Saturday, July 31, 2021

3526 : Becoming One (modern haiku)

 The sky is blue

    The vast ocean is blue

Today I am blue

3525 : Silence

 Silence is like a personal game. A poem that one likes. At some other times like a sorrow that one keeps even from oneself.

Friday, July 30, 2021

3524 : Phire Faqeera from Pagglait

If you have not heard Pagglait's Phire Faqeera, you are missing something magical. Its a masterclass in harmony. I never thought I would say - but I like Raja Kumari and Arjit both in this song.

What a composition. Lyrics. 

Listen and then repeat.

3523 : And nothing else matters

Listen to this God inspiring version by Metallica from the new movie...Jungle Cruise.

I need a (music) system to blow my apartment complex down.

3522 : Jugalbandi

There is nothing more rewarding that watching two artists (in music) duel with their instruments on stage. Like the violin duel that is part of "Within Attraction" (another Yanni song).

It does have to be watch, you can listen too.

There is sheer joy when artists match each other note for note.

Also listen to #41 by Dave Matthews Band for the samer reason.

3522 : What art is

Listening to the violinist on "The rain must fall", I am reminded of how fab she is (its a she) as compared to an everyday violinist.

Her skill is way beyond what us mortals can ever hope to achieve. And yet she is a mortal herself. She is a normal person who also pays rent and loves coffee.

And me realizing that she is capable of "greatness" is only because of a simple mental switch in her head. She knows that life is all about "greatness". The everyday plebeian is noise.

And that is my 2 pice definition of what art is.

3521 : The rain must fall

 Listening to Yanni since morning. And currently its playing "The Rain Must Fall" one of my all time favorite pieces. 

And I realise how much I miss having a earth shattering music soundstage at home. I want to listen this at the Acropolis.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

3520 : Gods of war

You and me are constantly at war. It seems important, and at times silly - but we always have a new bugbear to beat to death.

In the recent months, years I have meditated immensely what is it that we are fighting for? What is at stake? Why do we summon our gods to war?

I have only one answer. We fight for territory. We annex the space between us. We capture the silences that surround us.. 

3519 : In no man's (happy) land

Imagine you and I are neighbours. I construct a 2 floor house on my land, that presumbly obstructs your light and air flow. My intention is not to shaft you, but thats how it unfortunately comes out. 

You are very happy with my choice. You complain to the town managers. I am served a notice. They ask me to raize a floor of my house. 

I grudgingly do it, but in a way, that makes the whole place look ugly. 

I also complain about trees on your land. They are an invitation to monkeys.


Goes on. 

We are both never happy. All we do is define our happiness in the context of another person's land. The world is now a much more unhappy place - for both me and you.

And the earth tumbles in its pool of entropy.

Monday, July 26, 2021

3518 : Winning (a modern Haiku)

 The question is not

    answered till we have

found a winner.

3517 : Fire and burn

My forever memory of her, is someone who was cool and composed as she endlessly made dosas. Silently eyeing the shape of the pancake, slightly adjusting the flame, and at times looking into the blackhole of the skillet.

Always perfect dosas, just the right edge of crisp and the right tinge of burn. She never seemed to mind the heat or the flame. Even as she sometimes made thirty odd dosas for the hungry wolves.

The heat never bothered her. She was the one who held her calm against the fire. 

Today the coals must be so missing their adversary.

3516 : The last dirge

You have always look at me with a question. I don't blame you for it. I am a difficult enigma (maybe the word should be knot, rather than enigma....enigma makes it sound nice). Its hard being with a person who does not talk much. It harder being in the same room as me. Its hardest being in the same conversation as me.

I know. I wilt. I brow my forehead.

Your questions have been my bane. Why? When? Who? Why not? How much? Will you? When will you? I dont mean for that sound as a complain or a refrain. You had every right to ask those questions.

And I have stillness and quiet in these times. 

Today morning I learnt something about myself. Today, I am ready to answer all your questions. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

3513 : Into the rain and play

It melts into wonder

I came in praying for you

From Dave Matthews Band #41

3512 : Jaane Kya Baat hain (Betaab)

For those who think it's fashionable to diss Lata Didi, I would say listen to "Jaane Kya Baat Hain" from Betaab.


