Sunday, November 6, 2011

Those Books and Songs...

Making books, music plugged into my ear drums drowns out the reality of it. Thinking of the squirrels in the park today afternoon... chewing on sweet vermilion flowers and left over crumbs in between. Somehow, the same , me and them.

Afraid to sit still for a moment, have to keep fidgeting, lest a predator come and take out our warm little lives.

Books that talk about .. one - the delhi durbar - how when the foreign king and queen wanted to exhibit their power over our land, they borrowed our own traditions of a grand coronation and large acres of land were cleared for this purpose... an excerpt from the book; " when farmers were found continuing to work in fields even a month after the official gazette notification, the assistant quarter master of the Coronation Durbar committee demanded that strict instructions be made 'prohibiting ploughing'.... Resentment if any was not recorded".

Another book is about Formula one racing coming to India, pictures of celebrities posing around race cars, fat expensive wallets and scantily clad women in hand grace the pages. The race track for this was built on farm land must have been ploughed perhaps a few months back....I have been reading the gazette... resentment if any has not been recorded.

Listening to Indian Ocean... the Indian rock band that blends Indian folk songs into a western beat... the veena merges with western percussion... songs that come from the heart and soul of a country crying for what once was.. but now mere nostalgia... songs... and books that make you want to cry.

Friday, June 18, 2010

floating underwater

There are a lot of times, you're feeling life's got that sucker punch into you,

You were ready for this, the strategies were planned, the blue print was made, "bring it on" you said,
you'd taken the deep breaths quietly in front your bathroom mirror...

But then it happens, one by one, the defenders surround you, your heroic visualizations are drowned out by a fury of events, selfishness, inglorious deeds and sometimes, just plain circumstances... unexplained 'karma'.

What am i going on about? Just that even in the bleakest of life's moments, we just need to realize whats truly beautiful is not what may be immediately within our reach, and theres always the feeling of drowning, but you can choose ... to see the beauty even as you drown ...

floating underwater

by ~felinedev

Once again, a place i've been before...
hard to breathe,
thoughts run past single file,
barely pausing to cause a tremor,
gasping for air... but forcing a smile...

Warmth one wishes for,
warmth one had... for a fleeting instance,
trickles now only as droplets of memory..
deep inside, they had touched you,
but that was once...

The good book and all that,
Holy verses and flowing beards,
all at this moment,
merely diktat

The cynics will always whine,
cowards will fleece you fine,
shallow beauty in vain will infinitely pine...

But from here,
under the water pristine,
with one last breath..
and a smile....
the sun will always shine.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rose in a vase of others

"But he that dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose." - Anne Bronte

Its been a long time since I've written here, i cant explain it away,
a sense of losing it,
not being a part of anythin ..
anythin real..

Well, theres a lot i've been wanting to put down for a while,
but i also realised most of it would have to mean starting a new blog as this ones become somewhat personal to me... like one of those journals we keep for those really special moments,hidden away in your closet, you remember it only when you cant hold stuff inside you for very long...

So, oh well... hmmm.. yeah, whatever works huh, for that occasional doze of sanity...

The rose has been a favorite flower of poets since poetry began. Maybe it's because like a poem, a rose can say so much without saying much at all. The soft silky feel of a fresh rose petal evokes tenderness; the fragrant scent of a fresh spring rose brings refreshment; the vibrant colors of red, pink, peach, purple, orange, yellow, and white roses remind us of the dazzling beauty of creation; and getting pricked by a thorn causes pain. Roses are a reflection of life.

I wrote this while staring at the rose on my table, she was so beautiful just a week ago, pink and flushed and beautiful... but suddenly she's wilted and yet looks strangely so beautiful even in her death... and the flowers put in with her are thriving now, and must say, they are strikingly beautiful in their own right!

But that got me thinking, some women are so strong... no, not olympic weight lifting strong, but strong from the inside, you know? Of course every woman is special, but some I have gotten to know have held their head high and through many a tribulation... they are young, they are holding their own and in a world where not many stop to take off their coats and spread them out in a puddle in front of them... if you know what I mean.

The world is not always fair to them and they often do more than they should to keep those around them happy but they do it all with a smile, a smile that doesn't reveal a morsel of discomfort. But thats what makes them so special, their fortitude.

