Monday, June 26, 2017

Mana ke hum yaar nahin...

   
There are songs that keep playing in the head, the ones that you call earworms, which have no cure except that you need to find a new song to hum. One tends to  listen to these countless number of times without any rhyme or reason or because of the magic in the voice of the singer.  

One  current favourite is Parineeti Chopra's Mana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin, which speaks of a love that is not between lovers yet enough to have a code of rules to abide by. This song from the movie Meri Pyari Bindu shows Aysuhmann Khurana and Parineeti Chopra as friends who have grown up together and whose bond goes beyond all traditional labels.

The edited transcript goes like this:

I admit that we are not lovers
What we have is not love either 
But don't look into my eyes
For this heart can't be trusted.  

If you ever meet me on the way
Stop to hold hands with me. 
If there is someone with you
Just flash a smile from faraway. 

But the smile should be such
That there is no confession in it...(ikraar is a strong word)

Don't confess it through your eyes
for this heart can't be trusted. 

I admit we aren't lovers...


From Your Valentine


The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

From Your Valentine: Dedication

I love you! 



These are the words that might start a relationship; a turning point from where there is no return. At the same time, many dread these three little words as it might be the beginning of a commitment and the end of freedom. But I guess there are bonds that need no words, loyalty that transcends time and true love that goes beyond death. 

For me, I thought that such things were things of the past yet when I caught affected with a happiness virus from you, what I realized is that it is a time-sent present for all grief. Just like a bout of chicken pox later in life can be very severe, your virus has not been very benign as could be seen from the fact that I am not cured yet. 

Yet in an intensely private world, my sore unfulfilled desire might be a restoration of the status quo, of just being the air around you and nothing else! 

Family Heirloom













The first among the heirlooms was a strong voice
One of contradiction and strife that hung over us,
With each and every good occasion hampered
By the tears of some sorcery or pure discord.

Among the signs of feasting were the skeletons
Skeletons in the cupboard that could bring
Multiple calamities and emotional disasters
Though it might have been an era of sunshine.

What this clan received as heirloom was eerie-
An absence of joie de vivre or an angst of life
That stayed on a like a perpetual thundercloud
And burst into rains even in days of sunshine.

Yet the strength of this clan lies in its heirloom
Of being ever-ready in the face of disasters.

Ships that pass in the night















Pic: flickriver

I thought you were here to stay always
With the kind of love-light in your eyes,
With that bounce in your quick steps
Or the well-measured choice of words.

I thought you were the kind of true love
That could make a princess out of me,
The one that could make a day magical
Out of the countless songs that you croon.

I thought may be it was a soul connection
To make a bond like this to form so soon
Though from a stranger to my everything
You took hardly a few days to become.

Looking back, I see that you were nothing
But a ship that pass in the night, for me.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Heroism












Everyday, we live and die for a beautiful dream
Battle the inner demons for what we stand for;
For the best that is possible in this small world
The best that exists on the verge of dreams.

The fiercest battles with the loudest war cries
Fought with the inner demons not with others;
For we are like the true warriors of yesteryears
Who raged against all injustice and bitterness.

Not that this base metal has turned into gold
But might need years of being in the run
The everyday battle with perfectionism
The tiniest details in its perfect little place.

Yet in a way you praise the might of the sun
Who finds courage to rise up after it's done. 

One fine day

















Were there expectations in your eager mind
As how exactly it is going to be like in real,
With you and me meeting each other to find
What the years have not taken away or heal.

Didn't your heart beat as loud as mine today
When walking down the street you saw me.
Not like in the days of beautiful togetherness
But like a pleasant surprise hard to contain.

For me, I saw you only for a few moments
But enough to keep counting even the time,
My face that cannot hide what it feels like
Or my words that might reveal what I want.

One fine day, this might become so unreal
This longing to have you beside me a lifetime.

Reading for fun















 Can you measure the time it took to savour,
To taste bit by bit and take in your words?
Not that you have left them behind for me
They are all over the place, wherever I go.

