Friday, September 30, 2005

Graceful retreat

Is it not strange,
The things which are,
Are the things which change,
As I travel from near to far.

I do not know why or what,
Changed from the past to now,
I asked, and no matter what I got,
I have it in me to do it again; Wow!

Two of all, a friend and a thing,
One helped to see me better,
The other helped find new meaning,
A precious life I was willing to fritter.

What I believe is me as is,
I do not ask you not to be,
If you are static in being this,
I shall downgrade to being me.

No more questions, no further ado,
Innocent fire is fanned,
I'll wait halfway though,
Should you ever need a helping hand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Snapped out

If only the world changed,
At the snap of my finger,
I would make it go back a few turns,
Not for a moment linger.

At things I have longed for,
Prayed for with earnest zeal,
In times I wanted to stay frozen,
Obstinate scabs that refuse to heal.

Stepped on a twig of dry wood.
Snap! It went out of sight,
Before I realized I could,
Break things without any might.

A green stem might have bent,
But dried up fancies do not dream,
Of heavens, they just relent,
Inside out at every seam.

If I snap back with spite,
I will never forgive me,
For I swore not to write,
Another word to foster thee.

Holding back was never so wrong,
Neither so hard, as is now,
Hearty laughs canter along,
Whatever might you endow.

Every time I look at it,
A snap of the could-have-been,
Surreal, yet so aptly fit,
Too perfect to be seen.

Every time I look away,
Run from it what-could-have-been,
Try as far as I can stay,
Meaning well without the mean.

Do you see a difference around?
Can any trace of it be found?
Everything is as it is,
Owners pride, hers or his.

Magical as exploding snap,
Enticing, one's follies trap,
Play to win but know hereby,
In tiny parts, a part will die.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

It rained that morning

Monday, 19th September:
Sad day. Called home and mom was not in a good mood. I spent the day thinking about what might have been. I thought I might cry after a long time. Couldn't.

Thursday, 22nd September:
The day began so nicely. I had breakfast with A and then I went back to the room to sleep. I returned to the office at 10, only to find the boss walking up and down the corridor. Bad News. My report came back without being evaluated. I got these terrible anxiety pangs. Why? Was it bad? Is my work not good? Maybe I do horrible stuff. I am a failure. Surprise! Boss acted like an angel and kept me afloat.

In the evening went for a long walk with Z. Talk, talk, talk, ice cream and more talk. Z is either being very patient with me (bless her) or she loves the sound of my voice (is that so hard to believe? *stifled laughter*). Mom called in between the walk. Did not, or rather could not give her the bad news from work. After a lovely evening, came back to room and called up D.

D is an old school friend. Had promised her I'd call on Thursday. Chatted for an hour! Eeeeks... my cellphone reserves went down by Rs. 200. I've known D for like ever. It feels nice so to let your hair down every once in a while (not that I have much hair to let down but that's beside the point). Talked the usual marriage-girlfriend-career stuff with her. The thing is she is as scared about the whole deal as I am... so it is comforting. As soon as the phone got over, I felt miserable again. Sigh!

Friday, 23rd September:
The day was half here and half there. I was busy since morning trying to find new people to evaluate my work. Amidst feeling miserable and being busy, managed to wish two old friends Happy B'day! Had Spanish class in the evening. Cute Spanish teach asked me to translate a huge sentence on the blackboard. And what do you know! I did a perfect 10. When she said, "very good", I was getting all moony eyed. Just then, Y whispered into my ears, "Seen her engagement ring. It has eight diamonds." Why! Why of all the ten thousand blue blistering barnacles! Simple dinner, and a ice cream at midnight with Y and I was still feeling miserable. Thought about someone, and then felt even worse. Trust S to be a dear in such situations. He gave me a movie to watch. If you haven't seen Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, its entirely your loss. Such a wonderful, mood-uplifting movie. Why if I had been Caractacus Potts - I would have fallen for Ms. Truly Scrumptious too! Went to sleep misty eyed.

Saturday, 24th September:
I had forgotten how much I liked the rain. In the morning when I was returning to my room, walking back after breakfast with S, it started drizzling. The first impulse I had was to run. Then something in me asked me not to. So, I just decided to take a stroll. And oh was it lovely. I was being my grumpy self in the morning, when the rain started and invited me to play. I was angry! I even raised my head skywards to shout at Him. Couldn't. All that came to my head was a big "Thank You." "Thank you for I am still standing on my feet. After all that has happened I am still standing. Thank you for giving me the strength to move on, always." After that, I strolled back slowly, romancing the flirting rain, as it fell from the clear blues.

