Category Archives: World

The day after

This is an attempt at a poem about the day after something significant or insignificant.
Its as yet incomplete and am not even sure if is at all meant to be one single poem.

The day after

The day after the night
when the first raindrops fell
everyone saw that the drops had
placed themselves gingerly on tips of green leaves,
and on the edges of crisp blades of grass.
One had arranged itself on the spot on the car windshield
so that when they looked from the front
it made look like a brilliant luminous diamond
had etched itself on the crease of her smile.

The day after their examinations ended
the excited kids woke up far too early
although they had decided that they would sleep till noon.
They made plans about all the candies they would eat
all the games they would play and all the films they would watch.
But by eve they had split into factions of Iago and Othello
and thus began the trysts of adolesence that weren’t resolved
until they had children of their own.

The day after the road was fixed
everyone still walked as if the road was not fixed.
They drove around the ghosts of potholes
and stepped aside from non-existent pits.

The day after she first spent the night at his
she woke up forgetting this very fact
because she had dreamt very realistically
that the war had ended and that her dad
had returned.

The day after she first spent the night at his
he stopped kissing her and it broke her heart
while his was seized by fear
because the day after
she first spent the night at his
he realized that he liked men.

The day after their friend died
they woke up raw with dry eyes
grieving at their inability to weep
for ther tears did no justice to their sadness.

The day after the war ended
the soldiers packed up their rifles
and retraced their tanks
but had forgotten to make the
Ivorian child forget how to use a gun.

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Filed under Literature, Poetry, Thoughts/ Ideas, World

NEED INSPIRATION! Some ideas..

I’ve just had a very inspiring idea for myself!need time off but need that to be educational time!

My month time off (why to follow any of society’s codes including that of structuring time) of self-education doing things I don’t otherwise do or have had to do or gotten a chance to yet!

There could be many things but here are some ideas
– a short apprenticeship with a mechanic where I can learn to fix bikes and cars
– a short apprenticeship with a potter!
– Some time off in the Himalayan farm where I had gone to stay briefly last year.I could learn to do some hardcore farming, permaculture,
– Bajao the flute!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under La vie, Thoughts/ Ideas, World

the smell of adai

Its 8.45pm and I am still at work. No one is keeping me here but the desire to be alone in a quiet place makes me want to remain here for a while longer.

It is strange how, in this place that is nothing like home used to be, I just now could smell my mothers Adai.
It was definitely one of her best dishes, crispy crunchy golden adais with an occassional curry leaf and amazing with a lump of white butter.

I long for that flavour. I breathe in deeply, but none of that smell remains.

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Filed under My favourite people, Stuff I like, World

Life is like a bus stop

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have come across some very useful gyaan (TERMINOLOGY: gyaan- knowledge/ advice (Hindi)) about life and the state of things as they are in the world and think it might be nice of me to dispense it to you guys.

I should like to give credit to my friend Gilgamesh who is the creator of this theory and also in this process am attempting to set him up with any women who read this (only because thats how he leans though I think guys should try too).

So the theory goes like this —

Most things in life are like a bus stop.

You wait at the bus stop for ages and forever, but there wouldn’t be any sign of the bus. But suddenly, after forever, 3-4 buses come together one after the other, and confuse you about which one to take. If you board a bus, can you get off before the final destination? How committed are you expected to be to the bus? Can other people board the bus? Will the bus get moody and break down on the way? What if the bus isn’t going where you want to go?  Would you do best to leave all the buses and take your own private vehicle even if that means cycling alone for miles?

Or do you take a chance?

Its in your hands, your mind, your heart. It is in you.

By the way, I love the guys who made this. Its zenpencils.com. They have a lot of other wonderful life adoring cartoon colour sketches about  several inspiring quotes

EXplore, Dream , Discover

 

Anyway, the point was that as Gilgamesh has profoundly pointed out, Life is like a bus stop. Whether you apply it to work, education, passions, love lives, oppportunities, or anything that might not even matter at all. Are you taking a chance?

Are you boarding a bus?

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February 20, 2013 · 6:06 pm

My obsession with potty

I am obsessed with shit. Yessir, you read right. I am scatologically obsessed and my friends know that I usually have atleast one conversation about shit everyday.

