Friday, December 19, 2008

Modern code

To Find My Soul is the real answer,
But one can't say that standing on sneakered feet.
One must ,hands in pocket,relaxed shoulders,
Cloud his eyes with nonchalance and say-
Just For Kicks
Man.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Immediate Concern

Winter,
Quaking down the road
Muttering, 'useless... useless cardigan'
A soft warm cloud of auto emission
Touches,
Sooty,it thaws my frozen nose.
Dense,it curls around my feet.
Of course,*guilty look* it also causes
Global warming and all that...
Brr
Thank god.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why it is how it is.

The god who lives in the hollow part of the sky was looking down.

And he saw climbing up,dreams.Densely smoking or little dreamlets.Which with a sudden spiralling spurt fizzled out.And the leaping flames which burnt out all competition.Then there were the ghosts of dreams,dreams for the sake of dreams...The ornamental ones.And pretty little things they were too.
But what was awesome and what was amazing were the numbers.Oh,the numbers.The sweeping base of these vapours.Their everywhere-ness.
So he looked on entranced,bewitched.Forgetful.

"Ei,you're meant to be doing something."

"Oh(shaken out of reverie) yes.YES.But.. (looking down again,frightened)
can I?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Leader

Their swinging maces stunned
They looked at him in horror
Coward..

For standing in front of the
Roaring,churning crowd
He had looked up ,swallowed
And pronounced
-No We Can't.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In Sin.

Once there was a couple
Who lived in bin,
Solemnly chewed the garbage
That people threw in,
And then,exchanging
A conspiratorial grin
They spat it all out-
Thoo!

Monday, November 17, 2008

At the concert

He didnt get the music either
But sat caught up with the lights
Comfortable in his stupidity.
My little cousin was sitting in the corner of a room and muttering excitedly.Eyes shining,face flushed.I went and queitly sat beside her.So she put her small face next to mine and whispered-
soosoopotty soosoopotty soosoopotty...
Magic words.With the glamour of forbiddeness

Oh dear.Whats all the fuss about?Its so easy to be happy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

so scared.

I’ve seen her walking to school in the morning,Macaulay House skirt grazing the dust,mouth turned downward in perpetual discontent.I’ve heard she talks to flowers.
I’ve heard she kicks those classmates who tease her and stomp off to have tiffin in the loo.Alonely.
I know she perversely refuses to do all she must.Wont answer questions.Won’t do group work.Will sit cross legged and barefeet in class.Wont listen.
Will draw bizarre squiggles and call it ‘chader ulto dik’.
‘Why don’t you have any friends in class?’
‘They are all fool’contemptuous,resigned.
Then she plucks a ragged weed from the field-Good morning maam.;
Her parents are preparing her for the JEE.Her teachers are hammering in social niceties.She continues to kick.
Intelligent children generally look it.She looks like two scoops of melting ice cream.Two sloppy,tired globes.Two wary,cowlike eyes.
World,fragile,handle with care.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Curious

What is life?

Why is there so much hatred in the world?


Does God really exist?

Is physics truly not poetry?

Who thought up this trash?
This substite for questionlessness?
And passed it down
From generation to generation
As dummmies guide to thinking person...

Who made such a hash
Of the idea of profundity?
And made keywords of
God and Life and Stars.

Someone filched my wallet.
Who picked my pocket?
I want to know
So I can snatch it back
And give him a piece of my mind.
Filthy,stinking thief..

I want to know
In a furious, urgent way
That has nothing to do with
Making impressions.


ps.dear god,please let this not be obscure again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Style

The horse trotted in
With a dainty clip clop
Dust sent spinning
In neat rings
Pearly drops clung to its brow

The lid presses down
On a gathering warmth
The spout arches tortuously outward
Vapour has dimmed the swollen,
Scalding surface.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

These modern day political thinkers are so ugly.Big tomato noses,that ungainly way of slouching over the table and those protruding opinionated elbows.Fighting it out on THE BIG FIGHT,raucous voices turning shrill in excitement.Hideous, really.Even the polished public school types.Just as bloated with opinions.Besides,they're ugly too.
Yet thoroughly enviable.
Its as though they've plunged their hands into a dark abyss called 'the world',coiled their fingers around the place and come away with a more a more active understanding.Just a little corner perhaps which they often cant see beyond.But what of it.Sit back and watch,these corners sometimes coalesce into a chunk of clear knowledge.
No,I have no great thirst for knowledge but clarity is just..sexed out.
For here we have the modern world i.e rushing pushing mess and modern people churning up -humour,anger,ambition.And all this has bumped into each other and rattled about and made ONE BIG SCRAMBLE.Now what?
Don't we need them now?To get under the skin of things,establish links and burrow towards the truth.Ever so often they're wide of the mark.Oftener they get warped in the process.But they help.Never the less.
Poetry does the same sometimes.Lights up unlikely spots with a flash.Of course the treatment is much more irreverent,cocky almost.But in essence,similar.
I think I want to be an understander.Is that a career option?

