The Mind Map
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Empty minds of disillusionment.
Hopes of other worlds stifled in a dome,
Wrapped in a solace they cannot untangle...
Pyramidal pleasures of empire.
- When I was randomly thinking about pharoahs. (do not ask why, for I would not know)
I wish I were a falling star,
So that I could make anothers' day.
I wish their wishes come true,
By staring into empty space-
And when I come,
The whole night sky will be ablaze-
Not only that presence-
But hope and sweet love in the air-
But I will be a dream....
- On an overwhelming need to please.
It is easy to talk of frivolous mediocrities,
And laugh for thoughtless sentiments.
But there is no meaning in walking and talking
And being nobody,
Waiting for a spark of inspiration
That leads to a passion.
- When I was getting a little fed up with human beings and needed time alone to sit and stare.
Do not make me sit.
Let me free.
Do not make me talk.
Let me sing.
I walk on air,
I fly with wings
I twirl, I swirl
And I am encompassed
With absolute glee.
- It is sometimes necessary to dance out an emotion, and when you can't, you are compelled to do the next best thing - write poeetry about it, of course.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
With a deep forest tan,
Who smiles like a child,
Whose dark, timid eyes
Are the freedom of blue skies.
Of raindrops on trees.
He strides- an Orpheus;
Musician of the mind
With no tune to play,
But the glitter of a joy
That kindles a music in the other.
Tramp of the lonely, dark woods;
With a rustle he moves,
Adorned with a jungle tune
That is his heart-song.
Following brown, elfin-mirthed eyes
And the wings spread
In the freedom of blue skies.
And the eagle flies.
You can find in a dark, empty cave.
Sometimes it is essential to be in non-company,
To interact with the world around.
A little path that speaks of the pathless-
Musings on God, religion, philosophy and nothingness.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
And there were two school girls who had no idea which way to go, clinging on to each other, cursing their fate, and getting soaked in the rain. So I grabbed the arm of one girl and firmly (as firmly as one can in a flooded road with an umbrella that was getting whipped behind by the winds) led them to the safe shores of the oppsite side of the road.
And then I trudged all the way back home, in a slow trance that finally ebbed away as I got into the warm shower. Warmth and bliss. Nicely washed hair, with a fuzzy feeling in the head.
Next came Sanskrit class and playing 'prince' and 'claw' on a friend's computer, and then home.
Today, chocolates, badam cake, maisurpah- it's impossible. Diwali is in the air, and that means sweets.... I cannot resist the temptation!
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Well, it was because of this general state of being accustomed to the blissful rains that I was sulking (to myself) that I was there in the first place. And then I spotted the kadalai shop. That was practically what changed my mind- lovely, hot, yummy, road-side kadalai- what more do you want on a nice rainy day?! (Well, except coffee, obviously; or bajji).
And today, that's what I got! Hot coffee and bajji, with the cold winds blowing all about! And no power cut and lovely evening dance. It had to be recorded!
The rains have arrived! YAY
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Grey-white clouds merge
in an endless cold sky of blue.
Green canopies weave into a network
Blossoming into perfection.
Tall, upright trees in a land
so blissfully quiet.
Even amidst the noise of people's voices
There is a solitude
That is nothing but heaven.
'Why so forlorn?'
Forlornliness is possible only where
the wind shudders with angelic delight,
Spreading a magical web
Silent whispers of cold,
Solemn airs breathe
over mellow flowers of pink and purple,
With splashes of red
that twitter with glee.
The valley streches into an unknown myth.
Maybe an angel descended on the earth
And spread her wings!
"Freedom is an illusion. It always comes at a price." - 'Amulet of Samarkhand'
"Most people respect the badge. All people respect the gun." - 'Righteous kill'
"Why is the rum always gone?" - Captain Jack Sparrow
"Reality is an open secret: open to all, but seen none." - Goethe
"Doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the moon is white, but never doubt my love."- Hamlet
"The heart does things for reasons Reason does not know." - (?)
"Hope is an instinct only the reasoning human mind can kill." - Graham Greene
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Words of wisdom listened to with intent.
Long-haired archer of a warrior clan
Twangs his bow, summoning the Almighty plan.
