Saturday, January 8, 2011

They are standing at the gate with shining eyes
They've won the day
And their heart is right
One aches to give them a world they can change

They're bringing gold, their diamonds and rubies
Eager to strew them, like kings and queens
on to a ground they believe they've inherited
One aches to give them a kingdom as worthy

Sunday, December 12, 2010


He tells me he saw me at Pizza Hut (or was it McDonald’s?) the first time in CP, and found me pretty. He tells me I bullied him to sit straight for the group photo on the way to XL in the train, and he thought I was rude..
He tells me of the times he noticed me around but never quite.. :)

I remember the boy with an interestingly shaped head, standing mostly by the open door of the train compartment on the way to XL (with no co-relation somehow to the boy I apparently bullied)
I remember the confident and somewhat arrogant demeanor of one who looks too young for that arrogance :)
I remember the pointedness of the questions and the replies while in class. I remember noticing the unwavering attention of one set of eyes in every class… I remember the eyes :) and all women talking about how it makes them go weak in the knees.. I remember not opening my mouth in such discussions..
I remember the same stern and arrogant pose turning into fluid poetry on the volleyball field.. delicate, refined, fluid, strong…

I remember the same stoic attention return on the badminton court.. and the same poetic grace.. if ever there was a man both handsome and beautiful, he was there before my eyes.
If ever there was a man with both strength and finesse, he was moving there before me. If ever there was a combination of machinery and poetry, I saw it then in his movements.
He forgot he had put someone’s question on hold while he went on to make a perfect serve..
He moved and ran with precision and concentration. And then he smiled… the most innocent and genuine smile, like a young baby’s smile, like the sun shining on a bright day… like someone’s heart shining through one’s eyes…

And he did all this wearing mostly the same shade of grey.. and I thought grey never looked so good on anyone..
I remember wanting him
I wanted to be around him, and luckily, soon enough, so did he. Though he didn’t quite figure it out that easily, and spent many days pulling my pigtails (figuratively speaking)

We worked together (God bless Fairy god god father :)) We hung out with common friends.. and then we started walking
The legendary walks :)
Laughter, wit, intellect, imagination, whims, fancies, non sense, more laughter…
We became us. I remember thinking to myself that I would never want one thing more if I knew I would have him.
And I did.
He became my world.. an innocent, happy world..
He taught me yoga to drive away my sinusitis, ‘ and all other illnesses’
He got me to take care of my health better..he inspired me to start taking some care of my grades :D.. he taught me how to run better.. and fought with the authorities that women should have separate finishing certificates, when I was among the first women to finish the XL dream run..
He saw what I could do well, and recognized it. He did not make a big deal of what I could not do well.
He saw in me the goodness and the potential that I didn’t know existed
He displayed unwavering faith in me
He reminded me who I was when I seemed to have lost the mirror
He became my mirror

I saw him take on leadership naturally in a group situation, a kind of leadership that is not stifling, but facilitative.. I saw him help anyone who needed his help, and wherever he felt he could make any positive difference.. I saw him push boundaries of natural human capacity in order to do the kind of work that would meet his standards.. I saw him work up to an internal standard that did not necessitate, and in fact surpassed, all external standards.. I saw my hero

He danced on wet nights, though he was not the dancing kinds… He sang ‘Guncha koi’ on the stage though it was not an XL junta kind of song, he sang for me… he stayed awake with me late into nights doing nothing in particular, though he liked to operate with clock work precision, when I had first met him.. he tried teaching me taxation, in face of stern resistance from my side and a suicidal mission to flunk…

He held me in his hands like a gardener would hold a butterfly
Like a father, like a friend, like a confidante, like a lover..

To all that is great in you, my salute!
Happy Birthday, Ashish Pant

Saturday, September 11, 2010

are no more where we had started
Something tells me
this is also not where we end

We have changed... so has the path
We can no more measure our progress
From the vantage point of where we started from

There were forks in the road
And so the beginnings have shifted
And the paths
And the ends

Look around, and take cognizance- 
This is not the start
Nor the end

This story is still untold
This mystery unexplored
Because what was known has changed
And we stand today on new ground

Who knows where we go from here
All I know is, we still exist
And we go forward
That there is a path

Maybe this path has no name
Certainly not known by the names most often identified
Nor even, the names we had given

And therefore we are here
Free to not know
.. Free to explore

Free to, me
And the future

The beauty of it makes me smile
To know where we started
And to have come this far
And to know that this is not where we end

To know not, where we go from here
But to know there is a path
Which we had not seen on the map we had drawn ourselves
With those shiny innocent eyes
Glimmering with hope and certainty

The beauty of it makes me smile
That those eyes have wisened up
And the certainty displaced by searching
And still to know somewhere
That we go further from here

We go further from here…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's not ok

Look around. The world condenses to small rooms,
big rooms.... rooms... walls..

