Saturday, May 31, 2014

Okay, computer.

There was a road. 

A country road flanked by little rhododendran shrubs. Their green had washed away in the rains leaving a shabby exterior for me to see.

I am glad I remember all these details.

Every little day I would see the pigeon flock scuttling their heads to and fro into that red soil of a reticent country. It was strangely silent.The pigeons seemed wary of the world order, you know, busy and perhaps happy in their chores. I think they were eating those stupid little worms who climbed out from the darkness to taste the pale sky of our world.

Can worms live in red soil?

This went on for sometime, you know. The pigeons kept beating their heads in the ground. Oh, now a postman would be at the scene. He is the country postman. He rides a bicycle and wears a hat. He also carries a tote-bag. He slows down a little. He stands on one side and watches them eat their stomach full.

Yes, I think I made that up a little. 

Beyond the horizon I would now see the sky lit up in works of fire. Oh well, I don't remember much, but I think the postman's bag was full of love letters- they were anointed with a special aroma, yes I could smell it somehow, it's strange right? They looked all the same to me, those letters.

But I never imagined I would see what I saw next, believe me! I saw him walk upto the pigeons and tie each letter around their feet. You probably think now that they would fly away into the oblivion and into the arms of the beloved, but that shit doesn't happen, they keep on eating worms.

So you see doctor, my dreams mirror my life - I write all these letters, hundreds of them, but my pigeons are grounded somewhere
in the past.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In our Heartbeats.

I wake up every morning
to this blaring sound of an alarm
and my heart races, but 
I don't lose
races.  I win them,
even at the expense of my 

I want to write you a poem my love, you know, 
just for old times- 
for those electronic nights 
between our spacebars and 
moon lips. 

It is meant to be beautiful,
this morning-  blue sky
and chriping birds, a little girl
playing Mozart on the other side 
of the courtyard where 
non-chalant pigeons flock together 
in that  immortal music. Yes, 
something like that.

Sometimes I think,
 numbers are beautiful too, you know,
like those seventy eight birds in 
a flock returning back to their 
crossing miles of skies, unaware of the
thousand and four brave men 
 marching together against a tyrant king
 in the lands below-
shouting, hooting, roaring, from 
deep within their 

Rolled over on the far side of my window
is a sunlit pendulum
whose every movement I am aware of. 
It makes me sad, that swinging pendulum, 
that counting machine which
makes me race
every time, when I could have just loved

Yes,I have believed in measured time, I have
believed in 
calendars and clepsydrae.  
I have believed in patterns that would engulf 
me,but I don't
want to measure time anymore, not in 
swinging pendulums.  

Trust me when I say this, for in
years to come I shall become
my words- yes just that, and that is why
you should know-

want to touch your heart and 
count every beat, each one-for in this life 
and another,
time and everything else 
must be measured in

like you
 always wanted. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Lonely Planet.

Between the
warm tropics
and the cold poles,

in this blue blob
of a planet
lies the temperate
and the

I think
that place
is a bit
like that feeling they
Love, you know-

'smashed between the extremes 
by imaginary lines'.

Calvino's Monkey.

I met a monkey from an antique land.

Last summer, while I was browsing through this book, called ‘If on a winter’s night a traveler’by Italo Calvino, a monkey appeared on my balcony and started drinking from the water-tub. I had left that tub for the frail thirsty birds. It was a quiet afternoon- only jarred by the sound of the ceiling fan and the occasional pixie manic shriek of my landlady.

Suddenly the monkey decided to enter my room- “if there’s water there must be food too”, it must have thought.
Well, what does one know about monkeys these days? We left that gene pool epochs ago. At least, some of us did.
This is what happens when you keep your doors open and invite the natural world in.
Naturally I was cautious now, monkeys tend to be impertinent and monkey like. With caution comes time-dilation. In that three dimensional space of my room the fourth dimension lost its drive and I was stuck with a monkey that was about to carnage my mental peace. I threw the Calvino on one side and tried to look for scary things. My room lacked any metallic object. My sleepwalking habits had made me get rid of anything sharp or remotely damaging. I wouldn’t have harmed the monkey anyway. I was writing meaningful letters to PETA every now and then and putting up a Facebook status from time to time speaking out against animal cruelty, thus doing my share of impact activism and animal love. The monkey remained oblivious of me. Even apes were indifferent to me. Such was the nature of those days. Life and Times of Sounak K.

