Sunday, December 20, 2009

Beyond the Black Silk Curtain

The flame flickers and,
Falls on the twirling muslin.
The candle waxes,
Telling time of the passing aeons in seconds.

She looks up, with
Eyes, doe eyes.
Looking from behind the curtain of black silk.
The eyes catch the flecks of light,
The starlight.
The moonlight.
Like two mirrors, like glassy ponds.
Like a sunflower.

He looks at them.
In them, with wonderment.
Like a child looks at his first rainbow.
He tries to part the silky screen.
She blinks.
She blushes.
She is the sun now, setting and crimson.
The leaves sigh ....

Her feet tinkle with music,
His laughter jingles.
These light rhythms swirl around in the cup of time,
Endless, passing yet still.
Witnessing their unsure steps,
Listening to their unsaid words,
Shaky breath,
Tremulous heartbeat.
Unspoken yet unyielding love.

There is a sudden gush of chill,
The flame flickers violently,
goes out.
Cold brittle fingers tear the curtain apart.
Black on black.
Scraping the silk.
The spell is broken.
The leaves stab.

The eyes are haunted, hunted.
The muslin bristles.
Crimson sun oozes blood.
The Love is unyielding and declared.
Cup of time brims over.

The lights twinkle now.
Their yellowish haze, falls on two silhouettes.
Talking and chattering.
Their laughter echoing all around.
Time thinks its different,
Yet its the same.

Beyond the black silk curtain,
Eyes, doe eyes..
Still look from behind them.
He still sees the rainbow.
Spoken now, still
Love is unyielding.

Written on 20th December, 2009.

{Again started out to write something else from a historical to a love story to how people fall in love which became love over the ages. Hope that comes across. The writing process is very interesting and a poem once a month makes it more so. The poem is a bit filmy , don't you think so ?? :) It is said and felt that love and its expression was very subtle in the past. Films, books and our parents :) tell us so and today its more loud, confident and out there in the open. And yet love is the same and still there is that shyness factor (see Hitch) and that mushy factor ..SRK eyes !!!!!! *sigh* ;) How do people fall in love? That one step a person takes to allow the other to enter their lives, hearts and minds. Maybe I have never been in love that is why am asking these questions. Have come close yet found very difficult to let go. Take that leap of faith. Is that it a leap of faith ?? "You complete me" or " I am complete in myself and don't need anyone to that for me" which one is it ?? Questions , questions. " Can I fall in love? " coming up !!!!!!!! ;) }

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Conquest of Liquid Embers

I push back the trespassers within their boundaries,
They refuse, they struggle,
They get out.
They strangle my throat, crush my heart,
Steal my breath.
Growing thorns on the way up.
They conquer by rolling hot liquid embers down my facade.

I try to hide my defeat,
The world is watching I tell them.
I beseech; I plead; I beg them to retreat.
They are stubborn, adamant and uncouth.
Smugly reveling in their triumphant rampage.

They claim to have overcome huge barriers to reach this far.
Barriers of  fine deception,
Of chaotic composure.
The flagmarch of rebuttals refusing remorse.
And the shoot on sight order,
For errant emotions; the trespassers' partners in crime.

They remind me of times when I allowed them to run amok,
Falling, gushing, running all over.
'Those were different times' I say,
When their victory was not my defeat,
But the only way I could tell the world of my triumph in love, life, living.

They snigger and smirk and continue their riot.
I raise my hand to beat them away.
My fingertips are wet when I touch their small souls.
I destroy them yet they have won.
They are mine, yet leave me behind.
My tears....

Written on 19th November, 2009.

(I had set out to write something different ended up with this poem. Again full of allusions and allegories. Tears and crying in writing fascinate me, especially in Hindi film songs, beautiful lyrics there. One of my favorite is from the Mere haath mein from Fanaa "rone de aaj humko do aansoon bahane de... " This is my second poem on tears the first being Hall of Life

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A River Runs Through Me

A river runs through me.
Winding through the brunt bricks of time,
Turning at right angles of centuries,
Carrying the waters of afar lands of wisdom and knowledge.

It meanders among the rich hues of cultures;
Taking the colors of change and giving its soothing touch.
Accepting offerings of hope, dreams and wishes of the throngs of generations at its sides.
It gives cool succor to the parched souls,
And washes away some of their imperfections.