Somehow, nothing shows, only their smile and strength shines through every time. But what do you know, this maybe their very undoing, people take that resolve for granted, its as if they were custom made boxing bags, little do they realize, the pain they cause, the hurt they confer, for these special roses know where their true beauty lies... and its not in the praises and the adorations, that lies their encouragement, for that they know, yes, theres nothing wrong in knowing either, God made you beautiful...

But its the real beauty that they would like to be recognized, if for a moment.

Rose in a vase of others.

Resplendent beauty ablaze in red...
bathed in scent queens long for,
she looks to the sky for to befit her gaze ,
no others on earth yet tread...

the swinging and sashaying envy her,
disguised by exclamations,
kisses fly and adorations beguile,
praises non fail to confer...

little they realize,
the pain in her rise,
the thorns she must bear...
for the beauty that is her prize,

Alas, as they stare,
Her soul do they hold bare,
her fragile heart is drying,

she shrivels at last,
in death she bows ..
but never to her foes,

Indeed its worth
to live every moment trying...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shakespeare in love

"My love's more richer than my tongue". King Lear Quote (Act I, Scene I).
   There is a Shakespeare in all of us i like to believe! Well, i often quote him in my posts and maybe i have not studied Shakespeare as avidly as a student of literature but i do love his writing for the simple reason it speaks to the common man, speaks to the lover, knight, romantic inside all of us, speaks to the heart and even to the soul. 
   The movie "shakespeare in love" released in 1998 directed by John Madden ,The film centres around the forbidden love of William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and a noble woman, Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow).  It is one of my all time favorites for its originality and romance, the way it depicts the bard not as a bald face we are accustomed to see but a young man revelling in love, drunk by it's intoxicating effect, knowing not else to do, but express it with complete lack of inhibition. A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. 
   Well, my post is not about the movie,though i recommend you watch it for its all in all awesomeness ;-) and you can read the full review on imdb (
     Shakespearean quotations such as "To be, or not to be" and "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" form some of literature's most celebrated lines and if asked to recite one of Shakespeare's most famous quotations the majority of people would choose one of these.
    However, many expressions that we use every day originated in Shakespeare's plays. We use the Bard's words all of the time in everyday speech, however, we are often totally unaware that we are 'borrowing' sayings from his work! Will Shake-speare is attributed with writing 38 plays, Famous Shakespearean sonnets and 5 other poems and used about 21,000 different words. Shake-speare is credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with the introduction of nearly 3,000 words into the language. It's no wonder that expressions from his works are an 'anonymous' part of the English language.
   I often try and imitate Shakespeare when having fun with friends and indeed, i realised something that inspired me to write this: that his words come in moments of absolute inspiration.. and i realised also what this must have meant, to be in such a state of inspiration to be the most prolific play wright ever... but i do have my moments and to speak in the Shakepearean way has turned out many an emotion in me... only they appear as sms or chats and i seldom save them... but today morning, while online with a fellow Shakespearean... my dear friend, class mate and elder brother, Mohammed Ansar , we eneded up having one of those moments... 
Mohammed: gm
how thee 
me: Gud goes thee day n how art thou dear sir
Mohammed: verily the days cometh and goeth, not the gifts bestowed unto thine soul,they are but here to stay
me: indeed , how right u speak! but alas!...if only the gifts i wud see and others too :-( !
Mohammed: weep not in thy face and rebuke not thine deeds, O mortal flesh for the wretched alone speaketh of their misery nefore their glorious end written in gold and drunk with the wine of victory
me: yes... there may be a day wen amn is defeated.. but tis not dis day! 
am defeated *
Mohammed: have it then that you fall with a smile on your face than a stone in thy heart, for these are the acts of the great knights who stood for what they deared
me: hmmm.. bringeth that dragon before me so i may lay him down and a hundred others with a swipe of my sword aa=light in lady loves light!
Mohammed: bring forth then those dragons that i may slay them with my sword that they fade them into the mist of memories. And bring forth the maiden with golden locks for whose love have i tarried the wrath of the desert and the test of many moons 
me: just as the flame that burneth in my heart shall the blade in my hands reflect .... blinding every evil that may foresee in this world and yore
Mohammed: good one 
me: :-)
Mohammed: verily i say unto you, thy words shall live yonder than any mare that has dared the perils of the morrow
me: yet, is it not a shoulder to rest on and a hand to wipe our face hardened by the mud of many a battle field , the dust of dreaded desert crossings, blood of our inner villains slain encrusted on our brows... yet... isnt that all we really seek.. sigh
Mohammed: tarry on young soldier, it is thy destiny that ye may fight those fiercest battles that none dream to triumph. yet it is thy destiny that ye may fight and not seek more than what your blind eyes may behold
me: hmm.. tis de sorrow.. tis de sorrow
Mohammed: tarry on tarry on 
ask not more than what you already recieve from the world 
me: that is prophetic i tell u . wat i need to hear
with a flick of my whip that gets heavier surprisingly, i shall tarry on , the dark n weary steed my only companion, twas like sipping from an urn of sweet wisdom, ur mighty branches to rest beneath, but fr a wink, wel, into the darkness , i set forth, hopefully, the dame of luck shall send me to u yet again.. take care
Mohammed: let not the flame of hope die in you
   Indeed, we may not be playwrights anymore, but not only his style but his words live on.. and that is the true mark of an artist. inspiring and even giving answers to life's questions.. mostly, by just showing us that the answers are within us.

"Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest". -Shakepeares' King Lear( Quote Act I, Scene IV).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Death and rebirth every 23rd of November, The present in sepia tones.

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life." 
Every 23rd of November, its time to remember. Calls from near and dear ones wake me up at 12 am, "Happy Birthday!" , E-cards remind me even more of how much people care from across the seas..., they are all well meaning and I have to say, it shames me of how many people are actually so caring to remember me when I hardly remember anybody's birthdays! Yes, its a confession of sorts, I am horrible at remembering birth days!... wait, make that horrible at remembering anything!
But how i wish i could forget...
Its strange and unsocial, i like to be alone on my birthday, getting out weakens my resolve, my resolve to forget, what am i going on about? It was the day i was born and like one of my best friends reminded me "Todays ur day!... grab it by both hands!" but yet, i miss ... what it feels like , just for a moment's touch i would give all the birthdays gone and yet to come. Since the only first 2 years of my life I got to spend with her, Only a picture in her arms shows me ... what happiness feels like and that i felt it once... true happiness. Its been long since I have forgotten. 
Yet , its unfair, all the cliched quotes tell me so ... "make the most of today" ... " live in the present" ... " past is a story told... let the future be written in gold" i know brother, i know. Just that this is me, just like you are you. Let me be, let me revel in sorrow today, for the present will never leave me tomorrow. Yes, vagueness and absurdity ... just like the lines You read right now, but is it a way of reconciliaton, maybe commune with a different realm, or maybe its all in my head huh?! I have written about that in "the triumph of death" so i wont go into that territory again, but again its my day of absurdity right?!
All this sensitivity leaves me a bad sport on birthdays, when friends and family expect you to be happy and celebrate their presence in your life and vice-versa. I know it may sound a little more than crazy, yet when i am around others on my birthday, I sulk!, literally! its so much easier to sound cheerful over the phone! Lucky my family aint around me to see that this year! Ah! well, but my friends didnt let that get in the way, I got a beautiful leather bound journal to pen down my thoughts and a cactus plant! Yes, as metaphorical as it may sound, it is held in a flower pot made by handicapped children which makes it all the more special! ..its true and its so beautiful, heres, a picture of it sitting on my brand new leather journal ! 
Also, i see the world around me on my birthday and in India its easier to see the sufferring poor and children working than anywhere in the world i think, one doesnt have to go far to see our rich - poor divide, so glaringly obvious in every traffic light with children begging in torn clothes...
But thats a different sob story. Lets stick to mine, its my day after all !

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Terror as i know it.

Ironically, This weekend ended with a blast. My friends and I partied hard on Friday night, till dawn at 'Elevate', a popular night club with the all too popular DJ Nikhil Chinnapa keeping us on our toes with electrifying techno music... on Saturday , we were mixing business with pleasure, a market survey assignment in the plaza..... then came the blast part... 5 bomb blasts occured in busy shopping areas in different parts of Delhi, 30 people dead many more injured...

This is just my 3rd month in Delhi, down south in good ol' Chennai, there were no bombs, except crackers on Diwali...i used to complain bout the noise, now i think it was heaven. No body's venturing out today, the city is on red alert. I am hibernating too, holed in my room i feel safe but uneasy.  

What forces these individuals to do this, Imagine the hate in their systems, that they do not feel any sense of love and brotherhood, how frustrated their lives should be, or rather , how frustrated their emotions should be, God!