I finally found a vuvuzela like object and yelled ‘Monkey. O monkey’ (must have been some acoustic device that was left by my scientist friend) trying to garner the attention of the ape. It was looking through my stuff with the curiosity of a knowledge-hungry child. I even started marshalling my thoughts in suspecting the governments’ hand-
In its’ totalitarian scheme even apes had started breaching the privacy of my abode. Perhaps they have switches hidden in their brain, you know like the Manchurian Candidate. Perhaps they have designed ape-spies to crack down any dissent.
It also reminded me of a line from the book I was reading,

nobody these days holds the written word in such high esteem as the police states do.’

What if it found my poems on Che Guevara and sent for the Hitman who would take me to vacant lot and put a bullet in my brain, worst cut open my jugular and make it more painful and arduous. There’s always the easy way of poisoning me and making it look like a natural death. I should have taken those Karate classes seriously.
I started panicking just when the monkey looked at me and now it started to jump up and down. It found the book I had thrown away earlier and held it up as if it were an armor. Books were indeed armors in the society we were living.
I had to bring an end to this trapeze show. I stood my ground and took the posture of a warrior. I announced to him,

“My name is Ozymandias, the king of kings.”

The monkey looked transfixed. Did my authority made him calmer? Or was it Shelley’s words. But then it went back dancing. We kept shifting places and the room was our ring. None of us would give up their vantage point. It took me a while to realize I was dancing in accord with the monkey. I had no control of my movement.
I was waltzing with a monkey and it was leading me on, and I didn’t feel bad about it. 
I was rather ecstatic.  

Yes, I was dancing, jumping and fighting gravity like I had never done in my life. For a while I felt I was flying, yes I was flying. I was free. It was a cosmic dance like that scene in Solaris.

My entire existence shuddered when I realized that I had grown a tail and there had never been a happier moment in history.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Humid Metropolis

I lived my childhood in a humid metropolis. I’m sure you folks sitting on this side of paradise have heard about my hometown so I won’t name it, because I want you to imagine a very sticky place- richer than your imported glues. A place with perhaps so much gravity that everything gets stuck badly, except for the glues beneath your skin. The pitiable sea-close tropical clime makes you all drowsy, even in the night.

When I was young and evil, my mother used to cook us rice in a steel pressure-cooker and it surprised me that even after eating a fair amount of that soporific fodder my father always made it to the local government hospital to cut people open with his shiny scalpel-
and mostly save them.

My childhood remains a big scrapbook of rice induced drowsiness coupled with sweat-stained mischiefs which we fondly called 'dushtumi' (this was adulthood?).

My city is poor. Everything’s cheaper you know, fancy restaurants are cheaper, transportation is cheaper, private tuition is cheaper- except for maybe human life but it’s in the best interest of the world that perhaps people fail to notice that. I agree with poets, who say it has a large heart.

Sentimentality without action brings ruin, but I am leaving that out for another chapter. When I was young, I used to torture kittens estranged from their mother cats. I fondly remember this one kitten whom I immersed in a bucket and helped it embrace hydrophobia. I was an evil child. I was perhaps an abomination to the larger order of my city you know-

bigheartedness, sentimentality and all those anti-boorish camaraderie.

I told you about the sticky weather of my city and perhaps it was the reason for all our sinful dallies- all that involved rubbing and getting stuck. It would surprise you even more, if I told you that the tortured kitten got stuck with me and became a cat and never wandered away. I have always been wary of my city-
it makes impassive cats get stuck with impassive evil human children. (Torture doesn’t induce emotions of passiveness, I surmise.)

I love my hometown- sticky and lovely.
Perhaps lovely because it’s sticky.
A place that never lets you go is a place that is never worth leaving.
My parents would know this better.

Propaganda is a written word.

Comrade Mao says 

my auburn shotgun-
three feet long with an 
extra range
a friend of mine,
but I loathe it
in the day


it kills pretty birds

so as
to stack quills
with which


never write.

Abattoir. ( Poetry twelve)


Bleat! Bleat! Bleat!



