Saturday, December 31, 2005

To Love. . .



LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

New Year??

Waiting for the shiny ball to drop


"This is definitely not how I was supposed to spend New Year's," I found thinking to myself just moments before the clock struck 12, cold and alone standing beside the hot blast of the furnace in a thrashed apartment.
While a group of strangers, I had just spent a couple of moments with, were getting sloshed in the next room, I was standing in the cold, windy night air warming myself over the hearth of an angithi (the evenings of Bangalore can get very cold). You know what they say about being lonely in crowd; I felt out of place and miserable. This is the worst New Year’s ever!!
And to think I could be with my family and friends at this instant, losing myself amidst great music and drinks. I pictured the dusty and silvery beaches of Goa, where my friends were raising a dust storm in their jaunty jalopies. My family drinking in the wine of a new year in the winter of Kasauli. I could see the glee in their eyes, feel those warm arms wrapped around me, the spirit of togetherness in each heart and love oozing out of each kiss.
It was 11.57pm and in a spilt second my mind traced through all those miles and scanned all those happy faces. The world ….. No, my world wasn’t with me. This was my first New Year’s away from home and I was bent on making the most of it, since I am a person who seeks adventures and exciting escapades all the time. But somehow, I felt my mind wandering in the crowd. ....
A gripping sense of loneliness surrounded me. It could also very much be the countless shots of vodkas and martinis that had now probably gone to my head. But here I was, on the edge of the railing, feeling the buzz and finding solace in the memory of my loved ones, from whom I ironically hide and keep away. Lost in these thoughts (a screwed up basket case that I am) like a message from the Heaven’s (more like Hell) a wind jolted me. Icy shivers shot down my spine and the tree tops tossed violently with whistling sounds, as if they were carrying the shrieks of millions and the anger of the ocean waves ripping the shores naked and bare.
Now I don’t pretend to be no do-gooder and like a page three hypocritical pooper, talk of the devastation of the tsunami disaster. But the absorbing reality hit me. Pictures I had seen in the tabloids danced in front of my eyes and suddenly it all made sense to me. On the 7th floor apartment of the opposite building, a father kissed his daughter; a couple danced on the 6th and a family spoke a silent prayer on the 8th. Scenes from the Horror flick
‘The Ring?’ I think not!
‘Be grateful you stupid fat ass!’ an inner voice shouted.
Right! Grateful. I realized how lucky I really was. I have an absolutely beautiful life. A family that loves me (though could use time away from me), friends who dote on me (regardless of my irritating presence) and a dog who can’t eat without me (catch 22 is it?) and the only problems I ever face are my weight issues, a continuous battle with zits or suffer from the monthly trauma of PMS! Whereas, the world lives in hunger, disease and worst of all alone and cold without love. Moved by my own thoughts (sometimes I surprise myself) I went in, joined my sloshed buddies on the twister board and broke some bones with my bone crunching hugs. I was drunk and I was willing to live the moment. ‘I have nothing to lose but everything to live for,’ my heart kept telling me. A peck, a hug, a phone call, a lil faith, a song on our lips, and it was 2005. I moved on to a new day with the same ole hope same ole screwed up dreams and the same ole screwed up me. And the perfect line from the most unexpected person, “Sweetie happy new year. You’re wasted enough to shine. Have another drink with me. Tomorrow is another day …” why not? After all I am the Queen of my World. And tomorrow is another day, a new day, a new beginning, a new life, and hopefully a wiser me. Probably, I overrate the whole New-Year-New-beginning idea a lot. Or do I? Whatever the deal maybe, we all screamed for a brighter and an equally wasted 2005. One guy actually resolved to stone the year away. But we all did raise a toast to a Happy New Year. So, are you brave enough to raise the glass with me?

That was all last year, at the hilt of a New Beginning. This year, Waiting for the Shiny Ball to Drop...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Hungover in Delhi Office

There are hangovers and then there are hangovers and then there is the mother of all hangovers and this morning she met me.

What began as an innocent toast to national yuletide spirit ended up with me wishing i had never been born.

So why drink? Good question (even if i do say so myself) but one that doesn't have any easy answers. My theory is that people drink because they are bored. And if any of you have been to a Delhi party, you'll know what i mean.

But first, The Rules(for Delhi Parties):

1. Do not, on pain of death, talk to anyone you haven't known for atleast ten years.

2. Do not, for fear of excommunication, introduce strangers to members of your clique.

3. If people's eyes begin to glaze over when you start talking about your exciting school picnic circa 92, parking problems in Khan market, and "the situation in Kashmir," throw in a random compliment. They'll find you interesting again.

Picture this. A room full of people. Some sit on sofas, some stand around in tight little concentric circles, everyone is staring at everyone else. New people walk in, get a drink, find a place, and join in the staring marathon. First the men stare at the women, then begin staring at other men, while the women stare fixedly at each other. (They are very few men in Delhi worth looking at. Sorry. It's true.)

After what seems like ages, a silent victory is declared. The victors smirk, flip open their miniature cellphones and make slow, sexy talk to sleek, platinum-blonde women in Dubai, the loosers sulk and hit the bar with a vengence. The women continue to stare at each other.

It's somewhere around this point that people turn to each other and begin talking. But its not so easy. Firstly, they've exhausted every topic of conversation, (refer the rules) Everything (weather, gossip, money, jobs, boss problems, cheating partners) has been discussed ad nauseam. every story has been heard a thousand times over. and over. and over.

