Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chanting in groups
Builds a energy difficult to define
Voices reach skywards, soar
Past the lamps, past the rangoli and marigolds
Irrelevancies, inconsequentials fall away
Sanctity-- perhaps this is what it means

The amaltas are a shade paler now
Waiting, still
Holding on to the sight of a cloud or two
The sun burns deep
humidity plasters the air

Monday, May 30, 2011

Haven't laughed as much in YEARS.
The kid and I used to have these laughter gales when neither of us could stop
laughing. And we'd have to stop because we'd be out of breath.
In years, I said.
Thank you, Amole Gupte.
Thank you, Stanley ka dabba.
What a kickass movie.
How can your life view not change after watching this.
When we went in, we were frowny, discussing money, inflation, taxes, knees and etc.
We came out laughing- sobered. How can you crib and moan after this.How.

Remembering my own dabba- a pinkish tiffin from kg onwards,
accompanied me thru various schools, gangs, groups, lunch under the mango tree.

Saluting Arora madam how terribly nice and patient she was with our
queries in Hindi,nonstop "difficult word maam, difficulty maam..." Not khadoos at all.

Also remembering Mrs Ganguly, classteacher, class 1, and whatever made her select me for a good behavior award that particular year, what exactly did she see, what did she latch on to, haven't figured out yet. The first and last of good behavior awards.

Go see the movie.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And I thought it only happened in fiction…Why do two people who once evidently cared for each other, willingly and willfully set out to destroy the other to nothingness, a pale shadow of their former selves? Past the cardboard pretence, so much so that there is nothing left, nothing much that one could call worthy or respected, at most tolerance, a living arrangement? Does familiarity breed contempt, after which ennui sets in, ensuring you whittle away at all that was vital, good and pure once? And fool me, I thought people were meant to grow together, reach for the sunlight, with overlapping and independent areas of interest.

To life, then...

EDITED: This is not about me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I am good.
Watching deadlines whiz past overhead.
Sometimes chasing them.
Sometimes letting them go
At work and words.
Precarious life balance, imbalance
Impatience, tacky, not quality work
Want to hide in the hills
(go home, turn the clock back, but there is no home)
Work and non-work
Empty walls
The words dried out
Till I grit my teeth, pull them words out.

The other day, a mint fresh copy of Reading Hour landed on my desk,
has "Flight from the Bastions".
Earlier issues: 7, Chinar Woods. Shefali Kamdar (trans.)

The nicest part about Reading Hour, other than the rich content, completely thorough crits, is how prompt they are with payment and copies. Rare.

But we have a tough skin.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Word tramp~

what I do then
(private eye is too polite, way too polite)
in pursuit of hints and clues
or a trace, just a trace
of what may be a story, or not
anything for 400 words,
I sniff and scour the air
Wade through stacks
of yellowed newsprint
Stare at page 3 photos mostly,
Or sometimes page 3 types
Overhear conversations quite blatantly
while pretending to read book titles,
look into the distance, holding a biscuit or
a cup of tea.
(looking nondescript helps)
while I hunt for chinks,
gauge pauses and cadences
tides and ebbs, in the rhythm of talk
sieve past chit chat
like a prospector hunting for gold flecks
the adrenalin thrumming in his veins
knowing that a nugget is in there for sure

I’m not there to clap,
gawk at celebrities
collect autographs
Or make friends on FB
no prisoners taken, no mercies
all’s fair in love and words.
build up a story,
tweak or ignore an occurrence, or blow it up big
master of their fates,
I do as I please

Or, I try.

Monday, May 09, 2011

I’ve never seen “to be continued” placed as strategically as this, and it makes me wonder if all tbc’s are like this. I’m reading “Miskin’s” concise commentary on the Geeta that appears in every issue of Navneet Samarpan, in the opening pages. So in the middle of the battlefield we have Arjun losing heart, wringing his hands, putting forth one argument after another. Arjun here is described as valiant, the conqueror of sleep, and yet.... And we have the charioteer, Parth, laughing at him And one entire month to wonder why. And ruminate as to whether most of life’s tbc’s are as perfectly poised, teetering on an edge.

“I am…” is fantastic. Real, gritty. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart. All the randomness and incompleteness of life.
My take: In the theater, to see “I am…”

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My poem on Holi is in In Focus,the newsletter of the California Writer's Club West Valley.

Yesterday I got my copy of the Mass Review. Finally.

A BOOK perfect~
Yesterday, finally the book got here
From wherever that is,
Red brick and college square, spiffy, in my mind’e eye
(photos in catalogs that dot the road not taken)
Though Belgium is what is says on the brown cover
I stare at the label, trace the masthead
think of caravans, and silk routes and loads of myrrh and spice
And breathe in a whiff of the strange places this must have been.

Yesterday, finally the book got here
After I’d panicked and “If it may please your lordship, may I please …”
(supplicated the editor)
Even as I wondered about the Mayflower and therefore the Bostonian royals and protocol
When patience gave way like the ice on a pond that muff-covered women in an old postcard skate on
I’d fidgeted, mumbled and then asked

Yesterday after the book got here,
I traced my name on the back cover
Wondered with a lump in my throat, at its perfectly bound form
Neat orderly rows of gracious fonted letters, marching down the page
Stared at the index, with section titles in latin, and heavyweight contributors,

Now that the book is here
I shall begin my day
Touching the pages, tracing the gracious curve of assorted alphabets
Trace the smooth loveliness of the art pages, wonder black crayon can do so much
a gulp in my throat at the beauty of it all
my personal prayer
of reassurance, backbone.