Sunday, October 25, 2009

847 : The cotton cloud...

Once a little sweet girl called Naughty Nona,
Was in a fancy flight across the fields of Harayana,

She leaned through the sweating window and exclaimed,
Looks like tiny balls of cotton have been so neatly arranged,

Mommy dearest, saw the sea of clouds and said "Tch Tch....
"Darling do these cottony clouds, really amuse you so much?"

Nona replied, "Muma, you have to first see, from my point of view",
Pulling her mother closer to the window, trying to share the cryptic clue.

"All I see is, cotton for miles and miles,
Our paper plane glides on it, as it flies,

Soft and baloony like our dear granny's hair,
All round and around us, looks like there is tons up there,

I want to open the window and grab at them all,
Stuff some into my tote bag, some into a slippery soft ball".

At this momma said, "Sweetheart, sadly the window is sealed
In the plane, that protects against the (outside), low pressure field

Darling, just you patiently wait, till we all get home
I will get you large curly balls of cotton and lots of foam"

Little Nona was deeply disappointed, and not very happy,
Thought her mother was pulling one fast, zippy zappy,

Drowning in loss, she almost had started to sob and wail,
Momma saw that clearly coming, had to catch the feeling by the tail,

She walked upto the smart steward and succinctly explained,
"Can you give me some foamed cream on white ceramic unstained?"

Mr. Steward was greatly glad to oblige and assist,
Frothy foam sugar crystals, which looked like they had been cunningly kissed,

Snazzily served on a platter with a shiny silver dome,
Soft curls of cream, like deep cotton kinks of a gnotty gnome,

Lovingly mommy slowly unveiled the fiesta hidden within,
Weepy Nona with buggy eyes, stirred, heard the sound of the dome's tin

Longingly looked, mesmerized at the tiny clouds on the plate,
She looked at the cotton outside, and then at the fleeting froth in her hand,
Encouraged by mommy, she slurped, sucked, licked and ate,
Momma silently thanked the stars.... "just 10 minutes left to land".

(My weak and sagging attempts at Children's stories. More trauma coming your way soon :-)
Dedicated to 2 very sweet and special clouds in my life. Muah !!)

846 : Chubby buddy

Yesterday, at the airport, I saw the chubbiest, cutest and most adorable 18 month old (my guess)...yesterday. He was in a pram. A product of a hispanic mom, the mom was with him, pretty and perfectly co-ordinated dress, and no flab to show at all.

He also had his grandmom for company.

And this little guy was in workmen's pullover, with a little shirt inside, a great set of shoes, nicely done hair, and chubby like really chubby.

He was gawking all, including me...given where I was, I assumed it is culturally inappropriate for me to make passes at him.

When out of the tram, he was bumbling and walking (just like my nephew)....babbling and drooling (just like my nephew again!!)

My sister says, one should never "spot" the "good" in children, because somehow "you" can jinx them. I disagree with her a bit....yesterday for me, this kid was not an object of envy, but rather a "bundle of life" full of goodness and happiness. He made smile and grin more than I had done the entire past 2 days....given a lot of it was at JFK :-)

He made me want to hold him up like "little Simba" and say a little prayer for him. He made me love this world a little more. Should I still not "spot" him?

845 : If you close your eyes, you might see more :-)

(continued from last post)

Am still at the same lounge.

Lass and Handsome are now gone....replaced by this charming man in his late 50s. Very stylish, tweed suits with checks and a great leather bag....and the bells and whistles of wealth and aristocracy.

He calls upon one the ushers and order something (its an omlette...we later realize). He walks upto the food areas, picks up olives, pickles, bread and humus and comes back.

The "omlette" is still not in, but now....picture this.

The man opens the napkin, removes the silver (I mean cutlery) from it. Spreads the napkin on his groin (for want of a better way to put this).....stretches his arms, picks up the silver....and, closes his eyes.