Frustration, not only the attackers, but the political system that's supposed to make decisions is frustrated, reading investigations about the attacks leaves one with an increasing disenchantment with the way this country is being run, it just seems to me like one big noisy circus, a free for all, no system or order,  this reflects the way the same bomb blasts keep happenning year after year, its almost like a ritual tradition for the terrorists, we fire crackers during festive seaon, they do the same...

Where is the freedom when you are too scared to go out into a market, the terrorists succeed in continuing the hate when they instil fear, "where there is fear , there is no love"

Yet, the christian in me tells me to forgive, "God , forgive them , for they know not what they are doing" werent these Christ's words while being crucified on the cross? If i dont forgive them, if we dont forgive, it just becomes a vicious cycle, the killing continues, its a tough ask that may not make sense but its the right choice.

And besides, it would be the more sane choice not to be afraid, to be afraid would only make us weak... I have a friend whom i turn to in these moments of fear in me, a friend who shares the love of Christ selflessly, when i heard these words from her, it gave me strength and hope, i hope it makes sense to you too:

"Have i not commanded you to be strong and courageous, God will be with you wherever you go'- Joshua 1:9

If we have faith, no weapon made against us will prosper.

"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is."--- German Proverb

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Independent in the Capital

"Capital Independence!" I like to call it!...not just because its my first independence day in Delhi, but also its the first time I find myself staying away from home on independence day. My memories consist mostly of speeches during school parade, flag hoisting, watching celebrations on tv , even long back and a long distance away in Africa when I would wake up early with my ex-navy father to watch the flag hoisting on Doordarshan...yeah, we get it in Uganda too!

Yet, why do I feel strangely uneasy about the actual independent India i am in, is it because we've been fed on ideoligies that are long dead and gone?...the freedom struggle, silent resistance, equality for all???

As much as I should be feeling over awed to finally be in my beloved country's capital, it is ironic that, the hypocrisy of the term independent India hits me hard more so when I am here. Why is the caste divide so evident even in the Capital of my magnificent country, why do some people stick to menial jobs for generations, why do some people think they are too evolved to smile at the common folk?

August 15th was spent mostly indoors, with the blasts in Surat and Ahmedabad, most people preferred the safe , hazy hallucination of their tv sets inside locked doors.

With freedom comes responsibilty, well said, but hardly practiced, this independence day, i took a walk in the evening, from my room through the nearby deer park and around Hauz Khas village.

As I stepped out, it was amazing to see the tri-colored kites dotting the sky, I was happy....but that was shortlived, I soon happened upon a common sight in our streets, a human scavenger, next to a garbage bin, he looked like he had found the days meal. I could'nt help but feel a pang of guilt,I looked down at my nike sneakers... and tried to justify it ..."survival of the fittest..devan"...I said to myself...sure, I know, the argument goes that our government has more than enough schemes for the underpreveliged, we have ways of helping them, sure.

But, my mind wandered... I happened on a newstand, a state minister was on the covers, apparently, she requires a neighbourhood golf course as a helipad....hmm....wonder if the people who vote for such politicians are to blame more than the politicians themselves...disinterested and now feeling slightly less euphoric about my new found independence... I decided to go into the naked ruins of the Hauz Khas fort, probably antiquity and the surrounding nature would surely cure my increasing disenchantment.

Walking through the deer park, it was great to see the magnificent males with branching antlers walk without a care as meek females gracefully roamed with a few playful fawns jumping about..., no politics, no poverty, no discrimination, in the animal world, there is an invisible sense of togetherness, of community...I picked up a bunch of grass and passed it through the wire fence to a more friendly young deer, he was hesitant but eventually took the leaves and munched he turned for more, the barbed wire grazed his nose and he lept away , the fencing around the deer enclosure was now more evident to me, such graceful animals, surviving ...but in captivity...I walked on..

The ruins of the forts in Delhi are always time warping, they take me to another world, where lines from William Dalrymple's "The last Mughal" come alive, I imagine servants hurrying about, serving elegant princes getting ready for a hunting expedition, walking through the maze of massive brick walls and dark corridors alone takes you into another dimension...turning a corner, I bumped into an embarrassed couple, unable to withhold the taste of un-supervised togetherness,after all, stolen kisses are the sweetest they say...independent India, the nation was busy indeed today...

Outside , in the park surrounding the huge "royal tank" built by Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316) who excavated a large water body here for the use of the inhabitants of Siri, the nature was comforting, till i saw a little boy, selling sweets...probably a school holiday for him today I thought...I hoped....

I could see a broken kite next to him, with the tri-colors on it.