Thursday, May 29, 2008

The innocent prisoner of life !!

Life shrouded with curling smoke,
a haze covering up all hope !!
A dream lost in the wilderness,
and we realize life is not fairness !!

A cup of milk and a piece of bread,
make us run and break our head !!
It gives a job that slowly will kill,
and bruises that can never heal !!

We slowly hate what we love,
do we even remember the symbol of the dove ?
A return to innocence is by far gone,
Complexities and untruths are never shun !!

Still we live, we breathe, we move on.
is this why the Innocent baby is ever born ?
Still we talk, we eat, we sleep,
are we humans or the residue of a compost heap ?

We blame life for its ups and downs,
and are aware that we are not jesters or clowns !!
But do we ever ask how it all works?
No, cause its responsibility which we love to shirk !!

We race, we run, we try and see a better sun,
from house, to car, to relationships and even a piece of bun !!
And life moves on and the brain aspires,
It helps us move till the end of the final spire !!

A spire it is cause after it there is nothing,
the final call awaits and some realize they were rotting !!
Those who do not look back and see,
but what they lost would be floating on the sea !!

Too far away to beckon or call,
since they are high up and the dreams so small !!
Oh and life's gone, the pleasure is lost,
the final horizon covered up in frost !!

The incoherence too loud to believe,
a breath that can never relieve !!
The lightning strikes once more and the rains heavy,
life gets its prisoner and earth another succulent baby !!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ah sweet leaf, my sweet leaf

Beyond all pain and relief,
far from imagination and grief!!
A land of waves in the night,
cold wind blowing stones so light!!

Reality lost in the shadow,
shaking hands over a green meadow !!
Walking through time as never before,
a rising sun on the house next door !!

The incoherent lunacy shelled up inside,
a sophisticated laughter rides the tide !!
The clouds roam the skies to touch the spires,
the clock ticks on but the mind never tires !!

Far away from the innocence of birth,
leaving behind the complexities of mirth!!
A mindless nomad in a desert of joy,
revolting against being gods own toy !!

The silent eyelids on a stagnant eye,
dreams they weave which will never die !!
The gleam, the light, the hazy night,
the unheard laughter has no respite !!

Time out of mind,
the haze easy to find,
ah sweet leaf, my sweet leaf ...
the benzoidical smell,
a cocoon engulfed in its magical shell,
ah sweet leaf, my sweet leaf !!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The tea shop days ...

If you are walking through a small lane with a shabby shop and see a wooden bench and hear incoherent discussions and see varied patterns of smoke rings purifying the polluted skyline followed by the sound of laughter ringing through the air and the silent sips on an earthen cup, you would most probably be near the place where i grew up.

Every evening a rendezvous with each others dreams, realities, plans and much more kept us glued to the bench and the earthen pots glued to our lips (apart from when it was time to blow a few rings filled with nicotine and our hopes into the orange light of the nearby lamp post.). Debates, discussions, exchange of news and views were sometimes interrupted by the silence when a damsel not in distress passed by and all of us became her knight in shining armor for some time till a new damsel appeared or the tea shop owner with his gigantic belly which would be glistening with sweat started asking for his money.

Without fail, through heat, rain or cold we met there and lived. It was like an addiction, the day would not be complete without one visit to the place. In the beginning we thought it was just a place where we could smoke and chat unseen by the ignorant world who did not like our ways of living. Later on we realized that maybe it was just those 3 hours in a day when we actually learnt something.

We learnt through each others failures and success, the broken dreams, the excitement in achievement. It was the selfless joy of being happy for the other person, and the want to try and inculcate the good things that you saw in the other. There was no discrimination, everyone was invited (many never came cause they never believed in it. But yes they missed out on a lot.). You could say anything to anyone, your thoughts, your beliefs, the deepest regrets and the basest desires. Anything was welcome and the learning went on.

We moved from school to college, but the bench never creaked under our weights. The tea shop owners ponch ever glistened with the shining sweat, while we grew up. Shom the lazy lump of putty that he is was as always late, and Riddhi was letting out his frustration in the form of dragon fire (thick smoke of the cigarette). I was silently sipping on my cup of tea and was trying to get a glimpse of the last lady that had passed by trying to take in all the details so that i could give a complete picture to the rest of the brotherhood.