My theory is that this is a hereditary behaviour which I picked up from my grandfather over the years. He is 86 now, but even when he was much younger he would be quite tensed about (a)time and (b)shit. So when we are to leave on trips or a journey, he would insist that we reach the train station 2 hours before the train actually leaves. We wake up at 4am to catch a train that leaves at 11am from the train station that is only one hour away. He was always nervous like that. But when coupled with potty, its a whole new level of absurdity. In a recent journey, when I had gone to get my grandparents to Bombay from our village,  he refused to get started on the journey because he hadn’t been able to shit since that morning.  He did coem with us finally, but that was only after he and my grandma fought World War III.

Anyway, I have taken it up from this amazing grandpa of mine and worry like hell if If can’t go, especially before a journey. I drink two glasses of hot water every morning to flush all ‘toxins’ out of my body. When we got the University internet student ids, I discovered that the Admin had put various filters on the University internet connection. How did I find out? It was because I Google-ed the word ‘SHIT’.

The first word I google-ed when I got my personal internet connection on campus was the ‘shit’.

Fortunately, I have good enough bunch of friends are used to me now and are not so disgusted if I talk about stuff related to this. Infact, they know that I will definitely know the solution if they are having a bad stomach. 😛

Incidentally, I also have friends who are as scatologically-obsessed as I am. One of them in my university even made an art exhibit revolving around this subject and made stencil paintings associating shit with political, scoial, sexual, popular, comic, anthropological conventions. It was really cool!

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I think Ivan is presently even using this for his Mphil thesis so you so how pre-occupied some of us about this subject.  Across most societies it is treated as something profane and talking about it is considered impolite, uncivilized, a taboo, indecent and a lot more. But I really don’t see why its so disgusting.

Everyone shits! Even the king and queen.

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people getting married

My grandparents are my favourite people in the world. They are also quite deaf and I suspect its my grandma’s habit of watching TV real loud that made him hard of hearing too. When they are around, conversations are funny and repeated four times. We all talk really loudly and the TV volume is further increased and so we all talk more loudly. Even if they want to talk about something secretly, they go to the other room and talk loud enough for us to hear. haha! I love them. Blindly and more than anyone.

Last year, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. It was on 2nd April, 1951 , a day after April Fool’s  Day ,(my grandfather often jokes about it) that they got married. So 60 years on, we arranged a great party and even had their friends from old times over. Watching them that night, and even now, it struck me that even after so many years of being together, they still have things to say to eachother. They even spend all their time together, so its not as if they are informing eachother about what they did that day. They look out for eachother and truly care. They still fight and crack jokes about eachother to us.  But I know, they would crack without eachother.

 

My grandparents’ wedding photograph, 1951

Their marriage was arranged by their parents and they hadn’t even met before they got married.  And this is how it turned out. On that one day, I felt may be marriages can work. But may be it was just them. May be they wouldn’t have separated even they hated the guts of eachother simply because of societal stigma.  One never knows.

My grandparents of Grandpa’s 80th birthday ceremony

Yet, I am somehow, never lay my hands around the idea of spending the rest of your life with one person. Though I understand the value of companionship, the idea of spending the rest of your life with one person, really scares me. You might say you are in love with him. But I wonder if it won’t fizzle out, won’t you begin to doubt, get bored, get scared or fall in love with someone else? I know that divorce is fairly common and accepted now. However, why would anyone enter a relationship, already anticipating an end and knowing that they have a way out of it?

I read in the news today that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are splitting after 5 years of marriage. Can you beleive it, after he clowned around so much on Oprah. I don’t care about them at all but didn’t they have time earlier to figure out that they don’t get along? Arnold Schwarzernegger and his wife split up after 25 years of marriage because of some illegitimate child he fathered many years back. I know I can in no capacity understand her situation, but I suppose I could forgive some mistake like that. Especially if I have discovered that for 25 years  this person has kept me happy and we can be in the same room, without shattering plates or having the silence shatter us.

Marriage is something I haven’t understood even with the countless movies, famous couples or even with my own family and parents. I don’t know why its necessary to put that tag on your relationship just because society is comfortable with it and thinks it appropriate for you to want it. Even live-in relationships can have everything a marriage has. and have equal chances of failing, ofcourse. Why does an acknowledgement by a governments civil laws or by a religion, make a relationship sacred or more important? I am sure the breaking of any other relationship should be just as painful and important or unimportant.

In India, parents think its their duty to get their children married by the mid-twenties and pay for it too. The whole event or the not timely occurrence of it is a stigma and becomes an over-riding question in the lives of the parents, grandparents, uncles,aunts, neighbours and colleagues. It becomes everyone’s business really.

