Thursday, July 22, 2010

PERPLEXED

I wake from the dreams of
cotton candy and dragon flies
in hot afternoons,
long chases and mud on shoes,
from chalk powder on hands
leftovers from an attempt at
the unpolished canvas
before PT periods and sweat,
I forget the messages on greasy chits
and behind the brown papers
that enveloped my books,
back i am to darkness and sleep
now I trade nameslips with smiling supermen,
for a hand at the unfinished homework,
I hear voices telling me that H and O
leaves water, about constants
and variables of life,
about oxymoron and metaphors,
I read Dickens and Chekov
back home as dusk sets in,
I strain my brain and
sweat in the exam halls,
much like life, and the bell rings,
The dream is left in half,
broken, I would never know
how much I scored, I wake
to shakes and reality years after,
and stare at adulthood, perplexed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ODIYAN : A Mallu Animagus/ Hitman

My mother belongs to what you can call a typical orthodox Malayali Nair Tharavadu which in my grandmother's time was a Naalukettu and her grandmother's time was an Ettukettu. For those who are not familiar with Kerala's cultural setting, a 'Tharavadu' refers to an Hindu ancestral home. Naalukettu, and Ettukettu( which is almost like a Naalukettu doubled, nalu being four and ettu being eight) is a traditional architectural style now on the verge of extinction. Nairs are a matriarchal society and the lineage passes from Mother to daughter. Unfortunately by the time I was born my mother's family had shifted from their orginal place which was 'Nelluvaya' to Trichur. The huge joint family was broken down into nulcear subgroups leaving the age old home with its huge 'Thodi' (frontyard and backyard combined) and sarpakaavu ( a sacred grove for serpents) to remain as fragments of memories, the backdrop of the very many stories or legends that runs in my family to this day.

When I was a child a good portion of my summer holidays was spent in rummaging the memories of my aging grandmother and her mother, who is thankfully still alive, to gather bits and pieces of my fading legacy. I constantly ransacked the 'Thattumpuram' ( somewhat like an attic) of my mom's tharavadu ( which is traditional but sadly not a naalukettu) looking for anything that could link me to that long forsaken home. I know for a fact that it doesnt exist now, the Naalukettu with all its pride and glory, though the saarpakavu is still preserved with yearly rituals. But somehow it still stands, high and mighty, in my imagination and continues to be an obsession.

The stories of the legendary 'Odiyan' are plenty in my family (skip the final two generations). He has always appealed to me more than his counterparts like Chattan, Kuttichatan, Gandharvan, Marutha etc. Odiyan is an indispensable part of mallu folklore. They are supposed to be people practicing black magic which helped them to acquire the shape of animals or things. To be more precise, though they dont physically change into anything, the intended victim while looking at the odiyan would be seeing a cat or a bull or a rock or anything that the odiyan wants. The power of the odiyan was so immense that any physical contact with him could result in instant death. He could charm you as a harmless calf or charge at you as an angry bull.

I would classify 'odiyans' as hitmen of olden times. They were set up by rivaling uppercaste families and were paid for their services. The interesting hitch in the story is, while the 'marunnukootu' ie the ingredients for the secret portion and the way of preparing it was held secret by the upper castes, they themselves never performed the 'odividya' ( the art of the odiyans'). Instead they chose people belonging to the lower castes like Paanan, Pulayan and Chovan, taught them the rituals and stuff and made them do their dirty work. This was because apparently the person who practiced as an odiyan was bound to die sooner or later by his own sword.

The thing that gives me goosebumps about the odiyans is not their very concept or the eerie stories told by my grandma but the way they made their secret medicine. Legend has it that the odiyans made a secret medicine out of the fluid carrying the unborn fetus. This was mixed with some secret herbs to make some sort of an oil mixture which was then places behind the ears of the odiyan. The odiyan had his powers as long as the mixture was behind his ears. Some alternate versions however claims that the odiyans would appear as animals or things to everyone and not just his victim and that an odiyan can transform back to human only when his master or helper removed this oil from behind his ear with a special stick. What is even more creepy are claims about how these people charmed pregnant women and lured them from their homes in their sleep and slit their stomach to take the fluid. The woman would be found dead in her bed the following morning without any cut marks on her body. Creepiee... dont you think??

I would tell you a little odiyan story connected to my family now. This is about how my grandmother's grandmother died. Apparently she had a rivalry with some distant relative. Once when she had gone out to the temple pond at around 4 am in the morning she saw a calf, which kept on following her. Suspicious she skipped the bath and hurried back home. This calf kept on following her and started to grow bigger and bigger in size. The calf brushed against her and disappeared and she started sweating profusely. My grandmother's mother, ie her daughter, took her to her bed and she died that evening. There is another one about my grandfather. Once long back, while he was about 10 or 12 years old, he went to the field with this brother, who was around 8 or 9. This was again at around 5 am in the morning. They had their dog with them. When they reached the middle of the field the dog wouldnt let them move any farther. It blocked their way. After sometime they saw this huge ball of fire about the size of a man at around one feet from them. It glowed for a while and then circled the feild fast and started chasing them. Luckily they ran back home and nothing happened.

I know these stories sound silly and that the odiyans are now considered as nothing more than another manifestation of superstition among innocent village people. As time progressed, and modern education crept into villages emancipating the lower castes, things like Odiyans and the beliefs associated with it disappeared. One can appreciate a thing or a belief like this only when we consider the time when it existed and its historical backdrop. I have never met an odiyan ( or any other ghost or paranormal being) in my life and I cant say for sure that such things exist. But nevertheless the Odiyan , appearing and disappearing on rainy evenings spent in my grandmother's lap, continues to be, for me, an enigma a mystery and a childhood friend. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Kiss of a feather

I dont know what to write. But I know that I should write something,and that if I dont do it I might choke on this strange feeling blocking my throat and may be die of a heart burst( dunno if that is biologically possible, just my humble speculation).

There has been moments in my life where I have felt touched, moved. What am feeling now is somewhat similar to that, but not quite the same. I, along with two friends, have been visiting an orphanage near by my home for the last two months with the aim of teaching English to the kids there. I am having my vacations now and I thought I might as well do something worthwhile than sit at home and crib about the slow pace of time. It has always been like that for me. Time seems to stand still during vacations. And the only thing I usually do during holidays is to put on weight.

So there I was, set to change those kids to 'smart children speaking the queen's English'. But what I never foresaw was the change that this endeavor could bring to me. I know this sounds cliched. May be like those English movies in which the white heroine,a personification of the 'white man's burdern' that Kipling talked about, sets out to help the poor black people in nations like Sudan and Uganda and how inevitably the last scene of every such movie has to end with the heroine's self realization and change and blah blah. I am no heroine and the kids I mingled with were no embodiment of suffering or tragedies of life. Though I have to confess that that was somewhat my expectation - grief stricken faces looking for a helping hand.

They were normal kids. Ordinary, with shy smiles and loud laughters, but possessing hearts with such pristine innocence that they could with one look make the sophisticated and the so called privileged us question our genuineness. The most beautiful form of love is a kid's love. It is innocent, undemanding and unconditional. It is not selfish or jealous. In that orphanage, I could see it. I could see the feeling of which I had read only the scriptures and certain sappy novels conveniently borrowing ideas from the holy books.

I have never faced a shortage of love in my life. Never. Though many times, being my silly self, I have felt I don't have enough of it. There I saw kids with so much love and kindness in their hearts that I cant claim to have in mine. They dont know what life or god or destiny has deprived them of. Or may be, they do. But they dont crib.I have never,not even once heard a kid crib or complaint there. Neither about the food nor about a friend who borrowed the only doll he/she had and never returned it nor about studies. They taught me that a single eclairs can be divided to more than 15 pieces. They taught me that it doesnt matter if the food is not served hot or if the tea lacks sugar. That it is not important if you clothes are a little too old or frayed at the borders. Life is still good and we are blessed.

They ask me about my parents. Each day as I leave they would ask me to convey my regards to them. Invariably. And each day the moment they saw us at the gate, they would stop their play and rush to tell the details of the breakfast, or the dog that wouldnt stop barking at night or the new flower that has blossomed in their garden or who had done the homework first. I have never felt more wanted in life before.

Today was my last day with them. They had arranged a programme for me and my friends. They "spoke English welcome speech". Performed a skit. Danced and sang for us. And send us off, with a beautiful handmade card for each of us and a token of their love. There were wishes and smiles and hugs and kisses. And tears. The kids crowding around us as we started to leave. So many of them. So much of care. And their love serene, flawless, like the kiss of a feather.

