Fellow travellers

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Moments

Can there be a few moments...
when you would be you but not completely;
it would be some kind of reality but not entail all that it really entails.
In such a moment, to look into your eyes and whisper all that can't be said
if reality is real.
You would register all and remember all;
forever and forget that you remember it.
The way people hide jewels in the plasters of their walls;
the memory of the moments would remain hidden,
abandoned in the walls of your heart



P.S. Felt like reposting. Had posted it earlier on Sep 13 , 2010.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Awakening



I have just opened my eyes
the dawn welcomes me with a luminescent smile

Tell the wind I am to grow into a huge tree;
Let not the it uproot while am but a sapling

Let not the fear of the wily make my roots sulk
lest I'll keep trembling

Let not the brightness of truth ever be unfaceable for me;
lest my branches shy away from spreading




 
Let not the bitterness of moments gather in me
or my fruits will be embarrassed to serve

Let not the sweet fragrance of the earth be lost on me
Coz my flowers will be no good then plastic

Let me hold my ground and my words
That my trunk does not resemble the spineless

May my roots run deep
Just so winds of change donot sweep me astray

May my leaves not shy away from hard work
else I would be no better than the cuscuta

May I stay down to earth
or deprived of the humbling water I'll run rude,
dried to ashes, thrown to the winds of justice,
who'll take me to the land of loners

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

....would have been happier cheated



He thought that I trusted him but I did not.I discovered that he intended a mischief, and I tried and succeeded in letting him believe that I got played. Nevertheless oblivious of it all he was still puckering up to me his 20 teethed smile on the little balloon of a face with deep punctures on each side and two huge round mirrors fringed with black swept up feathers looking at me, completely trusting.

I hoped I had got played.Had I got played his smile would have been earned not short changed from him.I hated myself.
His achievement could have been real but for the intelligent, calculative me.
I would have been happier cheated. He trusted me to trust him the way he trusted me.



It is about my dearest Nephew. He is a 3 yr old pack of mischeives and my pace maker :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I choose in blacks n whites





I am not morose
Though I choose in blacks n whites
White or black be it what it may
But that what's within should be without
No indecisive, fence-sitting blots of Grey
No wannabe white, dwindling blacks
No wannabe black, grinning whites





They say it's hard to remain what you are within, if you have to keep up with the world.
As days turn into nights I see sparrows turning owls, and all the time playing the martyr.I see everything merging into all else.
You hold a rose and you see a cactus if you bat your eyelids twice, you think you caged a fierce beast, deprive it of the sun, the wind and the rain, and you shudder the next week, when you discover it was only an innocent deer. Not breathing anymore.... you committed the murder you never wanted to.. coz the evil blinded you with the deer skin, gore. 

I choose not to be blinded with tears of sympathy or anger or love. When the day of judging or being judged comes, I want to have my eyes open, without the coloured glasses of prejudice or perception, and the memories, I lean on, to be in blacks or whites...






________________________________


Just a thought.... to me..... 

I don't know what's in store , but I know me and that I'll always have me, this very me who is writing this, to face it with.....


Saturday, May 14, 2011

My 51st Post : What the heck? Who’s John Galt?




I never asked you to wait
I didn't know how long would it take
But when I turn back now
I see
The abode of memories shaken to the core
I had failed the love
But you failed yourself
You are not the you anymore
I could trust your unbelievable dreams
But not this practical, smiling, stable man that screams,
"I am so help less" and that's his plea to suffocate his dreams










I had seen an innocent seed
I deserved to see a promising bud
If at all
Not this wilted corpse of a flower
I see you but can't see through any more
You became just another one lost in the crowd and furore
I see John becoming James, my senses revolt
Oww!! What the heck? Who’s John Galt?


P.S. I have borrowed the phrase "who's John Galt?" and the names of the characters John Galt and James Taggart from Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

उम्मीद

कहीं एक उम्मीद सी है
दिल के किसी झंरोखे से चुप चाप
चली आती है सांस बनकर
सिसकियाँ उभार लाती है
मरने नहीं देती


ज़िन्दगी जलाती है हर लम्हा
हर ख्वाब जलकर राख होने को है
कहीं से फिर आता है एक हवा का झोंका
काले शोलों को पीला कर जाता है
एक चिंगारी कहीं खोने नहीं पाती


कहीं एक सपना सा है
अचानक चौंका देता है
हरकत सी होती है
नीली पड़ती नसें, सफ़ेद हथेलियाँ
चल पड़ती हैं, सुर्ख़ी खोने नहीं पातीं


I had written and posted it somewhere else before in Oct'10.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Game Of Hide n Seek

One day I was asked to close my eyes
Let’s play hide and seek so you get worldly wise
Neither faith nor choice was mine
I closed my eyes coz I had no choice