I hate high-pitched female voices, and yet, in this song, I think Lata Didi crushes it.

Of course RD Burman is a genius. The lyrics are more in harmony than sense, and yet you love this song so completely. 

Listen to the strange percussion working like a metronome in the background. It sets the tone. Expect the high and love the lows of the voice. Its essentially a percussion only song, with interludes of string whenever the singer is not singing.

This composition should be a case study in why some of RD's work is timeless and always will be.

3511 : I am obsessed with sound

So I invest a lot into earphones and speakers.  Those are just like books. One out of 5 or even 10 fires. The remaining 9 are an investment into your education.

But as the sound your ears, you can listen to more instruments. And feel the blush. (Yes blush is the word I used).

Reason for this post - thinking of indulging.

My test songs would be 

1. Malyali Da

2. Herb Alpert's Rotation (or Rise)

3. Dirty Diana

4. Some RD number like Jaane kya baat hain (from Betaab) or Hum Tumse Mile from Rocky

Confession - I already have something in mind. Vaccilating between shooting the "buy" button and shooting myself.

Ha ha :-). I wonder how my spouse or kid even tolerates me. Maybe they love "Malyali Da" thumping through the roof too :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2021

3510 : Last ( a modern Haiku)

 At last we

      found the red button

that broke us.

3509 : Knife (a modern Haiku)

This world is

    a rhyme on a pause

akin to my knife.

3508 : Dirty

 Dirty is sometimes a dirty word,

    Just as a swear sometimes looks boomerangs inside,

Fluttering like a hummingbird,

    Its been raining, watch out for the tide.

3507 : Inverted

Can the doctor herself be the malaise,

    Like this animal inside me eating me up,

I hear voices, I sometimes hear the cries,

    One day I shall escape from this cup.

Friday, July 23, 2021

3506 : Question of you

3 aspects of pain. 6 stages of grief. 9 parts of desire. 36 steps to courting. 116 moonlit nights. 

How many levels to cross over, before I deal better with my memories?

*116 moonlit comes from a Gulzar poem

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

3505 : Tree

He had let the ash mix with the gravel. That had been her fervent wish. She wanted to be always in the garden. Along with ash, some heavy metal and some small splinters of bones too had been part of the mix..

Today, a fairly large walnut tree stands in that spot. It does not bear much fruit - possibly none at all. No one expected the walnut tree to even flower in that location. He had planted that on a whim..

He had heard that Kashmiris usually plant a walnut tree - every time a daughter is born at their homes - and then harvest it when she is about to marry. (Actually chop it dead for its wood). A sort of levy for the expenses of her marriage.

Thats the original (but maybe apocryphal) tale that made him plant a walnut tree at that spot. Its years now, and he often wonders - will there be a time and occasion to ever chop this one. 

Maybe she will live forever. She did not ever want to be married. She did not want to ever be chained.

Irony, she is now a tree. In my garden.

3504 : The long tunnel

On that day - I remember I was talking into the phone. Explaining something about myself. Trying to keep the conversation going. It must have been a few minutes as I continued speaking, and then realized that there was complete silence from the other side. 

I tried calling back a few times across days. You, on the other side had gone completely quiet.

Silence is like concrete, with every passing day - both the sun and the rain - make it more insular.

Exile me, cut away the conversations. One question, for you,  just in case you die, should I come to your memorial, or should I silently say a prayer?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

3503 : Garden of Eden

In the garden of Eden, there lies the ingredients for what might look like a sin. 

In the same garden lies the devil and his fruits.

What looks like a divine cauldron is actually nothing more than everyday life.

3502 : Child's play

When I watch children play a team sport, like football or basketball, it occurs to me that this game can unleash the inner beast onto the court/field. In a strange "beast" sort of way.

Notice how a 3 foot kid, gently and nimbly dribbles the ball - lays a decoy for his opponents - has a silent run into the goal (or post) and then just like an animal attack quietly.

There is something very spiritual about this. Almost superhuman.....just that these kids lose this in some sense as they grow up. Or most kids do.

These are games where our minds are our frontiers.

