Friday, December 29, 2006

Say tich!


Whatever you do, I'll do it too
Show me everything and tell me how
It all means something
And yet nothing to me


A hundred minutes at twenty-four frames per second. Hundred minutes of sheer wonder. A wonder, which takes birth in a desert of deathly white. Upside down, awkward and blissfully happy.

Hands slide onto hands. Fingers yield and fingers hold. Soft, childlike fingers. Pudgy, warm fingers. Slip on layers cold sweat and fall down. Onto and into.




Every gesture, every move that she makes
Makes me feel like never before
Why do I have
This growing need to be beside her


A gift of rhythm. A heart of gold. Love. Oooh! That thing you do, baby... Primal needs nurtured by songs of instinct. Moving illusions. Magic in motion. Draws me on. Draws me in. Renewed faith in a dream.

A gift of touch. woolly arms quiver. Tingles born on fingertips run amok. Ecstasy arrives in a nascent land. Snuggled charms. Smuggled moments. Draws me on. Draws me in. Renewed faith in reality.




Ooo, these emotions I never knew
Of some other world far beyond this place
Beyond the trees, above the clouds
I see before me a new horizon


The heart reveals its own secrets when it feels like it. Accidentally cool. Chicas looking for boom. Fitting friends. Misfit family. I am going to find out. Follow your heart. The world follows. Lost?

Imperfect and useless. Strands of satin softness rest on shoulders. Comfortable in their lazy touch. Is this happening to me? It's all my fault! Follow my heart. Lost?




Come with me now to see my world
Where there's beauty beyond your dreams
Can you feel the things I feel
Right now, with you
Take my hand
There's a world I need to know....




Lyrics from Strangers Like Me by Phil Collins, original soundtrack Tarzan (Walt Disney Pictures). (C) Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and Walt Disney Music Company.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Bon Voyage

Distances seemed so innocuous before. In the past two months, distances have embedded their own reality in my being. Distances, which separate me. Into parts inside and across miles outside.

Journeys made across borders. On land. Inside minds. It is true that I have travelled. I would like to follow that up by saying, "I've arrived" and maybe it will sound regal and pompous. But it would also be hideously untrue. Truth is very important here, and almost as overrated as love. And without either I am equally lost.

What has my world come to and what is it now. Let me try to put it in words. It all began with a search for dreams. Dreams which define a life. My life. The building blocks of this search involved a lot of wandering, and I being the starry eyed wanderer I am, embarked on the voyage with a missionary zeal.

Soon the coast faded away, and the light from the lighthouse dwindled in the distance. Almost as soon, a new coast appeared to take its place. A place of magic, of painterly picturesque allure and of quiet. A quiet so enveloping that it drowned me within. Almost. A boat navigating the rapids gets dealt its share of blows. It is lucky though, to be afloat. Somewhere, Someone smiles.

New authority, and a new time. My world got remodeled without my consent. I was not only helpless to say no, I was also supposed to like the new decor. I did. I learned to bend. Over, under and inside out. The mind flitted back to familiar coasts, oscillating between the chosen dream and the forsaken reality.

Want. Unceasing bouts of emotion. My perceptions changed faster than the world around me. There were no ground truths, no basis for measurements, no frames of reference. Only the quiet inside, and outside. Decisions made in split seconds of reason pockmarked the face of my teen aged existential angst. The contrast was burning, like a Van Gogh canvas. It scorched its mark deep.

Voices sailed across. From afar. Simple voices. Those that I was born to. Voices that sang my life to tunes that I have composed, but those that I cannot sing. The quiet receded like a wave shying away from the shore. With an unspoken promise of returning soon.

What one journey takes away, can another return? Are all journeys across distances, or are some simply across time? Take the two together, and its like asking can one travel back into the past? Can I meet myself, and if I do, can I break out of this recursion?

Faces loved since the birth of time light up with unbridled joy. A journey purpose served. The quiet stands, hidden in the shadows. Watching. Waiting. As voices from afar seep through its cold walls and gush out nearby. The flow whets the parched clay. Forms take shape in memory's misty lanes. The form of chosen dreams.

Dreams, which call anew across distances. Is it wise to embark again? Uncertain love and undefined truth. Still I dare. Why? Because, without either I'll forever be lost. Stranded across distances I cannot fathom.

So I step. Step out, and step in. One step a lifetime.

After all, I can die only once.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It falls...

A drop of water
Just one truant drop
flows down
down her neck

A crowd of hundreds
Babel!
Eyes look in question
in approving disapproval


Flows, hesitant
Drunk with her smell
Skidding over soft satin
Tickling, tripping over

Untouched air, naked trees
Festive cheer rising
calm inside
outsides draining of colour


Rolls over the raised
tumbling into the deep
valley meandering over
shy suppleness, Ecstasy!

Lost smiles evaporate
in novel cold, longing
fill empty nooks
of a creaking old heart


Silent distilled moans
beckon to continue
curves quiver to life,
the wet touch plays on

Dry lips, parched love
dark clouds shower
stinging rain flows
over ruins and facades


It falls. A shallow
button tingles and
overflows over
It falls.

Tired footfalls trip
on jutting stones
Peeled knees bleed
It falls.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Shame

Like a spray of water,
Spewing.

from a broken air-conditioner.
In an uncontrolled burst of...
Gay abandon.

It came.

Silently enveloped my twisted being,
Shame.

Oh so penetrating it was, so
Pervasive.

Intrusive, not adhering to the bounds
of my privacy.

Passive in a cold calm
Laden with transparent guilt,

It stayed the same.

causing me to squirm and shift
Within walls of crumbling repute.
Shame.

Born of unbridled affection
Wild horses run.
Amok

Shot down!
Crippled and beaten.
Abandoned by gaiety, and rescued
by Mistrust.

Lame.

It hinders my judgment,
freezes my Innocence over,
inwardly Incandescent...
Shame

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blinds drawn

Cut

by shards of darkness, alone

in freezing, cold nights

Waiting

for life to take its destined turn

As endless time meanders

through the deep, dark

valleys of fear,

Illusions

of happiness shatter on

hardened anvils of the real

Colours mix into an ashen gray

Dreary

tracts of the never taken path

beckon with sarcastic glee

sapping at the root of all

Energy

withering away, the last remnants

of what once was

nurtured with much hope

Questioning

the very essence of my being

its existence in doubt

of itself.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Realms and Beings


A room with walls of air.

Set apart from reality by my life.

Nailed to fantasy by these words.


I know you can hear it once again.
That familiar scratching of pen on paper.
Why do you look at me so? You cannot see it. I know you can't.


You look through me. Why? See here... See this!




Wings! A bus passes by. A crowd dwindles. A phone vibrates. With those eyes, my bonny lad, you'll never see anything.

Cliques of coincidence.


A presence haunts. Mute. Always mute. Say it... Why don't you say it!
Is this your defiance? Or your surrender.

Doesn't the deafening silence hurt you yet? Embrace me once again. Tear me down.




Click! A second of eternity. Vitrified exuberance. Distilled charm. Don't you know it is bad manners to stare. Worse still to stare back.

Synaptic rites of passion.


A touch! Did you... An encore of nays. Please. Abuse my senses again.

Why are you so distant tonight? Why are you letting go. Disappear this instant!




Red! Damned flows. Lakes of conscience. Unchained lust. What business of mine is the future?

Engage in life.


I cannot help it. Smiling. Fascinating, isn't it? I know you see it. You can.

Stay. Just this once. Other castles can wait. My room cannot.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Unnecessary

In my eyes,
Another's eye, through and through,
As I, melt slowly without any ado,
How do I see past?

In my hands,
Sheer magic takes shape,
As I continue to gape,
How do I control this?

In my mind,
Incandescent dreams light up,
As I fall behind the gallop,
How do I keep pace?

In my touch,
Tingles of ecstasy abound,
As I, deafened with roaring sound,
How do I numb my senses?

In my heart,
An otherworldly alien peace,
As I, hooked to the enchanted tease,
How do I listen inside?

In my life,
So much talk, of now and then,
A guillotine of an unanswered when,
How do I bide my time?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Days of frenzy

Sard sard saansen aaj tujhe kuch keh rahi, suno zara
Dheemey dheemey, dheerey dheerey dhadkane badh rahi, ab kare to kya

Dabe dabe, ruke ruke kadmo se aa raha, koi nasha
Zara zara, thama thama seene main hai pal raha, ek dard saa.

Jaane, yeh hamen, kya hone lagaa.
Jaane, yeh hamen, kya hone lagaa.

Kya pata.


It's so hard to write right now. Not because I have any dearth of things to write about. Neither because I cannot find the words to write it down. But because my mind is not staying still. It is somewhere else, lost in streets of comic passion where I cannot tread because I am uncertain of what lies ahead.

The past week was grand! It was this mad, mad mix of delicious food, cousin brothers and sisters, and grandma, everything pujo, the telegraph, enmeshed with flavours of shared silences. It was fast and slow at the same time. Time playing truant, with nothing to do all day except laze around like the kittens which sprawl over my cousin's bed, slipping through my fingers like the touch of satin soft skin. Cats are majestic and seductive at the same time - is that what one calls "feline?" Species of fish which tempt the gastronomic gods to play havoc inside my stomach, and sweets which silently add to my abundant layers of flab.

