Thursday, June 28, 2007

Whose country is US anyway?

I usually say: US started as the country of Indians, and it will end as the country of Indians. Jokes apart, the question is a very precise question, but the answer is quite ambiguous. The reason why I bring it up is because of something I witnessed in a Subway train in New York recently.

I was sitting there reading Train to Pakistan, Khushwant Singh's classic written in 1958. The scene is a village on the Indian border. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, who are related to each other by generations of co-existence, are responding to partition and creation of Pakistan, something they really don't understand or approve of. I am immersed in the description of one of the most poignant events in history of mankind, which I always think deserves at least as much press, media coverage, poetry, fictional and non-fictional coverage as the whole Jewish exodus. I was half-hearing the proceedings in the train, the announcements of station, laughter of people, occasionally a sentence or two of traveling conversation. I looked up when I heard an African-American woman cursing.

An anorexic teenager was up against a white American, muscular and bald, and I thought he was quite intimidating to look at. In some ways he resembled Bruce Willis, so lets call him Baldy Bruce. He seemed to be an army veteran and a regular to gyms and pubs. A European guy, age around twenty, blond stubble, blond hair, white skin had walked into the train only a few minutes back. He wasn't like Borat, but looked Polish or Kazakh and lets name him Shy Borat. Shy Borat sat on my bench, and Baldy Bruce sat within us, while the girl was sitting facing us on the opposite side.

"I, no English," he responded to something the Baldy said. The Baldy said, "Then go back to your country." Our African American, say Anorexic Oprah, quipped, "How can you say that?" to Baldy Bruce in a shrill, angry tone, and "Sorry" to Shy Borat.
Baldy Bruce retorted, "I can say that because it is my country." Anorexic Oprah flared up. "How can you say that, Asshole?"

Baldy Bruce sat like a growling dog, and woofed, "We all have one - Asshole!"

Anoresix Oprah: " Thats not what I said you dumb-ass. You smart-ass, this country belongs to none. Neither to you, not to me."

BB: "It is my country. I can say that and you, you are a stupid bitch. Just shut-up!"

AO: "You dumb fuck! You have no education, you asshole." She stood up in great anger while saying this. A Chinese couple next to her looked bewildered and somehow everyone in the vicinity seemed to agree with our own Oprah. "You ignorant fool, you're dumb, look at your stupid dumb face, you fucking ignorant dumb-ass, you go and get some education. You asshole, everyone in this country has come from somewhere. I am nineteen and I know it. You dumb fuck - you look stupid, you act stupid and you are so old. I am nineteen, how old are you? We all came from somewhere, you Asshole!"

BB (with a hint of middle finger projected out of his fist): "I didn't. I was born here, and so were my parents and everyone."

The Anorexic Oprah was trembling with anger. The Baldy Bruce looked grim, his muscles and fists seem tight, and if only she wasn't a women, if only it weren't a subway (his whole being seemed to say), if only it wasn't the Subway, he would have "silenced the bitch." Oprah was just shooting abuse with increasing ferocity: "You fucking dumb fuck, you asshole, you look yourself in mirror. This country was neither mine nor yours. If at all, it belongs to Indians. You fucking retard, you asshole, you need education. Go join some college, you dumb fuck!"

Her voice softened a little, and in someone motherly tone, apologized again to the Shy Borat, who watched the proceedings with a muted awe. It seemed he didn't know what was going on, he seemed to watch their faces like a puppy, trying to comprehend why a couple is shouting at each other, and every so often pointing a finger to him.

The Chinese couple looked amused now. I was clutching my book harder than before, occasionally looking up, pretending to read the lines from the book, where as luck had it, Muslim villagers in the Indian side of border were trying to comprehend, how they turned into non-Indians -- Pakistanis -- overnight. Who caused it, who imposed it? Who was this Jinnah guy? Why were trains and trains of butchered bodies traveling back and forth across the border? Wasn't Gandhi the government now? Meanwhile, like bullets, Oprah was shooting her anger onto someone who didn't care about this tirade against him.

