Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fading Desires

I have been wanting & meaning to write for a very long time now. I have thought of witty one liners which had the potential to drag my sleeping brains out of the banality it has been cushioning itself in, pulsating ideas that crossed my thoughts like a flash, about the trivial complains that seemed larger than life to write about, & so much more. But every time I actually thought about writing it all down, the sheer effort of writing & thinking became humongous in front of the easier escapes of doing my daily chores.

I wonder if soon I will never write. The thought scares me, shakes me up & then follows a small, nondescript effort towards writing. Every time I delay a paragraph that was destined to be written, I feel this huge pang of guilt, I feel the faint gaze filled with disappointment & sadness far away from my hometown. The gaze that scares & shames me but that almost at the same time is pleading for me to come out of the trance that I have willingly entered. 

Life off-late has been too full of friends, family, & some more friends. It feels really good to be amidst so many people who you love. But then it sticks to you like a bad habit, a need you can't seem to shake off however hard you try. The isolation & the lonely corners that I had so painstakingly guarded all my adult life seems to be slipping away from me & out of my own accord. Almost like I am doing it willingly, at least when I look at it now in retrospect.  But it has been feeling good, almost happy state of being. But whenever a lonely moment sneaks up on me, I feel this surge of guilt, a guilt I can't seem to explain, a guilt for not being sad, for not writing, for not even trying to write of mundane things. That is the best way in which I can put it. 

I will write the entire day today, meaning the entire day while I am at work. Since, there isn't much left to do for the day here in my office. No pending tasks, my desk/computer/schedule looks almost clear. So, I have decided to write to shake myself off of the stupor I have gone into. I will write anything that comes to my head, complains, lines that appear like poetry in my head, beginning of stories that have always been there in head, confessions, whatever that flashes through my head. I need to get the shit out of the system to come back to feeling sacred about writing. I need to flush the smaller things that obstruct me from writing to be able to write more willingly, fluidly. The last few times I have written in the last one year or so, I have always felt stiff, like I am just doing it for the sake of it, just to keep up formalities with myself. Just so that I can please & not disappoint the inner me who still cherishes my dream of writing.

Blackness of the dark
dizzy, happy eyes.

Denials linger
seems to evade.

never knocks
the sublime.
Dainty figurines
decorate lives.

Glass strewn floor
never pierces the marble cold flesh.

Sun continues
to play shadow
to decorate the empty corners.
Spiders crawl 
under the virgin skin of Artemis. 

Lost anger
appear in flashes
& then the realization, the wait
of the break-down
that melts existence. 

The desire to write the entire day fades after a meeting, lunch break, & a pep talk by the manager :(

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Words & More For You

Just write. You know, scribble words, then see if they can stick around to become a sentence, and then see where that takes me. That was & is the deep desire that is one thing very constant in my life. All this while, when I was not writing, I had hell loads of ideas or things that I wanted to write about, but I also felt this huge urge/guilt to first write about this big thing that I did in my life. I have been wanting to write about it, but I know I would not be able to do justice to the way I felt doing it & the fear of not succeeding in describing aptly the most important event, I have not written at all. So, I give the bare facts.

 I recently got married to be precise on 23rd Nov. It was the usual Indian affair with lots of fun, love, & emotions. I loved every bit of it. The best thing of all this is I am to be with the man I love all my life, & no it does not scare me a bit. It used to, the thought of it used to scare me, but the reality does not. The reality is so much more that I find it funny I was ever scared of it to begin with. Yes, there are more relatives to talk to, think about, care for, & yes it sometimes leaves you exhausted & overwhelmed, but when you see that happiness & love in their eyes for you, it all seems alright. It all seems worthwhile. It's beautiful to know that there is this one person back home who would do anything for you without you even asking for it. This one person who you can rant on & on about any & everything & there would be no judging you, they would listen just cause you want to talk about it & nothing more. It's the most amazing feeling to be in love, marriage for me was only this necessary thing that I needed to do to be with the person I loved. But it has come to be more. It's wonderful to know that you are being missed at home even if you go out with your girl-friends for a couple of hours. The best thing in the world is to re-treat back to that nook which both of you have cultivated lovingly, & all worries seem to fade away. What else do I need? 