The Ganges on a moonlit night which flows slow and wide, with tiny fishing boats riding it with aplomb and abandon. Rain! Drizzling, slow, rippling down in caressing rivulets on my parched dry skin. Wild, unchained, washing me in wanton passionate wet fire poured from above. Rain. Rain falling on water - the river, the sea; on land - the field, the road. It's like making love with something that is everywhere at the same time, all at once, outside and inside.

Dune. A book which filled my days with fantasy lands of spice deserts and enigmas. Hints of longing. Places I've known in childhood. An earlier life? Somebody stays here. I do not remember. I do not want to remember. I forget. I do not want to forget. A language which flows with the life of elegant poetry and decorated prose.

Trains. Filled with masses of humanity, moving across in paused hurry. Brownian motion along straight lines. Stations. Goodbyes. Tears. New lands? Leaving behind... finding anew. Be back soon. So much changes when I turn around. A world dies. And another lives again. It'll never be exactly the same again. Isn't that sad? Am I scared.

Questions? Home, far away from home. Alone. So alone. Just me, between endless sky and limitless green. Hold me. Cuddle me. Envelope me. Engulf me. Smother me. Suffocate me.

On return, another journey awaits. To more distant, more alien lands. Stay with me, silent and together. Stay with me. Stay.

For the curious, the song is from the movie Bas Ek Pal.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Figure this

I am thinking about
how
to answer this later
and not now.

I said
to myself as usual,
I know the answer...
Be casual!

I refuse
to be taken in,
and give up on
my chocolate sin.

I want to
make love,
and not give way when,
push comes to shove.

I wish
on every star
burn up, and light
every near and far.

I hear
you.
Find that surprising?
That's your cue.

I wonder
what I do
day and night
with so much ado.

I regret
Do i?
All my questions gone!
Can I have one more why?

I am
me, ofcourse,
unless you discount my other self,
then it's just me, off course.

I dance
slow
because it takes time
to follow you, so!

I sing
sweet.
True and tuned-in notes,
beat for beat.

I cry
precious much
everytime I remember
times past, such.

I am not always
on an obscure slant
but I never said
I can't.

I make with my hands
your dreams
because mine burst apart
at the seams.

I write
gibberish verse.
You read it!
No, that's not worse.

I confuse
almost all
when I explain the reasons
for the apple's fall.

I need
a hug
and chocolates -
a bar, ice-cream, and hot
in a jug.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Jab aadat ho chali thi (Reprise)...

Jab aadat ho chali thi,

tab...



Khamosh raaton mein
anjaan hansi kaano se takrati hai,

Sunsan kamron me
khilti chandni bikhri jaati hai,

Anjaan bheed mein
benaam nigahein uth kar milti hain,

Goonjti galiyon mein
muskurate hue khwab umad aaten hai,

Kisi ke naye aansu
purane zakhm dho dalte hain,

Ankahi baatein samajahne
koi parchayi aati hai,

Bayaar mein phir se khushboo
luka-chuppi khelti hai,

Zindagi mein koi ansuni
awaaz mishri si ghulti hai,

Koi pari apne nanhe
haathon se thaki palkein selhlati hai,

Berang safedi se wohi
satrangi zindagi umadti hai,

Masoom agwah hansi mein zindagi
phir se lehrati hai,



Ab aadaten badalne par majboor hain,

ab?

The poem on the previous post, which I left incomplete, is completed here by my friend Chaos.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Jab aadat ho chali thi...


Jab aadat ho chali thi...

Jagi jagi raaton me
sisakti aahaton ki,

Sunsan kamre me
dari parchayi ki,

Anjaan bheed me
thami chuppi ki,

Khoyi galiyon me
goonjte kadmon ki,

Purane zakhmon me
sookhe aansuon ki,

Lal hoton me
unkahi baaton ki,

Khuli hawa me
quaid khushboo ki,

Band darwaze me
chupi zindagi ki,

Pariyon ki kahani me
gumshuda jadoo ki,

Do aur do ki ginti me
hamesha chaar aane ki,

Satrangi dhanak me
berang safedi ki,

Benakab chehre me
simte hue sharm ki,

Massom zindagi me
agwah hansi ki,

Jab aadat ho chali thi,


tab...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Manufacturing Love

There are so many ideas swimming inside my head and there is so much going on in life that it has become almost impossible to pin down one thought and write a post on it. So what follows is a mish-mash, a jumbled pile of abstractions.

It is liberating, is it not, when one can trust someone implicitly. I have suddenly... no, not suddenly actually, but I have opened up, considerably. I find that there exist things or persons which bring about this change in me quite effortlessly. Perhaps it is only that I have learned to read such signs, or perhaps its just plain luck. But it is a whole lot easier if one can honestly speak things on one's mind without undue processing about being politically correct all the time.

A simple promise
Of being true,
Fills me up with
Freedom through n through.


The week in movies, was very interesting. I watched Trainspotting, Catch 22 and To Sir with Love. A psychotic drug movie about choosing death over life (and to think someone asked me just a week back why are drugs harmful!). A most amusing portrayal of the absurd contradiction that is life, and the even more (irrational?) effort to fight those with more contradictions of one's own. The last of course is an old favourite of mine. I'll become one someday - a teacher, I mean. Be under no illusions, it is one of the hardest and most demanding professions of all times. I know because I've seen it from very, very close quarters. Ah! But that's the dreamy eyed idealist in me speaking. One that will probably send me to the grave penniless and alone.

I guess I can't pin down any more abstractions today, but I do have this little idea tugging the corner of my shirt, so I'll lift it up into my arms and show it to you.


What nonsense!
To even think
About such a thing.

Why not I ask,
When all this... chaos,
Is all it's doing!

Bah! It is not a rubber tyre
or a sheet of toughened steel,
To be drawn and quartered.

But it is, into all shapes
and sizes till fits a fist
or is in public, slaughtered.

But what of trade?
Who will pay for it,
Only a fool's folly!

Can you imagine?
The only thing they said
can't be bought. Golly!

It's disaster from
the word go.
I'll play in it no part.

Packaged love,
Just put a "From" and "To"
Ask your heart!

Will there be discounts
on bulk orders, and
on a festive holiday?

Why not! Maybe flavours too.
Even 20% extra if you
order ahead in May!

Ok, then. Calculate the
costs and set up the plant.
Let's do business!

I knew you would come around,
After all who can resist
money, even if it creates a mess.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I met a Smile

A sweat lined day,
Melts and flows by,
On a slow evening,
A journey begins.

On foot, and a mile,
Roads filled with sounds,
Of a city turning back,
A bus meanders.

As a phone calls,
Unknown face of a voice,
One wonders, and walks,
An auto agrees.

A few minutes more,
Of hesitant talk,
Symmetry in red stone,
A head turns.

Steps which draw close,
Hands meet to shake,
Twinkling eyes, mischief?
A coffee brews.

A cool room with people,
Red chairs for two,
Tall glasses condense air,
A smile breaks.

Talk, as never spoken to,
Weave with words,
A person, within,
The smile stays.

Silent storms beckon,
Drops of first rain,
To fall, and break free,
The journey renews.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shortcuts to insanity

I got this idea in the middle of a sticky, sweaty journey home on a DTC bus. Since then I've been twisting and turning it inside my head thinking, "Should I write this or not?" "What will people think of me?" Yes, I'll admit this thought does cross my mind every so often. Then I see a movie like Iris and the answer becomes so obviously clear that I cannot help but laugh at myself. So here's my little idea, and here's to life.

_______________________________________________________



In that special world, which lives and thrives in my head, you are still as alive as yesterday. And always will be. I write these words to remind myself that I have talked with you all my life, and there is still a lifetime of talking left to do. I cannot, for the life of me, do it alone.

Do you remember that day, of the clear spring sky and of the lush vines of purple Bougainvillea, when I first saw you skipping across the road, talking to yourself. Your ferocious red hair was the first thing that caught my eye, and has never let it go since. It was time for the rains before I was to see you again. A dark, gloomy day filled with rumbling thunder and frequent streaks of golden light parting the skies. I was waltzing down the garden path, drenched to my skin, when you appeared with the next clap of thunder. It was the first time you saw me, and laughed. I must have looked funny that day.

I remember that laugh. Peals of it. As overflowing with life as the sky was with rain. I should have known that day, that you were too good to be true. I should have run away while my head was still mine. While it was spotless. Instead I said, "Hi." Innocuous sounding word, isn't it? Yet no appearance was ever more deceptive.

I, who was and still is, quite weak of opinion and mostly at a loss for words, was washed away in the heady gush of ideas you let out on me. Everything mattered suddenly, because it mattered to you. Everything from the height of the heel on your new platforms to the advantages of a welfare state. Suddenly I was discussing socialism and Ayn Rand, interspersed with the ringings of the cute golden bell on Noddy's hat.

I was frightened to say the least. Frightened that I would lose myself, amidst all that made up your world. I was an alien, a misfit and yet... There you were, the only person I felt I knew. In what way I was not sure. I just did. You felt like a cozy, warm quilt on a chilly winter night. I felt so snug, and so safe... it was like a dream.