As my understanding of it stands now, love usually fizzles out. and after that its just habit and fear of the lack of this person, or of loneliness that keeps one going. Marriage usually adds other wheels like children and property to this.  I am not really sure of all these things about relationships are marriages.  But I sure of one thing- that I am afraid to find out the truth.

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Filed under Issues, Love and all, My favourite people, Thoughts/ Ideas, Why?, World

My Himalayan Story 2012

I was in the Himalayas this summer. Trekking upto almost 13000 feet, we crossed the Saurkundi pass in the Kullu valley through an expedition organised by the Youth Hostel Association of India. From reporting at the base camp to touching the base camp again after the trek it was 11 days in all.  As we climbed and went to each campsite, nature in all its splendour was revealed to us.

The thing about the Himalayas is that never ceases to amaze you. I have been to the Himalayas before while trekking on another valley, and yet, this time again , I was moved beyond words to see snow-peaked mountains. It’s incredible to see these shimmering white all around, except perhaps a few mountains far across that have black clouds hovering above and are shrouded in fog, and you know that it’s snowing there. The fresh sweet water, the wind whispering tales of where its been, green blades of grass uncrumpled, the kiss of the first few snow drops –  everything resides within me.

The wind is young, the wind is alive.

This time, we were the 15th group to leave from the Saurkundi base-camp at Babeli and were hence called SK15. Quite funnily, my younger brother was chosen the group leader and after two days of acclimatization, we set out for the top.  I have been on such treks before, but what was extraordinary was that 25 deaf-and-dumb students from a school in Bhavnagar(Gujarat) were trekking with us along with their teachers for guidance. Spending many days with them, they taught us not just the sign-language, but many more lessons. They were always so excited to learn and really see what was around them. They accepted their handicap as a part of something god-given and never were they upset about it. I remember, once I was talking to one of them in sign language and telling him that I love to dance. I asked him what he liked, drawing?singing? To that, he indicated, ‘yes, singin. But I can’t really sing because I have no voice.’ Thats when I realized. I had become so engrossed in conversing that I had forgotten his disability. A glass shattered within me as I realized that even our hobbies have so much to do with our senses which we so often take so much for granted. They could not hear music. I was distressed. I apologized to him and he just replied saying that god had made him that way. I also realized that its stupid that I was surprised at these children being able to trek. Ofcourse they could. They had their limbs, but more than that, they had the will. It was me who was disabled in the mind, to think that this was a great challenge for them. They had conquered much more, a long time back.

I suppose some disabilities are apparent, and others are not. In some way, we all are disabled. Or “differently-abled”, as its called in the parlance of our times.

Wes once told me something very remarkable. He pointed out how they laughed so uninhibited and with so much truth, when infact, they couldn’t even hear themselves or each other. Its been more than a month since this, and I haven’t gotten over what he said.

Well, getting back to the trek. We lived in tents at each camp and got simple yet nourishing food that will give us the stamina and strength to climb. It’s always fun at these treks. There are so many different people around, there is time to socialize and yet be alone and contemplate. Everything from politics to stupid toilet habits are discussed, and a new intimacy is found. This is a comfortable one, where there is not much hope of meeting again, though there are promises. This is an intimacy , that you think might soon fizzle out with distance,and so there is also an uninhibited-ness about the bonds formed. I met a lot of fabulous people here. Aparna, Minhaj and Wes, being the closest. Ofcourse, I found out once again, that my brother is a superb guy. At one of the lunch stops, a guy came along with the local attire and jewellery that women in the Kullu valley wear. He rented it to me for Rs 20 while I clicked pictures with it on. I even held a kid (baby goat) while I posed and learnt some steps from the local folk dance from him. 🙂

In one of the camps, Dora Thatch, I witnessed a sight we only see in paintings. Up away a little above, the hill we were on was silhouetted against a deep navy blue sky. In it, was a single large planet, the shining Venus. I had never seen her so large. On the hill, we saw silhouettes of ponies grazing and bounding around.  I saw this, and such beautiful sights that I don’t have the right words to describe.

I hope my brain and my memory, can forever recollect these sights and images and people in the exact shape and shade. I don’t want to forget the details. I don’t want to forget the water’s taste. Most of all, I don’t want to forget that freedom. I don’t want to lose it.

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Filed under Journeys and travels, La vie, Love and all, My favourite people, Stuff I like, Thoughts/ Ideas, World