I am happy, so why do I write poems that make me feel sad?
I am content, so why must my mind dwell on the sufferings of life?
I live for the moment, so why do I then contemplate the future as I write?
I am what I am, so why do I contrast when I express with the pen and paper?
I am a poet, scared by the knowledge that the good ones die young, tortured in their minds.
I am an open book, these words are my soul and they lay in front of you, to be used as you see fit. I donot change myself when I write, yet somehow people see a side yet unknown in the words I spill. I say what I feel, writing about only what I know I can do justice to. Complex though it may be, I scribble down all that crosses my mind and intrigues it.
I am a writer, trawling on ahead, knowing that I may never see the light of day.
I try to be what I feel, but lack the ability to emote. I can only smile, cry a little and frown at best. One at a time. I'll try and look the part, but fail on more than occasion. I can be a character, a small one in an act, by fluke more than talent.
After all, I am not an actor.
Confused, Wondering And Thinking
This year, I decided to celebrate the spirit of Diwali, rather than the inane customs of the festival itself. As it happens of every major festival, I sleep late the night before and am in no mood to get up early the next day. Thus, my mood is always bad till the mid-afternoon. Around that time, I start getting into the feel of it all. Today, against my lazier tendencies, I went along with my mother to wish Happy Diwali to her aunt, who always looks forward to our visit. Very shamefully, I didn't really talk to her all that much, because I was fast alseep in my head. Then, against the want of going home and hitting the bed, I went to buy a long due birthday gift for a friend. Against all odds, I did go and give it to her too. In the evening, instead of putting up a hue and cry over the number of candles my father had gotten, I quitely put all of them and later on, for the first time I truly felt like it was Diwali. Then, after the puja, instead of putting the last Diya in front of our garage, as we do, I chose to give it to the watchman of our colony, who couldn't be at home. Lastly, I went and wished our muslim neighbours a happy diwali as well, who had put up a diya in front of their house, even though it is not their festival. Everything, well and truly out of character. Otherwise, every year, a week before diwali, i'll put a huge fuss about how I never get to celebrate Diwali properly. Occasionally I'll go nuts over the idea of an all out Diwali bash and pester my mother to no end about it till it dies down within the hour. I'll always compare my family's celebrations to my those of my friends. But in all honesty, I hardly mind. My diwali is by choice, something I realized today. It's happily limited to lighting candles, lamps, performing the family puja and making sure that my dog is not too spooked by the crackers.
All in all, I felt, these small things are what we have fast forgotten about. Diwali has ceased to be a time when old relations were met, friendships were strengthened and giving gifts was a show of love rather than opulence. There was a time, when people where made to feel indispensable by visiting them, rather than dispensing them off with chauffer delieverd gifts. Diwali once meant the day of homecoming rather than remembering those who are separated, in body and in spirit. Diwali is forgotten as the festivals of lights and known for the din of crackers that invade every part of your being. Crackers, that again are difficult to burst when you think of the amount they scare your dog, aggravate your mother's coughing and ruin the childhoods of many little children who huddle in sweatshops to make them. Thinking about it, we've pretty much bypassed the whole "community comes together-people love their life-new beginnings" point of it alltogther.
Makes me wonder, what was the point of Diwali again?
Me n IDG: Hum Patthar, Hum Raj!
*SMSing the revelation to D n N*
D n N: Hum Patthar, Hum Raj!
Us: We should get a tee made with this written on it.
Me: What did you do today?
N: I took a cake and my mobile out for a walk today.
Me: You did what?
N: You didnt get my sarcasm.
Me: Yeah, my tummy's better.
D: See, Potty solves everything
N: The smartbook of smart comments by smartass!
N: No, Domb-Aess. Gujarati style.
(Rap music playing on our mobiles)
Me n my friends: Let's do garba.
P: When you get married, I'll come stay next door and disturb you every morning.
Me n D: Why would you do that?
P: Because I love you!
Me: Then why do you pretend to hate me?
Me, D and A: *Talking crap*
V: Do I Tell You Something?
Me: *in my thoughts* Don't you always?
D: Don't you always?
*After discovering that apart from DNA, we have a lot in common*
D: Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. What The Kachara Mahn??? We are so Twinish.
Me: *thinking to myself* What's twinish? You are twins or you are not twins.
Me: We are recording something here. Can you people not be serious for once?
A: Oh, you didnt tell us.
*When D was supposed to be a married woman in a video*
Me: You're getting married. yeyeye!
D: What the Kachara Mahn? There's even a kissing scene. On the hand
*Not hearing the 'On the hand' part*
Me: OH MY GAWD! Your first kiss! On camera! With Somebody You'll Meet For The First Time. I wish you could see me grinning.
D: I can hear your grin on the phone. Now SHUT UP!
Me: You're getting married!
D: Yes, I know woman.
Me: You're getting married.
A: My mobile is my baby!
D: That must have been easy to give birth to.