BORING!

(Personally, I think anyone who parties for a living must have the patience of a saint, not to mention the IQ of a dinner plate.)

Another good reason to drink is that it makes your life interesting. How so? you ask. Well if you get very very drunk and do some very very stupid things, you have something to feel guilty and embarrassed about for the rest of the year. A very good reason to buy a long black trench coat and slither down dark office corridors, something my sexy, evil colleagues should do more of. And finally, if news gets out, (like it will, eventually) in an act of great magnanimity you've just given dozens of other bored people a reason to BE.

Hence, I have successfully proved :

Boring + Alchohol (Preferably of a good variety) = EXCITING!

Also you can get away with a lot of things when you're drunk that would be considered unpardonable if you were sober and sane.

A bit like PMS. Eg:
Husband (horrified): You just nailed our dog to the living room table.
Wife: (thunders):PMS
Husband (shrugs): oh.ok.
Similarly (except that we are not ALLOWED to drink in office!)

Express Building: 3 pm
Snitch: Boss, Ms X is standing on top of the table yelling racial slurs at all Southie journalists everywhere.
Boss: (heal-the-world type) Fire The Bitch.
Snitch: ONLY YOU can do that sir.

Express Building: 3 am
Snitch: Boss, Ms X is pulling noodles through her nose and yelling racial slurs at all Southie journalists everywhere.
Boss: Please don't call me at this time. I'm a family man. I'm sleeping.
Snitch: But Sir, ONLY YOU can do something.
Boss (Phyllosiphically): Has anyone ever been able to calm an angry sea, foretell the future or deal with a drunk woma....purple walrus..frangipaani, hits, hits..dkdkgfdskgfks zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

On a more serious note, my editor sitting next to me is peeking into all the "Racial crap" and is wearing a queeringly disgusted exression (Features desk.... can't be more personal and racial). He would want me to write about more "serious" stuff like "making strict staff supervision mandatory on all school picnics", the "problem of parking in Khan Market" and "the situation in Kashmir."

But for that, i'll need another drink.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dissolve, Wipe, Fade. . .

Yup! That's me!
And yes! That's a Sony PD-170i a professional ENG camera.
And yes! It is the most gruesome event of Panjab University. Not tumult of the Celtic Earth plates, Battle of the Gods, Revenge of the Crusades or even the rage of the angry tsunami laden waves can topple the raw excitement of Punjabi bred male, and the more the merrier. But it was the most peaceful one of them, was the verdict in the newspapers the next day.
The Event: annual open house debate cum electoral campaign drive of the PU elections. And with all the pulsating, high electric barricading the cops put up with their gignatic and rowdy human forms; the sweat drenched, humid September morning was live with more than just excitement for more reasons than one. And especially for me. And why would'nt it be? Any director/cameraman (regardless of the rate of success or whether more such suites follow ) would remember the 'first.' My first assignment with a team of unmanageable amateurs, this director had to man and shoot nearly 4 hours of film. And having handed with the most challenging task of the day, (all the other groups just got rallies and camps, wheras we got the actual event. So much for having a nose for news.)

The producer lost her voice somewhere in the maddeningly unprecedented clamorous screams, the scriptwriter ran for cover, two cameramen deployed on stage lost their shoulders to the heavy VHS formats, the editor kept screaming to get more angles, the Chairman (the man in white looking into the crowd) more bothered about his prized PD than the rowdy gung-ho's. And the director, well more lost than even Alice in Wonderland, who atleast dealt with one dilemna at a time! But the screams went on, fights broke out, abuses flew free, a few measure ups ...........well lets not even go there. Agendas were raised; pink, red, yellow fliers rained around; flags swayed in the wind; sound systems cracked voices; tempers raged more; and then the last leader took to the stage. 4 hours later, the sounds ceased, the crowds dispersed, carpet of fliers strewn around gleamed under the bright sunshine. An empty coliseum echoed with the remians of a legacy long lived out. And finally a pat on the back, 'Editing table pe milten hai,' the Chairman smiled. Couple of hours after pack up and another 5 hours on the editing table a byte of 30 minutes, complete with the cinematic experience of 'lights, camera and action.' Tired, hungry, excited, we slept in the studio that night to wake up the next morning with a strange contentment and faces glowing with the pride of mothers.

Screening: flaws? but of course. Verdict: 19/20 and a fulfilling gleam in the Chairman's eyes. "Beta class bhi lagaya karo. Saara kaam field mein hi nahin hota. Class mein bhi itni mehnat dikhaya karo!"

Since then, eunuchs have danced, four weddings and a funeral have been witnessed (quite non-metaphorically), care-takers have wept, beggars have revealed, dead-men-walking have shared their perhaps last few traces of dreams, buses have narrated stories, wedding dancers and prostitutes have cried, remains of monuments have sung out their legacies, lamas have disclosed their sexuality, debt inheritors have lived, borders to Pakistan have allowed a peek-a-boo, '84 riot voctims have re-lived tragedies, terrorist families have spoken free; but the exhiliration of that firt 'Ready to Take camera. Take camera. Action' and the first 'Cut.....'

"No extra take can ever be as rewarding as the first frame. Compose a more beautiful scene than that and I'll proclaim you God," Steven Spielberg, Filmamker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Post-it for Self

Effective Communication is when:-

... Krishna and Arjun walk out of the Mahabharata, and stop raging battles with the self!