I dont know if I will ever see them again. But I know that I wont ever forget the love that I found there. In the place where I expected it only in trace amounts. And the thing that the kids taught me. Much more important and valuable than my English lessons. The ability to appreciate life. They have it. Do we???

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A letter to a Not-So-Wellwisher

Dear XYZ,

I know this is the part where I should fall on the ground, bang my fists and wail loudly. I know this is when tears should gush out from the invisible holes in my eyes. This is when I should give up food and sleep overcome by a deep melancholia. Why then am I staring blank at a computer screen feeling nothing in particular? Why is it that my voice don’t choke in my throat and instead, answers the calling bell, smiling at my little neighbour kid? Why is it that I offer to babysit him instead of throwing a tantrum and getting someone to babysit me?? Looks like, this time I am not gonna play my usual role – Miss Cry Baby 20XX. Honestly, I seem to have got bored of it.

But no. I know I should feel bad now. It is a genuine need. This is how anyone is expected to react. What I am doing now is definitely NOT normal. I have tried playing the saddest songs I know. Watched sappy movies. Read the worst of cheap fiction available on the internet. I have tried pinching myself. All just to make a single drop of tear come out of my eyes. To establish some sense of normalcy. Why is my mind being so obstinate? Why cant I feel upset?. May be I should try to feel upset over the fact that I am not feeling upset.

I think of you then. I think of all the good moments we had. I seek help from the bittersweet memories. I feel I am insulting them by refusing to shed a tear. Please don’t mistake me, I am trying, I honestly am. I want to feel sad about you. Believe me. So I think of your deceit. Now, that should do the trick, doesn’t it? Like always? Yes. I am thinking now. With full concentration. Gathering as much leftover hurt I can gather. Alas! It doesn’t even amount to a handful. Where has it all gone? May be I should try getting help from the latest insult you hurled at me. You have taken great effort, sinking so low, all to see my tear. No, it shouldn’t go waste. I am trying to help you. But nothing seem to be working. Neither the songs, nor the movies, nor the stories. Not even the memories! I cant find the hurt you left behind. And I don’t have a tear to offer you.

I have done the best I can do. But I don’t feel sad anymore. Sorry.

With best wishes,
ABC

Saturday, June 26, 2010

STRANGERS


We speak like strangers
in strange tongues
not making sense,
We smile with lips,
while eyes stray like
hungry dogs on streets

We whisper in our thoughts
and look at each other, surprised,
We are strange strangers
who know every word of
each others history.

We dont speak anymore,
we who spoke everyday
in the past, and
laughed like fools,
unaware of a treacherous future.

Monday, May 17, 2010

THINGS FOREVER

Does time heal all wounds? A couple of years back, I was upset over some reason and one of my closest friends told me, " It really doesnt matter you know, Two years from now you are not even gonna remember this''. Well, three years have passed. Quite eventful I must say. And new memories have replaced the old ones. "Replaced'' may not be the apt word. It is more like a pile of junk. Each day another load is added on top of the previous ones. But it doesn't mean ones deep down dont exist. They do. And some of them are non biodegradable- they dont rot. They lie there waiting. And at times, when the days can be best definied as jobless, some fool (I realise the irony.. gah!) would take a stick and dig it up, bit by bit, slowly, searching for some diamond lost in the junk pile. But anyhow, diamonds are hard to find. It is these non biodegradable peices of useless plastic that is thrown enough and more on our way.

Vaccations are the time of the year when I suffer from bouts of bittersweet memories bombarded consistently on my brain cells. Like for instance I was ransacking my bedroom the other day and guess what I found. Under piles and piles of books was lying my old tenth standard physics record . Even the cover was intact. Well, it was just a lifeless book that was in my hands then, but what it handed over were living ghosts of dead memories. I observed how my handwriting had changed over the years, just like me. How the 'f's and 'h's had gained height and the 'g' had lost its fancy tail. The hurriedly copied diagrams and observations ,the blotch of ink that had become the reason for a fued with a dear friend, the smell, the brown cover with Harry Potter happily smiling on it- everything. Just everything coiled around me like tentacles. Dragging me back.

Sometimes, the things that surpise us the most are the things that are most obvious. I kept the book aside and looked at the mirror. The physical change was apparent. It was the mental transistion that stunned me. Each day, each moment we think. Yet most of the times we hardly notice the change in our thoughts, the way we think, the change in our values, priorities, objectives, the change in us.

But no matter how we change, each experience, everything we do or is done to us leaves a part of itself within us. These invisible traces are the non biodegradable junks I was talking about earlier. They stay. They are meant to stay and can never be naturally removed. They are like invisible strings. They influence us. Control us. Our thought process. They are beyond time. May be it is time that makes them invisible. But it can never kill them.

As I was saying. This particular incident happened 3 years back. I cant say " 3 years are over. Yet I remember everything. Afresh.'. NO. Ofcourse I dont. But there are a few things that I remember. A few things that really matter. The few essential things. The non bio degradable parts of the complex whole. And I know no matter what happens I am going to and going to have to remember them ( As long as I dont catch Alzheimers that is..heh heh..).

So does time heal all wounds? Does time completely wipe of incidents that matter? I dont think so. It just doesnt work that way I guess. Some other things are also meant to stay forever. Not just the diamonds.

Friday, April 30, 2010

ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY

"Last Christmas", has been one of my all time favourite songs. I love the video, the lyrics, the rhythm and just everything about it. Yesterday I was just randomly listening to it when something struck me. It was this age 0ld idiom which comes in the lyrics of that song- once bitten, twice shy.
Very true, dont you think?

It is possible to really be naive again, when once we are bitten badly? I don't know. Does forgiveness and giving someone a second chance essentially mean the same thing? Come on, not many people can trust the same source of hurt or deceit a second time, can they? Being from a semi-christian background ( i will elaborate on that on a different post), I have been taught to forgive.God says, " Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". I honestly feel confused. Am I just being a bad person when I refuse to trust again or is it just human? I look at my three year old cousin who has completely and absolutely refused to touch the candle ( Even when it is not burning!!) after she got a small burn around 6 or 7 months back. I feel like Arnie in "What's eating Gilbert Grape" taking his refusal to touch water and my refusal to give second chances.

May be it just the fear of taking risk. Rather, may be it is the subconscious fear of having to hold oneself responsible for all that could go wrong. Or may be it just being paranoid and shitty. A mistake is a mistake only the first time you make it. It will be a crime the next time. And here it will be a crime against oneself. It is almost suicide. If a person cheats you once, it is his mistake. If a person cheats you twice it is completely and totally your mistake. A fool is one who trusts strangers. A greater fool is the one who trusts false friends. I would rather give a stranger a first chance that a cheat a second chance. What do you feel?

Is this cynicism? In the never ending twists and turns of this confusing life how many times can we afford to take risks? It is like walking on a tight rope tied at the edges of two cliffs. Yes, life is that in short. You should enjoy the sights and the breeze you see. You should smile.It is important.But it more important to keep control. Over every single step one keeps, every breath one takes. It is important to maintain the thin balance that helps us move forward. Cheats are the occasional slips we face. Would you honestly keep your feet at a point that has been very shaky in the past or has a reputation for it? Would you let yourself fall? Specially when, as my dear friend Sandhya says, it is a fall with no safety nets? Would you?

I am confused. I cant as of now. But I don't know the correct answers to the moral questions behind such a decision. Once a person proves that he or she possesses no integrity, it is best to keep a distance. Anyway, this is desert rose's theory. Feel free to accept or oppose it.

Well, I am back to listening to "Last Christmas". Pausing occasionally like this, to pen my crazy thoughts in the form of a poem or prose. Well, it does make sense at times. Dont you think? When we act a particular way even without knowing why we do it. It is gut feeling really. And I know many would chose the path I have so 'wisely' chosen. Why else would they say, Once bitten twice shy !!

Monday, April 5, 2010

THE WANDERER

I was wandering
In myriad nights,
Under the stars and the moon,
And caught, each drop of dew
that fell from the sky

In the morns, when,
the horizon was crimson,
I dipped,
and emerged as a red bird
And flew in the bright blue sky

Night no longer remained
My feathers fell to the land beneath,
And there were red pools of thick water,
The blue sky was reflected red,
And slowly turned dark.


I saw the stars in the pool,
And swirled and flew,
higher and higher,
Until I was a step away,
and reached out,
and plucked a lonely star
from the depressing darkness
and hid it in my heart.

TO A DEAR POET

You lie on the poem,
and wink and smile, and twitch
and turn and touch me like
a fairytale feather.

You grab me,
on you I lie, exploring,
Each word, each syllable
and every possibility.

