Saturday, September 29, 2007


Bow down, arrogant soul
In sadness' tell, I, a weighing heart carry,
Such threads enweaved, held in another's clasp.
Every smite a painful tonne's decree
To buckle, founder, but bear all's rasp,

For in Fate's tutelage, love's a queer whip
That bringst little joy but anxious wantings.
Dare a moment of trust lie sweet on Time's lip
The next shall cleave, lese majesty it brings.

Myriad ferules make coral scars common
And mind sillies to seek purpose in pain.
What such life heralds, what seeks the soul broken
Will one ever know, what be good Fortune's bane?

When grey sorrow bows to a blacker one,
Sole joy I limn in grief's colourful run.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Why leave me alone?

I wonder why
I confuse names
But never yours
With another face
Or another voice
Or another smile.

I wonder why
I still wish to hear
You laugh at me
And call me cute.
Pity me and my world
Scold my tormentors
Shoo away the black crows
Of destiny that
Mingle with my shadow.

I wonder why
Your approval matters
Why I still seek
Your "ok" even after
A hundred "go ahead".
Teach me the magic of
Infusing power and hope
With a bi-syllable.

I wonder why
I feel empty without you
And every dream
Has you at the end
Or at the beginning
If it were a nightmare.
Let me curl up to you.
Be my pillow for this
Lifetime's sleepy travels.

I wonder why
All that you give me
Can be counted
On several fingers
But what I have to give
Doesn't have me unfolding
A single finger.
But my hands are
Firmly holding you
In my heart
And I wouldn't
Move a finger for the
Banal purpose of counting.

I wonder why
You never get to hear
My heart call out
Your name
Before and after mine.
And then just keep
Calling out yours,
For mine is lost in there

I wonder why
You will never know
That I keep
Wondering about
The silliest things
In our life
And imagine how beautiful
It would be
Every single day
Only if you had stayed on
To hear me tell you that...

I wonder why
Like a lonely boat
I buoy to the
Painful thump
Of your departing feet.



This is my nephew trying to clean his ears. The best thing about him is that he is stupid to the core (stupid in the dear sorta way). He had this earbud plugged into his ear and he was walking around. Much to my sister's delight I must confess that he is as weird as I am. So I see this little nut walking around with a erabud hanging out of his ear and I asked him "V what do you want me to do? Should I hang my handkerchief there!?" He gave me this sheepish grin and went to sit on his Pooh chair while watching my mom do her puja. Suddenly, he decided to operate it and that is when I shot this!!!

Brahma in this Age

In tune with the times...
I couldn't help but shoot this image of Brahma on the mobile. The lady was reluctant and turned around before I could complete the shot. It was absolutely hilarious to watch One of Brahma's heads on the mobile!! This was shot backstage at a recent dance performance that I had attended.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I earnestly resist the lazy temptation of casting it all into the "American" mould (and they would spell it as mold). As much as I use several American inventions and thank scores of them for making life easy, I also look around myself and try to figure out which aspects of humane life have they really touched and enhanced. Now, when I say "they" I really mean the West.

A friend of mine and I were discussing how the "Americans" have made everything so vulgar (including the words they seemed to have invented). Junk food, to start with, is very tasty but devoid of nutrition and only worsens the health of an individual. Nuclear power transmission was well conceived (although mostly as a part of the notorious Manhattan Project) "there" (though the transmission to a grid was first done in USSR who don't really form a part of "them") the current state of nuclear warfare and devastation owes a lot to "them". Art has become crass and silly thanks to "them". Jokes are better when they are laced with "American" words for various anatomical parts. People consider themselves cool and the like only when they speak with a false accent and use four letter words as punctuation. MTV, Ms. Spears, Janet Jackson, divorce (if you wish to believe that the man with the higher rates is responsible for your son following suit)... name it. The tone seems to be of "do whatever you feel like doing" which only brings us closer to our animal self which we alternately justify or condemn depending on which side of wall we are on (and sometimes the same person condemns some of them while rooting for the others). Why, a perfume brand is now called FCUK. Like I need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why the lady in red was smiling when her eyes fell on that vial of vulgarised aroma!

