Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Early Years

We have been there, you know,
hanging with the right folks
in the right time-
but youth is just youth, and
time is just time.
Nothing wrong in there,
nothing right.
Invisible cities conquered
by invincible monsters, we were
curious -who were the Hitties?
How many days are there in the
Rumi Calendar, can we travel -time someday,
I want to see the Berlin wall fall.
Where was your parents home in
Bangladesh, who were the best among
the barbarians;
can we start a revolution?
You always had so many questions,
always the right ones, where was I
last night, you never asked;
" In the library", I wanted to say.
Life is just life, and time is just time,
it shall pass with or
without us

Relax it's just a poem

Once upon a time I knew a poet , who
knew many other poets, and there were many poets,
and then there was this poet, who was the wife
of another big poet, and she woke up one fine morning,
and and looked up in the sky and wrote,
"beautiful mornings were made for beautiful people, not for me."
She turned over and kept on sleeping, letting the morning pass, and as the ugliness of the day settled around her ,
she woke up to find her husband , the big poet , writing, she wanted to see what he was writing,
but there was an obvious chance that peeping at the now private, to be public words
can harm their marital peace, so she left him alone with his words,
like she had trained herself and turned over and slept again;
Goodbye, the big poet wrote.
"I am leaving and not coming back."
He wrote on and on,
explaining in subtle metaphors ,
why he must go, why some birds can't fly, why there were no monsoon rains in his hometown,
why he could never love his mother, and any other woman for that matter, but he must go, that he is leaving ,
and if you are still wondering that he left her, relax, it was just a Poem.

That Ship has Sailed

On the fourth floor of
my new apartment building, lives an
old woman and her daughter.
Sometimes, when I am awake late 
at night , I hear them talk, or rather yell-
domestic disturbances- the easy choice,
the hard choice.
People fight, and people still live- with
one another, because the way out is often
way too lonely, but when we are young
there are always ships that sail away and
we are surrounded by beautiful people,
who interest our brains; as much as our bodies,
and when we are out in another place, far from
the ones we left we feel a tinge of sadness,
sometimes, just sometimes --
Sometimes we leave, and sometimes we don't,
but as far as metaphors go,
the story of life is somewhere richocheting
between the arrivals and the departures.
She once told me that transit lounges
were infact one of the Trinity of her favorite
"saddest places" and I never asked the other two,
and now, I can never know.
She is gone, "that ship
has sailed."

River poetry

I must speak of this pretty village,
On the meander of a great river;
every year the levee broke,
And the flood came, 
Washing away some,
And yet, making the land richer/fertile-
The memory of the flood
Was so ancient and sacred in the heart
Of the villagers that none
Complained, and it was the way
of life in that village-
The coming and going of the
flood,
(some were rumored to worship it's fury)
and I have known wise
men and women , who in their solitude
have compared, their lovers to this flood,
which made me wonder-
If some loves were different than
other loves, "of course they are",
she said,
"but I don't want such a
Love."

In times of the National Anthem

Article 51A, of the Indian Constitution, states quite a few fundamental duties of which some are as follows:
1. to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
2. to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture; 3.to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and
4. to have compassion for living creatures;
5. to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform, etc.
It's also written," to respect the national flag and the national anthem"- the only thing these days that obsess a nation that is on a path of celebrating empty words and abstractions.
.
If Article 51A could be legally enforced, most of us would be behind bars, don't you think?
(P.S. It's not mandatory (legally) to stand for the national anthem, as long as you don't "disrespect" it, which is another story.)
You're welcome.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Social Satire