“Count your days” I did
“Count your salary” I did
“Count your acquaintances, admirers and proposals” I did
“Count the parties, rewards and appraisals” I did


Counting twenty one, twenty two
I sneaked a glance or two
Was shocked to discover
I was wrong in judging the who's who


Closed my eyes again
Perhaps a punishment for cheating it was
When I count all it will be all right
I hope, in fact I was sure, as it was


Counted twenty three, four and five
My good sense told me to be on guard
I brushed it aside intoxicated by success
"You are only a dampener, a spoil sport that I should discard"


My good sense never left me
In mother’s words and fathers comradeship there it was
Slowly, cautiously, doubting, I counted twenty six
To see or not to see was the fix in which I was


Now I open my eyes
Only to find me better ignorant than worldly wise
There was a time I was tempted to sneak a view
Now I wish never to open my eyes till I get a life new


"Brother ! Oh Brother !
I see you but you see me no more
You are there in front of my eyes
But the distance between us can’t be covered in miles"


"Mother! Oh mother!
I bought you a sari in which to shimmer
But I see on your heart scars
And in your eyes red tears that make me shudder"




"Father! Oh father
I hoped to find you prouder
But on your shoulders I find no invisible medallions
But burdens of alms of deserved duty and memories for companions"


"Love! Oh love!
You had promised to be the most colourful dream
Yes a dream is all you proved to be
When my life lost colour you are nowhere to see"


"When I opened my eyes, to fathom the depth of the experience enlightening
The brightness was blinding
Hide n seek was a game of childhood no more for me to play
I accept with bent knees, lowered eyes “Ignorance is bliss” when they say"



Re posting.... :)

Had written it in June last year

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Old Man

This is my first attempt at a short story. Please do share anything and everything that comes to your mind. This is completely new for me :)

“These coolies I tell you, it’s really a surprise that they don’t carry guns and ropes to tie you… such temper. I won’t be surprised if they think they own these trains and if we breathe on the railway station we owe it to them…”


Mr. Chattopadhyay was seemingly in a foul mood… he was given to fights with coolies, rickshaw wallas, poojaris at crowdy famous temples, vegetable vendors, tourist guides… in short anywhere and everywhere there was a possibility of a tussle or a bargain.

Mrs. Chattopadhyay had been expecting it; now that it was over she was relieved and could retire for the night on the berth, as dinner time was past, no more possible conversations with strangers were due that could fan her husband’s temper. The bed roll was already there on the berth, she spread it, arranged it to her comfort and lied down to try and get some sleep. “First thing after reaching there would be to make arrangements for the path* at the temple, and yes, in the morning she would have to give away the left out pooris to the first kid that comes to clean the compartment, would the gobi still be in good condition by then, she had wrapped it in aluminum foil though, at least the gulab jamuns would still be eatable… she still hadn’t gotten over the rotting of the kheer.. ow she keeps forgetting things… there was at least  a quarter of the huge bowl full of kheer. At least two people could have had it….. no no she must remember to give away the pooris, the gobi and the gulab jamun first thing in the morning….”

Hey what was that, isn’t that a familiar grumble, and a tone of anger about to burst forth, like the mild whistles of a pressure cooker just before it is about to go all out with the long whistle. Now what could possible have triggered it ?

Any which ways she got up, the thing that angered her husband further was no one taking notice of his anger. She did not say anything, she did not have to, she just had to sit up and that was a signal for Mr. Chattopadhyay to tell all. He began, ”… the systems are all rotten, what the hell are the TT’s doing except for milking the ‘without tickets’ for a berth at nite… I am sure some such arrangement is behind this… it’s ridiculous… I am going to take it up with him when I see him, what do they think, we have paid for our tickets, how can they let someone sleep just in front of the wash room door… “
She asked, “What? A man is sleeping in front of the wash room door? ... But it is cold…. The chilly wind must be seeping in through the joints of the bogies….”

“Let him freeze, it’s his fault, what does he think  ...sleeping like that blocking the wash room. What if someone has an emergency? “

“Okay have you tried waking him up … ask him to at least to move away from the door… then we’ll see when the TT comes… after all there are other passengers also… they would also object to this”

“The man wouldn’t budge, a vagabond, he’s stinking, there’s a stench I don’t know coming from what, it reminds me of the shortcut route at the back side of the hospital I used to take to go to office….. Can’t even say if he’s sleeping or awake”


Mrs. Chattopadhyay had a natural tendency to sympathize with people who seemed to have had no right to take the roads in life that demanded basic economic and social status. Here was this vagabond, who did not have a ticket to be able to have a berth or even may be a chair car…. Who would sleep in front of the washroom door of a train?

She thought of persuading the man to move aside, so as to save him from her husband’s wrath.