It has seen ages of golden lights, and bloody fights,
It has passed through valleys of milk and honey ;
Through silent villages of death.
It has quenched the thirst of wanderers of life, and;
Doused the fires of several lives torn apart.

It courses through me,
Falling from the mouth of creation, till the end of time.
It has given the rhythm to my heart to beat with the music of life;
The strength in my sinew to battle my fears;
The fluid tenacity in my limbs to walk afar pursuing my dreams.
The wisdom of all my progenitors past.

The river grows old.
It is heavy with load of this earth and beyond.
It meets the vast Oneness and,
Then is born again amid untouched purity and glistening glory.
But its depths still carries the first prayer, the first tear, the first blood and the first word.

On my turning a new corner to the fourth street in life,
And the end of road of one of my grand progenitors,
 I ask myself Can I pass away ?
I hear the gurgling of sounds beyond and I remember.
A river runs through me......

Written on 29th October, 2009

(This time my birthday and Diwali were on the same day and everybody including me were looking forward to it. It was after five years that I would be home for my birthday . It was a great day with family and friends. A week later the day I returned back to my campus I received the news that my maternal grandparent had passed away. And I wondered at life's what should I call it circularity.. a week before it was celebration time and then .. Though they say when old people leave us we should not grieve because they have lived a full life and it is time to move on. It is true for my nanaji too. That is when I was reminded of a conversation I had  with my friends last year where we were playing with the decision ball and one my friends asked the question "Can I pass away?" and it was interesting to think about it. I had even begun a poem titled with the question. After the recent times I again thought about the question where it struck me that I carry something of my grandparents in me too like I do something of my parents and hence something of everything that has gone by. Therefore the concept of a river which flows over the ages and continues to exist in time though changed and transformed. The river here any of course be any but I had the river Indus in mind as I am fascinated with the Indus valley civilization and the level of progress we had made then. That knowledge surprisingly did not continue down the ages. Some references to the civilization are there in the poem ..short refresher of high school history !!! :) )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Footsteps in the Snow

She walks through the freshly fallen snow,
Looks back smiling , expecting to see her footsteps.
Her face crumples,
Her throat catches the still wind's numbing wetness.
There is blood.
Red, thick, warm and slick on the snow.
Each footstep is a scarlet pool.
She hears her heart thumping loudly in her mouth.
'She is bleeding !!!! She is bleeding!!!!', she thinks.
No, her feet are fine.
Then Who?, What? How?
Questions she has no answers to.
Then she remembers and runs and runs.
Far away from the red, the scarlet, the slickness.
For it is the snow that is bleeding,
Oozing out the suffering of the depression of the earth once protected by rocky sentries.

She stops only when her bones wanted the earth and her spirit wanted the sky.
But the red river follows her,
Unending, unbending.
Tearless, voiceless,
She raves and rants.
She reaches a forest of dead trees.
Where she can hear the silence,
Where the green leaves are charred,
Where the orange autumn is black,
Where the snow white is red, and,
Where the blue river is filled with dead logs.

She has been here before.
Seen the rock sentries look on mutely,
Heavens far away, disdainful.
The Air still with death.
Choking on blood which is not hers, she falls down.
Silent screams escape her lips and the air stirs.

It howls, from the pain of countless souls,
Traveling on the pilgrimage to light,but;
Fallen treacherously to the terrain, which once went through their backyard,
Into the chasm of darkness.
The pain closes in on her,
Strangling her for breath , for life.

A small bird flutters around,
Trapped between the rocky sentries and aloof skies.
It flutters down and perches on her shoulder.
She flinches at its touch,
Yet finds comfort in its restlessness.
"Stupid bird", she thinks.
Getting tossed and turned by all the elements,
Still trying to fly free.
Is it possible?

To see the curved wooden floating gardens on the glassy blue mirror,
Carrying all the possible hues and fragrances of the glen.
To see two red apples with two sparkling eyes splitting wit joy !!
To warm hands with the green leaves and sweet brown.
To drink the snow white water at the mouth of nature.

She hopes, She prays.
She smiles.

Written on 22nd September, 2009.