Monday, July 19, 2021

3501 : Retort


When we retort, we construct the world in our response. The world is what I created it to be.

Most times.

The world of my creation is just mine. It ceases to have a foundation. It floats on a column of air. Ready to be tumble dried amid this pandemic.

End of times.

The world will revert to mean. It will be what it is. One object at a time, it will reclaim itself. I will set it free from my story. And on that day, you shall notice that the wind has stopped blowing.

3500 : Step to the beat

I remember us trying to step to the beat,

One step too quick, one step always short.

Years later, as I think of the king who married his tweet,

That he never knew that the ship had escaped from the port.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

3499 : Smooth criminal by MJ

I had banished MJ from my playlist for a good part the last 10 years, post the allegations of his behavior. 

I have (had) a value system to cancel artists who were misusing their power.

Its only recently that haltingly I am going to back to artists who were cancelled by me.

And as I write this - I am listening to MJ's Smooth Criminal on a crooked ass thumper of a music system. And not to forgot the absolutely unbelievable dance moves on this song.

And the song is so crisp. The production values are so stunning. Quincy Jones being the genius he is. Listen to some of his Motown classics.

And now Spotify is auto playing - Dirty Diana, which is another complete work of a mad genius.

3498 : The lost conversations

He still remembers talking to her (many decades ago), a specific chat with her, as if it was yesterday. The conversation focussed on what he had possibly wanted from life. He did not have the courage then to tell her then, that while he wanted a lot of things from his life, he also wanted her to star in it. He distinctly remembers that he had been very tempted him to spill the beans, in a small town boyish sort of way. To blurt it out, and be ready to be slapped or laughed at (the fear is usually for the worse, for no one ever imagines a cheerful response to these life altering chats).

He never told her any of that. And every single day post that, it has been one additional day too late to have that conversation.

He is a physicist, and imagines that in a parallel world - a version of him, told a version of her....and today their individual stories are having some overlap, whether happier or sadder is just a question of perspective.

A world without her as a star was totally bereft of hope on moonless nights.

3497 : Eden's fallen hero

Lets say the snake at Eden was truly from the devil's cradle. The ornate villian whose only job was to lead to sin.

What intrigues me - there must a backstory to this snake, right? Or a postscript?

He (was it a he?) must have something. 

I need to lend him a voice. The devil's counter narrative.

3496 : Inside out

There is a coldness in the air. The sharp bite of silence.

I don't know how to slake my void.

3495 : Rotation by Herb Alpert

If you are in a lost mood, please do listen to Rotation by Herb Alpert.

Guaranteed to spike you up.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

3494 : My own personal black hole

I am convinced that all of us are like stars. If we are around for long enough, we eventually collapse under our own hubris, our own failings and our own misgivings - very much like a neutron star. A few years into this journey, at some point, we begin the even more ardous journey into becoming a black hole. 

One inch at a time, our world collapses inwards. Till a point where we have shrivelled and compressed out. Then we begin to trap the light, too. Eventually the light goes out of our eyes. 

It's a one-way street. We never return to the star we were. Ever.

3493 : The one who shut up

I have posted on this about 100 times. My immense need for silence and just being myself.

I don't think it's related to me being a writer, or a storyteller.

On a day like today, I don't want gyaan. I dont need to know what could be an ideal world. My world is far from ideal. And I have made my peace with it.

I need my silence to repair, recoup and prepare for another intense week ahead.

This is my urban meditation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

3492 : The ill formed dream

Somewhere in 2005, I was in Hyderabad. During one of my trips to Taj Banjara, I met a young, fashionably dressed, very smart-looking lady. "Met" makes it sound like we had a fling, which is patently absurd. 

I remember noticing her sitting on a backless chair near the elevator bay. She was with someone and he inadvertently threw something that hurled towards me. I was busy looking elsewhere, so it kind of hurt me, not really, but in a docile sort of way.

The lady walked up to me and apologized. I laughed it off and joked about flying projectiles, and how incongruous it was in this city (Hyd). "Almost as if aliens had come down to a wrong landing point". 

She laughed too, and asked me "Are you into physics?", and I said, "Hell no, I am from the IT gang", which in Hyd would be a joke in any time and era.

