Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Loving an intelligent woman (Revised)

She remembers it all, the trifles and trivia
and ranks among the best of the intelligesia.
Your every opinion is subject to her scrutiny,
for she knows of each pact, knows each mutiny.

She demands equality of body and spirit
and has thousand citations in her ambit
On chessboard of life, she's mastered all gambits
and will win without fail, for she never submits.

She cares not about your desires and dreams,
she's got her own ends and own trusted means.
She was trained not to be easily satisfied,
and at nothing less than best is she gratified.

She mulls in moods, she calls personal freedom,
and tests, the ideals of inducing you into serfdom.
Her eyelashes obey the planned ploys of her heart,
She speaks in puns. With satire her phrases, start.

She loves your praise, lusts for your soul too,
and dismisses your passions as unpure, untrue.
What can satisfy her is the hardest to possess,
an Einstein head and a Hercules in undress.

She contrasts your each word with the best ever spoken,
and unaccomplished feats are counted as promises broken.
You are thought as spineless, your existance - vain,
if for her, you relinquish nothing, can't adapt or abstain.

Each act is judged against the influence of family history
and your present is scaled by what it offers to posterity.
Even bestial desires in her are tamed by a metaphysical fervor,
or the higher good of humanity maybe required to get her favor.

She can sweep you off your feet, and has charms to mystify you,
she can work magic with words, and if the need be, glorify you.
She will manage your life and accounts to perfection,
no nothing can ever escape, her erudite attention.

By her very nature, she will always be a control freak
and tell you mind your own business in either Latin or Greek
She can love, but her love will compete with her reason,
your every emotional upheavel will arouse her derision.

She will be by your side, but fear of her leaving will remain,
for she will never show, whatever she suffers in her big brain
Maybe poetry, a prized possession or even a source of inspiration
what she makes of you, show if you really deserve her admiration.

To love her true, tease her with Wilde wit, though polished,
and be your sincere self, consciously smart, throughly poised,
loving an intelligent girl is a challenge even for the articulate,
and to win her her requires more than this poet can even postulate.

Revised on 31 Oct, 2005

Previous version was written on 15 Mar, 2005.
I have changed the ending, and formatting, as well as few words here and there:)
The old post is available here:
Loving an intelligent woman has remained equally challenging, though I think I have turned wiser with experience:)

Inside my room

In the disorder of my room,
I've lost my mop, and my broom.
To find them, I need careful digging,
I plan to hire an archealogy team.

In the layers of read articles, scribbled notes
lie many unfinished poems, quotable quotes;
many unsolved problems of soft matter research,
and my valiant attempts at them, you can unearth.

You can find my correspondences with her,
whose leaving has mushroomed cans of beer,
these beer cans piled as pyramids adorn my window,
its hard to hide them, in them, (you know).

This state's acquired by months of neglect,
I treat my chaos with lots of respect.
Here, there are unmarked graves of memories,
must keep them hushed for a few centuries.

Even the duster and the dustbin,
must be reported as dead or missing,
but if all is cleared and all is clean,
where will then reside this chaotic being?

July 04, 2006.
11:00 am;
Motivating myself to clean my room.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

(A long love poem) Part IV

पंक्तियाँ, जैसे पंखुरियाँ
बिखरा आया हूँ
पगडंदियों पर तेरे.

जब चलती आओगी तुम
मेरे गीतों में लिपटी
हैर सुर पर तिराकूंगा मेँ.

तुम कलष-सी भिगोकार मेरे अधरों को
तहर जाना मेरी चौकी के बहुत पास.

मेँ तुम्छें फिर गोद में सजाकर
अपनाय हाथ की चाप पर सुन पाओुन्नगा
तुम्हारी आत्मा के नाद पर झूमती ध्वनियों में
सुन पाओूँगा, वह कविता
जो तुम्हारी अखियों से झाँकती रहती है


panktiyan, jaise pankhuriyan
bikhra aaya hun,
pagdandiyon par tere.

jab chalti aaogi tum
mere geeton mein lipatee
har sur par thirakungaa men.

tum kalsh-si bhigokar mere adhron ko
thahar jaana meri chauki ke bahut paas.

men tumhein fir god mein sajakar
apnay haath ki chaap par sun paaunnga
tumhari aatmaa ke naad par jhoomtee dhvaniyon mein
sun paaungaa, wah kavita
jo tumhari akhiyon se jhaanktee rahti hai.


paktiyan: sentences
pankhuriyan: petals
adharon: lips
kalash: metal pot
dhvaniyon: sounds

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Translated text of Asuph's poem

An impromptu translation to Asuph miyan's poem:

yeh samay hai
baatein bandh karnay ka
kinaaron ki,
kiranoke laharon pa
naachnay ki,
pushpon ki, unki
adhbuth khushboo ki,
chandrma ki, aur
uski aashiqmizzazi ki,
sarkon ki bhi,
unki murti, toot-ti
gayab hoti,
kshitizon mein milti,
nishaaniyon ki.

jab sooraj nikalega
sab, sachmuch
aisa ki hoga
par, koi murakh dekhega
issay naya sa
aur chahega
aur bahar
ke pranaya se
vislakshan shabadon mein

aur kai
kutte billiyon se
kehraate, kaattenge
jeevan ko
prasttr se jeevan ko
joe rakht-heenn hai
hamari tarah

hamari nassein kachchi hai
koi na koi
hamesha unhein nochega
aaj ya kal

pr in sab ki
kabhi hampar bhi
hogi haazir
ek din
ko milegi
ek bematlab maut.


