27 December, 2009
22 December, 2009
- The Family: For letting me.
- The Atul: For giving us all one more reason to smile.
- The Sopho: Of the 2,10,71,986 reasons I can think of thanking you, I'd like to choose just one. Thank you for staying up with me that bluish-grey dawn. 21st April 2009.
- The Unwitting Healer, my Roosi, who has only given and given and given. We should forget about our DoC scale and start on a new HoH (Halo of Happiness) measurement. You're an 11 on 10.
- The Firangi Friends, Maitreyi and Ashwina. Even on different continents you've managed to hear me out. Thank you for allowing the distances make the heart grow fonder.
- The Beautiful Stranger, Rain: You have (so poetically) been my dirty little secret, my stashed away joy for a rainy day, my tears and fears all rolled into pretty prose.
- The Warrior, my Rinchen: Thank you for all our laughs and all those trips. They'd have been imperfect without you :) But most of all, for being most fun on the coldest of days.
- The Russian Romance, Ani: You have to be thanked for managing to make me smile from the most difficult place ever - my memory. Thank you for all those unexpected land-up-on-doorstep times, chocolate-sauce-off-your-misshapen-fingers, crooked smiles and spontaneity.
- To Zach Braff for being the guy I love to love. All the time. For filling a 101 lonely evenings with laughter.
- To G, the Gargoyle: For teaching me that I do, after all, have a lot to learn.
- To Feeder for singing to me a song for every mood. "Been calling out for days, as emptiness invades, another moment's lost again, just sunk beneath the waves."
- To CPC, for giving me my love for the colour orange. It took me so long to realize that it was because of you.
- To Leh, for showing me enough beauty to make me believe.
For a year so trying, I think I had more than my share of laughs :) And now a post this drab has perked me up! New Year? Here we come :) Enjoy your parties people! And try to fit it the environment into your new year resolutions. One plastic cup less and one car pool more does make (enough?) a difference.
14 December, 2009
I am taking you on this trip with me. To this quiet little place. It's a dilapidated little cottage. Without the Internet and definitely no phones. It's surrounded by oak trees and at this time of the year, the brown leaves must have fallen, our shoes can shuffle out a melody walking on them. There is an old spaniel guarding the place, he likes lolling in the sun and chasing any squirrels he can barely see. We could subsist on canned sausages and that marvellous bread I bake. And a brew of some kind.
Don't become starry-eyed now - we aren't going for long. I wouldn't want you to start getting on my nerves. Confrontations were never my favourite place, you know that too well. It's the library I am going for. That, and the sunsets of course. There is going to be no music too, I am being hard hearted you'll sulk. But this one time, shhhh. I am taking you on this trip with me. You must know, you don't have a choice.
06 December, 2009
28 November, 2009
- John Mayer
- Justin Timberlake and Siamese twin Nelly Furtado
26 November, 2009
22 November, 2009
No stranger to my thoughts
A smile you drop
A whisper shuffles through
Will you never stop?
I don't muster the will
To look through you
Your courage always
Willing me to fail
We dance around
Naïve, blissful fools
I sigh content
Never did unease
Seem so tremendous
So terribly spent
21 November, 2009
13 November, 2009
10 November, 2009
07 November, 2009
04 November, 2009
03 November, 2009
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me
I’m more than a bird…
I’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me
I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie'bout a home
I’ll never see
It may sound absurd…
but don’t be naive
Even Heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed…
but won’t you concede
Even Heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me
18 October, 2009
so very fast
up the tunnel
towards the darkness.
Isn't that the wrong way?
Where is the right?
Somewhere opposite the wrong.
into a sleepless dream
Has it begun?
you took a wrong turn
And now we are plodding
Back to the ending.
05 October, 2009
- Go to my house,
- Via Mr. Co-Passenger’s house and
- Go by meter.