( I have lived in Srinagar, Kashmir Valley for 10 years, from 1980-1990. As they say that the childhood days are best, mine were perfect in the most beautiful place on earth. "Heaven on earth" as one King once said. But we had to leave due to reasons beyond our control, rather we could not come back, as we had gone for our usual winter vacations to my grandparents in Lucknow and the situation got so bad that my parents decided not to return. I couldn't say goodbye , haven't said goodbye.Its our especially my mother's wish to go back once. I know people keep visiting and have good things to say... lets see its like we will get a summon. The poem though sad , hopes for hope. I did think while starting to write that I should write about my life there, but that did not come. Haven't forgotten yet, but as usual the allegories took me along. 
The pictures are from the net (do not have the link and I hope haven't violated any copyright). The last photo is of the Nargis flower which has the sweetest smell possible. You can keep it in one corner of the house and in sometime the whole place is filled with its fragrance. My favourite !!!! Flowers grow in abundance there , even a normal home garden literally overflows with them in spring time. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful !!!!!! :) )

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Tree

The gnarled roots of wisdom,
Ringed with circles of love and longing.
The girdle of strength and determination, 
Can encompass more than four arms of joy.
The vales and valleys of wood,
Nestle a whole new world.
Life in all its forms, shapes,sizes,hues and hoots. 

The Sun sparkles through the green and brown canopy,
Ricocheting off the springy surfaces,creating a mist of brightness. 
Secrets of yore transpire between the,
Azure blue and bottle green. 
And twisted lanes of concrete paper,
Bend with the wind's song.

It looks down upon,
Books between two pairs of eyes left unread;
Salinity of labour wafting off tired limbs;
Stories from knobbly hands passing on to pudgy fingers;
Wisdom given to pristine minds.

It is beautiful,generous, kind, and warm.
Taking everything in its embrace, 
The parching heat,raging storm and 
Sometimes the painful shrieks of the mournful heart.

Standing tall and proud, 
The umbrella of grandeur mulls its destiny.
How long , before it falls to cold steel,
And not blazing silver?
It wonders. 

It will take that too with silent fortitude, 
As it has done for the past anons.
Its silent transparent tears will then mingle,
With the dusty brown and moss green.

And somewhere, maybe one pair of eyes, 
When rove over the royal blue moving on milky white,
It hopes.
They remember the cool warmth of the,
Green and brown canopy and,
Steady comfort of its' girdle of love.
Ring in the circle of fire to save the destruction of its wisdom. 

Written on 29th August, 2009. 

(I love trees !!!!!!! They are very beautiful, intriguing , full of secrets and silent conscience keepers. So a tribute to The Tree. And I find this a decent poem, full of allusions and metaphors more than I usually write maybe because I wrote after a long time and many false starts. Would like to explain one thing though the line " Sometimes the painful shrieks of the mournful heart" stems from the scene in Hero Hiralal * Naseerudin Shah and the first and last movie of Sanjana Kapoor where when they are sad they go to a Banyan tree hug it and cry their hearts out . both Dida and I wanted to do that haven't done it yet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Blessed Damozel

 The Blessed Damozel

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti


THE blessed Damozel lean'd out 
         From the gold bar of Heaven: 
Her blue grave eyes were deeper much 
         Than a deep water, even. 
She had three lilies in her hand, 
         And the stars in her hair were seven. 

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem, 
         No wrought flowers did adorn, 
But a white rose of Mary's gift 
         On the neck meetly worn; 
And her hair, lying down her back, 
         Was yellow like ripe corn. 

Herseem'd she scarce had been a day 
         One of God's choristers; 
The wonder was not yet quite gone 
         From that still look of hers; 
Albeit, to them she left, her day 
         Had counted as ten years. 

(To one it is ten years of years: 
         ...Yet now, here in this place, 
Surely she lean'd o'er me,--her hair 
         Fell all about my face.... 
Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves. 
         The whole year sets apace.) 

It was the terrace of God's house 
         That she was standing on,-- 
By God built over the sheer depth 
         In which Space is begun; 
So high, that looking downward thence, 
         She scarce could see the sun. 

It lies from Heaven across the flood 
         Of ether, as a bridge. 
Beneath, the tides of day and night 
         With flame and darkness ridge 
The void, as low as where this earth 
         Spins like a fretful midge. 

But in those tracts, with her, it was 
         The peace of utter light 
And silence. For no breeze may stir 
         Along the steady flight 
Of seraphim; no echo there, 
         Beyond all depth or height. 