You mock me,
You tempt me,
you confuse me,
In each poem you
take a new turn,
I lose myself in the new sights,
that you so effortlessly show.

Every line reveals a little more,
Here a whisper, there another,
then finally with each step,
I fall, and blend, I am you,
Doors opened
I explore more and more

All the while
You lie on the poem,
your head resting on your arms,
I bet you are enjoying ,
aren't you, you heartless,
Watching how I struggle
to take the plunge, to blend, to find,
and not to fall in love.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

SONG

video

I wanted to share this song with you. It is my favourite.

Friday, April 2, 2010

SHE

Her eyes were on the steam,
that rose from the glass of tea,
in curls like her panic, suppressed,
Her pain smiles.

The balding "boy" stares at her,
and the two sovereigns
of her father's sweat,
that clang on her shivering hands,
And her family home,
built with the toil of a lifetime.

He is now the "rightful heir",
of this much coveted prize,
that came with his permanent slave,
His people had bargained with hers
and settled the amount for the slaughter.

The cow moos in the yard,
And the curls continue to rise
higher and higher up from the glass
held tightly in his hands,
Like dandelions in the summer winds,
and her dreams,
floating far beyond her reach....

Friday, March 26, 2010

SELF INCURRED BLINDNESS

Kant speaks about the self incurred immaturity of man that prevents his enlightenment. What I want to speak about is 'self incurred blindness' which is not all that different. Now, what is my inspiration? Would you be surprised if I told you that it was my hostel mess. But yeah, it is. I mean, something that happened in the mess the other day.
Before I proceed, I want you to know that I am a connoisseur of good food - a foodie in unpolished terms. I like eating and I feel at the end of the day it is what all of us live for. We need to eat something - be it food or love (Don't ask me how can you eat love.... metaphorically you can, cant you?). So in short I think 'to eat' is the most important verb in human life. Ah ! I think I have started to deviate from the topic. Coming back to the point, so there i was, in the mess, not-so happily eating whatever they serve, when I saw something black in my Dahi (curd). On a closer look I spotted a martyred cockroach ruthlessly killed by the inconsiderate hands of the mess staff and served on my plate.

I am no vegetarian, but cockroach is definitely not a favourite delicacy of mine. And this one was pretty big I must say. Black, with its tentacles clearly visible. It boosted my appetite so much that I felt I would throw up (I had just taken a spoon of that cockroach flavored Dahi ). I took it and kept it aside , waiting for the mess manager to show up ( half wishing I could throw up on him and teach them a lesson for once and all ). Then a couple of friends came and sat by me ( with bowls of dahi sitting unsuspiciously on their plates). I told them and the people who were sitting in the next table not to have the Dahi 'cause I had found a cockroach in it. To my utter surprise one of my friends snapped , " Why did you have to tell me, I would have happily had my Dahi, I love it and now I cant have it". What an utterly irresponsible way to react!! I mean, look at it. I just saved her from something that is unhygienic for sure and may be potentially poisonous. I was taken aback and surprised. I didn't reply instead chose to take that cockroach to the mess guy ( who clearly had no intention of coming to my table). I really wanted to scream at him ( the spoon of dahi still swirled in my tummy) but he was an old man and seeing his face I couldnt really do it. So I politely presented him with the cockroach and walked back to my room.

I was reflecting all the while. Not on the mess issue but on the way my dear friend reacted to it. Where was the youth of my country proceeding to? How can we, at this peek age of our life, be so stoic and non passionate? Where has the boiling blood drained to? I cant get it. I see future citizens who would say , " Hey, why do you speak about corruption, I was happily minding my own business." " What do I care if that Minister stole from the treasury, I get my salary on time ". '' People get murdered. So what? They are not my relatives"." " I cant protest. I vote. My role in a democracy end there". " A kid got raped? It is not mine, so never mind." '' Human trafficking? Tell me if you can do something about the traffic jam in front of my appartment. I care no further."

WHAT IS THIS????.....What the f**k is this freaking attitude??....IF NOT US THEN WHO? Tell me. If we dont react, if we dont care, if we dont bother to atleast try to make a difference who would? If the youth, that is me and you- if we are so cold, then from where will the world get its warmth from?

It is easy to sit back and criticize everything that it is around you. What is difficult is to try to make a difference about it. It is important to react. To respond. That's what makes us different from inanimate objects. The ability to think, to rationalise, to be aware of who and why- it all matters. If we cant use these abilities that god has so kindly endowed us with, then we aren't all that different from the monkeys that jump around trees. A tie, or shoes, or shorts or mini skirts are not what define civilisation or what is 'civilised'. Just because we look in the mirror and find our features similar to that of the homo sapien species found in a science text book, we cant essentially call our selves human beings. Unless, unless we react. We respond.

So all I am saying is- please release yourself from your self incurred blindness, if you are suffering from it. If you arent, then react. React at every single opportunity you get. It matters. You matter. What you think matters. An ocean needs its every single drop. So dont hesitate- Raise your voice. NOW!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

DO GUYS GET JEALOUS?

Jealousy has always been branded as a trait of the fairer sex. I mean, " girls are jealous", is a sentence that all of us must have heard at some point in our life. This is too a large extent true too. Jealousy is a trait that is quite common among girls. Not all girls are jealous though. We can put the ratio of jealous to non jealous as 60:40.

But I have no intentions of talking about girls in this article ( Why do I need to elaborate on cliched sentences?). Do men get jealous? I have grown up in a surrounding where jealousy was always seen as a non-masculine trait. Jealousy is beyond manhood I guess. Why else would I hear sentences like " We are guys, we are never jealous", " You think I am jealous! me! come on now, I am a boy!", " You girls get periods pain cause you have feelings like jealousy, We dont" ( Hello there Mr, You dont get periods pain cause you DONT have periods, or ehmmm......are you an exception? :P )

We have master pieces like Othello, which throws light on the fact that even men do get jealous. Freud speaks about Oedipus complex , which in a way implies jealousy to one's father. We can see that often in a professional environment men act more jealously than women do. Sometimes they get so jealous that, it stresses the hell out of them and often, all their hair goes grey with jealousy even when they are eighteen or nineteen. Why then do our culture have difficulty in accepting the fact that men just like women, can also posses feelings that may not be really positive?

I think this inability to accept humane flaws in a man is an aftermath of the glorification of patriarchy. There had always been an attempt to elevate the stronger sex into a cluster of super human beings. Luckily this has changed, if not fully, over a period of time. Society is opening up, and men are gradually welcoming their fairer counterpart into their arena. I must say, that at every point of my life I have been lucky to have associated with at least one man who has encouraged and supported me and urged me to achieve my potential. The problem lies in the fact that the number of such men are relatively less. May be even substantially less. Even to this day there are men who have difficulty in accepting women as their equals. They feel irritated and annoyed when a women out performs them in their field. Be it a classmate answering the teacher's question before they could, or a colleague submitting a project before they did or an opponent defeating them in an election, they just cant take it. They would rather have another man outshining them than a woman. A small defeat, or a small step ahead by a woman is taken as a ruthless stamp on their manhood. Sometimes men are more jealous of women than they are of other men. How can they forget the fact that it was from a woman's womb that they came, I wonder! I feel that such narrow minded men are an insult to the manhood of the whole universe. They insult men who are good and broad minded.

All human beings share similar emotions. Man or woman, we feel joy, sorrow, anger, regret, jealousy, lust and everything. Nothing is unique to a gender. Why do we need to distinguish certain things with a certain gender? It is human to feel angry or jealous. It is alright. Their is nothing wrong in it as long as you don't act on your instinct as far as negative feelings are concerned. Some women are jealous, some are not. Some men are jealous, some are not. In short some human beings are jealous, where as others are not. The green eyed monster hides in each one of us. The important thing is, to understand and accept its presence yet not be its slave.

So next time you hear a boy saying , " Hey I am not jealous cause I am a boy", or a girl saying " I am jealous, so what? After all I am girl" I request you to rectify them immediately and ask them to say " Hey I am (not) jealous 'cause I am a human being." After all, all of us are human beings. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

ON DEATH.

What happens when we die? When we die, we die. But is that all? They tell me, when we die, we die and go away and those whom we leave behind pay the price of our journey.

I don't know if that is true. I haven't died yet to take an authentic stand. But I don't think that when we die for whatever reason we die- accident, murder, suicide or whatever other than old age, we don't pay a price. It would be absolutely fallacious to assume so. We lose our life. What could be more precious to anyone? We lose the valuable moments that we could have spent on this beautiful place. We lose experiences- sensual and spiritual. We lose relationships, the warmth each relationship gives us. We lose our freedom of expression and being. WE LOSE. We are the losers, when we die.

