Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Days, nights, and the times in between

As the wind hums its free-spirited song
Overcast skies and the moist soil
Freeze the frame in a fragrant picture of bliss
When nature washes its world clean
As the morning spreads it warm colours of life
Or the poignant evening scents cast their shadow
I sit by the window, thinking of you
Wishing you were here, sitting next to me

Bright golden beginnings come day after day
Seasons flutter past in happy and frenzied frolic
Time stretches in a sensuous wait
The sunshine mellows and blossoms spurt their new hues
On branches, resembling light from a prism
When the bees buzz in my garden
I tread barefoot past these tiny rainbows, thinking of you
Wishing you were holding my hand as we walked together

The seductive blackness of the night takes over
Dreams beckon, calling me to a far-off happy land
Glimmering stars spot the skies, glittering fireflies light the porch
The thickness of darkened silence is everywhere
An intoxicating fulfillment trickles down my veins
And I give in and melt into a pleasured heap
I stare into the candlelight, thinking of you
Wishing you were here as we felt the love in each other

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The promise

In those rare hours of fitful sleep
I turn over to rest my head on that warm shoulder
To match the rhythm of my breathing
With the rise and fall of his
The cold emptiness opens its arms to me instead
The voice that brightens the corners of my heart
The ones I emptied to make space
For memories of you and me
And which still lie half-empty
Waiting for more to make their way in
The voice that makes me smile very so often,
With that gentle teasing, the occasional loving bullying
And words to comfort me when I am oft so low
The voice that brings to me without fail
Pristine sunshine streaming down that bright glowing orb
Even through hail, sleet, mist and snow
That voice I still wait for
The footsteps I still strain to hear
Peeking from right behind the corner
Making me wait, but telling me all the same
"It'll be worth the wait, you see."

Monday, August 08, 2011


Three hundred and seventy-three days
And mere few hours ago
I had shed that first tear.
I hadn't meant to let her go.
She just chose to leave me alone,
Promising to take away a little of my melancholy with her.
She had lied.
But she did lovingly graze my cheek,
And give me a  fleeting peck on my chin
Before she left me
In the company of my loneliness.
There were many that followed -
Each making the same promise,
And breaking it more mercilessly every time
Duping me, and then mocking at me
While the hurt fails to dissipate in the emptiness
And the madness finds fertile pain to grow on

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The dilemma that is she

Tiny reluctant smiles tiptoeing around closed doors, trying to stun the pensive visions that live inside. The visions sit, only brooding - over moments lived and unlived; over relationships lost and found; over things that had been, and things that will never be.

The hand of happiness tries to gently prise open, the blue-veined teary veils that keep her from seeing the untried chances, unmade choices, unyielding charms. All it feels is the cold gloom snaking over what once throbbed with a lively pulse of hope and the thrill of adventure.

The slimy gloom slithers and coils around the the weak, tired, trembling shadow of that heart of hers, asphyxiating her with the dread of unsaid loving words, unheard friendly whispers, unseen glimpses of togetherness...

The dread of being untouched by the sweet hand of passion; of being undone by fears that creep along the crevices of her mind, contaminating it with that diseased malignant grime of despair; of being unwanted despite her unhesitating brazen lips reaching out to kiss what she desires.

Flitting past the windows of her eyes shut tight, she senses the obvious but still cannot see. The past she gleefully lived and the moments her heart conjured are the stars and the moon spotting the blackness of her crazed see-sawing mind, teetering along the knife's edge.

To lose heart and to step over the precipice into gloom.... To live with hope and take the leap of faith.... She sways  to the rhythm of frenzied practicality that blends with the tune of calculated insanity. The sounds and the smells of doom fill her senses, but in her mind's eye, she knows what she wants is what it will be.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Something about a rainy Kolkata

There is something quite special about Kolkata when it rains here.

There is something uncannily beautiful about the way it gets, cool, breezy, rainy and wistfully romantic whenever I am home, no matter how short the trip is. It's like I am being given more reasons to love this sleepy, laidback city full of an incandescent charm.

The tarred roads look shiny, reflecting the golden yellowness of the streetlights. The quietness interrupted by the sound of a car's tyres cruising on the puddles on an otherwise smooth street. The stray dogs playfully scamper about, while searching for a shelter for the night.