... Ghalib ceases to instigate the human soul and begins to question the need to talk and answers, "Duboyaa mujh ko hone ne, na hotaa mai.n to kyaa hotaa!"

... Patience and humility creep in to overshadow the 'self', the big E - EGO!

... Communication student number 28 stands up and talks, listens, feels, reacts!

... Media student: grabs the mouth piece, being careful about what to mass communicate. Asks first, " are you communicating with immediate self and self surrounders effectively?"

... Belief that you are loved and have the capacity to love, then develop language, add context and meaning, and then communicate- but don't talk.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Where am I?

I wrote this to someone months ago.Or well, something like this. But perception changes over time. Like a rivetting cloud floating on a horizon, its not supposed to be floating around. seasons have changed. Summer to autumn to the cold of winter. So have my words, But some things refuse to change. He said he never got this. But surprisingly someone not supposed to did. Bliss, they call it. Bumped into him some weeks ago and then.........nothing. The muse had been replaced. How quaint! Takes a moment to snap away from past and not even a blink before someone new walks along.. No long distances for me, ever again...
Hmmph.
A colour.Or is it?
I don’t think so.
But I am not sure.
Does it matter what I think?
Do you still think of me sometimes?
And of times we spent away and together?
If not quite all, do some memories haunt you?
Like when we stood on the rainy sidewalk and sang.
That night when we laughed so much that our stomachs hurt
When you taught me how to hold a cigarette like a woman.
And I buried my head in your lap and cried tears of blood.
You stroked me in silence, while my tears wet our clasped souls.
In suspended moments I slept on your side of the bed.
Your nicotine stained fingers stormed across paper, creating disjointed poetry.
Merciless, empty words about a distant, unreal life form.
With the next morning came a grey winter.
Which has carved itself inside my marrow.
Most mornings I smell of you.
Unborn flowers refuse to blush.
I didn’t choose this.
Not this colour.
Did you?
Indeed!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Campus Rock Idols- 2005 - Build up to the show.....

Spirit of Rock \m/
And the Underlying 'Roll'!
My Creed
"Dude this is so gay. When are ya f**^!*^ gonna play?"
Sound check
"Be kind to my amp! Its expensive"

Command the stage
"Am I the King of the world yet?"

Build into the rhythm
"Ready to headbang?"
At the hilt of the Crescendo
"Look Mommy, I can fly!!"

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Romacing Insomnia

Like a stray live wire,
the night got into bed with me

caressing the length of my back
uptil the nape,with a warrior's affectionate hands
slithering up and down
a spear
leaving behind droplets of cold sweat
like a comet's tail.

I silently suffer the pleasure
between & beyond
the evening sentient
and the morning blue

The stars sprinkled on me
crumble tracelessly
before the day rolls in

Does washing my hair remove the smells of the night?

It was the kind of night that stays, after having left.

An Arabian night of a thousand nights
when sleep negotiates itself from the self.................

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Realistic, obsessed 'Her': God give Her Strength

I have seen what idleness can do. Have seen the other side of the sun, and man it isn't really that bright. So like, they say I have an opinion. Opinion makers of the world always hold a propaganda, a word with mostly a negative connotation. Strange, to think at how having a voice can shatter some seemingly inflated egos of the self-possessed. Blaring insecurities can sometimes cloud good sense and judgement. . .

This is the story of a sorry girl. One whom I don't know, the one who believes in open relationships. The one with the 'ex,' whom I left behind long ago. But somehow left her obsessed with me. Poor girl, thinks she can actually make herself feel better and think life is all but just a visit to the candy shop around the corner with a pop sickle in hand. Judgemental and quoted to be correct. Well that's all good if it works, but what I fail to understand about such people is the close-minded, one-sided commentary that they stick their minds on.Even the jury, less trained than the judges might I add, take a long time after hearing full proceedings to pass a final verdict. But this self-proclaimed judge lives in her own bitter world of travel and discovery and thinks leashing out on creatures like me is actually going to make her feel good about herself. Sure, I can be humanitarian. I mean, do good for the fellow human being is the Aquarian Mantra after all.

So, I'll let her jabber on and take her pre-conceived notions a step further and pick out on my 'short-comings' and have a ball at my expense. After all, I have always liked to make people feel good about themselves and well feel happy. But for someone who claims to be realistic, a well thought reality check is quiet necessary. Sometimes I wonder, in our pain and so -called quiet reflection, we sometimes seem to make certain enemies the object of our most bitter resentments. Deep down inside, these friendless souls are yearning for acceptance and love. A love they go looking for in the wrong places, and not realising that they have it all and more than they could ever wish for. Ironic to think how want and desire could overshandow the deeper emotions in life, some grateful things you already possess. True, how sordid human existence can be. The power to feel and the tragedy of emotions. Drama. More like life imitating art. Well I do hope she sees the light of day and not just live in the darkness of light. Scared of the unknown and terrified of doing the right thing (wait not right.... worng or right is subjective) A silent prayer for her sanity and happiness. After all its only in her happiness and peace that she would stop leashing out on others.