Soon we saw shom slowly staggering towards us scratching his right cheek (no he had not been slapped, that was his habit). We were joined by another comrade Sapu soon. The Greatness of Sapu lied in his munificence. He never even spent a paise on either the tea or the cigarettes and till date claims he always funded us in the tea shop. Shom had spotted 4 apparently really good looking women on the way and was about to stalk them home but the tea shop beckoned him more and he had come here. Sapu had this look of utter disgust on his face when such stories were told, but he himself was no lesser mortal and had been caught trying to play footsie with a girl during maths tuition classes when he was in school. Riddhi was an avid listener, did not speak much from the mouth, but he would let know his feelings with his barbaric way of expressing things like a soc on the jaw.

Once the daily niceties were over and the first cups were done with, the regular banter started and it continued till the last round before the shop would shut. Sapu was going off to America to do his masters, Shom was being transferred to Bangalore, Riddhi would be in Calcutta for sometime and i was moving to Bhubaneshwar. It was the last day at the tea shop. Everyone knew, but no one said. It was just like another day.

We got up to go. The old man was bringing down the shutters of the shop, i turned back to take a last glimpse at it, and i could see the past, and for once i knew that maybe we would never meet there again, but when i turned back to see the others, i saw hope that it was not the end. Even on the last day the tea shop taught me a lesson, it taught me to hope and live.

Today when i go past the relics of the shop, i see a new set of students taking their lessons in life, the old man still handing out those earthen pots, the smoke rings still filling up the air. The people sitting on the bench had changed, but the tea shop, and its mystic aura is still the same as before.

Dedicated to the tea shop and my brothers of long ..... brothers never part .... and the ones that do were never brothers !!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Iced Lollies

This is the first tale in a series (no guarantees, depends on how long i last and do not last with a severe memory failure) of a time which people tend to remember for the rest of their lives as its the best time of their entire lives.

A time when roadside food and unhygienic juices mattered more than drugs, alcohol and cigarettes (not that these did not matter ... but the first two mattered more) !! Along with these evils also the pleasure of those surreptitious looks and those passing glances at the girl next door or even the next locality or town or city or country quenched not only the thirst of the mind and the soul but also the eye.

It used to be 7:30 early in the morning when we normally reached school, unless of course it was inspection day and we deliberately came late to hide our unpolished shoes and supposed to be white shirts and trousers and had to bribe Abdul the gatekeeper to let us in and then attempt to sneak past the house master who was deaf but wily enough to catch us by our collars and punish us for the first two periods !! Mission accomplished .... inspection bypassed, first two periods bunked !! By the time he realized that by punishing us he was not only not making us feel ashamed but instead giving us what we wanted, he had retired, since we broke this news to him only on his last working day.

One such day when we had successfully managed to loaf around for half the periods and spent the other half trying to damage the chemistry lab by opening the kipps aparatus and mixing a few volatile solutions to produce green smoke, my partner in rhyme crime and wasting dimes Shom and i decided that we had not done anything forbidden for a long time, and we were kind of getting restless. Normally people do get restless after getting caned for having caused riot in labs but we were not mere mortals and dedicated it to not having tasted the forbidden fruit.

So much was our focus and concentration in getting to the fruit, we did not even turn back at the beauties coming out from our so called sister school, (I am using the term so called since i know a lot of brothers from my school who went on to flirt / marry people from the other one and i do not want to demean them in anyway.) but went straight towards our goal. Sometimes i wish i had the same focus during exams, but that's another tale.

Our goal was this obnoxious looking man with ruffled hair, freckled face, unshaven and red eyed wearing his fathers torn banyan and his grandfathers not so torn lungi with a dirty white cooler box who sat right outside the enormous gates of our school guarded by the 150 kg Abdul. Both of us had been told by our parents not to touch anything from that man as there was hearsay that he used to sell drugs in the night and take drugs in the morning and then sell stuff with drugs to children during the afternoon. Basically since he was a druggie.