A dream of flying highs and diving lows. A dream of ice-creams and chocolates and chocolate face-packs! In fact, The only emotion of mine that can match yours in intensity is honesty. Yours is brutal, mine is benevolent, but both are truthful. I think that is what holds us together.

"I don't know any of your friends. I am lost in your world."
"You know more about me than anyone else. You ARE my world."

You have seeped into me like the dampness in a rain-bashed wall of brick and mortar. Mixed with the smoke of cigarettes that you smoke, you have become my breath and left me gasping for air. You are unashamed to live and unapologetic that you like to live. Being with you is like no novel ever written or no film ever made. It is like... living.

You love that bicycle ride down the hill, don't you? The unrestrained speed. The mad rush of air that sweeps past the skin. Screams of ecstasy echoing through the country side. I always fall behind, forever unable to catch up to your pace. I never could see beyond you. I didn't that day either. If I could, I would have warned you about that truck.




_______________________________________________________


I so don't fit the mould. Not anybody's. Is that too bad?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gift


I got a gift of tears,
Tears that don't flow,
Well up and dry inside,
Isn't that enough though?

A truant drop escapes,
Over cheeks made raw,
With repeated wipes,
Is it too late to withdraw?

A palette of dreams,
Spilled over with care,
Mix with the tears,
Paint now, do I dare?

Smiles and words adorn,
Solid walls worn down,
By a core of seeping damp,
Still want a house in this town?

Wisps of vapour, leftovers,
Of the splendid gift,
Rust shackles I made,
To be harboured, or cut adrift?

When everything is gone,
To dust and times of yore,
The gift renews itself,
To be forgotten, or remembered ever more?

I got a gift of tears,
Tears that will flow,
Free from guilt or shame,
Is that enough though?

Monday, July 31, 2006

Jigar ma badi aag hai

Laakad jalke koyla hoye jaaye,
Koyla hoye jaaye khaakh.
Jiya jale to kuch na hoye re
Na dhuan, na raakh.

Jiya na jalayio re.*


Thus spake the song in Omkara. The words translate to:

Burning wood turns into coal,
Coal burns to a dusty mishmash.
Nothing remains of a burning heart,
Neither smoke, nor ash.

Do not burn the heart.


I came back and wrote to a friend who is going through a rough patch herself, "I am such a sentimental idiot, and I keep telling you not to do such things. How hypocritical of me!" I guess you are wondering what, on heaven or earth, is the relation between between my idiocy and Vishal Bharadwaj's adaptation of Othello. The answer is Jealousy.

Oh yes! The green eyed monster has been a chum of mine in the past. And he (or should I say she?) is very possessive of his friends. Somebody asked me whether I think what the hero does in the film is justified. Now, I am the most unsuitable person to argue over Shakespeare! Justified or not, I do know it is quite possible. Rage can blind people to reason, just like love can.

Chat par aakar gidh baithe,
Aur barnalo se khoon bahe,
Are kaun gira hai, kaun kata hai,
Kis mah dum hai kaun kahe.

Chakke choot gaye dushman ke,
Dharti maange chutkara.

Omkara...*


It is not that I even remotely identify with the ruthless, cold-blooded protagonist of this story but the movie brought back feelings I thought I had murdered and buried deep inside. It seems so ridiculous now that I should have these inside me, but friend Jealousy obviously scorched his mark deeper than I thought. Ah well! I guess it'll die its own death, in its own time.

Well, don't waste your time reading up about my jumbled up state of being! Have a blast watching the movie, instead. It's a visual treat at times, and at other times you have aural treats like:

Na gilaaf,
Na lihaaf,
Thandi hawa bhi khilaaf, sasooorri!
Itni sardi hai kisi ka lihaaf layile
Ja padosi ke chulhe se aag layile.

Beedi jalayile jigar se piyaaa,
Jigar ma badi aag hai.*


* All the lyrics are written by Gulzar, and are from the movie Omkara, directed by Vishal Bharadwaj

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Who's Weird? It's just me!

Who says I am weird?
Not at all, no siree,
Maybe a little rough at the edges,
But I am just plain ol' me.

I like to talk,
When there is no one around,
Echoes alive inside my head,
Just for the want of coherent sound.

Maybe sneak in a dream or two,
Between chatting with them and you,
Extrapolations of my reality,
Moments of an imagined life, too less, too few.

When Simba's father died in a stampede,
I cried,
Also, when the boy finally got the girl,
I didn't. But at least I tried.

Do you know words paint pictures?
And that colours scream and speak and sing?
I sing too, though nobody cares
to appreciate my very musical zing!

I find Angelina as gorgeous
as the falling skies of certain Gaulish fame
and the curved pleats of spacetime,
Pardon me! But I just forgot your name.

Always check a lock twice,
Except when I forget the key,
Never remember a face the first time,
Except when enchanted I'd rather be.

So it is, with all in me,
A bit knocked about heres and theres,
I'd discuss this more,
But I have run out of chocolate eclairs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Excerpts from a month

A 'header' in football, will never be the same again after last night. Scrambling to V's home at 10pm to catch the world-cup finals was worth every drop of sweat shed for the purpose. Of course there was the little question of dinner at her place, which was just as essential for my still-recovering stomach. The cup went to the Italians and while I am sure there will be long celebrations in every Italian home, here I am, back to work at 7:30 in the morning. For my month of complete chaos still has some time to go, before I lift my very own trophy of solid gold.

However, that tale is for later date, as are two travel posts which I must write because I have some gorgeous photos to share. This rainy morning is perfect for only one thing - a cup of hot tea and a plate of pakoras. Since I am writing this while munching glucose biscuits for breakfast, the taste can only linger in my head and not be savoured by my tongue. While I suffer these gastronomic delusions which seem have taken hold of me, let me recount the some things which have happened over the last month or so.


  • I was returning home from work on a weekend, lost in the thoughts of how well the week has been and of the two days of bliss which lay ahead. At the end of the narrow lane was a low-hanging chain barrier to keep cars from entering into the lane. I saw the chain, about 2 feet in height, and decided to jump over. I had a backpack on my shoulders. The jump was quick, and the sandal on my right foot got stuck in the chain even quicker. I am sure I would have learned how to fly if I could have missed the ground. Alas, Newton's law brought me down. Hard on my knees and elbows, with the backpack landing on my head. It hurt so bad, that I just lay there for about a minute. Then I got up and groggily wandered back home and passed out on my bed.

  • The travel to the Deccan was for A's marriage. The pre-trip lecture from Mom about where my direction-less life is headed vis-a-vis the obviously more favourable turn that A's life was going to take marked the beginning of this eventful trip. The trip deserves a post of its own. What I want to talk about here is the baraat or rather the dance of the baraatees. For those who have never attended an Indian marriage, the baraat is a gathering of the groom's family and friends, i.e., the baraatees, along with the groom. For a typical North Indian wedding the groom usually rides on horse back. A spared the poor horse some agony, and decided to arrive in a horse-drawn carriage. It is traditional for the friends of the groom to dance as the baraat snakes its way though along various roads, lanes and by-lanes of the city, to the bride's house. On such occasions the city traffic graciously halts to let the pious gathering pass. And what a dance we did!! I am sure we proved ourselves to be true blue-blooded descendants of Nataraja. B was at a complete loss for words when he tried to describe the emulation of Aishwarya Rai I did for the Kajrare song, all with a Sony CyberShot held in my right hand!

  • M has a deadline to meet. He has to get married before next summer. His younger brother eagerly waits in the queue. The hunt for a bride for M has begun. M has been informed of a prospective bride in Delhi, whom he can meet if he wants. Poor chap decided to ask us for advice! Big mistake! Everybody told him different things before converging an hour later on the same suggestion that he should go and at least meet the girl before doing anything else. Of course I had this brilliant suggestion about falling in love and what not, when M came with this outrageous theory that once one is past twenty-five, love is a myth. I almost screamed at him for this, and barely managed to check my over-enthusiastic self from spilling the beans about things I'd rather not tell.

  • I recently realized that if one has a person in his life whom one wants to forget and also wants to remember, then one is going to be forever split into two. This problem only gets worse if there exists more than one such person. I also realized that I am particularly weak of spirit when I am weak of constitution. Living in might-have-beens is always hazardous. It is more so, when in such a condition of weakened spirit. Other than this I also learned how to swim, and how to make upma.

  • A friend made over a cup of coffee,
    Lives spilt over shared pain,
    A hand held out in earnest help,
    Washed anew in yesterday's rain.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Food poisoning

A stomach growls in hunger
After sinuous travels through the Deccan
Hot and weary, the train's AC coach
Seems to envelope me in a magical quilt

Piping hot, aaaah! Food after twelve hours
Satiated, for home draws near
Familiar sounds fill the humid air
Walk down a deserted road, to the very edge

Of a comforting bed, lies, giving of warmth
On a night riddled with power cuts
Plunged into tired sleep, I pass out
Only to find my legs gone the next morning

Cannot stand. Cannot sit. Cannot eat
Pangs of hurt clutch my insides
Punctuated by answers to nature's call
Slow fever creeps all over, shivering

Nervous. As I call the boss. No work today
Ochre coloured tablets, punched out of plastic
Administer a cure, as the legs slowly wander back
Reminded of the gears, which will not turn

Without me. After many attempts, here I am
Away from home again, fine tuning machinery
Thinking and weak, from my travels
and the travails of poisoned food

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Don't envy me

Are you surprised, dear friend?
To find me standing still,
When all but the last leaf has fallen,
To be blown away over yonder hill.

