Monday, April 23, 2018

The Chair

She always sits on the edges of chairs at her home
As if she cannot fully insert herself in a coziness and slowness
As if she needs to be always ready for immediate response
As if to fetch this and that
To frequently empty the chairs and fill in half again
With her mind pulled and diverged towards various points
As if she cannot be converged anywhere to savour anything fully
It's as if she is always aware of a perpetual temporariness of sitting
Her duty bound body making sure of others' permanency in those deep sockets
Then there is her department chair
The only place where she soaked herself up in an illusion of constancy
Where it seemed she is capable of drowning herself in her favourites
Words, conversations, arguments and a lot of brainstorming
Pinpointing this, applauding that, analysing many and cherishing some
The chair where she would forget its perpetual temporariness
With hardly any consequence.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


 As a person of melancholic temperament her mind always searches for the darker, the commonly unseen side of things- which makes her a keen observer of whatever is lacking in all aspects of life. She constantly craves for beauty, harmony and absolute authenticity in everything around her. Her mind would be twirling around in deep speculations regarding how a person or a thing associated with her life is not in tune with her inner music, not in pace with her rhythm of living. And the sorrowful feelings arising from her such lamentations would flow like a meandering river culminating into that deep pool of turbulence she carries within her. Her husband would say that it is the fictions that she stuffs her mind with which cause such illusions- that it is necessary to let go of certain dis-harmonies in life- that life is not supposed to be a continuous thread of ideal feelings, people, situations and so on. It would again pain her that he is ignorant of that fact she is already accustomed to such truths like ''life is not supposed to be a continuous....'' a thousand times before he uttered such words. That such truths were devoured by her mind in her constant acquaintance with all kinds of literature that she came across so far. That she has already pondered many times upon the philosophy that it's such a great paradox that sometimes literature can make you seek for the ideal though it rips of all the ideals and shows you the bare in everything. It makes you understand as well as makes you sensitive. Yet she has seen people around her literary circle who are voracious readers and fiction lovers but are capable of utmost indifference -when it comes to life they can temper their sensitivity in such way that they wear the cold cloak of objectivity and rationality. She is amazed by such practicality-but she sighs how she lacks the talent.

             She recognizes that it would be quite an effort not to feel certain feelings. It needs rigid attention to caution your mind against feelings of disappointment and disillusionment. Yet sometimes she tiresomely pushes herself to filter out all the unpleasant- all the improper- all the weeds that would hamper her healthy survival. It is like shielding her mind and senses, armouring them not to yield to the cacophony around her. Sometimes when she encounters silent moments with her-like while doing dishes at her kitchen or while walking out alone after a class that she would brush off all the surfacing feelings of some disappointments regarding not being understood properly, or the lack of action from someone's part according to her expectations and so on. She would reaffirm herself that guarding her mind against such expectations would bring peace. Then she would smile- being reminded of how her train of thought came from something like Buddha's advocacy on renunciation of desire or Jiddu Krishnamurti's call for freedom from the known and so on. Such whiff of residual thoughts from her readings of wisdom literature would in fact be her solace for some time till her mind looms back to the former abyss of strong melancholic undercurrents. 'Let me hold myself here to thrive in this a bit' she would pray. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Just a Lament

Rarely do I find people in company of simple things
With a pencil on a scrap of paper
To sketch a favourite face, a place.
To dive into a piece of poetry
May be to Frost,
To climb on his Birches,
To pick apples,
To mend a wall.
Or may be to Shakespeare
Just to admire
What a piece of work is man!
To ponder upon Ophelia’s goodnight.
Or to hear Fur Elise
To get soaked in a tub of water
Just to close one’s eyes
To retain the splash of colours
A Van Gogh, a Monet or a Vermeer.


Fingers just tap tap tap
To fritter words on white screens
Unintelligible though you think legible.  
Clicks fatiguing new clicks
Images gobbling up moments after moments.

Just a lament
By someone who walks a college corridor
Day after day
Hour after hour
In class rooms I feel
A whiff of youth indifferent
A scent of frozen minds
A heady whirl of bewilderment at a small silence
A trail of ennui as they yawn

There crumbles my finger, my white chalk, my blackboard. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The One and the Other

