Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Partition

Scrambled to finish the term end paper for 'Imagining India' and managed just in the nick of time as the clock struck 9am. Here's a peek into what burning the midnight oil till dawn produced - an excerpt from my paper titled "A History of Bloodshed, A Future Without? :Partition and Riots in Free India"....

"The Partition lives on

Vomited out of their native soil years ago in carnage, and dumped hundreds of miles away, they had no anger left. Their only passion was memory… damned to a hell of longing.

-Amitav Ghosh, ‘The Circle of Reason’

And this memory was a legacy passed from generation to generation, like a sacred family heirloom - not actively or vociferously, but silently, till the pain and longing was almost something congenital that one felt deep inside ones flesh and blood.

Thus, I found myself – fascinated and enchanted by the Partition even as a child; surrounded by my Great grandparents and grandparents who had lived through history; understanding childishly, its import, but not its impact. As a ten year old, Partition was a bedtime story I tried to extract from my Great grandmother at all times of the day - “Tell me the story of Partition”, I begged and pleaded till my persistence bulldozed over her reticence. With a child’s innocent, yet myopic insensitivity, I resurrected a myriad demons for her everyday – ghosts of the past that she had painstakingly laid to rest. The tales of gory escape, mere adventure for me, were a throbbing part of her daily existence; more unnatural, more alive for the silence it was wrapped in, lived and relived through the images of a homeland lost.

Stories of leaving a child behind as two parents could not carry five children in their arms to safety, and then retracing their path back through the depraved, deathly streets to find the child again, as a mother’s conscience and heart would not let her leave her child behind. Stories of overnight penury, being stripped and deprived of all possessions that you’d taken a lifetime to gain – of life as refugees, of honour and pride. Stories of hope and resilience and starting anew. Movingly romantic narratives of budding love in Chandni Chowk, hurried, sidelong, forbidden glances in that crowded, bustling market and then my grandparents’ wedding.

There are no full stops in India”, says a character in Mark Tully’s 1991 collection of contemporary Indian parables. In a land better known for continuities and commas, partition and secession were not simply laid to rest in 1947. They continue in the bloodline, a trauma waiting to find utterance, bewildering the subsequent generations who have never been through it, but feel an unease, and an inability to react passively to even the word ‘Partition”. Growing up with it as a part of one’s consciousness, not simply saying that we “know people” who have been through it, but that these very people happen to be ones closest friends and relatives who had to leave everything behind, struggle, undergo unimaginable hardships, witness bestial, inhuman brutality and bloodshed, and still find temperance to build anew, leaves an indelible mark on the new generations.

Are we more fanatical, more vitriolic for all this? Is it simply a part of the charmed past, that we can detach from our persona and existence at our will or is it so intrinsic that we still go through with a sense of loss that finds expression sometimes in extreme animosity and anti-Pakistan sentiment, and then sometimes gets tinged with curiosity and a longing to discover ones roots."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Royal Buddae!

To understand just how much I have brow beaten everyone into accepting my surreptitious (read as: questionable, untraceable) royal lineage and bull dozed my way to mock-monarchy, you need to rewind to October 24th, 2009, which was an immensely satisfying culmination of my blue-blooded-descent propaganda (Sir Mathew should be pleased - Lady P.D. has dexterously picked up the ropes of media manipulation under his able tutelage).


I would like to thank everyone who made this day so very memorable and 'princessy' -
Right from Their Highnesses- the King, Queen and the Royal Brat's generous and bountiful wishes;
the exotic, 'rose'y flora and calorific choco-bombs sent from the kingdom afar;
the joyous shower of icy water, fragrant eggs and appetising ketchup at the stroke of midnight ensuring Her Highness begins this auspicious day on a clean note with considerable time spent soaking in the 'Hamam';
the Santa Claus delivery of the 'Ten' treasures heralding X'mas two months early in October ;
the fairyland setting, sumptuous cake, magical candles and all the love and care from my cohabiting consort;
hidden gifts on the table and periodically in the drawer and all the ferrying and foraying for decorations;
the 'pity', marble art works and 'accidental silences' in wordy deluges;
the scroll from my eternal better half - a painstaking piece of ever-improving, breathtaking workmanship;
and the parro(kee)t from the Royal Ortist! (see below :D )


And all my dear subjects who indulge me and go along with my noble(ahem!) pretences - thank you! You made my birthday a day I'll never forget.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Mansion

If you’d walk by the road you’d see,

The broken-glassed, barred windows,

The irons on a padlocked door

Once sentinels of proud, shining metal

-now a crumbling, flaky rust.