As I sit on the ledge by the window overlooking the road outside our house, the boys in my locality get together for their late-night adda. Their loud voices surprisingly aren't irritating tonight. Their jokes make me smile. Their voices have a strange inclusive quality about them. One of them has got cha in a thermos for the whole gang.

I see a couple walk past them, out for their post-dinner walk - the radiantly pregnant lady and her husband holding hands and enjoying the sudden drop in mercury. They share a private joke and laugh; the wind carries the happy sound in my direction...

I sniff the air. It smells of moist soil. The streets are almost empty, the street lights hazied and blurred by the heavens showering the scorching earth with the coolness of Kal Baishakhi. I run to the terrace to absorb it all in...

I face the strong nor'westers and get stung by the raindrops, which are huge and scanty at first. As I start walking along the railing on the terrace, the rain intensifies into an overwhelming cloudburst. I know nothing else. I want to know nothing else. I only know I am here, part of this beautiful moment.

PS - The above was followed by lots of predictable screaming by my mother who was upset for leaving the door to the rooftop open and the water on the staircase and the fact that I refuse to grow up. My father was bemused as always. 

But who cares. I slept with a big grin on my face. :D

Also see: Seduced by the Rains 
               Healing Showers of Pain

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Impenetrable Meanings: Just not quite there yet...

I look at the sky, half cloud laden
I find the stars, shyly hidden
The moon leaving it's melancholic glow behind
The beauty is all but lost on me
As I wish the fluff to uncover the light

I listen to the symphony, mellow and melodious
The notes touching, the harmony porous
The tune ignites a pain at the core
Making love to me and hurting me simultaneously
As I wish for the absent lyrics to tell me why it so

I read a poem, profound and deep
The feeling apparent, but the words don't seep
The words leaving my mind groping for recognition
Halfway through I seem to lose tide
As I wish to be able to look into the poet's mind

I dig into a bruise, sore and hurting
The scab gives way, blood oozing, my fingers dirtying
In the mess that aches and piques
The curiosity keeps poking, the throb tells me to stop
As I am left solving the puzzle of what I want

I tread impatiently, skipping stones on my way
I stumble once, I decide for a moment to stay
The obstruction leaves me skeptical
The route now disoriented, I wonder which way to turn
As I wish for a hand to hold and guide me

Thursday, April 07, 2011

As confounding and pretty as that kaleidoscope

Names of people, places and events evoke emotions in me. All these "nouns" that are sometimes very important, and sometimes seemingly insignificant, have put their stamp on my personailty en route the elusive destination of my life.

As much as I wish to be not affected by these elements in my life and keep walking independent of any form of attachment, it is just the disillusionment of detachment that I discover during my bouts of toughtfulness. Apparently, I am responsible for the way I feel.  I may begin to dissociate myself from people, from places, but in my mind I remain as attached and loyal to good memories as the time they were being created.

I had read somewhere, "People will never remember what you did or what you said. But they will always remember how you made them feel." Certain people have made me feel very strongly, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. The stronger the emotion aroused then, the stronger the association of the person with a deeper shade of my disillusioned detached feelings.

So, in the end, doesn't it boil down ot the same thing? Our interactions always evoke emotions, Out attitudes and general frames of mind help us form our opinions of others, which make us like or dislike them.

Some things that I look back on when I am down and out, and the things that salvage me from depreciatory self-piteous phases; An affectionate nickname that someone calls me by. The urge to make someone laugh. Mock annoyance when the joke is on me. Cacophony in company of friends. Moments spent knowing more about my best friend. Voluble silences that accompanied quiet conversations. And days that were made wonderful only by the mere presence of some favourite people around.

I would rather forget people who brought me pain and hurt me by lying to me and undermining me; saying things that angered me and by betraying my trust. I only remember the lessons learnt and choose to scoot from there.

Life is a magnificent gift. Things will sometimes be difficult. They will be confusing. But to look beyond that confounding string that refuses to untie or the psychedelic wrapping paper is what is important. Oftentimes, there are a series of silly boxes to open before you get to the real gift. Don't look for happiness. Create it. Happiness is too fleeting to be found in one place.

Back to my favourite metaphor about life and memories: the kaleidoscope. The  broken pieces of colourful glass are like the many shades of sentiments we experience throughout the span of our lives. Isolated and in their exclusivity, these fragments mean nothing. But when you put them all together and reflect upon them in totality, you see how these useless pieces combine and fuse with each other to form the most beautiful patterns; each extraordinarily beautiful, each unique, each unlike any other.

