Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Reading The Cloud Messenger

May be it was the shape of his beloved's favourite beast

Bent down to butt a riverbed that inspired him to poesy.

May be it was the memory of his lover's sandalwood body

Or the grief of separation from her that made him sing so.


Whatever the reason might have been for him to compose,

He thought of her long hair without adornments or flowers

Drawn together in a single sweep in the long absent months,

He sang this musical erotic message promising rejuvenation.


He thought of her beauty that made him err in his daily duties,

The early hours of the morning when he spent hours with her,

Which he didn't want to forsake and plucked the holy lotuses,

Which he plucked before time to get punished for a long year.


When the rainclouds burst on her, he wants her to see his love

All written in the eight months of longing, just to be with her!

Chakra Affirmations

Friday, September 11, 2020

Ships that pass in the night




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, in real.

Our story



On the walls of the street I have seen
Our own faces on Radha and Krishna;
While the busy traffic rushes on roads,
And we search for a life of our own.

When this spring that much-awaited
Reaches us finally after a long wait,
It has taken the leaves of our calendar
And left behind nothing but a shadow.

Radha and Krishna swing and sing,
Play games of togetherness always;
While you and I are gentle and aloof,
Looking at the happiness that drains.

The years we lost will never return,
But hope lies hidden in words of loss.


A Rose

A faded rose is not a worthy gift;
Yet playfully I offered you one.
A broken heart is not ready to love;
So I waited for time to heal its wound.


 My heart has danced along with the earth
And has blossomed into petals of joy.
It sings melodiously for one unseen
For whom the roses bloom and my heart smiles.

Daily

Let me watch the stars with you;
The warmth of a lovely sunrise;
Let me travel with you once again
To a home near the River Green;

Let us play in the shallow waters
Like always in a lost sacred childhood.
Let me stand with you near a grave
Lost in renovation and forgetfulness;

Let me find love once again with you;
The lost beauty of love and smiles;
Let me sit beside you in a snakeboat
As it floats across the blue waters.

Let me colour this circle of life again
With a spot of red from your hands.


Pic: ndtv

Mehndi

On air


The way your memory creeps up before my eyes
The way you croon your favourite songs and mine,
The songs that have stayed despite the long years
Playful, naughty, sad, philosophical or just pleasant.

The songs that bring you back to me wherever I am
Wild dreams of being one with you body and soul
Spending endless hours in embraces like creepers
Despite the long sad years of absence and longing.

Though I long for our lost days with a heavy heart,
Those days of endless sunshine that were so perfect
Your sweet voice singing your favourites and mine
During all seasons and all times, every single day. 

The songs that I listen on the radio this morning
Brings back a smile in this era of infinite longing.

#listentotheradio

Friday, September 04, 2020

chakra affirmations

absence

Universe

us

presence

views

The warrior of light

monster

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.

Shiva Shakti Talks



A really interesting book that I came across recently is Shiva Shakti Talks by Dr. Pallavi Kwatra. I was just reading a random sample on kindle and I was hooked by the simplicity as well as the kind of spirit of oneness that was inherent in the work. So, the next step was downloading the book immediately. The mystery of love as well.as the close bonding between Shiva and Shakti is explored in the work. When I finished reading the book, what I felt was that there should have been more of it. 

The book is a series of 112  short but succint conversations between Shiva and Shakti. Based on the Vignana Bhairava, a tantric text that dates back to Kashmir of 800 AD. The book is about tantra and of the interplay of the divine masculine and the divine feminine. The text is a lovesong between Shiva and Shakti, the interplay of elements along with the degrees of bonding in the relationship. 


In the work, the writer Dr. Kwatra portrays Shiva and Shakti not as two persons but as two opposite energies that are constantly at play. As she observes in the Introduction to the work, "Shakti inquires and Shiva responds and illuminates". The questions that are posed by Shakti show her thoughts about their bond and vary from love to possessiveness to separation. But Shiva promises that there is no separation between them as they are united at the bindhu. What the writer aims is to show how these conversations are "the sukhsm (subtle) murmerings that happen at the hridhayam (heart) and are only meant to nudge the reader to do his own inner work".