It trickled down my oily face, after barely getting lost in my receding hairline and slipping on my spectacles. It caressed my skin and ran down my chest like her hands from my dreams. It found all the nooks and corners on my body which had shrunk into dark corners and made them wonderfully wet. It made the most thoroughly enjoyable squelching sound under my sandals. It cleansed me. After a bath and a quick ride home, I got home. I still could not tell mum and dad about the thing at work. They will worry. I do not want that. Chatted through the evening and wrote long, crazy emails.

Sunday, 25th September:
Spent the morning fighting with the downstairs neighbours about a leaking pipe. The new owner of the ground floor flat looks like King Kong! Eeeew! Got car diagnosed - battery is down. Dad will have to get it replaced during the week. Sis 'n family came over in the evening. Spent a lazy afternoon talking nonsense with funny nephew. Now the TV has gone bad. I am feeling a tad ok. Tomorrow it is back to work. Oh n I have to write an essay on `¿Por qué quiero estudiar Español?' Help!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fair Price

They sat quietly, beside each other, by the river bank. The river looked sluggish today. Jyotsna could feel drops of rain starting to fall. A drop hit her cheek and streaked down her face. She kept looking at Shubhankar. "Why me? Why is it me always, Shubhankar?" He held her close, with his head resting against hers. He did not say anything. With his other hand, he lowered the volume of the transistor radio lying beside him. The radio was the first gift which she had given him, after she had got her job. Shubhankar managed his father's grocery store. His was a `fair price shop.' He had worked hard to get the license from the government.

Iske aage ki ab dastaan mujhse sun,
Sunke teri nazar dab daba jayegi,
Baat dil ki jo ab tak tere dil main thi,
Mera dawa hai hoton pe aa jayegi

"He was so good, Shubhankar. He was.. you met him. Wasn't he?" Shubhankar remembered the first day she had set foot in his shop. Dressed in a bright orange-red salwaar, she had looked like the proverbial Phoenix. As a weary smile crept between his lips, he just held on to her. "We had such good times together. I felt it was real love this time. Why did he have to ruin it all?"

Tu masiha mohabbat ke maron ka hai...,
Masihaaa..., masihaaa... mohabbat ke maaron ka hai.

Tu masiha mohabbat ke maron ka hai,
Hum tera naam sunke chale aayen hain,
Ab dawa de humain, ya tu de de zeher,
Teri mehfil main yeh diljale aayen hai,

Shubhankar understood that a kilo of rice cost Rs. 45, and that buying a larger bottle of Head & Shoulders shampoo saved you Rs. 10. But he did not understand the arithmetic of Jyotsna. She was invariant to the slow routine humdrum of his life. "When he asked me out for dinner, a week ago, I was so thrilled. I was sure he was going to propose." Shubhankar was hearing, and not hearing all at once. He could hear his own, awkward, stammering proposal at the same time.

Ek ehsaan kar...., ehsaaan kar,
Ek ehsaan kar, apne mehmaan par,
Apne mehmaan par ek ehsaan kar.

It had been a year since he had known her, when one afternoon he had tried to sell a customer 10 packets of chicken soup, whilst he had asked for only 2 packets. His father had lost his temper, and had been upset with him for the whole day. But Shubhankar was so enthralled by the fact that Jyotsna had coloured her hair a dark shade of brownish-red, he had hardly paid any attention to his father's shouts. It was only later, that he had realized what she meant to him. He had instantly decided to ask her. She had said no. He had not asked why, and never asked again. As the setting sun reflected off the mild river currents, the rain seemed to be emulating her mood.

De duaen.
De duaen, tujhe umr bhar ke liye.
De duaen, tujhe umr bhar ke liye.

" `We cannot be together. It will not work.' That is all he said. Am I so bad, Shubhankar... haa? Tell me." Shubhankar looked at her, and nodded a mild `No.' Her eyes were asking for reassurance. "Why me all the time? Every time! It is so unfair." It had taken him a lot of time, but now he had resigned himself to the connotation of `fair' as it applied to Jyotsna. He held on to her tight. The rain continued to fall.

