Thursday, 16 February 2017
Monday, 6 July 2015
Dimitri looked at his ring and was reminded of his wife, Angela, whom he had met at a shop in Santorini. She was a poor salesgirl who lived in one of the villages near the Kamari beach and was very shy, unlike the other gregarious sales girls in the commercial Fira town of Santorini. Dimitri married her within a year and they moved to Athens where Dimitri’s father had a thriving but small business of antique bronze work. Dimitri had expanded that business to three shops and a full range of souvenirs and traditional greek products. He sold cheap and relied on volumes and large number of customer-friends to make living for his family and of several of his sales people. He actually liked to meet new people and strike a conversation with them. His employees also loved him for his good-natured mischievous ways. He was always kind to them. In many ways he was quite successful.
He was fully drenched but noticed the smiles of his staff, his employees. He was greeted with broader and more meaningful smiles today and as he was asking them the reason for the same, he saw a thin frame behind a wet curtain hung for sale. It was his wife.
Monday, 17 November 2014
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Mohan had been working all day and night for the launch of the new product from his new company. This was his first major assignment and he wanted everything to be as close as to perfect. He would think back on every argument in the meeting room in the days leading to the launch and irrespective of the fact that he may have fiercely opposed the argument from his detractors, if there was any merit in them, he would include them into his plan. He had two stations - meeting room at office and his study at home. He had put on weight, which he was aware of and some arrogance, which he was not. The launch was more or less on expected lines. Even the encomiums showered were expected and so were the cautious prophesies of sooth sayers. Mohan was usually level headed but the calmness this time around surprised even him. There was a lightness of course. He looked forward to the break to which he kept on adding 'much-needed' without really meaning it. The break was also coming to an end without any break for Mohan from the strange sense of being an emotionless witness to events of his own life. On the last day, he ventured out early morning for a walk. The sun was quite bright even at that hour of the day and Mohan had no particular route in mind, the city was new. He did not mind though, he was feeling better. He saw a bunch of school kids chasing one another perilously close to the road, an old man cycling and muttering something to himself, an old lady grabbing the arm and looking with gratitude to another young lady, three middle age women in purple, pink and aqua with i-pods tucked into their ears walking towards a park, a school bus honking and speeding past the tender-coconut hawker, a young boy catching the news paper which bounced off the 2nd floor balcony on his first throw, a road-side tea seller haggling with the milk vendor over change money and a group of old men with sticks in hands coming out of a park after their morning routine of exercise. Mohan jogged back home and was exhausted by the time he reached. He showered and then sat down to read newspaper with a cup of coffee. He was sweating when he entered the shower and the stint at kitchen did not help. He was wiping the sweat of his forehead with the news paper till he finished his coffee. He changed his position a few times over to come closer to the fan in the drawing room. He switched on the TV, flipped through channels, pages of newspaper, scrolled down the contact list of his phone and switched off the TV. He called up his friend who was settled in another country now and an uncle who was moving in to the town. He opened his laptop and after a while shut it down without figuring it out why he opened it in the first place. He arranged and then rearranged his book shelf and picked up a book. It was well past noon when he had his lunch and the heat was rising. He kept wiping his brow with a towel and washing his face but the sweat returned. He read another book and talked to his family. He checked his e-mails and replied to few of them. He got up around evening from his unkempt bed and poured himself a glass of wine. He was still sweating and the towel and his shirt were wet. He did not switch on the AC or go to his study. It was his purging. He felt alive, as if life was trickling through his pores after his interaction and acknowledgement of the world outside this morning and a different routine at home. He felt many emotions which may not have a simple name or classification. He felt deja vu but could not figure out for what. He felt sad but did not understand why. He stood at his balcony for a long time watching the sky which was looking like a movie screen just before the light is beamed into it from projector room. It started to rain slowly and a cool breeze was touching his face. He did not know how long he stood there or if the droplets on his back were sweat or rain.
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
It is hard to say
What has become what.
And who is flowing into whom.
The mighty river
Has become as big as the sea.
The calmness of the sea
Is there in the river now.
Like a glowing sheet of silver
It lays along the green banks of villages,
Brown roads of the city
And black rocks of the hills.
The sea it seems has become restless
As the river.
Years of mingling,
Of listening to the grief and joys
Brought along from the hills and
The plateaus and plains
Have finally affected the unmoved
And usually restrained sea.
The sky has seen it all
And is expressing its anger
Through the redness spread all over
Its face, and the river and the sea.
The flow has reversed,
The giver has become the receiver
The holy has become ominous.
This year the floods have been really bad.