But then that would be silly (no, not the rocket scientist part). I think what "America" has done is to take their philosophy of capitalism beyond the industry (and capitalism is so misunderstood to its own undoing). What works in the context of an industry (create goods in demand and sell them for a profit, re-invest and continue to grow the business) doesn't work well in facets of life outside the industry. Art is also created based on sheer market forces. How else would we justify Harry Porter, chick-lit and other short-lived sensations aired on the Big O show? Look at the crazy world of movie making (there was a post about this, a while ago). Look at how children interact with their parents in the West (they want to do what they want to do and are entitled to their individual rights with least concern for their parents). Old age homes are justified on the simple rational that it doesn't work out to be worth one's while (and one's time and energy are vital and valuable as resources in the capitalist scheme of living). With notions like "only you matter" and "you are the most important person in your life" a possibility of cooperation based on intangibles is wiped out (and what might they be?). Life becomes a sheer barter and profit making venture which cannot be censured on the grounds of logic for what simpler logic can a man call upon than the need to satisfy his hunger which seamlessly extends into satisfying his needs and like one cloud merging with another at no particular point, into a satisfying his wants. No argument on earth can logically deny a man the means to satisfy his wants unless it brings direct harm to another person. But extrapolating that to every walk of our life doesn't always make sense. That "they" have actually made a business out of nearly everything "they" touch (academics, visual arts, sports, music, journalism, etc.) has ushered in a lot of good and professionalism but doing the same to several other aspects of life (interpersonal relationships, entertainment, sense of worth which is quite a senseless thing, etc.) has overshot the possibly intended purpose and has become a moral famine where everyone seems to be doing well based on what they own or achieve but a dirth at the core.

When I look at the commercialisation of nearly every aspect of life, I tend to wonder whether this makes any more sense. Surely the commercialisation of human sentiment and pride (which goes by the name of self-help and positive thinking and a lot more) feeds immorally on people. People are more comfortable at a material level and have gradually allowed their finer side to be corroded by the tell of the West. Undoubtedly, people in the West have a fine finish and many (and many more, though the Joshua Bell episode still makes me smile) have retained their suave side of conduct, but as a philosophy the West has contributed and promulgated a lifestyle of irreverence and short-sightedness, focusing on the gains and profits of today and this lifetime rather than on moral correctness. This is not an attempt at preaching from the moral high-horse (or rather, condemning à cheval) but at trying to go beyond the obvious rawness in display to the underlying motivation.

I read Ginsberg's "Howl" and I see no sign of anything beautiful though irreverence screams out in glitzy neon. All that is described in there, if it were true, only speaks for a highly irresponsible world made possible because everyone is free to do what they want. While great industries and movies are made there, the need to educate the individual into becoming a responsible individual is clearly lacking and where dropping out of school to found a company is considered sensible and right as it makes an Ellison out of wannabes. But is that the point and purpose of life!? What is!? The lack of a holistic approach and lack of inculcating patience and restrain is the hallmark of present day education. Although this is the case with education systems all over the world (as far as I have bothered to seek and find out), the "American" way of life itself popularises the "go-getter" attitude which, again, is fine in commercial business but falls flat in most other aspects of life.

I think it is vital to realise that no one philosophy works well everywhere. That faster processors sell more is fine, but that sex sells and hence have skimpy women in advertisements for coffee or wheat flour doesn't make sense and only takes us closer to our animal nature. "As long as it sells it is ok", doesn't work everywhere. What is the point of prosperity in a void? Popularity and prosperity are good motivators for certain things but when applied to every aspect of life, it doesn't really work well.

When a person caters to the banausic and base needs of one's animal side, what one essentially is doing is making righteous the pursuit of such needs and hence causes an entire generation to sway in confusion without a firm spine to provide direction and robustness. It is not a matter of morality in the religious sense but morality in the core fiber of being human. Such a rapid degradation can only be herded in when the lack of strengthening the core is associated with success of various sorts and one mistakingly marries them together and makes the former essential for the latter's realisation. The sheer rawness that "they" demonstrate in every aspect of their presentation only facilitates several generations of incomplete individuals living irresponsibly and irreverently.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ménage à trois