P.S-This is a little off the cuff and heavily unedited.Apologies.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Story

He really had a disgusting mind,obsessed with reality.One grows up,acquires an imagination,a sense of humour to make it matter less and less .But no,he was one of those men who never grew up.

He was one of those men who wore spectacles just for effect.Bifocals which he didnt need.Of course the sky seemed attached to the ground at an odd angle,curiously unaligned.But he liked it just so.It seemed to him the Correct Perspective.

When he shut his eyes it made no difference.He carried the clear imprint of chairs and tables and coffee mugs into the territory of his mind.

To get on with the story..
What story?
Did he have one?

Once,but it dried up and cracked in the wind.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Theory

I've been developing this theory that we actually do possess a sense apart from the five obvious ones.Nono not sixth sense as in instinct but a sort of added awareness that cannot be explained.I'll tell you what sparked of the idea.Ogling.
I was.But distinctly from out of the said persons line of vision.Luckily my reflexes are moderately good so I managed to give the impression that I was looking through this person when he suddenly turned round.But really how can anyone possibly tell?
What has seriously hampered my knowledge on these lines is that noone stares at me.
But even the other day-my mother was lying down in her room and her eyes were shut and I padded in bare feet(so no noise or anything)and she said-'joey, ki hoyeche?'
Huh?
Thoroughly intrigued I told dadabhai.And for the rest of the Sunday afternoon we experimented with our mother as the guinea pig.First we sat around on the bed and spoke in loud whispers about how we were going to tickle mummy and pull her hair and poke her tummy.We know she hates being tickled and people playing with her hair but that still doesn't explain how mad she got.You know ,first squirmed about and then yelled-WHY ARE YOU SO SET ON RUINING MY ONE FREE AFTERNOON?I mean really,not like we'd actually done those things.and here was a person who can sleep through a cricket match,oblivious to all the noise and excitement.
Very weird,don't you think?
So anyway ,the experiment was a grand success so far but our final innovation fell flat.We took this laser pointer(you know,the ones they use during presentations)and and from a distance we wiggled the light about on the underside of her foot.No reaction.Very disappointing so we tried some more times.More disappointment.

At any rate I have not given up on my theory.Ask boy school debaters,they'll tell you-It is the exception that proves the rule.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Glitter

Pujo is a tremendous pain in the ass.You can tolerate only so much on sentimental grounds.The Dhak jars my morning peace and what is all this talk of sharat kal and shiuli ful.All the seasons have merged into summer and a protracted monsoon.And the shiuli gach is entirely missing from the kolkata horizon.
And what do we have in its place?Cheap shiny finery.Fizz that hurts your breath.And those god forsaken puja pandals.
'Ota dekhtei hobe.matir bhar diye koreche'
'Ha.ar jeta muger daler khosha diye?'
What next? chamberpots?
Pandal hopping I will simply abstain from henceforth.Its a very gramer lok thing to do.
There.I've said it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Once Shared

It was the middle of the night and we had just snacked on these delicious tomato cheese sandwiches.At twelve thirty .Don't ask.Pinky Miss had got it into her head that we (poor dears) were being starved having all those vegetarian meals.So she sneaked into the kitchen ,midnight , and made some.
The thank you card was ready by then.So we presented it to maam.She ,rather ungratefully laughed at my note.Not surprising actually .Shit silly it was-
'PINKY MISS WEE SHALL MEES YEW'
Shreya had started this whole deal of speaking in a weird ass bangali accent and we 'leawe'd 'on e zetplen' the whole damn time.
The sandwiches polished off we hung around grinning sheepishly at each other for some time.Same thing on everybody's mind but someone had to voice it.Rhea and Samriddhi were out of the question.Prudes of the first order.So, who do you think?(.)
Hoisted myself on a stool and slid out the slim volume.WILD SEX the spine said.
Now this place was Mrs.Balarams study.She looked the model of propriety.South Indian.(You know what I mean..)Economist.Worked in the ministry.WILD SEX?!O dear me.
Sheepish looks gave way to uncontrolled laughter.Pinky Miss admitted that she'd been planning to take a good look through it herself,once we'd left the room.Which we were taking A HELL OF A LONG TIME to do.
Okay.Now picture this.Four girls and a teacher hunched over this book.(And what a book!)And the page is turned.
One goggle eyed frog on top of another meets the eye.Next page.Same story.Only this time its cockroaches.
Wild as in Nature stupid!Not..never mind what we'd thought it was going to be.
But what a supreme letdown.Quite glassy eyed with dismay.
And then we laughed.And how...stomach hurtingly,eyes tearingly.
Fond memories.They stay curled up in your head and strike again, another midnight, a year later with such urgency and vividness that you're forced to write it down.

