Saturday, 29 June 2013

On days like this,

On days like this,

Why is it so difficult
To write a song
To build a time machine
To own up to mom
To studiously pore through wads of knowledge in front of me. 
To shut the window to the glee of young rain.
To refrain from resorting to cliches
To lawfully adhere to the signpost 'do not walk on the grass'
To breathe in the subtle magic of a painting glistening with colors.
To stop believing in ghosts and gods
To do more than just stand and watch
To break the ice, the purest, hardest ice.
To distrust you, even as I know you're lying to me.
To discern the right answer in the face of death
To cut out the jargon, and oh, the preaching.
To just shut up, and listen, listen.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Fickle.

Fickle

Darling, this is something you should know about me,
Befitting the romantic fool that I am.

That day I wanted to be,
A morning runner.
I loved the dull pain that would stray to
My ears and temple after the icy air
Bit me as I ran. I was never quick enough;
The wind laughed at me sarcastically,everywhere.

Another day dawned when I decided to be
A portrait artist.
Every face I looked at was an enigma in its
Own right, and several times my brittle
Pencil broke. Soon the thick creamy paper was
Covered in smiles, both smudged and noncommittal.

Under a pale summer sky I thought I'd make a good
Star gazer.
I could just stand there and sigh, at the laughable
Insignificance of the sparkly pebbles they called
Diamonds .Even in my deep frenzy I was frustrated;
I cried in the light of the day,waiting for darkness to fall.

On a rainy afternoon i wrote a poem and hoped I could be
A writer.
I dreamed of telling stories that were true and titillating 
And penning poems that would sing impassioned.
So I wrote, till my fingers bled and my soul bled harder,
In naked fervour. Then I fell asleep sweaty and drained.

Over the years I tried, a mountaineer, a historian, a Prima Donna, a cat-rescuer, a deep-sea diver.

People mocked my flimsy resolve, you may too.
Would it suffice if I said, that the only thing I've stuck with,
Is You?


Friday, 21 June 2013

Angry River

Angry River

The Angry River
Hungrier than ever.
Tip-toes into the sleepy unsuspecting town.
The Lost Boy scurries
Down the hill barefoot and buries
Himself under the plumes of her billowing gown.

The Angry River
Bleeding from a black fever
Ambushes the neurotic priestess amidst her prayer.
The crumbled shrine lies tortured
Over wretched bodies and souls, interrupted
In the offerings of faith to their failed savior.

The Angry River
There wasnt enough room for her.
She felt bruised and lonely and deprived.
Then the mountains melted
And Rain and Snow and Stones were pelted 
At her. She stretched out her cramped legs and cried.


Monday, 17 June 2013

And then I died.

And then I died

I sought the comfort of your eyes 
Desperately, only to catch them petrified.
I watched those lights swimming in brown go out 
Abruptly, one by one. And then I died.

You bought me paper roses, who's bland 
Crimson I did not fancy and brusquely shoved aside.
Then the lights switched to green and I heard the
Faintest rustle of those lifeless flowers. And then I died.

You laid your hand on mine while everything outside 
Drowned in pools of chaos. Tentatively I turned to my side 
As needles of blinding gold pricked through my half-shut eyes and
Your fingers clenched, interlocked with mine. And then I died.

You said we'd always be together, and I never wanted to be
Woken from our personal, cliched trance. Terrified,
You cried out my name, covering me in vain as the brakes 
Screeched and the evening sky cracked. And then I died.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Beatles and India