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ugly and Hideous (poetry eleven)

I desire mornings like the 
the night birds, preferably
owls. Ugly and hideous. 

 If you wish
you may call me
a poet, 
Because I feel juggling with them-


They ascend with my vocation, and in
flickering sunbeams
they disappear like

Strange you be, 
so good with words but
what about

You are 
like that pressure driven wind that rustles 
mundane leaves
only to nurture the silence of
warm afternoons.

You are like those children lost in
moon, only to be found at
tiffin breaks.  

You are not a poet, no, 
you are like
feelings shoved
in a coffer.

 So the story goes

 In this whirlwind of falling worlds
emotions are just motifs,
but still we

don't we? 

We hope, hop, 
and hope.
This way or that way. 

We the children of
wait for our scaffolds.

We just wait.

 We long for that perfect bliss,
 we long for that perfect
 kiss, we wait for everything
 that is not solid, for
 everything that
 can vanish in thin air
 like that,
 every little thing that is 
 Ugly and hideous. 

Some of us wait,
just wait,

for that perfect


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bombastic !

Of all the things that science and 'growth based' economy has offered us in the past century- abundance is the one I despise most. Abundance itself is a paradoxical term in an earth where still millions starve. 
Our wise policy makers doesn't need to worry about the impending 'Revolution'. If nature decides to take its course and which it will sooner because of our imperative for growth (which aggravates population growth), I would just like to see them hold their hands and still discuss their trickle down economic policies. We might be quite far away from our own extinction in evolutionary terms, but then a seven billion populace of human stupidity only prepones the inevitable.

In an earth where a butterfly flapping it's wings in Brazil creates a Tornado in the US, I just want to smoke some weed (how impertinent!) and marvel at them- the smart ones in their suits, and sing the
auguries of innocence.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Something about my Lizards

When I was a young boy, I kept lizards. My friends called me psycho. I had six of them. I could have named them after the days of the week, but I didn’t. I was never good with names. I had almost completely forgotten about the lizards until yesterday, when my friend wept about a dead lizard on his windowpane. Locked between the jaws of the hinge, it got crushed- unlucky bastard, just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Once upon a time I had taken up a toy gun and aimed at a lizard that was silently stalking a winged prey against a blue wall. The aim had turned out to be perfect and it fell down much to the ignorance of its prey. It died then and there, one plastic bullet was good enough to crush its little brain. But it wasn’t me who did that, it was a friend, but since I like taking credits for myself, the story should be ‘me’ centric. I am psychopathic enough to keep lizards but not enough to practice aim on them. But I know of people who keep aquariums in their homes and eat fishes, never from the aquariums though, but why these selective persecutions- well indeed as the poet would say, some are born to sweet delight, some are born to endless night.

You get the allegory, right?
 I am just trying to sound smart.

My lizards made my room a dirt-bag. They littered around everywhere. I hardly complained. I liked living things. Life was good enough for me. Life in most forms. Life as long as it didn’t come in the form of wings. I never liked winged creatures in closed spaces. They made me uncomfortable. My lizards, my little six lizards would always come to my rescue. They would prey upon all these winged things, you know.
O, the architecture of my walls remind me of the spiders too. They were a comrade of the lizards. They shared a mutual understanding and never bothered each other. My little army of glue footed warriors who treaded my fecund walls remained mostly busy in their eating, shitting and breeding.

Sometimes I would find them copulate and let a friend know that I am watching lizards copulate and I would get the stern social judgment that would cripple my observant self. We depend so much on the opinion of others who do things to be fit for the society someone else carved for us. No one observes the lizards anymore. Not saying it’s cool though, but you see all this yearning for the cool and acceptable stuff is what ruins us. Cool is stupid at times, you know.  

This is a society of mass production where our babies would grow up to work in industries that mass produce. Something is wrong with this uncouth abundance. So many things goes to waste, and worse than that so many minds goes to waste.

I think that the winged creatures that flooded my room were a mass production of the natural world. I could have negated them with the mass-produced chemicals, but since I am all green and environmental I preferred my lizards doing it for me.

Lizard babies eat up insect babies, but I have never seen an insect baby.
But, parasites do not make babies, do they?
think parasites just make parasites.   

