Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome back, Sir

Yes, sir, welcome home
You must be tired.
After such a tiresome, fearsome company
With only your wall flower to accompany
In your partying with sashas and michelles
In their designer clothes
Sashaying to the melodious ringtones
Of our very own
Musical, global Indian.

Yes, sir, welcome home
You must be tired.
After such an eclectic, learned company
With only your few Ratans and Ambis to accompany
In your forking and corking with the fates of millions
Whose blood have reddened your fingers
And you think
Of liberation through your liberalized open-door

Yes, sir, welcome home
You must be tired.
After such a momentous, first-time affair
Or, should I say, a coitus forbidden
Only by the blood of millions before
Which you today spat on
With your spot-on deals and pacts
Of stealth, greed, and blood thirst

Monday, November 23, 2009

Like a ...

Like a clear cool stream that meanders on
Unaware of its trails
Of the puddles it created
The little moth houses it filled
The thirsts it quenched
Flows the never ending song of solitude
A song in search of its tune
A homeless bird in search of a nest

Like a gusty gale that rages on
Completely aware of its ravages
Of the houses it broke
The trees it uprooted
The seas it parted
Blows the east wind of passion
A flood in search of an unbuilt dam
A tidal wave shying at the shore

Like an innocent little bud that blooms
Oblivious to the fragrance it spreads
To the hopes it builds
The beauty it spreads
The dreams it spins
Plays the music on the harp of eternity
A note in search of a composer
A rain drop in search of its poet

Friday, November 20, 2009

Please don’t disturb; great mind at work

Sometimes, I wish I could hang that board around my neck or in a way that would tell the world not to mess around with me, especially when I am processing an important thought or trying to catch an intricate tune, not that I can reproduce the tune!

Ok, this post is basically about how people get irritated with some of my responses, especially when they startle me when all that they did was just a happy nudge or a warm hug!

Today, I was listening to the radio on my new, beautiful cell phone, and they were playing an old Illayaraja number (must have been a tame channel like Rainbow, for the tame and tepid souls like mine) as I got off the auto and my eyes beheld the beautiful clouds (shaped like two, smoky, pristine white monsters about to get into a cloudy fist fight) against a clear blue background, flood lighted by the sun! Can you guys feel the joy I would have experienced at that moment; the way my sense of being came alive with the miracle of the earth? Extending that moment blissfully, I trudged along, only to be brutally shaken out by a colleague! Well, she didn’t mean to be violent; she’s in fact one of the most soft, petite and pretty women in my office, who is also quite friendly with me (which is a rare combination; I steer clear of anybody who remotely looks pretty, fair, or the conventional sense; in any case, my friends are the most beautiful people on earth!).

Back to the episode: it was a brutal snuffing out of the moment, and understandably I was disoriented! And, I kind of collected my thoughts and tried to listen to what she was saying; nothing, just a hi and then she disappeared, because she had some work!

Heaving a helpless sigh at social etiquette, I trudged along, getting back to the song. And, in no time, I was lost in the ocean of music; how Illayaraja had knit one raga with another without any trace of a bump; a journey he had created to be enjoyed each time your mind and soul came together on that road. And, just when SPB was hitting a high note, my phone shrilled deep into my ears! It was a phone call…sigh! The world seemed committed to getting me out of my world! Well, and the world has the gall to call me an Attention Seeker, when the world wants my attention all the time!

Well…yet another morning…another bag full of goodies. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pavazha Malli Pukkal

En vaasalil vizhundirundina pukkal
Pavazha Malli Pukkal
Thisai theriya kaatru
Avaikagalai angu vitu sendradu

Pookolam pola padindruda pookalai
Paarthen, thazhuva ninaithen
Azhaigiya pukkal endradaal matume
Avaigalai saerthen

En vaasal thedi vanda pukkal
Velainira pukkal
Velai niram, azhagin ore elakanam
Ulagam marandu, anda pukkalai rasithen

Velai nira pukkal, en vaasal vandhada
Velai niram, eraivanin niram
Metukudiin niram
Ennayum un velainirathil atkola ninaithayo

Azhagiya pookale, poivindungal
Azhagiruku, pudu ilakanam thedum karmegam naan
Idhai arinduma ennai suzha ninaithirgal
Velainira pukkale

Karukum suriyanil azhagai paarkiren naan
En kangal thedum azhagu, neengal alla
Edhai arinduthan, ennai thisai thirupa ninaithirgala
Metukudiiyin meykavalargale

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Morning

It’s another morning here, miles away
No, lifetimes away
Away from the evenings of shared smiles
As we straddled, haggled with the vendors

I see another row of neatly arranged boxes
No, cartons that carry food
Not just to exist, but survive
Survive the mundane conversations on right and left

Another sun here shines bright at my smile
No, a stifled sob, a swallowed grief
On the murder of throbbing life
Painted on the outside with hollow laughter and love

Yet another ride, high over the seas
No, over the highway of life
Only, I don’t fear the potholes of your tradition
Of love paid only through the needle of your sacred thread

It’s another evening here, dreams away
No, nightmares away
Away from the mornings of prayerful submission
To purified stone gods that putrefied the soul

I see another of row of bright yellow flowers
No, little love poems floating in my garden
Not just to cuddle, but live
Live to see the face of truth, face of pain, the face of God

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things to do while it’s raining cats and dogs outside

Basically, you must be in a room (preferably alone, an occasional company is also acceptable) with a warm bed that faces the TV and any musical instrument. Importantly, the room must have a window that allows you to stare at the rain.

