Monday, September 25, 2006

How a dinner helped

Our acquaintance began with a staged coincidence.
Perceiving her pretty eyes, I changed course
to collide with an old friend. He was kind enough to
have an inconsequential talk with me,
and my efforts at wit, produced a smile
and an inquiry from her. He introduced me
as an old friend, and hurried away without
mentioning her name.

A week later, I was stirring my coffee,
when her smile flashed before me.
Without my friend about her, she made words
that were music and comedy at the same time.
The shimmer on her nosering, the mole
at the root of her neck and her hand movements
made an impression.

When she left, I realized, I had missed
a job interview. The job was meant to help
me pay my bills. Yet I was happily in love
with the idea of dinner at her place.
Romance makes misfortune look so attractive, and
the spirit so dainty.

The rice was undercooked, and my jaws hurt
after making valiant attempts at chewing them.
The vegatable curry was Americanized
by presence of undercooked corn, and lack of spices.
A human system can never digest any cellulose,
though here I ate like a donkey on drugs, who munches
dry stalks of crop, thinking its green grass. She raved
about how little time she spent in preparing what she
though was an original recipie.

Our conversation moved through trails like lost desert storms.
Her stories began to behave like grains of sand in my eyes.
I soon realized that the mirage of her eyes now stirred
no emotion in me. Within ten days, my first impression
had turned into my intellectual embarrassment, and of course,
like a true old friend, I helped that guy, in winning over
the woman with the original corn concoction.

People ask me why I spend so much time in these pursuits.
I tell them that there is merit in learning from ones own follies
and understanding how the unexpected rules the events
related to women in general. The girl remarked later,
that it was splendid for her husband to have such an honest
and dedicated friend. I smiled and pretended that I was delighted
to be of service.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The story of Ramdas

He wore quaint pajamas,
saffron in color, with name of Ram
scribbled in eighteen languages,
in a menagerie of colors.

His mother washed dishes,
cooked for others, cleaned houses,
her spirit was what people paid for –
full of optimism.

He was born, not to worry,
a child in man, a harmless houseguest,
filling birdbath, creating with crayons
a menagerie of colors.

His mother as devotee of Ram,
traveled to Ayodhaya, Varanasi, Mathura, Prayag,
approached Sadhus, miracle workers,
full of optimism.

Last Dussera, he was run over
by a Ram, hurrying to the Ramlila ground.
He celebrated in bloodbath, as Ravana exploded into
a menagerie of colors.

Aug 22, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hazaaron Khwahishain aisi

Mirza Ghalib is undoubtedly unparalleled in his ability to reach both profound thought and feeling through his Ghazals. Here is one of my favorite ones.

HazaaroN KHwahishaiN ‘eisee ke har KHwahish pe dam nikle
bohot nikle mere armaaN lekin fir bhee kam nikle

nikalna KHuld se aadam ka sunte aayaiN haiN lekin
bohot be_aabru hokar tere kooche se ham nikle

magar likhwaaye koee usko KHat, to hamse likhawaaye
huee subah aur ghar se kaan par rakhkar qalam nikle

mohabbat meiN naheeN hai farq jeene aur marne kaa
usee ko dekh kar jeete haiN jis kaafir pe dam nikle

KHuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uThaa zaalim
kaheeN ‘eisa na ho yaaN bhee wohee kaafir sanam nikle

kahaaN maiKHaane ka darwaaza ‘GHalib’ aur kahaaN waaiz
par itana jaante haiN kal wo jaata tha ke ham nikle

(Copied from where you can find both translation and audio for the same)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Of poetry, physics and passions!

I write poetry because I need to. I rewrite poems now, for that is the only way they can become better. This blog started out as a place where I was to put down all my experimental writing. So I posted several Tea Poems, Love stories of my friends series. Served some travelogues and wrote a melodrama. Occasional movie and book reviews, and a bizarre series of graduate student posts. What next?

I am planning to get stricter with poetry posts, so rather than posting run of mill stuff, (which I have done all summer), I will stop posting ok or bad poems. The better ones I have been saving for future, and I am working with Thomas Lux, Chair of Poetry at Tech, to get better at the craft. I had one of the most amazing weeks of my life at a Poetry Workshop/Conference at Sarah Lawrence College in Summer this year. There were a hundred or so poets, fiction writers, non-fiction writers and dramatists. Most of them were not only way ahead in their age, experience and expertise, but also have had formal education and publishing experience. The Workshop gave me a lot of perspective into my own writing as well as how works of a writer are judged, appreciated and evaluated. A very humbling experience, and my gratitude is to my mentor, my Gurudev, who has been a tremendous influence in taking the craft seriously. I guess that is another reason not to display my sloppy stuff, for I must match up with the instructions I have been privy to.

My PhD enters the final year. So I guess I should be focussed on doing physics than pursuing other passions. I apologise to all the great bloggers that I haven't read whole summer, due to my attempt to finish my research work. After 24 years in school, I need to figure out ways of getting done:)

Friday, September 01, 2006

ek aashu kavita

(In response to a comment post)

hua hun dhool hi, ab khaakh bhi nahin
jalta tha, dhuan tha, tha khaakh kabhi
kehkashaa meri kahaan se lai hai kahan
julashaa, dhool hua, jaana, mitnay ke baad hi!

mitti mein mila hai, mitti se ugaa tha
mera dil kabhi jaltaa hua ek masla tha
ek faaslay par ruka, jaltaa gaya woh
armaano ko bujhtay, mit-tay waqt laga tha!

hun dhool bhi, raakh bhi, rakt bhi, raas bhi
jitna lagtaa hun nakhush, karta utna parihaas bhi
mere labzon mein na dhoond, woh dhuan ab kahan
hua hun dhool hi, jaaana mit-nay ke baad hi!