I assume this must be some middle eastern way of "thanking the lord" for the bread "today"....which is what it seems, because he seems focussing on something for around 10 seconds.....but then....

His hands start moving. Yes, the silver in his hand move like magic around the plate. This is freaky his eyes are closed, his neck is upright....if his eyes were open he would look straight at they are definitely closed.

Blindsided, he is taking humus applying it on pickled cucumbers....cutting it into bite sized portions and gently laying it on his tongue.

This "dance" continues for a few minutes, while the usher comes in with orange juice and omlettes. The eyes magically open, with tons of grace, thank this usher, and again shut tight, focus for about 10 seconds and the "dance resumes".

By now, I am completely awed and perplexed by his performance.

He continues this "blind" performance with the omlette, bread and humus....except when he wants to drink the juice....which again, he seemed to pick the glass with his eyes closed, but open it to see what he was drinking. Very freaky and unusual.

I saw him finish his meal, lay down the silver precisely in the "closed meal" position, wipe his lips and then open his eyes with a bright flourish again.

This experience for me was strangely mysterious and mysical.

Was this drawn out of a religious bias? Anyone reading this knows, why such a ritual?

Or could it be, that this person has a "visually challenged" person in his life, and this was an effort to "experience" the experience, and partake the "challenged" life.

I was tempted to ask him, but then, I could have made him conscious enough to never repeat this ritual in public again, and that for me, was not worth any price in this world?

Lets these mystics thrive. They make the world (if not better, at least) a more interesting place.

844 : You will see, if you watch :-)

Picture this. I am sitting at the Abu Dhabi airport, in the Etihad Lounge. I am with my cup of Masala tea (which I can drink infinite amounts of).

I am reading "Beastly tales" by Vikram Seth.....but I am slightly dis-enchanted...I don't want to read. So start looking around, trying to observe people.

On the opposite table, a tall lanky girl....very desi features, but very Australian sense of dressing....(the kind of attire, that keeps you ready for an adventure sport at a fraction's notice).

She is wearing a black pullover, blue tracks and sitting with a mountain of cut fruits on her plate. (Shame, and here I was sipping tannin...)

I move my eyes around, observe others (more on that later). I come back to her in a few minutes. By now, a young man has joined her. He is also a desi, incorrigibly handsome in a very Asian sort of way, a la Imran Khan (yes, that is the first impression I got), albiet an Imran who is in his early black tees and jeans.

For some reason I assumed that they were a couple, as in a "couple".

The guy looked slightly grumpy, and was not eating anything. A few roving glances (around the room) and minutes later my eyes return...situation not changed.

Then lanky lass moves to the food area, grabs two plates, fills it with meat, bread and fruit and comes back. She places both on the table. (They are both sitting facing me).

She is definitely focused on the food, Mr. Handsome is more focused on the "aunty babe" sitting next to me...he has only eyes for her. I assumed he is our average alpha male, high on testosterone, and needs his daily fix of female visualery.

Lanky lass, is not noticing this at all....instead she is focused on the food, and soon starts coaxing "handsome" to chew into something. He is not interested, not moving.

She leans over, grabs his fork, jabs at a sausage bit and holds it near his mouth. He opens it up like a baby and gobbles (reminded me of my little nephew...).

She continues with this, while he fills up his alpha male tank. In a few moments, they both get talking. His grumpiness is receding now, but to me, it (now) appears, he was not grumpy with her at all, but with some other bit of life. Infact all this talking, eating and "ogling" is leaking his grumpiness away.

Very soon, they are chatting. They are now observing others in the room and making comments, the guy leaking a smile, while she heartily grinning. At least twice, she reaches over to ruffle his hair and pat his head when he "coughs".

The more I saw, I seemed certain this can't be a "couple". This was most probably either a very old friendship or a sister-brother relationship.