01 October, 2009
Just when the silence was deafening, there arrived a gaggle of people, each competing with the other for being ostentatious and obnoxious. They brought with them a fur clad perfumed spaniel pup. I saw her eyes widening as she saw the little puppy, she almost choked on the water which she had been sipping for well over a minute. There were four of them with one woman, fat in a shapely way, a voice louder than the words she spoke, impeccable English with an authoritative air. She sniffed at the water and asked for mineral water, petted her spaniel with affection and laughed heartily. My object of observation frowned as she watched this ridiculous display of garrulousness, and looked sympathetically at the three men around the table. One had a nervous twitch, so noticeable, it made me want to twitch. The other fellow nearly collapsed in relief when the waiter permitted him to smoke inside the restaurant. The third was one of those people who have nothing specific, they are a face, like any other, listless, without character, the kind of face you wouldn’t want to hear talk, the kind my mind has no use of. the verbose lady carried out pompously discussing everything from cheap hotels to unending journeys, pets and politics.
But coming back to her. Today she is wearing blue. Heightened against her dark skin. Her hair has been left loose. I can make out she hasn’t brushed it and the dishevelment becomes her. She started as her food came and she rolled up her sleeves, as if it were an unpleasant task to be done. Slowly she chomped through the chapattis, taking big mouthfuls and washing them down systematically with water. She cocked her head slightly and I knew she was eavesdropping. I could tell by the way her expressions tattled. There was a frown. Sometimes a grin. She rolled her eyes at times and almost chuckled when the dog peed on the carpet. I played along her emotions, wondering if she saw me sitting beside her table. I had ordered what she had and matched her movements. Break a piece. Make a bite. Put in mouth. Chew a bit. Just a bit and swallow.
She carried on till the dishes were empty. The cheeky waiter, a boy at best, cleared away her dishes. She rose now and I with her, but I left abruptly so I wouldn’t be too obvious. She stood near the counter, picking at the saunf and smiling at the manager. Her knee was bent, she toyed with the tassels of her shawl. It was a balmy night and I hated to say goodbye.
16 September, 2009
29 August, 2009
28 July, 2009
Half past nine on a monsoon night. People getting wet. Pee getting washed off the numerous pee soaked walls of Delhi. Birds were shivering. Traffic jams a-building. “Sonam” cab service sent us a car (whoever heard of a Sonam cab service?). Anyway, out we ventured into the dark stormy night. Neon lights flickered over soggy stalls of whatever. Lightning tore across the inky sky, illuminating washed out dogs, sodden motorcyclists and glistening trees alike. Thunder raged across the heavens, competing with the cacophony of the downpour. Water gushed from everywhere possible. Our car raced through puddles, sending sprays of water on everything that dared to cross its path. We exchanged suitably abusive language with the guy we drenched on his lookatme bike. There were enough broken down DTC buses and marooned cyclists to certify the monsoons had finally arrived in Delhi.
Delhi was under deluge. The journey was interesting – I got an education in the transport systems of Calcutta from Sujati (ha ha ha), which made me want to visit the city more than ever (it definitely goes on my list of places to travel to along with Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar, Sikkim and Gujarat), we nearly had a gazillion accidents, dodging potholes and second guessing similar surprises like speed breakers and open manholes was quickly developed into an art...in short it was an eventful drive on a backdrop of a movie-like scenario (really, superheroes were just waiting to appear).
Then I got stuck (ohsostuck) in a never ending ribbon of various modes of transportation, stretching over kilometers. Barely functional autos, spewing out copious quantities of fumes, big bad buses which hogged most of the road, tractors which moved slower than each other, two wheelers of various shapes and sizes filling into any lacuna they could perceive, cars – elegant so-not-fit-for-monsoon sedans and burly high end I-can-hog-large-chunks-of-the-road SUVs. A friendship sprung up between the taxi driver and I, where topics of conversation ranged from traffic woes in Delhi, to the construction of the Metro and its side effects, to the child wailing in the next car, the surprising weather conditions, his inability to understand Delhi roads and my ability to give last minute swerve-crazily-or-you-will-miss directions. He was as new to Delhi as the rains and appeared just as lost.