If you look ‘neath the mien

Of sorry dilapidation

As you walk upon my dusty paths

Flanked by clods of earth

You might raise the dust

And see the specks swirl into shape

And form a dancing mirage

Of my erstwhile magnificence


Those lumps of parched earth

Might sprout rows of flowers

The blind windows that lie in wait

Might just again see

A push on the padlocked door

Might break the rusting hinges

Protesting, squeaking it might open

To welcome you within


Long has been the wait

Since they left us here

And wait we did – for year upon unending year

Till the weeds now seem like friends

And we see them grow in a pattern

In the rose bush flower bed


The parched earth of my compounds

Waited long for the gardener

It smiled temptingly at nebulous clouds

Too far away to perceive its glance

And then it forgot what it felt

To be soft, nurtured and fertile

It took its arid state as a given

And basked in its long wide cracks


And you now wander into my grounds

You see me lie wasted

Would you strike away the cobwebs

And dust the decay away?

Would you tend to my lawns

And see me thrive under your care

Or would you leave like the others

Daunted by my countenance?


(This one was inspired by a painting I had a glimpse of - don't remember the finer details, but just filling in the gaps of what I saw there, was so despondent, so touching, that it had to be put down in words)..

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stifling Sensualism

Every mouthful of sweetness

Leaves a bitter after taste


Every Eden has a Serpent

Every ocean a Siren


Temptations that waylay you

To ease the path of life

And then weigh your feet with chains

Of moral righteousness


They term every pleasure illicit

And darken each moment exquisite

With heavy clouds of guilt.


Every sensual indulgence

Has a shameful afterglow


We shackle with sanctimony

The very gifts of life

Till it’s a mortal sin

To even feel alive

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Breezy Ruse to Muse

A soothing zephyr flits around,

Untamed and free, no burdens weigh it down

It skips and skirts the flowers, the trees

Till finally its time for the evening to bow

And with its heavy ware of memories

Crouches in dusk

“No time for the youth to flit and fly,

Sleep off, zephyr”,

The ageless wind sighs

It moans wistfully and caresses the leaves

Stirs sepia silences, whispers sweet nothings

Runs a finger through forgotten strings

Discordant notes echo through the stillness,

Strike against empty walls of the heart

Reverberate, resonate, retrieve

-from remote recesses,

Forgotten losses, forgiven pains

Desires pined for, guilty gains

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Making the cut for LSD

LSD, as used here, stands for nothing more than the innocent 'Literary, Speaking and Debating' society.

For the fear of dampening the culturization of potential MICANs, (who might be desparate enough to visit my blog for nuggets of information :D - I am a hopeless optimist!), I will not divulge the details of this ever so mysterious society. Suffice to say that I tried to be endearingly creative. I don't know if I endeared myself in any way, but I made it through to the GD round (yeah, GDs don't just stop at the admission procedure!).

Dear parents, please pardon my using you for selfish ends. Continue loving me inspite of it :) (after all, you've loved me inspite of my incessant chattering for two decades now!).


Copy-pasted from the original ppt, for the purpose of ARCHIVING.

About me -

The fluctuations of my public speaking career.


-P.D.


The inception


Some people are born public speakers.

Some attain the art of public speaking.

And some have public speaking thrust upon them.



If I were to apply the Shakespearian thought to my life, the last certainly applies.

The ‘thrustees’ being my ever-encouraging parents’ vested interest in preserving their ear drums.



In the honeymoon period of doting parenthood, you’ll find bright eyed, just turned mom and pops encouraging their child to speak, “Bolo Beta, Bolo!”
But every parenthood has an initial 3 year itch when you face an irresistible urge to gag your seemingly angelic child, who bombs you incessantly with decibel bombs, 24X7 and then they plead, “Bas Beta, Bas!!”
Being blessed with a child, exceptionally talented in the use of her vocal chords, my parents’ woes were exacerbated, especially since discouragement flew off my skin like paper bullets off rhino skin.
Public speaking seemed the only route to dull my chattering and hence, push came to shove and with their passionate support I walked up on stage, to create history.

