Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Stay

Stop.
Stay.

In this rat race
with this mad rush
Stopping is your act of self-compassion
Staying-in is your loving home all over again.
Sit at home
Write haiku love-poems on paper and make paper-airplanes
Send these planes flying, across tall buildings of a sullen cityscape!

Sit at home
Paint laughter on paper and make paper-boats
Float these boats beside the flower-pots at your balcony!

Stay.
Stop.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Vulnerability ...

Vulnerability is strangely liberating!

Be so vulnerable that
the falling of the flower from its branches makes you sob incoherently!
Be so vulnerable that
the raindrops on your palm make you fall in passionate love!
Be so vulnerable that
the flipflop wings of the butterfly fill your heart with intense joy!
Be so vulnerable that
you don't care to hide how your heart melts with a smile of his
how you remain awake thinking of him
how you seethe in anger at his betrayal
how you forgive him, nevertheless!
Be so vulnerable that
you are not afraid to listen to the whisper of the universe
to create the new you in your imagination
and then again, to lose the creation in your careless whimsicality!

Be vulnerable,
For,
Vulnerability is strangely liberating!



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Home - letter to RuRu

Hi Ruru,

Today I will tell you the story of my home.

Home, for me, was that huge bushy tree standing all alone in that timid field, looking at me, shaking its leaves, welcoming, smiling whenever I would go and stand in my balcony. It kept me company as I sat there staring, writing, reading, sipping coffee, day-dreaming. I tried to google out its name but other than its handsome unruly head, umbrella-like leaves and a thick straight spine I couldn't find anything relevant but then that's my own ignorance about the names of these Indian species. Nevertheless, it remained mine and it remained as my friend, and it remained my home.

On the days it would rain, two small children who kept reminding me of Apu and Durga from Pather Panchali, would take shelter below the tree and then they will start throwing those strange-looking small tamarind like brown fruits to us. Aayu, Neelima and I will be of the same age at that point, busy collecting those fruits and giggling and befriending those children. Someday, when it didn't rain and the heat is mounting on the grey of the field and the tree is stubbornly flaunting its green amongst all those grey, the red-brown greater Coucals couple will keep playing around the babblers and the sparrows will chatter in shrill voice sharing their stories with me. And I would be the happiest soul sharing my space and the same wavelength with the tree.


But like every other good thing as well as a bad thing, this too passed away. One day, quite suddenly, it all ended. The construction on that site started, for another skyrise. Soon, in front of me lay the lonely grey of the field and those broken rocks like a wound that oozed pus. Everyone was gone; the tree, those birds, the Apu-Durga children, all were gone. Aayu left for another country, Neelima for another home. I stayed. trying to collect those broken parts and building the tree in my mind. My home lay in its branches, among the light and shadow mischief of its leaves. Since then I have been wandering to other countries, states, houses, but, till now, I could never build another home!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

poetry ...

When Reading your poems ten different men think that you have written for them, and ten different wives curse you, cooking up a storm in respective homes, you sit back and smile, continuing to weave magic words, stitching a patchwork quilt, wondering how universal the word poetry is!




Monday, February 24, 2020

Letter to RURU - 3

Hey there, RURU,

I am excited to share that I am planning for my solo tours.

I have started taking baby steps towards my plans to travel solo. The reasons why I wish to do so are more than one. May be because that's the way to grow 'icche dana' - wings of wishes and once they are strong I can flap them around soaring high into the sky, feeling the soft cotton cloud in my palm.

I feel, by being alone I can see myself clearly, I can understand myself  better. So far, I am used to think of myself as other people , my relations see me. I  have formed an interpretation of myself based on the perception of my relationships. I get a feeling that I am way beyond that. I am much more than that. Or maybe a lot less than that! And so you see RURU, my solo trip will be a path towards self-discovery :-D

Moreover, I am scared and paranoid about safety. My parents and family have grilled a sense of fear withing me in the name of love and protection. So, now, I believe that by being alone will make me a target, and I am being irresponsible by going out into this big and scary world on my own, and my own inner-voice is holding me back with visions of worst-case scenarios. So it is time that I screw all of that!

