get worse.

I tried changing the channel once during a commercial break, to find Ash doing the item number from Bunty aur Babli (for the uninitiated that is Ms. Aishwarya very-gorgeous Rai I am talking about, and Bunty aur Babli is a brand new Hindi movie... err.. just do not ask me to explain what an item number is). The point to all this is, hormonal urges not withstanding I found myself changing the channel back to catch the end of the movie. A movie I had already seen before! But just to see the eyes of that boy again, was reward enough. I see things which half scare me to death sometimes, but at other times I see things which make me really, really happy to be able to. Able to see, I mean.

If you still have not got what I am trying to say, I must confess I am a terrible writer. I did not think, while writing this up. Because I was afraid thinking might ruin it, and so this piece is a bit here and a bit there. If you did get what I said, you are much better off than me, because I haven't been able to make sense of this at all.

I had put my mp3 player into shuffle mode, before I started writing this post. And now it is playing this Savage Garden track:

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Incandescent Inside

Burning steel on baking earth
Molten silver slashing the crusted pallour
Winds of flame scorch a wooden hearth
Leaves ablaze with furious valour.

Withering mirages, like a desert art
Dissolve in wisps of smoke and dust
Vehement shame of a scoffed at heart
Caustic scabs, courtesy a breached trust.

Scathing pyres of murdered spirit
Conflagrant waves of canicular days
Choices, dictating a purgatory visit
Cindered remains hanging in a scalding haze.