The grand fiasco
Failure, they say,is the stepping stone to success.
Your future success being directly proportional to the embarrassment generated by your present failure.
You would need similar optimism after debuting in a nightmarish public-speaking experience in which you say “Good Morning!” and then stand gawping open-mouthed at the audience for eternity and finally mumble “Thank you” and stumble out in a zombie trance, to the glee and whoops of a thrilled audience.
In the highly awkward and susceptible teenage years, this could scar a fragile psyche for life. But my parents were in too desperate a situation to give up right then.

So, there I embarked one year later, with nothing to lose, to create more history.

Status quo
And this time I won.

-----------------The Happy End----------------

The presentation does not end so abruptly, but the post must, or my paeans of self-praise would leave me with no claims to modesty. And the lousy, indentation (the editor has a will of its own) makes self-congratulation rather inappropriate right now :-(



Monday, August 3, 2009

All we need is a little love

We can walk through all our days frivolous, half-loving, stopping-by-the-doors-and-never-staying. But what do you do in these dark, dismal, funereal times?

Do you continue with a charade of happiness, drowning yourself in a mix of happy-movies, happy-songs, happy-times?

Do you put up a fa├žade of strength and break down inside? Why am I expected to cope – does coping mean shutting out death and narrowing down to MM assignments and QT tests? Am I expected to be insensitive to this?

Why can’t we drown in collective grief? We all feel the oppression, the weighing down – it’s right there. And yet we escape – malls, diners, movies – does it help?

Why can’t we confront and be weak, isn’t it but human – our last heartfelt tribute to him who’s left to never return. Yet it’s so uncomfortable to broach.

Why can’t we focus on the passing away. Why get entangled in the how’s and why’s and we-don’t-understand’s? What is a death anyway – another statistic of who-what-how-why and the blame games about irresponsibility? Does it make death less heart rending?

Do you think of all the times you invited death and she refused? To be struck by her cold, unforgiving visage when she turns up uninvited? When you beg and plead and she refuses to leave? And then takes you along with her.

Why can’t someone just tell me it’s alright to think. To cry. To acknowledge.

Perhaps I am just sick and delirious and raving mad.

Perhaps. Immune and vulnerable. Not the usual stoic, impenetrable fortress. That you think I am. But then am I normal or are you? I, who cannot get back to my books. And you, who remain unaffected and think of it as an academic holiday. Perhaps I envy you. For your insensitivity and immunity.

And this is when I want to go back to childhood. When sickness was not so much about medicines. It was about a loving caress. A loving voice that reassured you that all will be well. Strong arms that enveloped you and told you it’ll be fine. The warm, intrusive curious eyes of a sibling that never left you alone. About the miles travelled to heal you with warmth.

Is it too much to ask for it all now? A little bit of love in harsh times? As I swing between a need for solitude and companionship, to find a sense of belonging in mutual grief? For understanding and warmth. Peace with silence, and hope with words.

And it’s in times like this that we realise. There’s nothing to replace human contact. All we need is a little love, and we’ll be fine. This should be my catharsis. I wish you yours, soon.


Note : After reading this, please don't try and tell me I need to talk to people rather than 'vent' it on a blog. As if I don't talk to people or something.

If that is all you can say, you are the nth person to say so and lose the whole point. I can only say that you don't understand 'why' people write. It is not simply a vent or a rant. What writing really is, is not for me to tell, but for you to feel and find out. And if it feels like a non-cathartic chore to you, DONT GENERALISE. It's my poison. Period. No discussions. No sermons.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Humpty Dumpty had a Great Fall

Some things in life have to be done.
Like writing this post inspite of the pile of work staring back unblinkingly at me.

I had decided that the next post from me would involve more soul searching - 'Rivers of Blood' or 'Hegemony of the Parrots' (courtesy S.D., thank you!) or some other excruciatingly informational piece, a marked departure from my usual zero-use policy for posts (why does everything have to have a 'use'?!).

To get back to my meandering narrative again, however.

It was late in the night. My mind heavy with the 'smoky', 'marijuana monologues' of Sankalp. The last thing I should have attempted was Badminton. At midnight. After light years. And try playing it with the flair of a three time kindergarten champion (which also I never was). At peak, 'hanging around' time. To an almost full capacity crowd.
Perfect recipe for unforgettable embarrassment.

