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.