I dont know whether to sympathise with her, reprimand her, enrage my sanity over her or thank her. In many ways than one, I feel immense grattitude towards her for having opened the closed gateway. She helped me walk out of the mirror and showed me that reality is so different from reflection. But then she appalled me at her bitter and petty insecurities, the dire need to survive turned her into this wounded animal who would want to claw me to death or better still castrate me to live an age in agony. She amazes me at her abiltiy to create and humours me with her enraging passions. Never knew a guy could be such a bone of conention. Even when I let him go. Strange? Never played bitchy games, but am starting to sharpen my wits at it. Nah! I'd just sit back and have a quiet laugh and take pride in the fact that a lil ole me could make such a hige difference in a xyz's life. Someone I don't even know. Truly, enchanting. I pray for her.

God give her strength to spread joy in her life, give her the tools to tap her creativity in more worthwile areas. (Oh did I mention? She is amazingly kir-ative, oops i mean creative. Can really hold her stage). Tells me she is happy with her man. For all her good judgement, I hope she is. Ha! my guy tells me, she's hung over. Can't snap out of it. God! please help her move on. Its like I had an affair with her and I broke her heart. Yells at me and accuses me of crimes she committed. Well, she didn't bother me earlier. But now! I can't stand her. But patience and time heals evrything. Please God! give the foresight to hurt less and feel more. Hope the metropolitan hasn't turned into a loveless fiend, most of such people think themselves to be. Oh Almighty, make her less distraught. Heal her soul and help her see the love around. Set her free. Let her Live !!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Day the Music Died


I call it legacy. Have witnessed the crusades since time immemorial. Have been there since the beginning and hopefully shall survive to behold the rise and fall of the time-changing, life altering show of our times. Ladies and gentleman, bystanders and onlookers, Roman, countrymen, eunuch and even animals…….. I wish to proclaim the power Julius Caesar commanded over his empire and let the one thing I love and trust the most, murder me with treachery. The deceit of Music.

I have often searched for the creed of existentialism in music. Have romanticised too much about a single composition. Have cried cold nights, spent idle summer afternoons exploring the sounds and drinking in the beauteous craft of a melody. The disorderly chaos, the strident strumming of strings, the wash and wail of the organ, the rage of the drums, rolls and pile driver snare, the demure tambourine, the shrill clarinet, the hypnotising harp, keeping time…………..

Have lived through the agony and ecstasy of this crazy lil thing called Music. But just like an infidel, unfaithful lover; the screeching shrills rape all senses with a callous ferocity of bad sounds, tearing the reef of waves of harmony. And you can’t even surf on them.
So while I carry these thoughts driving down the wide Chandigarh lanes approaching Symohony-2005, the stark reality hits home. History repeats itself yet again. Same performers, familiar sounds, the same ole crap, the same mistakes, the same torture. They say, a leopard never changes its spots. And this year, it got even worse. Thought of writing something different, but decided to repeat the same ole crap all over again. Sadly, this is one thing you wouldn’t wanna do again, but let me say this as subtly as possible…..

Here We Go Again!...

Ever since my ears were exposed to the callous sounds of Slayer, I had been awakened by the anonymity of the voluminous and fiery havoc, they could wreck upon their worshippers. But this was a sacrilege of a different kind. With equipment in tow, these kids fashioned timeless rock anthems in their own style and called it improvisation...........Nah! I would just call them flaws, misses on the beats, a hit on the wrong notes, taking the key when there ain't any.


How would you like to hear 'Tonight Tonight,' being carried to a high pitch in a ne- Alka Yagnik voice? And where there is the smell of sarson da saag, there are some whose die-hard Punjabi nature never fails to surface. Embedded deep into their sub conscience, it just needs a way of expression. On the penetrating Axle pitch of ‘Sweet Child O Mine’, the very full throated screams turn into clamorous and inevitable Balle Balle Bakra Calls, Sardars are so famous for.Being a journalist, there are a lot of unavoidable elements one has to face. And there ain't nothing worse than being hit on by a bunch of flimsy rock stars. Battling between English, Punjabi and Hindi, one asks for your number, a second sizes you up and a third intriguingly comments on the rhythmical quality of your name. At this instant, I don't know whether to take it as a compliment or an insult. The one and a half hours of screening barely 4 of the 45 performers, I even witnessed the horrendous murder of a tune I've held dear for ages. ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by the bards who 'Indianised' the song with a half drum set and an unplugged acoustic Barista guitar, with the fresh orange name tag still stuck. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' Kurt Cobain is midway possessed by the ‘Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Rotuine’, as he solemnly turns into Eddie Vedder 'Alive.' This year there were some good Rabbi renditions too. Somehow the sardar's weird ass comments kept ringing in my head. "Have you ever seen a sardar play a guitar?" Yeah right, if I had a nickel for every time somebody said that, I'd be forced to be a compulsive beggar. But then came some school girls in neatly pleated skirts form Simla guiuded by their teacher and blew the arena apart with 'I would do anything for Love, but I wont do THAT!' Believe me they just did it all and more. The supersonic killer whale like screams did nothing but more damage to my sensory organs. "Hearing Impaired," is how I would've described myself. Had it not been for a young girl's inexplicably resonant and perfectly melodious interpretation of Shakira's 'Underneath your clothes' I would have passed out. Just wanted to cry out of pure joy and hug that damsel, "Thank you for saving the music."

But then what do I know about music? I may not be acquainted with the technical engineering precisions, having never been on stage. But I do know what sounds good and does not. I steal a glance with my friend sitting in a morbid state, as I wait for my shutterbug to arrive. She takes out her Discman and plugs into ‘How to Dismantle a Time Bomb.’

