Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hazzaron Khwaishein Aisi....

To think it is a piano
and we,
creators of a silent music
We – you & I.
Not yours not mine
ours alone

pastover evening tea
Laughable – un
Timorous lips
Verbose, sore and
then sealed
Bread for a hungry stomach
Not even sympathy for an empty soul
Unjust? Who?
The roof leaks
and the skyof the stars
Brush my hair
and plait them.
A string of little, white flowers

Make tea
make memories
make stars shoot
make love
Fall in – fit out
Write down – rise up
Finger dance
alternate together
a little music
of silent fame
bas ek ilteja (just one request)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ink: Incomplete verse

My ethcy pen leaks and lies.
My scrawny fingers scribble random lines.

Naked, raw visions flood my mind.
Broken steel strings pierce, bleed and grind.

My skin cracks, my body wreaths in pain.
My cries hit silent walls and torture me all in vain.
A headless gear - the world adorns.
On pins 'n needles my frame is all borne.

Visions flood the mind the night
As the ink floods the self's might. . .

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Guitl-Edged Metro

I know I am lucky to have lived and worked in Delhi - since when I was a child, my mother, a Punjabi to the core moved to Chandigarh and pushed her only daughter into the Media industry(I still don't know whether that has changed to P-u-najbi or P-a-njabi).
Anyway to get back to my mother of western Indian origin (no that sounds wrong too)- Anyway my mother always told us that the streets of Delhi were paved by money from the Punjabi labourer and Bombay taxpayer.
She had a point.
After all, New Delhi has always been this oasis of wide avenues, lush green roundabouts (well sort of!), well painted street signs, and of course the lovely gracious homes built by Lutyens, et al. Agreed its no comparrison to the wealthily adorned forts of Patiala, where my mom spent the netter part of her childhood hugged in royal robes and pampered by smells of sarson. Or for that matter our sprawling little mansion in Chandigarh, where parks are green and roads are wide. But adding to this her theory that people in Delhi don't work half as hard as their cousins in India's business capital- and my guilt was complete.
My guilt has grown over the years- not the least because as I traveled more around the country I realised just how privileged New Delhi is compared to every other part of the country. My emotions on the subject had grown to proportions that compared with post world war II German guilt or post colonial British guilt.... you get the point.
As a result I have never really enjoyed looking at India Gate lawns, or the Purana Quila boat club, or music concerts in Nehru Park without thinking its a bit unfair that we get them, while there in Mumbai people are slaving away just to make sure all our main streets are well lit, and all our footpaths well paved or the land labourer in Patiala who inherits debts yet gives India the wealthiest produce.
So you can just imagine my agony when I first took a ride on the Delhi metro- this was certainly something Mumbai doesn't have. In fact I think the man who built the Delhi metro E.Sreedharan has only got to the proposal stage in Mumbai. I believe the project is stuck waiting for the central government to approve the funding (yuck more guilt...)
But that metro ride changed something for me. As I walked down the well-polished granite steps - I had to clutch the shiny steel banisters as I reeled at the grandeur and cleanliness of the metro station. Organised queues at the ticket counters, escalators that worked smoothly, metro staff that were kind and polite, seats that weren't broken, and trains that arrived with alarming precision.
This was clearly a whole new kind of Delhi privilege (okay I know Kolkattans have had one for years). This was the kind of privilege that brings on raw, naked, unabashed greed. I don't really care if no one else get this- this metro is mine mine all mine......
So eat your heart out Mulund and Ghatkopar, and hop in your cabs old Malabar Hill and Nariman Point- use your suburban trains Bandra and Kurla- It's Delhi that has this dream machine of underground luxury.
And I am sick of listening to people tell us how Delhi is such a dump- an overgrown village of boors, where nobody obeys the law and everyone uses wasta (or pull- "don't you know who I am"). To all those Mumbaiites, Bengaloooruans, Kolkattans,Chenn-aiyoiites etc etc- Who crib, I say- Mere paas metro hai.

And about Chandigarh, with its big snooty Texan attitude that is so easy to fall in sync with and escape from the working and metro, as my mom always say the land of hariyan hariyan chadiyan and chitiyan chitiyan daariyan. Leave your clean open wide spaces behind, for I have 30 sec of fame and peace in the subway.
The Delhi metro has finally released me from my metro guilt- and unleashed the selfish greedy Delhi beast in me.
P.S. But my fellow Cosmos need not feel too bad- as I exited the metro at Chawri Bazaar to make my way through the bustling bazaars of old Delhi- I hit the pavement with the crashing reality that the privileges of New Delhi don't extend to people even a kilometre outside the pristine capital area. Then again bet they don't pay as much in taxes :)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Water, water everywhere. . .

To my left were a thousand yachts anchored along the beach and to my right countless French boulevard cafes. We walked, ate, played ball and made merry. Late at night we escaped the smoky, Mexican party and sat at the waterfront looking at sprinkling lights draped on lighthouses, that France has put up everywhere as Paris contends to be the Olympic venue in 2012. We quickly summed the length and breadth and heights and depths of our countries for each other and wondered where we’d be seven years hence. Thousands of folded sails swayed in the night breeze, hitting against their masts, creating an euphonious rhythm that sounded like spill-overs from another beach, another world.