He should be gone by now, you think,
Washed away by the drying rain,
Into rivulets of virgin streams,
Soaked dry amidst the rolling plain.

Ah! But don't envy me, my kindred friend,
As I flirt with the truant winter squall,
Allow a withering birch another arrogant ring,
Witness to times stolen from a bygone fall.

From orient lands where you now dwell,
Rises the sun which on me once shone,
'Tis now only a relentless foe,
Spring madness I must bear alone.

O friend of my youthful past,
Soon must be the dictates of age obeyed,
'N though my ashes be lost in summer dust,
Memories, brimming with nigh magical shade.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Being One

Life runs such a weird course. It is steady and sparkling one moment, lost among hazy mists of the past in the next and reaching out to a honest future in the one after that. As a series of what-ifs and why-nots fight for space in the confines of one's warped mind, life seems to go on, popping like an unending sheet of bubble wrap.

It is so simple to feel sad for oneself. Suddenly, one bumps into someone in the long queue at the bank counter, who informs one that one's very first serious crush is getting married. It's at times like these that life seems so... not meant for one. Like one is here quite by accident, and that one's dreams are constantly trespassing on reality - to-be-shot-down-at-sight. Then one sees someone else living a life one dreams of, and one sinks deeper into quicksand.

It is a little bit harder to feel happy for someone else. Like for first-serious-crush. One feels happy for her when one remembers that she was a nice person to have known, and that she should get all the happiness she can get. It was not long ago that someone asked one about being over one's obsession. One thinks getting over is more of thinking about obsession in a different way - like accepting another version of reality. It is hard, and sometimes near impossible to pull off but mostly one is calm outside, and rarely inside when obsession is concerned. More confused actually. But that stems from one's insecurity of being left with nothing to obsess about, more than anything else.

It is the hardest to feel happy for oneself. To keep remembering that one is living a life forged by one's choices, doing something one chose to do. To constantly remind oneself that being able to live one's choice is and always will be a BIG luxury. One sees other people being happy about other things, like money and love. And one forgets the things one has to be happy about. One broods over why one's choice, though one's own, is devoid of money and love (among other things). One sees the promise of a bright future, and one is scared to death at the prospect of treading that future alone. One does not remember all the work one did to get that future, and that one's dreams are just beginning to melt into reality.

One is afraid. One has no one to talk to, endlessly and about everything. One has no one to whom one can speak to, without first thinking what one is going to say. One keeps searching. One does not know for what. One is sure it will happen one day. One does not know when. One's faith is being tested. One's faith tends to waiver, and to doubt One. One thinks of dying, and of not being there one day. One finds comfort in being mortal. One suddenly finds one is short of time. One hurries. One cannot keep this up much longer.

One is after all, only one.

Monday, June 05, 2006

If it ends, before...

Beads of anxious sweat
washed with chaotic rain
Make me want to reach out
for you again

Now.

It might be that tomorrow
I'll see your smile
But what if the sun doesn't
Ever shine on my lonely isle

A week might be the blessed time
When you would touch my heart
But what if by then I have
Already played out my mortal part

Perhaps in a few months
Life would lead me to you
But what if the months left
Are lesser than those few

Years on years, I can wait
If it is you who mark their end
But what if by the end of time
There is no more time left to spend

If in another life it is to be
I'll survive this one, alone, insane
But what if after I give it up
I forget how to live again

Now.

Drops of frightened tears
mixed with the soothing rain
Make me want to reach out
and find me again

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Makeover


Naked words cower
in fear and cold,
Of a world
drunk in power.

Soothing rain falls
on flesh and paper,
Breaking free lives
bound in walls.

A monochromatic hue
of shadowed lights,
Burns and flows again
in colours of red and blue.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why am I not getting any?

DISCLAIMER : This stunt has been performed by highly trained personnel personally. I would like to strictly dissuade you from trying to replicate it, in part or in whole.

Having said that, let's get on with the business of writing this post. If the title has already not made it all too clear by now, then let me start by saying that this post is about sex (Did my blog TRP sky-rocket already ?!?) or rather the lack of it in my life. Yes, I admit it has come to this. The total lack of subjects to write has forced my hand into talking about the dismal state of my yet-to-begin sex life.

Did I just do that? Shoot my self in the foot, I mean. Perhaps, it is equally suicidal to admit the virginity of my twenty-something sexual self. I could always take the stand that I refuse to accept the dictates of a gender-warped world where a virgin woman is a good woman and a virgin man is a good-for-nothing man. Or perhaps I could say that I have been deliberately rebelling against my debauched peers by walking a morally higher ground. I could also say I have not met the right girl or that I've been saving myself (it's okay dear - you can laugh out loud). But in spite and despite all that, the truth remains that I am still untouched by female (I'll stick to being heterosexual for the purpose of simplicity) hands/feet/mouths and what not, for the most part. This is an effort to take stock of the situation, and perhaps, determine whether the diagnosis is fatal in deciding the fate of my sex life.

First let's see the physicality of the situation. It rests thus. I am well rounded, so my six packs are well hidden from normal view. The hair on my head seems to have taken a fancy for the ground and keeps eloping to meet its fiance. Other than these few points of note, I have no other feature which distinguish my appearance from other commonly, uncommon men.

Then comes the question of skills I suppose. Let's see now. I can probably prove that the square root of 2 is irrational. I can also make sense of Neruda in his language, and perhaps write better than monkeys-armed-with-pens in a couple of more. Other trifling things may include cooking a mean packet of instant noodles, a fetish for chocolate and ice-creams, and giving my immediate surroundings a make-over when the cleaning-fit seizes me. None of these, as far as I can comprehend, venture anywhere near the boundaries of lust. To further abet my crashing stock in Wall Street (or should I say Sensex?), I am, most certainly, shy. I also have a wrapped-maybe-but-very-strong sense of right, which keeps my libido in check at times when doing the wrong thing would have probably corrected the said anomaly. I am almost certain that I would faint of shock if a woman approached me with an "indecent proposal" (with due fan-ly respect to Demi Moore). But since the infinitesimally minute probability of such an event from coming to pass is practically non-existent I guess I am not passing-out any time soon. I cannot, for the life of me, separate out being intimate from being into somebody, so I guess one-night-stands are not my cuppa tea. Also, I cannot share the after-sex smoke in the bed (This is what comes of watching marathon runs of Sex in the City on HBO), because I am genetically prone to hating smoke (nothing personal).

So, I am not anatomically perfect and I am not smooth. Ah, but there is still more left to say. I am also lazy and narcissistic. I can pursue a woman only so much. If she says she's too busy to meet me five times in a row and then doesn't ever call back when given the option of call-me-when-you-are-free, then I have neither the energy nor the inclination to pursue such a ruse. My interpretation is simply that since I am not wanted, I'd rather go and watch Madagascar again. Call it the couch-potato syndrome but the couch does attract a lot of my attention, even if I always get to lie on it alone.

Though I doubt that adding "Desperate" before my name would spawn a popular sitcom, and that I could make my theatrical debut in a monologue on/by the male organ, I am quite sure of one thing. I don't have a clue about what I have been writing for the past hour. I am a strong believer of the natural selection paradigm, and since the urge to procreate is encoded into my chromosomes, I suppose I have to find a way to advance my species. Bother!

Notice, however, that I have not mentioned the "M" word anywhere. Obviously, men are not supposed to. For when being ruled by animalistic instincts, we are programmed into not thinking with our heads. So while you haggle over the price of that carton of rotten tomatoes you want to throw at me, I might as well go and help myself.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Of talking and keeping quiet

I have so many things in my head right now! Let's see if I can get them out one by one and connect them using some illusory coherence-glue.

The first thought is about talking. Yeah, just talking. Walking around aimlessly exchanging the secrets of life with someone who just like to talk is a luxury I do not get to indulge in often. This is primarily because people who can bear to hear me speak at length are not easy to find. Recently, I have discovered that if I try, I can talk about things which are difficult to talk about. Oh and this means talk - as in open my mouth and utter the words - chatting on the net doesn't count, neither does blogging about it. I am quite capable of talking about feelings (did someone faint already?) like hurt and anger and love with people I've instinctively learnt to trust. I have only a handful of such people, but I am glad I have them. There is a price attached to this though. It automatically raises my expectations about my sparring partner. It's like since I can do this, so can the other person. When the other person does not talk as freely it causes unnecessary confusion in my already confused head. Ah! But as I have discovered this is where listening comes in. If someone says they don't want to talk about something, they don't. I did, because I wanted to. Well, I do not know if this line of reasoning is going to work or not, but it sure helps me stay less disturbed with the scheme of things.