एह समय है
बातें बाँध करनय का
किनारों की,
किरणोके लहरों पा
नाचहनय की,
पुष्पों की, उनकी
आधबुत ख़ुश्बू की,
चंद्रमा की, और
उसकी आशिक़मीज़्ज़ाज़ी की,
सार्कों की भी,
उनकी मूर्ति, टूट-टी
ग़ायब होती,
क्षितिज़ों में मिलती,
निशानियों की.

जब सूरज निकलेगा
सब, सचमुच
ऐसा की होगा
पैर कोई मुरख देखेगा
इससाय नया सा
और चाहेगा
और बाहर
के प्रणाया से
विसलक्षण शबाड़ों में

और कई
कुत्ते बिल्लियों से
केहराते, काततेंगे
जीवन को
प्रस्ततर से जीवन को
जोए राख़्त-हीन्न है
हमारी तरह

हमारी नस्सें कच्ची है
कोई ना कोई
हमेशा उन्हें नोचेगा
आज या कल

प्र इन सब की
कभी हमपर भी
होगी हाज़िर
एक दिन
को मिलेगी
एक बेमतलब मौत.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene is a delightful read, both because of the simplicity of the language and honesty of the tale. Scobie is a middle aged Police Deputy Commissioner, obsessively sincere to his duty, and particularly useless to his book reading wife Louise. The tale is set in a West African colony, where it rains for six months, and apart from loneliness, bugs, roaches, malaria and third world struggles oppress the few white men who reside in the colony. Wilson appears in the colony and takes a liking to Louise. Before he can get anywhere, she leaves for South Africa.

A plot of circumstances makes Scobie's life a mesh where he needs to be the friend of very Yusef he despises and fall in love with twenty years younger, Mrs Rolt, or Helen. By the time his wife decides to return, he is tangled in a desperate struggle between two women, good and bad, his principles and everything he must do to compromise them, and the story proceeds into a realm of beautiful tragedy, leaving the reader spellbound.

There are few most memorable chapters in the novel. One is the description of a game Wilson and Harris invent and play, where they compete to hunt roaches. Other is the last one, where the Heart of Matter leaves you stunned and silenced in its sincere description for how little people matter once they are dead.

There are many sentences that I invariably will remember for a long time. Examples: 1) Virtue, the good life, tempted him in the dark like a sin. 2) Men become twins with age: the past was their common womb: the six months of rain and the six months of sun was the period of their common gestation. They needed only a few words and a few gestures to convey their meaning. 3)The word "pity" is used as loosely as the word "love": the terrible promiscuous passion which so few experience. 4) He listened with the intense interest one feels in a stranger's life, the interest the young mistake for love. AND LAST, but not the least 5) 'Of two hearts one is always warm and one is always cold: the cold heart is more precious than diamonds: the warm heart has no value and is thrown away.'

Friday, October 13, 2006

River Ya Atlanta

Under revision
Offline indefinitely

9:40 am
Jersey city, NJ
June 24, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lost in Translation: Nain lad jayi hai

My translation:

I am in love with a fair gujjari
Is turning to dust my whole industry

When eyes clash, in the heart a yearning prospers
As the missile of love rises, boom explosion occurs

If beauty sits in mind, what is crime in that
If I wish to make love to you, what is crime in that
Even I have some rights in the city of love

When eyes clash...

In my heart is the commotion from the askant eye
Without seeing the fair one, sleep doesn't dawn on me
When she is close by, my liver starts throbbing

When eyes clash..

thaik thaik thai thai, thai
dhaak dhinak dhin, taak tinak tin
dhaak dhinak dhin, dhaak dhinak dhin, dhaa!

When eyes meet with beloved, they start dancing
The sweet Ghazal of love, the heart starts singing
When anklet rings, the hips begin shaking

When eyes clash..

When eyes clash, in the heart a yearning prospers
thaik thaik tik thaa

hoy hoy hoy!

