Monday, June 29, 2009

The Wait.

Lights lit up the dark street,

Throwing shadows far and long,

Across dark pavements that

Led people endlessly through

This urban maze.

Cracked, dry cement crunches

Under tires of passing vehicles,

Moths buzz up at streetlights

Lonely and lifeless.

Somewhere down the bend

In a small tea shop

I might find solace

IN a hot cup of sweet tea

Swirled amidst fumes of

Burnt filter cigarettes,

Sometimes I find it strange

To strain my ears to hear

That unique sound of silence,

Between intervals of passing cars.

Till the time that the night sets

And dawn stands on the threshold,

The silence will hold;

Then with the first chirp of orange skies

A flame would rise up

Through the empty blackness

Lighting up tired eyes,

And the mountains come peeping shyly,

Staring at a wide awake world;

Just a moment before the cacophony

As though living in a dream

That lasts longer than the sleep;

Only empty memories float,

Ghosts of an invisible spectre

That continue to haunt

After passing on,

Blinds are thrown apart,

Coffee steamed up

And gulped in sugarless draughts,

Speeding feet kick up dust

And skim off morning dew,

The rush begins again.

I can see the heads hang on

To a tin centipede,

As I walk back home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Meet the Family!!

Talking about memories, we all have our share. Most of these are filled with some fantastical characters. Some stay in memory longer than your first ‘boo boo’, while some vanish to return. I still remember my first math teacher. She was this scary bespectacled old gal, who for some reason is faceless in my memories. All I remember is I once pissed in my pants because I didn’t do her homework. Since that day, I have never done well in mathematics. Every time I watch Species, the alien somehow looks familiar. Since we have got down to typecasting people, there are a few people I’d like to name on my side. Like my first cousins. I owe a large part of this miserable life to them. Being the youngest kid in the family , I have been bullied a lot. This is my chance to get back at them. So here go-r-es.

MY eldest cousin would be ‘The Agony Aunt’. She is my eldest sister. That’s not my only trouble; I have two more sisters ‘Goody two shoes’ and ‘The Doc Ock’. So you know that I had to think a lot for this. They will have an opinion on everything I do…most sisters do. But she always has the better idea. This sometimes pisses me off. Agony aunt is mostly the one who keeps tabs on me. She can do that with a family on the backburner. Its like tossing dosa on the pan and going off to watch tv. If I am ever caught slacking, she will have that tone that will make me guilty and stupid at the same time. “Goody two shoes’ is the more cheerful of this sista triad. She has been adventurous and pretty outgoing. That’s not good if you think it is. Because everytime you tell her one of your adventures, she sounds like she’s been there done that. This is a tad disappointing after you think that you’ve done something really cool. “Doc Ock’ is the coldest of them all. She’s smart and a sassy mouth blessed with great brains. I slip a step and she’ll put me down with the ease of a pro wrestler. Not to say that she used to weigh like one… once upon a time. I can actually hear the ‘snap’ when she snaps at me. If that wasn’t enough she actually is smarter than me, and thinks up of a repartee faster than I can. No wonder she does not date a lot.

The guys are pretty easy. That’s cos most of them are like me…losers. The first boy could be “The Guru’. He is about a decade older than me. Being the brother to the agony aunt, he has grown to be easy and cool; though he did not grow so much. Add to that a weird likeness to Matt Damon, makes him look older than he actually is.He is alos the only guy who can answer the phone saying 'hari om'. He is followed, in chronology of course, by ‘The Thing’. Now this douche bag is someone I think has potential to be something really cool or really wicked. He is stingy enough to make Ebenezer scrooge look like a gentleman. Add to that a voice that is rougher than BMC cement roads and a Kevin Kline moustache. He definitely isn’t HQ material.

The others are what I’d cal my ‘SWAT’ team. If I am in trouble these are the guys I’ll go to. They are three in all, Led by the inscrutable ‘Iceman’. I actually was thinking of something else but that would be taking things a bit too far. This is one guy who’s smoother than butter on marble, faster than amy winehouse in a Ferrari, and taller than me… that’s all I’d say. Oh I hate his guts!! He’ll catch your blooper from a mile. He’ll call me ‘kutti’ when I tell him He is followed by ‘The Geek’. It’s a cliché, but the name suits the guy. He is my fall guy. Sweet kid, too much brain, not very current know how, academic and a complete techno freak. He can open your computer to its bits and pieces and tell you about every component even if you don’t want to know. He’ll make it a point to call you about a new course when you are planning your vacations. But you want a guy to talk to, just talk to… he’s the one. The last one of the ‘SWAT’ team is ‘Fatso’. The guy is almost my age. He is balder, fatter and much less charming. If you happen to meet him, he’d be like this big, fat teddy bear with a lisp. He speaks like an overgrown two year old. This makes it very difficult when you are actually arguing with him. He can smile like Bruce Willis in ’12 monkeys’. Making you wonder if that is how much better his face can get.