She said, "You sound like a physicist though."

That was the end of our interaction. A few moments later as I ambled into the lift, I bumped into her, on one of the higher floors. She was probably in her 20s, there for a wedding, way richer than me, and way cooler than me. She wore a chiffon, black saree with a red simple plain blouse. But all very rich looking (I do have a deep interest in fabrics, and some basic fashion sense - though never when applied to myself).

I still remember this interaction for many reasons. Prime among them is, I always wanted to be a physicist, and someone had seen through into my dream. That has never happened ever again.

3491 : World's worst dad

My daughter wants to be an artist. Today she gifted me an art, which reads "Worst dad ever".

That sums up my future. 

Thats the post.

3490 : The horse with no name

I once had a dear friend. She had a daughter. I helped her name her daughter (with a wrong spelling - wtf!!).

Today the friend and me are estranged. The daughter I have never met. 

To the mother I am long forgotten. To me, the daughter is  she is just a name. To the daughter, I am not even a figment. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

3489 : The cold one

I was reading recently about a war story (a real one; I mean). In this post a bombing, a young kid, gets trapped in the rubble and is eventually found dead a few days later. The cause of the death seems to have been hypothermia, since it had also rained, and he had possibly been drenched.

My memory is skethcy, but something akin to the effect above happened.

Something in me turned. I could not read enough (and remember enough), because of my own immense fear of being trapped in spaces. Also I was personally overcome by emotion. 

What good can come out of world that treats its young this way? In mythology they believe that chanting a name can start a fire. I can imagine, that as he lay dying of cold, he must have mumbled his father/mother's name a million times. 

We did start this war. Though, we would not let his fire start. 

3488 : The talking tree

On my everyday walk, I sometimes see a woman who speaks to one particular tree. Or she appears to be speaking. She is old, frail, and I am sure she does not seem to wear in ear bluetooth phones. She does not.

Instead, she seems to stare at the tree and speak intently. I have two plausible theories. Either she adores the tree and talks to them. I don't do it yet, but I too know each tree in my garden intimately. 

My other guess is probably more apt. She is speaking to someone she has lost via the tree. Like a daughter or a husband or a sister. She believes that the tree is helping her connect back to that person. Make the tree into the version of someone we have lost is an age old grief technique. 

I want to walk up to her, and tell her she can talk to me, but I don't know if I can ever fill the gap her loved one left her with. The tree, though, comfortably can fill that vacuum. That's what they have done for millions of years.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

3487 : AK 47

My daughter loves to sketch. Our entire house is full of disheveled sketches. And the main room of our house is like an artist's atelier. Papers, pencils, colors - all over. There is nothing to complain or worry about here.

And then, I found a sketch of an AK 47. It was drawn 2 days ago. 

How do I tell her that drawing a gun is also possibly weaponizing? To us it is a simple weapon. One that we mimic in TPS games. 

To someone in the world, somewhere though - this simple tool is stripping them of their life and their dignity. This tool acerbates the divide of haves and the have nots. Like all power does.

Should I tell her? Or should I let her be? Till the day she eventually finds the rounds in her pocket.

3486 : Dark Matter

When one is closed to the outside, one becomes like a black hole. Consume the light. Ingest it, make it your own, just like any other dark body would.

Eat the light. That's who I have become.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

3485 : My sage in the bottle

When I am alone, it's easy to assume I am lonely.

I have a ton of baggage, does that count? Strange memories. Where do I put them? Stories whirring in my head. How do I land them? My monkey mind, unable to rest on a plane.

And then, finally, I have you firmly trapped in a wine bottle from about 16 years ago. A bottle that we both shared. You were so drunk that you never noticed how I lulled you into that glass thing.

One day, I shall set you onto the sea. My sage in the bottle.

3484 : The person in your head

I often wonder, what it is that you see when you see me. I genuinely wonder, both in terms of science as well as poetry. Hard to make sense of that. 

Do you see me as a bundle of conflicts? The cynicism? The intellectual drought? 

I am just a very average person. Perfectly fit in the center of the Gaussian curve. And when I pull the sheets on me, I totally disappear.