With a flourish I picked up the racquet. Eyed the approaching shuttle with eagle-like concentration.Worked out complex trignometric-elevation, wind-velocity drag, projectile equations in a nanosecond. And with full confidence and dexterity whacked the plastic out of the shuttle.
Had it been cricket, it would have been a poetic four.

Never one to give up, I got back into position with reinforced determination to prove my athleticism. The shuttle whizzed towards me - silent and sinister. In a split second, my brain decided THE strategy to win this battle was 'shock and awe'. (I wish the brain would stop being so anarchist in its ideology and take my self's feeling and esteem into consideration on such suicidal policy decisions). I found the feet spinning around my centre of gravity in frictionless 'jootis' . Simultaneously, my nimble arms flayed wildly at the shuttle and I found myself diving into a graceless aerodynamic trajectory, ending with a smooth landing by slithering a few humiliating inches on the court. Spin, fly, dive, slide.

If this was a circus, it would have been the most acrobatic and popular act. With all the peeping Toms staring out of Palaash windows, and the laughing hynaes on the courtyard benches, it was instant celebritydom.

Atleast I now have an answer to the cliched interview question - 'What was your most embarrassing moment'. Summer placements? Bring 'em on!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Lost Race

Schools are a trailer to the movie of life.
And in a fit of a 'Eureka' moment, some sadistic P.T. teacher decided that the best way to prepare the fragile minds of the tiny tots entrusted to him was through races. But then he realized that at the sprightly age of eight and nine, when potbellies are alien and rheumatism of the knees is unknown , running is a joy, not a punishment. And with this realization began a saga of scarring young impressionable minds (yours sincerely starring as yours victimized in the series).

Why could a race never be a simple exercise in running from the start to the finish line? Why did it have to involve inanities like carrying a spoon with a pea between your teeth? Worst, why did it have to involve eating bananas when every Indian worth his tan knows that bananas and Indian summers are inimical? And herein lies the key to why the mess-bhaiya has to suffer a daily interrogation about the state of bananas at breakfast and solemnly swear to their un-rotteness.

I was the fastest kid in the block. I ran like the wind, darted like a bee and braked like a butterfly. If there was one chink in my armour, it was an intestine wringing aversion to rotten bananas. And that is where the PT teacher's creative thinking began. The format of the tiny tots' race : run hand in hand with your partner - of the opposite sex (Sri Ram Sena would be so apalled, this debauchery began in school itself. ) - rush to the finish line, gobble bananas and run back to the start line.

The D-day dawned bright and clear. I chose a sterling specimen, fit to be preserved as the finest, perfectest banana there ever was and clung to it like a drowning man to a shark. Through the crowded bus, i shoved for a shove and scratched for a scratch and though I was much bruised, the banana emerged unscathed. And then in this proud moment of victory, fate played foul and dealt me a deathblow.
All the other bananas lay in a careless heap at the end of the finish line and that is where mine was to be kept too! There would be no chance of finding it in this Everest of plantains! My partner and I sped to the finish line like eloping lovers , but the love turned star crossed at the finish when I jumped head long into the banana pile looking for the much protected one I'd brought from home. Needless to say, people came, people ate and people ran back and I suffered the murderous glare of my partner and the humiliation of being the last one left standing at the finish line. Finally, the school captain asked me to budge and make space for the next lot of banana eaters and suggested that maybe the shoe-lace-tying race would be a better idea. But that is another story and meanwhile if you see me turn pale and look petrified at breakfast, just take the rotten banana out of my hand - that's a scarred psyche for you.

myArt : II

It's beautification time again!
The tremendous fanfare that was enjoyed by my previous artistic publication has prompted me to upload this.
The budding artist has tried to abuse MS Paint as much as it can allow without revolting. :)

Ahem, and the pixelated effect is deliberate and a very time-consuming activity!!

Of the Origins of Poetry

The genesis of true poetry lies in the vituperative, viscid, visceral coils of frustration.

And when I say poetry, to the dismay of perhaps the more regressively maturing part of the population, which also constitues a predominant chunk of my blog readership, I coup-de-graced at the grave risk of alienating them and rendering my uncommon blog forever common in the forgotten realms of obscurity, that 'Roses are red, Violets are blue, O my Dahling, I love You', does NOT count as poetry. Even if you use it to mark the momentous occasion of the first-week-together anniversary with you girlfriend. (I am surprised she hasn't ditched you yet).

