Thursday, October 27, 2011

a year and one day,
now I seek you
in the scattered sunshine
golden shower on green
gentle, illuminating
rock strewn paths.

also in
orange lanterns, chinese
bobbing on a giant tree
light bedecked sky
ushering in the new year

as also in
the graceful arc of a perfect star
as it balances on velvet black
then dips into the surf
clamoring on rocky shore
ever so gently

from light unto light
as the hymn says
pass now
ever so gently

Monday, October 24, 2011

That a place on earth could be as speechless.
Until I find the words

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Amazing how you continue to reach out and bless me from beyond the pale.Stunned. Been so long since you went your way to the skies-- I was five then, am forty- six (and some) now. Once “your” dining table from 1950? was stripped of that faded formica marked with the lines and stains of the decades, magic! A gleaming sheet of burma teak-- three huge planks joined seamlessly, that left the carpenter dazed, he’d not seen something like this, he refused to re-size it. So now I have a spare door for someday. Baba had often recounted the pride with which you’d bought this table, the first time formica was introduced in the country.
Amazing, and not only the teak.

Monday, October 17, 2011

In class 4, I took myself to boarding school, inspired by Enid Blyton—the adventurous soul I was those days. (Of course reality was very different, much growing up happened, and I thrived on the days spent at my uncle’s house.) Now, the school on a hill was a place where culture and art were very important. As preparation for the Spring Festival (before Navnirman revolution intervened and cut the semester short) we were taught a poem, the lines of which have often resonated, half forgotten. These lines were to have been sung as we presented a volume of handwritten poems and stories to the King of Spring.
Was stunned to find madurashtakam online, thanks to google devta. The words felt so good—and I remembered the words right, specially the refrain.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teak. Beautiful wood. lines, swirls, patterns I don't know the names of, deeply ingrained in the wood, weathered and aged over the years
Once the color was stripped off, the layers of grime and dust and grubby fingerprints and whatnot of the decades scraped off, the magic of the wood beneath—just wondrous , breathtaking. To watch sunlight seep into the wood-- what a treasure.


So grateful for the near misses, the regrets one has been handed on a silver platter with a flourish, the ugly thanks-but-no-thanks. Yes, of course I wasn’t grateful then, cried and flailed my arms about and stomped my feet and roared—figuratively speaking, but of course, and some literally speaking too, if I must be honest.
But in retrospect—what a gift. What a brilliant gift. For a hurting, ugly state I would have been in, if not for this gratis bonus—broken and despairing…or adjusting, giving up little bits of myself being nice till it hurt and till the cows came home.

Who said I was nice?

Reading this later, I saw that in the words above, gratitude was missing, overtaken by the hurt but-- the overwhelming residual is gratitude, for life events, for roles played no matter how finite, for the lessons learned, insights into self, and yes,soul connect that one had only read about. Perhaps it is like teak,this scraping and stripping,bootcamp, raw treatment before what is essentially you, your self is revealed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Soon it will be time for you to go, and I say this with a strange throttling at my throat. Although you have been an inhabitant of another plane for months, I have oftentimes felt your presence hovering, comforting, even in my worst periods of mourning and silence. We spoke without language so often, reading each other, father and daughter--we did in the days past, and so we do now. I sense this--soon it will be time for you to go, to move on, into the light, part of a million dancing sunrays showering this earth every morning. Perhaps you sense I do not need those training wheels of your invisible presence as much. Perhaps you’ll be part of a view that you’d delight in, national geo style. Soon it will be time for you to go, and again I feel the despair of a young child in the dark, the scare of a young girl who’s forgotten her lines and stands blank, petrified, before an audience.
Or perhaps time for you to inhabit another lifetime, take baby steps again, learn to coo and lisp and in time, talk and run, and in thinking so-- see my own selfishness, in the hope that our paths should some day , but for certain,cross. And I know probably not, for you’d paid too many dues and learned too deeply in the real sense of the word, you’d taken the essence of the scriptures and instilled it in your life, to ever have to relive the ups and downs of a life cycle again.
You will go on, but what ever shall I do?

Monday, October 10, 2011

What color is it?
Would you know?

glittering sunlight
streaming on green
that translucence that filters

shimmery opal
holding a huge full moon in place
smoky radiance swirls
just close your eyes tight
and peer--

the horizon at dusk
several purples, mauves and dark
irregular bands race above
highway lights--

Would you know
What color it is?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

At the Ramakrishna Mission
Durga Puja is celebrated
the old fashioned way
with flowers, lamps and age-old prayers
perfectly recited by the monks
Sanskrit words resounding in the hall where
A perfectly featured image of the Mother
Bedecked in red silk and gold
Her eyes large, all-seeing and kind, stands
The weapons of destruction and deliverance, in her many hands
blesses the crowd in their traditional finery
The flower decked altar also holds the Lord Ganpati, the remover of obstacles,
And the Goddess of wealth and the Goddess of learning
And Lord Kartikeyan, patron of the arts
Between them covering the four stages of a lifespan
The four aspirations of human living
Their realms
the throb and surge of life-energy
Manifestations, also of the same spirit, Shakti,
That moves and sustains, and occasionally, shakes up, overturns
the world.
I’ve returned renewed
Certain that the many interventions
The strangers who’ve been kinder, more gracious than family
fortunate chance but more often than not
The uncertainties, the many misses
That shape one’s life story
Played out too, to a celestial rhythm

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

suddenly the earth trembled.
I peel off the scab, keep this wound raw
feels right.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The mountains are not what they seem—docile, gentle and green and generous. Trails that begin like a walk in the park soon turn into inclines that gets your heart thudding hard. There—some one’s spotted a half eaten snake, and ahead, a cheetah scat. In the quest for the next step, the next boulder, you forget you’re here to view the raw beauty of the forest. Balanced precariously on a ledge, you wonder why Reeboks have such a flimsy grip. I went on an easy trail with a nature group, but the forest guide ended up taking us into the core area of SGNP on a moderate-grade trek. I’m still shaky. But adrenalin-charged. Next time, I’ll see the view.