The tension in the room was somewhat stifling. Anorexic Oprah seemed to have realized that she was creating a big scene. We - men, we - foreigners, we - the mass, the public - sat cowardly and muted; nodding our head in agreement; blessing her without raising our hands or voice. For rest of the journey, we all kept quiet and avoided each other's gaze. I wanted to thank her, but wanted to thank her without the Baldy Bruce witnessing it. She slipped into the crowd before I could catch her.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

1041 B: A house that was home to me

You may think me a sentimental fool, after all it was only a house, but that house was a home to me for four years. I feel like an exile, leaving my abode, an abode it was, in this foreign country. Here is a personal blog, part of it is about people, part of it is about me, most of it is a shrine for memories associated with 1041.

In 2003, I moved into 1041 B a week after turning 24. Emails about quarter life crisis were circulating then (and must be making rounds still). I was starting in the graduate school again, (after getting an MS from Akron, where I had set and left a house, 365 Power street people, raise your hands). I arrived with a car full of stuff, and moved in with three people. One of them was Chinese; when he cooked, we three Indians left the house for few hours. When we cooked, he cursed and choked.

My Indian roommates were a few years older; one had been in same hostel in Delhi, another had taken a sojourn like me before coming to Atlanta. One put three sticks of cinnamon to make food tastier (he was pleasantly surprised when I had him put 1/20th of that amount, and his food tasted less bitter and much better). Other cooked only Malka Masar and Tea. We lived happily ever after. Not quite, but almost. The living room computer served as TV, occasionally I would cook for a dozen people, we had weekly duties (assigned and implemented by the Chinese President).

First my senior left. We had gelled together very well. There were too many interesting evenings we shared with a bunch of other guys who drank and partied hard. There were deep discussions about nothing, and everything under the American sun (and moon). A Bengali, A Rajput, and a Bareilly guy (my neighbor for 8/past 10 years) formed our close circuit. We went to Smokies, to Florida beaches, to Hindi and English movies. The Senior left and the Ping Pong (and Billiards) expert replaced him.

Then the Chinese guy left and the Chinese girl who replaced him talked only to me (first few days), and that too in Sign language. Her hands danced like butterflies, and we all joked around her. She laughed most happily and would try to tell us something, "Hey Vivek, how do you say it, it is not black, it is (her hands are showing its spherical), it cooks, (meaning it can be cooked), how do you say it Vivek" "(Does it have an upturned umbrella on top?) "What was that" (Nothing nothing. Are you talking about eggplant?). Yes it is like egg but not plant (You call it brinjal I suppose)"Thanks. So the brinjal is popular, no no, is brinjal popular in Hindi people?" and so on.

My old roommate and PingPongChamp joined hands to become best chapati makers and sweet specialists in town. I turned into a weekly cook for dozen and a half people. The food was tasty, conversations were laced with laughter. The Chinese girl moved out when her husband made it to US. The first Sardar arrived. Hilarity prospered.

Then PingPongChamp left, I wrote a blog, saying he cannot be replaced. He gave me a legacy of Amitabh Bachcan dialogues ("Tumne Mukhtaar Singh ka naam suna hai?" "Tumhara kya naam hai Basanti?" ) He taught me Ping Pong all over again and later sent me a bat to play with. I really liked the fella, and he stuck to his plan of returning to India. It was two years ago. 2005.

He was succeeded by a Mridangam player. My own music collection had prospered by now, circle of friends had expanded, two dozen people would appear on my cooking turn, and at least half a dozen people (other than our roommates) could be found on most of the other days. Then my oldest roommate also left, promising to come back (we all do that, but hardly anyone comes back). Another Sardar replaced him.

When brother of Sardar 1 arrived, we had Sardar 1, 2 & 3 at our place. I felt as if I was in Punjab, Punjabi became our national tongue, my songs played louder and louder, Jimmy Cash arrived, Banti and Babli came, Swadesh, then came Bob Dylan, Hard Rock, U2, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Dil Chahta hai were always there, then Jal, Fuzon, Silk Route, Indian Ocean, then Indian and Western Classical, Hindi Movie classics were always here. Occasionally my flute fluttered (I ensured no one was home at those hours or was it my flute that caused it?)

The oldest roommate left with a promise of coming back. His guitar was still there yesterday as were some of his clothes, cassettes and stuff when we packed that too and moved out. When he left, chapattis fled our house. Sardar 3 made only green daal (moong) sardar 2 only masar, sardar 1 only chole. Mrigandam player made awesome South Indian food that was wasted on us highly noisy and picky North Indians.