As I returned home last night, sipping an unlikely beverage, I almost stumbled down the stairs of our local subway. It was pitch dark, and I had to hope that there were no bodies lying around randomly- the homeless guys, the everyday drunkards, the degenerates, the honest fakir, the bird- seller from Bongaon, all of them who lived there in the night time, and in that fashion. My phone had died down, and I liked this part late at the day when nobody could call me up and bore me with the platitudes of their sorted life, the ones who would never call me when there's a good party somewhere.
It was silent, and pitch dark, and I was scared mostly wondering, if a freaking rapist crept up from somewhere and fucked me in the ass; I was afraid because my mongrels were missing too, Shibu, Zorro, and the bunch who would wait for me, and my human love. This was mating season perhaps, and they didn't like the underground around this time.
After I made it to the other side, I was angry at myself and also relieved. This was a safe neighborhood. I chided myself for being like a paranoid American. I went to the councillors office today, who happens to be someone I know and asked him why the lights were off last night and he told me,
"Comrade, it's going to be like that from now on,
we are making sure that those who live there sleep well."

Diary of a Generation Below

Diary of a Generation Below.
Inch by inch, the night falls -
It's voice replaced by the jarring
Of a thousand air conditioners.
I remember when I was young,
one could hear the siren of the
last train that left Sealdah
for Plassey, or some forgotten
capital of my old country. The nights,
are loud now perhaps, or the trains
have chosen to be silent-even they are tired
Of the endless repetitions, the to and
fro between obscure hamlets.
"Once upon a time your grandfather,
had taken a train to Dhaka", baba said to me,
one of those nights, and I had thought
to myself when I grew up , I would do the same.
Like Stephen Daedalus, I had marked points
on the Atlas's of the Orient, places I must go,
places that were more fascinating than
the palaces of Samarkand, this place in the
East where Dadu grew up catching fishes,
and wallowing in the silt of the mighty
rivers-and if it were possible,
I would ask you to come with me.
You would fret, laugh and make all sorts
of discourses on sentimentality, but
agree to come, after all-
It was your home too.

Sonu Nigam and the Mike

Waking up to Honey Singh back when I used to live in North India was such a pain, but I never complained about a racist, sexist Delhi street boy making it large singing rape songs and people dancing to it's catchy beats, and using it as caffeine- because in our country we are inclusive (guilty of being passive to rape culture, but practicality demanded it).
I remember this civil engineer boy (who was not very civil and put up excuses like he was meditating) from IIT Roorkee, and a few others always complaining to the dean about this boy who used to practise drums from morning to evening (he wasn't exactly good, but hello, he was just practising drums). I don't know what happened to these losers who were always so envious of each other, but the drummer boy surely made it large.
There will always be people who will have a problem with 'others' because they have no control over their own prejudices, like those relatives who attend wedding ceremonies and complain about the food. It's always so easy to hate others, and honestly we don't need people to fuel that. While we don't need Pakistan to fuel anti-India sentiments in Kashmir (I also laugh at ignorant people who think the army never did/does anything bad to the locals) , we similarly don't need some people (the leaders, Anupam khers, Chetan bhagats and the likes) to fuel anti-Kashmiri ( also anti-muslim) sentiments in India.
****
(Chetan Bhagat wrote recently why we needed a Ram Mandir in Ayodha and sadly the Times of India published it. WTF. I am okay with sending "anti-Nationals" to Pakistan but this one deserves to be deported to Tristan Da Cunha. Sadly it won't happen because he is the government's poster boy, and once upon a time wrote a book about How to get laid in IITs, which make him immensely popular among celebate Netas and high on puberty kids. I have known so many iit-ans over the years and most of them think he sucks big time. Thank God for that. )
*****
Having and voicing an opinion was never wrong and it never will be. May the discourse live on and let people cohabit. But fanning prejudicial sentiments just because the atmosphere seems conducive has always been the signature of evil. It's what partitioned the country once, let it not happen again.

Rainbows and Love

Q. What are the similarities between rainbows and love?
1. They are beautiful to look at, from a distance.
2. Both cannot be acquired by will ( the more you approach it, the more it recedes )
3. They are illusions (one is optical and the other emotional)
4. Unique to each and every person (if only people understood)
5. Happens under special circumstances
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"Rainbow in morning, sailor's warning;
Rainbow at night, sailor's delight" , that's how one adage goes, if you know, what I mean.