3483 : To be invisible

 I don't wear it as a badge of honor, but I am quite "normal" in terms of most identity. Like I am heterosexual, I am able-bodied, of a fairly innocuous "race" in India.......point I am making is, I dont come up in any identity conversation.

And yet, I know I am distinctly off the beaten path. My health, my sub-altern choices all contribute to making me no fit in. I am an atheist, jazz lover, slightly creative person with a deep need for silence. I don't fit into family life or even social endeavors.

"Work" works just beautifully for me - because it allows me to be very good at what I do, without having to put an act on.

The rest of it. My failures, my traumas, my health, my pain....all of these make for some strange identity moments.

In recent years, identity and power have dominated some parts of my meditation.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

3482 : Spotify goes where......

I was listening to "Elevation Live by U2" one of the live versions of their classic from Lara Croft......and then Spotify's Radio kicked in. 

A few songs went by.....and then the fantastic riff of a familiar song kicked in....and the goose pimples. I mean really it happened.

One of my most favorite songs in the world - "where the streets have no name" live from Slane Castle, Ireland. 


Listen to it. Full blast on your favorite speaker system. Bring the house down, literally. 

I almost tore down my windows. This live version is totally insane. 

And if you have never seen the original video. Do have a look. Very Highly recommended. 

One of the finest street videos ever made. It takes many minutes to figure whats happening.....and then whoooooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3481 : What's Love Gotta Do with it? By Tina Turner and Kygo

This version has some incredible bass as compared to the original version. 
A good song to test the music system - and if you can resist tapping your foot. 

This lady always hits it out of the park for me.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

3480 : War of the tongues.

I was speaking to someone who lost a lot in a sort of urban war. A war with a power, that subverted the justice (at least from her perspective). This happened in an inner South Indian town of India. 

I was intrigued by how casually someone's everyday can be usurped by the dark shadows of power. I have always marveled at power, how it possibly corrupts and the entire journey of what might be personal decline (along the rabbit hole of power).

She spoke to me, of subjugation, of devastation. At one point, she shifted into a language which I recognized, but did not fully comprehend. I let her speak for a good few seconds, before she paused, and I jumped in, "I dont know that tongue", I said almost out of embarrassment. 

She looked deep into my eye for quite some seconds, before telling me, "If you want to know of my war, you have to hear it in my language." 

3479 : The losing game

On some days, I really want to grab a good sip of my peated drink and meditate on the world that I have become. Is this the world I wanted?

I am not sure of the answer?

It's not an existential dilemma. It's a game construct. What am I playing for? Why am I playing for? Am I still playing? Why am I still playing?

The losing game.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

3478 : The way you make me feel

She said, "You make me feel like your poem".

He said, "Try not to feel like one. My poems are a labyrinth that I myself cannot navigate at most times. Also, most poems end with a twist, like a lost insight."...."I prefer you to be more of Chekov prose. Long, winded, but eventually the gun fires."

3477 : Jazz is what keeps me going on most days

Listening to Bud Powell playing "There will never be another you."

And feeling how alone this lonely can be. This is what music should do :-).

3476 : On the parting ways

On twitter I often read sons, daugthers, lovers, spouses - really post heartfelt tributes to their departed ones. Like today I read an extremely heartfelt tribute from a daughter to her father, who died yesterday. 

I don't have such a relationship with my dad, or with most people in my life. I want to have one too. But I am so far away from that zone. It's like I reached the wrong end of earth.

Am unsure if anyone is going to miss me beyond a week post when I am gone. Not that I want them to. But yes, missing a good proxy for your place on this earth.

I am at this point "<7 days".

All setup with a report card and ready to scream.

Monday, July 05, 2021

3475 : Dark matter

He was talking to her, and she said, "You are so unromantic, others call their sweethearts, the moon. And look at you and your devilled words."

"Will it make you better if I called you the moon too?"

"Will you describe me in the same lyrical intensity as Darwish?"

"Of course. I can most definitely try."

After a suitable pause, she said, "Go on, I am patiently listening, it has to be Darwish grade."

After an equal pause, he whispered, "Dear beautiful round faced moon, I have seen your dark side."