Tea-time every night, dinner for twenty-five people every Wednesday (when I cooked), Football on Sunday followed. The circle expanded with several households coming here every so often. Americans, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Slovene, French, German - we welcomed all from Mumbai, (some insisted they were still from Bombay), Delhi, Punjab, Rishikesh, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Chennai, IITs, and Marathi, Marwari, Telugu, Mallu, Bongs, all languages met under the roof. Some people had to be convinced to come (they wanted to invite us in return to every invitation, so felt a twinge for the weeks passed quickly, and my dinners piled up in their records). Same came without guilt every week (and some haven't seen me since the dinners ceased). Some came uninvited, some wanted to be invited. The circle expanded to over three dozen people. The house was full of people standing, sitting, chatting, laughing every week, and people came here to say goodbyes, announce things, meet each other, get bumps, gossip about, introduce their peers or new found loves, and well, what can I say, I cooked and cooked and waited the walls to resound with voices and voices and laughter.

We created a community outside India, we created an India inside US.

In words of Majrooh:
"Main akela hi chala tha, janib-e-manzil magar,
Log saath aate gaye aur caravan banta gaya..."

[I started alone towards my destination, but
People kept coming along, the caravan kept growing]

We all change over time. Love affairs came, went, came again, went again. Heartbreaks were as common as kitchenware breaking (we all were quite careful though). Marriages. Almost marriages. New jobs. Highs. Exams. Illnesses. Football, Ping Pong, Racketball, Frisbee. Cards. Cricket in living room. Beer. More Beer. Bottles and bottles of Beer. Cans of beer. Tea. A cup of tea. Tea for twenty people. Graduation. Graduation for some. Dreams, philosophical questions, religious questions, national and international conflicts, reservation issue, Saurav Ganguly, cricket.

In last few months, we had started moving out. Our lifestyles changed. One got married, one graduated, and one started worrying too much about graduation. That one, me, wanted to leave 1041 B only after finishing PhD, and yet I left - I have few more months to go.

When I moved out yesterday, I realized that I had stayed longer in that room, than any other room in my entire life. Memories, and poems, were scattered in every corner. I found I owned so many things I had forgotten about. I moved about two hundred books out of my room. My room was a regular music and literature/science library. I moved at least 1000 journal articles. I threw memoirs, tokens gathered from my visits to different cities, countries, conferences. I kept poems, handwritten ones from 1995 onwards, Hindi, English, Urdu poems. I wrote several hundred in IIT days. That wasn't even my prolific era. Unfinished and finished poems. Lots and lots of poems.

As I packed stuff, I realized how much I have changed since I moved in. I realized my world now is very different from what I could have ever imagined. I wanted to thank everyone who visited me in that house, and everyone who helped me to feel at home.

As a roll call, I hope 1041 (and I) will remember these people, and they will remember the house that was perhaps home for all of us: Hemabh, Nitesh, Gagan, Ishwar, Bhavdeep, Santosh, Gurpreet, Tian, Hua, Rishi, Rakshita, Matija, Akbar, Farminder, Guru, Sanjoy-Urbi, Amit-Shilpi, Vani-Chirayu, Radhika, Gayatri, Abhinav Saxena, Abhinav Singh, Vikas Tomar, Prateek, Ajay, Pooja, Anne, Vishakha, Vijay, Nivi, Arpan, Ranjith, Gautam, Dominico, Romain, Deepak, Amit, Chotu, Nithya, Smita, Nikhil-Arti, Arun-Sreeja, Harjeet, Abhishek, Gaurav, Geetali, Puneet, Neel, Amin, Navin, Shikha, Pankaj, Rishi, Sukanya, Arun, Shantanu, Sandeep, Rohit, (names not mentioned for reasons, and names that I will remember later), and all you other good people.

The House, as if, lived like a man. It was born in 2003, when I moved in. It was young and restless during first few months and then went through a crazy teenage of chappattis, movies, tea, gossip and mithai, led a joyful and famous life, with Wednesday dinners and plans for all events/trips starting and ending there and in last few months, edged to its death.

We close the chapter of 1041 now. It was a decent place, made worth living by everyone who came into that house, made lively by friendships that will last longer than either houses or people will.

June 21, 2007

अब कहाँ वो शौक़, वो फन, वो मामला
है छूट गया लम्हा, बीत गया,
किस तालाश में फिरते हो जनिब तुम,
बस याद है लम्हा बीत गया !

