November 30, 2008
Bloody souls and sleepless nights,
Death is just the beginning
It’s not the same anymore.
Fatal minds, the scars they wore
Casual walks no fun no more,
Smoky plumes across the clouds
It’s not the same anymore.
Heads do spin when bodies crumble
There is madness in this jungle,
Debris burn and birds don’t fly
It’s not the same anymore.
Sounds they were, oh, so haunting
Posing casually, guns they were flaunting,
Danger lies around the corner
It’s not the same anymore.
Women, Children- Young and Old
Lives are way more precious than Gold,
Terror has an ugly face
It’s not the same anymore.
Tempers flare and people stare
Need a place to hide, but where?
My heart is heavy and too numb
It’s not the same anymore.
November 26, 2008
What am I doing up so late? Staring at a piece of paper and listening to some music.
All I want is you. My mind keeps saying that to me. I have no clue what that means.
I can feel the wind. It must be cold outside. I’m wrapped in my blanket with the fan switched off. I’m not about to sleep. I need the gentle sound from the fan when am sleeping.
Guitar strums and cigarette smoke. Old monk rum and drum beats. Bob Marley and Beatles.
It’s all like fine wine. The older it is the better.
Tell me, tell me, tell me.
I just want to write what my mind wants me to. I don’t think I want to stop.
The ashtray is flooded. Jimi Hendrix looks like he is anemic. Maybe he is just dehydrated. ‘Here you go, Jimi. Some water’. This might help you.
You’re such a mean old man. Oh come on. She’s a go getter. You’re such a dirty old man.
Do you think you can get away with this mess that you have created?
You’re such a mean old man. You’re just a dirty old fag.
November 21, 2008
The Pavement Baba never spoke much. He believed in the saying ‘When you know quite a bit… Shut Up’. He was a man of actions. In simple words, he was someone worth watching.
With his simple dressing style, captivating smile and intense eyes, he was a nice man whom you could see while walking on 12th
Every once in a while, one can find a group of people standing around the Baba and talking eagerly. He had a knack of saying just one line which would be the answer to ten questions from five different people. Such was the power of his words. To share Baba’s beedi is like understanding the purpose of life… or Baba was generous that day… or one was just plain lucky.
The Baba had slightly longish hair that started from a rather big and wide forehead. Brown eyes and a sharp nose and a smile oh so radiating all the time. His mouth had a sole purpose, to help him smoke his beedis, to continue smiling and to occasionally speak. Food, coming to think of it, either Baba never ate or the food never liked him.
It was always a mystery as to why the Baba wore his jeans or any trouser folded up to his knees. A number of people had tried to find the secret or the bigger meaning or the absolute truth behind the phenomenon, but they always failed crashing all their beliefs.
One day while a bunch of people were sitting around Baba, a kid managed to draw enough courage and asked Baba the reason behind the way he wore his jeans. Baba quietly smiled, then lighting his beedi, took a deliberately long drag from the beedi and exhaled… Looking directly in the eyes of the kid Baba smiled and said, ‘The reason kid… is silence…a dog… and a Silencer’.
Everyone sat there mesmerized wonderstruck and confused with the response. Baba then got up from the pavement and began to walk. That’s when the group of people gathered there understood what the Baba had meant when he spoke those words.
Baba limped his way across the street with a huge burn oh his leg. ‘ It’s coz of all the energy’ someone commented, ‘No, it’s coz of the endless hours of meditation’ someone said, ‘I’m sure it’s because of all the beedi he smokes’ another person barked, the kid who was silently observing all this slowly said, ‘It’s because of a dog and a silencer’.
Baba turned around from across the road and smiled. ‘True Son. True’, he said softly and limped away into the darkness.
November 12, 2008
The vehicular cacophony from the road was music to his ears. The rumbling sound from his tummy was the perfect percussion. Sitting on the pavement he wrote.
The words started to flow as he paused to let the moment sink in. The sky was blue and clear like a young lady’s eyes, the air smelling of crispy somosas and cheap cigarette. Putting the scribbling pad on his thigh and biting the tip of the pencil he was holding so dearly, he was watching the sights and sounds around him.
A eunuch with flashy bangles and marigold on her hair swayed her way towards him. She placed a hand on his head and blessed him or at least he wished she had. On the contrary she now stood next to him demanding money. He didn’t want to give her any and continued his distant stare into nothingness ignoring the presence of a rather dusky, brightly draped eunuch in a saree that was riding high unto her ankles. This continued for a while and the agitated woman then cursed him under her breath and walked away showing him and the few people who had gathered around an ample view of her flat chest and hairy arms.
As the evening sun slowly began setting behind the tall buildings, he could see the moon playing hide and seek with the clouds. He stopped everything that he was doing and continued to gaze at the beauty of the white ball that was playing tricks with him. A smiled escaped the corner of his mouth.
The scribbling pad now had a lot of doodles. Of little boys in sweaters, of mothers holding the hands of their little ones and walking on a street, of dogs lying under push carts selling tender coconuts, of the eunuch smiling and posing like a model.
“All that a man has to say or do that can
possibly concern mankind is in some shape
or other to tell the story of his love-
and to sing; and if he is fortunate and
keeps alive, he will be forever in love.”
He remembered Thoreau’s words that he had read in a book recently. They made so much sense, he thought to himself. Or maybe they always made sense but it was only now that he had the clarity that he could understand the essence and the meaning of those lines.