Though related to work, but I did visit Hariyana, Uttarpradesh - Panipath, Sonipath, Karnal, Gangoh, alone, in the recent past. And on the contrary to my impression of the area, what I experienced is that nature is beautiful and magnificent there and so are the people, the locals. As I traveled through moss green mango orchards, pale green wheat fields; as the cool breeze of river Yamuna kept tempting me; I listened to the endless anecdotes of the cab driver who let me know about several enticing local cultural experiences.

My mini solo travel enabled me strengthen my intuition, my awareness, my mental stability. So, my dear RURU, I am all set for the next and the day is not far when I will be able to liberate myself from all the emotional shackles and be detached in the most beautiful and enchanting sense.




Thursday, February 20, 2020

Betrayal

Betrayal is like the oldest Banyan tree at the corner of the playing-field
its branches droop towards the ground with its own weight

Betrayal is those huge dark paintings on the whitewashed wall of the museum
you leave the hall but they never leave you

Betrayal is Pablo Neruda's saddest lines
you will learn to love again, dilating pupils, learning to hold gaze, but tears will still well-up

Betrayal is like the wound on the beggar's hand
from which hurt drips and it changes color from bright red to white patch, but stays forever

Betrayal is the constant sound of footsteps behind you
you hear them even when you do not look back

Betrayal is like cooked boneless chicken from the roadside tiny stall
you enjoy the soft flesh and muscles in your mouth but fall sick afterwards

Betrayal is a nice boy's interest for watching pornography
you get the momentary high but can't do away with the puckish nausea that stays in your belly button

Betrayal is like first love
rushing, lingering, breathing down, always there to touch, smell, taste, rock like, forever staying in the privacy of the silence.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Letter to RURU - No 2

Dear Ruru,

It was my birthday.


As I crossed and reached the other side of 50 among all the warmth and love and wishes, I become grateful yet contemplative (as always. Even in my childhood days my sister’s school friends used to ask her, to quote them verbatim, why I always wear ‘a gyani buddha’ expression! ). I suffer from a peculiar seasonal sadness that has nothing to do with my real life existence. As I continue to cherish a strange joyous ecstasy with a weird deep rooted melancholia, I begin to wonder about the binaries and paradoxes that I live and think in.

I keep protesting against comments like ‘Girls, you should always walk in groups’ questioning if ‘aklaa chalo re’ is only for boys! But, it is taking me months to make up my mind before I venture out for my solo trips and tours, something that I intend to pursue as I know this will liberate my soul. As I am constantly reaching out to friends, acquaintances (at the risk of being repetitive and hence boring) expecting them to convince me that it’s safe to travel alone, I keep struggling through my fear and paranoia.

Another one is when I take pride in the fact that I am aging gracefully, yet every alternate month I postpone my plan of not using hair-colour to cover up my greys. Also, I just can’t suppress my thrill when people say Gosh, you don’t look your age at all! :-P 

Increasingly, I feel uncomfortable among my age group. Most often I find their way of thinking as odd and weird. I relate to the millenial and the Gen Zee more easily, and comfortably, yet my boomer-self needs a 'print-out' of the flight ticket :-). I guess my religious/spiritual orientation could be a reason behind making me feel out-of-place most of the time. Despite being a happy Hindu, most often I get bored with rituals. My most favorite people and pillars of strength have been Nilima Khatun, Yusuf, Aayub, and Yasmin. I have enjoyed Eid along with them to my heart’s content and allowed them to touch me ‘thakurer ashon’ (the tiny temple at home) without batting an eyelid. And I have continued to be extremely uneasy among people who squirmed at the prospect of anyone from other caste or other religion touching our God. And I do not know whether I am right or wrong but I have no intention to change even a minute bit.

Again, usually, I am the most practical one around but it takes just one bout of rainfall or a whiff of petrichor to transform me into Alice in the true sense of the character.

As I continue to remain grateful to all who like me, love me, accept me despite my odd paradoxes; as I continue to nurture an exuberant, sensuous 25 year old mind within a not-so-young body; I keep living life, happily, among my paradoxes, (though It may be a headache for those who are close to me).  I am in no hurry to bridge those differences or gaps. I have learnt to trust them, to allow them to do their quiet, subterranean work. Meanwhile my pursuit to evolve and grow as a human being continues…