Thursday, April 29, 2010


Autumn: the season of bounteous fecundity and mellow fruitfulness, of the drizzle of amber leaves, of moments that stand suspended in mid air, languidly holding up its hand to the impatient summons of monotonous time, of Wordsworth’s figure of a solitary reaper and the silent swish of her scythe cutting through the heavy afternoon air in one fluid motion.

Of the sedate ochre, hiding, almost apologetically, in deeper folds of its fabric, a fiery dash of scarlet reds, incandescent oranges and a sliver of fuchsia thrown in as if on an afterthought, like the glowing embers of a cosy little fire that has curled up with the approaching dusk.

Of murmuring brooks that sigh contentedly, to no one in particular, as they meander to nowhere in particular singing a nonchalant lullaby and despite protestations, gently tucking in and putting the more tempestuous summer to sleep.

Of cobbled thoroughfares and the familiar crackle of leaves under early morning footsteps.

Of eternity tucked into a moment, a moment that lasts for all eternity.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To my Valentine

Considering my recent posts havent been any good, I thought this one of my recent favorites should be up there at the top till I come up with something better.

Blame it on the mellow season or the inevitability of my approaching flight from the confines of this place, on the propitious date that shall be upon us in a matter of days or on the bounteous moon that is shining with more than its usual fervor tonight. But in indicting them for the genesis of this letter , you will be gravely mistaken. For the instigation of this communique lies deeper in the mists of time, the mists that part deferentially under the intensity of your radiance so very often, yet so much darker, dreary and desolate for the rarity with which your countenance has been kind enough to exhilarate those who pine for that one glimpse of the face, the face that, a millennium ago, could have set sail a thousand ships. I do not profess to be an authority on romantic magniloquence but I could, in that first fleeting meeting of the eyes, Oh those eyes!, I could understand the helplessness that Byron envisaged when he wrote those immortal lines:

Thus much and more, and yet thou lov'st me not,
And never wilt, Love dwells not in our will
Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot
To strongly, wrongly, vainly, love thee still.

And ever since that one propinquitous moment, it has been impossible to restrain the flights of imagination, extraordinarily vivid in all their brilliance during promenades through the copper-hued drizzle of dried leaves, transmuting into something so surreal when you breeze in silently as I make my way past the crossroads, the lonely forlorn figure trudging through the white clouds hanging from the tranquil boughs above. And even as I walk ,engaged as I am, in the oft repeated and severely practiced conversations, all confessing to the irreversible enchantment , some professing undying love , the fraction that is still grounded in physical reality bitterly yearns for that elusive next encounter that providence has planned for us. The impulsive thought of forcing its hands has, not infrequently, crept up on the bleak, tempestuous horizon but as often slinks back just as it seems that the sun will finally come out. The perennial winter that I find myself in, though, is not ungrateful in this state of limbo, for the ethereal promise manifested in you. And you seem to be an enigma too pure and divine to desecrate. Better to pay unilateral obeisance to the flawlessness of the deity than to drag her into the dirt of human existence as a mortal being.

And so have I fallen , as is said colloquially, truly madly deeply in love. Not with you. The pedestal on which you are is as forbidding as the figure in repose on it is alluring. But an idea of you.

And this letter is addressed to that idea.

Yours ensorcelled,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Birthday Poems

I dug this out from my archives, two poems I had written for the birthdays of my Mom and my elder sister a couple of years back. Stumbled across them on my CSE Lab computer. Thought I should make this public and I dearly hope they wont mind. In fact, I am pretty sure they have forgotten about this already :D

To Dear Deedee,
I’m wishing you another year
Of laughter, joy and fun,
Surprises, love and happiness,
And when your birthday’s done,

I hope you feel deep in your heart,
As your birthdays come and go,
How very much you mean to me,
More than you can know.

my sister happy birthday dear
awake arise for comes along
another beautiful year!
of lots of studies and com-med classis 
and gold medals and rock show backstage passes
and treats and lovely chopsuey to eat (Manipal :awesome food joints)
and every other day deadlines to beat

and stop not here for u lead
a rocking pay no heed
and enjoy this life to the hilt
spike ur haiir, and wear a kilt
and dance like an oaf on the mess table
and roll in the mud in the horses' stable
for your lovely countenance to grace this earth
we are blessed by God himself[and say i not this in mirth]

our very own little doctor madam
with a cute telescope,i beg ur pardon
for tis a stethocope that hangs around
that dainty neck on her Rounds
round the hospital she goes around
and diagnoses ailments to confound
her sorry profs ,they've got no clue
what this sweetheart can do

for behold all ye poeple
she is both beauty and brain
though how am i going to
marry her off it ain't certain

