Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Till death do us part - Question

first picture


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


"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.



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.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


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.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Punctuating Me

Serpentine endless list
of flowing emotion
you are my comma
of separation

Boundless clauses
of wayward sensibilities
you are my semicolon
of connection

Reference to the summary
of pointless existence
you are my colon
of beginning

Doubtless hesitation born
of sure confidence
you are my question mark
of answers

Interrupted thinking
of unsure opinion
you are my ellipsis
of continuation

Determined command
of innocent curiosity
you are my exclamation mark
of astonishment

Stammering meaning
of incomplete compounds
you are my hyphen
of clarity

Obsessive possession
of contracted reality
you are my apostrophe
of plurals

Abbreviated incarnation
of everything me
you are my full stop
of finality

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Muddled up reality

back alone
on the road
which leads home.

The skies open up
and liquid fire
pours on me, naked
burning me, in my desire.

I have been trying to write all evening but I just cannot get myself to say what I want to say. It's just too many thoughts in my head. It will not stop. Things worth talking are what all I did last week. I started learning a new script and a new language, Kannada. I am reading the most beautiful of books right now. It's Love in the time of Cholera or El Amor En Los Tiempos Del Colera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Of course it is a love story. I'll write more on it some other day. Then I listened to music which could make rain. It was so magical, I was at a live concert watching him play and the skies opened up in sheer delight. I received bad news yesterday evening. And again today morning. I keep thinking about the time I almost died. I saw a rather unusual palm last week and spent the whole day trying to figure out the lines on his hand. My brief research into palmistry had me look at the palms of all my colleagues. It makes a very interesting past time. We all sat and discussed our lives, what had been, what can be and obviously who was getting married next!

My heart reaches
out tonight
in silent prayer
that every wish,
every dream,
every joy,
may come true.

I saw two magnificent films, Tokyo Story by Yasujiro Ozu and Nizhalkuthu (Shadow Kill) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. I got wet while coming home yesterday evening. "Everything will happen when it is time." That's what my Dad said today morning. I did absolutely nothing all day. Nothing. Life seems to be stuck in a state of suspended animation at the moment. Life seems to be waiting for something to happen. I wonder what?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Marry me, Angelina

Ignorance indeed has it's merits sometimes. It affords you the sheer joy of discovering something for the first time. I saw Walk the Line recently. I had never heard a Johnny Cash (played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix) song before. And here was a man singing songs with lyrics which spoke to someone in me. Someone who I have been trying to bury deep inside. But the Tennessee Three with Mr. "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" in his black suit just bulldozed across all my defenses. The image of a lovestruck self-destructing artiste was too close for comfort, but when June (Carter, played equally brilliantly by Reese Witherspoon) said "Yes" I felt so genuinely happy, I just wanted to stand up and sing at the top of my voice right then!

While coming back from the movie, in the car, I wrote the first four lines of a song. I tried singing it, even recorded a few lines and played them back, but I laughed so hard when I heard my-so-out-of-tune voice I couldn't bear to subject everybody to the same torture. If I manage to get my guitar chords in order one day, I'll put some music with it, but till then here are the words.

Marry Me, Angelina

Marry me, Angelina
Marry me, honey-dew,
Marry me, Angelina
I wrote this one for you.

I was single
I was clueless
I was walking down alone
You came along and you cast your spell
Now my heart is not my own.

Marry me, Angelina
Marry me, honey-dew,
Marry me, Angelina
Baby, please say, "I do."

I was mad
I was burning up
I was hearing voices in my head
You filled my world with dazzling light
Now I hear you in me, instead

Marry me, Angelina
Marry me, honey-dew,
Marry me, Angelina
I love no one else, but you.

I was lost
I was wandering
I had no lifelong thing to do
You became my road, my destination
Now I want a life with you.

Marry me, Angelina
Marry me, honey-dew,
Marry me, Angelina
I wrote this one for you.