Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ganesh Chaturthi tomorrow, hopefully a time of contemplation, of thanksgiving. In a year of chequered squares, dark blacks and a few sunny yellows, much to be thankful for. for a guiding presence, for clarity and a soul guide, and silly me, I didn’t think I had one left. For greens, for the jumble of foliage. For hot. For cold. For nerves, yes, that too and how often and how intensely one takes that chilling next step, and how this redefined the meaning of backbone.For patience and space, for forbearance. for delight in tiny triumphs that only I can see. For intuition, of sorts, for grace in being humbled.for being guided to wisdom and serenity. “We meet the same people over and over again” says the line from the Bhagvad.Gita, I draw solace. For your presence in my darkest hour, and momentary triumphs, in a year of chequered squares and much growing up, gratitude.

Friday, August 26, 2011

There’s waiting, and then there’s hope.Waiting.for the markets to reach a new normal and take a breather. For the political situation to sort itself out. For the monsoon to end, for the skies to change so I could get on with my to-do list. The list is long and I’m primed and ready to go. In a way this is not all that different from trying to learn how to keep one’s wits and navigate AK road or JVLR, all clutch-brake-clutch, a whisker’s breadth away from hunking lorries and high agro BEST buses waiting to bear down upon a flustered you. All in good time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Independence day
We saluted the flag
Sang out loud the national anthem
Remembered the valiant
The challengers of an Empire’s might
Remembered the time when the cry for freedom
Rang out from coast to coast, and adrenalin charged in the veins
Pulled out sepia memories of the greats
Gandhiji Nehru Patel
And the forgotten, the sacrifices of the untold millions
A steel backbone, the shared heritage

Today, we’re back to examining the meaning of freedom
Past potholed, traffic choked roads
Lined by a wave of regrets, lost opportunity and paved by endless corruption
Scandals and tattered reputations,
That submerge a gasping nation
Widening, ripping apart the chasm
Yet we remain stoutly democratic
A nation of so many differences, yet we remain bonded, defiant
Surely that counts for something.
Yet this morning
an 84 year Gandhian was arrested for speaking his mind
asking for the nation’s accounts

For shame!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In the mad rush for minutes one forgets the magical. Yes, the magical-- startling, breathtaking, elusive mystery spice included. Why should that be the prerogative of children and the dreamy eyed alone? For the record, I’ve for long found the manufacturing process of sublimation quite fantastic. A solution, say an injectable, goes directly from solution to a flaky powder, no heating required. So beautiful Of course, there is a great deal of science involved, lyophilisation, eutectic point, flash point and whatnot, but the clean beauty of it all! Fantastic.
And remember that equation for cellular level energy, ADP Plus P equals ATP? Magical, the way in which we systematically pick up energy from the food we eat, tuck it away into cells in pockets of energy until needed, no use before date, and so seamless the uptake and infinitely economical the usage. Brilliantly neat.
And the powers that devised these may therefore be trusted to keep the world up and running much after we’re done

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A banyan tree felled
A giant of a tree
bark gnarled, white-weathered with the years
its shoot-tree canopy destroyed too
snapped, like matchsticks
Too furious a storm, perhaps
Or age.
I stare at the location
Right outside the Dept. of Sanskrit studies
Peeling paint, turn-of-century building
But the parking lot is full
I walk away.


All of us in white
I stare at the ancestors on the wall
Charcoal on white
And your portrait joins them
The last of the elders
A few teardrops
Your voice, the angle of your head, something you’d say
A banyan tree felled
A giant of a tree

Friday, August 05, 2011

Re: The Tree of Life.
Visual colossal—overwhelming, brilliantly beautiful but too much of brilliant, that gets into your eyes..
Terse. Non-linear. Connect the dots.
Whispers… Too much hinted at.
Too much space for interpretation. One wonders what one missed in an eyeblink.
Opinion: Dunno.
Was it worth braving the traffic and rain? Yep.
Would I see it again? Dunno, maybe.

"There are only two ways, the way of nature or the way of grace..."

Monday, August 01, 2011

I wish I could grieve for you.
Fifty plus years of widowhood, borne with cheer. And duty, and devotion, patience and all the extolled virtues, but I’m not sure what it did to you as a person, to your core. That person we’d see sometimes, irrepressible bits would pop out, and the once-singer would warble a tune, the once-theater performer would deliver a line with aplomb.
Unsteady on your feet, your bones brittle with two decades of steroid and thyroid medicine, you'd restricted your interactions with the outside world. Your hand would tremble, you’d given up writing, and your signature was a scrawl.And yes, the frequent falls. Yet every time I’d drop in, you’d regale me with laughter and a tale or two, and I’d scour your kitchen the way I used to when I was a broke student.
I often left angry, seeing in your tale a reflection of my life and possibly, fate, and determined to will it otherwise.
Let this memory be your last bequest to me.