Notes: (Com-med= Community medicine, hated among medical students, almost like Moral Science in SChool)

I now think that I shouldnt upload the one for my mom. Might not be in my best interest. :) :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Abhi na jaao chod kar

He looks at the watch. 7:45 am. The calendar. It’s the family’s vacation in Bali they had taken in June, exactly one year earlier. He smiles wistfully at the picture of his wife sitting on the golden sands, her hands trying to vainly avert the splash of a wave, beautifully blue under the radiant sun while his daughter, perched on her shoulders, is screaming out of sheer delight and fear. He looks out of his window and tries to , as he did every day since they moved in, in their new 4 bedroom penthouse on top of the city’s highest residential complex, he tries to absorb the sight of the city slowly coming alive. He tries hard to listen to the bustle of the 540 that should be coming along, anytime now, to ferry another platoon of suited up men and women to their workplaces but remembers he is too far away from it now.
Reverting his gaze, he absentmindedly flips open the newspapers and tries to make out the fine print of an array of figures spread out on the centrefold. But his attention wanders and his sight relaxes until his pupils indicate that he is looking not at the gramophone that sits right in the direction his eyes are pointing to but at something else, the past ,the future, the day ahead in office perhaps, we will never know.

“Abhi na jao chod kar ki dil abhi bharaa nahi”

The reverie is broken. The old gramophone, the last remaining possession of his mother, comes to life and he, sitting at the table, turns slightly to see his daughter put on the record. The tip of the needle plays out a melody he had not heard in a long long time. His daughter, like the forest nymph that she was, smiles mischievously in his general direction although their eyes haven’t met yet. She is still in her night clothes, a dazzlingly white summer frock, barely embellished with designs yet looking like an extravagant diamond as some errant beams of sunlight freed themselves from the billowing folds of the window shades and alighted on it.
And then, she starts to dance.
With an imaginary partner at her arms, she twirls gracefully with the rising cadence of the song, the frills of her simple frock following her every movement. With a gesture and that same smile playing on her childish face, she silently beckons him to join her even as her bare toes execute adorable gyrations on the rug-covered floor. She is glittering like the moon, and he feels the sun lose its intensity. He goes over to her and takes her arm. She has her arm on his waist and his hand rests lightly on her left shoulder. By his other, he clasps her tiny, delicate hands and they continue dancing, an incongruous sight to behold. As the song reaches its final crescendo
He looks around and he sees himself on a rickety old bus throttling along MG Road. He looks outside the windows and immediately catches a speck in the eye. The sudden blip catches him unawares and he frantically tries to get it out. And then he feels her hand on his fingers and time slows down. He squints through the blur to catch sight of her lush hair playing truant on her face even as she tries to give them a semblance of order. Taking his face in her hands, she gently upturns his face and with a zephyr of magic , rids him of the speck of dust lodged in his eye. The soft breeze of the evening is mildly accentuated by the unhurried gait of the bus on this long bare stretch of road. The overhead lights pass them in a staccato of alternating darkness and light, sometimes flickering with an unrequited passion quite unlike them under the ethereal shower of silver. The palette of the moment, this intermingling of silver with speckles of gold dust strewn and suspended in mid air is, however, paid no attention to by either of them. For them, the world has contracted into the black texture-less background of nothingness as their eyes drink the other in, in large gulps of that something which the dictionary so foolishly calls, love.
Which is surprising, the directness of the unbroken gaze, the smallest hint of a smile flickering at the edges of their eyes, eyes that had first met each other 3 months ago in the most incoherent of places, in a quaint little shop of old records, up a flight of stairs at the back of an odds-and-ends leather goods shop in Chandni Chowk. They had met again in a cozy old establishment off CP, Wengers , and continued over a chocolate shake in Keventers. And again, every week, sometimes in the Crosswords lounge, anon impulsively under her one storey balcony with the understanding, benevolent approval of her sister.

He can feel her tear herself away as the empty bus stops come and go. The conductor, sensing another day rapidly approaching its end, removes his vintage radio from under his seat and tunes in to the late night station on All India Radio. After a few seconds of white noise and intermittent, indecipherable chatter, it breaks out, thin, reedy but unmistakable

“Abhi abhi to aaye ho, bahaar ban ke chhaye ho...”

