Monday, December 24, 2012

….

"Life is no less difficult than Pi's " -the gem was from a very dear friend currently typing away from a far off land.

How come the new year has to start with stinging cold? It adds a bit of blue on to all the collective disappointments. One has to start the year with a song on lips, cheer in heart and all that jazz.

But, self has used up most of coffee powder hope. So, going against the grain to start off the year with a  whiny post:p

………

There is a broken mirror, a broken sail. All the work and sweat didn't go anywhere. It is still stuck in land. The sea visits routinely, all salty and taunting and giggly and wavy. Was supposed to ride over and go some where.

Love alias whatever they call it  died, of natural causes in extreme old age. Have been an extremely pesky emotion to carry, a betaal on your shoulder. Even the ventilator gave off after long years, tired and harassed.  Funeral was peaceful and disco lights gave their blessings.

The wind drops in regularly, blowing away the very few possessions; like the idea of a warm fire side. Is back to collecting logs of wood. The lone torch for times like these is in another continent.

 Mortality arrives as crabs packed in carefully worded message bottles at usual intervals. Used to throw them away in some memory attic. Now, the crabs are all over. Their fiery orangeness covering the calm mellow of  sand.

May be need to hit the mountains and wear the robes of the monk for a while. To stock up on the depleting provision of zen. So as to be able to wear the anklets of the dancer again, the hardiness of the maker of sails, the tranquility of one who floats broken bits in the river, with a candle on top to guide them on their way to eternity.




Monday, December 3, 2012

….

Haven't walked with the wise one..haven't stopped collecting mustard seeds of desire from red and blue doors. Haven't stopped  free falling with the recklessness of an emotional fool on imaginary wings.
………….

Yesterday the priest left the  loneliness of the temple -  stones with silly makeup,wild flowers with the strange smell of obscurity,  water which can never stay still anywhere. Left every thing for the mountains, to find the atheist God.

…….

Am a box maker, forever packing and re packing, waiting for buses, trams, planes, cycles..which may or may not arrive. That is a nice little bag, will sit across the shoulders. Can walk miles and miles and miles till a headlight decides to shine somewhere. Put those rocks of hope inside, though they will break my back. The bag will be feather light without them. But should believe that one day, right on the top of an icy morning, they will fly out of the bag to become little stars across a small balcony, drenching every thing around in rainbow colors. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Each journey brings you back to your own door.

Bus rides which lets you know that the trusted 'gut feeling' is just some random fear which masquerades in glittery robes... Yellow fields, dirty alleys, deep fried charms, green trails which will move with you till your legs collapse, best chaat in the world served with a hint of stomach bug…

They let you in, merge with your story and then just seep in to become footnotes. They aren't there to clean the broken bits, to throw out the trash, to fill in gaps.

May be the most incorrigible bits of the story are also the most interesting. That which we feel which is beyond comprehension of most might be the most experimental parts in life's installation piece.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Filming Blues (Indie Kind)

Mom used to say that there is a secret to house work-it never never ENDS.

Filmmaking must be a cousin to housekeeping. It also has the propensity to be elastic, far long after you have burnt out.

Technically it is all done. But then the sound plumbing needs a re look. The visuals need to be re touched to bring out the best color. And, then there is the basic carpentry work of taking the film to a higher resolution. Not to mention the endless dusting, cleaning and polishing of the same old images. However much hard you may have tried; on each new day that you sit on the edit, you will find that the film has acquired a thin coat of dust at some nook or corner that you  have over looked. Then there is the stress that the carpenter at the editing studio may not have a free time slot. But then, how do you take it to the carpenter without fixing the plumbing first?

And, then there is the commissioner who is complaining about the unnecesary delay. After all, how long should it take to set up a functional kitchen?
....

And, then at times self gets into the fantasy that most housewives run into at regular intervals. To drop it all for a while and run to the hills. But then, you know that guilt will never let you fully breath the beauty of far away hills.