Every pair of eyes hides a world of myriad worlds within
And no one can inhabit the other
It's exclusive
Brilliant in its own way
With its own ultimate suffering
Its own version of pain
Love and longing and flaming desire
Each an enigma to the other
And still you strive
To slice out a part of it 
Or it fidgets to slide towards the other
Sometimes accidentally
Sometimes with effort
Only to slither and fall apart
Only to be returned and glued back 
It never eases itself with the other
It may coexist, entwine, and luxuriate in the other
Only to discover this and that about the other 
Which pulls back one to oneself
And acknowledge and insist on oneself
The never ending coziness of one with oneself
And never with the other.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Bring me sleep and I would bring 
- Dozens of thoughts 
Nudging onto my delicate eyes
Sugar coated 
As pipe dreaming 
As violet grapes
Thoughts- blossoming red and wide
I see them in dazzling colours 
In bitterness and in sweet
Puzzling to my beloved 
It scrapes my skin inside 
And baffles his vision outside 
It consumes all my sight
Burns my bones
Rips my nerves
And can upset his love ridden heart 
But I see I see its vitality
All in white and in clarity
It emerges as the only beauty of the thinker
On which you first set your eyes 
It all began there
And the thinker will always be the same
In quiet persistent unrelenting thinking 
Come and know me
The thoughts never escape the thinker
And both can only be despised together
Sleepless and wanderlust. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Comprehensible?

       I see that loneliness is not a quiet phenomenon. It is absolutely noisy and chaotic. The long lonely hours of my egotistic contemplations…Wait…are the words comprehensible? Many say it’s incomprehensible…hopelessly tangled with crowded images and strange feelings. May be. For it takes great effort to see things from another eye. To hear those sounds from another ear. To feel those thoughts from another mind. “To feel those thoughts”; it can be done only by the metaphysical? It’s almost impossible to be rational and emotional at the same time.

     The woman in me switches back and forth to being emotional and rational. At one time it pines for the beloved, for a small touch and the feel of that familiar breath. The other times it convinces and consoles the heart that being only emotional can bring stupidity and misery. That I should reread Donne’s Valediction Forbidding Mourning though I have taught the poem a few times in class. The poem forbids any lamentation from the beloved’s part since the man who has parted from her and the woman who is in waiting are like two legs of a compass. The very celebrated metaphor that any literary enthusiastic would always cherish and wonder. Like the fixed leg of a compass makes the outer leg draw the circle in its perfect way and would reach back the same destination, the trust, the love, and the strength of the bond would wonderfully preserve their everlasting compassion and intensity for each other.

     Longing in reality can be unromantic, miserable and a series of disturbing tantrums. Reality can be beautiful when it gets the consolation from these metaphors and valediction forbidding poems. I have always groped for beauty in reality when it starts to slowly sink into those monotonous moments. I have groped for lines, words, or may be at least the sound of those iambs. That Shakespearean rag of me comparing my beloved to a summer’s day or me imagining him sighing like a furnace as the young lover in him longs for this chaotic woman.

     I don’t know the words here are comprehensible or not. The tiredness in me has brought me on a low key where my hands shiver to dive deep and scare the perceiver, the non-existent reader, the echoing empty theatre. Whatever that is difficult has got its quality of being difficult through times of effort, keen attention and perseverance. Some may loathe it since it would challenge their comfort zones of being all “normal” and never wanting to sieve through and accept the challenge. Whatever that is easy is easily admired and applauded because it can be commercialized; call it popular, the taste of the mass, and the comprehensible sweet ticking sensation of “can be understood”. Some artists can play at both ends.  I can try to be the one. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Speaker Doesn't Matter...

                  It says suffering gives you clarity, strength and so many other virtues. It says pain, loss and longings are all part of human lives, like the inevitable death, like all the realities, like a shadow of happiness. That there will be rough edge at the end of anything smooth and glowy, just like there will be a silver line in every black sinking hole. The paradox is universally understood. The paradox is universally accepted. But then when every flesh and blood and lonely spirit shrinks into their own black holes, there occurs the turbulence. The longing. The forbidden fire. In fire the desire stutters and whines.

Who is the speaker in the poem? Who is the character? Where does the plot leading to? What is the central theme here? As I write these questions my own answer paper is empty. The protagonist is uncertain. The author God is dead. In fact the author never lived. The story is in first person here. The author is not omniscient. The author is in uncertainty. Like many other authors. So who is the speaker in the poem? In the story? Who is it? My existentialism and its crisis have led me to untrodden paths of self-doubt, misery and the illusion of knowledge. There is nothing more dangerous than being in an illusion. The more you are deceived the more you deny the truth. But this author had only interpretations. Who wants the author's intentions and interpretations? The experience of the reader has a different story.

The author's story is like a river. There happen many people. Charming, intense, passionate, vibrant, who confesses intimacy and great affection for the protagonist. The river flows unstoppably. It zig zags along those huge boulders. There are sun, moon, the bent branches along the banks, the peeping trees, umpteen pebbles, the rocks, the...the river is jubilant as it touches all of it...It perpetually senses the beauty- It can know the beauty- It becomes the beautiful. The river then slowly flows away...its thin milky hue calmly making its way to the forlorn desolate sea. The sea...the sea...the turbulent blue giant. The sea gulps it and dances it away. The sea is neither the antagonist nor the life saviour...the sea is the accepted vastness of silence and the roaring end. The sea is the ultimate paradox. The sea knew all of it. Even in the beginning. It heaved and silently waited. For that violet hour...

