Sunday, 27 January 2013

A Slice of Life

A SLICE OF LIFE


That humid night I sat huddled 
On the corner of my lonely bed.
Feeling like an insignificant grain of white sand on an endless beach;
Like one of the thousand measly ants marching an endless parade.

So many nights I had spent this way,
Stewing away in my misery, gross self-doubt
Tentative in each step, I had been so afraid, Shielded
By the shadows, sinking deeper in my ocean's enormous pout.

My skin itched from the heavy beads of sweat,
In thorough boredom I lifted my eyes;
To the old cracked ceiling fan, its blades 
Whirring wearily, letting out raucous cries.

Amidst this I heard a gentle slamming 
Against the curtained window to my side
I was startled as it zoomed in, quick as lightening
Steadying itself as it looked for a place to hide

Still wrapped in my depressed bubble, my eyes
Followed it with mild interest as it danced
Frantically and swiftly, higher and higher;
Searching, like me, to and fro it pranced.

And as if in a trance I watched as it hovered 
Dangerously close to a blade.
That silent swish, sliced life into two chunks,
On the floor the bee lay dead.

The bubble burst, in epiphany that I had lived another day.

I was cringing away from ever tug of love.
I was shunning every trace of a smile and every tickle of laughter.
I was letting the tears clog my eyes, blinding my mind forever.

Did I want to be unhappy?

I was drowning, but I could resurface still.

And I did, to find the sparkling sprays of water 
Eddying toward a vast shore.
I would not let the moments coagulate and steal past me.
I would swim up there past the retreating waves, and explore.

With this I stretch my arms to tear down these curtains of mist, as I cope
With emotions that I cannot yet comprehend, and a feeling of unmistakable hope. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Music To The Ears.




   So last week, I watched a musical after ages, Les Miserables. Though I haven't watched other versions of this French classic, I can confidently say that music woven into this epic has brought out its charm like nothing else could. Opening with the powerful strains of 'Look down...', and soon I was captivated by the charismatic Jean Valjean, imprisoned by the cruel law, benevolent mayor, loving foster father; hotly pursued by Javert, the unbending worshipper of the law. Also played just as immaculately were the characters of Fantine, self sacrificing mother; her daughter Cosette (though she was a little too coy for my taste when she grew up); starry eyed Marius and the brave young leaders of the revolution, bearing flags soiled with their own blood; the deceitful yet comical innkeeper and his wife. All kinds of emotions in one, they could only be expressed through song; truly I thought, this story could only ever be a musical.
   Musicals have always delighted me, they have this outlined innocence contained in the song and dance, and always, outbursts of laughter or tears are in order. I am no movie critic, but there are some that I have thoroughly enjoyed over and over again, let me run you through them (I insist).
   'The Sound of Music', for its joyous, poignant tunes. I grew up singing 'Favorite things' whenever I was down, dancing to 'High on a hill was a lonely goatherd...' in frocks and pink cheeks. The proper little nurses reprimanding and praising Maria, made me shriek. 'Do-Re-Mi' was where i learnt my notes, we sang 'Cuck-coo' in school lunch breaks, rehearsed the dance all excitedly.
   'Mary Poppins', another pretty musical. I was fascinated by the chimney sweeps dancing across the London skyline, Mary Poppins' pink cheeks, penguins flapping their arms trying to charm her,  the bird-woman feeding pigeons, a man 'with a wooden leg called Smith'. Julie Andrew's finest.
  Another cheerful musical I recall, 'The King and I'. It had a most outstanding rendition of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', Siamese fashion. The king's hundred wives wore those hoop-ended frilly gowns in an attempt to adopt British customs, but met with a drawer related faux pas that I remember quite clearly.
     My favorite is probably 'My Fair Lady'. Eliza Doolittle, the scruffy flower girl with her wide eyed dreams 'Wouldn't it be lov-a-ly', meets obnoxious grammarian Henry Higgins who bets that he can pass her off as a duchess with a few months of training. Enforcing his rules on poor bewildered Eliza, having her blabber into the gramophone, he finally succeeds in getting her grammar right with 'The rain in spain'. From her tentative, crude social appearance at the London derby, to her final triumph at the royal ball, Eliza won hearts with unforgettable tunes like 'I could have danced all night', while Professor Higgins preached about what would happen if you 'Let a woman in your life'. This is one i'll be watching for years to come.
 On lonely afternoons, try getting comfortable on the couch with a musical playing before you. I assure you, there is nothing quite like it. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Winter Blossoms and Summer Snow

Didnt work, this time its a love poem.