N: Mechanical Baby?? Dumbass!
*When we say or realize something potentially stupid or embarassing*
N: *Dripping with sarcasm* Oops!
V: What do I eat?
V: Cheee, no!
*after reciting the whole menu*
V: I'll have maggi.
Me n D: Bhindy! Bhangi!
V: *disgusted* Whaat?
Me: Kalavati stole my kajal.
V: You send the most shocking messages at the most unexpected times.
N: Write an objective report on how Kalavati stole your kajal & how she became a kleptomaniac & discuss it in Cherian's class.
Me: Someday, I will.
Me: *in a high pitched squeaky voice* Arre Dimple, tu aajkal school kyun nahi aata? Main tujhe kitnaaaaaaaaaaaa miss karti hun!
V: *in the same voice* Arre Pinky, main tujhe kya bataun? Mere pappa ki toh daari hi nahi fix hoti. Woh sharm ke maare gaadi bhi ghar se nahi nikalte. Main kya karun? Kuch bata naa, Pinky meri jaan.
*The rest in hysterical fits of laughter*
We Put The "In" In "Insanity"
Conspiring with him how to load and blessWith fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run"
- Ode To Autumn, John Keats
Autumn's here. I can feel it, I can see it. Its my favourite season, yet it's sad. The start of such a beautiful season, is with impending death.
Autumn is well and truly here, when little flying insects overtake the sky and buzz everywhere without fail. They're impossible to escape in the nighttime, yet there is a sense of pity when they all die in the mornings, having lived just long enough to further their species.
Autumn shows itself, with the yellowing of leaves and bushes, with the slow death of the crown of the tree. As each one of them, majestic or not sheds their leaves, they shed a sense of belonging.
Autumn is the time to start anew, with the fresh winds and unexpected rains fulfilling all joys of the world, yet does anything much survive through the harshness of the storms and buffeting of the dust?
Autumn is a special season, here comes the real test of friendships.
Autumn means the colours of the earth will take over and dominate, regretfully blocking out the bright blues, greens and reds. And purple's.
Autumn means the start of a winter, harsh and unforgiving in its loss of Persephone.
Autumn is there to forgive all that you did wrong earlier, but then again, who'll forgive the sins of the season?
Autumn means, Its time for us to start singing Keat's Ode To Autumn again. And praise it for its introspective beauty.
Looking Forward To A Purple Autumn
To all those who believe that secularism has lost its way in India, I'll ask, says who? The only thing lost is the the identity of what India is.
India has never truly existed in Mumbai's and Delhi's and Kolkatta's or Chennai's. Neither do the supposed "small" towns of Nagpur, Kanpur, Ranchi, Hyderabad or Ahemdabad. India loses it culture of love and compassion in the towns.
It finds itself again in the heartlands of the nation. India exists truly in the small kasbah's and villages where the whole community will still gather under the shady banyan tree for the Panchayat. Where they will all sit and discuss each other's problems without cyncism and with a belief that they can help. India lives in the cities where cultures clash and collide, yet never erode each other, they just weave together to create an inseparable pattern. India is incredible, as long as it re-discovers itself in the beauty of the eyes of children who cross the boundaried of caste, creed and religion to have fun. It is a country where unity is in diversity when a house of worship is not a temple, a mosque, a church or a gurudwara. It is "uparwaale ka ghar" (House of the one above) and stays that.
India lives in places where the rich families send money and other little charities to make sure that the nearby places of worship are maintained. India redefines itself in the form of parents who have progressive views. They opt for education instead of marriage for their daughters. They feel proud to have daughters. India becomes the country it always was, with people whose lives become happy and full once again, forgetting the vacuum once created by riots, violence and bombings.
India is inside the hearts of its people, who choose to look at a person's heart instead of religion, nature instead of caste and values instead of sex.
As M.J. Akbar writes in his article, 'Deep inside India, secularism is a way of life', "India may lose itself in Delhi and Mumbai and Bangalore and Ahmedabad, but finds itself again and again in millions of Teliniparas."
Where are friendships formed? In the mind, In the heart or In the landscape of places symbolic to the lives of people..
Or maybe, like all things that matter to us, they are discovered in place which are linked to our childhood. Swinging on the slides, running around our grandparents house, becoming little kids all over again, sometimes that is all it takes to form a friendship in the truest sense of the word.
What is it about becoming children again, that changes the way we look at people altogether? Is it that only children perceive the world in a happier, more optimistic way yet probe the heart for the honesty that exists within? How is it that to be friends, we need to know the person at their childish best?
Or maybe, it is only when we were children did we not take the world for granted and wanted to know everything. And it was only with those friends that we could ponder on the mysteries of the universe forever. And be happy.
Who was that child? Did the artist just spot him and painted his face or did he wait till he found the perfect expression. What happened to him after he grew up? Did he become famous or was his face lost in the crowd like so many others? Did he even know that his innocent expression was recorded for posterity?