Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ek nanha daanth (translation of A little tooth by Thomas Lux)

एक नन्हा दाँत

तुम्हारी बिटिया उगाती है इक दाँत, फिर दो
और चार, और पाँच, फिर चाहती है कुछ माँस
सीधे हड्डी से. अब सब

ख़तम: वो सीखेगी चाँद शब्द, वो लूडक आएगी
प्यार में किसी नालायाक, निरे मुरख के, कोई मृिदुभाषी
कारावास के पटल पर और तुम

तुम्हारी पत्नी, होंगे बुरे, बेइज़्ज़त, और नहीं
कोई पछतावा. तुमने किया, तुमने चाहा, तुम्हारे पैर
सूज गाये हैं साँझ है बड़ी हो गयी है तुम्हारी बेटी.

Ek nanha daanth

Tumhaari bitiya ugaati hai ikk daanth, fir doe
aur chaar, aur paanch, fir chahaati hai kuchh maans
seedhay haddi se. Ab sab

khatam: woh seekhaygi chand shabd, woh ludak-aegi
pyaar mein kisi nalayak, niray murakh ke, koi mridubhaashi
kaaravaas ke pathh par. Aur tum

tumhaari patni, honge burray, be-izzatt, aur nahin
koi pachhtaava. Tumne kiya, tumne chaahaa, tumhaare pairr
sooj gaye hain. Saanjh hai. Barri ho gayee tumhari beti.

Translator: Vivek

A little tooth *
by Thomas Lux

Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone. It's all

over: she'll learn some words, she'll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail. And you,

your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You did, you loved, your feet
are sore. It's dusk. Your daughter's tall.

* From New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1997.


Critiques welcome

Monday, February 13, 2006

Random Graduate Student thoughts on Love And Everything

A harmless question, that one must ask himself everytime he gets fired or fried. When other people ask me "Whats up?" or "Whats happening", my reflex answer is "Nothing much". The answer does not seem to go down all to well with my boss as well as my parents. Like everyone else in the universe, they want me to graduate, get a life, a wife and fat salary. I am not sure how much a wife helps, for I have seen friends with pangs of guilt while doing their usual procastinations, and the burden of "Whats going on" usually grows in a way that they need to graduate at the end of a nine month term. Of course, everyone except the graduate student is unhappy with the way it ends, because it is only after writing the epic thesis, that he understands who and what the story was all about. What you relish as an afterthought is sometimes a smile on your lip, but mostly it is a lump in your throat. A lump in the throat: Shaadi ka ladoo (the Candy of Marriage); a lump in the throat: Haphazardly finished thesis.

It is NOT the Tale of Two Lumps (and I am no Dickens either). We have a continuum of lumps, where graduate students do a Brownian motion, hopping from one lump to another. I am developing a good understanding of dynamics in complex fluids by looking at how my fellow students and I behave. Invariably, someone somewhere waits for you (to trap you, but of course, you can't tell the millions who believe there is someone somewhere that all this is a marketing gimmick, what will all these Valentine Day salesman and shoppers do if only they knew!)

Lets assume that everyone knew that someone somewhere is a marketing gimmick. Will this make the world a better place? According to the widely known (well EVEN you know them now) and unpublished thoughts of Vivek Sharma, "The human society without the attraction of someone somewhere would be like universe without gravity. The attraction keeps us together, but the presence of lumps, bumps, thumps, centrifugal force created when love turns you into a satellite about the planet of your interest, hypocrisy, regional and religious EXCUSES, the linearity of time that makes all wonderful options too old or too young for us, BOREDOM, geometrical differences and even digestive troubles, the presence of aforementioned things and a few more that my collegues will come up with to show they can also think and talk in lumpy language, all these things ensure world goes on."

Digestive troubles implies all the conversations that cannot be swallowed or digested easily. The paramount abundance of gossip is like the prevelance of junk food and spam mail, these three form the trinity of elements that are driving the modern society forward. Forward to NUThood. The Queen of United Kingdom of Sensationalia offered me NUThood once, and I could have accepted it but I couldn't beause of the geopolitical reasons. Geo as I cannot just drive into Sensationalia (using that car, of course not), Political as I believe in this age of DEMONcracy, the idea of having Queens and NUThood is as poignant as having Shakespeare on earth again, asked to create rewrite everything in Modern English (sans thou, sans thee, sans speaketh).