   Indian music, has no doubt been one of the most influential, evolved species of music in the world, especially on its classical front. I was watching this German movie, 'Run Lola Run', and it came as a pleasant surprise to me when the background score at the climax, rose to a typical 'Aalaap' in a common Hindustani raga. It was no coincidence that the iconic act The Beatles, were often compelled to add that Indian zing to their songs. 
   George Harrison started, as early as 1965, by writing three songs that featured in their albums." We were waiting to shoot the scene in the restaurant when the guy gets thrown in the soup and there were a few Indian musicians playing in the background. I remember picking up the sitar and trying to hold it and thinking, 'This is a funny sound.' It was an incidental thing, but somewhere down the line I began to hear Ravi Shankar's name." George Harrison, 1992, about the making of the 1965 movie, 'Help'. Well, we know what happened next, he developed a strong affinity to the sitar. Later that year, he recorded 'Norweigian Wood' for 'Rubber Soul'. However, Norwegian Wood wasn't the first Beatles release to feature a sitar. The North American version of the Help! album featured an instrumental, called Another Hard Day's Night; a medley of A Hard Day's NightCan't Buy Me Love and I Should Have Known Better performed on a sitar, tablas, flute and finger cymbals. Influenced by Hindustani classical music, Harrison wrote 'Love you to' for 'Revolver' and of course, 'Within you without you' for Sgt. Pepper's. Though the former was hailed as a 'filler' track, it has a unique beauty. Listen for the sitar strains following 'You don't get time to hang a sign on me-e-ee'    Then there was the Maharshi Mahesh Yogi episode. After a brief interaction with him during a lecture in Wales, in 1968, The Beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India, to attend the Transcendental Meditation course, headed by Maharshi Mahesh Yogi. "John and George were going to Rishikesh with the idea that this might be some huge spiritual lift-off and they might never come back if Maharishi told them some really amazing thing. Well, being a little bit pragmatic, I thought in my own mind, I'll give it a month, then if I really really like it, I'll come back and organise to go out there for good, but I won't go on this 'I may never come back' thing."- McCartney. The course consisted of lectures where the students would describe their spiritual experiences with the Maharshi answering their questions. John and George were especially dedicated, they spent long hours in intense meditation.
 During this period there resulted some remarkable songs. Most of the White Album was written. John wrote 'Dear Prudence' for a fellow student Prudence, while 'The continuing story of Bungalow Bill' was written about a certain 'Jungle Jim' who used to take breaks to shoot tigers, combined with Buffalo Bill.
In  'I'm so tired', John wrote about his frustration from being unable to sleep( from absence of drugs)
"I'm So Tired was me, in India again. I couldn't sleep, I'm meditating all day and couldn't sleep at night. The story is that. One of my favorite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well."-Lennon. Scottish singer Donovan, who was also at the ashram, taught John and George a style of fingerpicking his guitar, which they implemented in 'Dear Prudence' and 'Julia'
  Paul wrote 'Back in the ussr', 'Honey Pie' and 'Rocky Racoon', based on his Indian experiences(though they had little to do with the Yogi's teachings).
 For Ringo, the stay in India was short and spicy( he didnt really fancy the food), and within a fortnight he was back home. But he did write his first song 'Dont pass me by' in India. 
Paul left a month later, relatively unimpressed bu the Maharshi's prowess. John and George stayed on for another, till there emerged rumors of the Maharshi's proclaimed celibacy being mumbo-jumbo. They left abruptly, and on the way back John began writing 'Sexy Sadie'.
"John had a song he had started to write which he was singing: 'Maharishi, what have you done?' and I said, 'You can't say that, it's ridiculous.' I came up with the title of Sexy Sadie and John changed 'Maharishi' to 'Sexy Sadie'. John flew back to Yoko in England and I went to Madras and the south of India(to see Ravi Shankar) and spent another few weeks there."-Harrison. In the years to come, they would regret their hasty action and apologize to the Maharshi, while George would give the benefits of a concert to Maharshi's cause, while Ringo would say "I  feel so blessed I met the Maharishi – he gave me a mantra that no one can take away, and I still use it".
Of course The Beatles later went on to record 'Across the universe', with the chorus 'Jai Guru Deva', which is most likely a reference to the Maharshi's spiritual master. 
George Harrison, most importantly, stayed in close connection to India, following Indian music and philosophy throughout his life.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Noise

Noise

For hours I have been looking down
At this white, spotless paper. My pen will
Not oblige me by scratching a few words of sense,
My once deft fingers have lost their vigil
To the domineering throttle of doubt and
Entropy and time.
I must have run out of things to say,on this fateful 
Day I must honestly reveal, that its only
Natural that the world must be saturated
from my constant baloney.
Now I'm afraid that I impose, even with whispers,
On eyes and ears 
And hearts and minds.
These whirlpools of noise will dance across 
The universe for a million years to come.
All along I have added to them. Now my 
Callousness and confusion, I must shun.
And dissolve,
Dissolve in the shadow of silence.
Silence.


Monday, 10 June 2013

Requiem for the World

Requiem for the World


The world is over.
And now there is you and there is me.
We have time, till the end of time.

To sit with our legs dipped in this wasted river.
All the way to the bed, gliding over the smooth pebbles
Feel the tingle of this black water, stare at the ripples
Undaunted. Free from a world in which we were the only rebels.

Dust crawls on every inch of it now, golden and roasted
From the embers of the tired, dying sun.
The stars have faded too, so stealthily that we never felt
Their absence until the darkness descended when there were none.

Talk to me now, there is still time.

These shallow oceans have lost their luster, walk with
Me, on the dry flaky sand that is slowly engulfing them.
Their bleak beauty still enchants you, I know, these vast expanses
Of barren earth, with mounds of grey debris crowing them.

We reach the auburn forests, where the severed trees have weaved into a maze of thorns.

If you lose your way in this maze so heartbreakingly beautiful
I shall write you verses and inscribe them on these stones.
But if you fly too far and burst into a million bits
I will gather your remains and bring you back home.