Sacred vows of golden crown
Upheld by valourous arms of renown.
On a bed of arrows, let to die,
A grandsire of his own warrior tribe:
A summons to death in the art of war,
Utmost grief held by the call of Karma.
Piercing the earth,
Quenching the thirst.
Valour is in the killing of those you love
And honour is in the respect of those you hate.
Sweet father, seeking sweet vengeance-
For a son pierced, smeared in brethren blood,
Holding a chariot wheel in self-defence.
- Shrieks of helpless madness out of hopeless love.
"Son", he shall be called no more.
Deep surge of fierce, bloodied, wounded hate.
Stung, shattered, raging on,
Twanging his bow, radiating fury-
Summoning a battle-fear in the foe.
Ruthless war in a ruthless world.
"Duty is justice" - laws carved in a land of old.
"I am the long haired archer of warrior-clan.
After war comes peace in this aancient land.
I am humble protector of my men,
Set on this earth by God's fateful pen.
Listen for peace's silent echo
In the twang of my sacred, fiery bow.
I am the end of what had begun-
Mighty Kurukshetra was fought and won."
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Psychadelic lotuses float
Beneath diamondaic dew drops.
Pink and white peace-makers
Exist on endless shores
Of transparent water.
A little firefly stumbles into its heart
And lovingly the petals cuurl about a flourescent light.
Ripples of water in a cool breeze
Help the firefly glow dimly as it dies out
with a flutter,
And the light at the heart of the pink-white lotus
The petals drops open in a silent
Ode to a glow.
02/09/08 - I can't believe fireflies are on the brink of extinction!!!! They are too pretty to die! like little tinkerbells in the sky.
With plastic bags, food and sewage leaking
Around its sturdy, useless walls.
A dark skeletal hand
Plucks a week-old packet of chips and food
And stores the plastic bags
In a ragged, torn knapsack-
Nimbly picks up filth
As though it is precious life.
Glances thrown into
the depths of a stone garbage bin
Hoping to find a living
And a bony, skeletal leg walks by-
* * * * * * *
Eyes turn away
A meaninless, senseless poem written on the spur of the moment, but sounds beautiful (funny how sounds are beautiful- that's called synesthesia)
Have the oceans seen you cry?
Has the land let you pass slowly by?
Does the fire in your heart deny
What empty space alone can know-
The sole cause for that pale glow
Is a hope beyond tomorrow?
Let a little flower slowly bloom
In the silent whispers of the night's gloom.
There is a flicker that kindles your soul
And you wait on forever.
I forgot a language yesterday, when I could not place a letter.
A little bit of luck while writing
A little talent and a little knowledge
Sunken in a star of perceptionis what gives a light...
Like a torch on fire in the dark, dark night
And I cannt write in the language I forgot:
A paradox of English.
Maybe my language is not a language,
But a culture of mixed identity.
Yet why should I identify with that which I speak?
I am what I feel and not what I utter.
Yet my utterance is my feeling and my thought-
And my language (or languages)
Becomes my world.
I wrote this probably inspired by marsh languages, and partilly because I didn't remember a basic sanskrit letter: "ae"!!! This was just before our first CA! (not too sure of the date)
Friday, 6 June 2008
Got up late (well, comparatively: 7.45ish). Ate the refreshing breakfast that the Hideaway provides. I had a terrible headache that made me a not-so-tolerable person , what with my cribbing and muttering and irritated-face-keeping! And then came sleep (after food) at which point my aunt and uncle left for Kolkotta, and I didn’t give them much of a farewell (owing to my cribbing: sometimes I find myself unbearable! I wonder how others tolerate me!) It felt as though the brain of mine was banging itself against my skull!
