Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For the Zenith of the Sky


I wish I could play the mellifluous song

that blesses with

a silent harmony of voices.
I wish I could weave that web of words
which when opened leaves not
a single thread for the eye that sees.

Alas! I flock far away

In a fury of jumbled nothings.
The song floats in the air,
with the wing of words to soar high.

My hands spread

hope for the zenith of the sky

and my soul in shackles,

tiptoes the earth to fall off

from the heaven of life.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Narrow - Minded Indian

I met an IITian today in the library and struck a conversation with him.Talking of general things he asked me where I had done my schooling and college from. I have done my graduation from Lady Brabourne College, which is one of the top 5 colleges in Kolkata. The inception of this knowledge lay in the British era and it was formed exclusively for the education of Muslim girls. It is one of the very few colleges that have a separate department for Urdu and Persian.This IITian fellow had a notion that many Christian students study in  this college and when I corrected him saying that there are more Muslim girls, he spontaneously said - "How pathetic?"
He asked how I could study with Muslim girls, and I couldn't believe my ears as he asked me that.
"Why do you say that?", I asked him and he asked if I have forgotten 26/11.
"You blame the whole community for 26/11?"
"No, I know they are not all to be blamed but then they are an unbearable lot ,even in IIT we can't tolerate them", he said.
May be he has not forgotten the horrific day and feels strongly about it but he has hardly understood 26/11.
I hate to be rude with people but this time I was itching to be and didn't hold myself back as the words spat out of my mouth - "You don't call yourself a modern civilized man, do you?"

Ironically this guy did his schooling from St. Xaviers and then graduated from IIT and now is a research scholar there. As I shared this instance with my sister she said that there is no relation between being an IITian and being an Indian. She is right when she says that. But it is sad nonetheless. One might hold a dozen degrees against his bosom and yet continue to survive with a closed mind and heart. Phew such a suffocating way to live! The truth is that education is mostly found to be far from the holistic growth of an individual and caters to the ambitions of the students in measured spoons.

Its almost an year now since 26/11 happened and we have several debates and discussions taking place nation wide on the security issue and how much the system has changed. But read between the lines and one will find that the mindset of the people, which is at the root of all things, has remained the same if not worsened.

For me I have learnt a lesson, a significant one too. Next time when I will hear a Varun Gandhi make a hate speech, I will not be surprised and think of him as some kind of an alien. I would know that he is one amongst many.The illusion for me has shattered and I am glad that it has. But I am optimistic as never before and feel the urge to pray and wish with greater sincerity for the opening of the closed minds and hearts of the people. I say this with a firm belief that there will be voices in galore to join me in my prayer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I had written this story in college as a part of an assignment.Read it after long a time today and thought of sharing  with you all  - 

It is commonly said that life has few surprises to offer as and when one grows in age.The same could be said for the old couple, Mr. and Mrs. Roy.The weeks, months and years comprised for them the same days, repeating themselves over and over again with little or no variation. Mr. Roy, a retired government officer, was known to be an upright man and lived by his own clock.He would take a cup of tea  sharp at 5 in the morning, then a stroll in the lonely streets of the yet to rise neighbourhood.The newspaper, which he read with alternating expressions of disgust and disapproval, would then occupy the first half of the day.

Day would slip into noon and lunch would be followed by a siesta, sharp at 4 p.m. there would be a knock at the door, which would be attended by Mrs. Roy to let in a neighbouring friend. The two would talk for a couple of hours but then what shall they talk about, there was nothing pleasant to talk of. The Government seemed to be heading nowhere with the Minimum Needs Programme, the Nuke Deal was a recipe for disaster, the economic policies were no good. The leaders didn’t know how to take India- a nation where a large chunk of the population lived from hand to mouth - to progress. Mr. Roy too had lived in those strained circumstances for the better part of his life but then he knew how to fit in his needs within his income and managed to send his only son to a convent school and then to a nationally recognized medical college.Yes, that was the only pleasant thing to talk about.
It would be during this  procession of conversation that Mrs. Roy would walk in with tea and snacks, and the neighbour would compliment her for the variety she cooked, she never repeated the same snack in a month.That was a compliment indeed for Mrs. Roy, who cooked with all her heart and soul. Kitchen was her sacred space and even before the sun could steal a look at earth she would  be there cleaning her sacred space and making tea for her husband.

Serving meal to Mr. Roy was was the most priced thing for her, she would look at him as he would eat the meal quietly.He never asked for more and she never forced him to take more.It was this unexpressed contentment that she cherished all day.
Beside this Mrs. Roy would stitch clothes for new borns of some distant relations, acquaintance or neighbours, and while knitting in the verandah she would occasionally peep into the adjacent room and see her husband reading,sleeping or talking to his friend.He knew that she looked at him and yet he never would return that glance. Why should he, he had nothing to tell her?

