Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Three Things Tag
(tagged by parlancheq)

3 Things that scare me: communal mobs/ terrorist strikes, insanity (blues, the big D), market meltdowns (and having to say that scarlett o’hara speech looking skywards clutching a fistful of dust)

3 People who make me laugh: Lalu Prasad Yadav, the scriptwriters on Ba Bahu Baby (weekends primetime Star Plus), the wonderfully predictable dialogue in the weekday K serials (the mother-in-law / daughter in law and joint family set up serials that begin with K for reasons of superstition)

3 Things I love: my 83 yr old baby, lush green with branches so intertwined you can’t see the ground, my Sunday afternoon nap, the tempo of life (mkts, festivals, the hullabaloo of the city, the space of the desert, the rhythm of the countryside, thunderstorms and lightening) ..ooh more than three, was that?

3 Things I hate: I don’t hate per se. I just withdraw, thank you very much. No, you wouldn’t know, either.

3 Things I don’t understand: most of maths. Politics. Ppl who intentionally mess up their karma.

3 Things on my desk: huh? If I knew I’d tell you. Maybe.

3 Things I’m doing right now: thinking on three parallel tracks, all piecemeal: Trying to fathom if some numbers seem all right or silly. Typing this. Trying to decide whether or not to submit a writing exercise this week

3 Things I want to do before I die: go to Istanbul (strange but I have to visit this lifetime- I absolutely must), walk to Mansarovar (Chinese visa or none), deploy assets adequately (yes, whatever that means- sounds nice)
3 Things I can do: multitask (how else would I read a July n’paper in November), sit still without doing anything at all, be pleasant and even-voiced when I’m being mean

3 Things I can’t do: party for long hours (an hour is the outside limit), withstand the bumper to bumper 2 hr ride into town, present without being self conscious

3 Things you should listen to: your own mind/ intuition (yes, I know Siemens skyrocketed and I %$# missed it), action not goody intent (this is vague), open on the third choice

3 Things you should never listen to: Hot tips. Rabids. Someone who has messed up their standing once

3 Things I’d like to learn: to dream. to laugh with husky merriment in an attention -grabbing kind of way, to make traditional pickles stored in huge earthenware jars (the way my aunts make them)

3 Favorite foods: Panipuri. Ras- dhokla. A crisp, shallow-fried to perfection mysore masala dosa.

3 Beverages I drink regularly: Tea, water, aloe vera juice

3 Shows I watched as a kid: Telly came to my part of the world much later- 9th grade or something- grainy B&W and “move that antenna a bit to the left, nah right, a teeny bit to the left now.. the darn picture’s scrolling”. Buniyaad, Chitrahaar, and there was one that was based on a classic of tragic undying, unreciprocated devotion but I forget the name.

3 People I’m tagging: Abbagirl. Prerona. ManuJI

Friday, November 24, 2006


I let you in close. I tell you parts of my life that others won’t ever know. I let you see the soft underbelly, the flops, the blunders and dark misery of the night. The shams. The fake glitter, the cheap triumphs. The victories. The gray areas that I peel apart, bit by bit, and gleefully jump on to claim, Columbus-like. The half-baked hypothesis that simmer and froth, raw. The truth behind a goody-two-shoes fa├žade. I tell you what is posturing, and what is not. Sometimes you know it without my having to say it. Maybe when I said something first I waited and watched, marking your responses, but over time the need for this cross-referencing tapered off. Possibly you know me better than anyone else, and so you will know there are parts of me that you will never know, too. Soft underbelly, I said? Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m not. I don’t look back to see if you reciprocate. Sticking my neck out is a choice that I opt for, willingly and in full control of my faculties. Double, or quits.

I write. I put words on paper. I write as I think. Yes, sometimes I think in circles. Sometimes I mumble. I keep away from heavyweight words that I can’t quite pronounce, oh la! That I need to look up, quizzically. I don’t try to play pretend. I proudly italicize words that I use, words of the marketplace and soaring humidity and matchbox homes and traffic-packed streets. Full bodied, with the aroma of flavours, spices, sweat and a whiff of sea breeze. English that preens and postures, with curlicues and appurtenances, leaves me cold. Attempts at foreign accents and appearances of usage, without comfort for, or confident ownership, reminds me of cucumber sandwiches at tea, bobbing curtseys to the Lord of the Manor, and frankly confounds the hell out of me. You may be a cursory reader, or you could have been reading for long. Maybe when I first wrote something first I waited and watched, marking responses and the hit counter. But over time the need for cross-referencing and positive strokes, tapered off. There are spaces within words, words within words, a glimpse at a world that you will never know. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. Hitting the keyboard, putting black on white is a choice that I opt for, willingly and in full control of my faculties. Double, or quits.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

new Roughpad updated.
flickr updated- S'pore.