The icicles jingle in the wind and everything seems peaceful in this cold country.
Winter makes me an inward creature, like my lizards- who sleep through the winter.
But it’s summer here, and yet I think of winter.
Without my lizards every wall looks like winter to me.
Empty, barren and without activities.

That summer long ago, I had put up those mosquito nets in my window and
watched my confused lizards eat each other over the next few days.
I still miss them sometimes, you know.

I wish I had named them.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Writing is a Panacea, for the elite

Most of us who have been raised in metropolitan cities that entertains a certain amount of progressive (humane) thinking, aren't familiar with the grass root realities of the mural state of India. It's a hard wrenched fact and most of my education about India has been the past few years when I have travelled all over North India and met some fascinating people and heard some fascinating stories, and read some scholarly books. The problems of the city as we know it, are totally different from the problems of the rural places. But certain norms of life that may seem draconian to our uber-intellectual city dwellers are in fact the glorified ways of the rural Indian life that is yet to think for itself. The urban elite (like me) are often disrespectful of what the lower classes (rural India?) hold dear to them.

"I make statements like God doesn't exist, and our domestic help who often chats up with my mother looks at me with big eyes and wonders when god's wrath is going to strike me down."

My friend in Delhi points me out that whenever I write fiction I am a twenty something upper middle class elite Bengali youth- this whole label has its own repercussions, in other words, what she means perhaps is that being in an elitist (so called) progressive society from the far east I hardly acknowledge the realities that plague the heart of the mainland. My friend in criticizing my singular voice of the rebel writer and is trying to help me in choosing different voices that may improve and bring some variety in my fictions.
 I must listen to the multitude voices of the many - the one of the oppressed Dalit farmer, the one of the dowry seeking IAS officer, the one of the over protective 'Bhaiya' who would not let their sisters mix with the boys, the casteist-patriarchal husband and so on. And sadly, the realities of the Indian State aren't limited to its northern frontiers, it’s pervasive as a dormant virus lurking beneath the putrid skin with all its’ stealth.

My friend, when she accuses me of my indifference towards the mass-thought of the common men, is actually pretty apt in saying so. I mostly deny myself the realities of the world in which I live in. I worry about love- day and night. I don’t think about God or religions either, and I worship Salman Rushdie.   From my own juvenile understandings I have known only two social problems that India faces most- one of caste-ism and the other of religions. I am also of the opinion, “Abolish all the religions,” only after the word poor has lost its’ use.

Caste-ism ( one must keep in mind that it transcends religious boundaries too)  is one of India's first and foremost problem, and it's a sad state that even in so called elite institutions like IIT (of which I have been a part for the past few years) one finds people who would vehemently defend the fact that,

"Yaar lower caste people are like that only. They should be treated like that
yaar, nahi toh , they will take advantage of you."

In India obviously people respect IITans and not everybody (trust me they are a bunch of very intelligent and mostly forward people) would resort to such an opinion but then there are always exceptions and one must keep in mind that it only takes one such example to tarnish the reputation of a brand. I am drifting off here a bit, ain't I?
 If such an opinion is given adequate energy and channels, it may even become a popular thought. I, being from the far-east and always being taught about socialist formulas, have no idea about the petty problems of caste-ism that plagues India. This is where my problem lies. In my day to day life while interacting with these people, I deny the existence of caste and to me and my folks, I am very right. We have long repudiated the caste in our minds. A more apt thing to say, in our socialist dreams of comrade Lenin, we hardly acknowledge the existence of such an evil.  Poor is just poor and we need socialism to eradicate the evils of poverty. 

But then caste-ism is at large and the funny thing is it transcends economic boundaries. How do I make them understand caste-ism is wrong, from my own point of view who is thinking on a different plane altogether?  

The elitist India tries to solve such problems (do they?) with the help of their scholarly allegories, hoping symbolisms and progressive thought with the help of technical and scholarly terms would trickle down to the lower strata, but this hardly happens. It's only for those coterie of intellectual masturbation.
(Am I being too optimistic in saying that they actually hope to solve problems or they just do it for the sake of their own scholarly pursuits, just wondering)
One needs the public to understand what they are doing and saying and how it will help them. I am sure many people with good intentions are out there doing so. I am just a mere observer in all of this, with faulty words that would hardly strike you.