The next line of ideas is about expectations one is allowed to have of people. I often get carried away and think the world of people. By that I mean worry about them, and think about things they said or feel. Obviously, these are not random people, they are friends. And then they just disappear from my radar for days, without informing what happened. It's like suddenly I do not exist. Of course the normal reasons for such things are that other person was busy, got engaged over the weekend, got fired, got chicken-pox and other such trivialities. It was only foolish me with nothing to do in the world who was sitting under the stars and thinking about them. It makes me really mad! I am still trying to figure out a way of not having these expectations of people and it seems the Buddha was right when he said that desire is the cause of all misery. So its simple really, I just have to get rid of desire. Right! Now when do I get to go the moon?

The third is about proper conduct during an argument. If you are arguing with me then argue fair and square. Just saying I know and you do not, or that you are ignorant, does not do it. Argue, even fight if you must and have the courage to hear things from another point of view and be open enough to admit a possibility of error. I give you that chance and I expect it in return. Otherwise, do not waste my time. I do not want to waste my breath arguing with fanatics, or with people in love. If you can out-think me, answer my every doubt on the subject, then, and only then, you'll have gained your convert.

The last one is a question which I was sort of asked. "Are you a metro-sexual man?" My answer: Duh?!?


___________________________


Padme: So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Taking sides

In the beginning there was plain, vanilla me. This was when I used to believe that everybody in the world should be tolerant and there should be no fights and of course that everybody thought like me. I spent a surprisingly long part of my twenty-seven years as a homo-sapien, conditioned to think like this. This is perhaps the single most important reason behind my inability to form opinions on any matter.

I grew up on a standard diet of Amar Chitra Katha, immersed in the story of Padmini and Jesus with equal aplomb. It served as my introduction to world and Indian history, and religion. I knew all the stories of all the kings, all the wars and all the gods. It was how I learnt to look at things from the perspective of the storyteller, and I was always eager to trust him (because where is the fun in the story if you do not do that!). When I wanted more of history, I moved to my mom's college books and when I wanted more of religion, I moved to Vivekananda. Soon my staunch allegiance to any political/ religious/ philosophical view was suspect. I reached a point where if I could not argue against logically and beat to the dust, again logically, a particular point-of-view, I was not really against it. So going by the contra-positive of that statement I was never really for any thing/ party/ ideology. It may be that I do not posses the ability to argue as diligently, or that I am easily convinced by another, but in the end it has to fit to the tee in my twisted frame of reference or it does not count as taking sides.

I could do this with almost everything, except perhaps religion, because I had never really argued about it with anybody. Not till recently anyway. But I'll not go there. I have learnt an important lesson in tolerance, and I have learnt it well I suppose. There is no one right where faith is concerned, and even though I might be the most liberal of all liberals, I might still be horribly wrong as far as you are concerned. The lesson is not this though. The lesson is that one cannot fight this, or rather one should not fight this. Not for someone else, not with someone else. It does not work. The only fight that seems to work, is the one we have with ourselves. So now you know why I am a conflicted personality.

One might ask though there are other things to the world other than history and theology. Of course! I never hinted otherwise, There is ice-cream! And if you haven't read my previous post, there is Meg Ryan and chocolate syrup! There is science and art, you might add. I have already argued about those two in the past! There is love too, about which the intelligent-(x such that: x > 0 times)-bitten people know, it is entirely futile to argue.

Never mind my sermons though! There is a more relevant point to this defense argument I've been preparing. Recently, when I was faced with a question like, "What do you think about the quota/reservation issue?," I was at complete loss. Why? Because I can still argue both sides. So, I prefer to stay quiet, and mostly listen. Over zealous people hence, have had a tendency to label me spineless. Well, I don't really care for designer labels, and would rather put my spine to the better and more tiring use of holding up body. Then why this long rant, you might ask. Well, I had to write something for a blog post, and I did not want to write about sex, lies and videotapes, so...

And besides this way I get an endless supply of post-worthy material, because I keep getting labeled in all sorts of peculiar combinations. You think that is common or easy?? Try being pretentious and honest to same person!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Of french kisses and hens

I should have written this right after I saw the movie. Now the effects have worn off a bit. Also, now I guess I am a bit concerned about what you might think about me after you read this.

Ha! Gotcha!

I have had a post pending for almost two years now. It was supposed to be the fifth post on this blog. It's been there so long and I've never quite felt like completing it. Between that time and now, I've been through so much, and I've feel like I've lost bits n pieces of me here and there. But yesterday, I felt a part of me come back to me. I was playing the 5th on my TV's remote, when I landed a French Kiss. It's such a wonderful, gem of a movie. Of course it has Meg Ryan, which heavily does it for me. It's all there, in the small twitch at the corner of her lips. Now you have to get me talking on really mushy stuff to understand how I feel about that. But it's how warm chocolate syrup would feel if poured on you on a really chilly day. Yummy! I am glad that I can still feel like this. I thought... well never mind that.

Another thing which happened after a long time on Saturday afternoon was that I cried in a dream. I know it for sure because I woke up in the middle of it, all teary eyed and ravenously hungry!

Banished to the recess of my dreams,
You can still make me cry
tears from my unspent clouds,
Virgin, salty, the season's first rain.


It feels good to be able to live at peace with oneself. It's hard earned peace, paid for with more than I care to write now.

I have been getting lots of post ideas like the one about my football which came under a taxi and went BOOM! And one about another sketch I made, but I am thoroughly enjoying acting laaazy! On another note, someone once remarked I sound like a chick rather than a guy, on my blog. My question to that person is that since I also happen to prefer the feminine gender sexually, does that make me a lesbian? Most interesting thought, actually!

Pardon Me! For being just
me, when I could have been
you instead, had I not seen
reflected in your diamond sheen
myself, coated in your lust.


I was driving to work today morning, with my head filled with such higher-order intellectual deliberations, when all of a sudden the traffic came to a halt on the highway. After craning my neck out of the window of my merc-disguised-as-maruti800 to check what was the cause of the trouble, I found the most enthralling scene on the road. A man was trying to catch his runaway murgi(aka hen) in the middle of the road! All the cars, the DTC bus, the container-truck, even the disinterested cow had ceased all movement, so that the hen could make a clean getaway. As soon as the hen was off then road, the traffic moved so fast, the man-behind-the-hen almost got run-over.

_______________

Luke: All right, I'll give it a try.
Yoda: No, no try. Do... or do not. There is no try.
.
.
.
Luke: I do not believe it!
Yoda: That is why, you fail.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Boredom, fat and split personalities

Life is staggering between boring and intensely-boring right now. This is leading to all kinds of self-indulgence on my part, and motivation levels are at an all time low. Actually there is nothing worth writing about happening as far as I can see it. But since this only heightens my sense of absolute laziness, I thought I might as well try and concoct some kind of a mind-numbingly dull rant.

Since what can be duller than telling the world about myself, here goes a completely me-me-me post .

Someone complained (or paid a compliment perhaps, I can't make out which!) that I seem to appear different when engaged in conversation on this blog, on the messenger, on phone and in person. That is a very non-technically accurate description of my inherently split(s)-personality. Obviously, there are more of us inside but usually people return the package within the 30-days-money-back-guarantee trial period, and so never see the other versions. What is interesting though are the reasons I get for the return:

"You talk a lot." (that's me)
"You don't talk at all." (that's me too)
"You talk about stuff I don't understand." (all the way me)
"You are being sarcastic and rude and cold, and I deserve better!" (so true)
"You are soooo [add suitable adjective]!" (I know!)
"I can't keep up with you in bed!" (Aha! What? What!!!)
"You are... not exactly... in shape." (Yep! I am made of hot gas!)
"You let me pay the bill!" (Of course! You offered, I said yes.)
"You are not romantic at all." (Possible... within limits of experimental error.)
"You are too mushy." (Possible... within limits of erroneous experimentation.)

You get the picture. To top all this there is mom's observation that since I am definitely fatter now than I was a month before (and she has been saying this for the better part of my life, so... ) and that I do not really have a regular supply of very many bits of green paper with big numbers on them, I am not very highly placed on the "desirable-singles-list." I tried explaining to her the good points about it but somehow purush-mukti(aka men's lib) is hard to sell !

Friends, on the other hand are neatly divided into two categories - the ones who are married, hitched or are in luurve, and the ones who are single, got dumped or broke-up. So it's like on one hand it's Ice Age 2 and on the other it's Basic Instinct 2 and I have been handed a fresh copy of Darna Zaroori Hai.

Among other things I managed to recover my skipping rope from it's dusty, cobwebbed, seclusion and I am hoping that it's exercise-chi will cause a few cells of excess adipose tissue on my midriff to decompose. I have also managed to corner V into teaching me how to ride her bike. That V is a mother of two, and her daily schedule reads out like a super-woman, makes it all the more interesting. I'll keep that tale for another day.

For now I've got to go find the really, real me for the next person in the queue.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ten seconds of eternity

ONE

A bright, sunny morning. Sound of scores of busy shoes on the cement pavement. A row of impressive high-rise buildings defining the skyline of a prosperous city. It all seemed so far away from where he stood. Soon the heat would become oppressive, and make it impossible for him to go about bare feet on the roads. He started running.

The ground beneath his bare skin was cold. So cold that the warm streaks of red almost felt good. He was tired, and spent. Every inch of his rough, dark skin glistened with beads of sweat. The world around him erupted in a roar.


