Monday, April 27, 2009

Disgust

Bitterness, fermented
Spiraling expectations
A lost heart
A rotten soul

Anger, rusted
Gnawing at the pit of the stomach
A bygone era
A fallen hope

Questions, unanswered
Silent hanging
A lacuna of desire
A lake of bile

Marbles, held intact
Godly obedience, consent manufactured
A sea of want and need
A search in darkness

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bye, bye, CP…

In a few days time, my office will get shifted to Okhla, which is rather uncomfortably close to where I stay. It would of course mean lesser traveling hours, in fact, on a cool morning or evening, I can walk to or from office. Now, some people might think of it to be a luxury, given the fact that several people travel even 50 km (one way) to reach their offices. However, I am rather wistful about this turn of events despite the prospect of regular gymming and having wholesome, home-cooked food.

Every day, I leave my home by 8 and take an auto to Connaught Place, where my present office is located. I always thought of myself very lucky to be working in CP. And, I have always wondered what makes CP so special to me. Is it just the buildings or access to the ‘best’ shops that the capital has to offer? After a lot of thinking, I realized it is the people. Well, they are NOT different from the people you see in other places, but only that you see people from all classes. There’s the way side chai wala, pappu chaat wala, the British Council, the American center, antariksh bhavan, and the majestic white columned round buildings. Such variety of sights, such heterogeneity, as against the homogenous, ugly white-collared executives stomping around in their tailor-fit suits and sparkling shoes with bags from wherever!

Then, of course is the auto ride and my daily chats with the auto drivers. I will certainly miss that. I know that the auto costs 4.5 lakhs, and you can make close to 1000 bucks if you owned the auto and drove it for about 12 hours. On the other hand, you could make only 300 or 400 if you took the auto on rent. The owners charge at least 300 bucks per day, and they do not pay for the petrol or the vehicle maintenance.

Then, the ride…filled with colorful sights, especially when the spring was in full swing. Violet, red, yellow, blue, etc…the roads would be strewn with these colorful flowers, and one had to only lift your head to the see the colorful miracle on the trees with the sky as a clear blue background. On some days, the journey will be accompanied by rain with the smell of wet earth. At the umpteen signals, I’d look around to see people hurrying up for their jobs, some engrossed in the newspapers, and some just waking up and stretching.

Well, as they say, only change is constant...perhaps, who knows, Okhla might also have some beautiful things to capture my imagination...Only one thing I wish...I don't want to see capitalists, who do not use the term recession, big cars, and dumb fakesters!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dangerous shallow waters

Never fear the depth
Fear the shallow waters that appear deep
Deep only to the extent of the slush within
The deceptive muck

Fear the quiet demeanor of a smile
Couched in years of venom
The unmatched wisdom of chivalrous lies
Co-opting the blank, impressionable mind

Away, I tell you, run as fast as you can
From the soft grasp of empty sweet nothings
Values, traditions, duties, customs
The bog that buries dissent and humanity’s hope for tomorrow

Close not your eyes and ears
Simpletons may rule you in no time
Creating their make-believe houses of joy and empty pride
Telling you what is right and left

Swim against the tide to be alive
Than be a dead log and think
You are carrying the river
That consumes even your shattered corpse in holy tradition

Break or be broken down by vacuous, obscure pride
Solitude, small price in the face of definite
Human decay and a settled, seething cauldron
Of shallow waters that appear deep

Dream of a new world order
A world devoid of pretentions or wanton amusement
Savoring each day in the magic of music
In the stillness of waters that run deep

...

Moods change faster than seasons
Sometimes, with seasons
Sometimes, with bank balance
Sometimes, with politics

Colors are usurped before the ink on the paper dries
Blue for social liberation they say
Red for people liberation
Saffron for rioting and killing

Friendships and romance are captured in picture perfect moments
In smses
In chats
In social networking sites

Reality and true human touch are beyond the grasp
Of any suspended human
Suspended between classes
Sandwiched between email addresses and TV serials

The heart and soul are lost in dreams of posterity
Of comfortable retirement plans
Of uncomfortable health insurance schemes
Of customized, packaged, love-is-real marriages

The spirit and mind are trying to look beyond
The moods, the colors, the customized romance and insurance plans
To open the door to the real world
To see real people, with an unsold soul

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Awaiting


A staggered note, split by a second

A second longer

To hear the note again

To see magic


A moment of inspiration, split by a day

A day longer

To hear the divine whispers

To face serendipity


A seed of pain, split by a lifetime

A lifetime longer

To reclaim heaven

To pay for redemption


A dollop of joy, split by a universe

A universe longer

To savor a nugget of bliss

To catch rapture

For a close friend and fellow traveler

The warm voice wafted through
In assurance of my sanity

The wicked laughter stole in
In accordance with tradition

The violent temper threatened
In defiance of structural compromises

The hard-earned, glittering red purse strings opened
In solidarity with the human cause

The tempestuous sea broke at the seams
In pursuance of great ideals and dreams

The choking umbilical cord cut late at the roots
In joining the ever thinning revolution of tomorrow

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From life to death

Riding on pristine white
Far over the clouds
Come you nigh each day
In octet minutes

Hiding and seeking
Supporting humanity
Embracing it in your warm palms
Morning and evening, another day

From wilting to bouncing
From deep slumber to divine ecstasy
From life to death
From warmth to baptism of fire

Oh dear
Spare us thy temper
Lesser mortals, have we been
Tearing our shield in arrogance