Why? Various reasons:
1. The familiarity between them seemed deep, and yet at a "little finger" length, like not using the same forks.
2. She seemed comfortable with his "ogling" to an extent that she did not even notice it.
3. The ruffling of the hair, seemed to have a "tenderness" in it, which was profound and very innate (as in coming from her innards)
4. The conversation, the seating posture, the shared mirth...all indicated a sense of comfort you only get when you have spent years in "the other" skin.

My bet, (if that matters at all), is she was the elder sister to this handsome guy, albeit by just a few years.

Maybe, I am right, maybe, I was wrong....but yet, the few voyeuristic moments were worth it. They exemplified what life is supposed to.....a bond, a relationship....which neither holds not lets go....just hanging by a fine balance.

843 : There is a new emotion in the air (port)....rudeness

JFK indisputably has to rank as one of the rudest airports (I mean its staff) in the world. There are others which are inefficient (like Abu Dhabi or Oman), there are some which are archaic (like Mumbai till very recently), there are ones which are inconvenient (like the one at Calcutta)....but all of that is something I can live with....but "rudeness" in the service industry, and that too in America, from the very guys who taught us how to sell lemon to us "lemonades".....

The other thing is, this rudeness, the infinite amounts of red tape, the whole rigmarole around it....the trappings just seem to make "flying" such a traumatic experience. I remember 10 years ago, flying was "romantic", then it became "fun", then it became "so so", but "traumatic"...thats a new low...what next....Abu Gharib anyone?

842 : Current Location....

Close to the "Mall of America". Visting loved ones and life...
How am I doing? Good, better and "awesome" :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

841 : Sign o’ times (Voices by Vikram Seth from “All you who sleep tonight”)

I used to believe (do I still? inspite of  clutchless existence…) that the world around you works around you. It conspires against you when times are bad, and works for you when the going is good. By the corollary, I also believed that the world throws signs at you, tiny clues, verbalizing its intent much before it actually happens…..its just that we have lost the ability to read that, to synchronize with it.

Sounds mumbo jumbo? A skeptic like me, will say, of course.

But then how you explain me reading this poem today….The joke is on me, and for once, its the universe around me which is guffawing ))  Love you Uncle Universe….

Voices in my head.
Chanting, “Kisses. Bread.
Prove yourself. Fight. Shove.
Learn. Earn. Look for love.”

Drown a lesser voice
Silent now of choice :
”Breathe in peace, and be
Still, for once, like me.”

(I just put a few voices to rest in the past few days. A few more murders to go, and then RIP for eternity. Uncle Universe, here I come, again :-))

840 : All those who sleep tonight, by Vikram Seth, from a book by the same name

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right,
And emptiness above -

Know that you aren’t alone.
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.

(Deeply resonates with a hexed harp stuck in my belly….)

839 : Blind man who taught me how to “judge”….

Judging others is the easiest thing we do. I am “as much” guilty of it, if not “more”. Inspite of a conscious effort to run away from the temptation….I find myself doing it at times.

Is that a bad thing? If you do as I tell you, “no”, but if you do as I do, “yes”… :-) jokes apart, when you judge…especially your loved ones, you slur them, and you risk a gamble, on the future that (possibly) holds joie de vivre.

Is that worth it? You decide. You are the best “judge”.

838 : Social Recluse

I know this will sound very strange, it sounds weird to me as well…..but there are times, I am sitting a room full of people, and I feel completely isolated and alone (not “lonely”, that's still a strong word), alone and disconnected from the world around me…..almost as if, Alice woke up the other side of a reverie and exclaimed, “What am I doing on this side of the mirror?”.

It sounds romantic enough to be labeled as “Mehfil ki Tanhayee”, but believe me, at the moment of sunder….you realize how antagonized you are from the lumpen at large, and that my friend, is a distinct, “me” vs. “them” feeling.

Its almost as if, I am walking on two different worlds at the same time…..a single feet in either, but two feet in neither (don’t crib if these sound repetitive, its a personal blog, it better be narcissist :-))

837 : Does poetry have to be rhyme?

