Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unrequited Love

Since buddy is now talking about Love Unrequited..a subject I never thought his pen(or rather his keyboard in this case) would dispense.
The beautiful sublimity of the prose he has brought forth gains an inexplicable level of significance for her not having read it.
As it may be, my gut twirls too and my heart flings itself within the inadequate confines of any medium of expression..

If I were to compare and contrast then his love is sublime beauty and mine is extreme insanity!

Prose is not my forte, I guess this better explains the madness thats my Unrequited Love..

I still hope in time that he will be mine,
Even though I know otherwise;
I'm aware that I'm being blind,
But its the only way I keep alive.

Though the distance physically has grown,
I feel his heartbeat closer than my own;
He's not even a part of my day,
Yet he lives alongside me always.

In this delusional world of mine,
My love for him is the only sign that;
I exist in this fabric of time,
He lives in this world where I survive.

His presence in mind is so strong,
Thats why I feel my world is all wrong;
Without him I do easily exist,
But it is exceedingly difficult to live.

A glimpse of him breathes life in me,
A reason to live and go on I see;
Emotions though are a complete upheaval,
Happines, melancholy & anguish all part of me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Love II

My name is buddy. If things counted that way, I’d be in eighteenth standard now. And this is an attempt to define my ‘crush’. Straightforward enough so far, since writing doesn’t involve being tongue-tied.

I liked you the moment I started speaking to you. Chaos theory applicable in full force. If I hadn’t liked you then, I probably would never have and the liking only increased with time. True to the sighing young man I stuck to clichés, I borrowed your assignment and lent mine away, I asked you for help where none was needed. I think the first time my heart gave a leap and my stomach jolted and I realized that such feelings were possible, was when I saw you in the gray salwar-kameez. I stopped simply to look at you. No blasé comparisions to celestial beings or earthy voluptuousness, just pure admiration for your beauty.

Like the darkness you awoke feelings in me I knew not I had. The green monster frequented me and so did a dark gloom. A lonely melancholy and lop-sided smiles were my company. When you passed on gossip to me, it was a treasured secret, when you laughed at my jokes I felt invincible. Why did you ever not cry at my shoulder? Open at times, cold and aloof at others whatever you were only served to increase your allure.

Like a deep thing of immensity it lay in my heart, with everyday life like falling leaves on a snowy patch. We went our separate ways, as people are eventually wont to. I strangely have no recollection of the last time I met you. Was it when we were both on stage together (your black saree oddly distracting me at every word I spoke)? Or was it the coffee we had (cuppa filter in the rain surrounded by old books)? Or was it at lunch, a meager spread that has never been more scrumptious?

Familiar beasts of old call upon sometimes and I wave them away with a wave of my hand. Will this be of what I will sing when I am lonely? Or write about when it’s cold and I wish coziness? I close with the sunset. Time to move on buddy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Amra tumari Kolkata

This post is a belated birthday present to her.

A hot sultry summer. I was seven, my uncle was investigating the noble Harshad Mehta’s intentions and so we took a long vacation to Calcutta. My first impression of Bengal was water, lots of it. My second impression was of greenery. Sweets. The Bengali language. I was smitten even before I saw the Howrah bridge.

Calcutta then seemed to me as suffering from a massive colonial hangover (yes even at seven, I had such thoughts, I am exceptionally intelligent). I heard of the teeming poverty, and the black hole of Calcutta, in a huge apartment, cloistered from the harshness. Lazy afternoons, walking in parks, mishti dohi for treats. Lots of books and patient grandparents.

I still remember the day we took the metro. I was thrilled to bits. Imagine! An underground train; this is what foreign must be like. A fascination for the subway born then, and even after several rides in various megalopolises I yearn for that first ride from Kalighat to Esplanade. Amma and I took the tram. I look positively cute in those photographs (sigh!) and the city looks Orwellian. Huge buildings loom over and trams amble insignificantly, tracks gracefully merging, separating and merging yet again.

Tushanga was my first friend in the city. I was absolutely in love with her, the long hair and her cute Bangla. To me the language sounded like pearls dropping in milk. We played every day, the silly games of an innocent era, long gone. She lived in a huge building, devoid of an elevator and I ate sweets her mom fed me.

Dakshineshwar was scary. Huge. Full of beggars and strange men. I was strangely captivated by the aarti. The dhol pounded, cymbals clanged and the conch blew out, calling to the Goddess. Ancient tunes, designed to rouse primal emotions and mere mortals could only sway to the rhythm. Mesmerizingly captivating, antithetical to the silent placid Hooghly flowing beside it.