The headlining act was seen hours later after the evening wrapped up, nearly 5 hours overtime thanks to much credible time mis management, backstage throwing some air guitar riffs to the ones who are in dire need to find their inner music. Why backstage? simply because the man never got to get up and flex a chord on stage. "He was awesome. Such an amazing performer. Can't believe he got sidelined by all those stupid kids," averred the one spark in the whole show who made my stay there all worthwhile. Had it not been for him, my faith in good music (and men too) would've been shattered by now. So lucky to have him play more than just music for me. Sigh!

The night faded out, the director finally set cut and the sound system finally held its breath. Really makes you wonder though.... With such glorious musicians taking centre stage, we are sure to witness the birth of a new genre. 'Scum Rock.' And it’s all happening on an Autumn Afternoon in Chandigarh.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Serendipity: Mandir Gali, Bapu Dham Colony

Soot? fills this chasm I call home...................................Amongst dust swept rooms
Dreams? of better life........................................Content with the joy in lil misgivings
Tenant? of the outside world............The open tenements, the threshold, the treasure
Assets? are all material to me................ An asset I am to the shop round the corner
My religion? a myth to salvage my soul.........My soul at liberty to the ones I serve
Profession? my faith in brewing that tea.......Men, women, eunuchs, the paanwala,
devotees...all friends to me
My language? multi. desi and firangi............... Lessons visitors schooled me over a
piyali of tea
Forteller? my garb can be misleading...............Open long flowing hair attenuates the
madness of Da Vinci in me
Romatic? my life is patterned in passion..........Love this tin roof, this broken kettle,
the stained walls, the open hearth.
Its all home to me....
.......My home where I lived and that will outlive me.
The television set still screams the score for me.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Unintended? Perhaps

I have it all.. Life is as beautiful as it can get (well almost).. Weight loss right on target.. Weather change all more than welcome.. Enemies submitting.. Cup of love brimming over the edges... Old friends closer than ever.. New friends - well almost there.. Is all good.
Still there is an abysmal loss of a heart broken....
Tired of writing empty verses to muse not there...
Living within walls - self created...
Shunning away love for something better still...
Hating the right - still keeping wrong at bay, and hating it all the more still...

No content... too mcuh expression? If only the content made sense more than expression did..

Confusion? Inevitably a constant companion every step of the way..

Puching bag? Always had a natural talent for...

Frustration? Despise my valued and treasured necessary evils...

Letting go? Trying to learn to fight impulses...

Doubt? Battling to rise above and falling down each time...

Still seeking companionship in solace, searching for the inner rhythm, struggling to survive...

Homour me? How can I? still love starved and succesfully portraying more than love content !!!


Monday, November 07, 2005

A Reprimand


And he spoke through the furrows of death……. ‘come , come and I shall grant ye freedom from the insanities of the world ’.

His voice was so luring that man crumpled like a weakling and followed the foreboding voice
of death to the endless whirlpools of time and space..…...

Lost forever……... intermingling with the soul of the universe to become one with the abyss and chasm , of nothingness and hollowness…….. eating savagely at the power of heart and mind .

Then nothing around mattered as space suddenly contracts , into a minute particle of sorrow , and man accepted it as his fate to end up in this black- hole , as his reprimand for committing the unforgivable sin of living .

Living for oneself . Drinking from the biggest and most powerful elixir of life . The feeling of being alive , being full , being content .

To experience what elation is .

To live…….

To finally die for indulging in life .

For committing the ever so contemptuous sin of smiling .

And so man , over ages and centuries lives to see the light of day only to be , ironically, tortured mercilessly at the unforgiving hands of man himself ……. In a single snap of a twig , motion of a wave , flicker of an eyelid….. one single second of an elation precedes an endless era of trauma ……….. pain and finally death !



Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Many Dawns, Dusks & Deaths: It's Diwali


Diwali. It’s festooned all over buildings & baristas, billboards & boulevards. It’s blinking out of neons and nearly brazen with indifference. To? We won’t pick on the obvious – Delhi blasts; or that shake from Hell a month back. Thousands killed, millions homeless and perhaps a few in Uri, who still live on hope of recorded messages having reached their relatives safely in Kashmir, since most of them have never used a telephone.

……Still there are many other battles raging, scathing, seething, scorching the insides. All brain, no belief.
All purpose, no prayer.
All sanity, no stupidity.
All matters-of-fact, no madness.
All useless weight, no lightness of being.
Lightness of being…… it’s of moments that we desire. And with time, they become moments we need. So badly.

And when it gets too much & the need slouches too heavy on shoulders, burning the eyes into yawning dry rivers, miring the mind, layering on us, the layers of cold brick, deathly, getting heavier with every little sweep of that thing called Survival….When all this gets too much, ‘the moment’ breaks in. Finally. Cutting all the maze of tiredness.

But somehow, this season of joyousness has let those moments pass by. First in the devastation and cries of millions, screeching through the blaring speakers of the 35mm... (News Channels, they make such a mockery out of a tragedy!)

And then as the light of hope started coming home, the death of loved ones broke all false inhibitions of joy, we all tend to romanticise so much about. One a dear old young Friend who drove into the Jaws of death, lived a promise of happy life ahead and cut it short just for the thrill for speed. And the other a dear Grandpa, (closest to me after my own Nana) who made movies and spoke of the passion of Film making all while teaching me to spread joy. Lived the last few days of his famed life in utter inexistence.