No absolutely not. It can be a haiku, a koan, or even a piece of stirring prose. So who defines what is poetry? No one. You set your own bars…and the rhyme plays through the bar :-)

836 : Trading Tales

We stare at the wavy kites through the smoked glass,
Wisps and curls emanating from your coffee mug,
You chronicle your saga at the morning yoga class,
Me…. I regale you with my old boy’s humbug.

We spoke about that one day when the sun didn’t shine,
And I recalled the swagger and doff of two bottles of wine,
The steaming coffee reminded us of a lightness of being,
Blinded by our baggage, believing is seeing.

Amidst our laughter, I still hear your voice and talk,
Listening to the rhyme, the verse and the sum,
A tiny little prayer escapes towards the rock,
Can this please  be the harbinger of days to come  ?

(inspired by an old memory trapped in the recesses of my innards…)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

835 : A full circle, and even thats turned….

Its almost 17 years since I gave up on poetry. In the past 1 year, I have rediscovered it, and grown wiser for it.

I am really beginning to see the joy a written rhyme and lark can provide. Its like going back to the temple and discovering God all over again.

Whats caused this change in heart? Cant point at it, but somewhere along 2007-2008, started reading English poetry again…..

And like Mcdees, I am loving it !!

(Hope this infatuation lasts !!)

834 : Story and masquerade

There are two parts to any relationship,
A story, a masquerade, held together by sealed lips,

The story and the masquerade run along,
The masquerade is short, the tale is slightly long,

The story, is a fiction composed by our eyes,
The masquerade, is fuelled by our fiery lies,

Between the two, please don’t ask me to choose,
Sweetheart, I choose either, I still play to lose.

 (Whats the story behind your masquerade, we all indisputably have one or the other….question is, what do you choose,  the colored foreground or the grayed background :-) )

833 : “Nine parts of desire”, haiku by yours truly

My fourth one…

Glances shot at each other,
Nine parts of desire,
The (tenth) One might still be what is missing.

832 : Shiny happy people…

Its the festive season out in Mumbai, and every time I looked at people all decked up (and nowhere to go!!), it reminds me invariably of the REM song “Shiny happy people" which goes “shiny happy people holdings hands, shiny happy people laughing”….

831 : Writing and flow of thoughts

I sometimes sit down to write, and even a small break or distraction can break my whole flow of thoughts …. setting me into a la writers block….like for example, even a simple phone call can get my whole thoughts cluttered?

Now is this flakiness a state of mind, or am I naturally wasted?

I sometimes yearn for locking myself in a room for 8 hours…no human interaction, no mobile, no blackberry, no door bell… manna !!

830 : Why am I so edgy?

Yesterday someone called me edgy. Am I? I guess its a natural fallout of my inability to deal with my own failings and trappings. Time to grow up, but then time is its own master :-)

829 : New year resolution…

No more conversations in order to influence folks around me….especially on the personal front. Evaluate before every conversation, whether it is even necessary :-)

guffaw :-)

828 : Round and Round, by Vikram Seth, from all you who sleep tonight

After a long and wretched flight
That stretched from daylight into night,
Where babies wept and tempers shattered
And the plane lurched and whisky splattered
Over the plastic food, I came
To claim my bags from the Baggage Claim.

Around, the carousel went around
The anxious travelers sought and found
Their bags, intact or gently battered,
But to my foolish eyes what mattered
Was a brave suitcase, red and small,
That circled round, not mine at all,

I knew that bag, It must be hers,
We hadn’t met in seven years!
And as the steel plates squealed and clattered
My happy memories chimed and chattered
An old man pulled it off the Claim
My bags appeared; I did the same.

I loved the subtle irony of longing expressed here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

827 : “Arrests Occur. A Speech is made” 7.1 from Golden Gate by Vikram Seth

This is another awesome poem, by an author whose prose is trash (how sad that I am judging a man who at least writes and is world renowned….but then I was always notorious for my temerity)….coming back, whose prose is trash, but poetry is turning out to be a revelation.