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Friday, 9 May 2014
Rohan knew that something had to be done; a simple sorry won't do. He often wondered how is it that often we rely on words, often spoken with same manner, to clarify and make up for a damage done by words. He preferred writing; at least some space is there for someone to think. But this was a time to act!
He thought over a few options but rejected most as were either too banal or too melodramatic. Then he thought of an ice-cream. She was generally very happy to get some savory (usually hot and spicy) as a gift. He would usually get her samosas with flowers, vada pav or pav bhaji with perfumes, chhole bhatures with a new Saree, gulab jamuns with a wall-painting. But then he thought, would that be too easy or what if she did not like the particular flavor. He went up to the stall, still unsure and chose one particular flavor. He thought about changing that one and did too, much to the chagrin of the young boy at the counter. Rohan gave him the look which said 'you won't know yet my son', although the boy was only a few years younger. He thanked the boy and headed back. It was an afternoon of May and sun was still blazing. He suddenly realized that he has to walk back and the ice-cream will certainly melt to quite an extent. He remembered what she had told him at a marriage dinner 'its never the same once it starts to melt', in reaction to a piece of ice cream he got her and had been intercepted mid-way by an elderly aunt for quick chat.
He started to walk fast and that was quite an challenge considering the bustle of the market and the distance to their home. He almost ran half the distance, jogged a quarter and walked to catch a breath for the other quarter. Since it was all sealed he had no way of knowing if the ice cream had melted. He climbed up the stairs, two at a time and almost twisted his ankle on the last few stairs reaching his flat. He pressed the bell and eagerly waited to see the look on her face. This was one thing he could never guess despite the time they had known each other. It was not as bad and she asked where had he stepped out and why. He simply thruster the wrapped ice-cream to her and started to remove his shoes. She opened the polythene and started to have the ice-cream completely oblivious to his presence. She slowly turned back and went into the bedroom and finished the ice-cream. Rohan stood there by the door watching her. She lifted her head up and there was a child like smile that lit up the dimly lit bedroom of theirs.
'Why are you standing there, go and change your clothes' she said and went into the kitchen.
Rohan went into his study to do as asked smiling and shaking his head. Normalcy has been restored.
Friday, 21 February 2014
By the colour of your skin,
Or by the structure of your face,
The kind of clothes you wear,
Or by the language you speak.
Not on what you do or do not,
Where you live or have been to.
Whom you know,
And who know you,
Will not matter to me.
I will take you as you are
And treat you as you.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
he sat there for a while, feeling the wind and the sun rays on his face. he remembered that night.
Tuesday, 7 January 2014
He was thinking about the party and how he tried to avoid looking at her and even listening to her. Their glances met couple of times, but he turned away immediately. He was never comfortable with her talking to someone else for long at public events. They have had fights about it, though she was happy within that he was so possessive about her. He simply told her 'I can't help it. I am sorry'. This time he avoided her completely. It was her who was not feeling okay with this. She tried to join in a group he would be talking to and he would leave the group in a minute making some excuse.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Monday, 16 December 2013
Monday, 4 November 2013
The sculptures of Khajuraho speak to you in a way that intricately carved, richly decorated and high priced pieces of 'art collections' at any museum would not. Here in the setting and surroundings of temples they are not isolated works to be admired as the output of some artist; rather, they are simply present as a depiction of collective effort of many and represent the everyday life. The setting and the place is their own.
They speak to you with their gestures, their beauty, their actions, with compassion on their face, inviting admiration, exclamation, empathy, love and sometimes jealousy.
Precise beauty in human forms, sheer horror in form of strange beasts, divinity in forms of gods and architectural brilliance in setting up of richly carved stones ('balua' stones in this case) are all brought together in this magnificent world created by hammer and chisel. As a poet beautifully puts it and as recounted by the voice of Amitabh Bacchan in the glorious light and sound show here
'Make me a stone among the many stones here
O Master sculptor of Khajuraho !'
I reflect: Isn't the world we live in, a similar marvel created by God.
'O Lord! make me a beautiful stone and place me in my rightful place!' A prayer rises up in mind spontaneously. I am sure the Lord's reply, if we could hear it in the din of our restlessness, would be
'Tathaastu' (in Sanskrit) or 'It is already so!'
Friday, 11 October 2013
Who loves her husband dearly,
Even though he beats me up,
But then, that is when he says the sweetest things
Only as a rugged fisherman can.
But, I never get angry on him from within,
Though I threaten to not to cook for him
I always do, even if it is only rice
And fish left over from selling in the local haat.
