Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Rhyme Rhemee.

My obsession with capturing sounds of delight
led me to record the wailing winds of a monsoon night. 
It was only after I played it over
I realized that I had a snoring neighbor.

Monday, July 28, 2014

We Shall Overcome. (The times of Israel-Gaza conflict.)

Every morning when you wake up, you have a choice-to go through the newspaper or not to go through it. If you decide to go through it, then you have a choice again- to feel bad about all the ills (do I dare mention?) that's happening in the world around you- printed in a piece of dead wood or to ignore this and browse through 'page three' to look for things that might satiate your soul. 
In a world where everyone is looking for contentment or the idea of happiness who in their right mind would choose to look into the real world to see it how it is and feel bad, and most of the time just hopeless?
No people don't do that.

'Happiness is not watching photos of a dead kid in social forum.' Sure it isn't.

But some people do not get contentment in the bottle of a wine or in the lives of plastic people, some people like to think for themselves, some people want their lives to be more than the cattle class around them- so when you tell them why they are making a fuss over issues they can't do 'shit' about, you are not being wholly human. No, I am not accusing you of anything- I am just asking you to feel bad about these things, to feel just a little, say for five minutes, for people whom you have never met.

There is this word smart people often use: 'decadence' - they like to ascribe it to humanity these days. But I think decadence has been a pervasive element in every epoch of human history. Even in those golden periods that you might have read about in your history book, there have been occurrences that must have piqued the morality of certain men, which must have numbed them with this hopeless feeling that often plagues your heart.

By why do you think- humanity as a whole, still in some ways function stably beyond rogue states and rapists, beyond slaughterhouses and slave owners, beyond jealous acts of lovers?

Half the problems in the world are created by us, by men like us, misdirected people, insensible people, stupid people, but then the problems that we create are solved by another set of people- who like to wake up in the morning and who like to belong to this class of people who would rather feel, who would be sad at times for people they don't know, who would scream and shout, who would rather refuse to accept the standards the world set for them, who would rather banter out than ignore the sensibilities other people points out as 'mawkish'.

No, you don't have to be them but just be on their side, for once, say a word or two There's nothing wrong with being verbose, it only magnifies your feelings. Stand with them. Feel.
Our consciousness is all we have got, and if we want to act like humans we must use it till 'decadence' itself withers away from the heart of every thinking man.

We shall overcome?
Yes, some of us who write poetry,
would like to believe

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

School Bus.

When you are really young you don't think about first experiences, every thing is so new to you. Every little thing. Its only when you are a little confused with ageing that you ponder about remembering first experiences, may it be love or otherwise. For me I think that has been the scenario.

Last night while I was struggling with sleep I don't know why I tried to remember my first school bus ride- and I couldn't remember much, except for loud lousy kids all stacked together like cattle. As I delved a little bit into memory I realized that it was not the memory of the first day- it was the sum of the every other day that I remembered. 

I delved further deep into the pits of my brain only to get a bad headache and an acute shoulder pain. It was only then I remembered that I was bitten by a bee, just around my neck.
I don't know if it's the pain that made me remember this or if it was the past memory that rekindled the pain, but either way it wasn't much pretty at first. If you can't romanticize the past it's better you forget it, ah well, but sometimes you have to deal with the pain.

And when the pain is over it's always sweet and you get to sketch school buses from memory that never existed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Dharma Bums!

It was supposed to be a birthday party. Just another ordinary birthday party. I begin this tale with the name of the protagonist- Dharma. Please, don’t scout for deeper meanings, it’s just another name. When Dharma was born, his father in accordance with his ‘Dharma’(this one deserves a little attention) had made a deal with the devil- not the Mephistopheles kind wala deal, but well, you see- he burnt a snake, a scorpion and a bad big poisonous beetle in the fire, so that......  His father did this so that if Dharma ever got stung by any of these- he need not worry. The devil will see that nothing happens to him. Negation of fatality. 

Stories should be kept like stories. A storyteller shouldn’t be a judgmental prick. I like saying this even in my worst days. To keep my plastic idealism intact and with a little trepidation and honesty I must say that- the logic behind such rituals fails me. But you might agree that this birth act of Dharma’s father was indeed fascinating. What if such magic actually permeated in the world around us, what if? I don’t know, it could just be true.