Of course, our dear and near ones will mourn our death. But one must keep in mind that God has blessed human beings with a very unique capability - the ability to move on. I don't know and I don't think I can say, that we have the ability to forget. No, at least not all of us. Sometimes, we never truly forget or 'get over' certain losses. But yes, We definitely do move on. And in the process we find happiness. Often greater happiness than the ones we had. So no matter who dies, or how close that person was we will, after a while, get used to it and move on. No matter what happens life goes on.

But what about the departed? There is no coming back for them. No power of speech, of expression, of touch, of experience, nothing. With a single event, they become invisible. How would it possibly feel to be pushed out of the place you belong, the place you consider to be your own, that too often without even a prior notice. You will be caught in surprise, completely off guard and before you know it will all be over. I cant picturise my self in a position where I can see life flowing in front of my eyes, without me in it. I mean, my parents, my friends, people whom I care about, all of them living and me completely absent in the picture. As selfish as this may sound, I just don't wanna see that happen. I cant think of a position where I can no longer kiss my parents, laugh with my friends, eat all my favourite stuff, sleep with sweet dreams, wake up with hope, and blog with so much of happiness. No. I dont want to die, not any soon at least.

Yesterday, a student in my college passed away. Unexpectedly. He was celebrating his birthday when it happened. I hear people complaining about the negligence of the institute hospital, of the authorities. I dont want to talk about it 'cause I don't know what really happened and it wouldn't be right to blame someone without knowing the actual reason. I don't expect God to read my blog, but I have a faint feeling that he is reading all my thoughts. And I want him(or her) to know that, it wasn't fair. I know I am no one to judge the way he (or she or it) moves the world, me myself being one of his imperfect creations, but still. I cant bring myself to appreciate God's big game and glorify him on such instances. As his imperfect creations, he can neglect all our imperfect thoughts, but if heaven or this universe itself is a democracy, may be our silent protests may hit the mark.

What am I saying? May be all this looks like utter nonsense to you. I don't know. All I know is someone, just a couple of years older than me, passed away yesterday, and that he or we were not expecting it, and that he has left a big bunch of dreams and two weeping parents behind.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BLAME GAME

Point your fingers,
anywhere but on the mirror,
and murmur
"you are the reason''.

The true reason, for a while,
can be hidden in your closet
with other skeletons for company.
Together they will silence him,
and truth shall be a latecomer again.

But someday all the reasons
would collide among themselves,
gain momentum,
and fly swiftly past your
pointed finger,
and shatter your own mirror.

The closets will be thrown open,
and the skeletons will have the last laugh,
watching your distorted figure,
reflected in the shattered crystals,
scattered across the floor.

Monday, March 8, 2010

THE GREEN DOT

If hating was easy,
I could have hated you
until the last leaf of winter withered away.
I could strike you with words,
toss you with deeds,
and seek pleasure in your wounds.

If cursing was easier,
I could have wished you pain,
Until the clock stopped ticking,
And watched you twitch in misery,
As my prophecy came true.

If revenge was a cake walk,
I could have stabbed you a thousand times,
Seeking strength from all those memories,
where you hid your smirk, and
made me play the fool.

If forgetting was quick,
I could spare myself
these uncertain moments, that always
come hand in hand with bitterness
and encase me with void.

But as this green dot
blinks beside your name,
My fingers melt,
I forget my lines and spellings,
No voice comes out, no curse,
Heart twitches, and fails to hate.

If hating was easier, my dear,
If an attempt atleast wasn't so excruciating,
I could have hated you,
Until the last leaf of winter withered away.

Friday, March 5, 2010

PERPETUAL TOGETHERNESS

Is it possible,
That these shadows thrown on the wall,
shall stay forever?
In the morning I looked,
and found a block of black,
like ink splattered, formless, yet one
Identities merged, indiscernible.

And as the sun moved through
the pathway of eternal time,
Slowly, they parted,
One, two and many,
swaying now and then,
Until the whole wall was scattered
with black outlines of reality.

Then as time passed,
they seeked the borders of the white wall,
and vanished,
Leaving plain white and nothingness.
I reflect,
The white seems whiter
with black here and there, than alone.

And then the night sets.
And the shadows come back again,
and play their games on my wall,
Blending into one,
The darkness spreads, and I know,
They shall drown in it,
And I shall sleep,
contemplating,
this perpetual togetherness.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

DONE. PHILOSOPHICALLY?

Right now I am feeling very much relived. Ahh! it feels great to be done with all the exams. Specially when you cram 2 months of philosophy portions in two days.

I am feeling pretty pleased with myself now. I mean, I cant say I did the exam well or anything. Obviously. But still I could meet the challenge. The paper was decent enough I guess. Anyway it is done. And I am happy.

The happiest part is, over the last two days, I realised how fascinating Philosophy is. It is awesome. So many thoughts that have occurred to me in the past, I could find elaborate theories on them. Which means, there has been minds in the past that shared very similar thoughts with mine. Here by past I mean some 2000-3000 years back. Solipsism for example. Solipsism is the theory that states that only our mind exists. Everything that we see around us may be a dream. That may be the creation of our mind. How can we be sure that we are not dreaming at this moment? What is life is just a long persistent dream and death is the awakening from it ?It is just so awesome ! I have decided to go through my text book all over again, this time for understanding and enjoying philosophy.

Philosophy is like a magic world and each philosopher is a magician. Thoughts are the wands and theories are the spells. The fact that human thoughts are linked by an underlying chain. The whole concept of thought itself is so beautiful. Contemplation. The act of thinking in itself is so satisfying.

But I must also say that there were quite some philosophers who seriously pissed me off. Specially with their views on women and people of a lower social position( you can expect posts on them soon enough). I mean I agree it is a long time ago and all, but how can they be so outrageous in their views ! Now you may ask me, what is the point in criticising them now that they are dead and gone.My answer is, they exercised their freedom of expression then, I am just exercising mine now.

I think I would be obsessed with philosophy atleast for another month. Cant wait to share my findings and views with you. As and when I come across interesting stuff I will keep posting. I am still in the thrill of rediscovering an interest that was latent for so long. Some how life seems to become a little more colourful. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE KIRAN BEDI LECTURE


Let me tell you what happened at Kiran Bedi's lecture the other day. I assume you know who Kiran Bedi is (uhmmm, if you dont, update yourself :P).

The ICSR hall (Thats were all the 'stud' lectures take place) was completely packed with people, all in anticipation of the arrival of the first woman IPS officer of India. She, I must tell you, is an awesome personality. AWESOMEEEE !! would be an understatement. This is applicable to both the looks as well as the character. She has bobbed hair style and a unique dressing sense ( I dont mean to be shallow, there are reasons behind this sentence). Ah ! why the bother. I'll put in a pic so that you can see her if you already haven't.

So coming back to the point. There we were, on the tips of our toes, in a room stuffed with people waiting to a glimpse of the star. The stage has a side door through which all the VIPs come into the hall. Our eyes where glued to the door, and someone of us seemed to have almost forgotten to blink our eyes now and then. Then, we saw her. She had the same hair style we had seen in the pics and almost the same 'figure'. The hall went 'awwww' and thunderous applause rang through out the room. We all stood up in respect. Everything was going perfect except for the fact that, she wasn't she. Yes, She wasn't she. She was a 'paavam' professor's wife, probably a fan of Mrs Bedi, who was as 'enthu' about seeing her as we ourselves were. The crowd soon realized the mistake and sighed in disappointment and then burst out laughing . Half of the people, who hadnt managed to get any seats laughed at us, the 'stupid souls' who couldnt recognize the celebrity and had stood up to wish the impostor. We on the other hand, laughed at each other.

Laughter soon died out and the crowd lapsed back to the 'anticipatory mode ". Then a dude in the front row, clearly some student representative, got up and went to the stage. All of us eagerly looked at our leader waiting for his words of wisdom. "We have with us.." he began .."a unique icon. A lady who has made her mark. Her father's fond daughter and that of the nation...."
As I sat there, wondering why he was saying all this when she hadnt even arrived, he paused. At first I thought he 'bulbed'. You know, that he forgot his lines. I waited for the rest of the speech feeling sorry, as he blushed badly on the stage. Then I noticed his eyes. Some prof at the front row was telling him something. He got of the stage and the hall rung with the sound of laughter for the second time. The 'genius' that I am,I laughed too, thinking that he was just bulbing. Then, it struck me. He hadnt bulbed. He had just lived upto the post he was holding. Even when his faithful followers had realised their folly, their master hadn't. Quite conviniently assuming that the imposter lady was the original he had climbed up the stairs to deliver his mugged up speech and be done with it. Thankfully for him or us or for Mrs Bedi, the prof interfered in time to spare us the bother of the boring speech twice.