The Dhobaniya stole my heart, O Rama, with what magical art
With what magical art, with what enchanting art
The Dhobaniya stole my heart, O Rama, with what magical art

The original lyrics, in Hindi (copied from

laagaa gori gujariyaa se nehaa humaar
hoyi gavaa saaraa chaupat moraa rujagaar

nain lad jainhe to manavaa mein kasak hoibe kari
prem kaa chhuti hai pataakhaa to dhumak hoibe kari
nain lad jainhe

roop ko manamaa basaibaa to buraa kaa hoi hai
tohu se preet lagaibaa to buraa kaa hoi hai
prem ki nagari ma kuchh humaraa bhi haq hoibe kari
nain lad jainhe

hoi gavaa man maa more tirachhi najar kaa hallaa
gori ko dekhe binaa nindiyaa na aavai humakaa
phaans lagi hai to karejavaa ma khatak hoibe kari
nain lad jaihe

thaik thaik thai thai, thai
dhaak dhinak dhin, taak tinak tin
dhaak dhinak dhin, dhaak dhinak dhin, dhaa!

aa.Nkh mil gayii hai sajaniyaa se to naachan lagii hai
pyaar kii miiThii gajal manavaa bhii gaavan lagii hai
jhaa.Njh bajii hai to kamariyaa ma lachak hoibe karii
nain la.D jai.nhe

nainaa jab la.Dii hai to bhaiyyaa man me.n kasak hoibe karii
thaik thaik tik thaa

hoy hoy hoy!

man le gayii re dhobaniyaa raamaa kaisaa jaaduu Daar ke
kaisaa jaaduu Daar ke re, kaisaa Tonaa Daar ke
man le gayii re dhobaniyaa raamaa kaisaa jaaduu Daar ke
man le gayii re dhobaniyaa raamaa kaisaa jaaduu Daar ke

You can watch Dilip Kumar dance as Rafi sings this Shakeel Badayuni song in Naushad's music and cinematorgraphy by Babasaheb, direction of Nitin bose (more about movie itself at )

The Video:

(I wish I could translate better. I hope it provides some flavor of the song to people who cannot understand the Hindi lyrics used in this song).

Book Review: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James sketches the account of life and times of most memorable heroine Isabel Archer. Isabel leaves US and arrives in England with her Aunt. Her cousin, Ralph, who ails from tuberculosis takes active interest in her, and Henry James creates highly realistic and entertaining conversations, which shed light into the character and thoughts of both these characters and the uncle and the aunt. The story gets interesting with presence of two suitors, each highly successful in their respective country (US and UK). The dying uncle leaves his neice a fortune, and she finds herself independent enough to pursue her whims and life.

Her marriage to Gilbert Osmond, the events that lead to it and how Isabel comes of age is the reason why Portrait of a Lady is a must read novel for every person. After denying two apt and deserving suitors, Isabel ventures to make a tragic choice and the intricate interplay of her perception or rather lack of it with the circumstances and events makes novel a masterpiece. The strains between the Old Europe and New America, the idiosyncracies associated with each come to fore, both through Isabel's life and through that of her journalist friend's, Henrietta Stackpole's.

Be it plain Pansy, the perfectionist Madame Merle, the cold and practical Aunt, the socialite Countess Gemini, each woman, like Isabel, is portrayed in sufficent detail. The two suitors engage as character studies, while the cousin Ralph is the character that shall stay with me forever. Admirable even in adverse circumstances, he is for me besides Isabel, the greatest creation of Henry James.

The story could have become melodramatic, but that is highly understated. The dialogues could have filled it to make it like screenplay, but James supplies nice descriptions of both the physical world and that of what goes in Isabel's heart to make it substantial. The commentaries on love and marriage that are subtly built into the novel, and the picture of both US and Europe seem quite contemporary. For a novel written in 1881, it shows how acute the observations of the author were, as well as the fact that we, humans, live life with similar choices, mistakes and feelings irrespective of the age. The novel has enough element of suspense, and events unfold in unexpected ways, making each discovery a pleasant or unpleasant surprise.

Having read many bleak American novels, this Henry James novel allows one to see how a Jane Austen type entertainer can be generated with sufficient origanility by a masterful writer. I am spellbound by the analogies in many of the most memorable actresses, espicially in how they make their choices between men.

Four excerpts from novel shows one the essence of the book:

"Justice to a lovely being is after all a florid sort of sentiment."

"She had had a more wondrous vision of him, fed though charmed senses and oh such stirred fancy!- she had not read him right. A certain combination of features had touched her, and in them she had seen most striking of figures. That he was poor and lonely and yet that somehow he was noble- that was what had interested her and seemed to give her her opportunity. There had been an undefinable beauty about him - in his situation, in his mind, in his face. She had felt the same time that he was helpless and ineffectual, but the feeling had taken a form of tenderness which was very flower of respect."

"It was not till the first year of their life together, so admirably intimate at first, had closed she had taken the alarm. Then the shadows had begun to gather; it was as if Osmond delibrately, almost malignantly, had put the lights out one by one."

"How could anything be a pleasure to a woman who knew that she had thrown away her life?"