Joy…. Is it somehow seeking in to find true peace or struggling with pain to emerge a survivor through it all? The Monks tried hard to drum in the Zen philosophy of balance; but somehow sadness wells in deep and struggling to fight peace is not the fate of Human Kind.

Still there is hope and peace in this world, which through all that sly, saline, scepticism seems to rejuvenate itself somehow with the fading of each autumn and arrival of each spring. And it comes in the faintest packages possible. The Quiver of a brook, the abandoned laughter of a child, the bloom of a rose, the shake of the chestnut shoots, the smell of the wet earth after a water swept wind raped the sand, the renewed moss after a raging forest fire…..... And then a faint smile on those lips, a lighter beat in that broken heart, a hint of a twinkle in that sordid eye.
Stepping back into the arms of Hope. Into the lightness of being. Into the arms of Diwali inside.

One step out and the world’s still zipping down alleys, turning all Corporate and Shopper, busy announcing: ‘Light candles, hey make it orchid & jasmine, & lit up diyas, let there be light.’ Yes, bring on the lights. Bring on Diwali. For whatever is inside.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Formula for Love


Maths has never been my subject. Numbers have scared me all my life. Still can't simplify any of those numerical equations. My happiness has constantly been differentiated ever since I discovered that there was another subject on the time table.. MATHS...... Somehow, any numeric data of any kind has constantly waged a war against me, with understandably scales tipping towards the other side. And needless to say, I have almost always lost the battle. The only numbers I have ever liked or retained were the ones announcing anniversaries. Ironically, I’m amazingly good at remembering birthday's. "Oh sure! an elephant never forgets. And I surely do look like one don't I? haha.." A nervous laughter always followed at the sheer mention of those straight, wagered and crooked lines and curves. Even my mom never took me to her Kitty parties and I never got to make her friends play tambola. But I have constantly been compared to the number 8. (A big fat major!)

So, when my editor asked me to work on our new special for the week......somehow numbers didn't elude me here as well. And in hand with the new assignment, I went out to formulate the new Nobel Prize winning theory.... Formula for Love. Yeah! right and there was the challenge. Just the two words in the subject were enough to get me all geared for another battle. FORMULA and LOVE! Still, this missy loves the sound of a challenge and conquer it I shall.Mathematicians and psychologists, artists and poets, literary philosophers and even (ab)normal people like me have been in love at least once in their lives. But how the Hell does one handle being in Love?.. was one question even I had trouble answering myself... let alone write 500 words on it. (numbers again! shesh..) But conquer it I shall......the story I mean.

And here is the whole formula:-It's not nuclear fission. But it's not chopped liver, either, and news that love is being created in a laboratory should be greeted as a major breakthrough -- especially by those who aren't sure it even exists.
Take two people who have never met, put them in a room together for 90 minutes and instruct them to exchange intimate information. Have them stare into each other's eyes for two minutes without talking. At intervals, bring in a researcher who says, "OK, tell the other person what you already like about him."Ok! so they aren’t really rats in a maze. But come on people, think about it. Isn't the whole concept of love over-rated? Movies have been made, books have been written, odes have been sung. And then there are the Doctors of Love, who know the tricks of the trade and can even juggle with two to three hearts at a time. Am I talking acrobats? Of course I am. Love-doing and not just love-making, is an art. You practice, you fall, you break, you heal, you perfect and then.....you PLAY BALL!

The Risk Factor? Self disclosure is tricky, of course. It has to be reciprocal. If you're the only one pouring out your heart, your date is likely to recommend a good shrink. However, mutual disclosure creates a connection on a deeper level and shows the trust. By talking intimately, you risk being embarrassed, and risk is another factor in forging an immediate attraction. The bigger the risk, the faster you become attracted. Ever heard the clich├ęd, call the mice on her, hear the scream, grab the hand and a lucky hug too theory? It works, every time! However, if the thought doesn't absolutely terrify you, you might try being a little different. Consider a river rafting trip or scuba diving lessons. You can never tell whose hand you will end up with in a moment of panic. Finally, if you're matchmaking this never ever fails. Tell your two to be lovebugs, they're gonna 'like each other', 'will instantly click', 'are made for each other,' 'have so much in common’ kinda shit.

Expectation too has a huge effect. If you ask people about their experience of falling in love, over 90 percent will say that a major factor was discovering that the other person liked them. 'I Like You' So, if you're lucky enough to meet someone you like, don't be afraid to acknowledge your feelings. "I like you" may be the magic words that will produce the other magic words we all long to hear.

By the way, if you've always wanted to participate in scientific research, but would prefer not to be hooked up to electrodes, try it out. There is no guarantee, however that certain organs might not be bruised but there is an absolute promise of one heck of a ride. Oh and while in love, enjoy it till it lasts!!
What do they say again. Ah yes!

"Its better to have loved and lost...
..then never to have loved at all."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Noise......but in Silence!

hoo-ha
The sun went down without a sound.
An idea struck without lightening.
A prayer was quietly sent.
Lovers clasped their gazes without a whisper.
Blood rushed through the desiring bodies without a yamp.
The plant grew, dust settled and nimbus traversed the breadth of a hemisphere sans-decibels.

