Monday, August 31, 2009

Twenty Five Thirty

"All this drawing and painting will end,"
she remarked
when I showed her a new birthday card I'd made.
"By the time you are thirty,
these golden silver papers
and drawings and watercolourings
won't interest you anymore,"
she declared
with the knowingness of someone
well beyond the hedge that thirty seems to draw around people's minds.

said I
(horrified at the thought that silver things would no longer hold the promise of youth anymore)
"How old do you think I am now, eh?"
I asked her blankly,
half expecting another solemn statement,
a rebuke
or a slight.

"Well you're only twenty one,"
she replied,
to which I exclaimed
"Ha! I'm twenty five
and I haven't given up this drawing-painting,
middle of the night fiddling just yet!"

She smiled submissively,
as if twenty-five-year-olds
can't possibly be doodling and collecting
and collaging everything so rampantly
without thinking about thirty
and the trifles
that wouldn't matter by then.

But I smiled triumphantly
as if I'd never give up my magpie collecting and making and colouring sketch pens.


So there I was:
stuck in a traffic jam between the sea
and a heli-port
pondering over the books I'd bought in four different languages,
when I was caught unawares
between mortality
and impermanence.
Trapped on the one side
by a procession carrying death
towards ashes
and another carrying a god
towards a watery burial,
my thoughts were
going in opposite directions
when the signal turned to green.

Above the honking cars,
the vociferous chanting,
fervent singing
and dramatic drumming
all melted into one great hum,
as life celebrated death
celebrating life
while the poor souls caught between the two
hadn't yet come to terms
with all this street-side living,
and fighting,
and cussing,
and traffic-jamming
that never ended in anything but death
no matter how far they went
or tried to run away
any which way the road bent.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Midnight Ramble

Settling into another session of midnight sitcoms,
a bee sneaks into the cloud bombinating above my head
and I suddenly wish I were asleep,
dreaming up a blockbuster or two,
a racy thriller
or even a period drama
set in Venice.
It’s very rarely a romantic film that I dream through -
and come to think of it,
when it is,
I usually arrive too late to catch the beginning,
managing - somehow -
to stumble into deep sleep towards the end.
They're pretty fantastic films, I think,
the ones I see with my eyes closed
and if I could replicate the dramatic camera angles,
sharp shot editing
and deep Wagner-esque soundtrack
when I'm awake,
I'd definitely make a nominee list or a few.

Which makes me wonder
that without the popcorn,
the silly girls in New York,
with their hat and scrunchie discussions
really aren't worth the scratchy eyeballs.

So good night and I'll see you on the other side of the credit call


Thursday, August 13, 2009

तितली उड़ी

upon seeing the new butterflies, my Dadi reacted by singing an old poem she learned in school. How she remembers it 70 years later, I really wonder!

तितली उड़ी
उड़ के चली
बस में चढी
ड्राईवर ने कहा
"आजा मेरे पास"
तितली बोली
"मैं चली आकाश"


Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Mascaporne Moon

While a pepper and mascaporne moon
hides behind monsoon plumes
like a teasing lover
behind a chardonnay veil,
we stand on the chapel steps
watching its game play out
between billowing clouds and windward winds
on an incandescent gamboge stage.

A few cars slow down in acknowledgment
of the Virgin's blessings
but around our island,
the sea crashes on.

We surmise that
it must be high tide
and so therefore, we ought to walk down
the old hill's side in order to breathe it in more fully.

The moment hasn't escaped us

and neither has the lady
whose prayer of thanks is interrupted
by her loud, ambulance-sounding phone.
She fumbles with it,
says Amen
and hurriedly drives away.

In the meanwhile we realise
that it's time to meet the ocean.
Someone finally stops the symphony
to say "let's go"

we walk away
leaving behind our prayers
burning bright in orange green and purple coloured candle glows

Thursday, August 06, 2009

the big 2 5

Al atardecer

साँझ होते ही यह नगरी एक नीली छाया में लिपट जाती है और ओढ़नी के तारे टिमटिमाते हुए जुगनू जैसे झाँकियों से झलकते हुए दिखाई देते हैं

Monday, August 03, 2009

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