Thus, sleep ensued. At 12.00 I was up again. A lovely bath did nothing to make my headache go away. Lunched around 1.00. Got back to the room, read a little, got troubled by my cousin, and got ready to go out at 4.30ish.We were going to the Kosi River, where the hotel had ‘activities’ like rappelling, ‘mountain’ climbing, slithering and river crossing. We attempted river crossing first, where they leave you suspended from a rope which slopes down. This doesn’t give you much to do except hang on, and so it was simple. Next came rappelling. This requires a little effort from the individual. The right hand holds the rope in front and the left below the back and he body weight is solely on the lower back. Legs straight and wide apart, you let go and keep letting yourself down. Bhavna (my cousin) was scared initially, but did it nevertheless. I wasn’t all too scared. Dad didn’t do it. Ma was fine! Then came ‘mountain’ climbing, where we had to climb a rocky wall, which, sad to say, I couldn’t accomplish owing to the unfortunate event of being deplorably fat (added to which I hogged the lovely desserts in the Hideaway)! Bhavna did it though.
Finally came the slithering where you are let off from a bridge and when you reach the bottom (just above the water), they let you fall, and you get absolutely drenched. This was scary because there was nothing to hold on to, but once it was over, it felt good. Again, pa didn’t try it, ma tried once, but Bhavna went twice.
And there we stood on the drier parts of the river Kosi, three of us wet to the skin, one carrying the video camera, the camera, purse, shoes and what-not. We walked along that dry river until we reached water, which we decided to cross. More than three-fourths across the water, ma got scared by the force of flow. Thus we retreated gracefully, letting the water be, and we walked the path to the main road, had ‘chai’ in a road-side shop, got to the room, bathed and left for dinner.
Happy meal (once I should probably talk about the Hideaway food sometime, but it would take too much time), and while the others watched IPL, I managed to finish (as it so happened, the not-so-good) Jackie Collins. Sleep again…
A day of rest and relaxation- not much accomplished, not much travel. Not much to look forward to; peace, quiet and sleep.
I sign off.
Awake and ready by four ante meridiem (a.m.). Drove to the forest rangers’ office to get a permit for the safari (hoping to get the morning one). Appa stood in a queue that was never-ending and not too queue-like. In the end, we got the afternoon, 2.45, slot. And thus the morning wait paid off (even though it tested our… my… patience quite a bit).
Got back, rested, breakfasted and bathed and left to the Kaladungi falls, which we had wanted to see the previous day. We finally entered the area and had ‘geera’ or cucumber with pepper and waded through the water. Even though it was small, it was amazingly beautiful and cheerful.
Got back, slept again, lunched and prepared for the safari. All eyes out, we watched out for the mighty tiger. We had a good guide (Shubham). We stood up on the jeep’s seat desperately hoping we’d spot the striped predator of the jungle.
v Loads of spotted deer hanging about in groups, running away at the sound of the engine,
v Saambar that was black in colour and generally stood far away, thus not requiring to run away at the sound of the engine,
v Black-faced Langoor that lept from tree to tree,
v A serpent-eater (eagle) that was perched between the greenery,
v A vulture on a leafless tree,
v A yellow-necked monter that looked like a mongoose but skipped from branch to branch,
v Peacocks (with their rejoicing bird-calls),
v And finally elephants.
(No tigers I’m afraid.)
We had a good sight of the elephants. In fact, our jeep spotted them first from afar and our driver took us really close to the herd. There were five elephants in all: three adult she-elephants, a young male and young female elephant. For those who do not know, elephants generally live in herds and the leader is usually a female. The male elephants do not necessarily stay with the herd (as was the case this time).
The other jeeps started following us. And there was a chaotic noise as people ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ and then elephants turned to leave us (after all we were treading on their territory). This time our guide, with his great sense of perception overtook the herd and tried to catch a closer (than before) view of the elephants. We would have gotten really close if it hadn’t been for the other vehicles blocking our way thus hindering us from reaching faster.
Apparently three to four jeeps spotted the tiger! That was quite a blow. But, hey! What do you expect? This was a safari!
And thus we trundled back to our lair, a little dejected, of course. But on the trundling back, we were stopped by a humungous, confused, chaotic traffic jam (you couldn’t know where it started and where it ended). We waited for almost an hour and nothing seemed to be moving, so we decided to walk a little while and get the hotel car to come for us since the jeep was stuck in traffic. But as we got out and started walking, the jam cleared out. Finally we reached home (the hotel that is). I was absolutely exhausted and hence a nap ensued. Then dinner and back to sleep.
Alas! The tiger lay well hidden!