TWO

Why was everybody screaming? A flicker of orange gave him the answer he was looking for. Fire! But how? No! Them! He ran, but an anonymous pair of hands would not let him go. No! He watched helplessly. From the ringside, he could do nothing but scream at their pain.

He lay still. Mixed with the din of the crowd he could make out the dull, regular beat of his heart. He knew that sound. It was the sound of blood rushing through his body, feeding it, reviving it out of slumber.


THREE

The sun shone into his dry eyes. He turned his face, and got up from his bed. A bed. A proper bed. It had been only two years since he had started. It was tiring work, and he was often sore for weeks after a night of work. But work meant money. Money, which meant food and a bed.

He was sprawled on the ground, his arms to his side and legs parted. His muscles were stretched to the limits of his endurance. He could not curl his fingers into a fist.


FOUR

It was then that he had heard a voice. So clear, so alluring, so powerful. It had moved him from the throes of exhaustion into a frantic madness that night. He searched the crowd for his muse.

It was art. It had always been art. Wrapped in sweat and blood, amidst raw animalistic cheers, it was made by his bare hands. Tonight, however, he knew he had reached his peak. It was time to fall.


FIVE

She had tripped, and fallen into her arms. Laughter, and locks of blazing red hair had filled up the space between his lines. The smell of the air had morphed his senses out of sheer ecstasy.

He could not feel his legs. He could not feel pain. The stab of the rib, which had cracked when he fell, was causing a sensation his nerves could no longer register.


SIX

He registered his biggest ever win that week. He was the king. He had seen it all, done it all, and conquered it all. For his queen. It was
his kingdom to build, his art to perfect, his love to love.

Time was running out. His breathing was becoming erratic. A cold was enveloping his being, his head brimming with thoughts was not thinking like a survivor anymore. It was time.


SEVEN

It is not the right time. I am not the right person. He never understood the right. His kingdom crumbled like a castle of sand. The waves washed over, removing all traces of humanity from his world. A world, which was never meant to see his art. Only his fights.

He prayed. He had never prayed before. He did not know how. It did not matter now. He tried opening his eyes. When he managed to catch a glimpse of the world, it was dark.


EIGHT

He turned dark. Dark as the corners of the night lit by the full moon, dark as the mind in which burns the last remnants of life. His fists became savage. He had wanted to build a kingdom. He had wanted to become king. He did. Of hell.

Slowly the world parted. The rivulets of blood stopped. The pain returned in a sharp burst. He gasped for a breath of air.


NINE

Air that scorched flesh. Eyes, red with murderous hate. A hand raised to strike fear into the dead. All it took was a smile. Another smile. Small, tender hands. Innocence.

He coughed. His body contracted like an elastic band snapped from its binds. A strength, beyond human, moved his fingers. He had to stand up. He kept praying.


TEN

He had walked into the ring holding her hand. She had waved him goodbye, and wished him luck. He let go. This was his life. He had to live one last time.

He turned, bent over. His arms started shaking when he put the weight of his body on them. He was on his knees. He must stand up. Tonight. This was his death. He had to die one last time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Heated breath

Blatant, dried up heat
Enveloping bodies, wrapped
in sheets of still born air
Trying to breathe in.

Exhausted dreams dying
of thirst percolating up
The burning land, cracked
Trying to breathe out.

__________________

Bodies enveloped in a fiery
gel, Mishmashed together
Between the stampeding wild
Trying to breathe in.

Dreams burning the midnight
sweat formed in moonlit lorn
Scorched flesh, shrivelling
Trying to breathe out.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Heaven's Not Enough

embrace_sketch_colored



Heaven's not enough,
if when you get there..
Just another blue
and heaven's not enough
You think you've found it
and it loses you

You've thought of all there is, but not enough
and it loses you in a cloud.

"There" 'most everything is nothin' that it seems,
"Where" you see the things you only wanna see.

I'd fly away
to a higher plane
to say words I resist
to float away
to sigh
to breathe.... forget.

And heaven's not enough
If when I'm there I don't remember you
And heaven does enough
you think you know it, and it uses you

I saw so many things but like a dream
Always losing me in a cloud.

'Cause I couldn't cry
'Cause I turned away
Couldn't see the score
Didn't know the pain
of leaving yesterday really far behind
in another life
in another dream
by a different name
gave it all away
for a memory
and a quiet lie

And I felt the face
of a cold tonight
Still don't know the score
But I know the pain
of leaving everything really far behind
And if I could cry
And if I could live what truth I did then take me there
heaven goodbye.




Paradise is a small price to pay, if...


The song Heaven's not enough is from the OST of the anime series Wolf's Rain, with music by YĆ“ko Kanno and is performed by Steve Conte. The sketch is mine, but is inspired by visuals from the series as well.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's all worng

An amber cursor blinking on a pitch black screen waiting for a breath of fresh air...

Is it coming? I have no idea.

I wish there was a huge wardrobe in my office right now through which I could run away to a distant land and be forgotten by everyone in this one. Not be seen ever again. Never be heard. But I also have this nagging voice in my head which tells me it's going to be a long time before the lion sends for me. Maybe an eternity.

I want to scream and cry right now. I can't do either. It's a pity really. I have to read a 50 page paper, and I have to smile all day. Oh bother! I wish I could pretend everything was hunky-dory with the world, but I cannot pretend. I can only pretend to be very, very unhappy. Sigh! Pretentious happiness is so hard to pull off correctly, anyway.

Are you still reading this self-indulgent blabbering? Go do something better with your life. I am a total waste of time. On second thoughts don't go, it's better to have someone to shoot off my mouth to other than blank walls. I am too young to go senile and too old to be juvenile, so I must be in the wrong dimension.

The sky is looking like the sky and the sun like the sun. Even the trees look just like the trees. Something is definitely wrong with my eyes. Everything is supposed to look different. Maybe pink? Or blue perhaps? The music sounds melodious, and even the food tastes good - what is wrong with the world?

I am sure that I am so far away from reality that I don't have a clue what is what. Can you swish me with a broom so that I can fall of the edge of the world? No? Don't tell me now that you think that the world is round! What a preposterous idea! Okay, okay - do something else - take an eraser and rub me off. Draw something nicer once you have obliterated all traces of me. Draw a rainbow perhaps, or a cat.

An amber cursor blinking on a pitch black screen waiting for the end...

Is it coming? I have no idea.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In...

A city hidden in sheets of disturbed dust,
Sweaty nights of lonely, forlorn lust,

Crowds of unknown faces oozing through,
Dreams in vacant sleep searching their magic hue,

Empty corridors of civilized speech,
A life's work, breaking away, beyond reach,

Echoing spaces of a solitary existence,
Maddening wild chained by an ephemeral fence,

Laughter of an innocent and mocking charm,
Weathering stone which suffers no harm,

A pencil's life in a paper realm,
Prayers returned from a majestic helm,

Distant thoughts meandering into vocal lands,
Hands reaching out of temporal sands,

Precise dictates of organized delight,
Fatal wounds of a fractal fight,

Brown letters riding on worn out rests,
Tired smiles greeting tired jests,

Unbridled want of a forbidden touch,
Decaying will murdered as such,

Hopes flickering into a future bleak,
Shrouded fears of the cowering meek,

Ending lines of a tale at start,
Immoral vanity of a mortal heart.


Will this never end?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Polygamy

She was lying there on her back, open and inviting. I could not help but notice her from the corner of my eye, as my hands moved deftly over another of her kind. Presently the number is around five I believe. It was not always so. I was not born a polygamist. Ah! But I was born a man, wasn't I?

Before my fellow men accuse me of having sold out to feminist propaganda, and before my fellow women nod their heads in approving disapproval I must hasten to clarify that this is not about the state of my relationships! No. Those of you who know me, know that I am a 0.1 woman man. Hmmm... on second thoughts, make that 0.5. But I am sure someone can psychoanalyze all this and find the politically-correct-artistically-challenged connection to the 1.5 relationships I have had in my life till date.

No, this is about books. I used to read one book at a time. Yes. I used to. I cannot quite put my finger on it as to when that changed, but now it's in such a state that I cannot even think of doing a them one-at-a-time. Now this is not to demonstrate my taste in books, which I am sure would appall quite a few literary types. I am, however, quite keen to analyze the reason for my "straying."

Let's see the ladies, which currently find me as their strange bedfellow every other night:
  1. It has to start with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I am so deep into the panic induced by the hyper-galactic space noodles, which fell into the wormhole when the fjords of Norway were being designed, that I cannot even figure out the question to 42. I cannot capture in words what I want to say about this book because "that" part of my brain has already been sealed off by well meaning aliens seeking to protect me from my own brilliance.

  2. Then it back to dear old India in Everybody loves a good drought. I was almost as thrilled as Mangal Sunani (from Nuapada, Orissa) about the new miracle cow the government was about to give him and about as flummoxed as the Majhi Dhurua as to how could he be a Dhurua and his brother a Dharua! Believe me when I say that a "a" in place of an "u" can unleash such red-taped bureaucratic mayhem as cannot even be imagined by mere mortals, let alone the condemned lot who are actually affected by all this. Still if you decide to read this book, don't read it to find the real India, as many people tend to confuse it for, just read it.