The hourglass on my table marks the time,
Though it looks still apparently, obviously,
But the words grab my complete attention,
And it's more like reading a first love-letter.

The words glide across the page at this hour
Be it the ancient stories or lover's quarrels;
The slow-burning desire of lovelorn youth
The ambitions of the powerful and the strong.

Nor do I count my life in terms of big events
But by the tomes that I've read daily for fun.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Have an ecofriendly period!


Have a happy period ☺ says the Whisper  advertisement. In the olden days, "those days" meant that you could hardly get out of your room or do what you want. Going out of the house was forbidden in the case of most women. But with changing times, there has been a sea-change in the general attitude to the monthlies. Sanitary pads and their focus on comfort have liberated women from much of the taboo associated with menstruation.

With studies that show that the disposal of sanitary pads can be hazardous to the environment, there is a need to shift to ecofriendly and healthier versions such as reusable cloth pads or menstrual cups. These are conscious choices that can be made part of the monthly schedule. Join hands to reduce your ecological footprint!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Drops of Youth













In tiny glass bottles, they sell drops of youth,
At exorbitant prices and dreams of perfection.
The words persuade, I decide to buy some
Just to check out for an overnight miracle.

Drops of youth, she claims can cure your scars.
Can melt away your acne-scars and pimples;
The girl mutters guessing my Achilles' heel
The need to have perfect pimple-free skin.

While I read her compact and eyeliner,
The perfect matte and the Absolute range
And think of the many things I have tried-
Diet, facewashes, scrubs, oils and whatnot.

Yet I'd love to keep an old belief of this land,
That they're brought on by an admirer's eyes.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Euphemistic desire: Dear Diary



Today, I heard a transgender writer speak of her genitals as if it were the most natural thing in the world, her lips curling to the words my vagina, my breasts, my body and the crowd listening as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I don't know how many among the men would say my penis or how many among the women would dare to say my vagina or my breasts except in a very clinical sense.

Our world has ways of putting words to complex things but not something as simple as your sex or mine or theirs, your desires or mine or theirs. Stronger than the feeling of finding nicer labels for all private parts was the feeling of curiosity about how she has lived with courage when many a man or a woman with ordinary lives might have crumbled before life's ordinary struggles.

Thoughts listening to Kalki Subramaniam

The Notebook


There are books that you might want to read time and again. Nicholas Spark’s The Notebook  (1996) is one of them. An old man reads out a story to an old woman in a nursing home. Though she is the Allie of the story that is being read, she does not recall it as she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

The story that he narrates is about a summer romance between Allie and Noah set against the backdrop of a small town in California. They have an intense passionate affair and he shows her his old family mansion that he wants to renovate. Her parents take away when they come to know about it and Allie leaves a message with his friend Fin that she loves him.  They get separated because of a difference in class as Allie comes from a rich aristocratic background.

Years later Allie gets engaged to Lon, a young and rich lawyer and is happy. Then, she sees an article about Noah and how he has restored his family mansion. She goes to see him without informing her mother or Lon.

The next morning, she finds her mother at the doorstep and she confronts Allie by reminding her of her engagement with Lon. They argue but she gives Allie a bundle of letters that Noah had written her over the years.


This surprises Allie as there are so many letters which he had written for almost a year and Ann says that she hadn’t given them to her because she found her to be too immature. 


Ann asks Allie to make a choice between Noah and Lon, what is she wants and what is good for her. She finds that though the years have changed them in so many ways, this time she is not ready to let go of what she wants.

Sparks, in his interviews about the book has said that he had modelled the story on his wife’s grandparents who had been married for around 60 years.

The film version of the book directed by Nick Cassavetes is equally memorable though it  focuses on Noah and Allie's love as a summer romance that gets a second chance and is as much about parenting guidelines for parents who discover their kids to be in love with unsuitable suitors from inappropriate social classes. The film is quite sensuous portrayed against luscious greenery and the countryside. The songs based on the film are lovely especially I wanna grow old with you and I will be right there waiting for you.