A kid with bright wide eyes came closer to him and was amazed looking at the doodles on his pad. He stood there mesmerized with a smile and pointed at one of the doodles & said something like, “Dog. Alsatian?” Was that a question that he was asking or a discovery that he just did? He wondered what it would have been, but smiled at the kid and showed a couple of tricks he had learnt from his father. It was simple, the tricks. How to make a police officer from a tea cup and how to draw a person’s face with all the numbers from 0 to 9. He was amazed looking at how his father could make something so real with such ease. And he felt the same effect and joy on the kid as it was his when he was small.
He folded the pad and placed it back into the bag he was carrying. He lit a smoke. He walked away from the pavement as he saw an elderly couple walking towards him. He always felt that smoking in the presence of elders was in some way being disrespectful and he didn’t want to do anything to annoy them or spoil their evening walk. As he walked through narrow lanes, he could see the neon lights beginning to light up the streets and the shops. There was a lot of activity on the street. He saw a bright light coming from one of the shops that sold antiques. He loved that shop. He could get some of the most amazing things from there and his house was in fact full of little things that he had bought from this shop.
The shopkeeper was a friend and he waved a friendly hello and continued to explain the working of an old grandfather clock to an eager customer. He knew his way around the shop and hence didn’t bother waiting for a sales person to direct him. He went to the corner of the room, where he knew was a drop down ladder that took him to the attic where a lot of antiques were dumped, stored not dumped according to the owner. He moved to the dimly lit attic and his nostrils were immediately filled with the smell of old rugs, dust filled books and lamps and rodent pee. He smiled to himself remembering his conversation once with the owner about cleaning up the attic and him moving in to that place filled with absolute treasures. He saw an old book dumped alongside kashmiri shawls and half-broken temple idols and some old furniture. He lifted the book and dusted the cover. The dust from the book moved up like mist with the moonlight coming into the room from a broken down window pane.
“The works of Thoreau”, it said in big bold typography.
On a sudden he knew what was going to keep him occupied.
November 03, 2008
I was lying there, stretched and sprawled on the floor with my eyes closed.
I saw a big tree. It was the only tree.
I saw the silhouette of someone sitting under that tree. The place looked isolated. It seemed to be in a place that people normally stayed away from. The air was still and there was no movement on the tree or the leaves. There was an eerie silence and the sound of silence was overwhelming.
The sun was setting and the orange glow was harsh but soothing at the same time.
I moved closer.
I saw something. I saw someone.
The man was sitting with his legs crossed and his arms on his thighs. I was certain he had his eyes closed. But all I could see was his back. I moved closer. Looking at that person had a calming effect on me.
I had a lot of questions on my mind lately and something made me feel that the solution is just around the corner. Sitting under that tree.
I went around the tree to now face the man sitting under the giant branches and the still leaves. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. The man… sitting… under the tree… was Me.
I stood there with my mouth wide open and my eyes literally falling off the socket. ‘This can’t be happening’, I thought to myself. ‘How is this possible’? The voices in my head were LOUD.
There was something about looking at a peaceful Me. The closed eyes, the slight smile escaping from the corner of the lips, the body that felt so light like it could fly any moment. It was divine, it was blissful and I could feel the happiness that I was experiencing looking at Me.
For the first time in what seemed like a really long time, my muscles relaxed and I was comfortable with the whole concept of observing Me. I decided to sit back and enjoy this little trip.
It wouldn’t have been long before I spotted a white bird flying out from its nest in the tree. The bird was white, so white that it seemed like someone had emptied a bucket of white paint on the bird. The bird’s eyes were red. With its long wings, the bird swayed elegantly from the tree and flew towards the sky. When I looked up to see the bird flying, the ground below me caved in and I began to fall. I was feeling so light. I was plummeting with great force and intensity. I was petrified. Then I saw the silhouette of Me also dropping just like how I was.
During the fall, the only thing I could feel was my heart beating real fast but my body feeling so light. In fact it made me feel like there was nothing on my body except the beating heart. In the course of the fall, I was turned upside down and I could see a bright yellow light? Was it a yellow lake? Or a Sea?
I fell head first into the yellow light. Immediately I felt a heat wave flow through my entire body. From head-to- toe. It seemed to take its own time to burn my body. I could feel the heat. It was intense. But with every inch of the wave moving across my body, the feeling was just unbelievable. I felt so much joy, I sensed peace, and I felt I was being liberated.
When my body was immersed into the yellow light the heat was way too much to handle. I could sense a glow of that light on my face. I closed my eyes unable to face the intensity of the light and the moment. Just when I was enjoying the heat and the peace it gave me, the light stopped. The bright yellow that engulfed me and which had reached my toes, stopped. Then the next instant like it was being sucked out of me, it shot right up from my toes towards my head. This time the light became a bright red. As the light was moving in such great speed through my body, I could feel a certain chillness in my body that was soothing. The red spark was now moving upwards with greater speed and it reached my forehead. It stayed there. My temple was throbbing from the intensity of the spark. My body was cold.
While the spark continued to stay at my forehead, it was just mind blowing. My body was cold and I was flooded with waves and waves of bliss. It felt like there was a waterfall of nectar in my body. I could feel the sweetness of the substance. I could feel the elixir.
Then in just the same intensity as it had when it was sucked from my toes to my forehead it went above my skull. It stayed there for a fraction of a second and all I could see was one big gigantic red ball of fire in front of my eyes. Then it was zapped away from my sight and it was gone.
‘What just happened?’ I asked myself as I tried connecting to make sense of the whole incident. The tree, the white bird, the meditating Me, the drop into the underground world (paatala), the yellow light, the heat, the red spark, the chill, the joy, the bliss and the experience as a whole. It was orgasmic.
I feel light now, I feel happy now, I feel peace with myself and the world around me.
What just happened?