Saturday, August 31, 2013


When my mother had brought a little dog into our lives, all of us had mused upon naming it. The usual debate had raged in our family over naming the untimely off springs- a plethora of weird names raging from mad-psychotic protagonists to some well-known scientist, but ultimately much to my dismay everyone in our family had agreed upon naming it Kashtanka. It was my grandfather’s word above all.

The disgrace of coming from an aristocratic family these days, is that it would try to enforce any stain of elite-ness in any form possible, and mine did it with the help of literary allegories.

‘This is a family of writers, poets, dramatists and musicians’, boasted my father.

‘Kashtanka?’ a guest would enquire

‘Yes, it’s a Russian name.’ My grandfather would proudly reply.
To add on to it, he would explain, that there’s this Anton Chekov story of the same name, and why one must read it. He also had this theory that this was the story from where Satyajit Ray had perhaps got the idea of luring the dog in his famous Pather Panchali shoot, where the dog follows Apu and Durga. It was a pretty crazy idea to begin with, but the only family for me are the mad ones. So I had to get used to them.

I do not remember much about that story except for a crude kid, torturing a cute dog, and the dog still sticking with the kid, perhaps he had nowhere to go in a cold sad Russia, dogs are like that, and to add on to it one should establish it to be apparently out of love, the innocent torture I mean. For me back then it was hard to imagine, how love could involve such heinous torture on a dog. I had to ponder about it. Russia wasn’t even a communist country during Chekov’s time, and if my western education served me well apparently it was the communists who made bombs out of dog fat.

So why did Chekov’s Russia be so cruel to dogs? Oh wait, it was love and much more.

I took care of Kasthanka, I loved him very much. Which true man doesn’t love a dog? Also, I was pretty worried that it may have to face the same fate as its namesake, well Mr. Chekov was writing out of imagination I believe, but more than often life surprises one by making the worst imaginations come true. So, I paid special attention to that. There would be no cruel owner in this Kasthanka’s life and for a brief time or so reality would serve better than fiction.

Kashtanka died before his first birthday crushed by a pillage of concrete that fell on him on the far side verandah of our old ancestral home, and after that, while mourning I wrote a short story about a dog that would live a century.

I think Mr. Chekov would have liked to end a story like that, with a jerk, a sudden jerk, just like life ends often.

What happens when great poets die?

What happens when  Great Poets die?

Well, the wise man echoes the words of my bourgeois teacher, who said 
a part of this world dies with them. 

One minute silence.

Ah, fools.


I try digging up their poetry and I try reading them.
And more than often I feel, 
I discover or reinvent why they are called great, 
no intellectual connotations mind it, 
in case you’re wondering, 
it’s just that
Poetry often like a powerful magnet sucks out those pejorative iron fillings that we store within us 
and heals us, 
in a way we never thought was possible. 

So poetry is therapeutic, just like many other things in life, one must say.  
And because it nurtures emotions and feelings, 
it’s a something we should value in this world.  

But emotions are second rated. 

Hence, the need.

Poetry is a feeling.
A beautiful feeling.

And the poet?
The bearer of poetry. 

So back to the original question, what happens when  great poets die?

 Ah, well great poets never die, because great poetry never dies.

It etches on, metamorphoses, transgresses, regresses but lingers on
till the very ends of the Earth, 
in the hearts of the chosen few.

Ropes and Walls

Galaxies are moving away from each other,
let alone people. 

So lets tie them with ropes and hold them all together?

You think ropes would hold them, are you deluded?

You know, when I was a little boy, I made a rope out of words, it worked. People didn't just go away.

When you were a little boy, words had meanings, not anymore. 

Is that what growing up is all about?

Pretty much, but now you learn to build walls with words.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kiss of Life

Did I tell you the story of that girl who made little birds in her room? 
Well, she made them out of nifty colours and papers and gently kissed them.
All of them.

The next morning she woke up to ardent tweeters and the smell of phosphate.

That’s how a kiss of life should be, berated the playwright to his actor, gentle and passionate, 
with a cherubic tinge of desire.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


A long time ago when the seemingly truculent Englishmen were plucking their chest hairs and fighting a great war, they had decided to build a gateway to their magical bastion of Calcutta, out of sheer practicality if one may surmise. 
Soon, the irons and steels had transmogrified into a behemoth structure that did boast of that ubiquitous imperial pride.

Although, years later it would forget its history, but the magic of its bones would require men to cross its path if they wanted to feel the ways of that magical city.

So the story goes as -in myths and fairy tales, if one wanted to taste the magic of Calcutta they must enter the city through its iron-gate,
for in a city where magic is weaved in feelings,
and only feelings
a ritual like that was very important.