Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Panacea..

My Panacea...On this Special day, I dedicate this Lovely Poem to you my life. I borrow the words from Pablo Neruda because at the moment, I am incapable of giving words to my feelings. But every words below is worth its weight in gold..

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Sugar, Wishing you many MANY happy returns of the day!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Two days ago, all seemed well. People going out without a worry in the world. Children playing on the streets. The trains running full. And I was very happy, I did not have to worry whether I or my loved ones would be safe outside. But...

But Wednesday night changed it all. My home, Mumbai was burning. The city which is known for its resilience was taken hostage by a handful of terrorists. And the situation continues as I write this post. I am sure the authorities will take the situation under control within a few hours. I would not go on to explain what is happening as you all must have been following the morbid turn of events on your television sets. But I will just say that this incident as all others in the past will leave me scarred as it will most of you.

I would just request our guardians in the form of politicians:
Please don't divide the country on the basis of region, religion, caste, creed, sex. This diversity is our strength. Please don't make it our prime weakness. We must stand united to fight this common enemy if we want the coming generation to breathe in the free India. We would want them to play on the streets without fear. We would like to see smiles on the faces of our loved ones and not lines of worry on their foreheads. Please stop this politics meant to divide our country. It is Enough!

And I would like to express my deep sorrow and offer my condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in this dreadful crisis and would like to salute all those police, NSG, MARCOS, RAF and army personnel who have laid down their lives or are fighting for us.

I hope the 'Spirit of Mumbai' springs to action as soon as the crisis is over.

God Bless Mumbai !

Monday, November 24, 2008

And it Rained...

Clouds start to cover the sky with their dark, gloomy feathers, giving a darker shade of grey to the day. A creak here, a thunder there. Birds chirping across, seeming to make a sprint towards home. The flowers reflect whatever daylight there is left, like tiny glowing lamps switched on before the twilight. The zephyr shifts gears and gushes through the leaves, giving them an invitation to roam the earth with them. The roads clear up. Kids run to their homes. Markets start rolling up.

With a slight warning with sprays, heavens start pouring with all the unexpressed emotions pent up over the last few days.

The sky frowned and cries
And tears begins to fall down
Each drop cooled the ground.

And with each drop, heart brings back the memories. Memories, now found between the pages of that old textbook, that broken pen, that precious piece of paper, that old song which still stirs the strings of the heart. Memories. That paper boat. That broken umbrella. That music cassette. That conversation. That Bus. That seat.

looking back we will
and to relive memories,
we once had as friends.

My encounter with rain goes back to my primary days. A friendship of a lifetime was to be moulded. The rains. The long waits on the bus-stop. Those games we played. The pranks we pulled. The plans we made to conquer the world. Wreck havoc in class. Make the life of that bully miserable. The days went by trying to fly in the wind with the umbrella. The sketches of the teachers we made on the pages of the notebook. Pages long lost. But etched in the memory forever.
And then rain washed it all away. Just like the downpour had heralded it.

I feel so lonely.
A friend across the country
Memories left here.
And then it rained. Once again.

lonely rain and wind
awakened from restless dreams
your warm embrace missed.

The Days spent waiting for the class to end. The gates to be opened. That seat in the bus. And be mesmerized. Those cold sigh. Those difficult syllables shying away. Those Short walks to home. Those missed opportunities. Those surges of courage to speak. The laughter. The park. Those pestering kids who just would not learn to stay mum. The Wait. The moon covered in clouds. The wait. The pain. The wait.

Rain. It is these tiny drops of water that precipitate on our hearts and wash away the dust off the memories. Sitting by the window, as I look at these drenched leaves, it takes me to a different plane of dreams. Suddenly life seems so distant. With every falling drop, life seems to pass away to sepia, leaving behind a trail of memories. Memories which we can only chase. Never relive them again. Never touch them again. Like chasing the rainbow. Like rainbows.

Saturated clouds,
Thunder and lightning, boom, flash
Rainbows follow rain.

Rains. I hate it. I love it. I believe I cannot ever get away from the rains. No umbrella, no shelter can protect my heart from the rain.

In the words of Rabindranath Tagore from 'The Rainy Day':

Sullen clouds are gathering fast over the black fringe of the forest.
O child, do not go out!
The palm trees in a row by the lake are smiting their heads
against the dismal sky; the crows with their dragged wings are
silent on the tamarind branches, and the eastern bank of the river
is haunted by a deepening gloom.
Our cow is lowing loud, ties at the fence.
O child, wait here till I bring her into the stall.
Men have crowded into the flooded field to catch the fishes
as they escape from the overflowing ponds; the rain-water is
running in rills through the narrow lanes like a laughing boy who
has run away from his mother to tease her.
Listen, someone is shouting for the boatman at the ford.
O child, the daylight is dim, and the crossing at the ferry is closed.
The sky seems to ride fast upon the madly rushing rain; the
water in the river is loud and impatient; women have hastened home
early from the Ganges with their filled pitchers.
The evening lamps must be made ready.
O child, do not go out!
The road to the market is desolate, the lane to the river is
slippery. The wind is roaring and struggling among the bamboo
branches like a wild beast tangled in a net.

