Tuesday, March 31, 2009

There are songs to the fine first rain, to the mad burst of monsoon.
There are songs to the winter.
But to the scorn of the sun I can’t remember any.
Scorching seven layers of skin.
Memories of burning soles at Fatehpur Sikri, when I was twelve.
And the relentless fury of the sun every afternoon.
So hot that I can feel the blood pounding in my head.
Drumming a war song, maybe.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I must write this down so I do not forget; waking up at dawn trembling, dreading the day, the shock of disjointed dream scenes with a green overcast, the people so real, life like- overheard conversations, slights and all, the news so believable in this age of a-shock-a-day. The call of the koyal jarred. Sunlight, and sanity returned. A warning?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Productivity road is super jammed. There’s a mob there. A police posse seems ineffective.
Later I learn about the man who heals, just by touch. Its in the papers.
Attracting clamoring crowds, far and wide.
I smirk, all knowing and worldly wise. Cynical, even.
Later, I wonder why.
Is it always necessary to jump to a conclusion?
Faith, so fragile. Sometimes its all that one has.
Can’t I respect that?

Friday, March 20, 2009

In the lobby, I bristle. I search for a lingering something, a wisp, maybe a glimpse of a ghost, a sense that something’s off; but past the vibrant MF Hussain the reception looks just as busy, the engraved wall with the tree of life as serene, the buzz as intense- people watching people. All the rooms have new paint, fittings and furniture, loud carpets have replaced that fine tint, framed photos of the royals that once decked corridor walls have vanished, as if by magic. By the locked balcony one wonders, which of these roofs is Nariman House?

No, it never goes away.

Fine, sharp as an edge writing, it draws blood:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If only I didn’t mumble, perhaps crafting dialogue would be easy.
Or perhaps if I spoke up, dulcet voiced or stentorian, instead of thinking and thinking most times, rambling on, d'you know?
Or perhaps if I could speak in hyperbole and voices, specially voices, crisp lines wouldn’t be excruciating. Like pulling teeth. Only that you get to do it over and over again.

Craftsmanship? THIS is craftsmanship.
Enviable, clean, hardhitting- but mostly, clean-lean. Honest.
The rest is just a random, feeble try.
I rest my case.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Starburst. A firework shower on black.
A cavalcade; trucks with blaring music.

A tableau of the Conqueror- King.

Dancing crowds dressed in a uniform, orange T shirts.

I elbow past.

The might of Pratapgadh, a fort perched on a mountain.

The stillness at Jaigadh, a fort guarding a bay, all alert.

Power, perfectly preserved in rough-cut stone

Not this wild, flinging-arm dance.

AND it’s a six.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The holi flames reach skywards, red flecks on black-blue.
Scorching feet, as one circles.
What is there to ask for.
What is, is perfect. What isn’t, also is perfect.
Color splashes on tar merge.
Like children’s war hoops and glee.
Just the tone, no distinctives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

“Abir and gulaal cloud the air,” words from the the hori- kajri learned a lifetime ago; from a time when women were doe eyed mriganayani; I guess with the chemicals they use these days my windows will be shut tight.
Yet the jasood is in bloom, a style statement in orange, and just-tender neem leaves wave to the first dawn.
Happy Holi.

(abir/ gulaal- natural colors. hori-kajri- classical music forms)

Monday, March 09, 2009

In the orange of the evening, the gargoyles and angels atop the neocolonial BMC building seem as if any minute they’d take flight, lift over the heads of the surging crowds and then you realize the beauty is apparent only past two tinted glasses; the car’s and one’s sunglasses, outside and the scorching heat would overwhelm.

Still trying to get my head around Dev D. Yes, I muchly like it that he chooses life. The disconnect between the Saigal version, the Bhansali version and this one was too much for the parent, who can speak out some of the vintage dialogues perfectly.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says ten thousand hours of practice at anything is necessary to break through to acceptable level. Ten thousand hours.
Shock state.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

That there are miracles.
The girl who was critical after she took terrorist’s bullets on 26/11 at a birthday celebration at the Taj.
The girl who fought for her life.
A friend of a friend. So often one prayed, whatever may be best for her must happen.
Stunned. Yes, a miracle.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Some things are still free.
On my way home last night-Osama and Diana, the glorious mongrels I met outside the chemists, and silly talked with.
The flute seller who seemed so happy just playing on that crowded road so late at night.
The just-subtle scent of jasmine- marigold strands at the garland sellers.
That cheque that I’d given up on a long time ago.
Its scorching at 37 degrees and some.
But some things are still free.