Thursday, April 23

Damn this.

I read a very old mail in my mailbox... and i was disturbed. It was a trivial matter , in hindsight ofcourse.

As I read the mail, I relived the conflict. Its anxiety clouded me all over again. And once more, I wanted to run away from the heaviness of it. Hide my self, duck from the unpleasantness of a situation.

I figure I am not able to get started on my book because of this.Needless to say, most of what I write will be about displacement. loss. its implications. and the futility of redemption.Needless to say, it wont be funny or amusing. Loss, never is.

Every time, I go inside myself to bring out the book, the story, the pages, the words, I feel heavy.I feel a strange sense of loss, as though something has gone irrevocably wrong. I dont know what.

I have everything I wanted, Life turned just the way it could have, give or take, some odd moments.I have my space, my life, I know folks who are reconciled to love me, folks who are plain indifferent and folks who would go at lengths to avoid stepping in the same elevator as me, if they had a choice.

If I look around, Life literally came on a platter. (without the dessert)Yet, there is that nagging feeling that life is passing by. and something that should have happened has not.

Does everyone has a foreboding of the shape of things to come? or things that should happen and dont.

I mean sometimes I imagine myself sans the last 10 years.

I actually see a whole life in a cinematic frame that could have been mine. Friends in a small colony in Patna with layers of last 10 years, writ large on their faces.
Marriage, cooking, parenting, taking care of elders ,some of them have grown into strangers, and the moments of knowing are scattered. There was this girl, I knew, as a child, who used to laugh a lot. She has two children now they look far more familiar than she does. Only sometimes, in between tea and lots of nostalgia, the girl surafces, when she laughs loudly, I see the girl I was friends with. She closes her eyes, her face in a cosmic seizure and she regresses. Otherwise, she is a restrained housewife who has to get chores done. You know, I could be her too.

And then sometimes I think about the writer I always wanted to be. My stories would be loved and wept over long after I am gone. I would write about the misery of love, I would taunt those at the struggle of existence. I would lament at the futility of redemption. And then I see the klaiedoscopic existence of a writer. A life of solitude, the loneliness of writing, ofcourse the trappings, a literature fest here, a book reading there, and then many years later, you will see an old lady, sitting by the fireplace, in her large library with Volatire, Pablo & Plath. You know, that lady, could be me.

And then in between all of this, there is this me,with this forbdoing about something that had to happen and didn't. Someone I was to be and I didnt, someone I am, that I dont want to be.

This search for the meaning of life. This unsatiable thirst that refuses to be quenched.Somebody once wrote : Jeevan ek pyaas hai, sabhee ko kuch talaash hain, jinkee talaash main hum umr bhar chale, koi jaanta naheen woh phir kahaan mile.

Saturday, April 18

The Escaped Naxal talks to his brother in US

I heard from you after a long time
You live across the coast now
You are living it big
Making money and
You remember nothing of it

All those talk of revolution
The big words, the small steps
We promised to walk
Till light shone, though
You remember nothing of it

Its not the same anymore
I know it in your voice
Sometimes there’s a spark
the fire’s gone, though
You remember nothing of it

Our brothers called from home
They said the
World was changing
We ought to be home, though
You remember nothing of it

They said there is food
In the kitchen
And sun streams
in our portico, though
You remember nothing of it

Life’s been hard to me
I have to do a job now
Bullets spared the words
And the poets are free, of course
You remember nothing of it

I will wait for you
To live the
“Yes, we can” dream
And come home, though
You remember nothing of it

Wednesday, April 15

People

My brother called
And we got
Talking.
I told him
During our
Brother- Sister
Babble,
Of
One more
Friend
Whose
Marriage
Went berserk.
(It was never
Right to begin with
)

A very bad
Story.

My brother
Heard me
As usual
( Must have
Tilted his head
Dropped it
Like a schoolbag
On one side
Like
He did
When he was
A boy.
Now, he is a
Man.
He pays
The bills.
Runs the
kitchen.)



My brother
Had a
question
Like all brothers
Have.
(They have
a very matter-
Of- fact
Way
Of making
You feel
Nothing
Without your
permission)


My brother
Asked me
Why is it
That all
Your friends
Have stories ?

They are either
Child abused,
Or had parents
Who fought,
And fought.
When they grew
Up, most
Didn’t find
Love
money
Or friends
How come they
Are either
Single
Or divorced
Or better
On the
Couch ?