To happiness.

PS.Did Mrs Balaram make the same mistake?;)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Megalomania.

My blog is abounding in I's.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Politics

Frank blue eyes
Look straight into yours
"I have made a mistake"-fearless,unwavering,
Consciously unconscious of effect.
You,in the crowd,turn to me
And utter that platitude with an approving smile.
"Thats right", I concur,
"Honesty is a rather good Policy"

Auden





"As we run down the slope of hate with gladness
You trip us like an unnoticed stone
And just as we are closeted with madness
You interrupt us like a telephone"

I shall continue to love you forever even though you're too dead and gay to care.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When I was little I wanted to be a writer.It was one of my candyfloss dreams.I still do,more than ever.But the spun sugar has turned stale in the face of 'career'.
Its a dirty word.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Second Chance

I'm afraid ,you know

Of this Second chance

Of it's haloed gloating feel,

Of it being -The Opportunity To Prove..

I'm afraid ,for I've seen them

Come and Go

Sucking clean my what-might-be's,

My if-only's.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'd like my life

I'd like my life
To have a tamarind tang,
A sharp hard hitting taste.

I'd like my life
To be apple green
Minty,like the number seven.

I'd like my life
To be pencil heels,
Slim and tapering to a point.

I'd like my life
To be well cut jet
Which glitters as it catches the light.

I learn to live
With this soggy old sock.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Education System Is A Menace

Characters-4 children
The Pied Piper
Narrator



Scene1

Nar-Four children have run away from their homes and have followed the Pied Piper into the Promised Land.

C1-How much further is it from here?
PP-Not any.
C2-This is it?
C3-But theres nothing here…
PP-Why ,did you want anything different?
C2-Well..we imagined that the promised land would be more than a …room.(sarcastic)
PP-You can’t blame me ..Ive been peering into your minds everyday to see what it was that you’ll wanted..but there wasn’t anything to go upon.Absolutely nothing.
So I’ve brought you here..to..er..nothing.
C2-Fine but was it very necessary to make us walk for a month to bring us here?
C1-I’m completely worn out.I’ve left everything behind and it was no use…
PP-Now this is just strange..The only concrete instruction I get from you’ll is ‘far away’ and now it seems that you’ll don’t even want that.
And you(looks at C2).I really don’t see why you’re complaining.You said ‘no parents,no school,no history,no maths ,no rules.This ought to be paradise.
C1-But…(is near tears)
PP-Oh my god..dont cry..please…I never know what to do with children who cry..I promise..I’ll give you whateveryou ask for..as long you don’t cry..
C1-Whatever I ask for?Anything in the whole wide world?
PP-Yes!Just ask for it!
C1-Can I have some ice-cream?(hesitantly)
PP-Dear Lord!I try to be a genie and they make me a waiter.(aside)
Here..have your ice cream ..and don’t cry anymore..
C4-(Takes the ice cream and dashes it to the floor )
Don’t give us sops!You cheated us..Can’t imagine why we trusted you..
PP-You know..thats a really good question.I was astonished myself.I said-come away, and you’ll came away,We’ve been walking for a month and no one asked where we were going,no one even suggested where they wanted to go..Such heartwarming faith in me.
You’ll have been really good children….until now.
C1-We thought you would know where to take us…
PP-How will I know what you want?!
C1-Someone always does..
PP-Really?Someone always tells you what you need?What if they’re wrong?
C2-(smirking) Then we blame them!
C3-(angrily)and hate them.
PP-Is that why you’ll ran away?
C3-Yes..but I’m already regretting it.
Chorus-So am I..
PP-You mean you’d like to go back?!
Chorus-Yes!
PP-And not be far far away in this magic land?!
Chorus-No!
PP-Even if I grant you all your wishes?...
Chorus-Yes!
PP-Fine, fine.
But why must you’ll always yell in chorus?(annoyed)
C3-Dunnoe.Habit…
PP-Inexplicable you children are..
(everyone glares at him)
PP-But nice. very nice. of course. and since you’ll are sooo nice ..Surely you’ll will bear with this leetle problem..
Chorus-What problem?
PP-(tries to be stern)You Will Have To Stay Here Till The End Of The Day.I’ve already paid today’s fare. No Arguments.
C1-Okay…
(Everyone nods)
C2-But what do we do till then?
PP-I don’t know..whatever...have fun amongst yourselves.
(They stare balefully at each other for 10 seconds)
(looking helplessly at the PP)This is so boring…
PP-(Sighs, looks at audience) How did you’ll get this way?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Well rounded

Rough edges sandpapered to a sheen
I roll along,directionless.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Eureka!

