Monday, January 30, 2006

A Divine Request

The following was found, carved on a granite slab at the temple construction site:

Dear Mason, please do not build me a temple. I never asked for one. I came here into this stone that you wish to enshrine, of my own volition. I wish to enjoy the world as it is; its rains, its storms, its winter, its sunshine and its spring. I want to see all those who walk past on that road, not merely those who enter your temple with floral offerings for me. I am not only interested in roses and jasmines but I also want to see the bright pinks and muaves of wild flowers, which you people decided aren't good for me. I want to stretch under the sky and enjoy the breeze.
I suppose you might expect me to shoot your efforts down with lightening and disease in order to indicate this preference of mine, but I wished to appeal to your senses. Don't cut me off from the world I created.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A duet...

Fall unto me
To my hard parched crust.
Bereft of you
I am amorphous dust.

Where else shall I go?
To you I shall longingly cling
With a helpless love
A pitter, a patter I sing

But a great lover you are,
Making such a heavenly descent
What do I have to give you?
No stars, no angels, nor a crescent

Without a bed am I
And a soft one you give.
Mountains for shoulders,
Green valleys to live.

But in your fall you rise
The petrichor, my blush.
A divine love's serenade,
In the voice of a thrush.

As you rise to meet me
With your soil I shall merge
And this world, in our love, shall-
Bloom with passionate urge.

This is dedicated to Madhura, who inspired this poem, in her own unique way...

Making a difference

Warning: What follows is fairly bland for artists

I got a mail from a fellow blogger. She brought this article in ET to my notice. I was delighted to read about this. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to do something like this. And this provides fodder to all those vacilating hearts, which remain undecided about what they must do with their lives... Hats off to these guys; whether they succeed or fail is irrelevant.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It is true...

It is true that I feel different today. I am unable to put my finger on what exactly I feel like, but I am glad that I am clueless; that should tell you how different I feel today...

I feel like running
Running over streams
Running under a bridge while a train chugs on it
Running around the tree till it feels dizzy and sheds its fruits
Running with the goats and in all the directions the kids skip
Running through the lush green of paddy, with the hope that others shall feed on this excitement
Running on the beach clapping hands with slapping waves
Running amongst family and hearing them shout out to me to take care

I feel like laughing
Laughing with the birds that tango in the wind
Laughing with the rain trotting along my roof
Laughing till I cough and then laugh because I managed to cough
Laughing while the bathers watch me take their clothes and run away
Laughing without opening my mouth
And then open it to guffaw
Laugh like my grandmother while her dentures lie elsewhere

I feel like being silent
Silent while the evening breeze wraps in shades of colourless indigo
Silent like the sunrise
Silent like the pleasure of holding her new born child
Silent while thin roots unite with the magnanimous earth
Silent like a caress
Silent like a shy gaze
Silent like the conversation of hearts separated by miles...

I feel all this and yet more... People would say I am in love. For once, I agree.

I have found love - again.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Alvibest Feb 2006

We have some information up on Alvibest's page. This issue will be interesting in that it has a hidden theme. The readers are invited to enjoy the various pieces put together (with a lot of joy and pain) and figure out the theme... Hope it is an interesting issue.

And this I feel...

As the posts make a transition from one form to another, I chanced on this poem (though a very familiar one) which describes a constant undercurrent of voices in my head...


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
---William Henry Davies

Thursday, January 19, 2006

From the diary of a cuckold...

Jan 19th 1937

In disgrace I find strength. She must think of me at least before the creepers of the night entangle her in the affairs of her manufacture. She must think, "How useless he is" or "And to think he doesn't know about Raj or Shikast or Assadullah or the many who have let their inadequate imagination abrade the adequacy of their manliness." And then the night consumes her, rather she consumes pawns in the span of a night.

But I know.

I know every skin that stuck to her navel when she steeled herself under the throes of unfaithful pleasure - the greater she strived for rigidity, the greater the pleasure that reverberated in the nether folds of her being... resounding with my disgrace.