I remember while I was stationed at one of the ashrams in Rajasthan a few years back, a kid had come up to me with manifold curiosity in his eyes. After a hearty conversation, he had disappointed me with the usual rhetoric of asking me about what my caste was- he was apparently a Brahmin. Frankly, I had no idea about my caste. I still don’t for that matter. Here lies the gulf between cultures and how we are raised and how some (irrelevant) things are so dear to some people.

“Why do you call yourself a Brahmin?” I asked

“II am a son of a Brahmin.” He replied.

I read this book on Hindu mythology (written by an Indian, since westerners can't be trusted) where it was written that castes was formed from the body parts of a certain God or someone, if my memory serves me. The Brahmin was the mouth, arms was the Kshatriya, thighs the Vaishya, and feet the Shudra.

Any person with a keen eye would notice the socialist order in such a stratification. It was an amazing feat if one comes to think of it. Our Indian society was really advanced in ancient days and castes were formed for societal order. Now yesterdays’ miracles become the troubles for tomorrow, and kitschy superheroes do not wake up anymore to save the world. It’s the way of the world.

A friend of mine took up this anatomical idea of the origin of castes and wrote a piece that was circulated in certain Indian villages.  It was of the preachy theme that ' how if one cuts off the legs the head suffers'. It didn't do much good (majority people were illiterate too, a better form would have been to go and show them a movie with Salman Khan in it). Another reason could be that people in power, higher in the food chain wants to remain so, as long as they can, before their time runs out and the entire status quo is altered.

So when I deny the existence of caste-ism altogether and take the ideal route- I feel happy in my own way, I do not need to mix and churn out and save the world from itself by petty socio specific formulas in my writings. I take a defeatist position, but whatever I do, I try to treat a human as a human, and on some worse days I treat dogs as human, since I am of the opinion that dogs are better than humans. I only write about letters and love, and longing and parting. Do hell with the masses.  

I would like to end by saying that much to the utter dismay of our literary pundits India needs 'Chetan Bhagats' who would at least tell the people that (I agree his books aren’t good enough.)

“Do not vote for your own caste, and find love in shaadi dot com”.

These are very important positions to take up in a society like India, where people like me with all their allegories, abstractions and symbolisms won’t be able to connect to the majority of the vast multitude of people who in their simple lives complicate the larger order. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Like Dustbins? (Poetry ten)

The earth that spins
in dustbins
tell a tale
of grey colored
where reticent worms
and warbling slimes
wade each other into
the stomach
of the florid puppy
that ran away
from her lap mistress who
in distress weeps
away the day, and in the
night when puppy with
a doggy nose
finds home relieving
her plight- conjuring a nocturnal
the puppyface
with a
haughty grace.

Such a kind being.

The earth that spins
like dustbins tell a tale of
lap-mistress toying with
her puppy sons until
they become cute-no-more,
henceforth discarded,
from ‘selfies’ and ‘dp-s’
and the shelter
of lap paradise. Second hand,
you could find
them tied
in lampposts
confused- wondering what
they did wrong,
sometimes singing
a dog

“kui kooi, bhow bhow, kau kau, kui.”

In an earth that spins
with dustbins
dogs need to
love less, growl more
and aim for
the jugular
which is always a northward journey

the lap.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Less or More? (Poetry Nine)

Mister Less with his chirping
Surging through the morning serving
Here and there a road goes twirling
Mister Less goes to working.

So in the world of less less learning
Mister Less goes on

Turning, burning, churning, mourning
In this world the Less 

Mister More with his squirming
Surfing through the day by burping
Sits and watches fellow herding
Gets  more of earning-learning. 

Perching, skirting, moaning, donning
In this world the More

(Must be read in a strong Irish accent.)

Presidency Poet (Eight)

In poetry I find sumptuous words
of nostalgia, if pronounced with 
the ardent zeal of the orator might
struck highly hegemonic in disposition; 
so I sweep my fingers and say what 
I want to say every time in virtual 
space that litters with old photographs 
of my ancient royalties


Marbled corridors are a
reminder of the opulence of
youth laced with otter minds
that hummed opium songs
in opal afternoons of
odontalgia -which resulted when
words, more words got entangled
in the tooth beds of