Within the next fifteen minutes the guest of honour arrived and much to our amusement he got on to the stage again. It was just so damn embarassing. I would have dropped dead then had I been him. However, he didnt seem to have any such intentions. Quite confidently, he adjusted the mike, and began, ' Today we have with us, a unique icon..." The audience put fullstops to each of his sentences with claps ,snorts and roarng laughs. I sat there and wondered if Mrs Bedi would be wondering what was so funny about her biography. Anyway, the dude finished his speech and soon enough Bedi began hers.

Later , as Bedi proceeded to list out the 3 M's of success ( being a Master in our fields, a useful Member of our society , and achieving the higher Meaning of life), I leaned forward to get another glance of our dear representative. He sat in the front row, listening to the speech as if nothing happened ( a forgery of emotion??). Traces of embarrassment on his face seemed to have disappeared into nothingness. For the first time, I felt a little admiration for him. Clearly he had just mastered the 3 M's.


{ For those who dont understand the slang:
'paavam' = naive, enthu= enthusiasm , to bulb= to goof up}

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SMILE

She was cast on the lips,
when the heart tore with vile,
and heat emanated from within
In the fury, to kill or die.

She was cast again there,
when the green eyed monster peeked its head,
twitched the soul in that ancient cry,
When outshone by another’s light.

Again she reigned on the lips,
When contempt bred in the mind,
And laughed, hands in hands with some,
While the other, returned her twin.

Smile found herself on the lips,
And never in the eyes or heart,
Pushed on an alien stage, for an alien role,
Confused, she hid her self in the dark

Deprived, a true identity and soul
Like a deserted queen she wailed,
Displaced from her golden throne and raped,
Smile, stood alone, and cried.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SPIDERS

The ceiling fan twirled around.Monotonously. She gazed at it, thoughts following its motion. Moving in circles. Returning invariably to the same point. It was then that he caught her attention. At far end of the ceiling, in the dark corner he lurked. Silent. Spinning his sweet alluring net. The flies that were buzzing around the tube light seemed to be completely off guard of their potential destiny.

Cliche. She hated cliches. She stared at it, stoic. Then got up, took the long pole (which she had specially bought for the purpose) and approached the corner. Smack! He fell from his sticky throne to the dusty ground, twitched once and then laid still. Satisfied, she went back to bed. The mirror opposite, reflected her. Thoughts started their games again.

The circle stopped at a childhood. Small hands clasped the window bars and looked outside. A car was passing through the gate. She watched it slowly diminishing before her eyes. Distance slowly engulfing the blue car and the dreams that went with it. When the intellectual pursuits of her 'post modern' mom clashed with that of her dad's, they decided to part ways. May be that was one of the reasons, she preferred hostel life. It spares one from a lot insensitive displays of affection. Thoughts of her mother had the lingering smell of cigarettes and the deep redness of lipstick which was nauseating. Thoughts of her dad were mere sounds of footsteps, of stuttering boots that climbed upstairs at the dead of the night, unbalanced. The only time she saw them together, smiling, was at the occasional parties they hosted at home, demanded by the deep urge to climb up the social ladder. They held hands, laughed at each others jokes, exchanged courtesies. A perfect happy home.The perfectness of this happy home confused her as a child. Grown up thus, now the memories of home were shadows on the wall, raised cups, raised voices, broken glasses, bitterness and void.

Circles again. Thoughts paused at a restaurant table. The brown ceiling fan gained momentum and changed to one, cream coloured, with floral patterns.Two brimming eyes stared at hers. It reflected the desperation, pain, helplessness and the hope in a friendship thickened by time. Shalini carelessly drew circles in her coffee with the spoon. 'Anupama,' she said,' I dont know how to face this. I am lost.It is too huge a sum for me. I dont even know how to make half of it. Where will I take my parents God !She was slowly breaking down to sobs. Anupama looked out of the window. Sighed and watched the small drops of perspiration scattered on her friend's brow. She held her shivering hands and squeezed it. Something poked Shalini. Surprised, she looked into her hands to find an ATM card. ''2890'', murmured Anupama, and got up to leave.

The circles brought her to a railway platform at a distance of two years from the restaurant table. She stood alone on the platform of Delhi station absorbing the newness of the strange city. She wondered what kept Shalini so long. Her phone then rang indicating Shalini calling. Relieved she picked the call. She heard her friend's heaving voice on the other side. She seemed to be on the verge of tears. She said,' Pammi, My mom is in the hospital man. In ICU. I have to leave for Banglore as early as possible. I am so sorry man. Buy I..'. Anupama consold her friend and asked not to worry about mom. After spending around twenty minutes convincing Shalini that nothing will go wrong, she got into an auto. She wasn't sure where she was going but told the driver quite confidently to go the nearest YWCA. The traffic on the road was maddening. The honks and horns was getting on her nerves. The auto stopped at the signal.Then something caught her eyes. There was a huge spa on the other side. The red structure was notoriously conspicuous among the off white buildings that marked the lane. But what caught her sight was not the spa, but the person who was climbing down its steps in a sparkling green sari. Years had successfully changed Shalini, but not enough to make her unrecognizable.


The room bell rang. Thoughts came to hault with a sudden break, almost causing Anupama to fall flat on her nose. She opened the door to find the sweeper lady standing outside with an envelope. The writing on it looked vary familiar. It was an invitation from her dad- for a wedding. Her eyes strayed over the invitation, the golden letters in bold stuck their tongue out and laughed at her. Somewhere at the fag end of her memory lane, the 56 year old groom kissed her on the cheek and the familiar smell of whisky spread in the room. The little girl raised her hands to be lifted, to be held in those arms and the smell slowly drifted away, farther away, away until nothing remained. Sounds of footsteps faded out.

The invitation shivered in her hands. The letters blended, the paper tore and from its womb it came- a big black spider. Sacred she screamed and threw it away. It crawled to her. Like an amoeba splitting into two, four and many more. All around her the spiders rained. Stickiness. Skin soaked in the slimy secretion. The dead one at the corner twitched again. The floored filled with spiders. She jumped on the bed and watched them growing in size, the hunger in their eyes, waiting to chew her flesh. They smiled, their voices were sweet. The legs swayed in unison, beckoning. She pulled the sheet over her head and closed her eyes tight. An hour passed. And there was silence.

Slowly, carefully she removed the sheet from her head. The room was bright as before. The door, partially closed. The floor was the same and on the corner the dead one lied motionless. She stealthily approached it. Touched it with her feet. Claws seemed to move for a split second. Impulsively she placed her feet on it and crushed it. Slime oozed on the floor. She stared at the disgusting yellow liquid that linked the spider to her toes, emotionless. She took a paper and rubbed it off, the slime and its memory. The flies on the light above seemed to nod their head in appreciation. If only killing spiders were an easier business, she thought.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

INTIMATE STRANGER

( These poem was written by me around 6 months back, I have come a long way since that time. So many things have changed in life, circumstances, friends, beliefs, relationships, outlook, my style and field of writing. Yet this poem continues to be very special to me for a lot of reasons. I felt I should put it on my blog and share it with you. For unless I do that I felt I will be leaving out the most important ingredient in my secret recipes... )


INTIMATE STRANGER

You sit across the silent room,
I try to hear your heart, but
all I hear are random words,
born from the tip of your tongue
And not the bottom of your soul,
You rob me of my sleep,
and sleep when I am with you

Clueless I stand, wishing,
you spoke with your heart, not brain,
I stray alone in no man’s land,
You shake me with your voice,
Delude me with false hopes,
I let you toy with my emotions,
to know you forever,
And you call me possessive.

You cheat me with your silence,
And bend me with your words,
And bind me with your smile,
Intimate stranger,
I have seen bubbles of trust burst before,
endured many a loss,
Opened up and got hurt in turn,
Yet I believe you like a baby,
And you call me childish.

How do I know who you are?
These few paces, seem miles apart,
You devour my thoughts,
I relive my memories for you,
knowing well that you take me for granted.
I know you are far, in a world different from mine,
dreaming to climb up the ladder,
And here I am, learning to love,
hoping to meet you at the next corner!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

WRONGS

What is a wrong? I know not.