Now that you’ve met everybody in my family. You should also, I think its time, know the narrator. That’s me. I am called ‘Shorty’. Now you know what these guys will be thinking when they read this blog ( they will…I am forwarding this to them. How’s that for a death wish). I know its too filmi, but I couldn’t help it. “Get Shorty”.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reminiscence

Sometimes when I am wandering

Through perfectly still nights

Awaiting the morning lights,

I think about you;

And memories flash

In front of tired, dreamy eyes;

Floodlights of passing vehicles

On a deserted highway.

None still or stagnant,

But forever in motion;

Like seconds in lost minutes

That hovers in your sight

Before vanishing forever.

In that momentary existence,

Within that bright kaleidoscope,

I traverse through my subconscious

Towards my only ray of hope –

You.

I remember everything I thought

I would not;

Memories hang on

Limp limbs to half severed members

And pull on the joint

Of past pain’s flashpoint;

Till memory fades

And the experience returns.

Memories distilled to feeling,

Visions to being

And I find myself seeing

Through the looking glass

Into a myriad world of dead time.

Where you exist with me,

For in those moments

I see you again as you were;

From the lazy twinkle in your eyes

To the last wavy curl in your hair,

Innocently twisted like sweet lies;

I see myself feeling, breathing,

Living.

How do I describe it?

Knowledge fails vocabulary.

What you feel

Cannot be expressed,

The expression can never be felt.

An absent perfection completes art

In its perfect silence.

Silence can be intoxicating.

When memory is drained away,

And feeling dies;

One moment of absolute emptiness

Demands to be filled,

And you have nothing.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Paternal Woes

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT FATHERS THAT I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND. They have this innate fear of their children’s independence. It is almost as if they dread the day that their children will grow up, and wait in patient horror of the future. They toilet train kids like pet dogs, make them study mathematics and weird algebraic formulae; insert in their heads words like discipline, love and duty so that children would do what they want them to. But it is the future that they expect to be potty trained. Unfortunately for them, the future has a bad habit of shitting where it pleases. Children often turn out to be what their fathers fear. In my case, if ever you happen to ask my father who I am; the answer would be “My worst Nightmare.”

I was not exactly a big fan of my dad since the childhood, as my mother often reminds me. You might quote the ‘oedipal complex’ and other Freudian gloop but it remains that my dad and me have always been on the opposite sides of the coin. Legend goes that pissed off with his work antics and regular absence of family time, I once asked my mom to ‘give this dad away’ and get a new one. My mom still jokes that would have been a good idea. But it is not always that way. I love my dad. He is honest, well read, idealistic, hardworking. I love him for the way he will not compromise his principles. I adore him for his uninhibited faithfulness to what he likes. I can even like his popularity with people. He is what every child hopes to have – a loving father, a hero.

The problem with fathers is very strange, it stems from the fact that they are too old. Their experiences in a cruel world make it seem necessary to them that they should warn their prodigals of the dangerous world that they step into. What they do not notice is that in their hurry to protect their ‘dear ones’, they are denying them of a chance of experiencing the world. Every human that is born sees the world in a different light. If it were up to fathers, we would see only the best. A noble ideal, nonetheless constricting and suffocating to their wards.

Children are almost like aliens coming into this world, says a line in the movie ‘Martian child’ (Great movie, by the way!!) . They have no idea who they are, or where they are. To them each day is like an experience, to live life in a particular way only would be to close up an inquisitive mind. Yet, agreeably there are things that are not to be disclosed to children. But once they have reached a certain age, it no longer is up to the parent to choose how the child should be. The parents are the ‘cause’; children are the ‘effect’. As they say in philosophy – the effect has its origins and nature in the cause but the cause does not share the same with the effect. Thus, though the effect is similar to the cause, the cause is not similar to the effect. The father might have been like the son, but the son cannot be his father.

MY father has toiled for fifty long years. Sun, rain and false promises have made him cynical. His ideals have now been eaten away by constant hunger and principles weakened by the termites of responsibility. He no longer has the vigour of a young man and the strength of a believer. I have watched him go from being a believer to a skeptic. I know he fears the same looking at my growing fearlessness. I am sure he sees the image of himself in his younger days and does not want me to become a picture of him in the older days. But his experience does not necessarily have to be mine. He has every right to be afraid and warn me, but it remains that I choose the other way. I want to be my father, the ay he could not be. “You’ll never make it in this world”, he says. “You have no idea how hard it is”. Yes, Sir. I have no idea. But if you won’t let me find out, I never will.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Are We There Yet!!