Stay with me now, before the end of time.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Strangers in the Rain

Strangers in the Rain

We were stranded under that corrugated tin sheet
As strands of clear water hung down carelessly
From its edge. The wind loped by washing us
With icy splinters that fed on us ravenously.
The regal looking woman, clucked her polished 
Tongue and eyed us disdainfully, standing a little more straight
She rolled out an incoherent word or two, staring at
The curtain that grew more impregnable by the minute.
The tramp in his tatters, was back to his home for the night
He lit a cigarette, whistling tunelessly, shuddering
Slightly. He missed the luxury of solitude, his home had
Been invaded by the beautifully eerie pouring.
The nervous novice corporate, clutched at his belongings
Flashed at me a stoic smile, as if saying that he was late
For dinner. The scent of his cologne mingled with the 
Perfume, fresh from the rain and stale from the cigarette.
The little girl was crouched at the corner, afraid and agitated;
She'd lost her paper boats and run away from home.
The stocky mackerel cat sat curled up on the driest inches he'd
Found, purring confidently and wanting to be left alone.

I was the timid ghost of a girl, hovering in between.

Not a word was exchanged between us, spoken or
Unspoken, that night our lives intersected
Under that flimsy roof. But the sinister symphony that hurtled down
From the sky, said all that there was to be said.




;-) leave a comment

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Outside my comfort zone


Outside my comfort zone

I'm stepping barefoot on soft gooey mud
And letting my toes taste the chocolate.
I'm eating ice cream straight out of the carton
Standing by a mossy rain soaked parapet.

I'm using a bookmark and repairing the broken spines
And flicking these books with a fluffy feather brush
I'm using words like rendezvous( even spelling 
them right), while writing piles of mush.

I'm reading articles of note, on hoity-toity
Papers of art, commerce and science.
I'm swirling bottles of paint and leaving imprints
On white paper, rather than the walls in defiance.

I'm talking about the government and smiling less
At beautiful strangers on the road
I'm learning how to fold clothes and walk ladylike
And comb my hair and to do as I'm told.

(Also, I'm writing this poem)

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A rant, supposedly.

Little things I've been thinking about

 I've been staring at this blank screen for the last ten minutes(cliched start? Might as well brag about a writer's block. But then I'm hardly a writer. Sob). Its about time i got back to writing some prose don't you think? I talked to an old friend yesterday, she told me I should write a story. Simple enough for her to want to read it, she said. Now that got me a little disappointed, do I write jargon? I like simple. Big words intimidate little me(Which is not very good since I intend to take up the Gre). I believe, strongly(and I practice what I preach), that writing is much more a play of pretty words, than looking up the biggest words you can find and jumble them to form a pseudo-intellectual mash-up.
     No, I am not saying, not one bit, that for a writer, a vocabulary of four lettered words is acceptable. Just no. Sellout literature is gross. I cant cite enough instances of this. I'm not a voracious reader (again, unacceptable for a writer), but the things that pass off for bestsellers these days. Oh dear. 'Text' language, in full fledged 'novels'. i was at the local bookstore the other day, and flicked through the 'bestsellers'. Let me pretend to be a critic here, let me draw up a basic story line.
    So there's this mediocre 'young turk', as my dad likes to call them, either he's proud to be a loser or he's got no clue of it. First few pages, pathetic attempts at humor, film-based parents and old fashioned grandparents. Then the girl shows up. A description of how hot she is(these books are crawling with beautiful, make up bereft, idealistic, smart girls). The rest you can skip, the guy falls for her over some stolen lame line she utters in coy glory, love making scenes that try too hard(whatever happened to subtleness?), some corny sequences here and there that are supposed to incorporate strong morals in young people . Or we've got female authors writing from a girl's pov, the girl is invariably stunning but is so unassuming that she never admits it. Stories reeking of shopping, clothes and pillow-fight details. Hmph.
     Also there's usually some spiritual or patriotic message from a side story, to add to the 'touching' factor(they're really buying those these days). I could choke up over how badly written these are. The sad demise of the genre of love stories, making it look soppy and cringe-worthy. Really, when you've seen beauty, it hurts to see layers of grime form. Mind you, again, these are the 'bestsellers' that I'm talking about. Am I being 'aantel' like the Bengalis call it? Probably. Now I'm rambling.
     Getting back, while the definition of good writing depends on the reader, I can only elucidate my opinions. So, make your writing simple. Simple, but not poor or bare. Add color with humor, cliches are acceptable if not overdone, dont overload your sentence(I'm overloading right now aren't i?). Bogus humor attempt right there. Most importantly, 'don't play by the rules'(a cliche if there ever was one). But at least I've got this line to defend myself. Every language grants a huge degree of freedom.Your style is your own.

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