Wilde, Beckett, Tagore, Mishra, Kerouac, Henry, Bronte ~ all silently rest on my shelf, the lines in place, emotions running high, people meeting, parting, dying, fortunes being built, lost. A few many zeitgeist condensed on a little cellulose.
And here I am, creating hoo-ha to be able to create more hoo-ha in this marketplace where everyone speaks at the same time all the time. Watching the world through a purple haze and smoky rings of ash and smoked fire, blaming it all on a few days of mindlessness and wasted solemness.

Is someone listening?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

He

I often wonder
What he means to me.
I grow more ‘n more fonder
With every secret that he sets free.

There's nothing special in the way he looks at me.

There's nothing queer in the way he addresses me.
But there is something in those eyes which tell me he's home.
There's something in that 'hey' which makes me content with him alone.

He's never been the one I've pined for or craved.

But somehow in my sorrow or joy ...
its the road to his home, my footsteps have always to forayed.

He's never been my Knight in Shinning armour

But across the raging fires, his embrace has made me calmer.

When darkness surrounds me all around,

His one word spoken swallows the hound.
When gloom haunts my heart’s alley,
His smiles bloom a thousand valleys.

He's warm blooded but searches for songs in the silence cold
There's really no mystery in his way..
is what the passing wintry winds outside his window to me have told

He lets me gaze into his soul,

Tells me stories that give me a roll.

And even though I'm older and wiser,

His each melody and rhythm makes him stronger and dearer.

My hands are forever ready to thrash him silly,
Still his hands caress me like a Lilly.

He’s the tune in my song.

The rhyme in my poem.
The beat of my heart.
The smile on my face.
The glee in my eyes.

He’s all that to me.

And nothing at all.
His love is all I have,
And all I want !!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Warped & Twisted


Harsh words & violent blows
Hidden secrets nobody knows
Eyes are open, hands are fisted
Deep inside I'm warped & twisted

So many tricks & so many lies
Too many whens & too many whys
Nobody's special, nobody's gifted
I'm just me, warped & twisted

Sleeping awake & choking on a dream
Listening loudly to a silent scream
Call my mind, the number's unlisted
Lost in someone so warped & twisted

On my knees, alive but dead
Look at the invisible blood I've bled
I'm not gone, my mind has drifted
Don't expect much, I'm warped & twisted

Burnt out, wasted, empty, & hollow
Today's just yesterday's tomorrow
The sun died out, the ashes sifted
I'm still here, warped & twisted

The evening I sat and wrote this verse (actually a lyric for somebody's tune), my friend sat in her room and drew that picture titled 'Sharin's Warped Mind,' whom I hadn't spoken to in sometime. Sweet are the uses of adversity they say.. And this adversity somehow linked two lives together, sealed with a kiss in a single moment. Love ya Sammy T...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Home Sounds...



I've been living in open rooms for so long, I've become used to home sounds and smells. Smell of spices frying, clanking of dishes in washing, television cackle, and intimacy of voices that go humming, talking, hollering, and wailing around. Living in my own small little self-created world of love and togetherness. Been cherished and cuddled a bit too much!

Went to see my relatives on my return from a distant land and when they asked what I wanted to do while in the national capital, I promptly affirmed siesta. Woke up with a start. To the sound of my little cousin in a fit of tears and no mind for a parley. To the sight of my aunt standing with her hands on the waist looking wontedly disinterested. Talk of training, internship, training my voice to mumble with a soft baritone, capture a lower octave, stop screaming, talk of growing media afflicting the nation, inspire oneself to be an element of change, break free from senseless frivolous ego-hassles with the
‘Ex and her’. Getting lost in a world of voices and words, ideals and realism, throwing the romanticist out and welcoming the idealist in. (still can’t find the difference between the two.) Struggling with changing the preposition from ‘I’ to ‘They’. “Don’t be the story. Instead look for the story.” Chanting the hymn of Objectivity, Objectivity, and Objectivity… Feel less, see more. Write less, report more. All while trying to craft a character, all contradicting the training. Keep the ‘I’ in. Feel with the character. Empathize, Empathize, And Empathize. Write, Create, feel…..

Journalist or Writer?? Reporter or Author?? Story writer or Story maker??

Will there be such a time when I won't have to seek in and ask who is to be called at this hour? When will I be allowed to fly south for the winter? Stand at the balcony and admire the neighbour's handsome son, and not look for a story there. Watch a rally from the drivers’ seat and not in the box of spectators? Go for a concert and head bang instead of sit with the critics and analyze the scales, the rhythms, the crowd and the stage. Scream out for a glass of water. Be able to say 'Your place or mine?'

When will be such a time?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Daddy Strongest!



My Father's Daughter

It isn't about me.

It's about somebody I am not.

It's about him who sees in me a spark of what he once wanted to be. Who is my ultimate autodidact. Whose refractory spirits have always held me in goodstead. Who has given me much more than than the proverbial 'roots-&-wings'. Who has given me the sky, the wind, the soil, the strength to find my own directions, to grow wild-flower-ly, to fly fancy-free-ly. Who fights the big, bad wolves while I pick flowers in the wilderness.He's been in all my hardships and somehow rowed my boat through the stormy seas to the harbour each time.

That's why, I guess I've been content with what I have. I have let my men go to the sea, with this deep unrelenquished faith that they will come back home safe to me.