The experience of reading the book stays even when one finishes reading it. The intensity of the relationship between the masculine and the feminine energies remains etched in the mind even after you put the book down. 


Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Chingam

pic: shaadi.com

When the much-awaited Chingam is around
You and I enjoy our days of togetherness,
The scent of sweet jasmines on our bed
Your fingers undoing my long-braided hair.

The long heaps of my kasavu sari all crumbled
Along with your two yards of shiny kasavu mundu
The sweetness of these long waiting years
That finds its way into your limbs and mine.

We rest together after a sumptous onam feast
Amid smells of childhood and old boatsongs
That you sing in your sweet mellow voice,
To the snake-boats across the River Green.

When the spring is finally around for us both
We reign an ancient king and his demure queen.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Find that rainbow day


Thursday, August 27, 2020

steps to love

Eternal love



Your love was a treasure I should have held close,
Without a word uttered to anyone about what we'd,
Without a soul to know the magic that we shared;
Yet what I did was to sing from the rooftops.

Time went by ruthlessly turning all love into dust,
Shrouding this love with absence and forgetfulness,
Causing much heartache and jealousy for this heart
Who cannot bear to lose you to another any day.

The piece of earth in me loves the rain of memories,
The way the love light in your eyes could bring life,
With the positive energy that only you could bring,
Rare fantasies, hardly said aloud or acknowledged.

However, this love has its days of life and death
What makes it special is its stubborn refusal to die.

Twilight





My dream, in what strange world have you set me free?
As witnesses to twilights, embraces of dark and light,
Holding in arms, lulling asleep, reluctant partings,
Dual dancers in that uncertain zone, separate, leaves,

We wandered, in those green fields, on those blades of grass,
Our lips drinking sweet intoxicating drinks from silence,
Watching the birds that fly in the blue skies, amazed,
To feel the rain that drenches us lying lazily surprised,

As our love, like starlight from distant stars, at night,
From far away, gazes at where we have roamed,
In day as a stretch of rainbow after heavy rain,
Written clearly against the skies, in vibrant colours,

For this mythical bowl of dreams was always filled,
Everyday with love and hope, now with our desires.

The mind

Sunday, August 23, 2020

nature's gold

Save Paper; Save Stress; Avoid Scandal

This year, I have made a rather strange and dramatic New Year Resolution. No diaries, this time and writing only on scrap paper and with the help of the PC. Regarding empty pages, I have plenty of them left in my other notebooks. So all I need to do is to start writing on whatever sheet of paper that comes handy.


My last year's resolution of writing a page a day was kind of stressing me out. Somehow, there were days when I found it impossible to sit down and write. Of course, there was a hectic, unhealthy and trivial life to lead. Moreover, the empty pages stare at me from the diary accusingly, for I have left no record nor memory of many of those passing days.

Finally, there is this habit of mine to pour out my true feelings and emotions on to paper. For me, that is my remedy for stress and tension and bottling up emotions. But it somehow backfires when I forget to lock my diary up and leaves it right in front of my family with whom I might have fought and wrote venomously. So no causing scandals this year.

Lovestory

You tell me this story of your beloved everyday,
Whom you want to tell your love in many ways;
I advise you  like a sage of much experience
Without telling you anything of my story.

Who has not known, my dear, this agony,
Of unexpressed love that sank into silence,
Of a love that required more than poetry,
Mutual knowledge or entire life history.

For you and me wavered millions of times,
For you wanted to know me well enough,
Like the palm of your hand that I'd held,
While I took nothing seriously that time.

Whatever be the truth behind our silences,
It nudges you in the form of other new faces. 

Freefall

Taste that magical drop and dip and dive,
Once more in oceans of words and desire;
The nights of togetherness are back again
That were cast aside with passing time.

A few moments of all-forgetting banter,
Though the rains torrent along with storms,
Once again in the candlelight, love flickers,
Till its fire can brighten the darkened home.

With no power and no distractions of media,
With hours that drop into the slow hourglass,
With food bought on order from outside
And chores that can wait till the power supply-

A sudden power failure slows your weekend,
But brings big surprises like romance and fun.

