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.


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