But we were tigers, these things never did matter to us. What could a harmless peddler do to us? And on top of that it was all hearsay, and we had been taught in second standard not to believe in that. More than anything it was just the want to do something that we had been instructed not to.

So we boldly walked up to the guy and asked him "What do you sell?". He answered back in a cracked up hoarse voice and combination of accents and dialects which was pretty hard to decipher but when done meant "Iced Lollies" and opened the box of miracles. There was orange and pista and cola and all the flavors that we could think of present in the world sitting right there in front of our very own eyes which were now glistening with joy. For the benefit of those who do not know what an iced lolly is, it is frozen colored flavour water packed in plastic packets which you are supposed to tear and suck on.

He wanted a rupee for each. A Rupee for the forbidden fruit, our day's glory and much more. Just a rupee, it was too cheap. So we smartly paid him a rupee each and grabbed a cola and an orange and proudly walked away from the spot.

The whole day had gone according to plan from coming late to getting punished to getting caned and even to taste the forbidden fruit. Just the end was a bit unplanned and it was unplanned due to my failing memory at that young age.

We slowly strolled towards the bus stop on the footpath watching the cars parked on the other side of the street. I watched the cars and was slowly licking my magic stick while Shom the dreamer that he was was looking at the trees and the birds and was humming a tune while tasting his orange flavoured key to happiness.

Then came calamity, rather i spotted my mom waving towards me from the car parked on the other side of the street. I had completely forgotten that she had said she would come to pick us up since she had some work near my school that day. When realization had struck me and i was hoping it had been better if lightening had, i poked Shom into reality and suddenly gave him my magic stick, rather benevolently passed my iced lolly into his hands. That flabbergasted look of unrealistic belief has never shown on Shom's face again ever since. Not because he saw my mom, no he still had not, he was flabbergasted because I who never even gave away the rotten parathas that we used to flick from juniors in the canteen was giving him my very own magic stick.

By the time he realized why i had been so philanthropic he had already praised me twice in his mind for being his benefactor, and when he realized, i saw in him the Carl Lewis which no one has seen till date and will ever see. he had vanished into thin air, the Olympic gold was his, and the boy that he was he did not waste the lollies but took it with him as if they were his relay batons and left me in a state of complete depression triggered by my mom finding me with the iced lolly and then him slurping down my share as well as his in some seedy corner.

I was left with my light school bag, and my heavy soul and itching butt, it had just recovered from the last caning and was sensing danger again. I slowly trotted across the street to the car and was met with a silent glare. More than the eyes i was looking at her hands, when would they rise to fall on my poor aching behind? The silent car journey ended at home and followed me up to my bedroom where the sound of silence was just broken with 5 small spanks and a terrible dose of how careless and insolent and disobedient and uncultured i was becoming. All this for just a cola flavoured iced lolly .... can you imagine ... i know i know ... i know you must be having tears in your eyes seeing my plight and the torture i went through.

In the evening when all was quiet on the western front i called my eastern neighbour cum friend who had run away with my magic stick and left me to face the black and blue reality of my aching body. He expressed his deepest regrets and informed that my choice was better since the cola tasted better than the orange. I felt like knocking the daylights out of him but then the brotherly affection took over and i stopped with just hurling a few choicest abuses at him before we parted for the night.

While i lay in bed upside down due to acute pain in the backside, i thought over the days proceedings and decided that the best moment of the day was the first lick of the iced lolly. It was a symbol of achievement, breaking free from the bonds of everything apart from the fact that my intestines had also broken free and i had visited the rest room 5 times in 2 hours. I also decided from that day onwards i would wear two underpants to school so that the many escapades that i would have in the near future did not leave me with a dysfunctional posterior.

Moral of the story: The forbidden fruit brings pain, but it is tasty !!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The final Tryst .....

I think what i am,
where contentment is a sham !!
Where ignorance satisfies the basic needs of life,
and knowledge is a virtue but it teaches you to dive !!

The need for affection or belonging is not there any more,
a world filled with despair and apartheid is evermore !!
Where seeing people dying of prejudice and hunger,
does not move people or focus their anger !!

We live in a world which evolved with a big bang,
and even in those wee hours there was a someone who sang !!
The history after that is just too gory,
and nothing can be done to bring back the humanity and glory !!