A ROLLING STONE gathers no moss. But A ROLLING STONE gathers money. I am going to rewrite idioms, for they are outdated. It is better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved is a gimmick of some loser which seems to be overused in our society. (Some people substitute loved by fucked and grin from ear to ear, but I tell them their thinking is equally fucked up). Ah! The banality of it all: the pink flush on the cheek, the shy, stolen slances, the holding of those incredibly beautiful hands and then (read really fast and loud what follows) the first fiesty kiss that was to be implanted on hand or forehead or cheek but somehow missed these tragets and landed up like an alien spaceship on the glorious terrain of endless ecstasy and then withdrawal where the heart is in a burning flame that can be quenched only by another explosion where two bodies entwined each other by mathematically intractible topologies ruin each other. Atomic fusion has already been mastered by the genetic programming of our hungry, craving cells, and they asked me why I am being so MUSHY and why my words are now like whsipers which hope to fall on an ear or two or it does not even matter how many, for they come and go like seasons and when they are there the spring is there too, and they leave like fall with my yellow hopes dancing to the autumn wind till it is all covered by the shroud of snow, and this is the melting snow that you see, I am ready for the spring again, and of course, I will tell you what made me mushy, its the melting snow. Oh! The banality of it all. Damn! I miss it now.

I was ruined that day my dear, when you filled me with so much passion that all I could utter, sounded like croaks, there were lumps inside bigger than those toads and I turned into a Prince with your kiss and embrace and the neighbouring dog barked his heart out for somehow magically, like in Bollywood movies, an orchestra played Take my Breath away out of the tune and it turned out that it was my apartment-mates who had taken out their rusted hands to JAZZ up the environment with tunes that were in sync with the visionary effect of VODKA, they sang with more relish and harmony out of tune than they ever did while they sang Happy Birthday tunes to wish their lost hopes who placed cakes bought by one of these in the mouths of the opportunist alternative who stepped closer at the right moment and to make it most beautisul asked my apartmentmate in question to click a KODAK MOMENT for later lamentations. You filled me with so much passion that thinking of it now throws me into a world of Rushdie and Marquez, and my thoughts appear in my heart like the poems of Neruda singling you out for my precious dedication (and you here refers to any YOU, who SPRINGS me out of the mush of this molten snow, for tears that I shed for a one you this winter have frozen with the coldness of that heart).

Ah! Of course, all this is manifestation of my stealing the time away from the purpose of my life, which is not just procreation by the way, but a two hundred page document for the moment (besides 400 page novel and 100 poems I will finish while thinking about 200 page THESIS), the document I must conjure to GET out of here. My friends have often told me that I have no difficulty in doing so, for they truly trust in my talent for making a molehill in the moutain of possibilities. I suspect I will get a lot of fanmail for glamorizing Graduate Students by writing this piece, but well, trust me these are my own personal, though random, thoughts, and my research has revealed that the features displayed by the experimental data documented here, have some universal features, and my work presented here will lay the foundation for hitherto poorly understood working of the graduatestudentmind. We touched upon the questions of Love and Everthing as well, but it is crystal clear now that the presence of randomness and uncertainity (their product is PLanck's constant raised to power Planck's constant), the presence of these two in minds of women, and the Aaf Bau Principle that prevents having more than two in one story, will always lead to lumpy graduate students, who will finish writing their THESIS, after they finish their blogs and most probably after this season of MUSH.

by Vivek Sharma
Flaunting, without accepting , NUThood of UK of Sensationalia
Random Spokesperson for LUMPY Graduate Students
DEMONcrat Street, Land of MUSH
Procastinating 24 7 365

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Pigeon Love

My heart is a cooing pigeon
My words, wings flapped to lurch
I desire to beak, my love
Nestle with you, o feathertouch.

Don't flutter your wings so fast, mister
Save your swoops, glides and gush
I am a freebird and quite like it
Flings I'll love, but there's no rush.

O white white dove, what art thou inspire
One chirp from you, unfurls paeans of desire
Just perch with me sometimes, lets fly together
Over the sprawling gardens, in this nice weather.

O how can I trust thee, thy ashen self
If your baggage is loaded, with motives stealth
And wonder what fleeting ideas will form
In their hearts, for whom, later I may long.

O high flying princess of blue skies
Your purity cannot be put to doubt
I promise platonic companionship, joys
Pleasantaries you must not do without.

O flatterer you amuse me (make me blush)
You may sing serenades, but don't expect much
Whatever you indulge in, you do at your own accord
I don't need or want you (I say for the record).

My dearest, your flight is a dance
Your curves, the summers of romance
I know you've told me no before
But I must know if is altered your stance.

You said you'd be just a friend
And I so depended upon your word
O charmer, this is it, don't see me again
I should have known, it would turn so absurd!

Hush my sweetest, don't wail so bitter
I am only a bird, I need to twitter
I have feelings, that fly their own routes
You are so beautiful that pining always sprouts.

Enough of your cooing, all cajoling, now begone
I was much better off, just being all alone
You made me smile, but at the expense of much grief
Henceforth we part, go fly beyond Edens of makebelief.

Jan 07, 2006
4 pm, Starbucks
Atlanta GA