It was their old favourite and they smile involuntarily at the timing of the song. His eyes see longingly into hers and his lament echoes the tunes of the song. She replies but not in words. She takes his hands into her own and they both rise. She stumbles but he is quick to pull her close, keep her safe. The bus slows down for another stop and then they start to dance on the most bizarre of dance floors. The aisle isn’t very liberal in space but they swing back and forth lightly, tightly pressed against each other, comfortable in their own world. Another pothole throws her off balance but he absorbs the movement and the next instant finds her half reclining on a seat, with his strong hands balancing her in a perfect waltz pose. She laughs, throwing her face backwards, her luxuriant locks following suit and he lands a light peck on her bare neck. That very instant, he feels insanely happy. He doesn’t want the bus to stop. He wants it to move on forever, never reaching its destination, ever. He is happy and so is she.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good Morning. My name is Russell.

i thought the shoes were immensely cute. unfortunately there was too much detail in the wallpaper to replicate in 2D(and withtout colors too, the red that u see was my spare diwali candle) without cluttering :( :(
the scale is arnd 3 feet on my wall.
this is the original.

a bit better than the earlier version(photoshopped)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



“Arjun Singh will be the end of us all. The new reservation act is outrageous. The nerve of the man to give away half the seats for free to people who, I daresay, haven’t done half a days’ honest work in their lives, counting on some such half-assed scheme to pull them out of the ditch they have dug themselves into. Do you think giving free sops to the so called “disadvantaged sections” will solve the problem one whit? I don’t . Listen, I do not deny that the government has its heart at the right place but have they given a thought about the thousands of talented candidates who are burning the midnight oil in far off towns and cities, studying incessantly for dreams that are being handed on a silver platter to the less than deserving ones who wont even work for it, secure in the knowledge of the selective bias they enjoy? ”
“Yeah, dude, I totally agree with you...And do you think its cheap being a high class Bramhin who wants to buy in to the IIT dream? My nephew, I swear, is working 16 hours a day in Kota a thousand kilometres away from his parents who have paid 57,000 rupees for the best coaching institute in India.  I hear it gets so hot, he can’t even get by without the cooler, they have had installed, not to mention the tasteless hostel food he gets there. Talk about hardships! Hah! Can you imagine two consecutive years of that added to the breathless pace of instruction, unebbing flow of mock tests every two days and peer pressure there is! These SCs and OBCs have got it so easy. Not an ounce of respect for merit. If they had any self respect, they would denounce the government policies or at the very least, compete in the general category on equal terms. Why hide behind some half cracked legislation? If somebody offered me a shortcut that denigrated me further as ‘backward’ I would spit on the face of that bastard!”
“But what about history, man! They haven’t had it so easy, you know. You read these articles of how , post independence, they were yet to get freedom from higher class oppression, that in the rural areas, there were areas, occasions even meetings they couldn’t go to. I think it’s justified if we are giving them back a semblance of respect and authority allowing them...”
“Bullshit! That was 60 years ago. They have developed enough on our expense. And to just say something about the state of affairs this wanton reservations have brought the country to, I should tell you about my father’s office scenario. He is in the Public Works department . Only the other day, the new promotion lists came out and guess what? They overlooked my dad’s 20 years of service to give the post, the post my dad had been in line for 5 years, to one of your ‘backwards’ who is 5 years his junior. And now, he has to report to the corrupt bastard. And he is eating through government funds like a starved beggar in a 5 star bouquet. No wonder the country is going to the dogs!”

