Friday, August 14, 2015

Moving

It is that time of the year.
Boxes around, passport out, baggage allowance restrictions....

A damp morning outside.
These flights which move from here to there to here to there
Crowds, mountains, blue berries, traffic jams, swearing.

What to remember? What to forget?
We who put our tents about like just anywhere
Every conversation a fleeting wind
Every moment another encumbrance to bubble wrap

One can carry only so much
Each port has its way of dealing with your baggage
Bubble wrapped insecurities will break open
Under the warm tropical sun
Chilly mornings in another continent will
Freeze tears into tiny invisible cubes

As I float one more broken bit in the river
Water takes something away and leaves something behind
The reflection who stares at you from it is someone different.

On these long journeys from here to there to here to there
The wind will change the way you move
The roads will leave their mark on your feet
And on that occasional moments when a different person
Stares from the mirror; try to smile

When the sights from the window seat get repetitive
It might help to look at them with a different set of eyes





Monday, August 10, 2015

For Summer

A picture perfect summer afternoon
Waves of green grass, strokes of white birds..
A hundred surveillance cameras humming in my head.
....

The touch of skin, the smell of sunlight
The radiance of flowers
And the corpse manufacturing newspaper
Over our morning coffees.
How nice is it to be alive

....

Friend,
I don't walk fast anymore
Or think fast, or count my hours like grains
It is nice to let centuries pass by before your eyes
Like harried coal trains

........

Friend,
I am not hell bend on reaching anywhere
Clock ticks of academic nightmares
Foucault has been trying to communicate
with me for a while.

But, he always gets stuck at hell's door
There is never enough money on his oyster card
To reach anywhere.

He is still stuck somewhere
But now, in this winter of summer
I get him

Don't work with the clocks they make for you
The graphs, the maps, the sights to scare
Walk out of the panopticon
Think like a river
Move with the weight of decades on you
Let trees talk and clouds fly

Time is endless
You will be die and live a hundred times
As a bird, dust, spark, tiger, prey..
Don't ever walk fast.

You will die in genocides
Starve in lands of plenty
So, pass by the wine counter
Don't try to make polite remarks

Sit with squirrels, touch flowers
Smell grass, not fear

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

...

At the crack of midnight, the machine gets its bout of mental disorder.
Like a maniac it shouts its screetches into the dreamless night.

Eyes which are sick of rotating around the machine wants to break free from the laws of gravity. I take the disobedient eyes to the firing's beggar hospital where I enact the role of the super beggar from third world.

My Lord Buddha..
You who left everything to take up begging.
How did you swim past the CCTV cameras and super market counters to reach the mountains?

I am in many ways a disciple of yours. As for desires, there are a few left; like the few hairs in a bald head. In this birth, I just can't seem to get the dancer's anklets. I might have worn them in another birth and forgotten them somewhere.

So, the monk's robe might be useful. Please send them in instalments

Friday, February 6, 2015

No Health System (NHS)

One of the pleasures of living in this small island is that you get to experience a unique healthcare system known as NHS (No Health System)

On paper; it is free, egalitarian, available to all and is as  good as freedom and democracy. But the problem is that it has to exist beyond paper.

May be, if you are the Queen's diaper changer or the PM's shoe polisher, the system could work for you.But from the perspective of the lowly life form known as the student immigrant from third world, it is more or less punishment park. You need to pray hard to the forces of universe that you should never fall ill till you leave this island.

The forces of universe were not that kind to self and self had to approach  No Health System (NHS) quite a few times.

The first hurdle is to convince the receptionist that you are dying. This takes no mean effort and from experience, self can certify that even crying over the phone doesn't help. If you are lucky, you will get an appointment in two days. By that time, you might have become used to excruciating pain or might have fainted a few times. Of course, you can go to Emergency Services. They will give you paracetemol and will say that they can do nothing else.

Self has on three occasions actually achieved the rare sighting of a GP.
Here are the results

1. Self: "Fever, dizziness, blah..blah"
GP: "Eat leafy vegetables and you will be fine. No need for anything else"

2. Self: "Throat infection, fever, blah..blah.."
GP: "I am feeling kind. Have this pencilin type antibiotics which must be from the 1970s."

Result: Self caught a skin condition which has refused to go away in a year. But it is a bearable condition and self has made peace with it.

3. This was the best. Had the misfortune of catching an eye problem which requires some specialist care.

GP: "I can't do anything. I can't suggest anything. I can refer you to see a specialist which might take God knows how many days/months"

Time spend on diagnosis: 2 minutes.

Some bugger in the government was suggesting that NHS should give online diagnosis. I am all for it. It is better than waiting for days to meet robotic idiots who tell you that they can't do anything. Just like they are replacing peopled counters at the underground with ticket machine, they should install doctor machines. At least, the machines won't give you the optical illusion of meeting a human.
............

PS: Finally, a seasoned immigrant family gave how they made peace with the island's No Health System (NHS). They regularly send their GP wine and other goodies and there has never been any hitch in the service