Monday, January 25, 2010

Any questions?

"What do you want to be?"
was a natural question put to me, as a child.
But it leaves only rhetorical fumes now.
There were words then
Fresh and grand, without meaning
and a new possession always inspired
awe and admiration
among friends and foes.
So, each day I wanted a new future.
Thus it was cluttered with-
Stethoscopes, Telescopes, Periscopes
and a large collection of law books
looming behind my lawyer's desk.
There were many more but nothing
like an engineer by the day
And a poet by the night.

I came a seemingly long way into the tunnel
and now the question, what I want to be
is a difficult and hence
a useless one to ask.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A thing called love

And once again
where do we find
this thing called love?
Is it in the air?
With the struggles and revolutions
locked in our hearts.
Is it between the lines?
Like a meaning shying away
and a metaphor waiting to stun.
Is it in that music?
A mute display of affection
Instrumental language of its own.
Is it dancing along with you?
In the very room.
And dancing as if
the partner mattered less.
Is it in the compromise that you made?
Where often you go for a search.
scattering your life in a pensive ransack.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Step changes

There are steps and then
there are step changes
Steps, as I walked all across my childhood
and changes that suddenly dawned around me
like the growth rings of a tree.
Those memories, arthritic now
have slowed down, and once in a while
surface as vague flashes of intensity.
Every time I see them
in a dream or as a deja vu, I tell myself
not to lose them this time.
A longing for those innocent
one dimensional and amoebic days
pulls me into a world of sand and mud
Where half-eating and half-playing
we knew for sure, that there would be a call
when the dinner is ready, shriller than
what I get now from the micro-wave
as it clamors for my attention.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grandfather's days

Ghosts were seen quite often in his days
He spotted them regularly near the hay stack
during the time of harvest, when he kept vigil
for the wild pigs destroying the crop.
They never meant harm and were mostly impish
disturbing him before the break of the dawn
when he tried to catch some sleep.
The darkness was still dense.

These ghosts he says, are like us
Good and bad. Beautiful and ugly.
He had even heard from his friends
about ghosts repenting for their mistakes
and becoming good like in the folk lore.
After reconciliation, the humans and the ghosts
lived happily and people never minded
if the grain bags did not tally
if the food went missing
if there were odd noises
from the kitchen at an un-humanly hour.

Not to mention, there are some bad ones too
Up the hill next to the village
And under the tamarind tree towards the temple
everyone feels a little heavy, under their mistakes.

They fled, he says, with the advent of electricity
and are now found somewhere in the forests.
But he says beware during the power-cuts
Look out for them and look after them
Leave some food at the end of the day
And never mind the noises from the kitchen.

Ghosts and gods

In the mystic corners of life
we find shed skins of hope.
With its scales glowing like
the radium idols of decorative gods
we encounter what is called
A divine intervention.
A sign, an omen, a message
ratifying our state and henceforth
demanding gratification in all forms.
Like the shapes of phosphorus
(over the cremation ground)
scaring the villagers to praying
We are led to believing.
in dust, from our bones and minds
in Ghosts and Gods.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good mourning

As a child, I used to foresee
my defeat in a chess game
and opportunely destroy
the arrangement with my paws.
I failed to imagine then
anything more dreary.
Not even global warming.
Death, somehow dwarfs us grownups
and brings out that unimaginative child.
Quickly, we would like to bring disorder
in the lives of at least a hundred others.
Beating chests is passe as mourning
breaking glass is the in thing.
Nietzsche was right, God is dead
Only it was less noticeable than the demigod's death.
Myth has it that he likes quiet farewells.

(Various triggers for this, more conspicuous one is this post)