Salaam-e-ishq meri jaan, zara kubool kar lo,
Tum hamse pyar karne ki, zara si bhool kar lo,
Mera dil bechain hai humsafar ke liye.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Barsaat Aayegi

Ek soch, hamesha, hardam, har ghadi,
Aasman par chaye kaale badal jaise,
Saari roshni ko roke khadi hai,
Barsaat aayegi.

Geeli hawaon ki seelan deeware gira rahi hai,
Deeware jo ghar banati hain, aur sarhaden bhi,
Aur main hoon ki usi dewaar ke sahare khada hoon,
Barsaat aayegi.

Patton ka hara nikhar raha hai,
Kamsin dhoop kahin sharma rahi hogi,
Par ye jo badalon main goonj raha hai, yeh tum to nahi ho.
Barsaat aayegi.

Unchooyi, unkahi, tumhari madmati hansi,
Kya us maikhane par bhatak gayi hai?
Bheegne ke dar se ja chupa hu usi maikhane mai,
Barsaat aayegi.

Chamatki bijli mai jagmagati gadiyan,
Bhatak gayi hain bheed ke veerano main,
Usi veerane main tumhe kabse dhoond raha hoon,
Barsaat aayegi.

Ajnabi baarish main, tum, humsafar,
Phir bhi baarish se jaise barso ka naata hai,
Aur tumhe main aaj bhi nahi pehchan paya,
Barsaat aayegi.

Na vaade, na kasme, na saath tumhara,
Batao, kuch kabhi manga hai maine?
Tumhari chatri ka aasman, thoda, shayad maang loon.
Barsaat aayegi.

Abort, Retry, Ignore?

If I tell you how it is,
You'll probably laugh,
For right now I cannot,
Separate the grain from the chaff.

In these alleys of rhyming words,
And lanes of cyber touch,
I found her standing, alone,
Lost in bits and bytes, as much.

If imaginary friends were ever so good,
Her voice was the sweetest ever heard,
You'll never guess what I did,
Even if you knew word for word.

Ferrous to the magnet's pull,
It hit a glass wall,
I could look through but not pass,
Yet I could hear every cry and call.

Addicted to hallucinating sights,
Which I had never seen,
I transcended from being to not being,
Passed from reality to my dream.

Sand slips from clutching palms,
As glass walls stand firm,
Electronic paths begin to erode,
I stand half apart, unable to confirm.

Saturday, September 17, 2005



In endless shades. Burnt yellow. Washed emerald. Blushing blue. Breaking brown.

He sat there.

Slaps of bashful froth on silky rocks occasionally punctuated a creeping night. Hours following distant twinkles got lost in the black. Unseen, it crumpled soft in his palm. Just as always.

This night, however, would never end. Never again.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Difficult choices

Dancing flames,
Shining swords,
Swirling poison,
Scorching air,
Menacing looks,
Ominous curse,
Crushing power,
Blinding light,
Hideous thoughts,
Darkening hearts,

Warming fire,
Protecting swords,
Healing poison,
Soothing air,
Inviting looks,
Blessing curse,
Gentle power,
Resplendent light,
Tender thoughts,
Lambent hearts,

Why is this choice so difficult?

Resting in peace

I do not know about you, but I have found out that if you think for twenty-four hours continuously about the same thing, one of the following is certain - either you'll get a splitting headache or you'll end up in a very grumpy mood. That's the reason I was already in a bad mood on Friday afternoon. Besides it was almost time for lunch, so I was badgering S to leave his computer alone and come for lunch. He kept on saying, " another 10 minutes" and before I knew it, it was three o'clock and I was very hungry and very angry. So, I went for lunch alone. I had my dosa, all the time feeling as if I was the last person left on the planet, with just the sambar and coconut chutney for company. As I came out of the canteen, and walked by a bakery shop I got the distinct whiff of something freshly baked. Temptation was just the thing I needed, and so I yielded to a delicious looking cream roll. The weather was overcast - the sky puffed up with dark clouds had let loose a cool breeze. Cream roll in hand, I decided to go for a short walk. As I walked and talked to myself, I realized that I was more angry with myself than S. I was angry with myself for getting angry. When I got back, I found S agitated, running up and down the stairs, trying to get his salary slip somewhere. He took one look at me and asked, "Angry?" I just couldn't help breaking into a smile, and nodded him a vigorous no. Friends!