        Winter Blossoms and Summer Snow


Remember that first winter, you cleared the fog
With a swirl of your heady breath;
To catch a glimpse of me running into you, with a smattering 
Of snow on your hair, that day we first met.

You teased, I laughed, like an absurd love song,
We sailed in our congealed cloud of whispered cries.
The heavy winter sky, saturated with sweat;
Rained down on our sparkling panels of ice.

On which we danced and tossed promises of heaven;
In each other's outstretched palms.
The flowers were shriveled, so you crafted blossoms of snow;
For my lonely hair, and I had no qualms.

And the music played vibrant but soothing, a kaleidoscope of symphonies.

It is summer now, and the molten snow has seeped
Into the parched ground on which we stand rooted.
The sieve of vigorous sunshine adorns the hint of a wrinkle on your face.
Again we dance, on our crumbly, brown ice, barefooted.

And scented snowflakes, made of petals, tap delicately on my 
Shoulders, settling on their favorite haunt : your hair.
The pale angry sky softens to grey, steadily raining down
Mingling with the kisses of our perpetual affair.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Untitled...Till i can think of something.

I have been resorting to poetry in these last few posts, but this time I’m determined to get back to prose. Maybe I should start with something light and cheerful (and presumably lame)

There were three of us. 'Hair spree', revolutionary of her own right, flamboyant and artistic, with her dark mane that fascinated many. 'Intelligent blonde’, fashionista in the making, easily excitable sitcom buff. And good old yours truly, who is much too popular to need an introduction (!)
Fate brought us to the First Bench. One sleepy afternoon when we were settled at the back of the class, a certain bejeweled beauty, in Castafiore tones, ordered us out for breeching her code of occupying the First Bench. In a desperate attempt to win back her favors, we established our permanent dwelling in the sacred First Bench. Sure, we were mocked and laughed at, pitied and dubbed as nerds, but our resolve remained unshaken.  And whom am I kidding, after one semester of staying there, we love our humble home.
 On cold damp mornings, our spirits would be further dampened by a pool of rainwater collected under our desks for reasons that could only be explained by the building’s faulty and medieval design. Hence we would be forced to huddle in the center, and consequently be forced to talk. We are women. Call me sexist, but we love our daily gossip. ‘Intelligent Blonde’ would kick off the day with the highlights of her unsuccessful shopping adventures. The gory details of makeup would follow, where I would be left blinking while my dear friends argued over if a special brush for applying lipstick was available. Next, the conversation would turn to our illustrious lab partners and their deep and enviable knowledge and experience in each subject, which never failed to amaze (amuse) us. And then one thing would lead to another; we would be entertained with her spicy stories of a certain young man, and his colorful antics (tattooing himself with a common syringe in a bid to hide an ex girlfriend’s name; driving a drunk buddy through a toll road, hitting rocks, abandoning his bike there and returning an hour later to find the parts missing (sorry I’m making this complicated); a moderately strong hookah addiction, to say the least).
And then there were the sitcom plots. One math class, over probability, we were engrossed in the heroic exploits of television heartthrobs Sam and Dean from ‘Supernatural’, all this while hurriedly completing the assignment which was due. Under the table browsing was never a problem, we were always learning new things down there. From looking at pictures of a famous cricketer’s supposed girlfriend who happened to be acquainted to Intelligent Blonde; to researching ‘magic mushrooms’ of kodaikanal, which, if stories may be believed, leave you, to use the common term, ‘high’; we did it all.
  ‘Hair Spree’ and I are another story; the two of us are some kind of math error soul sisters. We have always made the same mistakes in math, even long before we met. But our enthusiasm in local gossip binds us like nothing else; we would sit there like a couple of mean hawks, trying to figure if the model wannabe who just walked in wears lip gloss, how many hours the sincere mean student might have studied yesterday, and of course, plenty of ahem inappropriate ahem stuff. Those are our favorites. The dirtier the better. Sometimes, 'Dainty Dandelion' from behind would join us in these hushed conversations and we would fall around giggling and hooting like a bunch of girls (which is what we truly are). 
 We are, all above, budding engineers, with a unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and this can be best proven with our experiments on our calculators, lovingly named 'Cal-C'.  Carefully referring to the manual, and of course, with our own creativity, we have, i proudly proclaim, managed to uncover all its amazing functionality, and pass that on to the less adventurous fellow students. Sigh.