I only know that there are certain moments in our life, when we chose to learn things the hard way. Sometimes, we know that what we are doing or what we want to do is 'not right'. Yet in spite of that knowledge, in spite of the pulls of our brain, we choose to go ahead and do it anyway. We conveniently ignore the small whisper inside. Those are the moments in which our heart wins over our brain. In the perpetual battle between reason and emotion, we side with the latter.

Why do we do this? Again, I know not.

If I knew, I could tell you. May be tell you even how not to do those things. How not to fall prey for the instincts that are the gateways of misery. By 'not right' I don't essentially mean the 'conventional mistakes'. No. Sometimes, we know, or at least we have a premonition that if we chose what we want to do, no matter how much pleasure it may give us in the present, it will end up only in hurt.Yet, fully aware of its implications and end results, we simply do it.

Is this bravery? sacrifice? or plain foolhardy?

As they say, some questions don't have answers.If we had the answers for all the questions in the world, we may as well become gods. For Gods don't dwell in uncertainty, only humans do.

Morality???

What is morality but a consensus among the lesser mortals. Who decides what is right and what is wrong? When I point my finger at you, judge you and stamp a 'WRONG' on your forehead, am I not Wrong? What is my authority to make such a statement? Besides, when all of us, at least at some point fall a prey to our instincts and impulses do we really have the right to decide the rights and wrongs of others.


For all those who are wondering what's got on to my head today, lemme tell you. May be this article is an aftermath of an hour of browsing about philosophies on morality. Or may be I am just listing some doubts that has been haunting my head for a while.

I don't want to picturize god a jobless man sitting with a huge stick,waiting to punish us. No. God has better things to do than that. I believe, there are no rights and wrongs. But only actions. Actions that chart out a destiny. There is no sin and punishment, but only the aftermath of an action, a decision to chose the hard way or not. May be this might sound absolutely stupid to you. But it makes sense to me. And before you judge this article, or the mind that's behind it: pause, are you right?...or wrong?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

THE ONE WHO LOVED A STAR

His days were long impatient hours spent in waiting to devour the silent moments of the night, gazing at the starry night sky. Each night he would lie on the dewy grass, his head resting in his arms, eyes fondling the shining Nova. Far away, she stood alone, a sheen of white light, pure and divine. Now and then she would twinkle and smile, throwing a spark or two, tickling his insides.

Days became weeks, weeks became months. The man would lose himself each night for the love of the lone star who beckoned him like a sweet impossible dream. Everything about her was so mesmerizing, so much that it could lure even his pragmatic heart. Intoxicated with love, those sleepless eyes would caress the light thrown across space and time. With each passing day, the streaks of light became stronger and stronger. And on such a night, he decided to seek his one true desire. Grasping the streaks of light, that surrounded like thin strands of white hair, he set on his ascend. His hope strengthened the brittle threads thrown to him out of nowhere. Blinded by love, he set on leaving his life and world behind, to welcome the world of his bewildering light.

The initial steps were easy. He felt he was on the ascend to bliss. To seek the one thing that had caught his straying heart and put his wandering thoughts to a standstill. He was seeking the reason of his living, the end of his waiting. Nova, far away haunting him like a shadow. He closed his eyes and found her smile, at the distant end of darkness. A twinkle. A hope. A dream. The promise of happiness.

Slowly, the warmth of her beautiful serene light began to increase to the levels of discomfort. Warmth transformed to scorching heat. Sheen transformed to blazing light that pierced through his eyes. The metamorphosis was complete. His body began to burn in the heat emanated by his beloved. His hands were aching. The threads swung in air shifting him through and fro like a pendulum. There he was, in the middle of no where, his world left far behind, his destination impossibly ahead. A heart dangling in air. Beating and burning. Aching and hoping. Nova, like always, smiled at the distance, her sparks brighter than ever.

The wrong step had been the first. That had left him hanging there. Stars were far away. Father than he thought. Farther than he could ever contemplate. The bleeding hands slowly left the threads. Streaks of light swayed in adieu. Eyes embraced darkness, at the distance the brightness slowly faded. The heart let go and merged with the void around. Silence, And of him nothing was heard anymore.
The world moved on embracing his silence. Somewhere in the night sky, a falling heart whispered...

Let stars to stars keep, men to men,
None to own, heartless, let light burn,
Let curtains fall, visions fail,
And let life be a fairy tale.


[Originally inspired by the poem ‘For the love of a star’ by Neeraja M R]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

INTERPRETED

Should I write,
another verse on love,
so that the prying eyes
could start their work
to spot
which of my unaware
acquaintances it is about?

Should I write
another one on death,
to again instigate inquisitors,
to probe the annals of my history,
and seek
the name of a non existent somebody,
whom I lost and still grieve upon?

The pen, uncertain, trembles in my hand,
wondering what the next link would be,
What strange discoveries would be
thrown my way,
as the price for a harmless word or two,
unintended meanings plucked out hard,
and rolled into stones
to pelt an unsuspecting hand.

What would suffice to quench the thirst,
of folks busy looking for dirt,
between the lines do they read and find,
all that one could ever mind,
at this paper I stare and sigh,
what all would this force me to deny...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SO MUCH FOR A SECRET BLOG

As at least some of you must already be knowing, my 'secret' blog has lost its defining trait, thanks to my 'great' knowledge about how blogspot works. Anyway, I'm not upset or anything. Though the purpose of creating this blog has almost been defeated, I dont think it was a complete waste after all. Besides, over the last few days I have fallen so much in love with my blog to even think of deleting it or starting another one.

Now let me look back at my decision to conceal my identity. Why did I do this?
The first answer that pops into my conscious mind is obviously the teeny weeny fact that I didn't want to be judged or misunderstood. (Looks like I have over come that fear :) )
The second was more logical or may be it was just the selfishness of the writer in me. If I reveal my identity I may not be able to write as freely as I would want to. Or at least, that is what I thought. I may no longer be able to write short fiction or articles in first person narrative( which I must confess is my favourite and most comfortable style of writing). Why? Isn't it obvious? Simply because of the fact that ones' dear and near to me would try to fish for autobiographical elements in my writing. This may be springing from as noble a reason as the concern for my welfare or for more entertaining reasons (which I have better reasons to beleive in ). And this can be very irritating at times (like yesterday when a friend came up with a theory about my article on deceit)

Let me illustrate how beautifully this can happen . My article or more correctly post , 'Et tu Brute' (read it !! :) ) seems to have interested many. People are curious. Neither me nor you can blame anyone for that. But what happens when a person like myself writes something is that, anecdotes blend with fantasy. I do depend on certain instances or incidents from my own life to put in an article or shape into a story but that is not just it. Then the writer in me wakes up and for the aesthetic beauty of a peice of literature I tend to edit the experiences a bit or add fantasy to it. When I do this, I feel my 'work' is complete. That's only when I feel satisfied.

And if upon reading any of my posts or anything ever, by me or anyone else, dont waste your time and energy trying to figure out whom or what it is about. You can do it, cause it is your liberty to do so. But as a person who writes I can assure you that in eight out of ten cases you will be wrong.

So dear readers and friends, if you want to know anything feel totally free to ask me. Comment or if you know me, just ask me on my face. I am not gonna end up blushing or getting hurt.Why waste time contemplating stupid theories?

I close this article (which to me looks more like a letter), with the hope that at least some of you would try to appreciate ( and criticize) the literary element in my writing (please extend this generosity to other writers too ) than look for arrows pointing to certain directions or people. Lets be more open. After all, all of us do want to write and read good stuff.

Monday, February 8, 2010

ET TU BRUTE...

Year 2006.
An English classroom of a sub urban school.
The teacher is taking the culminating episodes of Shakespeare's glorified 'Julius Caesar". The class is deeply engrossed. Pin drop silence. She acts out the scene. Caesar, his words are spoken out loud. 'Et tu Brute...then fall Caesar." and the hero falls. The whole class is deeply enthralled, touched and silent.
Suddenly, a hand shoots up. It is of a girl. Her hair is plated on the two sides, ink marks on the face and finger tips and her expression is of an utterly confused person, not able to grasp something.
''But Miss ", she begins " I don't understand why a great warrior like Caesar has to fall for such a thing. I mean, considering his intellect and rationality and stuff. Why does it have to matter so much that he doesn't fight back? At least he should have thought of Calpurnia who is waiting for him at home.. "
Silence again...and then the whole class bursts out laughing. The exasperated teacher says " My dear ***, we are talking about Shakespeare's classic novel not some sappy Bollywood movie...He was cheated by someone he trusted with his whole heart...he couldn't take it in..now sit down. And don't put forth such propositions in you board exam paper for Christ's sake".