I could go on & on & there would be no end. As I feel I have not done a good job, I haven't told the best things yet...but that I could never do. Somethings in life are just worth experiencing for yourself. About the rest, I can write & will write in time...untill then

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Smell

The other day, I was driving back from work with my friend in her two wheeler. I had to go to check out this house. Need to move. My friend offered me to drive me there. We took a de-tour from work as the main road is way to crowded at that time of the evening. We took the longer & emptier road. Since, one of the partitions was closed, we had to drive to the end of the road to take a U turn. That was the farthest I have been on that particular road, one of the sides has huge rocks/boulders & the other is sparingly spotted with trees. As we drove down the road, I had a weird feeling of De-ja-vu. The evening light & the empty road with its setting, reminded me of something. My nose flared up again & again to catch the smell which it associated with this setting. I kept trying to smell something that ought to have been there. But I couldn't smell a thing. I don't know what my brain was trying to pull back, which memory or rememberance that was failing to come up to the surface. I didn't say anything to my friend for I was at such a loss. I almost wanted to cry in desperation, I knew the setting too well in my head it was from back home but the smell was just not there. I don't even really know what I wanted to smell, but there had to be this smell that was supposed to be there & not finding it there made me rest-less. Not being able to remember what it should have smelt like, made me feel sad & old. Have there been so many of things to remember in my life that I have started to forget? I am only 28 this should not have been happening yet. I am supposed to be able to recollect things from back home. I am supposed to immediately relish things which resemble from things back at home. Have I lived far too many years away from home?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lonely corners
crumble & become tiny
there is no space to call my own

Overwhelming noises
magnify & become unbearable
there is no silence to call my home

Known sea of faces
rotate & manipulate
there is no place for love

This is the exact moment
when I attempt at stopping to think...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Has Toilet Humor Died?

The other night some of my friends & I were chatting & randomly the topic about Toilet Humor came up. By toilet humor I mean the rude-obscene graphics & comments people would leave behind in school, public, train toilets. There was this time in life when we could not just avoid it. Some jokes/comments which were so dirty yet so funny that you would uncontrollably giggle at them & share them with you girl-friends in hushed voices. Then the trip to the that specific loo would start. The one liners like "apna bhavishya apne hathon mein lo," or others were surely one of the wittiest line one could come up while pee-ing.
I remember once, I was traveling by train from Pune along with some of my friends & my friend went to the sleeper class train toilet & came back with a surprised expression on her face. She whispered hurriedly in my ears saying, someone has made a comment about her in the train toilet. I rushed to go to the left Indian style one. I went in locked the door & hurriedly for that one comment. All I found was "this is for the girl in the red t-shirt, my phone number is this & my D*** size is a perfect fit for you. I stared with a furious expression & abused 'man-stupid-horny-kind.' As I was stomping my way back to my seat, I gave the most hateful looks to all the guys like I was punishing them just through my eyes. Suddenly, a red block. A tall really tall girl wearing a red t-shirt was standing in front of me & she was a bit older than we were & much better to look at. I was so happy to see her for that second that I forgot that how stupid me & my friend were being. I literally ran back to my friend who was so upset & the first thing I told her was "there are other better looking older girls in the train wearing red t-shirts, I just three girls in shades of red..." she gave me this happy look & we continued our journey without worrying about the train toilet.

When I look back, I find the whole thing really amusing & a lot of these images of trian toilets, school & public toilets, train & bus seats & the wooden frames cross my mind with so many of such messages & I Love Yous. I try & recollect the last time I saw one of these & obviously fail to find anything in the recent past. I wonder, if toilet humour has died its own, slow, natural death?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dried Flowers

Dried flowers have a quality of their own. They suddenly remind us of some forgotten moment we once experienced, the memory of which still lingers, like the remembrances of a lonely sea shore.

Out of nowhere, when you are reading an old book or a diary you will come across this dried piece of a flower stuck to page 159 leaving almost an incomprehensible stain on some words & an even fainter smell of how the flower once smelled. Then you are literally forced to go down memory lane thinking about the moment in which you were young & someone loved you enough to give you just one wild flower, & was naive & innocent enough to not care how one wild flower compared to a decorated bouquet of gardened flowers. That kind of innocence is inevitably lost when you enter your 25-26+. Love is no longer the moment of spontaneity but it turns to something more trained & practiced. Frankly, I never got a bouquet in my life, except for once, to appreciate what a bouquet of lilies or something more extravagant would make you feel, but I miss the times when suddenly out of the blue my childhood buddy would pick me a wild lilac looking bush from the side of the street just cause he felt I should know how it smelt & to admire the walk we were glad to have from our way back from school. I miss the moment when my little brother bicycled in the scorching sun to show me this bright yellow (yellow is my fav. colour) flower that he had found in one of the playgrounds he was playing.