But that is how she loves me, why else would she strive so hard to insult me? She thinks that in grinding my honour and self-respect between her abdomen and a strange, though virile, one, she could break me under her foot - stray glass on the corridor. But she can't and in not being able to do so, she strives harder. To shatter me, to make me fall at her feet, to lick beneath her toenails... and thereafter she will love me, her lover who has emptied himself of all pride only to be filled with her love. But I shall hold this up for a longer while. I shall prolong the final outburst of ecstasy, like every man learns on the first night in bed with his wife who dotes on him, but loves him not. For without such disgrace, without pride ground to fine powder which fills the air, there cannot be love...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

An artist's confession

I am not a good person. I am an artist who is slave to the wants and gestures of his art. I am a magician holding the wand that is my art, but the wand holds the magic, while I hold it out to you. I delight you with all that is beautiful and all that can be beautiful. I treat you to what you have known but never perceived. I bleed the redness out of red and whisper the completeness of white. I make the strings hum a tune and the empty space within the flute resound. I use words you knew, to effect a sensation you didn't. I stir in your heart the love for my woman, which you could never feel, but always wanted to. I am an artist. But I am not a good person.

I house the vilest gargoyles and wizards and lascivious women who run their tongue on every sensation that I put to words or let drip from my brush. Every tune that I twist such that it makes you smile and shake your head in wonder, is rendered when these demons clench my throat and and twist it between their thumbs. My expressions on my face as I play a tortured Draupadi or a spurned Shoorpanaka, is the stomping of heavy feet through my innards making me wince with a pain that is not mine. And when I play the lovelorn damsel, such irony tears my soul when I realise I have none in this world who shall pine thus for me. And my expression, then, is considered superb! My being is no longer mine as I whore it to the love for the arts. How could I be a good person?

How could I be a good person, when I chose the vagaries of an artist's life to that of a secure and social one? How could I be a good person, when I feed these monsters so that they torture me enough that I cry out as beautifully as you would like to witness? These demons who haunt me when I am alone in my studio with no one around me telling me how gifted I am, how blessed I am - blessed with the company of beasts that ensure that I have none to beautify my life while I colour the world around me. How could I be a good person when I want this? I want them more than I want you. I want them more than I want the luxury of a socially acceptable life. I want these miscreations more than all the beautiful women created by the Lord. Think how tormented an artist He must be to send His creation forth with the hope that they will live their lives trying to love Him or fear Him. I want the spirits that wet my tongue and drown my soul so that I can be what I, as a person, cannot. I want that joint which will make me forget and in my unconscious state let my barbarians come forth such that they create what none has ever done. I want those women who throng the evening street so that I know their dispassion while they clasp me with mechanical earnest. And through these loathsome acts - which you call loathsome - I destroy myself and give these demons a greater hold on me. Thus, art is created while I am destroyed, for art alone will stay when I am gone and all those people who called me a bad person lie under the sods.

Let me be so, for I am not a good person.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Shall I call Life a winter's night,
Long, with longer dreams?
Or call it a mid-summer's day
A warmth too late, it seems?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sleep dear one...

Oh! How I wish
That you would
Not close those eyes,
Those eyes that hold me
With invisible hands
And love me
Like the only sun
But... Sleep dear one...

I would like
To take you to different
Full of flowers
And musical rains
And tangy air
To click our tongues on
But... Sleep dear one...

Don't be afraid
In the realms
That open to
Your eyes
While they are closed to me...
I am here
Your halcyon.
But... Sleep dear one...

When we are together
We will dance
And play with your hair.
I will let you fly
In my arms
You'll swing-
A wave of flaxen
But... Sleep dear one...

Do wake to wipe my tears
Do wake to tell me
"Just five minutes, dad"
Do be warm in my hold
Do quiet the voices in my head
Do whisper in my ear
"I'll return for certain"
But... Sleep on dear one...
Sleep on.
'Tis not your hour...
Sleep on.
I have no strength...
Sleep on.
I love you so...
Sleep on.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The curious incident of a bus in the night-time...

What more could leave you unprepared? A long day sprinkled with the same scent of tired keystrokes and overstretched deadlines, of "Man, I have to go home" muttered between teeth and bloodshot eyes unable to look at the watch... and then the trip to the public transport stop. An equally weary bus pulls in and coughs out zombies chattering out of habit or the need to keep themselves moving. Can you guess the day? Was it a Wednesday, or a Tuesday? No, Fridays aren't any better because "Come on, you have the whole weekend to rest" keeps hissing at you from all corners of an office constructed to make us lose track of time and sunlight. So, can you guess the day?

Exactly, it could have been just any other day and the faces that surrounded me could have been anyone. Suddenly, one fails to notice the flavour of an orange blouse, or a smart pair of shoes, or well cut trousers, or the elegant watch, or a nifty backpack... In tiredom lies the greatest destruction of beauty, and this is achieved not by touching beautiful entities but by dulling the senses. When else could a wonderful plate of antipasto appear as bland as unseasoned boiled potatoes? When else could a lovely wife waiting at home all decorated to please the man of her life, appear a little more familiar than a bellboy? When else could even Yanni's Nightingale transform into a noisy blast of police whistles and tumbling china? Blame not the artist, my dear, for the heart has a cataract.