When fear grows too intense to handle,
We shrink into a private smile,
Surprised when here and there a candle
Drives back the darkness a little while,
A little space, before it gutters;
Or in the madness a voice utters
Words full of calm that to us seem
To bear the dry light of a dream
And stain our waking with more sorrow.
The night of hate that covers earth,
The generous country of our birth,
The single land from which we borrow
All that is ours – air, insight, tears,
Our fragile lives – for a few years….

If this is not a moment of inspiration, pray, someone needs to tell me what is….this is too outstanding a piece of language for my tastes.

I like the “private smile”, “gutters” and “air, insight and tears” bit the most. They will probably stay with me till I die.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

826 : First preview ‘Tum Mile” title song, Neeraj Sreedhar

Confession…I love Neeraj Sreedhar’s voice. One of my fav songs (in my all time list) is “Aa Rahoon Mein” which he released in 2005. I can listen to it ad infinitum.

So, for me to like this song, is understandable.

Will give it a day, before I really post on it. Neeraj has sung it really well. Great harmony build up throughout the song.

Fun Fact:

Hum this song, and then hum “Go West” by Pet Shop Boys. You shall never know when one ends and the other starts.

825 : Born out of a possibility, that our twain will someday meet

I hold you in my arms, and feel just as “responsible”, as I did for the haiku I scribbled yesterday….almost, as if, I, singularly,  hold the wonderlandish keys to creation :-)

Funnily enough, if I step back, shift the perspective a bit, it occurs to me…(no, its actually obvious)…. that both of you (haiku and you:-) are “responsible” for me, and not the other way around.

A further red-shift in perspective and I realise, that “you” and “I” are so difficult to separate, we are not really discrete, though we walk on different worlds.

The “unborn” sings to me…..

824 : Haiku “The smoke trail” by id…

My third one

The helix rise of the smoke from the incense stick,
An inverted sigh,
Arises and then settles.

(Fire gazing into a lighted incense stick…..)

Monday, October 12, 2009

823 : Completely estranged from you…yet we both have to die

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die

(Fabulous poetry from Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits…combine this with Knopfler’s vocals, and the guitars straining in the background…and you have a sublime song. I first heard this in 1989, and reinforced strongly by the version in the “On the Night” live album from 1994. Its years and I can still listen to this song/album on infinite repeat.)

822 : You know “you are living on the edge” when…

“…there is something wrong with the world today, and you don’t know what it is….something wrong with our lives.”

Looks like Aerosmith wrote it for 12th Oct 2009 in 1999, a la “George Orwell 1984”. WTF, How prescient :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

821 : Milk floweth over…

My mom tells me that approx 30,000 litres of milk is used at Guruvayoor (and other equivalent temples) for Paal Abhishekam (cleansing the idol with milk)….and this is everyday.

I find that data point suspect and highly incredulous. Lets for sake of discussion, assume that this is correct. With that amount of milk, you can make about 3,00,000 cups of tea/coffee, or feed about 60,000 hungry children, or allow 15,000 calves to suckle on their mother’s milk.

My mom’s answer is, without this “cleansing”, the lord and the world would be a very difficult place. She almost classifies as “standard maintenance” of our lives….a la exercise, pranayam or shitty-potty.

My question is, if this is what you wanted me to believe in and subscribe to, then why teach me to think, why send me to an engineering school…. “why?”.

820 : The ruminations of the temple cow.

A cow (fat and plump) stands chained to a tree outside the temple. The leash (chain) is short enough not to allow too much perambulation. A ton of its dung lies piled near its hind legs.

A lady with wads of hay/grass in a basket sits next to cow. Every now and then a devotee comes by, pays the lady Rs. 3, picks up a wad of hay and feeds it to the cow. The (completely bored and overfed) cow tries to avoid it, chews a few pieces of the cud, and the rest drops out from the corner of its mouth, near its feet. Un-interested, it makes no effort to pick it up again.

