Friday, June 29, 2007

A short story

They swum about in the water ,tightly packed,skirting the seaweeds by a gentle movement of their fins,those ambiguously coloured fish ,which might have been orange or silver.One out of them one was a friend of Johnathan Livingstone, or so she liked to say.They weren't really on such intimate terms but she had once watched him during one of his great flights and worshipped him ever since.

Wanting desperately to be like him she relentlessly practised till she was weary to the bone and then practised some more.That sort of devotion is bound to pay off and soon she could swim backward ,with her tail pointed skywards, spinning around in circles all the while.All very complicated and useless of course but she enjoyed it and by then Johnathan had become something of a legend and she being his follower had to be given some amount of grudging respect.Besides, she was undoubtedly quite talented for a fish of her age.

All was going well but that itself is an ominous sentence and we didn't need to be told that SOMETHING was soon going to happen.It did ,but maybe we shouldn't call it a tragedy for after all some good did come of it.Hidden qualities were ,no matter what you say, discovered.

Old story,a fisherman caught the school in its net and they all died.but the tale of our fish doesn't end there.They were loaded into refrigerators till they looked glassy eyed and coldly dead and were then sent off to markets from where they were bought by families for lunch or dinner ,or whatever.At one dinner table the family took their first bite of our special fish and then spat it out.All hard and tasteless, they said.And so it was thrown away.The other one which turned out to be delicious had once been a silly little fish ,who simpered and giggled ,was nice but not very bright ,her companions had always felt.But this family of course did not know that (though I wonder if they would have cared if they had)and they waxed eloquent about the qualities of that fresh fish.While Johnathan's probable successor lay half eaten in the dustbin.

For those who missed it,this story has a moral.It teaches us that apparently useless people might have hidden virtues .....
or maybe,
it teaches us something else altogether. question,i need to know if the message came tell.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

how it is...

Have you ever missed the bus

For you didn’t want to run

To hustle and jostle, be undignified

Feeling superior, have you waited

Till one stopped by your side

Only to find

That it was crowded.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The sky is dark and and swollen with clouds.And your throat hurts ,a large unpalatable lump of life got stuck there and its hard to swallow.The wind softly lifted the paper and polythene bags of the street and sent them swinging madly in the air ,along with your thoughts.And that ominous silence ..its too loud and you dont want to hear.
Its growing louder and darker and heavier.And weighing down on you when it suddenly bursts with violence.It had to.The tears come and soon the sky lightens and you can see the sun.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

oh calcutta!

The Senco gold billboard advertises their much celebrated hospitality through the tagline-step in.get lost.The large paper diamond winks mischievously down on me.It seems to have got the joke that eluded the rest of them at senco.I think Ille go buy it.Humour is a commendable quality even in a diamond.

Further up the street there is high end flower boutique.It calls itself cauliflower.Very misleading for that particular flower is not sold in the shop.I didn't ask though, fearing they too might ask me to get lost.In its rush to become developed the city is losing all its courtesy.And pushing and shoving and snatching.Ranks and college seats and land.

But all are not so bad.Some are much more laid back.They come home from work early in the evening and go out for family dinners to 'Big Burp!'.As their lifestyle does not allow them to dine at its younger brother in forum.

How can I help but love my city.?Its like a blundering child muddling his way through life.Sometimes outrageous,sometimes ridiculous,mostly quaint.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Old age and the rocking chair.

This then is it.
My life
This one room and the news
Which has nothing to do with me
And I had nothing to do with it
And the greying tea cup
The snow white,emaciated me
And nothing else
I have nowhere to go
And nothing to do.
O good that I cant see
For there is only decay
And rotting away..
Inactivity and time on my hands.
Spectre like ,I hobble around
And feel dust on the couch and floor.
The cushions are all worn out
And nothings like before.
So I rock in my chair
To blot it all out
The stillness and the sound
Still theres no getting around
that life has left me behind.

I suppose I've been presumptous trying to feel what I never have...But i think I know someone who feels like that.
Beside a small ungaurded lake in north calcutta a policeman keeps watch.Often a desperate or frustrated character comes along and tries to drown himself .Our hero swiftly jumps into the water and rescues him.Every time ,with unerring precision.The papers have to say that people have given up trying to commit suicide in that lake altogether ,it being such a fruitless exercise.While the policeman ..he makes headlines and recieves bravery awards.
I wonder ,dear reader how you are reacting to this glorified protector of law and order.I personally would love to dunk him in that very lake awards and all for being such a supercilious ass.And to curb his infuriating and interfering ways.
before the greasepaint

she goes out to play
In a white cotton dress and bata sandals

then wanders purposefully around the house
looking for nothing.

cooes right back at the cuckoo
till it, angered flies away
and shakes with laughter.

Stands on tiptoe near the table
Face upturned,Whats for lunch?

leaning her head against the car window
she sings sad hindi love songs
in a shrill piping voice.

loves parrots and paper dolls
and pink ice cream.