Perhaps its the end of an era where wild absurd flowers will find their way to random books. No one will ever suddenly find an old dried flower on a lazy afternoon while re-reading one of their old favorites.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Initiated After A Friend's Post

Globalization, finally I say it aloud, is surely not a good thing for people who suffer poverty. It is perhaps great for people like you; who have the luxury of using internet & more so of reading things online & for me who can afford the same. But for me, I feel guilty every day when I walk into my posh multi-national company while there are many who are being migrated from their homes, lives, & cultures at the very instance. But as Mango Indian aptly calls my kind  'the corporate prostitutes,'
 after drawing a good salary I then have the time to care for the rest. I don't complain on called so, it is the truth afterall.

I don't know what is the solution, if we don't go for globalization. I don't have another 'ism' or 'ation' to replace it with & make everything right. But I surely know that replacing indeginous cultures & people with shiny polished steel frames & botox faces is not the right way. Pardon the exaggeration. But sthe pain I feel is overwhelming, when everytime I go back home & my father narrates about another bout at migrating the Agharias (a tribe in my region Chattisgarh). I know organizations like the UNICEFs really care (atleast i want to believe that) but is getting proper urinals & toilets really that important? For me I know it is, but me being the product of urban bastardization, cannot really speak for those living in a remote village in Bastar. So, I question frequently how does an organization like UNICEF decide for them? Do they understand their lives, the way they spend or want to spend their day? & if they do, then I want to learn the trick too, because sometimes its far too much of guilt that I live with & I would surely like to get rid of it.

I am little more of a romantic to not hope. I still hope that perhaps something could change this. I still wish that by some magic the 'de-contruction theory' that Derrida talked so often about comes true & my people are spared from what so lures the urban middle/upper class.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Images - 2

Shades of green & blue...& in them the various shades of the market. Black hands plucking old leaves...starched shirt accounting for them all. A nameless shade of 7-up flutters in the summer breeze. Another crushed tomato underneath. Underpaid lives sort food for lavish lunch that I eat. The dead leaves make their way through the bizarreness of lives unknown. Noses flinch as the raw smell wafts through the kitchen door. Outside black hands still struggle to separate the good from the bad. Droplets of sweat at the forehead & back of their necks drip, I sure can't see them from the top where I stand...

The glistening red & the greens spotted with the stalks of white in between, almost like the day after Holi perhaps. I am forced to think of my hometown...I hold my thoughts as I don't want to think of home. I wanted to capture the image...but home intervenes & I think of what Ma would be doing, Papa would have left to write & print. Ma retired now, would stay back & make unwanted lists for my wedding & my brothers. I wonder what else would be keeping her busy? How would she be passing the day? Its mostly the evening calls with my sister & me that keeps her pass the day in a dullness I only experience when I think of home...most times I can keep myself from thinking...I know I am getting better at it with each day away from it.

& this is exactly how I relate every damn thing I see to home...damn me & my nostalgia...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Images - 1

the colorless sky
the scent left behind
of the sweaty black backs
filling water
from a dry well.

bare foot
learn from organisations
the ways of modern living.

parched lands
evoke hopelessness
in old hazy eyes
which stare far away for rains.

Amongst all this a dream
crumbles & scatters
on a farmers crop less field.

I stare
& allow the pain of it all
settle somewhere deep...

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I Judge.

I admit to anyone who mistakenly has had any mis-conceptions about me (usually people think I am a hardly anyone would have the misconception.)

It is a different thing that I like & try to be less judgmental about things, concepts, thoughts, & people. I actively try doing a result, I realize...I am more accepting of things, concepts, thoughts, & people that are not the norm. I am good with accepting things which are 'usually' unaccepted to the social world of middle, upper class Educated India. I specify the subset only to be clear to may choose your own. I am therefore unable to accept things which are the norm...this is where I find difficulties. I am not able to comprehend leave aside accept the routines people follow to live a hassle free, homo-phobic, chauvinist, insensitive lives & think all is well? I try to understand & live a life caring for all these & other such ideas & ways of life...& when I don't accept the urban, party going, loud, dressy lives...I am called a snob...when the whole of India has given themselves the permission to look & sneer at all things thats important to me...why I can't I judge them? Everytime a group of young people hear the word feminist from my mouth...they scatter away & whisper in corners & more so are scared of me...everytime I say no to going to a posh place for a drink stating my reason of feeling guilty for living so lavishly...I am looked upon as a why can't I smirk at their la-di-da lives?? 

I choose the fact that I can...& I choose to not feel bad about it.

Inspite of all this self-proclaimed theories about me...I continue to work for a multi-national company...& live an urban sure can go ahead & judge me.