Woolf's lighthouse may see the suffused river in the sea. May be Lily Briscoe would paint it. Only this time the other way...turning her back on the summer house and looking towards the the other artists. There is no Mrs. Ramsay left. Lily wanted her painting to be like butterflies on cathedral arches. New airy thoughts on a firm foundation. But this time Lily should paint the river in the sea. The butterfly like river which flew/ flowed its whole way through those rocks, shattering chiseling its head hundred times, carried away by the fire and the passion and made its way to the blue blue pretty dark blue sea. Exhausted. The river is the reconciled version of Sylvia- who once tried to drown herself and never wanted to go back to the land...or may be the river carried Woolf herself along with it…for the bliss of drowning herself with a pocket full of stones. How wonderful it would be. Lily the character in her novel painting her own author who had melted into the river. Who is the speaker? The speaker doesn’t matter...the character is free to act. The reader has a different story to tell... the reader has imagination to imagine. Perhaps even the death of the author. The author God had only illusion of knowledge. The author is destined to die- the author is both the deceiver and the deceived. 

Someone has to die so that the rest of us should value life.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

You do not do you do not do anymore black shoe…

Expectations. Sweet and long. Never leaves the core from which your life flower more. You expect that there will be beauty, comfort and rapture at the long end. Knowledge of being adored, loved and acknowledged. Behind every search, beyond any predilections there is Hope. Yearning. And for some Passion. It never gets blurred. It’s the elixir. The sustenance. The letting go and start anew.

And after all the disillusionment and dismay I like to sieve away all the bitter clumps of my existence and hurl it in a big white walled room. Where I lie supine on the floor, looking at the clean white ceiling and my breath so effortlessly let though. Though I know that tranquility like anything never stops being ephemeral.

And I pray I be less prudent and have less sense of the matters big and small. I pray that I don't see right through people and truth. I pray I be oblivion, ignorant and innocent. Me shrinking into an unperceived tiny void in a corner with hardly any words and memories. Let I be the corner, the wall, the lock. Let I be the sizzling keys and tick tock needles. Let I be the time winding down so indifferent to the fearing rest.

The tongue stuck in my jaw
It stuck in a barb wire snare
Ich, ich, ich, ich.

There is always a belief in having someone to offer you selfless compassion. But when you rethink the expectation, the most intense of the moments I had was always me being with me. With my own voice reassuring, relighting, rekindling to win over my doldrums. I remember once being lost in a moment of bewilderment in my childhood where I was being accused of hurting one of my fellows. I screamed, mewled, and fretted, loudly declaring my protestations. But no one could listen. No one could decipher. There lied the difference. That taught me in such a tender age never to give oneself so entirely, to anyone and anything. Not to turn loose that far. And yet I said “I do I do…” And I did I did.

 A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And I said I do I do

Forgiving oneself is hard. Mark Twain said forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it. The painful task is of the violet to convince itself that it has not lost its scent, even while it lay rotting. To revive the mellow memories of a childhood where I use to slither down from a muddy heap of nature with absolute freedom. Freedom in my hair, my mouth, in my knuckles. So young and so pure. With seldom foxiness to lure.

 Freedom became the axial around my happiness. Freedom pithy in my heart and light in my moves. I desired it for me. For the ones who will hold hands with me. For the kids I may bear. For the students I teach. For every human I behold. And for birds, for butterflies and bees. For there is something beyond all the immediate pleasure of my chase, beyond all the expectation of contentment, there is a relentless quest that perpetuates my living. And I believe the quest rather than the destination is the quintessence of every existence.   

And... I am finally through!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lemon Trees, Tears and Sorrows

However chaotic and distorted one’s perception is, the artist has to reassemble by his contemplation over the wounds. For a momentary salvation. For recuperation. For Consolation. It takes so much time in one’s life to lift the fog and discern the falsity of appearances. But it never ceases. The distorted vision never ceases as long as we are incapable of an unknown sainthood.

 As it’s always said an author is an isolated being. Detached. To comprehend the reality with vividness. The isolation is a choice. And the choice is for others and for oneself.

Lemon Tree. The movie is the story of struggle and defeat. The lemon tree grove- thick and fragrant- with the yellow fruit flourished- big yellow spots all over the field. The woman nourished and looked after the tree for five decades- the land and art she inherited from her father. Her emotional attachment and her courage to not let them go- to not let them be uprooted for the defense. The story is poignant. The woman is courageous- admirable- melancholic. Have I been in her place would I have struggled that long- to protect one’s own grove? Do I have the capacity to love and feel for the lemon trees with the intensity with which she feels? Sheer empathy will not give us a glimpse of her exact feelings. One has to experience in real in one’s own life with the given circumstances.