(Now where's that interest, that talent, that situation
The moment is lost, is past
In what search you wander, o Mister
'Tis only memories, the moment is past

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rakeeb ka hoshemand hona (with translation)

वो शुक्रिया कहता गया, रकीब कहता था जो मुझको कभी,
मैं हँसता गया उसकी ख़ुशफ़हमियों पर

नादान वो समझता नहीं, मर्ज़ ना मैं था, ना मैं हूँ
गुणगान करता है जिसका वो शमा शातीर है
बेहिसाबि से क़त्ल करती है इल्ज़ाम फिर चाहे किसके सर हो,

कहती है "मैं ही तो रोशन हूँ

मैं जलती हूँ ताकि मेरे नूर में तुम, पल भर या बरसों
मोहब्बत में फ़ना होने की ख़वाइश पाओ
परवाना भसम होता है कब कहने से मेरे मिट-ता है
मुझपर ना यूँ ही इल्ज़ाम-ए-ग़लत लगाओ"

यह सुनता आया हूँ मैं पर वो कहाँ समझता है

इकारस सा आफ़ताब के निकट उड़ता है
और जलने के लिए बहाना राकीब का मुझको बना
सुरमिश्रित गरल सी नफ़रत जो उठती है मुहब्बत भरे सीने में
मुझ ही को गुनाहों का फ़रिश्ता समझ लेता है

और जब वहम ख़त्म हो जाते है

आकर शुक्रिया अदा करता है

In roman script

Wo shukriya kahta gaya, rkeeb kahta tha jo mujhko kabhi,
main hansta gaya uski khushfhmiyon par

nadaan wo samajhta nahin, marz na main tha, na main hun
gungan karta hai jiska wo shama shaa teer hai
behisaabi se katl karti hai, ilzaam fir chahe kiske sar ho,

kahti hai "main hi to roshan hun,
main jalti hun, taaki mere noor mein tum, pal bhar ya barson
mohabbat mein fanaa hone ki khawaaish pao
parwana bhasam hota hai, kab kahne se mere mit-taa hai
mujhpar na yun hi ilzaam-e-galat lagao"

yah sunta aaya hun main, par wo kahan samajhtaa hai
ikaras sa aaftaab ke nikat udta hai
aur jalne ke liye bahana rakeeb ka mujhko bana
suramishrit gar l si nafrat jo uthti hai muhabbat bhare seene mein
mujh hi ko gunahon ka farishta samajh leta hai,

aur jab vah m khatm ho jaate hai
aakar shukriya adaa karta hai.

Translation (I have killed an ordinary poem, by a hasty translation - Its meant for people who cannot understand Hindi/Urdu as it is):

He left after thanking me -
competition who used to consider me,
I kept grinning at his misconceptions.

He's naive, doesn't see,
I never ailed him, never will.
' Tis the candlelight he adulates
thats duplicitous -
She counts not, just kills,
and cares not, who's blamed.

Says, "I am the luminous,
I burn to dazzle with my halo.
For an instant or years, pine
for my love, ache to die for my love

the moth turns to ash,
but does he at my bidding?
Why accuse me -
with crimes I ain't committing?"

I have been hearing all this,
but does or can he ever comprehend?
Like Icarus, he flies too close to sun
and for his burns he blames his competition, (me!),
like (Hindus say) poison in mingled with nectar,
in his heart, the love is interwoven with hate,
ah! his heart, in its hate
pursues me as the demigod of crimes

and once his qualms are quelled
he comes and thanks me.

(Inspired by The Idiot by Dostovesky)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kalpit: A Love Story

It is a simple love story. Kalpit fell head over heels for Kavita. Or to put it without the cliché, I pushed him into a highly crowded DTC bus and he fell as he was scrambling to get in. He found his nose on her toes with florescent green nail polish on them. The world stopped for an eternity for him and unfortunately for me. For me as Kalpit was delaying my entry into the bus, while I was being squeezed by smelly, disgustingly sweaty bodies from all angles. For him as he was, according to what he told me later, "looking at the most beautiful toes, toes that were carved out of the extremely agile fingers of Kaamadev; carved to a beauty which could have driven Shakespeare to suicide - for after failing to capture their beauty in his poetry, he would have failed at paintings and sculpture too."