Monday, May 17, 2010


plums all around
unicorns ride the sun
& the green asks the yellow for the moon.

embroidered pieces of heart
fly across the ocean
& the red sneaks a kiss from the blue.

patterns on the floor
swim over a sleepy face
& the white smirks at the black.

rosaries on thin fingers
turns & twists in cubes 
& the purple escapes the charade of the pink.

drums beat in a frenzy
legs across the verandah
& the ocre spills over the blue...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Old Poem

It’s not the birth
But the death 
Of a person
That creates ripples
And you are left alone
To clear all the mess your life
has created around others
Who are living
And who might not
Want the cob web
Of your memories,
Your dreams,
And your life.
Life then perhaps seems nothing
But an empty
Age-old room
Of an old mansion,
the oldest family
In your town left
As a gift
to a dying town.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I am a very competitive person.
I believe in finding every opportunity & grabbing it by the head.
I believe people have to find their own paths & follow it at their own pace, no one is going to hand it over to them.
I believe, non-performers should be given their bit.
I believe non-performers know that are not performing & a bad rating or review, should not take them by surprise. If it does, then something more than what you think is wrong.
I believe hard-work with excellence makes a terrific combination for success & reward.

After having said all that, I also admit that I am getting tired of the the pressure to perform, constantly & every breathing moment of my work life. I have been one of the good performers & I believe my company takes me as one of the many assets it has working for them. But with every passing day, I am getting breathless by the mad frenzy that I am getting into to out-perform. I have always gotten things by working hard for it (just in my office context)& therefore, I know that if I stop competing & out-proving myself, success would be lost on its way to me. I have done this for the past three & a half years that I have worked, & now suddenly I feel what a heavy burden it is do continue to do so on an everyday basis. Frankly, at this point I almost feel like everyone around, including me is scrambling. It would have been easier if people followed the work they have been given but then it would almost feel like working in a govt. organization, with no one taking initiatives, no one to look up to, etc. But seriously, it almost feels like a task now, when I am lil up on the ladder to come up with something more than just my core job, as I have already covered the smaller initiatives, I could have taken in the past three years. Now, its all the more difficult to keep up the pace at which I have performed. To add to all that, I have moved to something totally new & I am still grappling with it. To even be able to think of something to improve or add to seems herculean. I wish, I was capable of taking out a cat or better even a rabbit out of my hat, cause I constantly feel that is what is expected of me. The constant stare, (may be imaginary) is making me loose my calm, & the heat only adds to the feeling.

I am jittery, I am fumbling, I am under pressure, the only thing lacking is I am not being over-worked, as I am in training. End of it all, I think I am getting burnt out & frustrated. It is not even helping taking it slow & one step at a time. I am not cribbing really about the way corporate works, I liked it up-till a point, but now, it is adding to my frustration - the constant pressure to perform. Why can't it sometimes be enough to just do a good job & the day ends happily there????

Sunday, April 04, 2010


What do you do, when someone you wanted to write about dies, suddenly & unannounced? When you do not even get to see them in their last few days, to ask & see all those quaint things about them, so you can etch it in your memory for the future? Do you weep, like one of the family? Or do you crush your insides in this hollow feeling you have?

I am sure you won't cry, because though you loved them, you were not necessarily were in the habit of them in your lives, or sometimes you may. It's just this empty loss you feel, like perhaps what melancholy would feel. You regret not going home for that last one time, so you could see them fighting their last battle, living the last few days, just like they used to. Going to the Pan shop & laughing with their friends, talking to the young ones of their good old days, descending down the steep path to the river for the mid noon winter dip, sitting on the ghats (river bank) bantering with friends & neighbors, applying mustard oil to their now skinny but once muscular body. It just feels like a waste that you had to stay at this mushrooming city for a ridiculous job which stopped you from visiting home. From going to that forlorn house which sat quaintly blue between the row of semi-concrete & semi-mud houses. The doors of which, opened by two tiny girls, led to a room, which felt soothing & just right after the long walk in the blazing heat of my hometown.

Last time, when for a early morning cricket frenzy, you saw him playing, he was batting with his oldest & perhaps dearest friend at the other end of the pitch. Both were friends from the times when they reveled in the heroism of their youth. But now, seeing them play at their 40 odd years was comic. At one point in the game, you saw them both taking a run, running towards the same side of the pitch. I had laughed my teen laugh with the group & he had come back to sit with us & ruffled my hair. I think he liked the fact that he had been part of the joke that made people laugh so early in the morning. Anyways, people in my hometown, go to such things only to share some happy moments with their friends, before they get consumed in their everyday life. I as a kid, used to follow my brother to these games & always wondered why are they insane enough to miss out on their morning sleep, but being an adult I understand, how important it must have been for them, while their youth had passed by, they were still holding on to images which reminded them of it.