And when I say frustration, sleeping on the scorching bed on the first floor of Parijat does NOT count. Even if the foreigners get air conditioners and we 'natives' dont.
Grow up folks! There is more to frustrate a spirit than temperatures imported from supermarkets in hell. Like what? Like lost battles. Like jilted love. Like socio-politico-economic hegemony. Like bankruptcy in a financial crisis. Like a writer's blog err..block. Like existential crises in a pre pubescent, jocund world (courtesy, a recent conversation). Like a never ending conference that begins at 6pm in a software company.
Not in any specific order except that the most poignant, gut-wrenching, heart rending poetry emerges from the last cause on the pathetic list.

And I am sure that all organisms of the fast proliferating species called software engineers would agree. So when you read the lines below, I request you to keep in mind the fact that this was written on a happy day in spring when the bees buzzed and the birds sang; the sun had mellowed to a warm ruddy glow in the distance and the night was riding in fast. And I sat, with a group of other wretched creatures, trying to ignore the insistent, muffled speaking from a Cisco IP phone , battling an AC induced brain numbing draught. The pathos of the situation will melt your frigid hearts.

"And I stand at the horizon,
Watch the Sun set,
At the other end, night creeps in,
At this amalgam of light and dark,
I cross the threshold and step beyond,
Into the lap of eternal sleep,
Beyond any life giving force,
Outside the grasp of life itself,
I embrace the only permanence,
The only change to stem all change,
The only stop to constant transience.
I open my arms and welcome thee,
Take me with you Death, I am ready."

Ah! The pathos!
To all of you reduced to tears, I am much indebted. You may shed sympathetic tears and write warm reviews below.

To all of you inclined to laugh - beware you infidels! Unless you forward this link to 20 more people who religiously leave comments, your lead will call a meeting at 6 every evening!

To all those concerned about my suicidal tendencies and preparing to raid my closet for boa constrictors and rodent poison, R.I.P - I have resigned.

P.S.- If you feel unable to feel sufficiently frustrated to spew out 'deathly' poetry, contact me. I'll lend you my ex-boss.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coffee at MICA

25th May : The day dawned bright and clear. Young, eager and enthusiastic, we sprung forth with unbounded energy and enthusiasm looking at our future with doe-eyed adoration through baby-pink frosted glasses. Some, on the other hand, like yours sincerely, having blanched at the prospect of 6 hour classes after a year of cozy hibernation, could look only at breakfast as a worthwhile future. My tested belief in a hearty breakfast as the only solution to armageddon being yet un-failed, I proceeded to MICAfe and was overwhelmed to see cornflakes with hot and cold milk. And now I was sure, that at MICA anything was possible. So with this bright belief when I spotted a bowl full of a brown-chocolatey powder, I positively sang out loud. Imagine, I thought, they even give us Bournvita. (Refusal to grow up is not an uncommon phenomenon, specially in circumstances when age stares you right in the face). Heaping two massive spoons of 'Bournvita' into a tiny cup of milk, I sat down to drown my tastebuds in chocolate, only to discover that it was (why in the blazes was it not obvious to me?) - COFFEE!

So with 2 spoons of sheer black coffee pounding through my veins, I stepped into the class and stepped out only after having being asked, not-so-politely by the faculty to zip my mouth, roll my tongue back in and keep my hand firmly out of vertical air space. Coffee can make you hyperactive.

Also, it's 'vein'ophillic. It sticks right in and decides to make even incorrigible shirkers into enthusiastic workers. Want to avoid workaholicism? Avoid caffeine.
Coffee made me determinedly decide to turn my room from a natural bakery-oven to a human friendly habitat. That innocent endeavour ended up sending warning bells to Noah and his Arc, after I successfully drenched all my sheets in water and hung them from the windows. I later happened to see that the room was almost submerged and water was pouring out into the corridor and cascading like a gentler version of the Niagra Falls from the first floor onto the ground floor. Ofcourse I was alerted only by the plaintive cries and frantic queries of an attendant. Coffee also makes you blind to the minor irritants of life.

Coffee is a typical woman - stimulating beginnings, troublesome endings.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life and Dell!

Life, is tough to live.
Particularly when you live under the constant strain of ensuring that your day involves the much taxing activity of doing nothing and in the midst of doing nothing you have to thwart your parents' frantic and worrisome efforts to make you do something. It is even more stressful to plot and scheme to ensure that days in the immediate future are encompassed in the ruddy glow of that idyll of nothingness. No wonder all this strenuous, creative workout makes the good, ol' occupant of the cranial cavity feel older and wiser than its years and the squirming grey cells exist on the verge of being addressed in the singular, than plural (a lone grey cell?).