Someone once asked me.......... Why arent you possessive? Why have you been always so secure? Why do you love boys so much and get so easily hurt by them ? Why is deception so difficult for you to comprehend?

I've always had a father-figure. I've always looked for that secure warmth and comfort everywhere.. I have always trusted too much. I've always loved too much.

In so many ways than one, Im like my Papa, .... hopeless lil love sick angel with faith in happy endings!!!

Victory of the self is to cease to want to be like someone else. It is going to be tough to not want to be somewhat like him.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Delete Button



Great tool. Comes in handy. Rectangular and sometimes square, but without any edges to it.
No complications.
A finality, rather than a preplexed judgement.
Blocks all inhibitions.
Rights many wrongs.
Wipes away many memories. Offers a clean slate to rewrite again.
A chance to do it all over again.
Forgives many blunders. Helps to forget.
A sense of foreboding is all gone.
No hesitation..........No Shit Loads.........No Miracles ........ No False Hopes............ Only a Promise, to perhaps do it better again or let history repeat itself again....

..... But even if it does, the 'delete' button is there to carry its function out yet again..........

"Honey, would you please take out the trash again?" a hopefull call!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

somewhere over the rainbow….


Now & then, comes a song you can't get out of your head.

Drink it on a lonely night, supremely intoxicating. Unlike the cup of wine they offer at street corners. Wistfully step on quicksand and let the harmony wash out sorrow from the deepest pores. In the heart of a nectar spring, taste the melliflous morning. Try to shower it off and it hides within, like vermillion under finger nails. Growing all over, about, around you. The finest vine.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I try and imagine those hands. That dreamt this song. Those that wrote these wondrous lines. The fingers weaving strings. Pouring poetry out of taut drum-skin. That explained the nuances to the singer. That skim through the listener's palms, giving, taking all the same.

I wish they would write about me.
Such hands.
I'm anxious what about me.
My ready smile, my halting laughter, the flab around my waist, or the one three inches below the collar bone, kohl-ed eyes, unpainted lips, scuttling words, faith in happy endings, all my senses drowned in their creation.

Now & then, I wish you'd write about me.

Now & then, I hope I never have enough of your music.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Freedom!



Liberation is a great feeling. A whoosh down a water slide, a ghush of pure emotion, total abandon to that Sound of Music you love so much, no more is the soul chained and tied, no more are there thorns pierced deep within that narrow mind. No more is this fish out of water.

The caste tore,
The calm ocean raged again with life.
The glass smashed on the floor.
I can play again.

How ironic, I've been looking for it at all the wrong places, where it was right within me all this while.

This afternoon, we make music, my freedom and me.

Open Chords played on Steel Strings
You sing …..
Picking at a guitar
Harmonica resting on your slow-breathing chest
Battered lyrics , broken voice
Straining to tell stories few understand, some relate
Only you feel its pain
You are ……
Steel strings
Of an acoustic guitar
Easily broken , snapped in two
Strummed one too many songs
Bleeding fingers
Calloused soul on rusted time
Tuned you are……
Forbidden notes Dancing fingers playing stealthily
Waltzing on dreams
You are…….An instrument of change , sharing pain
Open chords played on steel strings!!!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Theory of Communication




9am - communication

he says she does not communicate............... he stands there in the centre of the class, calls communication life, an instinctual desire to form relations with the person being communicated to effective communication. and then he looks at her and says she does not communicate. in a class of 40 odd kids, he points at her...........tells her, she has a face that expresses evrything with complete transparency. 'but you are not communicating madam', he tells her.

10am - broadcasting

'madam, please make your presentation... tell me your movie concept,' he invites. with a painfully sore throat, spinning head and running etap oph a nose, she stands in the centre of the class and talks of delhi buses, eunuchs, key-swapping parties, wedding dancers........blah blah blah be be blah! and then he tells her she has communicated her idea quite well. 'excellent and brilliant feasibility,' he consents......'but speak a little clearly madam and don't come if you're not well.'

11am - Reporting

'why did you not file in your reports on friday when i told you to. now sit till after 7pm and do it all by today,' she threatens. and she is unable to communicate her urge to go back home and sleep. she was tired, hungry, sweating and running high fever. but she stays and files her reports ...............

10.10pm- hmmmm..........

she is home. she's busted her ass, she looks exhausted, she's totally wasted, she needs her protein shots again and she wants to sleep. but she can't...........................why? because the one person she really wants to talk is not there to listen. And then he says again, 'Madam, don't mind my saying this, but you do not communicate..'


A month ago and then history repeats itself again.
Am i going in circles again?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I


I was born a happy child........or so they say.
I never frowned, never cried........ or so they say.
I never feared, never troubled ....... or so they say.
I created a banter, loved to be caressed...... or so they say.
Mama's little angel,
Daddy's little girl,
Nana's eager starry-eyed child,
Nani's pretty butterfly,
Class clown,
Court jester,
Stage comic,
But behind closed doors................the curtain falls limply,
And then those sparkling, twinkling eyes suddenly shimmer with a watery haze.
She softly cries, she gently weeps, she quiety steals a tear... but the edges of her lips stay curved in a smile.....
"Hey what's that?" calls out a voice.
"Do you hear something?" another queries
"Looks like she's having another fit of laughter"
"It could only be her. Always laughing."
"That joyous sound, always makes my day."
She always laughs amidst even her tears..........or so they say!