Three corners of this world
He thought he had arranged it all. I could see that his pace was that of someone who had ran the entire scene - cast, costumes and all - in his head, tweaking portions of it here and there to extract a nod from some faceless critic of life's videos, and growing impatient in the wake of the moment when he would carry it all out and step on stage for his bow. He could practically hear people speaking - in the hope that their words went unheard - about the remarkable demarche that he was about to carry out. He went about nudging my armchairs to correct the distortions that my room caused when superimposed on the motion picture in his head. He smiled at the coffee table and swooped to change the page of the newspaper lying there to the review of some unctuously saccharine romantic movie that was showing in Minerva. He snapped back to his position, cocked his head to the side and smiled.
"She's coming, yes?"
"Yes, Jai, and if you stop running around in circles I might still be conscious enough to receive her."
"You will, you will. You fine? Don't let her know I am here. Ok? Maybe we should move the sofa a little behind."
He rushed to push it, with me on it when I warned him that he might just have turned to pulp the roses he had hidden behind the sofa.
"Holy shit!"
He ran around to cradle the rather malnourished bouquet in his arms.
"What are you planning to do with her?"
"Come on Andy! What else? Shhh... shhh. It's a secret. I will let you know when I'll let you know. By the way, do not forget to give her the biscuits. She loves the smell of them."
I couldn't grasp his excitement. I had a fair idea of what he planned on telling her, but the need for such elaboration was beyond me. I continued to sew the button of my shorts back in place. It was always a pleasure running the needle through the button holes watching it sink in, dragging an otherwise flimsy thread until it fastened around the bridge between the holes of the button. Something about this task made me feel a great connection to life, a rather organic analogy to the whims of life itself. Where the holes had little of the button in them, they allowed for the button to ...
"Andy, she's here!" Jai hissed into my ear and proceeded to straighten my tee. I slapped his hand away and tilted my head towards the rear of the sofa.
I casually walked down to the door only to notice Jai's footwear mingled with mine. I hesitated - why bother!? It wasn't my fault but a mere facilitation of a possible act of God. I opened the door to find Anita push her mobile into her jeans' pocket.
She hugged me before giving me a quick peck on the cheek.
"Should I assume that means you are fine?"
"Come sit."
It wasn't often that I was welcomed into my own house.
"So, what's up?"
"Andy, I have something to tell you."
"Don't waste the three words on me."
"Shut up, Andy."
"There, I told you!"
"What are you doing?" She was staring at the sewing kit on the sofa.
I lifted my shorts straight into her view.
"God! You really are gay aren't you?"
"Yes, and so is every tailor you allow to measure your bust for a blouse."
She shook her head and smiled.
"I am planning to get married."
"Aha! And the person in context would be?"
"You don't know him."
"Are you certain? There are very few men in your life whom I am unaware of."
"You don't know him."
I peered deeper into her eyes and watched her move back at the same pace.
"Andy, I can trust you."
"And I would normally ask on what basis, but we'll let that pass."
"I am leaving Bombay with him."
"And that would mean he", and I leaned back on the sofa, "would be aware of this plan too?"
"Of course."
"What do you want of me? Other than these biscuits?"
I offered the plate to her. It would have been odd to have some of them without offering it to her. She took one and I continued, "I remember you liking the smell of these."
"Hmmm. Were you not gay, you would make a very caring lover."
I started to protest but was uncertain about what. Like a pair of misguided trains simultaneously entering a tunnel, I felt the need to slam home the point about men also needing caring partners and the twin correction of my preferences, but I shut up. She patted my cheek and proceeded to explain.
"I can't do it here in Bombay."
"I understand", I said without having a clue to what was driving her out of this city.
"Mom and dad will call you first, once they notice that I am missing."
"Because I am gay and know everything about the women in this city?"
"Whatever. They will. You should tell them that you think I have gone to Delhi."
"But you are not going there?"
"Of course not, silly."
"And you would be going where?"
"Cal... Doesn't matter."
"I understand."
"Can you do that?"
"But what about the luggage you are leaving behind?"
"I have packed what I need and it is at... his place."
"Hmmm. What about the luggage you are carrying with you?"
"What about it?"
I shrugged and sighed.
"What are you trying to say, Andy? What? You are trying to act like some priest now?"
"Because I am gay?"
"Shut up, Andy"
"I told you about those words!"
She grew silent. She wanted this court's hearing. She definitely wanted to say her say before she disappeared. All I had to do was push the needle slowly through the hole diagonally across such that the button had one less degree of freedom. I could actually hear a thread snap when pierced by the needle tip.
"Listen Andy. I didn't do anything wrong here. I was simply having fun and cannot babysit all those who didn't realise that."
"Like Jai."
"Jai? What about Jai?" her eyes narrowed, "What has Jai been telling you?"
"Nothing more than I know about you. Biscuits, roses, DDLJ, the works."
"Andy", she stood up and was getting ready to leave,"What is done to relieve boredom is not used to fill life's bathtub."
She walked out of my house and shouted from the bottom of the stairs.
"Damn you, Andy! I hate you, but remember that I am in Delhi."
"Or Calcutta."
I heard her swear and felt the urge to come up and vent her anger, but her heels clacked away.
I continued fastening the button in place when I heard the crumpling of plastic sheets from behind me.
Jai jumped in front of me and laughed,
"Damn! That girl really bought into my story. Damn silly, man. I had told her that she should meet me in Calcutta and we can start our life there. Gosh! She is so easy to..."
"Shut the door before you leave, Jai."
The first impact of a glass bowl falling to the ground is to splatter it radially outward - like Jai's mouth and eyes.
"I only wanted to wish her the best in life. I knew about her plans of escape. I did, Andy. I was close to her."
"Hmmm. So who is the guy?"
Jai turned around thinking of a possible name.
"Does it matter?"
He shook his head, his back still towards me.
"Nope, it doesn't."
He opened the door and before shutting it he turned his face to the hinges and said, "You really are lucky, Andy. I so wish I was gay too."
This time the needle broke my skin.