Kalpit said the toes with florescent nails appeared out of nowhere in his life and shattered all that had mattered to him before that instant. In one moment, his existence was transformed from a featureless, trite daily affair to the saga that will inspire poets and writers like me to write stuff that would in next century be hailed among the best novel selection of Modern library.

He swore that the toes impressed him not only with the natural beauty they possessed, for the beauty you are born with is after all just a gift, many have it but lose it to time and carelessness (like intellect, which I told him, he had lost), he said, the toes were painted with the extraordinary care, craft and creativity that Van Gogh and other impressionists never knew, that the great masters during Renaissance only aspired for. He said the brush strokes were remarkable in both form and ingenuity. They were bold expressions of an internal harmony, that must have burst from her lips as well her finger tips, and in the crescendo of her mellifluous song, each layer seemed to have fused effortlessly with the next stroke from those soft, sensuous hands.

I reminded him that he was still describing what he experienced as he looked at her toes, which meant he had no means of knowing if she even had hands to do the artwork, or better still wipe her ass.

His face changed expression momentarily, but he flushed out all the disgust over my remark and had continued his monologue. "Vivek, you must understand, that what I am telling you is important. For all you know, this might be the story you will use to compete with the romances of Jane Austen, as for all you know she might be the Elizabeth for me."

I wanted to say that if she was Elizabeth, he was no Mr. Darcy, which maybe I was, and since this led to a naughty smile on my face, he mistook it for my taking his remark seriously and continued.

"You see," he spoke in his deep nasal baritone, "You see, the choice of color itself is remarkable; green is the color of freshness, of joy. Florescence shows a brilliance, a glimmer of hope. It lends an aura to the ten different masterpieces, so similar from distance, but each different, complex, intricate in design. Ten masterpieces created by an artist blissfully ignorant of her talents! It will be a shame that these would be lost forever as there is nothing and noone to capture their beauty."

My mind was now wandering on endless tangents. Ideas propped up like blisters on a burnt hand. I wondered if one could tear off nails and preserve them forever, or if Michael Angelo had ever painted his nails too. If so, with what color and using what pattern. If he did, was he approached by gay men?

But I simply said to him, "Green is a mundane color my friend, as much the color of weed as of greed."

He just shook his head and remarked that I was obsessed with an inartistic view of the world, and pronounced that I needed a girl in my life. "A girl in your life gives you colored glasses, everything turns into shades of red, violet, pink and blue, and in the celebration of colors, you rejoice like a drunken bumble bee does in a garden in full bloom."

I chuckled at the thought, remarked he missed out on the green glasses, and observed that a girl in life is a grief, and once she leaves you, takes off with your colored glasses, life becomes black and white again. The world become the colorless fall forest where an owl hoots on every branch.

After spending that extra few seconds of eternity at her feet, Kalpit rose, fumbled with his sorry, heard Kavita murmur “its ok” as she writhed her way away from us and got down at the next stop. I think I forgot to mention that Kavita is not her real name. It has not been changed to hide her identity as the smart Alecs would guess. It is just this that we do not know her name. I came up with Kavita because Kalpit’s name begins with K and he shares Ekta Kapoor’s obsession with the words starting with K.

In Bollywood, flashback is always poor on color, it is mostly black and white, sometimes it also has a shade of green or fuzziness about it. In Kalpitwood, the flashback lived a charmed life, and by aging with time in the ferment of his endless obsession, became the memories he lived by.

A few days later we were standing under a tree, sipping tea from the glasses placed in our hands by the seemingly young boy. He was about twelve year old, sat in front of a kerosene stove, with kettle over it, a bucket by the side for washing the glasses, and a box that had tea, sugar and bunch of cookies and pastries that smelt as bad as they tasted. We stood facing the road, and as we chattered we noticed Kavita passed us on a Kinetic Honda, and as she passed she sent out a smile.

Kalpit claims that the smile was a smile of recognition, a smile of affection, and swore that he would wait under the tree everyday. He announced that the tea and the tree had become hallowed forever, and that the boy was the nicest shopkeeper in the whole world and would rise like Ambanis, maybe will become the biggest hotelier of India.

I think she smiled just because as soon as she came into sight, Kalpit was so struck by the moment that he spilled tea over his cream colored khakis and the pale blue shirt. He jumped in both joy and pain, as hot fluid touched his skin. He jumped about like the buffoons do in a crazy mating ritual (I just made that up, but I think he did look like a buffoon. People who watch Discovery channel can enlighten me.)