The magic and the ironic beauty of life...!

A heavy heart
A throbbing head
Some smiles I recollect

Some tears I brush aside
Still looking for an illusion
Living in a happy hallucination
I breathe, laugh, cry
Wrap it all in rosy velvet
Gift it to my days to come

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Sitting next to the window I sigh
The evening sun goes past me
Solitude my sole companion
We talk of times gone past
And the Utopian life I see myself walk into
The keeper of my secrets...
Silence! You are my dearest guide

We walked quietly down that shaded lane, He and I
Stopping to look at a pretty bird
Reaching out to touch that velvety blossom
Summer breeze ruffling our hair gently
The silent smiles spoke for both us
The sounds around meant nothing
Silence! You are my favourite messenger

We sit amidst jovial laughter, all of us
Somewhere in the recesses of my mind you keep me company still 
A loud mischievous accusation, a louder denial
Some back-slapping and passing of drinks around
The warm hugs to show solidarity 
That ticklish poke in the rib to tell me the teasing isn't over yet
Silence!  Even in a crowd you are my best friend

I lie on my bed a crumpled sorry mess
Stifling my sobs, sometimes, crying out aloud in my pain
The promise my tomorrow made to me is broken
The heart that believed that devious tomorrow is maimed
You console me, tell me, "Never again let this happen to you!
But even if you do, I'll still be around," and stroke my feverish head
Silence! You are my philosopher 

We meet after a long time, He and I
There is so much to say, so much to share
We recount stories we haven't told, uncomfortable silence intervenes
We know we still understand each other, ambiguous silence mushrooms
We revel in momentary togetherness, intrusive silence makes us edgy
Suddenly, there is nothing to say, nothing to share
Silence! You are my worst enemy

Friday, March 18, 2011

Taking off my Mask... Little by Little

It has been really long since I posted a blog. And it makes me uncomfortable to note how lackadaisical I have become about the one thing I enjoy a lot... Writing.

It's not that there is a dearth of ideas. They are there. They assume the most tangible forms in my consciousness. I think of putting them into words. The inclination to attempt foiling the vivid imagery with inadequate expression is overcome by my desire to preserve it in its truest, most original and unevolved form. For I seem to be losing faith in my ability to express myself frankly enough to be understood by those I want to read me.

Honesty is still my number one priority in keeping my relationships with people alive, spirited and to make me feel truly connected. Lately, I seem to be taking the easy way out; escaping answering questions about myself, hoping my friends don't see through my lies, wondering if my animated chatter seems happy enough to all around me, crossing my fingers that the constant nagging voice somewhere inside my head doesn't become loud enough for people around me to hear.

Here I go again. Doing what I didn't want to. Writing betrays my intentions. I am expressing myself, yet again.

Time maybe for me to dig out some of those half-ripe ideas rotting away in that dusty old attic of a mind of mine. Time for me to carefully wipe the patina of self-consciousness off them and revive that feeling that prompted me, even if for a second , to challenge myself to express the abstract, the inanimate and the uncanny feeling of wholesomeness it brought to me for that short while. I am craving for the excitement again.

I am hoping to snuggle back into my comfort zone, and hopefully, without much effort.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just Another Brick in the Wall

The predictability of human interactions has become a bane for all those who seek excitement in meeting new people. I met someone recently for a formal interaction and there was an uncomfortable and overbearing sense of deja vu hanging in the air. The person was new and so was the ambience, but the conversation was extraordinarily drab. Talk of aspirations and personal or professional five-year goals only worsened my state of restlessness. I desperately needed a witty remark or a clever repartee to bring me back from the dead.

Where is the spontaneity now? Where is the naturalness gone? Why are we afraid to be different? How can we say we are unique when all we are doing is becoming someone who cannot be differentiated from another in a world teeming with a billion other you’s? Even our normal conversations are generously peppered with cliches and the chosen ten-fifteen words that form our vocabulary - “Awesome. Cool. Great. Cute.” We are becoming more unoriginal than ever. That’s all we can choose from to exclaim our excitement.