The next morning we visited the Aquarium. The colours, the texture, the size, the camouflage, the life and being, of ten thousand aquatic fauna and floral specimens from oceans all across was a strangely humbling half-experience of the day. The other half came when we took a boat to travel twenty kilometers in the sea to see Fort Boyard, an old prison now used for treasure-hunting television game shows during summers. Water water everywhere …. recounting tales of adventures on the sea, some real and some almost so. One felt so small against the magnanimity of life.

To be able to shake the albatross off and sail out in the unknown in search of a new land … aye! aye!

That was nearly two years ago, but this time the swim around (un)familiar bays was strangely nostalgic.

The journey to finding nemo in the next post . . .

Saturday, February 11, 2006


My winter internship concludes today.I might never come back to this office again, never use this keyboard with the unsteady grip key, or stare outside these dusty bay windows after an elusive thought, or dip into these sights, sounds, smells, people who are constantly trying to infuse madness into method.Watch hours of raw footage and talk sequence into the mindless jabberings of celebs and pseudo-celebs.

Yet, the feeling is neutral. No sense of an ending or a subsequent beginning. A comfortable detachment. Like walking around the rooms of an abandoned house all night because a rain-storm wouldn't let leave and as the day dawns, tie your scarf and walk out.

Yet I feel an awekening. A charged soul and charred lungs too. Will miss the electricity everytime India lost a wicket or the claps when Daya Nayak walked behind bars. The screaming idealsim of the boss. The excitement, the energy, the enthusiasm. The nights and days spent perfecting the scripts and patching the shots. The lil call, 'Hey! lets catch a smoke and talk of whats wrong and right with the nation...'

The muse has left the building. Yet there is no sense of loss, but of hope to return to the fortress again. This time as a conquered victor, a warrior who braved it all. Wondering if Im the branded journalist yet!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Fair Lady ??

Its been a month of soul-searching, and a lot of sole searching as well!!

Massive deflation of inflated ego (quite painfully might I add!)

Whole lot of accidents (physically too!) But most of all a massive learning experience.

It really is something to live on your own and try and be grown up about it. I mean, come on, for all the goodness in this world at least I can now safely say I've had my share of it, for now begins the negating of the goodness. Why I just came out of my small litlle fairyland (quite a bit like Neverland actually. Even Narnia couldn't possibly top up this one!) and when reality hits, man it hits with a bang.

Wu-hu. . . quite metaphorically speaking, its no devil's playground either. And of course no walk in the clouds. Its just a plain yellow-brick road (with all aplogies to Sir Elton John) And I dont wanna bore ye all with another rambling of what life is and isn't and all sorts of bull. And I don't want this to be one of the most brilliant sentences ever sticthed together on how I, the Queen of the World (my reality of my self is quite conceitedly arrogant. Ouch!!!) fell out of the wardrobe on the other side and realised no body gave two hoots about Her Highness or should I say My Highness. (again with all aplogies to the Chronicles of Narnia!) "Bollocks!" I thought to myself. "This shit stinks bad."

And what does the Queen do when her claim to power is threatened. Why she screams, and cribs and cries and yells and nags and throws her weight around ... (and ironically, she has been so well endowed in that particular beefy department, if y'all know what I mean.) But that made things not just difficult, quite funny as well. Why here's an example...

The day I went out to air myself on national television screaming about child molestation, I nearly got molested myself (and no way could this be a childish one! Oh! and we were not gonna play hide and seek or roll the monkey either).
{- Exhibit A

And the one day I atually got some work to do, tripped on my twinkle-toes, broke the microphone which slipped through my butter fingers (imagine ruining my own mouthpiece when I can scream the house down.)

Suddenly I had no voice. No ear to throw my sounds upon. Wow! now that was some reality-check. Looked like God put a silencer on those vocal chords. Got pushed around, thrown about, knocked my head around the place. The day Delhi made a ping-pong ball out of me.....

But hey what the heck, maybe one day I'll win my deuce and pocket my advantage over this urban swamp on like millions of sons of Adam and Eve (I have got to get over the Narnia hangover) Still no Aslan awaits my aid. No white witch feels threatened by my presence and I still have the 70mm celluloid to capture. God dammit, I don't even have my Gun. Talk about being a big gun...sheesh! The world won't come crumbling down with my rage. (atleast the Greek Gods had that to glaot about!)

Nope! I aint no Goddess. No shocking sheeba. No enchanting princess of my own wood. No smokes will smut the city on my funeral pire. No wolves will howl my death. I won't be no noble sacrifice. Still I will be somebody. And I will be an asset to somebody. (Hopefully!)

Till then, lets just try to fill in shades of grey in this kaliedescope of mine. I'm gonna make it shine. (and we'll go singing this on the yellow brick road.) Think of stories to do and make. Make Anoushka Shankar pour music from her strings. Act more for social causes (I think! recreation for a news story is conscientious work. . .I think!) Don't take our politicians for granted. Amit Jogi, Arun Jaitely and Sonia Gandhi are really nice people. Or atleast in front of the camera. (my own version of two guys, a girl and a chair.)

Anyway, who am I really to judge. I'm just a girl trying to grow up. Find my ground. Be a good journalist. An objective Human Being. (oh wait! isnt it the other way around.)

Whatever it is. One more night to be in my fairyland. Staging My Fair Lady. Trying to act my part a little seriously this time. So go on world, bring it on. Write blogs on me. Walk over me. You're all actors in my stage....Happy to be alive. Belong to this moment. Content to be here!!!