Friday, August 28, 2009

Spread it open

There is a moment of disappointment that creeps into me like a moth in a garden that has found its way from the paradise of some distant lost world of molten lava from the cleavage of a volcanic valley every once in a while I come across people who don’t read.

Books! They are not just ink and paper to me. They blink! They wink! They stare! With open arms they embrace! They mould! They scold! They do what they are told! They are immortal voices that can still be heard. Those souls that wait to be picked from those dusty shelves as they patiently lie await for someone to open the covers and let those minds that wrote them reincarnate and speak to you. They explain, they debate, they sometimes pontificate and many a times they do change our perspective. Yet some don’t read!

Cuddled in their miserable deceptive fake complacency, some find solace in the refractive presence of the human world when the best that can possibly happen is sitting with a fine book to reconcile with reflections from within. For some, the tangible is more important than the intangibles-I hate to believe. Yet it moves!

The Spanish inquisition, the Aztec civilization, the Spartan nerve, Churchill’s Brit wit, Culcas’ analysis, Greene’s perspective into power and seduction, Krishnamoorthees and Gibran’s perception through naïve poetry, Mozart’s canto, Bach’s rhythm, Shakespeare’s lucid sonnets, Casanovas, Cuckolds and Sluts-Charles Darwin’s theory to passify, ‘hahaha’, Shaw’s Candida, Marx’s utopian Das Kapital, Kamala and Pritish’s duets, Freud’s and Luther’s dream, Hitler’s autobiography, Greek mythology, ‘abnormality in normality and normality in abnormality’, the Apocrypha...-that world one gets to see through books one selects to read-Yet they don’t read.

There is something I must confess. Feel like shouting it into the midnight skies through the miserable mists for someone to hear-“I miss those intellectual discussions through the midnight over the hookah and green tea.” I really do. Unburdened, unbothered and untroubled crystal sleep after those fast flying hours. I do miss. Those thoughtless thoughts, those walks in the wilderness of thoughts, those unrestricted words and barbed wires that were crossed and conditional boxes that tried so hard to shut us in that were shattered. I miss them.

Its almost like today I wake up to a nightmare of ignorance and have to stare right at the face of emptiness. Its surprising and fascinating and ironically strange and hard to digest to find this situation amongst an academic crowd… probably they are all a bunch of paper eating maggots which I had always wished to stray away from. Yet there is a faint ray of hope, once in a while twinkling, smiling and swaying across like a faint mirage... that will do for now. This hope will do… will do for now.

Bottomline: “There is more humility than pride that comes with reading”

A Call From The Wild

These are days when I am overcome with a dwindling dilemma. “To do? or Not to do?” seems to be the Shakespearian question as usual. A call for a never present moral tribunal seems rudimentary for the moment as the lessons of time has taught me quite well as evident from my graying hair.

The need to be flexible is not a choice everyone wants to make as most often it is determined by others and how they need us. This sometimes gives us the imagery of a prostitute who has to hum and sing the demanded tunes when in the hands of lust. We are painfully sinful and sinfully painful at times when we trample upon life’s short autumn season where we see nothing beyond the drenched dryness and heaps of withering leaves. There is always a summer of hope after a winter of distress… even a winter of distress can be like a spring of joy if we are with the right people around us.

The right people! The right kind… The hardest to find! The devilish world has labeled certain kinds to be certain types and oh well! Oh bloody well! So very well have they labeled certain kinds that it is hard to undo what has been done not because of what, how and who people are but for the fact that people assume that is how they ought to be and make the devilishly well devilled people who labeled them seem like Gods and Godesses for having known them better and labeled them so.

Such arrogant brutality, the destruction of innocence for the manipulative minds that destroy the sweetness of living by making ignorance a dirty word in the lexicon and by deliberating us to part from it and save us from ridicule by imparting the knowledge we long for and relentlessly sacrifice our own being to hard core learning in subtle humiliation that creeps in while doing so.

Asking now my dear Lord to lead me not into temptation for I might actually start liking it. The hardest lessons are often said to be learnt through discipline… ‘discipline’ as the word itself seems to cry out loud is the art of refusing certain things that we naturally would get attracted to if otherwise we haven’t learnt that we shouldn’t be doing so. Duh!

Bottomline: “Who knows what goes behind those eyes?!”-From behind the camera

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Path So Far...