The radio station played a Floyd number and managed to surprise me. Then they followed it with Michael Jackson and won me over with their predictability. A man in the next car was reading a book, the name of which I didn’t manage to catch. A dog waded through the river and looked at me with forlorn eyes. A breeze started and shook a few bougainvillea flowers which stained the divider with their scarlet exuberance (bougainvillea flowers have so much character, it’s inspiring). It was post twelve and dreams beckoned with their characteristic naivety. I reached home at some ungodly hour and got another glare from the madamji-aap-itne-late-kyun-aate-ho guard. He laughed at my wet clothes and I pointed to his folded pants.
The deluge, it had done wonderful things to my state of mind. And I thanked you for this cruel summer. It made the rain that much funner. (Wow I am thinking in rhyme now!)
15 July, 2009
I remember this poem from a time frame so obscure, that it’s a miracle I remember it at all. The poem was from this thin little copy of Aesop’s fables I had. Yellow cover. Red lettering. Very poor quality paper. Bad printing. I learnt the poem thinking it meant something very important and adult like, not realizing how true it would turn out to be. [Adulthood fascinated us so much when we are kids, its such a let down I tell you. The only part I like about it is that you don’t get shooed into bed at an ungodly early hour.] So, coming back to Aesop’s, I realized how my treacherous memory was failing me and I couldn’t remember even one story [or fable whatever]. So I picked up the book [this version was a hardbound, tastefully illustrated version, nice yellow paper, beautiful slanting font and delectable printing] and began a very loud rendition of … wait I think I should read it out to you people as well (since it seems like I have nothing else to write anyway :P). Here goes:
A Wolf, sorely wounded and bitten by dogs, lay sick and maimed in his lair. Being in want of food, he called to a Sheep, who was passing, and asked to fetch him some water from a stream flowing close beside him. ‘For,’ he said, ‘if you will bring me a drink, I will find means to provide myself with meat.’ ‘Yes,’ said the Sheep,’ if I should bring you the drought, you would doubtless make me provide the meat also.’
Hypocritical speeches are easily seen through.
That, I realized was some moral. And yes its been tried and tested by so many, that it's not a hypothesis by any stretch of imagination. But then I also came across another one, which was sort of, let’s just say, a little drastic?
The Ass And The Grasshopper
An Ass, having heard some Grasshoppers chirping, was highly enchanted; and, desiring to possess the same charms of melody, demanded what sort of food they lived on, to give them beautiful voices. They replied, ‘The dew.’ The Ass resolved that he would only live upon dew, and in a short time died of hunger.
13 June, 2009
03 June, 2009
Ours is a different kind of love baby,
Everyone says that I know.
It teases and appeases and hell yeah it pleases.
Its the painful high, the exhilarating low.
Ours is a funny kind of jive baby,
We are always dancing out of step.
Any song that plays through my soul
Has a rhythm you can't interpret.
Ours is a silly conversation darlin',
You talk to me with baited breath
We listen to our fancy silences,
Words die their silent death.
Ours is the unfinished masterpiece my dear,
The one that could get smudged anytime
We are so drunk, we're almost sound sober now
A crazy cocktail? The shameless wine?
01 June, 2009
|The view from the plane.|
26 May, 2009
After a tumultuous night of bumpity-bump, we woke to the coniferous greenery of the Kashmir Valley. Remember how they told of paradise on earth and how you snorted (well I did)? They were true (the they I tell you, often get it quite right). The stone and wood houses with their sloping roofs and walnut groves. White waters gushing past blades of grass and sheeps' noses. The smooth rain-soaked roads and perfumed winds. Wild flowers nodding amicably at the groggy sun. And amidst that, me, squashed in a Tata Sumo, trying to guard my packet of chocolate cookies from crumbling into anonymity and rearranging my legs into another insane pose.