Monday, 2 June 2008
Reached the famous national park yesterday. Nothing more eventful than a blissful sleep with the promise of seeing snow in the morning. Bhaunkhal, the spot at which we might catch a glimpse of the snowy ranges of the middle and upper Himalayas! And ambitiously we rose at four to race the sun to the locale. Alas, woe begone, we missed not only that rise of the mighty golden orb but also the mist fogged the snow-topped ranges. And thus, I did not (as I was promised) get my first glimpse of snow.
And so it came about that we got off the car into the early morn and decided (ambitious still) to climb a hill in the cold Shiwalik air up to a 'mandir'. "Jai shri Ram" indeed. We could not walk beyond thirty paces! Downhill was worse. Bhavan Singh roared with laughter as he watched us struggle, puffing and panting our hearts out, grabbing every tree and rock in sight praying (okay, not me but my parents) that we do not fall.
Nice man Bhavan Singh. Spoke of his dreams to visit Tamil Nadu and see the Marina, giving us 'garam chai', requesting us to stop by the woods on a lonely morning to sit and share a few square meals with him. But then we had miles to go before we slept. How true that turned out to be!
Breaking the fast in Corbett Hideaway (the hotel), we refreshed and off we were to the National Park's museum, having missed the sun and snow. The museum was grand. Well, not technically, but ideally. It was simple, small and gorgeous, with models of living tigers speaking of their lives, deaths and their majestic royalty. With cubs, preserved embryos even, foetuses also, stored in ethyl (um.... whatever). A tiger fought an elephant the whole night, dying in the process. Even great leaders die a fatal death- at least she died fighting!
The various National Parks around India, pictures and so on decorated the walls- that summed up the museum that guarded the entrance to the museum that guarded the entrance to the National Park. We bought t-shirts promoting the tiger ("Save me" and all). This was followed by a lot of conversation and reminiscences of Zambia.
Then we go back to the hotel. That followed by a 20 minute swim, the buffet feast at the Hideaway (for lunch), a little slumber for the parents (book reading time till four) and on the move again; this time to Kaladungi falls and museum.
Long ride looking for a fuel station that had diesel, since supply was short, and finally up to the falls which sadly closed at 5.00 (us reaching there at 6.30). So also the museum which apparently contains Jim Corbett's belongings. And thus we stopped at Punian restaurant (near the falls) for chai/coffee, saw tamed geese and decided to get back.
Just our luck: as the clock-hand passes eight, our lovely game of antakshari was interrupted by a harsh realisation- flat tyre; no spare!! The two men of the family (dad and uncle) sent the driver on a mission to get a good spare, and the ladies in a share auto type auto (where you stand behind with the wind in your face) to Ramnagar (the nearest town).
Ma, chitti (aunt), Bhavna and I reached safe and chose to call the resort for a vehicle to take us from Ramnagar to the resort. Big mistake! Apparently they charge innocent strangers to the area a meagre amount of Rs 650/- only (excluding taxes). Aunt’s tantrum… a reduction if costs to Rs 350/- only and finally reaching our destination (the temporary home).
Noodles for dinner, and hopefully a lovely sleep before a better day where, hopefully, the Honourable majesties shall grace us with their presence. Awaiting the tiger…
I sign off.
The morning skies of blue and white
With a psychadelic effect on the mind.
Empty art books getting filled with multi-coloured ink.
The thoughts into the depths of slumber sink.
Bright pens summoning the Muse
From a blankness that erases everything.
Genesis of meaningless tunes of tranquility.
The ecstasy when the nib touches the coarse whiteness
is freedom; like a puff of a cloud
Rising from nothingness
And falling into the seas of imagination-
An angel descends.
(On the plane from kolkotta to delhi, when i was looking out at the clouds and feeling all poetic. Well, from up high it was gorgeous... Written on the 25th of may 2008.)