I could perhaps write on & on about it, but it is not my pain to share, though I feel the loss equally, because anyone who wishes to write & belongs to the town I belong to, would surely have observed Sunil Chowbey, Sunil Chacha, like a child observes the wonders around, sucking in all that was him, for someday when they are able to do justice to what he was in any of the stories we are able to write...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Random Thoughts To Share...

I had been procrastinating for a long time about reading Nine Lives by William Dalrymple. It is a travelogue, telling the tale of nine people who are carrying on their lives in the path of traditions that are many centuries old despite the onset of a wave of 'modernistic' living and thinking. But for me, it is more about W.D, celebrating nine people practicing their art, & though in one of the nine stories, the Stapathi clearly says, that "making idols may be a form of art for a lot of people but for us it is a way of devotion towards the almighty." I agree with the Stapathi too, in India it really is difficult to describe carving idols as someone practicing art, it would be degrading for those who do that as a form of devotion to their beloved God/Godess. But when I refer to it as 'practicing art,' I only refer to the part where centuries of practice transforms itself into skilled architects of Hindu dieties. The rest & everything around it is devotion, I believe in that. How else can someone explain the fact for generations one family continues to master it (leaving apart the politics of dominion over a form of earning a living, ofcourse). But being oblivious of politics is always a simpler & naiver way out.

But that is not what I really wanted to think aloud here. What caught my attention, was the reconfirmation of the fact that for almost all the Hindu Vedas & all Hindu philosophies, the four main goals of life are Dharma (virtuous living), Artha (material prosperity), Kama (aesthetic & erotic pleasure), & Moksha (liberation). The first three are believed to be aims of everyday life, while Moksha is the release of one from the cycle of birth & death. If these seem to be true then how & when did sex or Kama become such a taboo? I don't think it would be wrong if I argued that India pioneered the use of sexual education through art & literature. Remember Kama Sutra, written during the 1st-6th centuries :)

Infact, The Tantric school of Indic/Hindu philosophy formed at some point, during (1st & 6th centuries) the same time the KamaSutra or the Vatsyayana Kamasutra was written, and part of the philosophical system was the idea that sex, as a basic and powerful desire experienced by all humans, could be utilized as a way of achieving enlightenment. Some ardent devotees of this system for example might deliberately break sexual taboos that were ridiculed, such as extramarital sex, to master human nature and achieve greater understanding of the universe, their soul.

On the otherhand, the early Vedas had a more structured view on Kama. These mostly were moral perspectives on sexuality, marriage, & fertility prayers. Even then, nudity & sexual education or depiction of sexual postures was considered acceptable in art. Ajanta & Khajuraho temples are the living examples of the same. But this kind of lewd descriptions in art could also be debated as realistic depictions of the time & age. As in most countries with tropical climates, India being one, did not need to wear clothes, and other than for fashion, there was no practical need to cover the upper half of the body. This is supported by historical evidence, which shows that men and women in many parts of ancient India mostly dressed only the lower half of their bodies. Whilst this has changed in modern times, it is likely that taboo against nudity was not present in many Asian, African and South American civilizations.

It is mind-boggling to see how the Indian values have altered, almost to the opposite most time, so much overtime, & for me with the little reading that I could manage to get before this post, it looks like the invasion of the Mughals had only a little to do with the change, what with their Purdah system. We might think that the strict manner in which the Mughals followed the Purdah system, it might have infected the entire Indian populace, but there has been no apparent evidence that it was forced to the Hindu women. Also, the fact that Purdah did not affect men, leaves a lot to think about.

So, the only alternative, the British invasion on India with their Lords & Ladies, seems to have brought to India, ship-loads of clothing & bodice :). With the British Raj being ushered to direct rule, all Indian customs & mannerism started being ridiculed at. Victorian values stigmatized India sexual liberalism. The pluralism of Hinduism & its liberal attitudes were condemned as barbaric & the proof of inferiority of the East. The result, it led some & later some more Indians wanting to conform their religious practices and moral values to Victorian ideas of "high" civilization. There the end of free & happy sex to the invention of virginity locks :P

But that's not the end of it all, countries such as India became more conservative after being influenced by European ideas. At the same time, translations of the Kama Sutra and other 'exotic' texts became available in Europe, where they gained notorious status, and ironically may have triggered early foundations of the sexual revolution in the west. Irony as they say life is...

I know, I am stating the obvious, but it was just very fascinating to recall all this & share with all. Hope you guys have fun reading it...