How come
You only
attract
these
emotional
Midgets?

I told
My brother
The first thing
About people
They are like
An envelope
From
The bank
With a secret
ATM code
You scratch
The surface
And you get
The combination

You can
See the
account balance
hence forth.
The gradual
withdrawals
Of love
Over time
The credit
Of pain
With all
Attempts
The debit
of spirit
Every day.

Its upto
You
If
You want
To know
These
Transactions
Or
You chose
To delude
Yourself
With
The envelope

My brother
Called me a
Peeping Tom
And hung
Up.
( Can I ever
Have the last
Word ?)

Sunday, April 12

The Daughter's burdern ?

Really, I thought, sometimes I would like to have a child. A very wise and witty little girl who'd grow up to be the woman I could never be. A very independent little girl with no scars on the brain or the psyche. With no toadying servility and no ingratiating seductiveness. A little girl who said what she meant and meant what she said. A little girl who was neither bitchy nor mealy-mouthed because she didn't hate her mother or herself.

Erica Jong

Fear of Flying

Thursday, April 9

Status Update

Your blog
Is a good
Way
To get a heads-up
No real reason
Just virtual tabs
It saves me the
Ignominy of sending
A text or a mail
And I don’t
Have to pretend
To be all
Good friends
With your
Buddies
Good- for- nothing
Lousy fellows
The reasons
For the first
Cracks
In our garden
Of Eden
Don’t presume
Anything.
Things like
I miss you.
I do. But
I am done with it.
Not the missing.
The self loathing.
Anyways we
Were on your blog
In any case,
“My attitude”, you said,
“To start off somewhere
And draw it to myself
Sucked.”
Before you left.
But that was that.
I read about you
The ups and the downs
The layers and the loss
On the things you do
And the things you don’t
I know you keep off
The usual places
They don’t find mention
In your blogs.
I know your trying
To date
Your drink buddy’s
Pretty sister.
I am not jealous
I am done with that too.
You wont be
the same you.
I feel sorry for her
She’s dating a residue.

Last week you
Won that big
Sales contract.
You could not hide
The glee
Atleast from me.
You missed several
Punctuation marks
And full stops
In the update.
I know you went out
With the gang
Had few drinks
Smashed few glasses.
What you didn’t write,
Though I read .
Between the lines
Many times
In the pissed drunk night.
You turned to your side
To hug me hard
Happy with life.
And grew silent
To find it empty.

Monday, April 6

Sugar and Salt

The doctor suspects
I have low sugar levels.
Though he does not say it
I believe, he suspects
I lack sweetness too.
I can’t remember
Precisely when
did I run out of
my natural reserves
The drying up
started
The first time
my mother
sat me down
and chatted me
about an unbalanced world
The history
of differentiation
And its scope
I was hurt
My adulthood began
Flagged off
By bitterness
Characteristic
Of those
Marginalized.
I wish she had
Added a footnote
No matter what
Each one got their due
or people still
Loved those
Who didn’t
So every time
I wanted something
Real bad
I scooped
A little
Of my sweetness
Grazed it with
Innocence
And traded
It over the counter
For something
Trivial
The frenzied games
At work, they are
The worst
They suck sweetness
And don’t give
back any.
I fear sometimes
When I will
be old. A
Grandma
With arthritis
And it
would be time
To perform
On bedtime
Stories
Dripping with
Sugar and honey
I will be
A mound of salt.

Black Out

One makes weekend plans
Painstakingly
Meet friends for a movie
Or have dinner probably.
A rushed trip to the gym
Is all it takes
To seal a responsible
Balanced week.
Exercise. Massage.
And a thud in the shower.
A heavily gymmed
Over steamed
Dry heat sluiced
body fell
on the floor
I missed few anxious
Seconds.
Of my life.
When I lay sprawled
On the floor
Parts of my life
Played by others
(or was it theirs ?)
I was shaken
Vigorously.
Called several times.
Fussed over.
I struggled back
To my world.
Regained vision
In halted seconds.
Door, shower
Faces
A towel tossed
Aimlessly on the
Floor.
More faces.
Some strange
Some familiar
I gained
Back
My parallel world
Thoughts, memories
Imagination
Images of my uncle
In epileptic seizure
Flashed past me.
Thank god,
I had a blackout.
It could have been worse.