This world is a weird place after all, said the Neanderthal.

He also said, that people’s value should be respected, as long as they do not interfere with other people. Oh, the eternal jargon of morality, of rights and wrongs- not my cup of tea, so I won’t make further attempt in elucidating this. Dharma never got bitten by any of the aforementioned creatures, so we wouldn’t know about the magic and the cynic in me for the sake of this story can pass such a belief as ‘superstition’. (For the sake of the story, those are the punch words here.) And the story involves a birthday party.   Dharma was quite the star among his friends- social butterfly, you may call him. I think he was an internet kid with lots of money. So one fine birthday, he decided to invite fourteen of his friends for dinner. The ones who weren’t invited were naturally disappointed. There were no girls (pretty or otherwise) among the list of invitees but you’ve got to understand that in some parts of the world they don’t allow girls in birthday parties. Perhaps, this was one of those places, I don’t know, perhaps. But among those fourteen friends one fell sick and only thirteen came. As you know he inherited ‘superstition’ by the account of genetics, so the presence of thirteen boys was rather a matter of worry for Dharma. The night had the all ingredients of turning into something really bad- Dharma logic. 

(While Dharma’s father’s superstition was more indigenous his were rather exotic- generation gap and globalization could have been the reason behind such differences.)

 He needed another boy as a replacement. It won’t be much of a problem. Everyone wanted to come to Dharma’s birthday party. Dharma got to work. After a minute long phone call- the chosen one agreed to come. The chosen one was another fan boy who talked and walked like the others-not much of an aberration, but he had missed out on the dinner table initially on account of his softer voice. Dharma had to train him to be a little loud. He instructed him very seriously that he was to laugh out loud at every joke he was going to crack. The eating began, lucky stars were aligned, fourteen boys all laughing out loud and eating their heats full. One particular aphorism was not really poor by Dharma standards and even the boys found it a little hard to laugh- but they still laughed anyway. 

The chosen one, on account of his softer voice did put extra thoughts on the mechanics of being loud and while trying really hard with food in his mouth choked on it and fell dead and so there were thirteen boys left again. In Dharma country ever since that day, there have been no more birthday parties.

I wonder why.

Friday, July 18, 2014


In Innsbruck there's a toddlers inn
where they throw chocolate
toys at each other and if you ever sat there and
watch them play, I am sure you will
be filled with

It's funny that I consider myself to be a member of 
this first 
quadrant (double positive) that we invent for ourselves, 
yet I was morose, 
watching them,
throw stuff at each other. 

I felt that,
those little things should be tied down
to a post or something, and one mustn't let their hands move 
so much, 

so that when they grow up, they  are not 
going to just 
make their own stupid toys and throw at 
each other and perhaps an 
innocent dog, smiling all the same. 

all the same. 

You must think, 
I am a little mad for saying so, well yeah, 
but I belong to your 
don't I?

When I was young they let me play with books
and I threw all of them back, but in that process I 
remember, there were 
a few diaphanous words that would sometimes seep out 
from those printed paper
which I would learn, 

I would learn 
that terror is the word of my time, and 

I also learnt this -
that it was possible to
break a man's two hundred and six bones only by 
breaking his

and for that you needed 
to make toys

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Silent Chemistry.

For us boys of a certain city School, Miss Biswas’s chemistry class was the loveliest place on planet earth. Our creative faculties never failed to cease here. It was how we began our week, tolerating the archaic smell of N-butanol, Beta-mercaptoethanol, paraformaldehyde and many other mind jaunting chemicals whose name I don’t need to mention in this internet age. 

I still remember every set of mischief we ritually performed on Lab-day. This was how our week began – perfect round holes in our dresses, broken round bottom flasks, splattered sodium carbonate, colored Glycerin, dabla dabla dabla da, among other things. We purposely kept the right things in the wrong places, applied weird chemicals on other unknown stuff (very dangerous I know), we threw and wasted away milliliters of chemicals that perhaps on other days would have helped to cure cancer. Even in the decibel level, fish markets would have been proud of us.