Well, this pleasant meditative stupor of my existence was torn asunder on an early May morning when I was pulled out of bed to find myself straddling a rather bulky cardboard box on which was written - DELL!! Yipeeeee! My lappie had arrived, and a glossy, happy red it was!
For many a day I observed it with a veneration that not too many of my electronics inspire or witness. And those of you who saw the individuality I had lent to my MP3 player and cell phone must be eagerly awaiting the baptism of my laptop. You shall not be disappointed :D




Ma Chere - "Cherry" (pronounced 'Sh'erry :P), neighbour's envy, owner's pride, distinctly individualized by the emblazoned 'P.D.'! Thank you, thank you, I know you all love my art :D



And IF anybody feels the need to comment on my need for a cursive writing book, you are as good as dead!

Why God made siblings

So you all think that 'Hum Do, Hamaare Do' is the Indian government's last ditch propaganda to inspire the teeming millions to have fewer babies? To have TWO babies only, to be more precise?

Ha! You are all so very wrong. It is the Indian governments propaganda to encourage the fast turning nuclear families, to not go solo and have ATLEAST two babies, if not more.
It is a conspiracy, deeper, darker and more sinister than any held in the hallowed portals of the Da Vinci code ; a conspiracy to take us away from our innate human nature of competing for survival ; a conspiracy to bring about lasting world peace.

Now I might usually be an ordinary bean, but the logic of this strategy is crystal clear to me. Think of yourself in a real bad day - real bad. You run your bike over your own toe in the morning, get late for office in the bargain and then can't pass the twenty-fingernails-intact identification test and are handed over to the police as an imposter and tresspasser, who then feel you closely resemble the most-wanted convict on their list. Whew! Now how you get out of this situation is upto your imagination, but if you ever do manage do get out, it would be natural to suppose that you would NOT be feeling your peaceful best.

You might want to punch the next person on the road in the face, who might decide to run over his neighbour who might... err be tempted to generally aggravate the situation. The point I am driving at, my friends, is that if for the want of a nail a kingdom can be lost, for the want of control in homicidal tendencies, the next world war can start.

And this is precisely why God made siblings. Because if you simply had a sibling who by the natural course of being a sibling would know the best way to irk you, you would not be tempted to vent your aggression on your neighbour. That privilege would be bestowed fairly and squarely on your sibling, who by now would be an auberginish tint, much to your peace of mind.

So my friends, the only solution to lasting world peace - make sure your progenies have loads of siblings to bully and bash, for that is what God made them for! 'Hum Do Hamaare Do' - at the very least :D.


Editor's Note : Since a lot of questions are being asked about the safety of the author's sibling in her caring hands, she would like to clarify that she does love her brother. And it has been 8 years since she last sat down on top of him and beat him up (mainly because since then, the chances of her emerging out of an encounter looking like an egg plant have increased). And this post was NOT TARGETED AT HIM and she feels a benign sisterly affection towards him at the point of writing this post.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MyART


Amongst the first of my amateur forays into MS Paint and I am as proud as a lark of her untidy nest!

If you open your third eye and probe with sub-conscious instincts, you can feel the deep, mystical metaphysical meaning of my abstract art. Yes, it HAS a meaning!! :)

Return from Out-of-depth land!

Here's a hurray to me!
And a hurray to all my loyal readers who frantically clasped and unclasped their hands and knotted all twenty fingers praying for my safe return from the land of the Out-of-depth.
I jiggle all twenty dactyls (to prove my victorious return with not even a finger missing!)and venture forth into the state of gay abandon in which I am usually resident, but which has been pining for my presence of late.

I however feel immense pain to announce that my evil, despodent alter ego took advantage of my absence to launch this blog and make it resemble dark, dismal Gothic land. I mount my steed-ly pen and declare that this shall be immediately attended to and we shall make this a lively place to visit!

So come ye recreant knights - to our new quest!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Bonfire of my Words

I sit here,
Warming the frozen fragments of my soul,
On a bonfire of itself.
For what are these pieces that fly around me?
Mere shreds of torn paper?
Or a web of words woven by my soul,
On emotional crests and troughs,
Through zeniths, nadirs, summits and abysses,
There was only one recourse for my wretched soul -
To plough on through weeds of words and nurture the wasted garden,
That languished underneath.