And then before we could breathe in the beauty of Sonamarg and feast on the pastoral landscapes that identify the valley, we rudely charged into the bustle of Srinagar. Indian cities, on a whole, are uncannily similar. They may have their own "look" and character but deep down, they thrive on the same values. Jugaad. Bullock carts jostled with taxis, a fruit seller washed his shop and threw the water on the road, unsettling some lethargic dust, garbage was placed at prime in-your-face locations, people walked around with familiar nonchalance, a dog lifted a leg and urinated on the tyre of a parked car, trees made themselves heard by whistling in the wind (yeah yeah they were the famed excessively beautiful and grand chinars, but they were trees)... so you know, the regular. A market in the morning is a fascinating place. A man was wiping his Quran, another was dusting a picture of Ganesha. The air was heavy with the aroma of spices. Cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, cloves. Walnuts poured out of gunny bags. Shopkeepers pushed vegetables onto wooden planks and washed them more vigourously than thoroughly. Watermelons were sliced and put on display at positions reserved for the enviable. Cows jostled with other road riff raff for morsels of yesterday's mangoes and discarded vegetables. The intense activity, all carried out in languid precision was a sight to watch. I could've been in Agra or Cochin and the essence of the scene would have been identical.
The Dal Lake, on first glance, disappointed. The houseboats were infinite in number, the shikaras too eager to help, the waters looked murky, the air smelt dank. And then we actually descended into a boat. It was like entering another world. The heart shaped paddle gently cutting into the water. It almost caressed the waters, willing them to part and give way. The waters lapped around the boat in fond familiarity. We steered through the first row of "important" houseboats. They were large and almost had a pompous air about them. Like people who know they are powerful and like to flaunt it. Then we reached the "backwaters". Here an amazing world, a planet in itself unfolded. I saw white-capped men pray. Women, blue eyed and fair skinned waved to us. A boat passed by, urging us to dress up in "true kashmiri outfit mam" and get a "Kodak" clicked. The houseboats here were smaller and humble here. Singhara and lotus leaves fought for air space. A boat full of flowers passed us by. And then we reached our houseboat. Ameen guided us through its beautiful interiors. He spoke at length (with inspiring passion) about his people, how it gladdened his heart to see Indian tourists come and bust their notions about an “unsafe” Kashmir, how Srinagar was indeed jannat. He spoke of his religion and how some fanatics had maligned it irreparably, “Islam talks of peace and humility. It tells me to look after my guests and place them before my family. It tells me to be humble and kind, certainly not kill and spread fear.”
R and I discovered the city like children in a candy shop. We ran around the expanses of Srinagar’s famous (and after a point monotonous) gardens. Shalimar Bagh and its colours. Nishat Bagh and its fountains. Pari Mahal built by the unfortunate Dara Shikoh. Chasmashaaheen named so because of the spring in the garden, the waters of which are considered to have medicinal properties. An impromptu thunderstorm moistened the hues of the setting sun. We indulged in a shikara ride lasting hours and which cannot be described by any other word but the rather ambiguous adjective – “romantic”. We slept that night in tune to the rhythm of the waters lapping at our boat and the gentle swaying of a dreamless sleep.
The rest of the journey back to Delhi was a muddle of assorted modes of transportation, erratic meals, a curfew in Punjab (because of goings on in Vienna if you please), smelling pee-perfumed air at the Jammu bus stand, delays and fatigue, pacifying a harried family, awe at activities inside and outside the sleeper bus and of course major sessions of slumber. The journey came to an abrupt end, earlier than expected and rather comfortable in its final leg. I am back in the heat of Delhi (I had forgotten how it makes your skin melt) and the madness of office. I am back with a new face (it's the unflattering and woe-of-my-life tan), a new mood (which I am unable to describe) and a new peace (no I am not splattering every sordid detail of every single thing in my life people). So yes, cutting the loooooooooooooong story short, I'm back. Yet again.
30 April, 2009
25 April, 2009
Those eyes lost somewhere in that black face of his
He had a piece of flesh in his mouth
Still dripping red
For the moment he seemed to see right through me
Through my farce
Through my fears
Right to my core
Where nestled my dearest woes
And then he flew away
Resplendent blue feathers
The white accented by that ebony face.
15 April, 2009
Suddenly he was seized by the urge to get away from her. Tear himself away before he was swallowed into her world again. It glittered and glistened – but for her alone. It was an unhappy world for an outsider. It was complete for her. A colourful world of his orange clad girl.