Coming from a small town I grew up seeing the same people grow old everyday. The traditions, customs, culture and values people make, which often makes people into who they are was installed in me way back then during those formative years I regretfully feel. Whether I regret for it now doesn’t matter; having developed an almost instinct with which I react rather than respond to what happens in my present environment which questions my every thought and move.
Strong, stringent and compulsory mores, morale, and code of conduct I did know and I did adhere to then; more for acceptance than for attention. Everything everyone said seemed to be acceptable and undeniably true with my vulnerability taking a drive on the front seat. Assurance was on the high. All that I had to do to be good enough was to adhere. Adhere to those little conditional acceptance people render us with. Yet what is good enough? And who decides and who lets them? These are questions for which we already have the answer and yet re-question like futile idiots in the pretext of having an intellectual coffee-table conversation.
Isn’t it we who submit ourselves to the markings of others to recheck our position? Doesn’t it bother us when someone condemns us? Don’t we feel guilty when we breach a code of conduct?
This was the situation that seemed like a long time ago, until recently. The day I came out of this place I considered as figurative as it might seem a narrow, mean strip of land urging people to fit into its conditional boxes laid on the dead weight of the people who must have made them, I saw changes. Changes that offered me choices that often shook me, making me feel a misfit in many occasions in various environments. Often to grace the occasion there was a compulsive demand on me to relax, test and let go those values I held close like a lump of dirty piece of clothing tied together in order to wear the tuxedos the elite crowd offered. What surprised me was how different the elite world is in different parts of the world. Values were lost in arrogance rather than ignorance. Many times it was a willful challenge that I endured. Brutality persisted as I had to ignore the guilt in trespassing into the land I was always warned never to enter.
Today I look back and feel that I can be marked a total misfit by the society I came from sans guilt from my side as I stand without any defense or rather a need for one with every turn I took as I tried to test myself in the world of challenges, to be more precise the test of values, encores deeming everything I did in the process either immoral or illegal.
Though I must still confess that values haunt me today like midnight's ghost, as I look back like a child whose candy has just fallen on the sand, quite sad it is to know that I stand belonging to neither world; not to the carefully screening world that made me neither to the scornfully scrutinizing world that challenges. Every step I took in the adopted world in the urban jungle was a fight-a fight for survival I must say. Every step I took was a step closer to criticism and condemn. Often commented and rather compelled to leave behind the values in the same dingy place I came from. In this exalted my performance to find my point of display in every given situation with my constant tryst with nature and nurture. Called to please my audience, a pretender I turned out to be hiding behind masks and more masks and more and more masks-till I could recognize my face no more.
Civility is as cruel as barbarism; the tender line we walk in between them as we take a stand on our way wanting to do something and the way we are expected to do it decides who we are. And often we end up cheating our instinct with compulsive forces acting on our behalf, directing and drawing us to curtail ourselves to packages in which the rest of the world can perceive us to fit into with due respect to their limited knowledge or need to know who we are.
Skin and identity politics and confluence of intellectual risings that erupt as for discussions and self-reflection in the dark alleys in the get-away dens in the lost, inebriated urban world amidst an arbitrating, margarita and scotch-sipping, hookah-smoking crowd of power-seeking mongrels, same as I, further questioned me in different thresholds of chronic dissatisfaction and suburban drudgery, giving reality checks in willful checkpoints I rolled into; only to understand that as one spreads across into a wider space, one gets tiny and feels a sense of belonging to the place from where one took wings; eventually to feel like dropping down dead while soaring high on realizing the fact that having taken off, the identity I seek is already lost in the same place where I seek it in. Values that made me that I questioned, questioned me when I thought I made myself into something beyond it. Hahaha!... Stood I there questioned and questionable… unpardoned by me more than anyone else.
Bottomline: "Trying to be an open book knowing for sure that even an open book opens up to only two pages"-Own

There She Lay

The lynching mind in fine foray,
witnessed the whispers of a crying angel.
The withered soul in depths did lie,
with wings burnt and fragile.

The touch of the finger
sends streaming waves beneath her skin…
And with tender morsels fit for a stray-
A whim of enchanting ecstasy grasps her.

The shiver that shudders the blooming petals,
with strokes of thorns like guilt pierce.

What a subtle display of a gentle melody!
As vulnerable and tender with sweet surrender,
on her lovers arms she lay.
Bottomline: "Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied, And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted."-Kahlil Gibran

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Wanderer

This is a dream of long ago...
Of a wanderer, an occassional sage and an often hermit;
who oft as life relies upon, took steps too bold
into the cowardice path of loneliness for sanity's sake alone.

Oh! pathless paths they were.
The truth better left unsaid of the dark alleys
and those mystery miles some roads carried him through.

Why the journey?
Why the pain?
How the endurance to carry on?
Noone knows! Not even he...

Seeker of the Trinity-"Love, Truth and Simplicity",
the journey still continues, across barbed wires and fences
and through doubts and hurdles come what may.

Like the others who took this path and disappeared
into the mists on the rivers they tread, leaving no trails whatsoever,
so will he and knows that too... yet,
he makes his own road step by step.
Knowing well that a man who has chosen to walk into the dark
must not be surprized to see the light inside.

Bottomline: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."-Robert Frost