  3. Lolita. Ah! Doesn't that name just roll of one's tongue? And will I be stoned if I write of such things? Surely, in such (modern?) times one must see the seduction of words, which entices a reader into this treatise of tremendous inflammable perversion. I am still reeling under its spell, and even perhaps occasionally smirking in comic relief at Humbert's plight.

  4. A journey into Aslan's land will show even the most unbelieving of fanatics that imagination is something that should not be trifled with. It, however, requires a certain frame of mind to take a talking badger for all it's worth. A frame of mind where a thorn and a lipstick are a thorn and a lipstick and whatever other image they can conjure inside your head, irrespective of what any book critic decides to say.

  5. Have you ever read Premchand before? I have, but never in a novel. It's the romance of a language that draws one into a story, and it is the romance of the story that keeps one entangled with the novel. Godaan (which translates to "The Gift of a Cow"), Premchand's last novel is the story of Hori, the farmer whose ultimate dream in life is to own a cow. I have never actually lived in a village, yet this story sort of smells of the earth.


Where in all this do you see the reason for these five to be my nightly cohorts? I am as puzzled by all this as by higher-dimensional manifolds in algebraic topology. And so it is that I am guilty of consensually indulging in this orgy of words. Maybe one day I'll be able to dissect how it is that I can remember five very different storylines. Until that time I can always go on being a man!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Things to crib about

When you think you are down
So down that it is
quite impossible
to sink
lower

When you think that life is slow
So slow that it
it will soon
grind to a
stop

All one needs is one good punch
In the solar plexus
to remind that it
can always
worsen



Does cribbing with a mild dash of poetic lime taste any better? Who cares! So after I spent the day reading Calvin n Hobbes, and not really doing any work (don't get me started by asking why!), I managed to drive (read pester and whine incessantly) the five people in my room who were working to leave whatever they were doing and come for coffee. We started from our fourth floor office,

Five of us, short and tall,
With bags, bottles and all,
Walked out of the room and,
Went inside the lift to stand,
Inside the hot tin can,
M promptly switched on the fan,
I stood with my back to the door,
Thinking somebody must've pressed the right floor,
While it closed and moved down in grace,
V wrapped her scarf around her face,
T switched the fan off in vain,
Thinking that it was causing V some pain,
Just then the lift came to stop,
And everyone was about to hop,
When U noticed it was only floor two,
The button, was pressed by who?
No owned up to the deed being done,
While we again got in one by one,
Thinking it will finally take us down,
Everybody had a tiny frown,
But lo behold, the lift insane,
Brought us up to fourth again.


And so ended the adventure of the not-so-famous-five and the insane lift. Ah I might as well go back and crib some more.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Today

When the twinkling stars in the velvet sky put on their most mischievous smile, and when the moon, full in all its pristine white aura stood witness to the magic in the breeze, I saw you in my dream.

When racing fingers typed mystic words formed solely to appease your majestic taste, and when hesitant voices rode on waves of electric charm to resonate with my innermost desire, I heard you in my life.

When the endless ocean tossed a tiny boat on golden sands, and when houses of stone mixed with delicately spiced curries of hidden angst in an afternoon of subdued passion, I held you in my arms.

Today, when the sound, the smell, the touch is mellowed down and fading away into my memory's cage, when I see myself chopped in half, helpless at the hands of misery I caused; today, on a day of blessed union, I lose you forever.


Probhaat-aalore mor kandaaye gele
Meelonmaalar bhor cheediya phele.

Pode ja rohilo peeche, shob hoye galo meeche,
Boshe aachi door-paane noyon mele.

Aeke aeke dhooli hote kudaye mori
Je phool bidaye pothe podiche jhori
Bhabi ni robe na lesh, she diner oboshesh
Katilo phagunbela ki khela khele.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lines of Desire

Aaj phir kai dino ke baad,
Tumhari hansi ki goonj
se mulakat ho rahi

Uski aankhon main aaj bhi
kuch shikwe keh rahe hain
wahi purani unkahi


Laut rahi hai woh unhi
sunsaan sadakon pe
gumraah hokar

Thodi udaas si hai
kyun mili nahi tum, use bhi
ek baar khokar


Anchooyi sehar ki
khamosh karvaton me
simat ti uski parchaayi hai

Keh gayi, mile to yaad karana
kai dino ke baad tumse milne
tumhari hansi aayi hai



_________



Mitch: I thought you were straight.

Blanche: Straight? What's 'straight'? A line can be straight, or a street. But the heart of a human being?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Till death do us part - Answer : II


A particle sneezes on a star,
Black space parts to nature's prodigal hack,
Galactic cold warms a road of dark tar,
Another entangled sneeze, echoes back.


As I began to write the second part of this answer, I realized that I might have bitten more than I can chew. Making sense of that equation without the aid of mathematical jargon is an uphill task to say the least. But since I have to answer my own question (not strictly true - but humour me), I might as well give it a try.

The equation owes its origin in the very murky waters of that most modern of modern sciences called Quantum Mechanics (QM). I'll not make an attempt to explain things from the very beginning, so we start with a set of assumptions from the physical world.

Let us assume everything in the physical world is made up of matter (and/or energy). All big matter is made up of small matter; and small matter is made of smaller matter still, till we get down to molecules which are made of atoms. Atoms in turn are made up of other fundamental particles viz. protons, neutrons and electrons. And we will not venture further down (believe me when I say that you don't want to hear all the quarky details.)

QM is the science which deals with behaviour of these particles. These particles have various properties such as charge (the same positive/negative thing which makes batteries work) and spin (think of this as a spin of a top, though any quantum mechanics professor would probably shoot me if she came to know I said such a thing, but still think of it thus). Now assume that electron (the guy with the -ve charge) can have two types of spin, like say clockwise and counter-clockwise (have mercy on me O God of Quantum Mechanics, for I know not what I do!).

Now, QM says that (black magic begins) an electron, exists is a superposition (or mix) of both the spin states when left to itself. It is only when we catch hold of the electron and measure its spin, does it drop into one of the two possible spin states (this is NOT the microscopic basis of schizophrenia, no matter what you believe!).

Now we take two such electrons, and perform on them a charm (a la Harry Potter) to get an entangled system, they are bound forever. For if ever I measure the spin of one, the other electron automatically drops to the opposite spin state. This property is called Quantum Entanglement. Curiously, this entanglement works even when the two electrons are separated by galactic distances. The equation, is a mathematician's way of writing such an entangled system, concisely.

The eternal bond between two separate physical entities is thus the common theme which joins these two pictures. And so the answer to my question lies in this most fascinating word, Entanglement.

References:


Apology to purists: I have met enough men of scientific rigour to fully expect a chide for the way in which I have dealt out my explanation of this very meticulous science. I apologize, but it is entirely beyond me to keep this perfectly accurate and keep the explanation seemingly understandable at the same time.

Till death do us part - Answer : I

A riddle from ancient times,
Asks of kisses which revive,
A story unfolds in amorous climes,
Two entangled into one, come alive.


The sculpture by the Italian master Antonio Canova, now placed at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, is known as Psyché ranimée par le baiser de l'Amour (or Psyche revived by the kiss of Love).

According to one of the most romantic of the Greek and Roman myths, the lovely Psyche had through her splendorous beauty incited jealousy in the heart of Venus herself, the goddess of love. Venus had a son named Eros (sometimes called Love or Cupid) whom she used to inflame the hearts of men and women to love or hatred. Venus dispatched Eros to inspire Psyche with the love of some base creature but when Eros saw her, he himself was smitten with love and failed to carry out his mother's orders.

He caused Zephyr to waft her away to his own palace in a beautiful secluded valley. There he came to her each night in secrecy, having whispered to her that she must not seek to know his name.

Psyche had two sisters who became envious of the manner of life which the unknown lover had bestowed upon the youngest of the three. Working upon her fears and her curiosity, they induced Psyche to light a lamp while her lover was asleep and to gaze upon him.

When Psyche did so, she saw not a monster as they had predicted, but the most handsome of all youths. In her excitement she let fall upon his shoulder drops of burning oil from the lamp. Eros awoke and admonished her thus, "Love cannot live without trust." After which he disappeared.

In her despair Psyche went to Venus to beg forgiveness and to offer to do deeds of penance. Venus was unforgiving and assigned the most difficult of tasks to the beautiful girl. While performing the superhuman tasks assigned to her by Venus, Psyche falls into a deadly sleep from which only Cupid's kiss can awaken her.

This work depicts the final scene in the story of Cupid and Psyche.

My photography does not do justice to this marvellous sculpture. The marble of which it is carved looks so soft, so alive with the burning passion with which this work is infused, it gives one a sense of immense pleasure just to behold it in person.

The connection to the seemingly drab equation which follows is at least as fascinating as this sculpture itself, if not more. The key here is to see the two bodies of Eros and Psyche, entangled into one, forever. Their destinies eternally woven as threads to form the single quilt of their one life.