I wish to go back again. The years may not have added wisdom, but I am more knowledgeable now. A part of me wants to gaze shamelessly at hot girls, another wants to make sense of communism. Addas. Rabindra sangeet. Absorb literature. Take the metro. I want to roam the streets, savour mishti dohi again. Bite into a roshogolla. Be enchanted by the aarti to Kali maa. Listen to a beautiful girl's thoughts in Bangla.

I want to go to Calcutta.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action day ‘08

A few friends put me upto this.

I sincerely feel one cannot know the true magnitude of poverty and its many aspects; despair, frustration and desire unless one experiences it. However my small attempt at understanding it.


Wants and needs mingle

fuse , entwine, unite

at the sight of food.

yuck, bwack and vomit

to him seem manna.

Desires are shoved, needs attended to

pockets can stretch only so much.

I have little, I am happy

If though I can have more…

Frustration at being outmoded

Vertu prada and Gucci

unable to afford,

They call her poor.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Autumnal aberrations

He sighed... And waited for the mustard seed to pop. Cumin lent more flavor, but mustard was traditional. The gas went tic-tic-tic and after what seemed like eternity; the seed sprang to life, zig-zagged a little, moved like a wayward diwali cracker and finally exploded.

“Ouch! that must did your face get this way?” she demanded next morning.


Savitri pondered. This was the third time this month water had appeared from nowhere. Must surely be a good omen. She rushed and bottled the holy water seeping out of the ground.

Murugavel hammered with all his strength. There the water rushed out. “Your septic tank is ok Selviamma”. Who had time to repair the choked tank? That too thrice this month? Diwali was coming. He quietly pocketed the money and left.


She pauses to breathe

her burden she lays aside

a fly buzzed, wildly she swerves

spilling milk on the roadside ganesha.

Disappears under her piteous gaze

shock, amazement then wonder

as a nation stood bleeding cows dry.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Mama Stores

“Good morning ma” I said, conscious of the time difference.

Instead of the bleary, sleepy voice I expected, Amma said in chirpy tones “Good morning kanna, You know what happened yesterday?”

I wondered which of my aunts had committed what sin. Or maybe the bai was playing truant. Or was Appa up to some mischief?

Amma went on to describe what she called the brilliantest bloodless coup of this decade. Yesterday while buying vegetables she casually happened to notice that the vendor was wrapping coriander in a page from some comic book. Further inspection revealed it to be Indrajaal comics. Amma jumped, coaxed, cajoled and bought off the vegetablewalli’s entire stock of coriander wrapping paper. Back home she was in her own world of childhood reminiscences and nostalgia, Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon and the ubiquitous Henry. I nodded ferociously in agreement. “Brilliant” I screamed into the phone.

Twenty more minutes of less mundane topics later I was back in my own world and wished I magically found my own piece of nostalgia wrapped around some rotten coriander. ‘Gokulam’ would be found only at Mama Stores (No one knows the real name, that’s what all of us called it). In a corner of this western Indian island Mama Stores was the sole link to Tamil Nadu, selling exotic kizhangus, aromatic kapi podi, and all other paraphernalia required to please the good Tamil Gods and the fat Tamil priests. While parents queued to buy Kumudams and Vikatans, I would jump up to get the magazine. For some strange reason, mama hung Gokulam from a clothesline high up. For an hour after we returned home, feeling like exiles in a strange land with bags full of strange Tamizh goods; I would be absorbed in Gokulam; reading pen pal’s letters to each other, enjoying the illustrated tales, fables and episodic stories. Of all that the magazine yielded I delighted most in the stories of king Jayabalan. Written by the witty J Vasanthan they revolved around a fat, foolish egomaniacal king and his more foolish ministers. I was too young to get any political satires that might have been planted in the stories but at that age I thought naming the minister of communication ‘tholaipesi’ and the defense minister ‘kavasam’ the height of satire. As I grew up and drifted off into wider literary circles, Gokulam took a backseat. On my acquisition of a bike, Amma sent me far and wide to shop for Tamizh goods and Mama Stores lay ignored.

Today that part of my childhood came and hit me, making me miss home all the more. Of the twenty days that my unforgiving schedule allows me to go to India, I must somehow find time to say hi to ‘mama’ and see if Gokulam still exists. That thought alone brings a wide smile to my face.