An act of thanking that goes beyond the merely formal starts with an act of appreciation. But appreciation isn't easy. It requires perspective. You have to get outside yourself, turn off the endless mental scribbling that covers everything with cheap verbal graffiti….
…The central myths of our culture, religious and secular, are about redemption. When Scrooge wakes up after his dark night of the soul, he rushes to the window and is overjoyed to realize that he is still alive and that it's Christmas. And Dickens tells us that he celebrated life for the rest of his days. We want to believe him, but the truth is most of us, even after getting the horrific guided tour from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, remain clanking Jacob Marleys, bearing the chains we forged in life…


Monday, November 20, 2006

In his usually incisive column (Sundays , Janmabhoomi Pravasi) Suresh Dalal writes about the traces of yaksha and yayati inherent in each of us. Yayati as in the thirst for everlasting youth, for life, for a reason for living, for change, for new, for a glimmer of hope and seeking a reason, no matter how fragile, for tomorrow to be better than today. Yaksha as in emptiness; that feeling of being a spectator, of watching from the outside looking in, clapping where appropriate and saying the right lines on cue. A feeling of transientness, playacting-".. and they have their exits and entrances..". The word he uses is “ jhoorapo”, quite useless to try and translate, but somewhere it hints at that sudden no- reason emptiness that hits you unannounced. You then hear the raging song of the bitter desert wind, and walk on, listening quietly to the dips and soars and singing along in your mind, for you too know the notes of that song too well. And you know in your skin that this is right, for this is the way it is.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

what has happened is horrible.
no- i dont want to talk abt it.
no fake words.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Sometimes it hits you with a whoosh.
Then you get up and do what you have to, correct/tally/close.
Then you walk.
A transparent grid overlay against your usual passive acceptance of “as is where is” life.
So you force-apply the grid.

Then you say- this stays, this is out.
For a forced return to reality I’m not sure if the price was too high.
That it has been paid, is a fact.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

always they go together, light and dark.
when you have your schedule planned to a T, an unexpected turn of events.
dancing shadows; then you remind yourself this is the way it has always been.
will try post Monday. Else Friday.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Now I know what I want to be like when I’m 70 years old. What a brilliant mind, the $’s fine but only secondary or so I think. So alert and sharp a mind, fantastic antenna, rapidfire q’s. Seriously gawkworthy.

corollary to RAMBLE
Yes that is possibly true too, a feedback loop on automode to correct/incrementally adjust the basic premise. Fits in with the state of equilibrium theory, reversion to the mean as in chemical equations, neutrinos and the flash state/baseline, even biological systems such as autoregulated hormones, up/ down regulation of neurotransmitters at synapses. It makes sense.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

RAMBLE: Thinking about reality, dreams and places in between

For sometime I have been thinking about these. This thought process has certain givens, which are predefined. While this precise uses or is based on a specific instance, it does not restrict to this, I believe. The bare bones hypothesis in this paragraph is that for any reality to sustain and move ahead beyond existing boundaries of current time, space, existing constraints (plane related boundaries, as in physics); it will require an element of dream (or fiction or wish, call it what you will). Likewise, for any dream to sustain, there will have to be a supporting from real life. You can’t have one and not have the other, its not mutually exclusive, but in a sense complementary and each half prodding the other on. To look at dreams in an isolated fashion is a fool’s paradise, if I want words I must practice and polish my p’s and q’s and live that bloody painful drudgery, hitting the keyboard and shudder at the outcome, but this has to happen in real time. If any event/ conversation in real time has to go beyond the inanities of what did you eat for dinner, and what did you do next; which is as real as it gets; then somewhere some wish or dream or whatever you term it, has to come in- I’m not even defining what this is. But without that dream or wish to reach towards, however fragile or wisplike it is, what is real today would crumble apart. Yes, balancing real/ unreal is a thin line, the kind of stuff that DSM is made up of.
So I think.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

(Before I forget.)
Guru parab was on Sunday,
Drumbeat, the lazy rhythm of lazim, intermittent crackers, a mad tempo
A saint-messenger feted with burgers, savories, dry fruit
The crowd dressed in their best;polyester and stilettos,
Chanting in procession by the silver chariot.
So much of pomp and show
In memory of such a simple man.
That evening the gurudwara is quiet
Just the blanket of lights on white marble
Your footsteps echo on a winding staircase
The crowds are elsewhere.
To the chant of the shabad, forehead to the ground
So much white, dazzling
Nothing to ask for, is good too.

Monday, November 06, 2006

new Roughpad updated.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

“The prognosis is bad"; I blurt out, then look away
Pin drop silence
Power suit, solitaire; but yes; you're a daughter too
Past the plate glass window
A parrot scoots off a bay of neem trees into a clear sky

A roundabout with yellow flowers
Wide, smooth roads, (no potholes!), clean pavements
A jumbled forest in greens right out of nowhere,
A neem tree, just so
"So much space" I say with envy
The country's showpiece
And this is the nicer part.

Chill arctic
Three people talk in a room meant for fifteen
Abstract art on paneled walls,
Light filters, glazed windows
That orange wavy line, past hectic blue and jade brushstrokes/ Ajay Akki
-is daybreak
-is the sun glinting over merry waves
- is energy, peace, something hoohaa metaphysics
-is dawn over the Himalayas, ascetic
8 hours of art appreciation
Draw succor from the warm tones, shiver
(A google search leads to Bollywood stars. Sad. )

Inside- hushed tones,
The clink of teacups, pages turned, voices cleared
Outside, far below;
Green lawn, blue pool embroidered in white
At the shallow end a child gambols, laughs
Her mother, amused
Watches through outsized sunglasses
The sun an orange orb, van gogh.