As the devotee moves into the temple, the lady, picks up the wad and puts it back in her basket.

Question is, is the cow happy or sad? Is this what you offer to your God? Would you happily swap position with the cow?

819 : Wormhole jargonbuster 6 – “Greenwashing”

Usually used in the context of corporations presenting their products as green (and eco friendly), when they might necessarily not be so. E.g. a Monsanto creating GM products and then presenting it as “green”. (Read “Against the grain”, if you must).
More on “greenwashing” at

Current use:
You can “greenwash” any everyday data. So you can make your project look good by selectively presenting data, you can fake an orgasm and hence “greenwash” your bed life, you can “greenwash” your karma by choosing to go vegan (while continuing to work for Monsanto or Walmart)….you get the drift?

Fun Fact:
We all “greenwash” all the time. “Smoothening” a conflict invariably involves greenwashing. Like all other ethical debates, the question is not whether “greenwashing” is good or bad, its “how much” of it is good or bad, and where do you draw the line. The answer to that, is intensely personal, and lies deep buried in your choice of dharma…(and not your karma!!).

818 : Being born again….

“To be born again” sang Gibreel Faristha tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die”.

(Opening sentences from SR's SV)

817 : Even such by Vikram Seth from “Mappings”

This is a brilliant poem by Vikram Seth.

Even Such…

I saw him turn
With such worried haste
And the world’s fear
From me. I shall

Through month and year
Stitch up the rags
And will unlearn
The evident way.

The pain dense tracks
Dark in the mist
Will see snow fall.
I will retaste

The tang of day,
The ceased belief
That paths exist
Outside this grief.

816 : Clutchless and rudderless

“If you decide to abandon your clutch now, there is a good chance you shall be anchorless and rudderless at some point in the future. Its far better to grab the clutch, you are looking at it as a crutch, thats your mistake. Without beliefs, you are without a life jacket and a compass in a large ocean, and you a direction is not possible.

Don’t abandon your faith and belief at this point….hold onto them, for life’s sake.”

20 years hence…and still a smart-ass chuckle :-)

815 : Meditation on killing….

Still meditating on whether killing someone for my own food is correct. I have been back on eggs and the occasional chicken for the past 3 months….after a hiatus of 6 long years.

And if you puritanical souls think that is non-Buddhist….my response, it must be, but I still have not cracked it completely. Almost there, but not yet there.

I think I know the answer, and I am already leaning towards it…but have to first walk through the stairway to hell to reach there.

814 : Haiku “I am the snail” by yours truly

My second Haiku….

Tiny snail saved for the day,
Small happiness,
For my today.

(Wrote after we rescued a snail off my terrace and let it mingle back in the garden.)

813 : Life is a lesson…

There are few things life teaches you, the rest you have to learn….

guffaw :-)

812 : Delicate like you, delicate like me….

I loved this post by The Poet….

esp….on how a cup of tea hangs by the fine balance of its tannins.

Slurrp ))

811 : By the power of grayskull….

I am He-Man, Prince of Eternia  :-)

(I seem to have lost Cringer some where….please please…. don’t cringe :-))

810 : Hamied….

My brother used to have more than 30 names for me. A lot of them, even I can’t remember. And all these names got stuck and were used liberally by my parents/childhood buddies as well. I dont recall ever having been called by my “legal” name ever….and this continues till today….my mom still uses 2-3 different names for me.

So much so, that, in my head, for some abstruse reason, a correlation formed – that is you cannot maul and mollify a name – you are not really close enough yet. I still recoil a bit, when I hear my “legal” name used in non-office and non-legal scenarios…..and vice versa….I can never be comfortable unless I invent a name for loved ones. Its like a bone hitching and kitching stuck in my head….

Yesterday, as I was talking to someone at night, I suddenly recalled, one my bro’s names for me was Hamied – a middle eastern phonetic hotch potch of my name.