Come to think of it we did pretty bad stuff back in the days but somehow got away from crafting big accidents. Such was the order of that class that it was not a common sight to occasionally sprinkle acid and burn our hands here and there, never to the enormity of anything serious.
Miss Biswas never said much, we hardly listened to what she had to say anyway, her voice was soft like a summer bird and more than often her words were lost between the bottles of magic potion. But whenever we had ached in those silly burns that we conjured on our skin, she would swiftly walk to us, hold our hand and take us to the nearest wash basin, repeating those words over and over again.

“Apply water, apply water.” 

Those are the words that had stuck with us boys, the mellifluous chant of a lady whose voice we would rather ignore on sunny days. We even passed our exams applying the right amount of water (yes, I am telling you the truth man) - the chemicals were insignificant, it was all water play. This amount on this would give you this and then apply this on that and heat for this amount of time and write down your conclusions. What did you infer? Well, nothing much.

‘Apply water. Apply water.’

That’s all I can remember. That’s all I needed to know back then.

I am writing this now, because today I met Miss Biswas in the park. She was graceful as ever, except with strands of grey hair on her head. Her voice was as soft as it had been back then, but I thought she wouldn’t recognize me but to my surprise she did. She even remembered my name, she remembered a few of our classmates name too and enquired me about them. I could hear her every word now, and in a way it was really nice to hear her speak. In a world where everyone was shouting and screaming to be heard, she was indeed an anachronism. I couldn’t place her here in the park. To me she was the portrait of our chemistry laboratory. When she asked me how I was doing, I deviated myself from my usual formal pleasantries. I had this sudden urge to speak out (perhaps it was her comforting presence that made me react this way) and I did so.

I was so verbose that hell, I don’t even remember how long I whined about my flaccid confusions, my existential problems and my general distaste towards life. She listened patiently and at the end of it all she smiled. In a tone so old and familiar, she said,

‘Apply your dreams. Apply your dreams.’

I think that’s when I
woke up.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Of many stories I heard while staying in that distant land that reeked of eucalyptus, I sadly remember this one.

There was a sad boy. Perhaps his heart was broken. His intangible sadness was enough for him to perform puerile acts that’s characteristic of adolescent boys. But I shouldn’t judge him, hell, I don’t understand him.

I never got to know the reason of his sadness. I was told that he was sad, and hence he had to die. He is just this person who died for no reason at all.

Although with little pride I would like to say that, I fondly remember the story where he had a close friend, the one who died of a reason. At least a reason that I could grasp, not entirely, but in ways I would like to.

The history of this dry country was full of men with barren hearts-‘lack of water’, noted a famous historian was the reason for it. Not much were said about the women. Nothing much grew here, there was no life. Whatever lived here was harsh and strong- just like the men who ambled those red country roads.  In the pursuit of maintaining order the colonial masters had devised a plan of bringing in water to cool these parts and change the heart of men. The masters knew that, it was easier to rule over contented and feeble hearts. And like that as had happened ‘n’ times before in the compendium of human history, the idea of the visionaries began to take effect. Laborers had to fulfill it.

Years after meticulous digging, the ground had boasted the waters that came from a holy river. Soon the land changed, green grass and exotic seeds sprouted at the touch of these astral waters.

With the disappearance of the barren topography, the heart of men changed too, if not considerably. They had decided to harbor emotions which were rather human, if not practical.

Perhaps that led to the birth of sadness and remorse in the heart of little boys. There was so much life and activity that one couldn’t ignore the palpitations of the heart. But emotions, like everything else breeds in asymmetry, so there would be friction within them (preferably between boys and girls) and this would lead to some being happier than others, and some being sadder than the rest. And thus one would have stories to tell.  

So it was perhaps one of these reasons that led to the general sadness of this boy. A preferred friction between him and a little girl?  

It was a full moon’s day. There was a sad boy who sat by the side of a canal to cool and soothe his aching heart. He could not be found since the morning. If one would call him by his name they would only hear their echo amongst the distant mango trees that had grown along with the new found human emotions.