The day would thus pass into night, followed by an early dinner at seven. The intervening hours before the couple went to sleep at nine were left to the newsreaders and the characters of the daily soaps, who bore the burden off talking and raising their voices in the otherwise quiet house. Sharp at nine the lights and television would be turned off and Mrs.Roy would wait for her husband to lie down, pull the coverlet over him and then go to bed herself being reminded of what she had once told her daughter-in-law. “How do you bear with Baba’s silence Ma?",her daughter-in-law had once asked, and she had just one spontaneous answer –“I love him, beta.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Love of that Momemnt and Eternity ...

The pink of the petals untarnished beyond bloom
the fragrance rising  to  touch the end to be,
the love of the plant and the call of the soil,
the wither of the petal and the death of the flower.
No urns left,no ashes remain
the flower bloomed and withered never to be.

I watch and wonder - can man not thus cease to be,
in such calm that he knew not what pain had been to
And die in love and cherish of that one moment and

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Monday, November 9, 2009

An amazing experience

Reading often results in experiences beyond expression and a similar thing happened while I was reading a poem on Facebook. Zerai Mefsin, a memeber in the group - J. Krishnamurti, (like me)  had posted a poem therein, which I cannot refrain from sharing with you all here -The Essence.

Take the plunge and unravel the wonder.
Would love to hear your reactions.

Friday, November 6, 2009

55 Fiction – Unfettered Death

“It died”, cried a tender voice,"the poacher…” 

Words were hushed by sobs, laments on freedom leading

to death and  fear rushing through the veins.

Those petty sounds shook my clipped wings,entered my

spirit - caged  and I wondered if I’d ever be shot by a

poacher and breathe my last in open air.

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Pay it Forward

Receiving an award from Swapna has meant a lot to me (between I have flaunted quite stupidly about it on Facebook and Twitter, it being my first one I allowed myself that fancy.)More importantly what this award made me realize was the importance of appreciating and being appreciated. Keeping the ego aspect at bay, appreciation is actually quite a beautiful emotion. It connects one to the beauty and innocence around, towards which we are mostly nonchalant or may be are just shy to respond, and what more it spreads love and positivity.
I mean just imagine a little girl, say three to four years old, for whom her doll means the world to her. Instead of just passing on her little play or just being nostalgic about your childhood days, you reach out to the girl and say -
“Your doll is so pretty! She is quite a darling like you.” And just wait to see that innocent smile flower on her lips and trust me it would and would bless your day with sweetness and simple joy.

Well I guess I have bragged quite enough to put you to sleep. So I will stop right here and express my appreciation for my favourite bloggers by giving the “Good Blog Award” to them.
So here you go -


Accolades and cheers awesome bloggers!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Escape from Sound to Silence.

A puny chirper on a tree that I call mine has often seen me duck whenever the massive rush of  voices and sounds has blown over. It got that share of amusement quite often than I  would have preferred it to. Can’t help, the news of noise pollution touching the zenith is almost everywhere. I ducked and it stared at me with a muted gaze.
But today when I heard that tremendous onrush and in the agony to escape almost usurped the chirper’s branch, it looked at me with a gaze that now voiced  I had no hope of escape  – “Hey! don't you think you are too noisy yourself to escape that sound?".

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

55 Fiction – A Window to Soul

Inspired by the absolutely wonderful 55 fictions penned  by Divsi, I too tried to test the unknown waters. So here I am with some musings of mine -

She had just one window and it meant
the world to her. She was happy to have the window gaze at her with its wide eyes until the day she saw in those eyes the pitter patter of raindrops without and was left wishing that she too had some tears to quench her arid soul.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sharing borders with Pakistan

I came across this beautiful blogpost my journalist(NDTV)Uma Sudhir and felt the urgent need to share it with all who want to break the barriers and reach out.Uma Sudhir happened to be there in Pakistan when it was rocked by three consecutive days of violence, last week. She tells of her experience there and on reading all that she has to say I am enthused with such indomitable hope - a hope in the innate ability of human beings to connect across races and borders.

My wishes for hope and love in opulence in your life - the two feelings I believe can set everything right.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

With Her Gaze

There was nothing that could hold her back. She wanted to go and she would. In her small and expressive eyes I saw the inevitability of her being and the inevitability of her not being.Nobody dared utter a word to her. No farewell was given, no parting words were said and she went.
I couldn’t sleep that night, her steady gaze that was fixed upon her hands almost haunted me and I felt them spying on me from somewhere within. The gaze was her shadow and now that she had gone her shadow had  strangely fallen behind. i felt uneasy, scared and almost helpless. It penetrated into my consciousness and entered the dark walls of my zone of the unknown, it looked at all that I had been refusing to accept as real … as mine – my anger, my insecurities, my love, my fortitude and my death. Suffocated in the darkness of that cluttered space the gaze moved away.
Free from the forced presence of the intangible sight, I felt like my same old self - blind, deaf and numb.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

To Life … With Love.