Ran around in circles
and caught a thought by its tail.

The Little People

I collect
casual compliments in a matchbox
And lovingly sun them sometimes.

To cross,
I go under the fence.

If I chance upon pearls of wisdom
I can take home only one.

I hate white light.
I run the world.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My favourite memory

We all bundled into a car and drove away, suddenly one day to a new house .Like criminals on the run.
Joey!Joey!lift aache…that was my brother. Wonder and disbelief mixed.
Oh!said a shiny-eyed seven year old me. Where?
The door opened with a click of the key turning. Enormous and beautifully bare. No furniture. None at all. Even our toothbrushes hadn’t arrived. My parents were very harried ,had the decision been to drastic? You see, they had been wanting to shift for a week or so but couldn’t until someone bought our old house. Somebody suddenly agreed, but on the condition, that they shift in that very day. So we got pushed into this unnatural looking furniture less one.
The two of us walked around, very seriously, giving the place a thorough inspection. Three Mickey mouse stickers on the switch board, one red plastic football and a very long pen that came up to my waist.Treasure.The rest of the evening we ran around playing mock golf with the pen and the football. And generally being a nuisance and getting in everyone’s way.
Dinner time, no dinner. Bed time, no bed. Everyone else was standing at the veranda waiting for the car with our diner to arrive. After having tired of the game,we went there as well. Deluge of noise, lights.Climbed up on the railing to look down. Ant people and ant cars, rushing around ant like.
Eki!Namo!What are you’ll doing? Someone shrieked.Obediently,reluctantly,we climbed down.
At night, I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. Pinched myself occasionally to confirm that this was real.
For a day, the adult world had merged with ours.They had done what had to be done,with no fuss, without even thinking of the consequences. And you know what? It turned out allright.It usually does.

Painting

My parents bought a painting off a struggling artist. He would like to take up art as a full time career but circumstances forbid. He has a family to support-wife, child, ailing parents and so he is forced to give art tuition to uninterested brats. For a regular income. His creativity, he rues is getting cramped and perhaps slowly destroyed…
The painting now hangs on our living room wall. It is an eyesore. The canvas, painted a lurid red shows a despairing woman. Her arm looks like a leg of ham and a couple of sickly yellow flowers are sprouting on her head. It symbolizes the life giving power of a woman, he had explained. A moon has also been painted on the red canvas, for aesthetic reasons I believe, there being no other.
In spite of all this, one could have been stirred by some indefinable quality in his work. One is not. He could easily have been gifted, wouldn’t have done anyone any harm. But that he most definitely isn’t.
Whoever is scripting our lives can’t be counted on for kindness.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Khadims showroom on Gariahat Road is finally being pulled down. It was sheer madness to have built it in the first place.
Initially I watched with indifferent curiosity a makeshift construction, on the lines of a puja pandal being built on an important commercial road. Then, to my surprise they slapped an imposing looking wooden fa├žade onto it, complete with a glass door. Through it I saw a wall-to-wall carpet being laid out to cover the crude, uneven floor. In some days they opened it up to the public. The ordinary window shopper once within its carpeted, air-conditioned interior would never suspect its sturdiness. But this bothered me, more than I can tell, and every time I stood at my verandah and noticed the ungainly looking bamboo and asbestos behind the painted front, a vague resentment welled up.
Trade flourished through the summer .A liveried guard was installed at the door. Then it got hotter and hotter until grey clouds started massing in the sky. With the first kal-baishakhi the foundation-less building tottered. I pictured the roof flying off leaving the air conditioner and the guard standing foolishly behind and laughed.
They didnt,off course, when the same thought occurred ,so now its being dismantled. And I, irrationally enough, will miss it. For though an oddity it was rather interesting and one highly representative of our times.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Slaters

Almost Heaven

On close scrutiny,
The backdrop was hand painted
And the haloes were tarnished
The detachment was too complacent
And perhaps a little forced..