Years 'pon haggard years,
Had those loose reams of precious words marked,
Yet with heartless fingers today,
I betrayed my companions of years past.
My fingers hurt and bore stray marks,
Of a struggle to let loved ones leave.
They were constant till the end,
With their company in adversity.

How many times in the times bygone,
Had I built up my castles of words,
Even as all around me,
To pieces fell my world.
And I darted around, wounded,
An arrow stinging my breast,
Yet filling my castle with puppets,
Their strings entwined in my fist.

My helplessness with my destiny,
Stopped right at the threshold there,
And the puppets grinned my unsmiled smiles,
And they shed my unwept tears.
It was my world of retreat,
Into my imagination's cocoon,
Stories, characters, feelings,
Beaded in strings of my words.

Today I bid them farewell,
And shed my lonesome tears,
It's not a catharsis, this fire;
But their death - a punishment.
Tis to add to the pain and take it to the peak,
And let it finally end.
So they glower amber, flicker and burn,
Smouldering remains, of the ashes of my soul.

Thrissurpuram - an alternative perspective

What makes an experience so very different for men and women?

Let me explain.

Thrissurpuram is the famous, much celebrated, much televised and publicized annual festival which draws crowds from all over the world. It being made to look like a once-in-a-lifetime tourist bonanza, i fought against my first impulse to experience it live - on TV. So there we set off, eager-beavers, in the sweltering, blazing heat of Kerala with the Sun at its summit, right at noon time.

What does one expect to see? Caparisoned elephants in all their glory, experience a ritual unique to this culture, be one with the crowd and feel the throb of excitement pound all our veins with the rising tempo of the drums. But expectations have to contend with reality.

So what did the men have to contend with? Grounds packed and bursting shoulder to shoulder and back-to-front with swelling multitudes of people. We call this the 'real India' experience and try to feel at one with our brethren - one amidst the mingling sweat, stifling heat where not even a casual whisper of a breeze can wift in to provide reprieve because there is simply no space; one amidst the collective lack of oxygen and fear of asphyxiation; one amidst the rising and falling waves of nausea and sweat drenched chiffon chunnis and cotton shirts; one in our resilience to brave all this and stand together to soak in the 'puram'.

And what did the women have to contend with? Besides all that the men valiantly bore up with, the women had the added test of harassment to pass. Jostling, groping, squeezing, pushing, feeling, touching; you might fight and scratch and elbow and hit, but what can you do between a dozen men on all sides resolutely fixed upon getting their fingers into one of your orifices. Not that it starts this way. In such a packed crowd, where you have been foolish enough to venture on the absurd quest of 'experiencing culture', it begins with the supposition that there is just no place for straying hands all around to rest, except on YOU! What are you and your anterior and posterior, but a simple handrest! But as the the drums pick up the tempo, a tribal primitive frenzy possesses the crowd, and it is all no longer the law abiding, genteel, civilized crowd that entered, but a savage, primaeval, opportunistic crowd tearing, ripping, jostling to get at its share of flesh.

This is how different an experience can be for a man and a woman.
I wonder how many women really saw and absorbed the paraphernalia of decked elephants and their acrobatic mahouts twirling the ornate umbrellas? How many of them left with wide-eyed horror and a seething humiliating rage and left to pour out their fury with futile words on their blogs?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why "C.C."??!!

Clamouring Cauldrons. (CC)
Simply absurd, simply me.

Why?
Awright, i agree it's not the classiest or wittiest name to have, but besides my love for alliterations, CC will be a reflection of the constant churning within that characterises the conundrum called emotional complexity - which is the differentiating factor between 'developed', multicellular homo sapiens and unicellular amoebae.
So all you smart, discerning readers who are tempted to pass this off as teenage angst - you are right. Since i am not a protozoa, i DO suffer from teenage angst, EVEN in my twenties.

And maybe, just maybe, when you feel low and your brain reverberates with the clanging and clamouring of a myriad cauldrons, and you ache for lost loves and yearn for lost ones; when you feel a pain for growing distances and falling bridges; when you see figures fading at the horizon as move on along the trajectory of life; when life seems bleak, and dark and lonesome - maybe then you'll understand 'why'.