Clearly, the girl isnt satisfied. She still cant understand why someone has to be so hurt. She turns her head back. A pair of eyes meets hers. He smiles and rolls his eyes, and mouths "I know...". The class disperses for lunch. They are eating together. 'I still don't understand..." the girl starts. He smiles again and says 'You will. Someday".

A couple of months later. Same classroom. But the ambiance is quite different. The girl is standing surrounded by a circle of friends. He, strangely, is missing. Tears roll down her eyes. '' I don't know what you are talking about. Please, we are just friends. Don't cook up stories. Please I am not lying. No, no. I don't know. What secret meetings? Please. You are lying. He would never say that. I trust him. What's wrong with you guys.....Please..''
He walks in. The circle widens. A tall boy in front says '' Are you both trying to fool us? Tell her whatever you told us. Now. " He turns pale. The girl stares him in the eyes. He avoids her gaze and mumbles something. Neither here nor there. The girls beaks down to fits of tears.

A study table. The girl is staring at a book. Turning pages randomly. Thoughts elsewhere. Now and then a tear drop falls.

Scene dissolves. School courtyard. The last board exam has got over. She looks at him, her trusted friend. He looks at her expressionless and walks on. Days pass. Results are out. His name tops the list displacing her to the fourth. She dials his number. Talks to his overjoyed mom who passes the phone to her son. The girl whispers , 'Congrats. You have proved yourself'. His voice, very different from the smooth soothing voice to which her ears were accustomed says. " Remember what I told you last year. I defeated you. Finally. Every time, in every damn test you were on top. Me second. Ha! now where has all your pride gone? I knew what I was doing. This is intelligence, strategy, not the stuff you vomit on paper. Want to know something more? They weren't talking without reasons. I told them. Gave them beautiful descriptions of our 'friendship', a little more to the truth.'' The girl is numb. He continues, " I know what your are thinking now. God and punishment and blah blah. Haven't you heard. It is not the path that is important. It is the end. Read Gita. I just did what my God himself suggested. ..you pathetic fool.." Receiver falls.The girl slips to the floor.

That girl was I.

History has this annoying habit of repeating itself. I saw Brutus again. Each time in a different attire. First he came to me as a friend who sold me for marks. Years hence, he came to me as my 'true' love who left me without reasons. I was the fool, taking the hormonal imbalance caused by his first touch ( there is no need to let you imaginations run wild, he held my hands, nothing more...I may be a fool, but don't overestimate my foolishness :P ) as a passage of divine grace. The 'electric shock' of God's blessed touch. And mummifying my trust into him. Then he came to me again as my friend, my sweet friend whom I saw as my own sister, who went for the one who broke my trust, and heart. Again, I see him all around me. Playing his games. On the cross lies the source of my faith. Blood drips from the crown of thorns. Sold out, wasn't he too? Whom should I run to for solace?

What is a better possession? I ask myself. A broken heart or a broken integrity? A broken trust or a trusting friend?...

Roads diverge. I stand, questioning my beliefs. What next?

to live a lie or be the lie.....

TO THE LIGHT BEARER

When the night closes by,
I steal to you,
Behold, and warmth slowly falls into the soul.
Pushed around by a meretricious crowd,
I run, and panting crash into your hands,
I hide my face in your chest,
Hot drops of tears mix with sweat,
Heart speaks to heart, mind to mind,
Time comes to a standstill, worlds vanish,
and the weeps slowly subside.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

THE STORY OF GODAV EXPEDITION

Yesterday something awesomely interesting happened.
My friend has a HUGE crush on this guy. I mean, it wont be proper if say it's a crush. They both like each other, but they belong to two different states, and they aren't sure and blah blah blah. Before that let me give you some background information. I am studying in an institute where all of us stay in hostels within the campus. OK pack, I am fed up of this "secrecy" crap. I am a freshman in IIT Madras( but i am not gonna tell you my name :P..heh heh ). We have a big beautiful campus, part of a forest, right in the heart of the city (why don't you just google up for the rest, it bores me to death when I describe it, and it would probably do the same to you.. ).

OK, coming back to what happened. So last evening we were out on a walk. She and I. We have this place called 'Gurunath'. That is were we go to buy stationary and 'put' grub (Insti lingo creeping in ;) ). We were on our way to Guru when a 'classic' idea struck my friend. Why don't we get a chocolate, put a note on it and throw it into his room!! (it had a broken window,he had cribbed about it to her) . That would be so awesomely sweet ! I must confess, that I am person who finds pleasure in indulging in not so usual things. I cant stand monotony. Her enthusiasm coupled with my longing for the unusual fueled our genius plan. We rushed to guru and decided to buy a chocolate and a card for, let's call him, Mr.X. Then it struck us ! How to get into a guy's hostel? Besides it was already 6:30. He will be back from class in just an hour. And on top of everything she didn't know his room number ! So many problems and so little time. But being the resolved little angels that we were, we couldn't pull back the step we had taken. The decision had to be honoured.

So I take my cell phone out and call up a male friend of mine. Technically speaking hers too. He is her classmate and my senior, yet somehow closer to me than her. I hear a really drowsy, sleepy voice at the other end. I tell him "listen, there is an urgent problem, come to guru asap", half afraid how he would react when he got to know the 'really urgent problem' which made me kick him out of his bed. He came in ten minutes and we spent another five quickly briefing the whole idea to him. He wasn't much pleased I believe but now that his sleep was entirely gone he decided to help us anyway.

Guys have a knack of doing stuff. Sometimes they handle stuff better than we do ( hush-hush, I am NEVER gonna admit or acknowledge this in public ). Proving this point, he calls up his friend, who was probably sleeping too in his hostel and asks him to find Mr.x's room number through our student's portal (God, why didn't we think about this before !!!). Now that we had the card, the chocolate,the destination address and a guy to accompany us we happily headed to Godav (Godavari ruthlessly cut short, hostel sweet hostel for Mr.x). After around five ten minutes of trying to coax the guard into believing that we were there for an urgent non existent group discussion, we eagerly approach the stairs, and guess who was coming down !!....

At this point I really don't know how to describe whatever I felt. My friend was like "Oh shittttt" and tried maximum to avoid his vision. He walked past us casually not even looking at us. Relieved, we went to his room ( my friend recognized it by the broken window). Now, our intention was to through the stuff in through the 'broken' window. The recently patched up window with its holes covered with neat paper looked at us pleadingly.We had taken all the pains to get there, in front of the room, dodging its owner, just to find out that the broken window was no more broken. Never the less we slipped the card through the door (much to the amazement of his room neighbour) and 'accidentally' tore the paper on the window and put the chocolate in.

Phew!! finally the almost mission impossible had transformed it self to a marvelous mission accomplished. Later that evening, Mr.X called up my friend (too much for a 'secret admirer' :D) and thanked her for the card. We tried our best to pretend (with questions like, what card? which chocolate? :O ) and pull the prank to a success. Being an IITian with all that sharp brains needed for the jee he replied, " My dear, you really thought I didn't see you??? " ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