3474 : Hurt is a passage

When we examine our lives, so much of our lives is coercion. Some implicit, some dandy.

We are all participating in a dance, wherein we will inevitably step on the other's shoes. We look forward to it. Antagonism is a game. Its rules are pushing the other to the edge, not enough to make her fall, but enough to make her flip.

The constant deluge of this stream. You, me, her, him, they, us, we, she, him, I......all the same game, same rules. Different levels though, like participating in a league.

This might sound like a poem, it's actually a dirge. I know the answer, in this game, we play to play. Not to win, never to lose.

3473 : TV subscription

I have not had a TVsubcription for years.

And today I took it for my dad. It tempted me to take one for myself too - ESPN - the lure of Formula 1 and FIM is too tempting.

And I still forwent it. Unsure how to fit that in, into my schedule.

Not a good place, I find myself in.

3472 : Meditation on old age

I am talking to my dad after a long time. He has become a rabid right winger. He is completely bought into that narrative. So much so - he said "Please dont subscribe to NDTV, since they sometimes criticize a particular party".

He is 82, I respect him and care for him. 

But I do worry that if this is what life is - watching news for about 8 hrs and having rabid opinions.....then I worry for my own "older self".

I want to be chill with jazz, ready poetry, not have such strong conflicts with the world - and if I do - then I want it to be a balanced open minded conversation.

I often wonder who watches Times Now and Republic. The answer was always in my backyard.

3471 : The roots of insecurity

I was talking to the daughter about art and we were speaking about the economics of it. She is big into art.

I told her that art can be very remunerative for some, and very debilitating for others. And her response even before I could complete the sentence was - "I don't think you know much about art."

Which might be correct, that I don't know much, but it behooves a 10-year-old to tell me that.

I am not sure where she has picked up this level of insecurity, but it makes me realise that I am probably failing as a dad.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

3470 : Me

You spoke of the sunflower and I realized that I dont have the magic ratio.

You spoke of the river, and I dreamt that I am not in a flow.

You spoke of the song in Hamsadhwani, and it occurred to me that I am tone deaf.

You spoke of that brilliant night, all I can recall was that I felt dark.

You spoke of the Mona Lisa - and I knew that you liked her more. Than me.

You spoke of the war, and my only thought was - I lost.

Everything is about me. Always will be.

3469 : End of the tunnel

I am so drenched in work. 

I dont see the end of the tunnel.

I am telling myself, keep walking. As long as you are in the right direction, the tunnel will eventually end. Has to end.

Keep walking. The peated one will help.

3468 : The next pause for men in glass houses

You have been talking. So some moments now. It's a one-way street. You are reacting to something I have said. 

I know that eventually you will stop. As in the current words will run dry.

At that point, I want to you to ask yourself - why do you think I would attack your ideas?

Think, ponder - do you need defenses between us? What purpose these walls serve other than prisons?

And then - as you think - I need to ask these very questions to myself.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

3467 : Faff

How much of what we contribute to others, or strive to contribute - is faff?

I have thinking on this since yesterday.

3466 : Coffee and Writing

Keeps me going on a day and a week like today. 

Its tough on the mind, to keep willing to keep crunching tasks, when there is a certain fatigue in your gut.

These are interesting times.

Blue Tokai and Araku are my saviors.

3465 : John Coltrane & Miles Davis

Listening to John Coltrane and Miles Davis on The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series is so much undiluted fun.

This is what my life was meant to be.

Unlimited coffee (and/or whiskey) + Coltrane and Davis in the background. I can do with one basic meal a day. Thats all I need if I have the above.

3464 : Tone deaf

I realise that I might be being tone deaf about certain things, especially when I am supposed to show empathy to close ones.

I need to improve. 

My usual manner of talking to someone - at work/or at home/or with the I am usually I am the mode of first joining hands, and then moving inches. (Of course in a serious context based chat). I dont do this at a speak easy..

Like when I am speaking to my kid, it's usually about how I might help, and what we can do together. The tone deaf bit here is - its possible that all my kid wants to do, is talk, or rant or even bounce ideas. I have to do nothing - other than listen.

That's a mode I don't operate well in. Just listening. Hence tone deaf :-)