Mar 19, 2017

An unusual work day

'Come on boy, come down now. It’s time to go. We are getting late!!', Ram hollered at the tree without a pause and walked towards and through the clearing.

Manu looked at him going out and started climbing down the tree. He didn’t like being left behind and Ram's going to the clearing meant the longer he took getting down from that tree, the longer the distance he'll have to cover to catch up with him; and that man walked fast.

So he climbed down fast and ran after him. 

It was his favourite pass time, Manu’s. Sitting on that heavy branch, halfway up the tall Peepal tree, and watching the sunshine break way and glimmer over and through the spaces between the rooftops and treetops early in the morning was the best moment of most of his days. He got up early, climbed that single, old, tall tree and sat there each morning till he heard Ram call him out to go for breakfast and start work day.

Breakfast meant a steel bowl of milk and a small pack of glucose biscuits for Manu. Of course he did not know it was called a glucose biscuit or what glucose meant, nor could he read what was written on the pack. All he knew was the round face of the baby on the packet and that the biscuit inside it tasted best with milk.

Feb 11, 2017

Changing Norms

Watching PM Modi on TV boast about the historical feat he has achieved with demonisation had me feeling déjà vu yesterday.

Of course the first reaction was a half smirk-laugh that maybe we have reserved only for the most repulsive moments; moments which disgust you to a certain level of discomfort when you wish you could wash and clean your mind somehow the way you do your body. But what followed that was déjà vu.

If you watch late night American talk shows like me, or in this case, if you watch news at all, you would've seen a certain Trump conference where he boasts about the how good the Muslim Ban1 has been implemented and how everything is going so smooth at the airports. And because I had seen that clip so many times on so many shows, you can guess how I felt watching that part of PM Modi's speech on TV.

The more you see of these two lately, the more it looks like they are picking ideas and habits from each other. People outside of India even call PM Modi the Trump of India. It is almost as if they were brothers. Even more than brothers, for even brothers can not be so devilishly similar in lack of cognition; level of obliviousness to actual facts and realities on the ground; possession of insane skill in drawing raw, animalistic side of crowds; the artistry of lying in the face of indisputable facts; hate and fear mongering; and when all else fails, the mastery of and consistency in extracting results by playing their best move, nationalism.

Sep 17, 2016

The unseen voice I follow

People often associate reverence, piety and closeness to God with a certain wisdom (or knowledge) in the sense that one realises the frivolity of worldly affairs and life and ascends to deeper knowledge of conscience. As one moving out to the mountains and removing oneself from capital and carnal desires.

One is wise, people of faith say, if he listens to the reasons of God and not that of the people.

Let me try and paint a scene for you in relation to this.

Suppose, that you find yourself in a strange, dreamy sort of a place/space; a sort of square with people standing about. You don't know any of the people there even though there are a lot of them. You obviously want to know where you are and how you could go out and back to your home from there. People approach you and you tell them what is it that you want and all of them try to show and tell you the way you should take, very opinionatedly. You get confused and get more worried than before, knowing not who to listen to and who to believe. But then, you hear a voice which it seems only you can hear; you don't see who is speaking to you but it is very clear. It too, directs you towards a possible way out. It says that it wants to help you asks you to trust it and follow the lead (which by the way some people around you have also done).

Whose advice would you follow?


Apr 30, 2016

Roses are red...

Roses are red
The sky is blue


Isn't it true, that
skies turn red too

And boy, I tell you
I once saw a rose blue

And swear I, such was its hue
that left me amazed, the closer i grew

And I must tell you of the red sky I knew
(it) looked like a satin in the sky someone sewed

Wonder fills one's eyes to see it, I'll give you this cue,
no other colour makes it more beautiful, that much is true.

Apr 25, 2016

The Village-Town Girl - NaPoWriMo - #25

She was a girl of a small village town
a small town, with fields brown
But in the fields, there were other colours too
green and yellow yes, with ponds clean & blue

The houses were beautiful, and so were the folk
but there was a problem, hidden beneath a cloak

See in that town, there were no young men
only ageing and old, except for the women

And women were there, mind you aplenty
each home with daughters, less than a twenty

And just as the rest, this girl had no boy a friend
hadn't even met one she, let alone do some time spend 

In all of seventeen years of her life, she
never once thought she could be a wife

And spent her time she, hearding the sheep
sitting by the stream, slipping into sleep

But one day, when she opened her eyes, she
found a boy standing near, to her surprise

And asked him who he is, and whence he come,
so he said he was travelling, as it was autumn

Travelling where, the maiden wanted to know
why, to here my dear lady, it is a village, no?

I am not a lady mister, a lady is my mother
I am, but a girl, you must not make me bother

Forgive me miss, I did not mean to offend, only
you are so beautiful, I could not but commend

Weird fluttering butterflies, the girl felt in her stomach, she
looked down, smiled, and hair behind the ear she tuck

Who are you here to meet, and rest at and eat?
the girl asked in a voice that was shty and sweet

Oh I know not anyone here, you are the very first
if you could help me here, it would be so just

... to be continued

Apr 23, 2016

The World Outside - NaPoWriMo - #23

Mommy, is it true?

Tell me, is it true that outside,
there is a place where, water flows freely on the rocks,
and it flows and it flows and it flows, it never stops;
tell me, is that true?

Yes dear son, my baby,
it is true; but that place is in heaven, it is not here,
here is only the small tanks, which you see; you see,
the water is very costly, only so much for you and me

But tell me mommy, does my friend lie?
Omar, my friend, who lives three containers away;
he says, there is a place outside, where so many trees stand, 
that you cannot see the sun; he says, it is called a forest

Yes love of my life,
there is that place, but not in this world dear child;
he must be, talking about the heaven again, where lie
hundreds of fruity trees, for you all waiting in line

No!! But he says it is here, in our world,
and he says there are so many animals, on the ground
and even in water, all outside the wall; tell me mommy,
how can anyone live in water? don't they ever die?

Oh no no, you get it wro...

Wait but mommy, where do they eat their food?
And where do they sleep? Can they sleep in the water? And,
what is an ocean mommy? He says it is so big, it never ends,
no matter how far you look; surely, you must know about it 

No my gullible, my dear innocent boy,
there is no such thing outside, all imaginations and lies
but don't worry my dear, there is a whole world in heaven,
much bigger, much more beautiful than anyone can describe

And there you will find, all kinds of trees and birds and animals
maybe even those which will live under water, and maybe you too
could live under water; there will be water, flowing water, and 
so much and so sweet, that you would never get tired

Okay; okay mommy...

Omar said there was a war, a war 
like no other in our country before, he said
What is a war, mommy? He said, many people died in it, did
daddy die in it too mommy? In a War?

Enough! Enough of your questions today
what kind of things does your friend say
I will go and talk to his mother at once
what is she teaching him, and to you in turn

Your father, your brothers, died beyond the wall; there is
nothing but dry land and heat there, and fall
no forests, or oceans, or animals are real, 
only you and I, are in this camp real

Okay? Only, we have each other to look for my son,
together, we shall live here under this sun
and I, warn you my love, they will kill you too if,
you try to climb the wall, and break free outside