There are these multiple worlds/microcosms..and most of us entrapped and inextricably enmeshed  in one or another of these pseudo-worlds.

I see people walk amid these..into and out of these..back again to one or another..running from one...running right into another..out of choice, out of guilt, out of compulsion, out of hope, out of fear...

The question doesn't matter. The answer will seldom be anything else.

Lifetimes are spent banging heads against these walls... in decorating these walls... in leaning against these walls when no one is watching, in a wave of sudden existential crisis...

Lifetimes are spent, staring at these walls...And then sometimes a stolen moment or two...staring out of the window...staring at the wind outside...staring at the flying dust...sometimes daring to stare as far away as the sun!

You wonder, 'That 's far away'.. and you realise there is a place far away..somewhere far away from this means you can get out of these rooms and traverse that distance to 'far away'...

Something in the room will sooner or later scream for attention...a phone/ a doorbell/ a colleague/ a superior/ a spouse/ a stranger...and you re-enter the room.
It takes a while..
You can't see the room anymore..The sun is powerful, so much more powerful.
It will take some effort before you will be able to see the room again.

But you know what breaks my heart... that you think perhaps you're not supposed to stare at the sun that long..because it blurs the room
You CHOOSE... the room over the sun

You know you experienced something worthwhile.. you know you felt alive
and the conclusion you reach is- Well, probably windows are quite important!

You break my heart.. because you reach the conclusion that windows are important.. Do you you SEE.. you need windows because there are walls
Windows are a part of the wall

But we never ever challenge the wall

We would doubt the sun
We would not doubt the wall

And so we create windows. We take pride in creating windows. And I see men and women, become slave to windows, and declare joy in it.
They become slave to windows, just as they were slave to walls.
And what breaks my heart is this.. what really breaks my heart is, you think you have escaped, but by being slave to windows, you are still slave to the walls!
You are a slave.

The sun is truth... and you know will give life, or it will burn
But the walls...these walls.... they house hours and hours of quiet desperation
Of scores and hundreds of souls...segregated by walls

They house suffering. They house deceit. They prevent you from seeing what lies beyond this wall, and the next, and the next..

The fear is we may begin and end, in one of these self proclaimed, self reinforcing, pseudo-'world's..believing that the rules are real, and the festering desperation to break them unjustified.. that the walls are for keeps and the sun only to peek at discreetly now and then... that we are alone in taking a pause to think whether we want to enter the next room, or the same room ever again...that it's not ok to say it's not ok...
The fear is we may become ok with not struggling for our lives. The fear is we may in fact struggle to keep ourselves from living the lives we deserve.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blendingly enter into the other? 
So with sanity and insanity.

—Herman Melville, Billy Budd

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We have met the enemy- it is us...............And also the only hope

I find you
rebelling against yourself..

What did you
make yourself do?
That you, today
refuse to follow you?

The intensity of your refusal
Would have me believe
That you held your breath
And wouldn’t let it relieve

Did you decide to wait awhile
When it was all accumulated inside
..but still, did you wait to exhale
When it could have burst a vein..?

Did you push yourself
When you had refused to be pushed
When you thought you had found a way out
Only to be ambushed

By one else..
ambushed by yourself

Did you turn a deaf ear
To your voice
Till you beat yourself to believe
There was no choice

No choice, but to follow your way
And not as if there was much to say

Did you exhale….?
Did you exhale..
While you could still have lived????
Did you exhale?

What is this relationship
With yourself
You are out to defeat
Your own intent

I don’t understand
How this works
You refuse to be a master
to your quirks

Did you exhale?
You were running…running…
Did you exhale?

Did you exhale?
You were in the meadows
And something told you
You should spread your arms
And breathe in the beauty
But how could you, my dear!
You refused to exhale!!

Why do you run away
When I call you
Why do you hide
From my glance
Why do you not listen
To my words
You and me are the only chance

I promise I will listen
When you whisper
I will not 
laugh away your concerns
Not anymore
disregard your needs
I will do what it takes
to strengthen the trust

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stories we tell ourselves

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

~ Joan Didion, The White Album

(Sounds familiar....??)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our Abilities"

~ ( One of the Harry Potters' )
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."