But they didn’t know
And we are willing to forget.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Unnamed

I tossed and turned
And timorously said
'maybe..'
to the deaf night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Saffron robe, string of beads, a vacant gaze-he ticked off in his head. The look had been perfected. He was almost genuine now, no one could tell the difference. Or so he feverishly hoped. A meditative pose was hastily adopted as a rather portly man cautiously entered the room. He ran a swift glance over the incense sticks, tarot cards and the other faith-inducing commodities.
“Er...I am Mr. Sudhir Bose. My friend, you know him, Jayanta Bab-”.
“Namashkar”.
“Yes, yes Namashkar.”
“Is this to do with your family?”
“Yes! How did you know?”
The astrologer merely smiled omnisciently.
The man then came and sat in front of him like an obedient schoolboy and fished out a couple of horoscopes from his pocket. Pointing a stubby finger at them he said,
“My son’s and the girl he wants to marry, hers.What do you think?”
He carefully scrutinized it and after a decent interval said the usual thing.Rosy future.It was a time tested principle-happy men pay more.
For a few moments the mans face crumpled in disappointment but then a cunning gleam lit up his eyes.
“Maybe so. maybe so. But you mustn’t write that.”
“Why not? It’s the truth…”
“No no”, he explained patiently, “’You must say that he will be very unhappy with her. I’ll pay you extra for that.”
“But why?”The Guruji asked, omniscient look abandoned, at a complete loss.”
“We don’t want him to marry her that’s why! Why do you need to know so much? I’ve said I’ll pay you ext-”
“You don’t have to. I won’t do this.”
“You won’t?!” he asked, puzzled in turn.
“No and you may leave this place.”
“But wait let me expl-”
“Now.”
It was an unmistakable command and so the man left. Rather flustered and muttering something about exasperating men of principles.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Career Plan

Last evening my parents were having a heated discussion about their tax returns.Accounts,declare,black,white,ULIP,Mediclaim.Gobbledygook.
I hope that when I'm grown up I wont earn enough to have to pay tax.I hope that when I'm grown up I can live like Plath.Alone in a bed sitting room in some random country with complete bastard for a husband.Who writes phenomenal poetry.
Or divorced with two runny nosed children.Hard up.Snatching few hours of aloneness,early in the morning and writing snippets.Furiously leafing through a well thumbed thesaurus to perfect the rhyme till its time to make tiffin.
And walk to work (sub-sub-editor of local womens daily) and back and have aching calves at the end of the day.Have many friends who are interesting because they're so boring and write mean comments on human nature based on them.
Meticulously study Audens style as though it mattered.Conscientiously read Alice In Wonderland each night.
And then one day,just put my head in a gas oven and end it once and for all.Then a great critic will 'discover' me and say that I was brilliant but(sighing tragically) before my time..
I also think that none of this is going to happen.I dont have the figure for tragedy.
In all likelihood I will be an obnoxious Fabindia clad feminist who writes lame reviews in Anondobazar Patrika which nobody reads and quotes from them and thinks she is ever so smart.

Friday, March 14, 2008

adult-like

A hundred years from now
They'll be worrying and waiting
A hundred years from now
They'll be duly contemplating
A hundred years from now
They'll still feel that they're
Skating on thin ice.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Commiseration

The marble tablet
On a weathered grey gravestone
With moss clinging to its crevices
Says deeply lamented.
Sixteen schoolgirls peer closely at it,
Conscientiously read the name
And year of death.
"She was only eighteen when she died,
So sad, no?"
"Ya."

Wind

Harshly wrenches the umbrella from your wet grasp
And laughs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eleanor Rigby,Father Mackenzie

Haughty Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curd and whey
A lonely old spider
Came and sat down beside her
But she hastily scurried away

Thoughts shooting around inside his head
Like the three blind mice
Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
What’s the big surprise.

Hickory dickory dock
The hands moved over the clock
And out came the sun
But then there were none.

Nirvana

Piping hot water beats down on neck and shoulders.Everything around dissolves in a haze of steam.Thoughts shooting around inside my head withdraw,the lazy insistent drumming hushes all other sounds.I concentrate on keeping myself within the circumference of the falling water.
Cautiously I reach out for the mirror and trace clouds on its misted-over surface with a wet fingertip ,which disappear in seconds.

Friday, January 25, 2008

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Today.

Excuse me,
You've had your chance
Its my turn today.

Excuse me,
I've worked very hard
I think I deserve a raise.

Excuse me,
This seat is mine
Hadn't you better vacate?

Excuse me?
Why cheat me sir
I happen to know the fare.

Excuse me.
No,nothing is the matter
I just need my space.

Excuse me...
I'm tired.