Heard hardly, some of her new friends, 
         Playing at holy games, 
Spake gentle-mouth'd, among themselves, 
         Their virginal chaste names; 
And the souls, mounting up to God, 
         Went by her like thin flames. 

And still she bow'd herself, and stoop'd 
         Into the vast waste calm; 
Till her bosom's pressure must have made 
         The bar she lean'd on warm, 
And the lilies lay as if asleep 
         Along her bended arm. 

From the fixt lull of Heaven, she saw 
         Time, like a pulse, shake fierce 
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove, 
         In that steep gulf, to pierce 
The swarm; and then she spoke, as when 
         The stars sang in their spheres. 

'I wish that he were come to me, 
         For he will come,' she said. 
'Have I not pray'd in solemn Heaven? 
         On earth, has he not pray'd? 
Are not two prayers a perfect strength? 
         And shall I feel afraid? 

'When round his head the aureole clings, 
         And he is clothed in white, 
I'll take his hand, and go with him 
         To the deep wells of light, 
And we will step down as to a stream 
         And bathe there in God's sight. 

'We two will stand beside that shrine, 
         Occult, withheld, untrod, 
Whose lamps tremble continually 
         With prayer sent up to God; 
And see our old prayers, granted, melt
Each like a little cloud. 

'We two will lie i' the shadow of 
         That living mystic tree 
Within whose secret growth the Dove 
         Sometimes is felt to be, 
While every leaf that His plumes touch 
         Saith His name audibly. 

'And I myself will teach to him,-- 
         I myself, lying so,-- 
The songs I sing here; which his mouth 
         Shall pause in, hush'd and slow, 
Finding some knowledge at each pause, 
         And some new thing to know.'

I read this poem in Class X. I love the part which is highlighted which means that every prayer on earth lights a lamp in heaven and every time that is heard it goes up in smoke. Its so beautiful to imagine hundreds and millions and thousands of lamps. WOW !!!!!! And searching for this poem on the net also taught me a few things. You do find what you are looking for, if you look well. I just remembered the lines I like and that too in simple English not as written by the poet, I did not remember the name of the poem, nor the poet. But I did find it. I remembered i more line the about the girl have seven stars in her hair. Don't ask what all sites and results it got. You might say that in today's world google solves every question but then you need that effort. I think it would have easier to find it in the book. I would have looked up Class X poems , though the syllabus has changed. I did come across my Class Xth Board English paper during the search ... that was something!! Well just wanted to share a poem I liked, for the lack of my own creation. Also like the poem because of its love and loss theme. Its a longer poem than I have posted here. Do not remember reading the whole thing in school. I guess they wanted us to read till the hopeful part. How sweet !!!!! For those who want to read the whole poem the link is given below. 

Friday, June 19, 2009


I had a dentist appointment on Friday 19th June at 2:30pm.. was late and landed at 2:45pm so had to wait. I passed my time by watching t.v. in the waiting lounge which had channel [V] on. Earlier when I had gone India TV was giving breaking news about ghee making in Delhi having animal bones. I saw that for about 15 mins (saying the same thing repetitively) .. really these Hindi news channels (please do not snort and say another pseudo Indian Hindi hater but really..) especially the great India T.V. ... takes the crown, the cake everything ... but this post is not about that .. You know I wrote the blog then and there in the waiting lounge but in my mind of course and thought what if with the all the techie GPS, blue tooth, wifi enabled phone I could have written my blog and posted it then there on the net.. well for the well connected .. but this post is not about that either.. 