The evening had Spanish class again. I am getting better with it, but when the teach asked me, "Have you done the questions I gave for homework?" I nodded sideways, and said, "Yes." She, looking appropriately confused, broke into peals of laughter, as did Y beside me - and I could feel myself turning a deep shade of red. After the class, I had to run to the bus depot to catch the bus home. It was not there. There was no other bus either. I had to walk and walk and change two buses on the way to get home just in time for dinner. Mom's prawn curry! Heavenly and totally rejuvenating. I watched some TV and then had long chat with Y. Late into the night, after discussing the whole world from food, to Spanish, to impending marriage, to girlfriends, to crying in movies, I bid Y adieu. I had a half finished "Half Blood Prince" waiting on my bed. I read until 3 a.m. and then I apparated.

Today morning I got up really late, to the sounds of a late lazy Saturday morning coming from my verandah. With a breakfast of bread and eggs, I poured over every comic strip in the newspaper. It feels so good to be able to do... nothing! After working 24x5 the whole week, I feel I totally deserve my hours of nothingness. I helped Mom in the chopping of up some onions and peeled some garlic, and stirred a perfect chicken curry. Then I went back to Harry and Ginny "snogging," with Ron making up with Hermione. In the evening, we had guests - with them was this tiny 4-year-old bundle of energy. I spent the evening chasing R around the house, asking her ridiculous questions like, "Why are two of your teeth longer than the rest?" and "Why does the fan run and not get tired?" Her answer to all this was a lot of laughter peppered with very high-pitched screams. As I watched her playing in front of the dressing table, putting on puffs of talcum powder on her face, I felt so at peace with this mad, mad world.

And guess what? Tomorrow is Sunday!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Total Internal Reflection

Walls made of glass reflect,
Every ray of unwelcome light,
Invisible barriers fight illusory foes,
Winning gleefully with childish delight.

Silence guards the gates to a solitary realm,
Scaring away every ringing voice,
Resilient armies ward off surrendering enemies,
Conquering the harmless free by choice.

Unreachable unending roads lead the way,
Wearing out every traveling soul,
Enticing mists waylay innocent worlds,
Shredding into tiny parts a beautiful whole.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Everybody came, everybody went,
And the world went around once again,
Narcissistic, I felt it revolved around me,
As I was the only thing not moving.

Lights lit up and went dark again,
And the candles melted into lumps of wax,
Magical, I felt blessed with an enchanted halo,
As I was the only thing left burning.

Sweet candies turned into bitter delights,
And the passion drained from draughts of lust,
Satiated, I felt filled up to the brim,
As I was the only thing still overflowing.

Thoughts materialized into puffs of smoke,
And the haze oozed into stone and wood,
Astral, I felt destined to rule,
As I was the only thing around, dreaming.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

En la paz (At peace)

The room was dark. Dark rooms were always nice when Uncle Sleep was at hand. Tonight, however, he had called in sick. "Anita, you are the only friend I have tonight." Paz curled up tight, in his favourite corner, with his head resting on his bent knees. Anita was propped up beside him, as always, against the rails of the bedstead. He looked at Anita, and then at the closed door of his bedroom. "Why do they do that?" he asked, almost expecting Anita to answer back. Anita maintained her fuzzy noncommittal smile.

He could hear his mother scream, "How dare you?" The sudden sound made by a glass hitting the marble floor seemed to prick pins into the velvet darkness covering him. His tiny palm clutched Anita's arm, hard. "I am leaving. I don't have to stand here and listen to you ranting." "Daddy is always so nice, except when he is shouting at mommy." Anita's eyes shone brilliantly in the dark, reflecting the streetlight which sneaked in through the half open window. "Go! Run away... to her. I know you don't care for us anymore. Not me, not Paz. Go oooh!"

Screams and stifled cries. Paz was used to these sounds. The voices receded, Paz looked up and Anita seemed to fall to her side, tired with all the hullabaloo. Paz caught hold of Anita's toe and got down from the bed, dragging her to the door. "Tell me why? You cannot just walk out. You coward!" Paz froze in his tracks. His bare feet felt uncomfortable on the cold floor. Anita seemed to tug at his hands, so he let her fall to the floor. Paz could only think, "Why? Why? Why?" As if in answer to the question hammering away in his head incessantly, footsteps echoed. "I am going! Do you hear? I am going away... for ever. And I will come back for Paz. You are not fit to raise a child." "Never..." Paz heard the familiar click of the front door opening, and just then a loud car horn rang out. Startled, Paz stepped on Anita.