I woke up today feeling like a stuffed doughnut. The extra rice and ‘sambhar’ from Sunday had decided to cancel their tour of my smaller intestine and were returning through the wrong direction. I rushed into the loo and to spare the rest of the details, I sent off the rice and sambhar, they left unwillingly though. I wonder why. The rest of the day promised to be a bummer till the call came. I was actually hoping to hear a sweeter voice, when the phone crackled to a loud ‘Wassup!”.


I hate when people manipulate me to do what they want without even trying too hard. After half an hour of wait under a steaming sun; with the crowd teeming around, you decide to head up to the loo again to piss your pants off. You are almost in the process, when the phone rang again. It is such an awkward moment when you are very busy relaxing and like the devil’s bugle, your phone rings out loud, and somebody in the neighbouring compartment says, “Would you please pick it up!! I’m trying to concentrate here.” So you curse, zip up and head out; but not before checking the zipper again. The phone turns out to be your ‘long-lost’ friend who, it seems, has been caught up in some urgent work and won’t be able to make it for another half an hour. So whaddya do, jack? What d’ya do? You wait. What else is there to do!


The most exciting time of a year to visit a college is when the results are out. O! The excitement, the rush, the hopes and the nail biting, tear jerking finish. Ahhh!! All the ingredients of a potboiler. But this is also a day for the memories. Behind the scenes of jubilant teenagers and crying mothers, there are nostalgic passersby. TY students and their juniors, who, have just passed this same state last year; watch these people and smile cynically. But somewhere deep inside they feel happy, or sad, knowing their own emotions at the time. They smile wry smiles and try to carry on with whatever they do.Often I go back in time to think about the moment I was handed m result which showed 13 marks less in two subjects from the passing grade. I remember feeling numb and having an Out of body experience of the entire day. Three years have passed and not one passes without reminding me of that day.


And after almost an hour of waiting, the ‘VIP’ finally arrives. Between thoughts of violence to knock him down and rub his nose on the hot concrete and the curiosity at why are we here in the first place, you stand flummoxed. He runs up to you with the smile of a slimy politician, and grabs you in a bear hug. For the next three seconds, you feel like you’re stuck in a “Friends” episode, feeling like chandler. After the morphine induced excitement dies down, you decide to ask what the F#@k is the reason of your standing here today. He smiles, then blushes and smiles again. And just when you are thinking, again, of smacking him on the head, he answers “You know the crush I had in college…. She has a sister…she was in 12th this year. She passed. She might be coming to take her mark sheet. I might be able to see her.”


And you sit there wondering who she is. As the carnival carries on through the day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The dawn

A single caw flew across the trees,

Whispering its way through darkness.

I watched the pale light fall,

Upon barren branches and withered leaves

Waiting for a drop to quench slaked throats.

It is an unusual morning, I thought,

To be asleep.

I walked through the lonely street,

Snaking endlessly through graveled earth.

Stillness in motion, a silent echo.

The corners dropped off the edges

Of a darker horizon surrounded by brick walls;

Walls that were coated in ivory white,

Stained by a sanguine red.

With every foot my feet covered,
I found a foot more waiting to be covered

Crunches screamed from beneath the earth

As I trampled upon skulls and bones.

Life slept around me and snored

I just couldn’t take it anymore.

So I ran.

I ran from freedom, and the oppression it promised;

I ran from duty and worship;

I passed knowledge and wisdom,

As they waited at the next bend.

From virtue’s honest opinion,

To philosophy’s truthful deceit,

I ran, to forget memory

That lasted longer than the meet.

I ran past faces of truth, of sorrow

Hatred and peace.

I ran at the speed of darkness

That creeps across men’s souls.

I could feel the wind cursing at my ears

I heard its deathly wail.

It coursed through my pale veins

Swimming in my blood, to reach my heart

Which repeated the cry.

The echo was louder.

Till the end I never knew

Where I was running to.

When upon a hill I came,

Dried and dusted with red barrenness.

Soil red as blood, seeping out of earthen pores

Bleeding a dark hidden secret

Waiting to be unearthed.

I waited and waited,

I prayed the prayers I pray,

Wailed and sighed at the day;

I cursed the curses I knew

Till language no more came to my aid.

And I could no more curse or pray.

I lay there, silent and still,

Like the dawn that crept upon the hill.

And painted the red earth around me

Rich golden brown.

But the stains on my hands still seemed red,

Like the sun that rose

Upon the dead.

MY eyes saw no more sights

And wetted my skin with tears.

I had lost my world to a fight

A fight I always feared.

I had lost and lost badly,

Everything that I had loved so madly.

But there was nothing called love anymore,

That could soften the fire at my core.

So I let that fire out to burn,

And stoked the fire even more

Till it burned the dark core;

And nothing remained.

Not the fire, nor me.

Everything was ash,

And the dawn was grey.