And, when you reach back, it will all be waiting for you- with thick wads of dust and then, you will have to start all over again. Meanwhile, the carpenter would have run away and you might have to look for a new painter as well. And, of course, the commissioner would have reached a crescendo of frenzy.
...
So you move, carrying work on your back like a snail- counting hours, minutes,seconds, frames. All focused at times; on other occasions just doodling purposelessly at the edit machine...
....
May be need to send a bouquet of flowers to myself to remind that it is all for love.

"If you cannot work  with love..it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms from those who work with joy"




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Imaginary Wanderings

Every summer self runs out of the imaginary zen coffee powder in life. Well, if you live in Delhi it is quite pardonable. You of course, need the "soul of Genghis Khan" to survive the Delhi summer. In self's case this is always further complicated by all sorts of work which land up like prompt parcels on self's head. They all are supposed to have been done at some other point of the year. But invariably, they lose their way in strange postal systems and arrive all at once with a thud.

This prompts self to go into elaborate hallucinatory holidays. Writing crap poetry over some dried fish and tea in some remote corner in northeast India, walking through a strange pathway in Bhutan, trekking all the way up some megalomaniac mountain in Himachal, swimming like a fish in a serene pond in Nepal, eating rice in bamboo plates in Cambodia. Since hallucinations never need visa nor money, self manages to do all this while work sits and cribs in a strange high pitched tone.

So, it is officially bad poetry/prose  time.
............
You live the most when you move.
Every unknown street, nook, bridge, river and mountain has a little bit of chalk to write on your soul.
How unlucky is to die like a blank board.
..........

Love that beautiful line from a corny movie. "Aankhon me hairaniyan leke chalo to pata ho ki tum zinda ho"
"When you walk with surprise in your eyes, then you know that you are truly alive".
May be you should meet life every day with some thing new in your eyes.
When you can't take off like a bird, then may be you can hold a few moments with love-by reading a beautiful story ; through making a bucket list with a good friend; or by letting a beautiful movie land on a torrent tip to lift the bad spell of a mouldy day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Editing Blues

The place was some where between sleep and wakefulness. That is where self bumped into that old acquaintance who goes by the name "emptiness".

Self and Emptiness have sat together in the same bench, trying to learn geometry lessons in some long lost past. Then with some audacity powered by the halogen of half cooked dreams, self upturned that bench and ran away-into the haze of Shakespeare, Bronte and then progressively into  many things including Trinh Minha's surname and Benjamin's little lamb. As life took over, emptiness was thrown into one of those memory bins in the attic.

But in solemn evenings when Benjamin's little lamb has turned into mutton chops in some University plate, this old acquaintance will pop in uninvited. Then like most old acquaintances, s/he will start the most uncomfortable range of questions. Unless you have been doing regular spiritual push ups, this questioning round can turn you into a sorry looking blob. Self, of course, has bubble gum zen muscles which have been acquired after much mumbo jumbo and selective memory.

But then, emptiness is always prepared for some thick skin and given a  chance can seep right through.
"So,a..hem…. the glory of informed choices! But the prospect of mixing SD and HD footage seems to shake you to the core"

"And, all that mumbo jumbo..most people can take refuge in things that they know the least about. Isn't it wonderful to sit under the banyan tree of ignorance imagining Bodhisatva's tranquility?"

" …..the river ,… shoudn't you have…. imaginary porcupine …….. the reality of a crab dinner……!@@%^%&&*&()()()()…….??????????????"…."

"And, last but not the least…those crappy shaky footage…..Oh, that is all you have to shown in return for  spondylitis and the onset of probably obesity?"
……….

Hell, how I hate that careless coffee for leaving the door open for the intruder!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rejection Letter

Oh Yes, it has come in a while ago, like a very prompt guest-the rejection letter. Neatly typed words, arranged in the legal order of things.

I know the usual chicken soup soul lines-kinda by heart, pinned up near life's window. Whatever happens, does so for the best (does it???) or just plain "better luck next time". Forget the stacks of hours, days put in and make a plan for how to stack hours and days and months and may be years again.
………..