But, why did he have to fight this morning
Before going to the sea.
The clouds have completely covered the sky,
Rendered it black,
As if the night never got over.
The dogs have been barking as if they have seen a devil,
The hen have been running around as if there is no tomorrow.
And my right eye has been flickering since yesterday.
One can't trust these omens though,
But what to do of my heart which has been beating like a drum
And rushing to come out of my bosom.
The village head-man was saying about
Something on the radio
Some funny name which can't be from here.
Sometimes I wonder, who sends these curses.
Can't be the sea,
Who is our father and feeds us throughout the year
Even mother earth was kind this year
And the fields of the farmers looked green
When my husband took me to the market last Monday.
O what disaster will ensue!
Houses will be swept away,
Cattle and other animals will die first,
Fields and roads will all be filled with,
Dirty water, broken trees,
Belongings of people and corpses too.
Food and clean water will be scarce,
People used to break their backs for their earning,
Will live on crumbs of mercy thrown at them.
God only knows when will people return to their old homes
And old ways of life.
But my heart goes out to my husband,
Who will be the first in harm's way.
Alone, on his small ship,
In look out for the fish,
Looking at the sky occasionally
And maybe muttering 'another bad day'
Only, I am afraid it isn't any 'other bad day'
O Godess Kali ! I offer you my two hens
On the puja day;
And also the small black goat with white spots.
Let my husband comes back well.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
छपते हैं समय के चेहरे पर,
फिर इनकी कई कापियां बनके
पहुँच जाती हैं हमारे पास
एक आइने की तरह ।
हमारा और हमारे समाज का आइना ।
अखबार, इतिहास का ही पहला स्वरुप होता है ।
अख़बार कटता है, बंटता है,
जुड़ता और पढ़ा भी जाता है ।
अख़बार हम इंसानों की तरह ही हैं ।
लोग इनका इंतज़ार करते हैं,
मिलने पर खुश होते हैं,
कभी शिकायत भी करते हैं ।
ये कभी अकेलेपन के साथी होते हैं
तो कभी घर की चहल-पहल,
और बात-चीत का ज़रूरी हिस्सा,
चाय इनके बिना फीकी ही लगती है ।
ये हमारी घर की कुर्सियों को
सीधा खड़ा होना सीखाते हैं ।
सन्डे के पिकनिक में कभी बैठने की या प्लेट रखने की जगह तो
कभी खुद ही प्लेट बन जाते हैं ।
हमारे बच्चे इनसे खेलते हैं,
कभी नाव तो कभी रॉकेट बनाते हैं,
इनपे कलम या रंग चलाते हैं ।
और माँ हर एक-दो महीनो में
घर के सारे अलमारियों पर
पुराने अखबारों को उतार कर
नए बिछा देती हैं है ।
सच ! पुराने अख़बार बड़े काम के होते हैं ।
हमें अखबार बहुत कुछ देते भी हैं ।
काम करने को नौकरी की खबर,
रहने को आशियाने का पता,
और कितनी ही बार
उम्र भर को निभाने को रिश्ते ।
अखबार कभी पुराने नहीं होते ।
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Where your sight reaches,
To the other blue mountains,
When you turn back,
Lie the great plateau,
Reminding of Buddha's
A hot summer afternoon of Decaan
A tired farmer
Sleeps in the shade of neem tree,
He bullocks ruminating
Over the changing colours of the tilled earth
Or varied symmetry of crops in the field,
And flicking their tails in between,
Which two tireless flies dodge without effort.
A brown bird looks left and right
And then digs its beak into the field,
Quick and swift,
Looking for food without luck.
The dark clouds above
Cling to the neck of the mountains,
They might come down the curved path soon
And provide some respite.
Saturday, 4 May 2013
We were the forests,
But we are no more now.
What you see around
Are sad pictures and bad memories.
An uninspired photographer
May have some interest,
In our leaf-less structures,
In our grey and black hues,
In patterns that our pale thorn-like branches
Make against the dark monsoon sky.
We once waited for it,
And rejoiced when it came.
Used to feel the tiny cool raindrops
Touch us, tickle us and trickle down
To reach our happy bosoms,
Through our veins.
Those were happy days and nights!
We used to share a story or two
With the travelers,
Who stopped by for some shade or smoke.
No one stops by now.
Not even the birds,
Who fly past us.
May be we look like men now.
An army of men rather,
In straight rows and columns,
In arms outstretched and ready
To ready to strike down..
Another small world,
Of us trees, animals, birds.
Another one of us,
We who were the Forests,
But now we are Men !