Do you need a reason to feel happy? Or you could be happy just anyway. I know,you might feel that I am a completely unpredictable blogger, despondent one moment and talking of happiness the other. But  I guess that is how it goes with life. It has just the right measures of everything ready for you and the moment it thinks that you have had the right dose of one feeling or experience it feeds you with the other.
Sometimes this constant feeding by life leaves one perplexed and with a set of “whys” – why did it have to happen now or happen to me or why did it have to happen at all – but clearly life doesn’t care a tiny bit about all of this. It is too busy being your good mother giving you the right thing at the right time.Remember if as a child you couldn’t get your way with your mother and had to do her instructions its nothing different with life now. It just won’t let you have your way like any strict and concerned mother.
So here a little advice for myself and all like me -
“Never ask why life is a certain way because it cannot be otherwise.
So be patient and take the prescribed doses with love.”

Friday, October 9, 2009

With no Answers and a Wish

I wonder what is it that I do in life. There are moments when I feel completely at loss with myself. Everything that I do and say does not seem to be in sync with what I should be doing. Why again and again such a phase comes into my life, intrigues me with questions about myself that I can't answer. Is it because I am unstable and fickle or is it because I do not want to live my life in measured spoons?
I wish I had an answer.I wish I knew what it is with me and how I  can just blow these phases out of my life and strive to set things right happily and ceaselessly.
I just wish..
life, me, void

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Violence in all forms

I claim to be a follower of the Gandhian values and on this account have always had debates with several of my friends, who find Gandhi and his principles to be outdated or impractical.They condemn him for following a highly inappropriate approach to attaining freedom.
Debates being debates, they mostly ended up with heavy exchange of arguements and with something I later realised to be emotional violence.
Violence becauese in the course of debate I got angered by the counter arguemnets, I got angered by the fact that my friend did not respect someone whom I honour.
The fact that something which I hold to be right is considered wrong by someoneput me off and I vehemently tried to make my point(not without prejudices).
A queer blend of pride and self assertion. Phew!!

Ironically, while I believed that I was advocating for the Mahatma, his values and believes were far from all of it.

Having learnt a lesson, I try not to participate in any of those debates anymore and leave my fellow beings with the joy of believing in what they do and save myself the same pleasure.
All I believe in doing now is being and doing what the Mahatma has preached through his life. I let my thoughts and deeds do the advocating job now.
I do not worry about being winning his cause against people who disbelieve Gandhi because Gandhism has ceased to be a dogma and has manifested itself as a way of life.
A way which is not just diificult but brave.
Its a way which takes me closer to my being.

As I essay through this path of self discovery with all those who aspire for truth and non violence (in all possible forms),my prayers for a truthful and peaceful living remains for all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Day of She

Was it not the same day?

The day when she had come running down the stairs, laughing

and had pierced the silence in the rooms.

The day when she had flung her arms around the stillness

in expansive joy and

throughout the night had gaped wild at the moon.

Was it not the same day,

when a garb was burnt

and she was called dead?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sharad Utsav Begins…

Today is the Mahashashti.
Another Sharad Utsav
comes round in my life and  I again find myself
wondering what it is all about Durga Puja.
Being a Bengali Durga Puja definitely means lots of
pandal hopping, wearing new clothes and having 
nothing to do with the daily chores of life.
It means offering prayers in front of the Goddess
but a sense of incompleteness pervades.
That is not all if at all it is anything.
And as I continued to wonder, God dropped in a
message through a friend, philosopher and
guide,who mailed me a beautiful lyric, which I share
with you here -

“Christmas isn't Christmas...
Till it happens in your heart...
Somewhere deep inside you...
Is where Christmas really starts...
So bring your heart to Jesus...
And remember when you do...
That its Christmas... really Christmas...
For you......”
So as I embark on my voyage to internalise the
Durga Puja,
to free myself of the anxiety of knowing what it
and to adore with love and simplicity all that this
festival has in store for me,
my wishes for a joyful Sharadotsav are here for you.
Shubho Sharadotsav!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Leader Dies…

How inevitable and elusive are the ways of death!
I was told by my mentor that the greatest beauty of death lies in the simple and unconditional acceptance of death  and in the attempt to die beautifully.
But how do you take a death that barges into your life most unexpectedly, knocks off all that belongs to being and just puts an end abruptly?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Unknown Lines

There was an old bundle of paper with random
sketches and lines drawn here and there, that I had
never attempted to open and see
and now they lay open in front of me, scattered
by an inevitable wind.