I will complete the answer in the next post.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Till death do us part - Question

first picture
One

Two


An embrace of forever,
Is not a mean feat,
Answer me why One and Two,
To get a chocolate fudge treat.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Chariots of Fire

"...with hope in our hearts and and winds on our heels." And so begins a story of a few brave men who rode on the Chariots of Fire. Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, two men, who above all else wanted to run and to win. Armed with fantastic musical score which lights up the heart with the flame of the human spirit, this movie tells the beautiful story of these two British gold medalists of the 1924 Paris Olympic games, who ran not with their feet but with their hearts. It shows all that is noble and inspiring about sports, and how it means different things to different masters of the same craft. Liddell runs because he believes that it is God who has given him this gift, and that to run true and run fast is to revel in the glory of the Lord. Abrahams on the other hand sees his talent as the means to overcome and run to the ground the stigma which he perceives in society against his Semitic origins.

A movie is like a race in some form, it has to run, and by the time it ends if it can move you to cheer for the same cause for which it runs, I think it has won the race. I did. I cheered for both these men and even cried a tear or two when they crossed the finish line.

I think, this is what it is all about in the end. All our lives. All our loves. All our work. All our passions. All our races. The sheer joy of running the race with all our heart. And to try the best we can, to win. And win we shall, if we believe in whatever we do. For then we shall all ride, in the Chariots of Fire.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Trial

"Do you deny the charges?"

He did not speak. He just looked at his hands again. He could still see the blood. Crimson. Warm. He turned his face away.

"You have waived off your right to an attorney. Do you really want to go into the case defenseless, charged with first degree murder."

He looked up. The courtroom was dark. Pitch black. He could only hear screams. Heart wrenching wails from all around. He wanted to cover his ears with his hands, but his hands were covered with blood. Not his hands. His hands. No.

"Look at this man. He stands in front of you looking helpless. He is a cold blooded killer."

He stood there for as long as everyone wanted. Everyone. Anyone. It did not matter any more.

"Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty."

He did not hear that. He did not feel himself being taken away. He did not count the days as they passed. He was let out of his room again. He did not see the world turn dark when they covered his head. He did not feel the rope around his neck. He did not. He. Did not.


He knew all this the moment he saw. He knew it like he knew everything else. He smiled. It was inevitable. He had waited for this all his life. All his life. His life. Her.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An unfinished painting


A blank. An inviting expanse of untouched white.

First splashes of a tender green giving birth to a new life. A light blue of the first drizzle of the season nurturing it.

Miles and miles of golden sand, daring the sun to outshine it across a parched desert only to surrender at the feet of the solitary palm of an oasis.

Brown crusts of broken soil, thirsty, with mouths open wide which scream a deafening silence.

Wild grass caught in flames which dance to the tune of the gallivanting wind. Blackened ash following a line of mad orange, cutting across buttered forests.

The black rising in clouds of smoke.

Crying black clouds. Tears, salty, serenaded by thunder, waltzing with the lightning.

A spark etching on a copper plate. Tattooed on skin. A fine hatch of crimson lines texturing a brain.

Blue veins of life. Nerves of steel.

Silver steel rafters mixing with the gray strength of brutish concrete. Structures hewn by sheer power. Metaled roads to lost lands.

A land of memories. A never setting radiant sun.

Divine beauty and mortal pain. Light of a rainbow touch.

The touch of a hand. Skin on skin.

Calm. Wilderness. Freedom. Red.

The red of promise. Lips holding a cherished kiss.

A smile of pink, and fluttering eyelashes.

A glance of violet, a scorn.

Deepening rounds of a haloed anguish. Distances.

Emptiness.

Unfinished.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Smiling back

I have to admit I have been thoroughly confused. I am not very clear about it even now, but I am beginning to see parts of the picture. In all my anguish, I wanted so badly to get my life back to normal that perhaps I took the most fashionable course of action available.

I wrote post after post on how hurt I felt, how disappointed I was. I knew He had that naughty smile on His face all this while. What I could not understand is why? It was as if I was getting it all inside out all the time. Consider the things I have tried in the past few months.

I tried being possessive. I wanted it all for myself. This leads to the obvious genesis of the green-eyed beast, so next I was jealous. When I managed to suppress the possessive streak, I replaced it by overpowering desire. Unchained desire led to obsession. Obsession, which wore me down. It was nothing short of a miracle that the machinery inside, ran non-stop for days on end without complain, until one day it finally burnt out. When the humdrum of evergreen life ceased suddenly, the silence proved conducive for the growth of hurt. In all this, disguised as the backbone of my existence has been a continuous effort to give up, to accept the inevitable. And all this while He has been smiling.

I went around with friends, watched movies, composed songs, tried ironing-out the wrinkles in my professional life (the irritating wrinkles persist!), read novels in Bangla, Spanish, English and Hindi, started learning Kannada, almost joined a dance class, went from praying every five seconds to not praying at all to back again. I thought all this will help me get over, to forget, help me to come to terms with my destiny. I even tried deciphering the lines on my hand in order to figure out my life. I challenged every thing I believed in. I scraped through two days full of nothing but bad news. I tried jumping, and I tried holding on. The eternal smile continued. For a short while, I distinctly felt some form of divine mockery plaguing me.

Ha! Guess what!

I have been looking at it all wrong all this while. The secret as I realize it now is not to give up and feel all lost and hurt and wronged. The secret is to hold on to it with everything in my heart. The only matter I have any say in, is perhaps what I do in my life. I cannot ask anything of anyone else. No. I do not have that right. So while the world can continue to live as it wishes, I'll hold on to what I feel has been my most true form. By holding on, I do not mean dropping anchor and stagnating at a place. I'll move, for that is the way of life. But I'll never forget. I'll not make an effort to forget. Nor will I accept the inevitable, for all time frames are relative.

I'll not turn cynical and I'll not be rude. I'll try in all earnestness not to cause any hurt to anybody. I'll just quietly go on believing in what I want to. I'll look up to the sky and smile right back!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Quieten my heart

Dear friend,

I did not expect myself to be writing letters into the ether, but here I am still typing away when I even do not know for what reason. For this faith foremost, if nothing else, thank you. Faith which has allowed me to trust a tiny voice inside my heart, which has kept the promise of a new life alive, even at the darkest of times.

I have been so afraid of being alone all this time. I will not say that now I am not. I am still. Very much. But I also remember that one moment of calm you brought me years ago, when everything in this world and beyond seemed in perfect order. I remember a dream of flowing white, unfurling in a corridor lined with red bricks. I remember the first hesitant touch of a pure heart. And for giving me memories to pave my downtrodden way, thank you.

I tend to beat my self up. Cut myself just to see the whether the crimson will flow again. This was not something I was born with. No. This in fact, is a talent, I have discovered recently. I can suddenly see everybody's pain in front of my eyes. I now have the courage to bear everybody's pain, and come out with only my pain intact. Thank you for giving me a smile to bear all that was unbearable before I knew you.

A dream does not need a person to live. It can exist without, within, in another dimension. I used to dream. I used to live a life. I thought the two were separate. I found, much to my joy, that they are not. I dream of life which is a dream and I live it every passing second. Thank you for holding my hand and leading me to a place where dreams are a way of life.

On occasions of what I feel are betrayal of things in which I believe in strongly, I give in to fits of anger. I never seem to be able to throw that anger out at another person. It almost always goes inside. Except for the very few people to whom my getting angry might make some difference. And in spite of gulping down such intense rage it is surprising I am not bitter. I never seem to hold anybody to what I expect of them. Thank you for making me try to give up judging everybody. I'll keep trying.

A certain fluency with language gives a weapon of enormous power in one's hand. I have fumbled and tripped numerous times and put the power to bad use. My hand and mouth, however, has never strayed far enough to cause deliberate misery to anyone. I am thankful to you, for giving me the conviction to stand by what I say and write. With you as my editor, I do not fear insinuating fingers that point in my direction.

When I think about it, I cannot think of many occasions when I have not got what I have asked for. For the first time in my life I find that not only do I not control my own life, I do not even have the power to stay my head and heart. I fought the current for so long. Thank you for drowning me so deep that I give up all illusions of control which have plagued me till now. I see the light coming from above the surface, and I know now what eternal means.

There have been answers. But more than that there have been questions. I have been hesitant in facing these questions. Thank you for showing me that it is okay not to know all the answers. It is okay to cry once in a while, to be afraid and to act like a child.

Thank you for being my friend. I'll always hold you close to my heart.

FR

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lunacy

All my life, in all my time,
Just a question, may I?
Accused of every heinous crime,
I've never asked a single why.

I bow as always, but know this now,
Never born of a pristine heart,
Was cunning malice, I can vow,
Erased so thoroughly, part by part.

I'll die a horrible death,
For I trust not what I know inside out,
But with every single strand of my breath,
I'll not live, but I'll shout.

Don't pity me, nor waste a passing thought,
For I do not exist anymore,
These lines are destined to rot,
Selling me off as misery's whore.

I still survive for I cannot kill,
It is not mine to give or take,
Not worthy of being hated still,
Do not mock me, nor call me fake.

Can I stoop any lower? Yes I can!
Surely that is common knowledge then,
Cruel as I am for being born a man,
I am the most cursed of all men.

Condemned if I be for acting so,
God, don't forgive me today,
I'll at least get to know,
Some one hears me pray.