Jane Smiley and her list of 100 novels



Jane Smiley writes about her experiences with novels- reading, writing and reviewing- in her Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Novel. In this book, she lists a set of 100 novels that has influenced her considerably. From classics to most recent books, her list covers a good deal of novels, belonging to various types.

  1.  Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
  2. Author unknown, The Saga of the People of Laxardal
  3. Snorri Sturluson, Egil's Saga
  4. Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron
  5. Marguerite de Navarre, The Heptameron
  6. Anonymous, Lazarillo de Tormes
  7. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, vols. 1 and 2
  8. Madame de Lafayette, The Princess of Cleves
  9. Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
  10. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Roxana
  11. Samuel Richardson, Pamela
  12. Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
  13. Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote
  14. Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
  15. Voltaire, Candide
  16. Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
  17. Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
  18. The Marquis de Sade, Justine
  19. Sir Walter Scott, The Tale of Old Mortality, The Bride of the Lammermoor
  20. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  21. Jane Austen, Persuasion
  22. James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
  23. Stendhal, The Red and the Black
  24. Nicolai Gogol, Taras Bulba
  25. Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time
  26. Honore de Balzac, Cousin Pons and Cousin Bette
  27. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  28. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
  29. William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  30. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin
  31. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or the Whale
  32. Nathaniel Hawthorne,The House of the Seven Gables
  33. Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
  34. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
  35. Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, The Moonstone
  36. Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
  37. Emile Zola, Therese Raquin
  38. Anthony Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset , The Eustace Diamonds
  39. Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot
  40. Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
  41. George Eliot, Middlemarch
  42. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  43. Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady , The Awkward Age
  44. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  45. Bram Stoker, Dracula
  46. Kate Chopin, The Awakening
  47. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
  48. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  49. Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
  50. Max Beerbohm, The Illustrated Zuleika Dobson, or an Oxford Love Story
  51. Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
  52. Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
  53. Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter, volume I, The Wreath
  54. James Joyce, Ulysses
  55. Italo Svevo, Zeno's Conscience
  56. E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
  57. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  58. Franz Kafka, The Trial
  59. Hermann Broch, The Sleepwalkers
  60. Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
  61. D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
  62. Virginia Woolf, Orlando
  63. William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  64. Robert Musil, The Man without Qualities, volume 1
  65. Mikhail Sholokhov, And Quiet flows the Don
  66. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  67. Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
  68. P.G. Wodehouse, The Return of Jeeves, Bertie Wooster Sees it Through, Spring Fever, The Butler Did It
  69. T.H. White, The Once and Future King
  70. Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children
  71. Junichiro Tanizaki, The Makioka Sisters
  72. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  73. Rebecca West, The Fountain Overflows
  74. Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate and Don't Tell Alfred
  75. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
  76. Jetta Carleton, The Moonflower Vine
  77. Yukio Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
  78. Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
  79. John Gardner, Grendel
  80. Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women
  81. Naguib Mahfouz, The Harafish
  82. Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea
  83. David Lodge, How Far Can You Go?
  84. Muriel Spark, Loitering With Intent
  85. Anne Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
  86. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  87. Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John
  88. J.M. Coetzee, Foe
  89. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  90. A.S. Byatt, Possession
  91. Nicholson Baker, Vox
  92. Garrison Keillor, WLT: A Radio Romance
  93. Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes at the Museum
  94. Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance
  95. Francine Prose, Guided Tours of Hell
  96. Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life
  97. Arnost Lustig, Lovely Green Eyes
  98. Zadie Smith, White Teeth
  99. John Updike, The Complete Henry Bech
  100. Ian McEwan, Atonement
  101. Jennifer Egan, Look at Me 
Note: I have read only a handful of them but would like to catch up with the rest in future!


Counsel

Who knows when the eloquent falls in love
With your maddest saddest silences,
What strange contradictions arise,
When they want to listen to your words.

Still they listen baffled, tired, bored,
To endless conversations of pain,
While who knows their real motive,
Is it just to listen or gossip around?

With what gentle cues and many reasons,
Do they extract your wildest thoughts,
Along with your saddest experiences,
Just so they can know and be sure.

How can they know your silences,
If what they see is only sheer pain?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Reading The Cloud Messenger

May be it was the shape of his beloved's favourite beast Bent down to butt a riverbed that inspired him to poesy. May be it was the memo...