Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tossing and turning with a fever
(Hundred one, hundred-two, who knows?)
Is a good time to eke out a philosophy of life
Not exactly novel,
so with a salute and apology to all the philosophers--
One way is the blazing meteor
Fast and furious, pinnacle breached effortless.
These sort are ambidextrous,
learn dancing and Spanish and algorithms with the same effortless ease,
while whistling in metre
The other way is the slow-plod
For the slow coach;
That’s mine.
Plodding on step by painful step—but not as linear
So many detours and re-do’s and rejections, failed tries and retries
And wastage and warnings and chemistry formulae written on the walls,
All the better to memorize.
Yes, that’s mine
So given time, you learn to duck, deflect, shake off
Turn a deaf ear to naysayers and wellwishers
And learn to live with what is
Nothing very dramatic, this adhesive of ploddingitis
No paens, no eulogies or odes
Save for the afflicted
An odd satisfaction
On eventual attainment, closure or completion.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

These times are bittersweet.
(Like the strains of a Mohd. Rafi song
His voice rich and sweet, but the sadness!
Still seeps through some sixty years after;
Sixty years after the celluloid the stories were printed on
cracked to a brittle nothing)
So, these times are bittersweet
As disjointed as the paan-tinted, tile-lined government building
Housing divorces, marriages, building registrations under the same roof
Which skeptic must have evilly grinned at
This harmony of joining for seven lifetimes, and breaking asunder?
These are strange times
And I while away hours, waiting for files to move,
Watching the milling crowds
The black robed, the hopefuls, the angst-ridden, the touts
And the distant stream of cars glide beneath a green leaf canopy
I wait

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

There is something pure, ascetic like
In this disdain for the limelight
In fealty to the craft, no more, no less
A tale, when there’s one to be told,
(such an old fashioned word, fealty
I turn the words around, savor the taste)
No pr spiel, no oversell
No shiny smiles, no sound byte
Just a simple tale, and a tale told well
That breezy light, play of wind and rain
A church spire outlined in the evening light
sustenance anchored in wealth of the soil
The rush of sap to sequoia leaf- arch
Long lost echo, laughter gale of tag
And such it was, and will be again

And I have not even seen the movie.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Something I saw this morning, a YT clip of amazing color and light, children chasing, laughing gleefully, reminded me of that time I’d slipped off the bricks with a huge splash and plop and you’d found that so funny we’d laughed till we cried. No, it never goes away. Not really. But the day's brighter for that.

Well, she's walking through the clouds

with a circus mind
that's running wild
Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams
and fairy tales
That's all she ever thinks about...

Riding with the wind
(lyrics- Sting)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Am delighted to announce a yahoo for verse--yes, who’d have thought it-- a selection of poems are up on Here and Now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A requiem for J Dey
This Saturday
While the police were asleep
Not midnight but at two in the afternoon
A scribe, senior crime beat chief
Was shot down, in a posh lane
Not too far from his home.

So do they teach this at media school
This job hazard
Live by your creed and pen, fearless
Chase the oil mafia, water mafia, land mafia, police nexus
unravel the connects, cross connects, the give and take,
But always keep your will handy
For you never know
When you stub an invisible line
Trigger a bullet hailstorm

What coward hired gun
Pumps eight bullets close distance
Burns tire running away
The lone biker no more
The real villain roams loose
Mafia man or politico
Which cutting edge story, which expose
Pushed the buttons, scorched too close?

Now, if this were Bollywood,
We’d have staccato beat, clues unearthed
And a killer brought to justice by the last frame
Not pelting rain
That made a joke of the sketch the police circulated
Of the pipsqueak that ran tail
The scribe martyred, mowed down
So close to home
The vermin a needle in this city’s teeming haystack
Or ferreted to some distant corner
Never to be traced.

The goons changed faces, put on new names
But no escape, no succour or refuge , no place on earth
Saves from a mother’s wrath
And a wife’s lament
Because I like endings, I believe
justice of some kind will be done

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I do the math
chase the banks
nitpick, cross check dates
poring over yellowing notepaper
covered in your fragile handwriting.
(perfectionist personified.)
Fight with strangers over polite email
You’d have done it too,
shaking a fist at idiots
grimacing over the phone line, dulcet.
Is that being judgmental?
Nothing poetic I’m afraid,
about being a bad copy.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

To celebrate Emerson's 208th birthday, The Domino Project is republishing a work of art that's especially relevant today. Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson urges readers to trust their intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.

I signed up for the prompt y’day, and took the journal route; pen and paper, my scrawl honest, direct hard-hitting and very personal as I wrote to myself five years ago and five years from now. Amazing exercise. Some things are best left off line

Monday, June 06, 2011

The philosopher Bhaan-dev, in his essay in Navneet Samarpan June 2011 presented an interesting hypothesis, one for me to surely remember if not read a few times a week. What he says is that Indian philosophy, Indian thought, and he quotes the sources from the scriptures and volumes, is all for living, for life as a celebration, as an offering to the Lord if you will, insomuch that war, death or decay are parts of a wholesome life as well. And that the thought of life as something to be renounced, to be shed, to be outgrown, a suffering to be borne with patience and tired fortitude, endless cycle of birth and death, is a later intervention, an influence perhaps of Buddhist thought.
Must read that essay like a mantra.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Eddies race, gush swirl downhill
Kinetic energy, unleashed
Sometime a river here, the water remembers

Thunder drumroll
A clap makes you jump
Flashes of daylight
A church outlined.


Raintime medley, marching music
Tunes to wade, slosh to
Snatches, an antra here, club song chorus there
Music to whistle in the dark
Ladies and gentlemen, announcing the advent
The first ever rain!
Sun kissed morning
My usual park
An artgallery
Raindrops edge a bough

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The sky four shades of charcoal
wind whips the gulmohars
mrignayni waits by the window

Frangipani, cloud in blue sky
The sea beneath - a glittering carpet
One could get used to this lifestyle

Chilled room
Incisive suits, sharp questions
The ocean generous, past the French windows
I better sit with my back to the view

Old ruin of a mansion, but what a mansion
Curving staircase, vast porch, balustrades
What a grand place this must have been
The nameplate faded, tattletale