Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Strange Library

On his way from school, a boy visits the library. He is a dutiful reader and library-user as returns his book on time:
“I’m always on time, and I never hand things in late. That’s the way my mother taught me. Shepherds are the same. If they don’t stick to their schedule, the sheep go completely bananas.”
He wants to find out how taxes were collected in the Ottomon empire and because such a thought strikes his mind, he wants to find out more as his mother has taught him. On asking about this, he is directed to a special section of the library. 

He meets a strange old man who assists him by bringing him three thick tomes on the subject-The Ottoman Tax System, The Diary of an Ottoman Tax Collector, and Tax Revolts and Their Suppression in the Ottoman Turkish Empire- and lets him read them on the condition that he should sit in the library and read them.

He tells the old man that his mother will get upset if he doesn’t return home on time just like the time when he was bitten by a big black dog. The old man is furious that the boy wants to go home in spite of the assistance that he has provided:
“When I was your age I felt fortunate just to have the chance to read. And here you are, whining about the time and being late for dinner. What nerve!”
The buy promises to sit and read for thirty minutes and he is taken to a “Reading Room”, an enormous labyrinth in the basement of the library. 

He meets  a sheep man who makes good doughnuts and obeys all the orders of the Old man. He discovers that the Old man wants to eat his brains and when he asks the reason for that the sheep man replies : “Because brains packed with knowledge are yummy, that’s why. And sort of grainy at the same time”. 

A girl comes in bringing him a sumptuous meal and he is struck by her beauty. She can only speak with her hands and she tells him that her vocal cords were destroyed when she was a child. He finds that the library has turned out be a prison and he is not able to get out.He finds that the sheep man and the beautiful girl belong to two different worlds; that the boy concludes : “Our worlds are all jumbled together- your world, my world, the sheep man’s world. Sometimes they overlap and sometimes they don’t. That’s what you mean, right?” 

He worries about his mother and his pet magpie. As if to make his fears true he is held a prisoner and his pet magpie is eaten by a dog before his very eyes.  What happens to the boy? 

A little Kafkaesque and absurd, the novel captures an atmosphere similar to The Trial and brings in a sense of terror to the act of  visiting a library. In spite of the  way in which it portrays the strangeness of life, this illustrated novella can make you feel hungry too!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Miss those days
When people texted more than
Yes, No, ok, and what?
Sent meaningful long sentences,
Properly capitalised, spelt
(For the Purists only) 
And spaced meaningfully

There were friends
Who could match wit with wit
Anger with anger
Repartee with repartee
All in matter of seconds when
SMS Alerts were from people
Not spam sent from machines.

Miss those days
When people texted in words
Sent invites, reminders
Missing U msgs not just in rebus
like "need2seeu2moro" but
"I missed you a lot today, my dear
and want to see you tomorrow".

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I have so many photographs of mine
In my cupboard, old and new,
So many faces that I once disliked
But with the passing years
I have come to see how
That me was so different,
So pretty and beautiful. 

Long-haired, wild-haired,
Short-haired, grumpy,
No two faces look alike,
The one on identity cards
Look even more grotesque,
Even taking a snap
Is like finding a new me.

But I wonder when will I ever
Get over all my self-doubts
Embrace me completely
Forget the self-critical nagging
And tell myself in the mirror,
"I am incredible you know,
Because I love myself so!"

Friday, April 10, 2015

These days

There may be millions of people in this world;
The count increasing second by second daily;
Millions, I hardly know; thousands neither,
But these days, what I want to study is, you.

There may be many songs that I have heard;
Countless in number, peppy, soulful or sad;
But these days, don’t want anything except
The song you were humming all day long.

These days, when togetherness is what matters,
I want to trace your contours with my fingers
I want to feel the warm love-light in your eyes,
And make you my entire world, my soul melody.

Medicines and remedies, there may be around;
But these days, the only cure that I have is you.

Evening View

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Summer shower

Come to me in a summer shower
When the clouds burst in thunder
When the earth dances with the sky
Come here, come here, come here,
With your hair wet
With your eyes tender
Come home to me.

Come to me in a summer shower
When the clouds burst in thunder
When the earth dances with joy
Come here, come here, come here,
With your heart desirous
With your fond words
Come home to me.

Pensiamento Fantastico: The Kitchen God’s Wife

Amy Tan’s novels serve as cultural documents that describe the immigrant experience in terms of communality and identity. They con...