Such a bus I boarded one night, with little clue of what was to come. I preferred to stand, bridging aisle and roof and politely turned down all invitations to find me seated. Everything was plain and normal and the bus conductor droned his appeals to all passengers to procure a ticket. The Bus engine droned, the passengers droned, every passing vehicle droned, the sultry evening heat droned in my ears, sweat screeching down my neck and floor of the bus a mirage of a nice comfortable bed (minus the frills ;-).

We reached this "Y" junction and we were driving down one of the outstretched arms of this wailing "Y" and had to go along the other flailing arm. But the bus had other plans, plans which no one knew of. The bus turned less sharply than the driver intended to and wedged its tired self at the centroid. And then started one of the finest samples of human bonding (without a trace of sarcasm there ;-).

Other vehicles had lovingly lodged themselves close enough to our bus's rear. So close that they could... well, with due respect to the tender hearts I shall refrain. So there was no space to back up and no space to move forth. The bus seemed to rest its sweat irrigated brow on a dilapidated wall which held within its confines a garbage dump. Off went the conductor, valiant and hopeful. He disappeared behind the bus and were it not for the constant whistles, we would have considered him devoured by the bus behind ours. In the eerie orange against the frosted rear glass, we saw many waving hands, like in a shadow puppet and shrill voices blaming everyone under the sun, most of whom are ignorant of this incident. The passengers were ready to blame the driver and dispel this matter to the misfortune that dilettantes bring to trusting patrons.

"He should have turned as soon as the mirror crosses that line. It takes a lot of talent to handle this kind of turns. You know, way back in my village...."

I simply shook my head and smiled.
A few passengers got off to ask the oncoming traffic to be patient, and to the fractious few, they lashed out in the most colourful language that could paint a grey evening like this. The conductor and a few others managed to get the vehicles move back a few human feet. A more refreshed bus inched back a little, until a landslide of "Enough" rendered the air and woke up confused birds. They never thought morning came with an "Enough"!! :-)

The bus backed a little and then turned a little and backed a little and turned a little. When enough of this was done to make it impossible for the bus to rest his forehead on the wall, a few anorexic two-wheelers and Somalian cyclists slithered between the now parted pair of incidental friends. One of the passengers manned the exit door and barked instructions to a driver who was looking the other way. He waved out to other vehicles and instructed them to move to specific locations on the road. Let me call this man DQ (for reasons some might know). So DQ kept doing this and kept checking on whether the ladies in the bus were impressed. Then he looked at me, seeking approval (and since when did I become the high priest? :-o ). I smiled at him and he continued with renewed vigour and purpose. He stepped off the bus and kept smacking its sides as an indication to the driver that he can move in the direction he had started out (either back or forth). A few others whistled and cheered as the bus made its final turn into the tired arm of the "Y". Everyone on the road started clapping (believe me) and the guys who had gotten off jumped right back in. What a wonderful homecoming that was! The bus dug two fingers into his mouth and blew the horn loud. I am sure I caught that bird shaking its head and shutting the windows! ;-)

Our man DQ barked his final orders and leapt in and straightened his shirt and dhoti (a long piece of white cloth kilted by men in some parts of India). He walked in with a sense of pride and gave me half a nod which I quickly reciprocated. He asked me to sit down, and I smiled while declining the offer. The more debonair amongst the passengers ran with the bus and then got in after it had picked pace. They jumped in and wore valiant smiles and an old man even patted them on their back. I turned around to look at all the passengers in the bus, everyone was smiling from their latest adventure. Everyone was happily chatting away and shaking their head in disbelief of what had transpired over the past 15 minutes. After driving a few ten meters, the driver screamed into the rear-view mirror.

"Did the conductor board the bus?"

Everyone laughed and turned towards the rear. They were all rewarded with a very familiar and musical whistle. I turned to face the front of the bus and felt the warmth of many smiles push the sweat on my nape to recesses unknown. I turned my head towards a familiar conversation...

"...And that driver would swerve straight between those huge banyan trees which marked the end of my village. I tell you, those men are real drivers..."

Happy New Year

Dear Friends,
"Like a Feather...." and I wish you a very happy and peaceful new year. Hope this year gives you all that you might have wanted, and all that is truly meant to be yours... :-)

LAF.... & Eroteme
ps: Some more posts in the offing! ;-)