Back to channel [V].. now that the standoff between the multiplexes and the producers is over, got to see to new songs and trailers of the latest films. First there was Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) in a song called Bebo from Kambahkt Ishq (KI). Looking ravishing in clothes and a figure to die for as they say .. ( I wont die or will die in the process of gaining that figure but rather not try) but I wasn't looking at her I was looking at Akshay Kumar. But I couldn't look at him properly as an old aunty and uncle were there too and I felt uncomfortable with Bebo serenading no, actually seducing Akki in the bedroom wearing skimpy not skimpy ( they are the clothes remix albums models wear) but short dresses looking good and the song was not vulgar (though the music and lyrics are nothing to write home about) and it wasn't completely sensuous because as usual Akki was being funny. But still I felt uncomfortable and couldn't look at the t.v. for a long period of time. Though the couple were watching alright. Then came on the song from Love Aaj Kal (LAK) starring Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone. The song was called Twist and it was a usual party song with very similar beats from one of the songs of Billu Barber (oops no only Billu ..I hope nobody sues me !! ) who says you cannot copy your own work ( ask us researchers one paper .... no more secrets about that ) but hats off Pritam da !!!! The song was also not that great. But still Saifoo (faux pas again sorry Bebo, Chote Nawab ) was dancing with semi clad dancers in a disco. I closed my eyes with almost a swear that how long will this continue. Then 'Shortcut the con is on' with Arshad Warsi and Akshaye Khanna, again a promotional with foreign dancers. Then a sleazy number from Paying Guests. Ughh... so I thought I would have no relief either from my dental or mental pain. But then came the song from a film Anubhav starring Sanjay Suri and Gul Panag . A sad song but a bad one no pathos either in the lyrics or music (according to me sad songs are the most beautiful lyrics wise at least),  otherwise comfort level wise it was fine. Followed by songs from Sankat City another con movie with an ensemble cast of Kay Kay, Chunky Pandey and then from a film called Runaway seemed a gangster movie with unknown cast. Then Shahid Kapur came on with Aai Pappi and everything was right in the world !!!!! 

Now for the epiphany or epiphanies. Its a new word i have just learnt. It has origin in the festival of Epiphany. ( it means sudden intuitive perception of reality by commonplace occurrence, link given below.) 

Epiphany no. 1 - There are five categories of movies being made in HiFI (Hindi Film Industry that is ) these days. First is the high quality production wise , high budget films like KI of LAK which are colourful , beautiful, snazzy and mostly romantic films that too dramatic kind not romantic comedies of Hollywood variety. Then con movies are on the rise which basically are about underdogs or losers  getting everything in the end, or rather should say films about the underdog which mainly say that going the beaten path does not help and a little con is required. Slapstick comedies or sex comedies if you like PG which well, they do have a audience. Then there are the small movies or as lately called as multiplex movies in terms of grandeur not in terms of story or acting. Some really good movies have seen the light of day, but still some bad films come from that stable too in the name of art movies. And finally bad movies called C grade ones like Runaway or Deshdrohi but the source of good entertainment ( pun intended). 

Epiphany no. 2- We do not listen to songs these days we watch them. "Twist" and " Bebo" are ok songs but will definitely make it to the charts despite the fact they are only good to watch rather than to hear to. 

Epiphany no. 3- The most profound one. Why was I feeling uncomfortable because they old couple had no perceptible problems, well I guess when people start talking if something embarrassing comes on t.v. then its a sign. But nothing of the sort happened, maybe the case of the tooth pain being considerable was there. But I could and did watch these kind of songs in the mess with people of my age or  at least in the same 10 year band because PhD. makes you ancient very soon in ..well don't ask. But still remix videos still made me uncomfortable not because they are vulgar because they are but they are downright pathetic in terms of music , video everything. But I thought who was I to comment rather act so moral ? Was I joining the ranks of the so called moral police ? Does growing old makes you closed and narrow minded. No I thought I can watch Bebo looking good because she does it well and I always have someone with her to look at !! But I cannot watch bad, sleazy videos. Then it hit me that these moral police kinds , those who spout ethics and Indian culture are uncomfortable with all the change happening around them and cannot accept change. They club Bebo ( my buzzword today) and lets say Minsk together which is unfathomable and appalling and they cannot handle this uncomfortableness. They have to do something about like when you feel guilty about something you blame the other person and that too before somebody even has the chance to discover the crime. So out comes the diktats and moral code of conduct, which says I cannot wear jeans to college in Kanpur, cannot marry outside my caste, cannot change my religion by my own choice, cannot hold the hand of my beloved in public; cannot make a film about widows in Banaras. Agreed that there has to some semblance of propriety but let me breathe !!!!! And to say that Indian culture and society was always marveled and celebrated as the most open where it has imbibed so much from other cultures it is difficult to say what is original or taken. 

Then someone changed the channel maybe he felt the same ..uncomfortable or wanted to hear the news or  .. he was undecided because he was still surfing when I went to the doctor's chamber. So no more of pop sociology or psychology or culture studies or moral science. 

(Written- well started on Friday itself completed today. My first prose blog and realised that it is not easy to write I took 2 1/2 days to finish. )  

Happy Father's Day especially to Dad !!!!