THERE IS A GENTLEMAN BEHIND THE MASK

Perceptions change. All the time. I agree with Heraclitus on it. You can never step into the same river change. By the next time you try to step in it, the goddamn river would have changed and so would you. To put it in other words you perception about yourself and the river would have changed.
Often we believe that people metamorphose. But may be it is just our perception about them that change.
I know a person , an intellectual friend of mine, in whom initially I couldn't find any elements of goodness. All I could see was a very arrogant rude fellow who was just impossible to stand. He belongs to let's say a little different cultural background than mine. Being the 'conservative' soul ( I stress here, kindly replace the 'being' with 'used to be', after all we are talking about change ) I couldn't exactly associate decency and goodness with someone whom I knew smoked, drank and sometimes took a step further. He was not even interested in studies. But he I must tell you is very talented. I respected it. But that was all I could respect. He made me uneasy and irritated. But my friends, at least some of them, did try to convince me that my perception may be wrong.I openly told him I disliked him. Fought with him. I believed that would could never stand each other. It was simply impossible. The adamant conservationist that I was I refused to even move a little from the circle of perception I had drawn around myself.
Time passed ignorant of the trivialities that was happening in my life. Then something really upsetting happened. One of those little experiences that knocks on your head and reminds you that you dont dwell in clouds. I have this annoying habit of keeping such stuff to myself. If it is sad I let my friends see the tears, if it is sadder I run away from the crowd and hide myself from everyone including me. Then I had a little chat with this 'unstandable friend' of mine. Honestly, I didnt mean to talk. I didnt want to go any further than a normal talk of courtesy. But surprisingly talking to him made me feel much better ( I don't know the psychology behind this). Slowly I found myself telling him things I never even told my intimate bosom friends. Any even more surprisingly he understood. He told me a little story. The story about a man who goes to a psychiatrist for his brother who believed he is a chicken and acted like one. The psychiatrist asks him why he didn't take his brother along or didn't try to cure him so far. Then this guy says ' But I really do want the eggs sir'. The story was simple. But the message was strong. I felt better. Felt good in fact.
Much later, I apologized to him for being rude and so wrong about him before. I could see all that my friends were trying to convince me. I saw him being courteous not just to me but the others around me. No matter what all he indulged in the integrity inside was intact. At least he was not one of those hypocrites who behaved in way that proclaimed "hello there, I am the good guy , come to me " and stabbed you behind the back. There was no 'hug and slap' policy involved in him . As surprised I was at this rediscovery, I was at the thought that why couldn't I see this before. Prejudice pays its price, doesn't it? I told him I could see a gentleman behind the mask. He said when you peel a mask, you find another. And another. And another. He told me he wasnt so good, and I knew that his perception about himself was may be as wrong as mine was.
I have changed. I am glad I have. It is beautiful at times to have a whole new perspective about people and things. Sometimes it feels good to be proved wrong. To look at things from a different side.
I am sipping my coffee. In the background I can hear two aunties cribbing about the spoiled youth of today ( hey, I am not eavesdropping, they are loud enough). How one of their neighbour friend's blah blah son ( I could make out that he used to be a 'typical good mama's boy ) had fallen into the 'evil' hands of bad friends and had been 'utterly spoiled'. Not at all an unusual conversation in an Indian background. I pause. Thoughts drift. Again, I sip my coffee, busy redefining 'evil' in my head.

NAME ON THE WALL

In one of those boring classes,
Where the words of wisdom seemed
To fly high over my head,
And numerous invisible bees
Busily buzzed in my ears,
Stifling a yawn for the millionth time,
I looked out of the steel barred windowsill,
Grateful to obscure gods,
for its close proximity to my seat.

Something then caught my fleeting glance,
As my careless eye drifted from sight to sight,
Hidden underneath my comforting opening,
To what I thought was a more worthwhile doing,
Was something scrawled, rather scraped with much interest,
Small yet conspicuous in its modest dwelling,
Much more to eyes like mine, looking for better things.

On a closer look I could see,
it was a name of an unknown someone,
Who had dwelled in the past and shared my seat,
I could then see him sitting there,
Looking out of the window,
then indulging in that strange activity.
Out he took the rusted compass, I saw,
and set out to carve his lone name,
To whisper his sad story,
to generations that were to go through the same.

In that moment of epiphany I could relate,
To whole humanity who had to share my fate,
To all those lost souls who scratched their heads,
Wondering why the professor couldn’t be absent,
Somewhere within the spring of empathy burst forth,
And a deep love rushed forward to my stranger friend,
Now I saw myself opening my box,
Out came the rusted compass again,
And set in the noble task, to declare the name of another martyr,
For millions of generations yet to come,
And feel inspired by his silent story…

Monday, February 1, 2010

A LITTLE CHANGE & A LASTING AFTERMATH

It is funny isn't it? When sometimes people surprise you in the least expected way. Oh, that's what surprise is all about. Catching you off guard, when you least expect it. Now just contemplate how it would feel when you get surprised on both the sides, by two totally different people, in two totally different ways. When your perceptions about people and life altogether changes in a split second. Ah ! it is painful. At times it really is. The change. The change that forces you to accept that you were so totally WRONG. And when the pain eases, reality creeps in.
I had a friend. A friend whom I liked a lot. A lot in the sense, like really really a lot. In that friend ( no pronouns, sorry, identity crisis ;) ), I saw the goodness in the entire world embodied. A friend who was my trust personified. I know I am speaking in superlatives and that it can really piss you off. But let's just say it is my way of emphasising what I really feel. It springs from an urge to convey exactly I have in my head and heart. And then one day I wake up and find it gone. Without leaving a trace behind, as if it never existed. We were very close, this friend and I , and left no secret unshared. The classrooms, corridors, coffeeshop, combine study sessions in the library, frequent fights and comebacks....you know one of those rare friendships you get once in a lfetime (superlatives again... .. but I hope you get my point)...
The worst part is I dont know why it had to happen. This entire "break up ; part ways" episode. No reasons. I mean, no convincing reasons given. One fine morning(when I say morning I mean it literally, we had chatted for around four hours even on the previous day) my best friend decides to pretend I dont exist. To talk and be nice to all except me. Oh, dont gimme that advice again. I tried to communicate. I tried to talk. Tried my best to atleast know the reason why my friend took such a decision. And then, let it be. I still cant say I have accepted it. It is difficult you see, to accept such a change in a person whom I strongly beleived I knew inside out.
Sometimes we run across each other in class (while we are not particulary busy pretending the other doesnt exist) or on the corridors, eyes meet and quickly pull back as if burnt. For quite a while I brooded over all the possible reasons for this strange episode. Misunderstandings? Manupulation? Or was it the 'green eyed monster'(yes, I like Shakespeare ;) ) again? Ah! each time, invariably I reach back on the hot seat of cluelessness.I was hurt, deeply ( if you look closely, may be you can still find its traces in me ). I kept it to myself and occassionally when the bottle inevitably brimmed, it poured out as poetry. For all the cynics out there who are wondering why someone should take such a small trivial thing as this so much to heart, sorry to disppoint you but Earth still has a not so negligible population of sentimental fools.
Looking back, I ask myself. What have I learnt out of this? I fish for the faint silver lining in the dark clouding hurt inside my head. The truth is I still like my friend as much as I did before. Hating doesnt make things any better. It just ends up making you feel worse about yourself, the world and everything that happens in the world. I know the change is permanent. May be it was even inevitable. And pushing my optimism with the last ounce of will power left in me, I may even end up convincing myself that it was for good. Nothing can ever be the same again. And even if someday my friend comes back, will I be able to be what was to my friend ever again? I doubt it. The emotion, the intensity of affection will remain the same but can I get the same perception with scarred spectacles? Can the broken trust be ever mended? Rhetorical questions , aren't they?....
May be this is all a part of "growing up" as my mom puts it. May be with time the hurt would go. I look up and see my friend busily typing something in the computer opposite to mine. My eyes, forgetful, strays there for a second.. My friend looks up. Eyes meet. I pull back with a face that shouts "I dont care" and a heart that whispers " I miss you. God bless dear one".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

THE CLASSIC BLOGGER'S DILEMMA

To be or not to be- that’s the question.
After much thought I have finally started a blog. The first choice was which site to choose. Why did I choose blogspot? May be because that’s what all my friends chose or may be cause of the simple reason that I somehow find it cute. The blue background with the blend of orange and white seems to have captivated my heart. The creating of the blog part was kinda easy. Fill up a few forms, press a button or two here and there and lo! Your blog is ready.
Now comes the classic problem that each blogger faces. WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT? Before I go into that let me tell you what inspired me to take such a ‘brave’ step as to start a blog. Let’s just say, lately there has been a lot of instances when I felt like pouring my heart out to someone and nobody seems to have time for it. And on top of that there is this constant fear of being misunderstood or judged. And again, by the looks of it I think these ‘instances’ are not going to end any soon. Sometimes you just need to talk and the possibility that there might be someone out there who is listening and may be even understanding and empathising with you and what you want to say is quite reassuring. Because you don’t know me, you can’t judge me even if you wanted to. And because you don’t judge me I would feel free to share whatever I want to share and say what I want to say.
Aah.. so where was I again?. Yes, the question of what to write about. It caught me like how it would have caught all bloggers ever born and all those who are yet to be born. I thought for a while. What should I right about?...Stories? Poems? Politics? Movies? Food?...... What?. There are so many things on our small little planet to talk about and just so many people to talk about them. Yes, there are just so many people who can talk about all those. And then after much contemplation I decided what to write on- Being me. Dont worry, this is not going to be a bragger’s blog with me going on blah balhing about what is going on in my minuscule life. I have decided to put in a few poems and stories now and then. Then articles, anecdotes and sometimes during one of those ‘instances’ whatever that my heart feels like saying.
All I want is the feeling that someone out there is listening. That as the ‘windows’ of my comp opens, it opens to a big big world with lot many people out there, older and younger than me, from different cultures and races, yet probably sharing the same underlying emotions that binds us all.
Looks like I have finally finished my first blog entry. It wasn’t that difficult, the classic blogger’s dilemma. I enjoyed solving it. I hope you enjoyed reading it too. Each moment, stay connected. Stay alive.