The here and the now

You and I were always like this, spending time together without demanding much from each other, what others think as necessary. I think our priority was togetherness first though we belonged to two different spaces altogether. But when I look back, I am amazed by the thoughts that we shared though we were so distant and by the kind of support that we were to each other.

Nowhere but here that's what I wrote when I thought whether you might be wondering where I was, being away from you. Now, in the present space, when such togetherness is no longer existent or real, I look back with wonder at the beautiful days that we had spent together, weaving dreams out of words.

Monday, May 08, 2017

A cup of comfort




Related image

Your words taste like a sip of hot coffee that I drink for comfort during my day, to soothe my throat and to clear away all the weariness of spirit. These words pull me out of very tent of isolation that I weave, out  of every crisis that I have been through. These well-read words bring a catharsis always, laughter or tears.

Some days, these words were a way of talking about things that hurt you the most, that you overcame by finding relief in self-expression and got comforted by strong shoulders, kind arms and a loving heart that you called home. This cup of comfort might be from far away or close at hand, but just like the whiff of your perfume it stays with me all the time.



Friday, May 05, 2017

Eat Pray Love



In a very interesting study of the blunders written by students, there is a story about how Milton came to write his epics. According to a very imaginative student, Milton got married and he wrote Paradise Lost. Later his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained. Though how many times he repeated this practice only history can answer as can be seen from the number of his wives.


Now in popular culture, marriage and love are usually celebrated while divorce is usually represented as the end of your life.  From Jane Austen novels to present day romance novels, there is a long tradition of writing that ties up your life neatly in terms of love and marriage. Then there are as many number of chick-flicks that show how the course of true love never did run smooth.


Eat Pray Love is a 2006 novel by Elizabeth Gilbert that is quite unconventional because of its veracity and audacity. Told in the first person autobiographical mode of narration, the novel depicts a woman’s search for identity after a rather painful and time-consuming divorce. A woman in her thirties, instead of settling down and having a family of her own, is haunted by anxiety attacks. She wants to be free and decides to go on an adventurous trip all by herself.


She feels that she has been floating through life without an identity of her own.  Once her marriage breaks down, she lands straight into the hands of a lover named David. One of her friends makes a remark that if she had resembled her husband earlier, now she resembled David. This turns her inward and she wants to find out what she is really like and what she really wants out of life.


After her brief rebound affair with David, she recognises that another relationship is not quite the answer that she is looking for. She travels to three places that have only one thing in common- the first letter I- Italy, India and Indonesia. In Italy, she learns the native language and finds a new interest in friendship and in the Italian cuisine. A word catches her attention- attraversiamo- which means “let’s cross over” commonly used by her friends when crossing streets.


She goes to India and scrubs floors in an ashram while learning how to recite the prayers correctly. She meets Richard from Texas who calls becomes friends with her and calls her groceries. Her next place of visit is Indonesia, where she meets an ancient medicine man Kekut Liyer who asks her to enjoy life to the fullest and to laugh right from the liver.


She meets a Brazilian divorcee named Felippe in Bali and agrees to spend time with him. She also helps a traditional healer named Wayan to build a house with the help of financial aid from the US. Her experiences make her believe in the goodness of life once more and she feels that she has finally confronted her inner demons. Her scars hurt her less and finally she recognises that she has become much lighter as she has performed this wonderful act of crossing over. A feel good book about divorce, the film adaptation released in 2010 has Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Beginner’s Mind







You have taught me the art of the beginner’s mind, taking small steps, internalizing the rules and learning day by day. Though this art of being completely aware in the present moment has brought in its turn, both happiness and sorrow.

This mind was often like a cup ready to be filled in, with nothing to boast of or previous knowledge to fall back upon. It often stood still in silence and dreamt of a peaceful future with its soul mate and at times set on its own charting out territories to explore.

Yet it knows how to balance its trust in the infinite gifts of Providence yet to keep its eyes open for the wonderful gifts that each brand new day brings.