Kalpit asked the boy if he knew when the girl who just passed on her scooter drove through there, and the boy simply said, “Sahib, this street is full of people, and why must I care or count who goes by and when. If she had come to my shop, I could have known.”

Kalpit blamed lack of education for his lack of this general awareness, decided this one was no Ambani types and was now doubly wounded by her going in and out of his life. Then in his characteristic cheerfulness burst into the song, (Aap yun hi agar humse milte rahe, dekhiye ek din pyar ho jayega.. or) “If you continue to meet me like this, one day you will fall in love”. Practical matters took toll of his plan of standing waiting there.

Life has its own ways of taking care of things. A week later we were dining in Madras Café in Green Park, I was facing towards the street, while Kalpit was busy with a Masala Dosa, had his back towards the door. I saw Kavita enter the café, and with her came Ranjan. Ranjan was Kalpit’s schoolmate, and they both had shared a great friendship till that day.

Ranjan just walked up to us and introduced Kavita as Shashi, the new found love of his life, while old Kavita, new Shashi just fostered a nice smile and seemed to have no recollection of having seen us somewhere.

It was ok to forget me, I was just the narrator, and not the hero of this story, but to ignore Kalpit was unacceptable. His eyes were lowered now, I followed them and saw that the ten masterpieces were still displaying that green florescent nail polish. It had come off at places, her toes seemed no different from human toes (or monkey toes for that matter) and these lay there as also in the eyes of Kalpit remained, the vestiges of beauty they had once carried, ideals they had once inspired.

As we silently sipped our filter coffee, Kalpit remarked, “I read somewhere that you lose your head for ten seconds after every accident, and don’t you think both my meetings with her were accidental?”

I just smiled, thought how poetically an ode, Kavita had turned to the moon, Shashi, and Shashi, this moon, was now disappearing off the horizon of the imagined, Kalpit, and again I was left alone in the company of the imagined.

(Feb 28, 2005;
India Smiles Contest, Sulekha)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Half-happy with India turning into a trillion dollar economy

When half of my nation sleeps
with half-filled bellies, under the half-roofs,
with half-hopes of a mouthful tomorrow,

when half of my nation grows up,
with half-rights to education and employment,
with half-health produces babies and with a half-heart,
chokes herself before the stoves that burn wood,
and cook half-water curries made with half-salt,

when half-length men walk the streets,
half-naked, willing to work for half-wages,
half-grown women slip into beds at half-price,

when half-sane leaders pocket half-funds,
and divide the nation into halves that fight,
(haves and not-haves all half-fooled)
when half-castes organize into brigands,
and seek half-reservation for half-intellect,

when half of the news is of rapes, riots, extortions,
half-nation worries about Naxalists, Maoists, terrorists,
half-resolved cases haunt the courts,
where victims of the crime wait half-lives
for half-compensations,

when half-history is distorted or concocted,
sacrifices of men like Gandhi half-known, half-respected,
when half-heritage is lying like wreckage, and half-religions
have pocketed half-faith and finished the better half,

when half-talented sportsmen cloud TV with ads,
half-naked woman talk of modernism with half-minds,
half-cultured men, hypocrites, type half-lies into their
tax returns, and half-acknowledge their sexual slights,

when half of my nation cannot even read or hear my voice,
and other half will ignore it by their own choice,
and half-close their eyes to see half-blessed dreams
of half-American lives.

11:30 am, June 1, 2007

A kiss, a kiss, a spicy dish

(From the poet of as bizarre verses as Unbearable Lightness, Tutti Frutti, Come lets in Wilderness Meet, Pad Thai Noodles, (and yikes!), comes another poem, this time on kiss, in a form that goes by the name of Triolet. The only variation I have put to it, is end rhyme is not the usual ABaAabAB (A repeats three times, B twice and 'a' and 'b' rhyme with 'A' and 'B'); but it is AA'aaAaaAA'. Since it is for practicing the form, I must have each line in similar meter, and I don't know if I succeeded in that.

A kiss, a kiss, a spicy dish -
homemade serving of Goan fish?
Hidden romance of familiar lips,
a kiss, a kiss, a spicy dish.
Gere to Shetty - the racial mix
unpalatable to desi audiences -
a kiss, a kiss, a spicy dish,
homemade serving of Goan fish.