Ignorant have we been
Too late
To mend the hole
Await I to die in thy arms of fire

Riding on pristine white
Far over the clouds
Come you nigh each day
In octet minutes

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A gift for gifting me

A gift for gifting me
My own soul
From the depths of darkness
Where it descended

Dark were the deep alleys
Snaking deeper into superstitions
My soul laid in wait
In the blind misery of lies

Left in the dark abyss
Spent the soul many a day ruing easy the poor fate
Risking redemption
End justifying the means

Seeping in was grime
Lies, betrayal, crime, pain came unannounced
Trampling my lost soul
Burying it in the deepest dens of human crime

A gift for gifting me
My own soul
From the depths of darkness
Where it descended

The den gave secret desires of freedom
Did I call you, or you found me
My whiff of fresh air
My purgatory

Was it a window I left open
Or, a floodgate
My soul flew away
Far into the soul of the universe

Came to me your words
Sweeter than honey to my taste
With promise of a font of love within
Made dry by human crime

Change, you said
For the better, my dear
Called me by my name
Stirred me from within

A gift for gifting me
My own soul
From the depths of darkness
Where it descended

Disclaimer: Ok people, don’t roll your eyes, curl your lips, stick out your tongue, slap your forehead, wring your hands, or punch the monitor! I just wrote something…just be civil, ok!

Taking on the neo-liberals of this developing country

Several months ago, I received the following forward. Besides, desperation, the forward stunk of racism, stupidity, ignorance, arrogance, and scant regard for human rights. So, to set the record straight, I am writing a take on the forward, only taking care not to sound as crass and obnoxious as my ‘inspiration.’ Read on friends….

Dear Friends,

Here is a story that you can pass on to our Indian friends who live, work and prosper abroad.
Best Wishes and Regards

An Old Story:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed.
The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
Indian Version:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.
Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.
Mayawati states this as `injustice' done on Minorities.
Amnesty International, UN, EU and World Human Rights Organisations criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.
The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance) .
Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for ' Bengal Bandh' in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.
CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.
Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.
Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ' Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.
Arjun Singh makes 'Special Reservation ' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.
The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,it's home is confiscated by the Governmentand handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.
Arundhati Roy calls it ' A Triumph of Justice'
Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice '.
CPM calls it the ' Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden '
Ban Ki Moon invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.
Many years later.....
The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley,
100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India ,
..AND
As a result of losing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the grasshoppers,
India is still a developing country!!!
Hows that ?
____________________________________________________________________
Dear Friends
Here’s a story that you can pass on to all our sisters and brothers (definitely only a few of them will have access both to computers and the English Language), so that they understand why our country is still developing…
Read and pass on for annihilation of caste and for building a new society…
An Old Story:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed.
The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Indian Version:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant must toil in the fields that he doesn’t own, clean the toilets of grasshoppers because of the ant’s past life sins, and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.
Sometimes, when the grasshopper meditates he remembers what a great game his ancestors have played and crushed the hardworking ants under them!
Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper, as usual, calls for a yagna to please the gods and tries to take away all the resources that the ants have painstakingly earned over centuries, braving the inhuman crimes of the grasshoppers, such as casteism, untouchability, rape, land grabbing, and lies। However, this time, the ants do not come to the yagna; they found a new god!

This scares the grasshopper to no limit! How can the ants go to another God! His mind starts working। In no time, the ants will realize the lies of the Grasshopper’s ancestors. They would realize that untouchability is hogwash! They will also start studying and perhaps even stop doing the ‘polluting’ work. What if they become lawyers, doctors, engineers! The ants have all the labor force; in no time they will build a self-sufficient society. They will have no need for the grasshoppers, who can only after all spout prayers, conduct business, and ‘own’ land!

The grasshoppers realize the imminent downfall of their kind and start plotting! They fall back on their age-old philosophy of divide and rule through lies-mongering!

They float lies through popular media about how certain religious communities are growing. They cause rifts between happy ant families and make them kill each other! They move from one ant society to another and cause more and more butchery, laughing all the while when rivers run red with the blood of ants.

The World is stunned by the deviousness of the grasshoppers.

Repentant grasshoppers, unable to stomach the violence, demonstrate with the very few enlightened ants. Some try and force their way and write the rules to follow. They finally agree that every one must work to earn their wage. But, what they don’t realize is the grasshoppers are still guarding every profession! And, so they ensured the safety and comfort of the grasshoppers for the next 60 years, despite the special provisions for the hardworking ants!

After 60 years…

The 15% grasshoppers rule the 85% ants! Yes, even after the provisions through affirmative action, the grasshoppers through their lies, which the only thing they are great at, hoodwinked the country to believe in pollution, and in the inherent ‘intelligence’ of the grasshoppers!

The grasshoppers take to novel ways in spreading their lies; they make some totally, lies-based e-mails and forward them to all their no-brain communities.

The ants, who have been watching, especially the enlightened ones have been working and slogging. They set up learning centers, they consciously choose another religion, fight elections, question the systems that subjugate people…

The ants are at work…

Just you wait, the ants tell the grasshoppers…now, that could be construed as a threat and so…

Grasshoppers come up with laws every second to kill and butcher the ants, but, with every ant killed, 1000 such ants are born!

Yes, slowly, but steadily the Indians (85% of the total population) are developing….that’s why India is a developing country!

Destination Sikkim - Till we meet again

On the third day, we went to the Sikkim Himalayan Zoo. It was day of little rain and much mist. The walk into the zoo was surreal because o...