May be at times you need to take a de tour. Have been working like a dog on one thing or other for a while. Films which get born with a stutter and in constant need for a psychoanalyst, footage which does strange yoga tricks and looks at you for re affirmation, edits which screech and roll with the smell of dawn and take away pizza all over them… And, on the stolen hours when you open the books, making sure that the rough cut is fast asleep, and wouldn't wake up and bawl again for more attention…Then the books tell you, how much more is there to even try to skip through and keep asking you if you have enough life in your years to take up their call.
…..

May be you should tell them the ways you have come through….the water which washed you down to the sea, hills which threw you down so that you may learn to fly, the plain which made you break to hundred pieces so that you may learn to be whole, the strange geography which took you by the hand and didn't ask for your heart (making you pack your heart beats and wait forever for a stamp to send it)..

…….

But then, one owes life all kinds of debts. The need to hold the brittle rays of sun as he dies over a cliff, the memory of roads and lanes and pathways and the zen in their eyes, the streams which want you to silently sit by their side, the shoes which want to become all weary from travel all over again………
It will be sad if you go before you have wrote all that is to be written or made all that is to be made.
But, it will be sader if you go before living all that is to be lived

Monday, March 5, 2012

From the poet's door

Time sometimes wears lazy flowing garments and walks through the muddy lane and houses with strange names. Some times it meets the old poet who is everywhere- in paper folders, cloth bags, key chains...

Some of the most beautiful lines ever penned down.. A grilled pathway and lines about the irrationality of borders..

Amidst manicured lawns, mud houses, tourists haggling over trinkets and notes of music in the air, time roams around like a stranger.

Leaves take as long as they want to fall down to the tune of the wind....Old books wait unhurriedly for a pair of eyes to reach them beyond the clouds of dust.

The cycle bells, security guards and random passers-by  move around, leaving enough space for the solitude of the painter.

May be on a sunny winter morning, the poet does move out of his clay impersonations...to take a walk through the shades of trees which made him pen down lines which drop down like tears and joy to your soul.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

......

shit, shit, shit...arrrr####******
need to come up with neatly typed five pages, full of sense, with footnotes, bibliography and other adornments.
The five pages will be a little passport, a pair of wings, a door to another life.
But, how much weight can you make words carry? They screech, yawn and tumble all over, spilling coffee over crazy mornings.
....
It doesn't work. The idea is half cooked, the words are all over. Why don't you lie back and be Rip Van Winkle for another year?

Sir, have you ever sat and watched the solemn funeral of years? They are capable of running in the same circles over and over again and die their customary death standing in the same freaking point where they began. So, you need to push them off mountains, drown them in rivers and sun them on islands-hoping that they will learn a thing or two. May be swimming, may be zen, may be new grammar, may be disenchantment, may be just anything.
....
There is never any spring which fills your inside with colours, never a rain which drenches your very being, never a touch to hold you here or there. The high of the long distance runner, the promise of a change of scene, another backdrop-hey words, can you behave for once, for the sake of new road signs?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Learning to Fly

" Phir se ud chala...."

The strong bursts of wind brushing past...the clouds, the heights, the seas...
Stay still...close your eyes..bring up all that is in you into these moments..and give a go at flying...

Another life, another place. Grey mornings, the absolute silence of nights, the smile of comradery with fellow worms, stacks and stacks of books...a few stray tunes here and there.

"I never stopped at any scenery,
I never met even myself,
I have this complaint but I am not angry,
all cities are same, villages same,
people are same and same names.."

Culling meanings from here and there, trying to build what you know not of. Long bus journeys to the wrong museums in search of footnotes. A few words amidst all the translations over dinner tables, the hearty laughs and the sweetness and loss of words which become chinese whispers.

" I flew up again,
these earth-like dreams, however much you dust them from eyelids,
they come back..
So many dreams, how should I say I have-
broken, left, and why..

sometimes from branch to branch, sometimes leaf to leaf,
sometimes day is night and sometimes day is day.."
.............

May be the wings are just a figment of your imagination and you will fall, fall and fall like a stone. But still may be you need to give it all that is left in you, carefully packing away anything which might hang like weights on the imaginary wings.