Friday, 23 May 2008
I have been doing that, though- Victoria memorial, the museum, st. john's cathedral- kolkatta in general. Comfortable car travels through town, from salt lake city to the howrah bridge.... Awesome marvels that deserve the awe that they get. Little town roads with old buildings that look so anciently beautiful. The heat that gets to you, and the rains that are oh so lovely! Little drops that grow into a storm that blow down hoardings.... The hoogli river that flows in serpentine curls of blue- green waves, with dolphins on their fringes. Ah! What a lovely place. Bengali, with its accents, the roads that start out with broken, old, cream-grey buildings leading to glassy columns of buildings... Little shops with matkas that can be painted, and leechies!!! Yum. And pani puri that drips into your fingers. Little cycle rikshaws that drive through town, and the tram that trudges past the whizzing cars. The metro that hides down below and the trees that envelope the roads (at least in salt lake).... gorgeous.
And after all that roaming, you'd expect that all I'd want was a lovely meal and a long long sleep, but oh no! The sleep won't come, and I'm left watching television and sitting on the computer and letting my brain drift into a state of non-being where thought cannot bloom (or whatever).... and I am left sitting online, with nothing to do.... waiting for the next morning to take me on a flight of its wings into another corner of the city.....
Saturday, 10 May 2008
With white letterheads
Stare into the morning sky.
Shops of hourless, timeless exhaustive food
And fermented apple juice
Flows through the parched throat.
Time is waiting
For a time to move
And tired ecstatic pleasures
In todays and yesterdays
That flow by-
(Written while travelling to Vandavasi with Rashmi, before the bus journey while we hogged at the station on the third of May.)
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
And the wind will swoop me away;
I shall enter into an abyss
And the music will play;
The stars will open their fiery bands
And their sparkles will shine today…
Just one drop of absinthe,
And I’ll promise you a smile-
A little drought of laughter
Escaping from my lips;
And I promise you won’t forget
The night that passes by.
Once more, I taste
The music of your wine,
And suddenly I laugh with joy
And feel myself smile-
Maybe you oughtn’t to feed me your alcohol-
‘Cause the stars are already playing
And I’m engulfed in the abyss;
I feel the wind about me swaying-
For I’m drunk in your smile.
As she sat by the railway tracks,
Orange fire glowing on a finger-tip held cigarette,
And the dark clouds swept her tresses across her tears.
An abrupt halt of a speeding train.
He waited for it to fly again,
As he saw the orange city lights
Mingle with the black lake waters.
She turned her head with bruised sorrow
And saw mellow whiteness from a dark train.
She heard the heavy blows that her lover had dealt her, in her ear
And the tears flowed slowly again.
He watched from the light of the mellow-white train
And saw her weeping in her pain.
And as her eyes met his,
He gave her a smile and a wave.
He lit a cigarette anew
And shrugged with carefree quietness.
And then she saw the meaninglessness of living,
And the beauty of that lack of meaning.
She waved a fire-glow of a cigarette in return,
As a thank you note for letting a life live.
And the motionless train caught a flutter of joy
And began to fly with the wind.
As the chimes of time sing,
As vivid cocoons swing…
Of a butterfly wing.
The wind in the night
Blows past pools of yellow light
And the lone tree
With the blossom
Of a butterfly wing.
Roads of concrete buildings
Forget the stars are a-shining
And the moon is a-glowing
And somewhere, the blossom
Of a butterfly wing.
Amidst this insanity,
This mighty calamity,
Heights of sheer vanity,
Of a butterfly wing.
Though we would not see it,
And the heart cannot hear it,
This world cannot steal it,
Of a butterfly wing…
For upon that tree top,
The chimes of life sing,
And from the cocoon’s swing
Breaks out a blossom
Of a butterfly wing.
A surge of radiant beam of light-heat
Courses through his dark skin,
Reaching his neela-kantam
And flows into the tips
Of the trisulam- wielding palm.
His thick, black matted locks
Grasp the great Ganga
And the quarter moon itself
As it unfolds about the nape of his neck.
His thundering feet are adorned
With the shining, gold thandai.
With one foot firmly holding the earth
He lifts the other in destruction.
Around his strong, gaunt shoulders
Curls the powerful serpent.
His fiery natyam
Breaks the mountains, raises the tides,
Quakes the very core of the earth,
Destroying deep-rooted evil.
The guardian of earth, sea and sky
Releases pure, powerful, rhythmic, wrathful
From the centre of his palm
And from him emanates the sheer radianceOf destructive shakthi.
The heavens and earth
All hell breaks loose,
As the third eye burns
And the trident-lord unleashes