They refused to bear my deliberate blindness. 
I held  them in fear, picked one and read the lines
drawn, they crossed each other at the ends and
formed a vague hastily drawn enclosed figure.
The second sheet repeated the same figure with an
addition of some more mess of lines fitting inside
the enclosure.
The same pattern continued, the
more the mess of lines inscribed within thickened
the more thin the boundaries appeared.
The forces of perception and the pull of the
unperceived held tight.
Shutting my eyes from the
web of lines only opened a huge blank page .

“Good Lord!”, I cried for mercy.
My voice was being muted, my eyes growing dim
under the light of the massive blankness.

Nothing made sense any longer, no truth remained,
all sin and all goodness seemed perfectly within
The walls were crumbling, some unknown touch had
surfaced their fear, which had been cemented upon,
and all that eventually remained of them was their
unburnt ashes.

In that unfamiliar earth - my very own land - that I
had laboured to life, I knew not, remember not what
had once been true.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Believe ...

He ran across the streets almost in a fit, pushing through the crowd as if waging a war against all who came in his way. Almost breathless by the time he reached home, he banged the door open and asked aloud,

“Ma where is the little girl?”

“Little girl, whom are you talking about?”

“The little girl Ma, what do you mean by who?”

She hardly had the time to listen to him, the dough had to be made, vegetables cut and cooked, the house cleaned and then her own daily rituals of worship to be performed.

“You have become selfish ”, he said while hunting madly for the “little girl” amidst the heaps of old newspapers and rags piled up in one corner of the room; “don’t you care for that puny creature?”

She had got quite used to her son’s blabbering to respond to or get perplexed about what he said.

Tired by his solitary search for someone whom her mother refused to recognize, for someone only he cared and no one else did, he sat and shut his eyes in desperation.

How could he find her, he didn’t even remember what she wore or how she looked? But he had seen her enter; he had seen her enter his house in the dark of night when the sky was glowing red by the reflection of the fire that burnt the houses in the village.

He had seen her, from behind the curtain, enter the house and hide herself behind those pots in the garden. He had heard her moan in fear or pain; which he knew not. Only that he was too scared to go and get her in.

But she could not have gone out with all the violence on the streets. She had to be there inside his house, he would give her to eat, make her sleep comfortably; tell her that everything would be fine.

But where was she? Nowhere in the vicinity, he had searched everywhere. How could she just vanish like that?

He broke into an irrepressible cry, “I have to find her or I shall be doomed Ma, help!”

She made him rest on her lap, stroking his hair with care, “Son, it might sound crude but it is the truth. It is perhaps the cycle of nature, men fall in love with creation, get amazed by its wonders, explore it on their own terms and then … then again creation takes back all unto it self and creates again.

Don’t be afraid. Pray. ”

He couldn’t bear her words, “I am not afraid, you don’t understand.

I want to help, to save that little girl; it is not safe for her to be out now.

You have lost faith, haven’t you? But I haven’t Ma.

I have faith in me; I’ll go and find her.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks, where fate had drawn an inscrutable web of lines, and moistened her eyes until she could no longer clearly see her son’s hopeless face.

“God bless!” is all she could utter as he walked out in a search only he could define and know.

Being Born

It was one of those days when I was so happy being myself, my own little world defined so much to me that I hardly looked beyond to search for something which could redefine or add meaning to my life. I was myself. You would probably interpret it reader, as a natural consequence of my becoming pregnant with a child; this sudden revelation of the motherhood inherent quenched the thirst of exploring in and out. Well, if you think so I shall not deny. I was engrossed in knowing new aspects of myself. At times I would be amazed to see that I was so much capable of caring for my own self and later realized that it was all for the baby I was carrying.

This flexibility of my child’s identity and mine was wonderful, it would merge into one and the next moment would split into two. So inexpressible it was to see the identities play within me! Can I ever define my joy? Perhaps not. Then one day the identities split into two forever, what had been lighting lamps within me was there radiating in my arms. I kissed him and felt my warm lips touching my own forehead. I smiled; I had got into the habit of feeling him within. He lay there quietly by my side, a smile on his face would suddenly dissipate into a frown and then would break into a cry and I read the expressions on his face as I read a book.

It was then, when I was doting on him, I heard a shrill cry break out in a thunderous shriek, I held him close to my heart. He was still asleep, unperturbed by the sound. The shriek did not end, someone was howling ceaselessly. A mother had lost her month old infant, the nurse told me. Tears overstepped my eyes imperceptibly, I had never seen how it is when a life disintegrates into nothing and all that one knows as a being flies off without bidding a farewell. Yet I shivered and could no longer hold my child in my arms. His poised sleeping face was too large for me to bear upon my chest. I cried and knew that the next moment I could laugh.