The boy had a family. It was worried. It sent out words to the boy’s friends. None of them knew where he was. But then there was one friend. The one who shared a sense of commonality with him. He had to know where he was. He had an idea. So he went to look for him by the side of the canal. He knew the ‘spot that soothed the heart’. And he had found the sad boy looking distastefully into that torrent of water. He would call him by his name and ask him to end this drama. The sad boy would agree. He had taken it way too far. He would get up now and turn back to climb up the levee. His friend would wait up for him to come up.
There was life everywhere. A little bit of moss had grown on the side of the dams. This was perhaps the curse of the land. Too much life. The boy rests his feet on this lively vegetation. He slips. He falls down in that flowing water. He drifts away amidst the current frantically waving his hands. The friend who is full of raw emotions jumps to save him. It’s all too human. This sense of honor, this sense of protecting a compatriot’s life.
But in that moment of human valor he realizes the graveness of his menial decision that I like many others, always mistake for impeccable valor. The invisible whirlpool entangles his feet and sucks him in. He can’t see his sad friend any more. He thinks of his own life now. A terror sets in his heart and now he struggles like a fish taken out in air. There’s no fishermen to save him. His struggles are meaningless after a point. He would give up soon, as his lungs would choke with the holy water. Nobody would see his terror, that final moment of panic before that inevitable lull of death. A faraway girl while passing by the arch bridge would probably notice that episode where he had jumped in to save his sad friend. She would tell others of her bravery. They would pass this down to many others orally. His death would mean something now. A boy of valor- his meed of death.
But, alas, he didn’t want to die. Neither did the sad boy. Yet they would end up there, comrades in death. But there would be a difference in their afterlife.

Downstream, a few longing kilometers from there, the sad boy’s cadaver would float and get stuck in a net. His friend the one who jumped in to save him would not be found. Ever.

It has been almost thirty years since that incident and no one ever found his body, not even a single bone, but yet no body has forgotten him. It’s true as the locals once told me that no boys have ever drowned in that canal since that fateful day. They told me that his ghost moves around the banks guarding it, scaring away little children who tries to appear and go play in that water.
Yet, the legend ignored what I found out from an aching mother. On a certain full moon’s day every year, it wasn’t common to find cadavers of little girls floating merrily in that holy water.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Story of an Anchored Sailor

I couldn’t make out those arpeggios. They were playing it so fast, like it was the last night of the earth. It struck to me then, this was the music of a foreign land. 

It has always been like this. When I was young, my mother used to sing me a sad song from Milan.

My music teacher had learnt the Mandolin in the hills of Gangtok. He always told me to press the strings hard-

‘Like a man son. Like a man’.

He loved music more than women. But how could we? 
Music always reminds me of him and the hills I never saw. Music reminds me of the mirth of little schoolboys huddling across his little room- trying to be a man in that jingling rhythm that could 


Her brothers play on. I lie here on her lap thinking of home.  She is sweet and beautiful, just like that urgent music. Her urgency drives me mad. Isn’t this enough- the sea, the music, her baroque legs and her vast love?
Isn’t love enough when you are young?

Why do I miss my home? I am no homesick sap. I am a sailor of the seas.

Why is it so sad to hear such a beautiful music here in this foreign land?
The music here is like the sea- it rises and falls time and again, and I feel it in my bones.
 She passes me a biscuit- it tastes like the sea. Sometimes I feel she tastes like the sea too.

She is my mermaid.

Sometimes I wonder if she loves me for my foreignness. Why would she love me otherwise?
I am just a poor man shoveling around other worlds.  I miss the red soil where water don’t breath. I miss the dry taste of home. The home where no one loved me. The home that pushed me far away.
Look at me, I am loved here, in a foreign land. I am someone different here.

Yes, I am.  

I am unique. I am not a lovelorn fool here, I am loved. I am loved here for not belonging. I am loved here for telling stories of a distant land, of a place I still call home. I am loved here for just showing love. I am loved here for feeling it through my blue veins.

I am loved here perhaps for no reason at all. But I am loved, alright.

Why do I miss a home that never loved me?

She looks into my eyes and says -

‘’But it taught you how to love me. That’s why.’’

Mermaids can read your thoughts too, you know.
And boy, they can