This game of inventing names and (sometimes) slurring…was a lot of fun one. Even as a kid, I immensely enjoyed it. My bro’s repertoire of adjectives for “fat” – some “english”, some “hindi”, some invented – all became my alter names.

My “positive” association with “fat” and “naming” became so strong, till today, I call my loved ones with adjectives of fat(even if they are like drumsticks). For me, they continue to remind me of a familiarity and love that was very precious.

809 : Poy ate, Poi et tu….

Poy yet … various attempts at being a poet continue  :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

808 : Moving on…

…is a game of counting till 42, and telling yourself that, when you bend round the (next) corner, your life (too) will take a turn (for the better!!).

807 : A tear is….

…a bodily liquid, which tries to mend the scars left behind by the disappointment. (and most probably, woefully fails!!)

806 : Disappointment is….

……dealing with the loss of something, you never really had, but always pined for.

805 : The bile spews over….

I used to be a very angry hot-headed type. Correction – I am a very angry hot-headed type. Its just that as a kid I used to mouth my frustration and ire…and as an adult, I just gulp it down and let my esophagus deal with it.

(On a side note, I feel a lot of the damage on my inside is because of this inveterate acid guzzling….:-))

Yesterday, for the first time in many years, I felt like “fucking” someone’s happiness. Its a very unusual, “un-aspired for” feeling in my head…..I actually hated feeling that way….. but I really felt like sucking life out of the crack jack bunny.

I thought, I would okay by today morning….Strangely, the “cheated” and angry feeling continues.

So what exactly did this person do? Nothing, actually. She just “cheated my trust”, and I felt “suckered”.

Is that worth its weight in bile?

Hell no, but then, I am probably, too low in the “Buddha” hierarchy to deal well with this sort of shitcake.

On a lighter note, my nephew is just as much of a little dragon as I am. In 5 years from now, we both shall compete for the “acid factory” at the dinner table. Even if I have lost my taste for the liquid, I shall compete with him tooth and nail….hopefully, (later) if he ever gets the joke, he shall (hopefully) profusely thank me for it :-)

804 : The monk(ey) who is selling his Ferrari

I look back at some of the stuff I read when I was growing up, esp. the non-fiction, The Bhagvad Gita, J Krishnamurti, Osho and the ilk… get the drift, right?…..and I sit and wonder, how many of the things they said became values in my life…., without my insides (even) having fully subscribed to them.

I remember reading them and exclaiming, this sounds too bookish, but still reading them to the end. Today, I find my myself mouthing similar nothings, and sounding equally vague to someone who has no footing in that territory.

So what is this territory? Is it intellectual? Yes, does that mean it is better? Of course not. It involves tons of procrastination and introspection – both of which are “unhealthy” qualities, if life was meant to be one large mammon trip.

On the other hand, if this life is nothing but a transit on a ramp to something else…a la metamorphosis, then maybe the J Krishnamurti shit will work, and is probably right.

Me, I constantly find myself torn between my increasingly “monk” like behavior, and the desire to be included and seen as someone who can keep beat with the rest. Of course, that means I have one “feet” in either boat, and in reality, two feet in neither :-)

If you ask me, where do I want to be in 10 years, monk or monkey…..

Honestly, I prefer neither. I actually will be happy if I have not sold off my 1: “42” Enzo Ferrari by then….which by the way, also includes the answer to the meaning of life :-)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

803 : Baanjh, Barren Woman by Gulzar, translated Pavan Varma, Penguin Poetry


कोई चिंगारी नही जलती कही ठंडे बदन में
साँस के टूटे हुआ तागे लटकते है गलें से
बुलबुले पानी के अटके हुए बर्फाब लहू में
नींद पथराई हुयी आंखों पे बस राखी हुई हैं
रात बेहिस हैं, मेरे पहलू में लकड़ी सी पड़ी हें

कोई चिंगारी नहीं जलती कहीं ठंडे बदन में
बाँझ होगी वोह कोई, जिसने मुझे जनम दिया हैं

Barren Woman

No Spark burusts to flame in this cold body,
Broken threads of breath hang from my throat
Bubbles of water are caught in my frozen blood
Sleep lies perched on my eyes turned to stone
The night is still, it lies with me like a piece of wood

No spark bursts to flame in this cold body
She who gave me birth must have been some barren woman.