Now that you are in the room, you can:

1. Read a nice little novel munching a pack of chips, listening to the rain.
2. Watch an interesting, riveting movie with a nice drink in hand (I mean tea, coffee, or juice ;)).
3. Cover yourself with a blanket and use a torch to read old letters.
4. Switch off lights and fans, open the windows, hear the rain, and lull yourself to sleep.
5. Listen to old rain songs, I suggest Illayaraja, and hope someone special calls; most often, this wish isn’t granted, so don’t hope this.
6. Switch off lights, cover yourself with a blanket, and stare at the rain, leaves, little insects, and the street light.
7. If you have a door that opens outside, write little poems on strips of papers and float them.
8. Lie on your bed and remember all those things you never wanna forget.
9. Call people; well, only those who will like to receive your call; this is again a sticky area, so tread carefully.
10. Draw/paint or hum a tune.

So, if guys can think of anything else that you can do, let me know.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thookam Ennai Thuranta Pozhudugalil

Thookam ennai parthu
mazhai thulikaludan
vannathupuchi pol
vilayadi kondu irukiradu

En Mudhal Tamizh Kavithai

Poongatrudan poo vanam
punagai poo kirathu
poo mazhaiyay

Ps: No translation people; sorry. Purely for people who understand and appreciate the beauty of Tamizh...I know, I sound exclusivist...sorry:)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Temptress on the road

Was it a year ago or an aeon ago
When you first sprouted
Each moment adding a curve
A brush stroke here
A nudge there

How did you come to be this way
A moment in history
A tree frozen in the folds of time
An artsy bend here
A curve there, everywhere

Where do you stand, was it
A design to stand testimony
To the ones denied entry
Into the sanctum sanctorum
That can’t behold your magnificence

Why do you stand apart, alone
In the beauty of your splendor
One of a kind
As my eyes behold
Your imposing countenance

What do I say to you
The artist’s handiwork
Or, the temptress on the road
As my eyes seek you each dawn
And, you strike a smile on my lips

Ps: This was written for the tree that stands right behind the Madhya Kailash temple opposite the CLRI campus on the Sardar Patel Road, Adyar. Next time, you take that road, just take a moment to look at this peculiarly beautiful tree. It almost looks like a curvaceous diva. :) Sketch: Rajeev Rajan
Photo: Karthikesawaran.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A search comes to an end…

It was sometime in mid 1998…almost out of one college, and on the verge of getting into another, also a time of great moral/economic crisis that the country was going through. We, though were old enough to herald a revolution or at least choose to learn, chose to sit in student conferences that gave a ‘platform’ to become undergrown arm-chair intellectuals!

It was one such conference/meeting on globalization and how it affects the ‘poor,’ which was organized in the pristine Yelagiri hills, where we munched beef and mutton and talked about what can be done to combat globalization! Of course the person who sat through those conferences has hardly anything common with the person typing this, but, yes, something that happened in that camp/conference has its relevance today.

After one the usual ‘awareness raising (read as hair raising)’ speeches, each college was told to present something creative on globalization; could be a skit, a song, a poem, etc. There must have at least been a dozen presentations on that day, but I distinctly remember a guy and girl (from a not-so-hep college), who confidently take the mike and sing a Tamil song on globalization. It wasn't the people who sung the song, but the song itself that stirred and unsettled me! Today, I wish, I had overcome certain hurdles and walked up to them and asked how and who taught them the song! Their answer might have been a definite turning point, but I did let go that moment, and lived to regret it for a very long time. In all these intervening years, I must have hummed a couple of lines of that song each time I would come across Coke or Pepsi. In a way, that song has been a very strong reason to why I quit drinking cola! But, my search continued...And, today, purely by chance, I check my reader, and what awaits me! Bingo, the same song; a search of almost 11 years comes to an end…in some ways, it feels like homecoming…

Hear the song here!

For those of you, who don't understand Tamil, I have tried to translate the words for you! All of you know am no authority on translation or on Tamil, but still I have attempted so that you all share what I felt as I heard this song!

The country’s developing!

The country’s developing, says he
mmmm….jim jim jim (just for the rhythm, and also connoting to glitter)
In the path taken by Germany, America, and Japan?
Country, our country’s, developing, says he

Coca-cola to quench your thirst
Foreign ‘goods’ to heighten your spirits
Mix up Pepsi and Lehar
The rest of the tasks will be taken care of by mineral water
There’s dearth of water, and you want rose water to rinse your mouth
Slipper him, and his cheeks will puff up

The TV shows a smiling complan girl
As the doctor commands you to give fruits and eggs and milk every day
His child eats voraciously and bloats
As our child only sees the ad and desires
And runs with the plate to get the free meal at school before its over
And, what are his nonsensical schemes swatting?

Morning coffee at Meenambakkam (the Chennai airport)
He goes to ease of (to shit!) at the great city, London
In a private jet, which is fly-like
You need a police delegation for this
When just the rains have washed away our roads
And, the big-mouthed fellow comes talking about country development

The school is hanging with its nameboard
But, what you see is just three walls
The students are hanging on the trees
As the teacher sleeps
The moneyed-man’s child goes to the convent
While only liquor flows in our corporation schools

The government hospitals are at hand
The disease starts right from there
He says he’s operating
He cuts open and says there’s no thread to stitch back
The moneyed man’s crowd goes to Apollo
And, the government in its great mercy conducts postmortems for us

Within the AC cage, the doll stares
As the golden bordered saree glitters on its body
The coffers of Nalli and Sarathas are bursting at the seams
Only white buffaloes are loitering inside
The charka is laying in wait for the cotton thread
Your silk’s glittering in our hunger deaths

Forests, trees, seas, fish are private
Even electricity and telephone are private
All government plants have been divided
And auctioned off thrice
What’s left to be called our country?
He’s dancing and the director is jungle-raaj


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...