We live the lives of the ghost who never died,
we change ourselves as if we never lied !!
We still try and cause an aftermath,
a revolution could not teach us nor the resultant wrath !!

Inhuman goodness does not fill the earth,
its just too soft and the anger has no dearth !!
The wolves dance but we dance evermore,
animals we were and are today completely to the core !!

We cannot change is the call we make,
not thinking of the future whose fortune we are trying to rake !!
A selfish protagonist fills up the body,
its not clean any more but dark and muddy !!

In boxes we live for today and not for tomorrow,
we enjoy solitary happiness and also its sorrow !!
We are proud to say that we are diverse and growing,
but in the end we are a lawn that's undergoing mowing !!

The isolation is just too great,
everyone is as free as a bird but its not too late !!
Its just the souls that need to be changed and undone,
its a tough ask but they are human and it can be done !!

I think and i live and i strive for that day,
when the horizon will be clear and we shall see the sun's ray !!
I still believe that we can clear the shrouds and the mist,
and see the rainbow at the end of the destiny where we shall have a tryst !!

Inanimate but has life .....

It glitters and it glows and it's filled with light,
it maybe the most loved and forsaken in the nights !!
Its white and draped in virtues of fun,
it lives a life enjoyed by none !!

The landscape around is covered in this white beauty,
if you cannot see the innocence you have not done your duty !!
The misty skies call out aloud,
its mine and you have taken it so please be proud !!

The man with the white beard and the big sack,
lives in a wonderland filled with all this in his rack !!
His reindeer's feed on the imagination of this gift,
they try and taste its wonders and it helps them to lift !!

I am human and so i cannot taste it,
but i try and use it to keep my imagination lit !!
It helps me wonder and think,
it takes my spirit as if it was a sink !!

The bare trees in the moonlit sky,
beckon it to come and join them in the tie !!
They refuse as if it's too lame,
there is no excuse to leave the ground and hang with them !!

They Absorb the shadows and the sounds,
they give fun to a child sitting on a merry go round !!
The footsteps that show but are not heard,
are the final desire of a vagabond or a bard !!

I wish i was one of them inanimate but still alive,
living in ones imagination where there is no need to strive !!
I wish i could fall down with shows of splendour,
and cover the ground with significance but still tender !!

The night lives on and so does the glory,
the light lives on and so their story !!
They lie on there in the cool breeze so low,
its nothing but the serene and sacred snow !!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The widnow of Unity in Diversity ....

An isolated room with a bolted door,
with a window to the world that touches the floor !!
Seeing the birds high in flight,
and feeling the wind which blows with might !!

Where eventuality is lost in a dream,
and you can helplessly shout and scream !!
Where you can toss and turn,
till the wounds begin to burn !!

But you know where you are led,
is the place where destiny bled !!
Ever thought why the kingdom's too high,
ever found a reason to die?

Ever felt the fleeting momentary chill,
as a child sitting on the window sill? !!
Never can the reality be false,
do you think while doing the final waltz? !!

The healing touch of a human hand,
where dreams had transformed into quicksand !!
A society divided by creed color and caste
with makings of an apocalypse coming fast !!

The satellites far far above,
beckon the birds to spread peace and love !!
They are lifeless but they spread light,
showing a vision to people if things are wrong or right !!

Sitting on the rooftop staring at the stars,
is a pleasure that only a dreamer can feel and not the cars !!
The lifeless but moving wind can make you feel,
it can make you stand and all the wounds it will heal !!

People moving in patterns of confusion and hatred,
makes the lost pattern of rhymes more sacred !!
It gives you the hope and the bliss to carry on,
the reason to look to a life that's not lost but won !!

It helps you never to doubt,
that a small group with hope as a bout,
can make a new and better universe,
where peace prevails even if everything else is diverse !!

Fear forgotten and division lost,
is the price you pay for the final cost !!
If everyone did care and everyone did love,
the world would be filled with no hatred but white doves !!

Diverse is genesis and the life it gives,
a stagnant light music is the life it lives !!!
It will be achieved when you see the dark side of the moon,
so just close your eyes and listen to the hopeful tune !!