All of us seem to be rolling off the metaphorical conveyor belt of a mass production unit; we talk alike, dress alike, behave alike and sadly, even have begun to think alike. Our education system, right from the primary level doesn’t allow for exploration of concepts with an open mind. We are more used to the system of learning by rote and agreeing with whatever is told to us. We have grown so conditioned to this type of learning that now we rely on ready sources to tell us also how to act and react to questions, people and situations. We try to elicit responses of a certain kind, and in trying to be manipulative, we end up being predictable fools.

Consider this - you have a job interview to go to. You almost certainly know what kind of questions to expect - “What are your aspirations in life? Where do you see yourself five years from now? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Who is your idol?” and then some more. While these are perfectly valid questions, they also have become so commonplace, that  everyone has a well-rehearsed and well-thought-out answer to these well before the interview is even scheduled.

The mantra now is to create the impression that you are the best among the lot of rats squiggling their way to the “finish” line. Look around and you will see advertisements of courses that will help you crack the ultimate job interview, of counsellors who claim to rock your dating life, of personality development courses that help you make friends and enrich your social life, self help books to help you pitch your sales in the perfect manner and workshops to let you negotiate better business deals. We are all unaware, but eager participants in the rat race.

Ironically, having people speak, dress and behave similarly must make the process of evaluating people a more objective and easier task. Or does it?

It is a little alarming to realise how much of our behaviour is conditioned by these profit-making ventures. More alarming is the fact that while we are learning social etiquette, public speaking and acquiring charm and confidence, we have nothing left of our own that we can proudly stake a claim on; not even our impulses which are smartly conditioned to do the “right” thing at the “right” time. Political correctness rules. I do not disagree with the need to be smart and well-mannered. I have my problems with the umpteen replicas all around me.

We are all ultimately becoming like a set of actors rehearsing our lines and blurting them out at the opportune moment  What questions should the interviewer ask? How should the job applicant respond to it? What are the keywords, the catch phrases that slot you perfectly in an organisation’s recruitment database?
If you describe yourself as “dynamic young professional seeking to enhance his competencies in a reputed organisation of entrepreneurial culture while contributing to its multidimensional growth… (and all that blah!),” save it. All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Picking up the pieces

An evening spent in reckless almost-abandon after long. Time to meet old friends, reconnect, feel blessed, feel loved and feel the spirit of Christmas in Pune.

As we told stories, retold anecdotes, made new ones and packed some away to relive when in sweet solitude, the smiles grew wider and my heart grew fonder with every passing moment.

Saturday night was spent in revelling being together, some dancing, all the camaraderie rushing back to make everyone feel right at home. Just like old times, when home was wherever even two of us got together - the street side, a store, the tapri, the canteen, our classroom, a discotheque or the quadrangle.
Early on Sunday morning, I walked down memory lane; this time without the banter of familiar voices guiding my memories. There was something so intimate about this solitary walk. Down the tree lined Bhandarkar Road,  the frosted sunshine playfully peeping through the drooping boughs made heavy by age, I remembered my numerous walks with friends and confidantes, the umpteen times we would gleefully waddle back home after a scrumptious meal at Panchavati Gaurav or Sharvaree, diligently working on group activity outside Kamala Nehru Park, the somewhat raucous but well-meaning laughter following some restricted viewings in there and what not...

I turn around the end of the road. The familiar walls to some of the most well known institutions in the country fall behind as I walk step after step towards a place that has shaped me. I walk in through the gate. I climb the stairs leading to the main door. I find a place on the top step, sit down and lean against the wall to feel welcome, rested after a night of indulgent and maddening fun.

As always, this physical closeness to the edifice drives me to think - about myself and my life. I do. I set some personal goals, about the person I want to be and where I want to go. I look back upon my recent past to be able to steer my future. I think of all the people who have made a difference in my mundane life by just being there. I check off habits I should get rid of. Things I should learn; only because they will made me happier about myself. A pleasant calm settles in a restless heart.

Something that Dr. Bhupatkar had said to a classroom full of then would-be MBAs on the first day of college has guided my actions ever since - "Make a choice and stand by it, despite the consequences." I may have made foolish decisions, but they are my own and I do not look back with regrets. For, unless I make a decision, I will never know whether it will shape my life for the better or for the worse. If I am on the edge, I would rather take a free fall than step back. What's a life without risks? And the last thing I would do is to just stand there and wait for something to happen.