Circumstances. It would be such a curious an act to imagine people displaced in alien circumstances and how would they react, contribute, refute or accept. It would be curious to know how would they hold one human being despised and abandoned by the other. “What are you thinking? What have we done to each other?” Words somewhere from a thriller movie echo my thinking. Why should we destroy each other in possession with each other if possession is all that about it. If love only means one thing and should mean one for all.

Who can see you beyond your skin? To define you not by the loss or the preserve of your virginity, not to measure inch by inch the corporeal taints, not to see you as filth of another man. But to see beyond your smiles a silent suffering, shivering murmur and shocking nightmares. Who can judge the sanctity of your soul against the sanctity of your flesh and bones? There are nails sprouting to bleed my clenching fists when all the roaring definitions come back to my memories. Dallying along my solitary path. You could hug a tree and rub your tears on its rough bark and bruise your face. You could climb over it with your staggering wavering limbs all the way to the top, and hide somewhere among the branches, with such a quietness of an angelic grace or a demonic stealth (for both are undifferentiated in today’s world)  with only the wind among the leaves hissing on your ears, curbing the heart wrenching human sounds. H U M A N   S O U N D S. As heavy as an unadmitted guilt, all glittery and showy, with poison tucked in on each man’s sleeve and the polishing façade of truth so untrue.

My survival is my own effort. The more I am humiliated the more I find my worth. The more I am condemned in the name of some man made institution of relationships, the more I see its dishonesty, its futility, its fear of human weaknesses and how it struggles to ward off the ever threatening daring souls by malice and cowardice. For there is strength in sorrow. There is acceptance in sorrow. There is clarity and discernment of truth in sorrow. There is compassion in sorrow.     

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


The muse has been persistently in my consciousness. Taunting to seek more more more truth. The larger truth. To seek it from the bird eye view. The outer sea consumed by the inner ocean of bitter blues – of melancholic sepia- of distant darkness. What I have been was ready to be a forlorn creature – to contract itself into an old shivering star at the high sky- as if to stare from a timeless past so cold and quaint- to this frame born anew- or at least believe to be so. This year is in confrontation with a blessed brain in readiness to devour more words- books- movies- knowledge- music.  I have become a creature of sharper conscience and ever sharper perceptions. 

All the blemishes of the world have been revealed and yet in the process of revelation. It disappoints and dissipates my search of beauty- love- innocence. Yet there are momentary consolations in the form of an orange sun at the threshold of a droopy twilight. It’s as if all the ugliness of the world is converged and absorbed into this big burning scar- to take along with it all the tears and tragedies for us to slumber peacefully- courageously- guiltlessly. 

As I move from one lonely day to another- eating biscuits and turning pages – hearing Bach and Beethoven and Satie and others- gazing at the visible borders of the horizon and dreaming beyond- many a times I have plunged myself into a fantasy of swimming so artistically in cold blue water with a robust glazing body- cycling on a straight infinite plane with legs free from pedals and wind across my hair…and other numberless reveries feathering my fancies.

I have learned to be more private- to keep myself away from the insanity of the world. To check the narcissism and yield to the calling of authenticity. To be distant and observant. To laugh privately at the witlessness of the fellow beings- to their blind confinements and meaningless adherence to meaningless conventions- to their thoughtlessness- to their shallowness- to their art of living an existence in death.

And their comes the wish to paint- blue paint smeared on the white canvas- shaping slowly into Buddha under the Bodhi Tree – Buddha who sought enlightenment- Buddha who saw the present- the inner light- Buddha in the  very act of living. As I drift between the darker alleys of life and the brighter broad squares with a cooling blissful fountain at its center, the fountain within me freezes as soon as I taste the wide gap. The gulf between me and the impalpable others- failing to touch my soul they bewilder at my unreachability.

I don't know from where to begin the benignity of truly connecting with another being. Is it when others begin to suffer my invisibility when they themselves are tired of their pursuit of surface pleasures? Or is it when I myself am jaded of my seclusion, cloyed by the broodings and threatened by the steely authenticities, bleak truths, and the repeated wounds. One who is after truth will be injured persistently. He will be a seeker at first. Then the recluse. Then the sufferer.       

City of Djinns in my hand. The book is not so heavy – ready to be tamed by the constant handling and turning- tolerant to be waiting when I soar in my fancy with images of that city which will tell the stories of its riots and ruins, losses and refugees. I take my refuge in it.