And it rained. Making me chase the rainbow. Bringing back more memories.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Looking back...

Yesterday, and the day before. Finally got some scintilla of respite from the schedule of an average MBA student. Holiday(s). a word, ususally a singular stirs up many things in the mind. Those few last hours in the class...when we dream of our cherished plans for the day(s) to come. We actually visualize ourselves doing those blissful activities which we have so long neglected. Let me talk for myself...getting into the sepia mode for a while...during my school days, i had such vivid plans that I would actually tremble waiting for the bell to ring..that bell...the harbinger of holidays...yippeee! once again are we free birds ready to stretch our wings and roam the sky with the dreams...
dreams of...learning the guitar...wrecking havoc with the science experiments in the make shift sci-lab in the backyard...go out and play...visit friends...and what not.
Ok then, we have reached home sweet home. Now what? We still have a lot to do alright..we still have a long way to go! With these thoughts we plan some kind of organized strategy to go about 'enjoying' the holidays...with markings on the calender. And then...then it starts...the gears start meshing up..and? Yes, we hit the couch. After all, this is just the first it not? We get to our comfortable posture on the couch such that the bodily movement is minimum. Even the displacement of the fingers to operate the remote is minimized by auto programming the channels. And the calender, with the circled dates...they do what they are supposed to..sneak away to some place unknown to mankind. And lo...time hit us with the news that school starts tomorrow! Guitar? Science? Play? friends? We just keep wondering while we dejectedly pack our bags. Friends..Does that ring a bell anywhere?
Coming back to the present, I got the weekends off after a long time...and as usual, plans started taking shapes in the mind. Books. Travel. Take some photographs. Clean the room...and pour out myself here(i shall come back to this later). Saturday, the last lecture gets over. Phew. once again the whole process starts. Mind screens the plans like a soap opera...over and over again. But the holiday(s) start up that age old process of optimizaton. minimum movement. And here I am, wondering where did Sunday and Monday fly by? Friends, wasn't it just a moment ago i came out of the lecture, Happy. Happy? Well, i am preparing for the lecture scheduled in the morning. As i write this, it actually wonder how must Einstein figure out that time is relative. Before the onset of the holidays...they seemed so long for our plans...but now, when we have reached the end of the show...looking back, we wonder how soon the days passed. That relativity. But friends, atleast one of my plans has materialised. I wanted to write about this for a long time...And looking forward for the next holiday(s)...
looking look back.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vicarious Lives.

Have we been living a vicarious life?

Before I say anything, please consider going through the following. This is from one of my favourite movies 'Good Will Hunting':

So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favourites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "Once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my whole life apart.
A beautiful union of words, but you would ask what relevance does it hold? Well, this beautiful piece of work has definitely made me think. Think about what we are actually learning? Learning from books? Its definitely true that books are the only means through which we can look at the world through the eyes of great humans. But where is this vicarious learning taking us? Quoting from William Shakespeare,

"If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth the rough touch with a gentle kiss."
We read this and know what love is, what it is to lay in our beloved's arms, how divine it feels like to sit near the one we love and secretly wishing that the moment never passes away. But how many of us have actually felt love? how many of us can describe how it feel like to hear the voice of ones beloved after days which seem like eternity? How many of us have actually felt their knees getting weak when we meet the person we could give our life for?

"When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate."
We learn what pain is, what it is to cry at the heavens. We know everything about pain from the sonnets the poets weave. But how many of us have actually felt their hearts ripped apart when the person we love is taken away from us and the separation is termed destiny?
Emerson describes friendship as,

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when
he discovers that someone else believes in him
and is willing to trust him."
True. Friend is a special relationship which transcends to a spiritual level. But have we ever considered looking up for that old friend from school? Making that call to that friend we used to share our lunch with? Have a walk down the memory lanes and share the nostalgia?

We presume that we know everything and have our judgments ready for every occurrence and quote someone hence labelling the judgment correct and the actions follow. So often i have read opinions and comments by many of us who don't have the slightest clue about what we are judging. And this starts a rippling process known as word of mouth hence preventing others from experiencing the same before coming to an judgment. And we call this learning. We call this living. Vicarious living. But if we have to start living life,a life experienced first hand...and this will not be possible is we are not ready to take the first step...listening to our heart...not fearing failures...obviating opinions made laws by others...and starting to believe in ourselves...

But are we ready to take the first step?