“You heard about Dr Sharma’s daughter. Yes, the one who was doing a diploma course in Delhi. In Mass Communication I think. I received an invitation to her wedding in today’s mail in the office. Such a bright, beautiful girl too. I had already asked Mishraji from the office to drop hints that we are interested in her for our Manu. And the next thing I hear , she is going to get married to this Siddharth. But I knew there was something wrong immediately, because I had heard from Mishra that he too was quite eager towards our Manu. After all, he has an MBA and a job in Bangalore. Who wouldn’t want his daughter to get married to such a gem! So I had inquiries made. And lo, I was correct all along. It’s not an actual arranged marriage, it’s just a blatant cover-up for a love marriage.”
“What! Really? Sonal is having a love marriage! I tell you it’s these new fangled ‘modern’ notion of independence and freedom that is getting to these youngsters’ heads.”
Arre... thats not all. You see , in that heavily embossed invitation card of theirs, they have very conveniently missed the groom’s title as well as the names of the parents of the groom. I found out from Sonal’s uncle-in law, yes, Sahoo ji from NTPC that the boy is a Paswan, no less. And the girl’s family is mighty incensed with this too. Except for the father who is standing up for this unholy reunion. Marrying out of her caste. This is what happens when you let young blood loose, they take your kindness to be your weakness. I don’t have anything against love marriages, after all we all live in enlightened times, but what next? Marrying off girls from our family to muslims! Christians! “
“Dad. Seriously man! Where are you from? 1900? It’s time you guys started becoming more progressive and less narrowminded. The girl obviously loves him and thats what matters. Not which caste or religion he belongs to. And he has a good government job and his dad too is MD in Coal India so he is financially secure enough and has a good family background. I don’t see what is there to be so critical about? I have half a mind to go marry a muslim girl. You would like that, wouldn’t you? There is this girl in our course, Asmin. Very cute and a very well read. I think I am in love with her. Even took her out for a ride on our new Honda Civic. She was totally floored.”
“Nonsense! I have seen my fair share of this “inter caste openness” and trust me , it doesn’t work. Tell him, only last month one of these love marriages met disaster when a child was still born. The father was crushed to see his daughter suffer while that bastard Yadav son-in-law stood by. And just the other day, I heard of another inter-religion marriage go kaput. The muslim bride divorced her husband after 6 months accusing her in-laws of coercing her to change her religion. I am not justifying the in-laws. Just that she should have understood the sensibilities of society before deciding on such a union.  It’s not like we didn’t have love in our times. But we made sure that we remained in our own groups and if any one had liaisons with anyone else, they usually met their parent’s approval without much haggling. But today, no concern for parents. Such ungratefulness. Always these kids forget that we think the best for them. Well, I hope Dr Sharma isn’t paying any dowry for a son-in-law like that. That would be a bad deal going worse. Hah! And don’t you dare marry into a Muslim family. Cute or not, I won’t have any burqaas in my house.”
“Chill Dad! Just pulling your leg.... Or, maybe not!”

“When are we going back home, dad? I am already fed up to my gills with the ‘serene calmness’ of this backwater village besides having had enough of defecating in the open. My IPod has ran out of charge and my laptop cannot make it through another one of the ever- lasting power cuts. I am sure your yearly accounting of the jameen’s produce and incomes is complete so lets get out of here. I know Mom would be ecstatic to use her microwave after an eternity. Her face is half soot covered with the makeshift wood stove.”
“Ha ha. Good for her. Let her see what life in villages is like. She has had enough of hairdressers and chauffeur driven cars. I should be done in another couple of days. There is this problem that has cropped up with the Gram Pradhan with regards to the water canal system the district administration is putting up in the village this year. They are taking it out from the Son about 3 kilometers upstream from here and man! We can’t wait to get it going.  Should push up produce threefold in its first year , is the most conservative estimate we have.”
“So, what is the problem? More profits for you? What is to be worried about?”
“The Pradhan is the freakin’ problem. Apparently, he is in cohorts with the District Commissioner and he is going ahead with the plan that would leave around a third of our land too far away from the main canal to be of any use.  And that , despite us being the largest landowner of this village. I thought after my father’s land ownerships would get curtailed after that blasphemous Land Ceiling Act in  1954 , nothing could top the shame and ignominy of getting your land take away from you. But no Sir, I spoke too soon. This Pasi Pradhan, who is strutting around like a peacock with the DM in his pocket, his father once worked as a clerk for my father and it was his large heartedness to allow him and his kid inside the house premises and eat the same food with us. And today, that kid has grown up and refuses to let the canal flow through my lands. Instead, he is hiding behind ‘community welfare’ and ‘maximum utility’ fundas to stifle my progress. He has always been jealous and see him now, a government servant . And all that talk about unbiasedness during election campaigns. Hogwash! Its obvious he is trying to get the canal through the lands his people own and till. Who made him the representative, anyways! Perhaps it was better in  the days before when such people weren’t pulling you d Take your cousin ,Kishan here. Remember him? You two played together during your summer vacations 5-6 years back. He hasn’t inherited any land from his drunken father all of which went in paying debt and now he does odd jobs for the family here. Even the others from the Pasi groups are punching above their weight. I like to take care of people here and I offered one of them to come and tend the house , help around with kitchen work , cleaning etc but the nerve! He refused the more than generous pay and decided to go to Patna to try his luck there. Will probably starve to death there, without any work. Serve him right, if he does. They just don’t see what is good for them.
Aah! Pradhan Ji. Please, come on in. Kishan, nimboo sherbet lao Pradhan ji ke liye, ekdum thandaa. So , Pradhan babu! A visit to the Gareebkhana! How is that?”
“Nothing much, Lalaji. No need for the sherbet, please. I am good. Just wanted to discuss your apprehensions about the new plans. I was very anxious to answer them since you are such a respected figure of this village and I wouldn’t wish to get this project on ...."

Now , more than ever, I need feedback :)