802 : Bimmers vs Beemers

The Bike is always called a Beemer, and The Car is always called/spelt the Bimmer.

If you are still  asking which car and which bike, this post was not meant for you. Thanks for reading anyways….still, here is a clue.


801 : Gregorious Sachindis from Thessaloniki

WTF? Who is he?
He is a Greek taxi driver, whose blue, 240D Merc built in 1976 clocked up 2,858,307 miles. The Merc is preserved in the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

(Makes me wanna be a taxi driver…..)

800 : Difference between idli and pongal?

Pongal is a holiday, idli is not…

(From Vivek’s 6 year old friend….)

799 : “The idol” - My first Haiku

The devout makes rules,
The zealot breaks them,
The idol, unfettered, stares at the barking sun.

(Inspired by my experiences at Guruvayoor)

798 : When is A Merc S not an S (from Autocar India)

The S CLASS comes from the German word for special or Sonder. The name is given to Mercedes – Benz’s top of the line saloons. So whats an SL or SLK or SLR?

They are obviously not large top of the line saloons. SL actually stands for Sport and Light, Leicht in German, and  is used to denote Mercedes’ range of sports cars. In the case of SLK, K stands for Kurz or short and R in SLR stands for Rennsport or racing.

797 : Rawsilk Sarees by Kali Das (New Tamil Poetry

Namagiri Paati always had
Rawsilk sarees in use.
One she wore,
The second spread wet
on the clothes line,
The third, dry and wrinkled
Hanging like a twisted coil,
In a corner.

Paati kept count of the old sarees,
Not discarded
Even when torn,
She would mend them
With worm-like stiches,
Her granddaughters would
Only thread the needle.

Like her washed sarees
She too would spread on our beds
And sleep by our side.

The rawsilk bedspread
Soft as paati
The sarees
With Paati’s complexion.

Rawsilk sarees will die
One by one;

Was Paati’s tenth day.

(Rawsilk Sarees by Kali Das, New Tamil Poetry,, translated by Dr. K.S Subramanian)

796 : Have you ever had such a feeling?

It's very strange when the life you never had flashes before your eyes. 
~Terri Minsky, Sex and the City, "The Baby Shower

Me….many times. I can completely relate to this insight.

795 : Is the stone looking back at you?

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself. 
Bertrand Russell

794 : What motivates me….

For me every act of a living day, is usually filled with a passion and intensity, one usually reserves for “special” activities. I really live life like that. I like my cooking, my (endless) cups of tea, my friends, my wife, my family, my writings, my music, my sister……I really enjoy all those moments. Most of all, I have consistently enjoyed every day of my 13 years at work.

I remember that at some point in the past, I was classified as a “workaholic” (as late as 2007). I thankfully no longer serially work, but given a choice, I will switch to that life at a moment’s notice.

I really love to fill my life (as if, almost, time were running out….paranoia, anyone??)

Strangely for the first time in my entire life, I am seriously questioning, what I am doing. I have never needed that luxury so far, because invariably, I have been so busy, and have been enjoying so much, that I never paused to think.

For me, work, family (I have none to boast of – my circle is my family), music, books, food….all of these have to be fun. They must induce activity in my brain, and happy activity, at that.

So why now? Why pause and think ?

Maybe its time to disconnect completely and re-read Alice in Wonderland !!

Alice came to a fork in the road.  "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

(~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

793 : I remember…

“I (clearly) remember, one day, long ago, when you and I sat in a coffee shop at Bandra and drew out plans for our life. We had used the kitchen tissues to sketch the jagged timeline. Its years since that day, the moment is long gone, the napkin is dead and destroyed…..and the dreams ???”