It was January in North India; the wind was cold enough to send spines through one’s very bones. She wrapped herself in a shawl? Though it was an AC bogie, the door was not closing properly and a cold stream was seeping in through the joints of the bogies.

There he lay… an old man. At least he looked old. His face, whatever little was visible of it, dust covered but serene; seemed to be the face of a man who had been self respecting. His hands were big, would have been healthy once, as his entire frame was big, bony. There was some calm about him, an aura of peace.

Could have been counted as one of the wise, balanced, knowledgeable man of his society, might not be formally educated and also might be unaware of the leaps of science and technology but wise nonetheless.

She tried waking him up, by calling out several addresses as she knew could be used to address elderly strangers. He did not budge. More than his jamming the washroom door, what troubled her was the behaviour she apprehended would be meted out to him when all the passengers discover him. Oh Lord! Have mercy on this poor old man, he seems to have been hit by situations already. Lord answered in the form of a pantry car staff. Pantry car was the bogie adjacent to theirs. The pantry car guy had heard her addresses to the old man and had come out to find the reason behind.

“Don’t worry Mataji, these vagabonds would not budge if the train was itself to run over them. You can wake up someone who is really asleep; not one who is faking sleep.

Hey, old man, get up, enough sleep you have had, better get your weight moving or else I would have to find some better treatment for your sleep. Parasites. Why don’t you stay put at one place if you can’t afford the money to move about? “

The man did not budge.

The pantry guy would not have hesitated to use any foul language, but for the presence of Mrs. Chattopadhyay. He was about to give vent to his frustration of not being able to abuse by kicking the old man, just then another pantry guy called out. “Hey Kishan! What happened? This second guy seemed older and a bit more sober. He saw the old man. His face softened. He bent down, stroked his cheeks affectionately and with respect and almost motherly affection implored him to move aside, in some language unknown to both the onlookers.

The old man got up, looked at the second pantry guy with watery eyes, helpless, red, as if the blood in them is going to push them to burst out. He pointed towards the wash room, probably asking for some help. The good guy obliged, reassured him that it was safe enough to move aside. When the old man moved aside, the good guy got out a bundle wrapped in rags and handed it over to the old man. The train slowed down and halted with a screech. It was a dully lighted obscure station outside. Hardly anyone was there except the railway’s indispensable staff and a single on-boarder. The old man, walked out, holding the rag close to his bosom, trembling, and his walk weak but hurried, and after a while disappeared into the darkness.


The pantry guy explained. This guy was Venkateshwar, he had been a much respected person in his village, had a position equivalent to a panch in the village. He was not literate but very knowledgeable and knew everything that he could learn from his forefathers and by observing the nature around. And people respected and sought his opinion in all matters and looked forward to his advice. He wanted to continue this tradition further. He made all arrangements for his only son to study well and pass the medical entrance. His only son was to him like a piece of his heart. A year back, he was taking his son for admission into the medical college in town, by a train. At night, when the train stopped at a non discreet station, his son went out to have water, while Venkateshwar, kept lying in sweet dreams, envisioning his son as a doctor, his son’s certificates, of which he was so proud, and the money for the admission in a bag, worked as a pillow for him. There was a sudden sound like that of Diwali crackers, no it could not be crackers at this place and this hour. It was the naxalites, come to attack the train. Venkateshwar’s heard was pounding. His son wasn’t back in his berth yet, though he had seen him coming towards their bogey through the window. Naxalites were talking among themselves. We must kill, only then will they notice us. They heard the noise of a bottle falling against the floor, they moved in the direction of the sound, it was the washroom; they opened it and unleashed fire from their rifles. There was a scream of a young voice; a voice that Venkateshwar knew too well, the second and subsequent shots were welcomed by whimpers, muffled whimpers gradually becoming less discreet, till there was no noise.

Everyone lay breathless till the naxalites got down at the next station, not before taking more lives. In that moment, Venkateshwar stopped being anything but a walking corpse. Only one thing he kept repeating over and over again. If I could have stood guard against my son, if that was the only thing I could do till I die, God if I could stand guard against my son. And he kept repeating this till he could. Now he doesn’t say anything. Just gets into a train whenever he can, grabbing his Son’s certificates in the rag (the money has long been talked out by disgusting creeps that live by name of men), and guards the washroom doors.

When the good guy left, Mrs. Chattopadhyay went back to her berth, to narrate everything to his husband and get the satisfaction of seeing him soften. That she did. Mr. Chattopadhyay said to her, you should have given him the pooris, the gulab jamuns and the gobi. Poor old man must be hungry. This brought an instant smile on Mrs. Chattopadhyays face, and she was back in her own world, making herself remember to give away the left overs the next morning. The night had been longer than she expected.


* path : Religious ceremony