Friday, 30 April 2010

moving on

Constantly away, away, outwardly moving, building up an absurd and impossible identity, often pausing to think who/what one is, until what/who one is slips out of one's grasp, moving out-moving away from the people one claimed one's own...until nothing remains, and the ashes float away, settling in some remote corner of a dusty field, and then coming back for the last drag from somebody else's fag, why does life have to be an endless loop, an endless search for a coherence that does not exist?

Met and befriended four years ago, we bid adieu, to be bid adieu a year later, who/what am I, and who/what are you, perhaps we will spend many more years trying to figure this out, perhaps not, who cares, this is the age of virtual reality, if reality eludes one, one can always try to connect in a way hitherto unheard of, and now is the moment, now is the moment then, to create a reality that does not exist, never has, and perhaps never will.

Because I sat in that corner, was 17 years old, met her/him when he/she was 18-19 and we became friends, the friends of early adulthood, and these are the friends one gradually grows up with, finally to realize that one is young no longer. What reality is this then, a sultry drizzling summer's day, shall I compare him/her to that summer's day, but he/she is going, and I soon too will be gone, perhaps to another summer, perhaps to a better summer, perhaps not. All that will remain, until the final moment of death, is that horrible, familiar process-going, going, gone. And moving on.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

dog's life

There's a dog that lives on my street. It runs away when it sees me and is scared of me and everybody else. It refuses food, I don't know what it eats. I don't know why it is scared. I tried to go up and talk to him today (it's a him) and it was so scared. But the proximity allowed me to make a horrible discovery. Some fucker has tied a string or rope around his lower body and this fucking rope/string bites into its body and drives it mad with irritation and pain. All day long he nibbles at it, trying to get it off his back. He is largely unsuccessful.

If I try to untie it, he will bite me. And the worst part is, he has grown used to that fucking rope. Maybe he will miss it if someone unties it, and nibble at the disfigured flesh and skin instead. That horrifies me most of all- how most creatures get used to their misery until they are unable to conceive an existence without the presence of great physical or spiritual anguish.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The creation of light.


" ....Lives there who loves his pain?
Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,
Though thither doomed?"

Satan, Paradise Lost.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

On reading Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.

When the moonlight becomes unbearable
Dazzling with its uncanny brilliance, this moon
is the moon which torments Pontius Pilate
Who hopes to meet Yeshua soon.

Sometimes when the moon looks at the world just so
You know that Pontius Pilate thinks of Yeshua for
eternity without respite. Night engulfs the earth
and silence is overwhelming, interspersed with mirth.
Satan and his minions enjoy their dominions
And somewhere Death dies, followed by a birth.

Where does goodness lie? Does it lie within?
Is reason no treason and irrationality a sin?
Revolution is just a word. As is imagination.
Born out of necessity, born for the nation.
Nation? asked the Master, what dirty word is that?
I have seen Satan and his servant-jester cat.
Yet they ask for stories and the triumph of good
Life has no moral, why question whether it should?

So many young homeless poets have met
Satan, gone mad, and yet
dream of Pontius in their sedated sleep
Sleep that is disturbed and yet so deep
That in the morning when they awaken
They do not remember, though they are shaken.

Revolution. Where does that happen? Who will
take the burden of it? In the deathly still
Pontius dreams of Yeshua at night
For two thousand years, always out of sight.
Who will take the burden of revolution? He who writes
Can be ensured some peace, despite the disturbed nights.

For every Master has a devoted Margarita, evil witch in disguise
wracked with devotion, a nameless guilt and wretched surprise
Who witnesses havoc and the guilt of sin
Who knows guilt lies wherein?
The price that one has to pay for one's conviction
Can only be paid through some lies called fiction.

**************

Revolution. Is a word. Sometimes it becomes a mere laugh.
At first perhaps soothing and mild.
Then it gains momentum
It becomes wild.
It cares not for any privilege, nor any earthly prize
It has no Margarita in thin and subtle disguise.
This then becomes a real revolution
The positing of a new, not ethical solution.

***************

I promise I shall not write any more poems! cried Ivan Nikaloyevich
I am a bad poet. The Master said, manuscripts don't burn.
In the asylum, the dispossessed poets who have seen Satan
sleep after sedation. Sometimes learn
that at times Margarita returns, Yeshua permits, Satan
escorts one to one's final place of rest
Mastering no art but the heart
For what art can one know best?

****************

Imagination, shrieked Behemoth, the tom cat
who smoked cigars and rode street cars
Imagination helps us transcend
And reach, reach some sort of end.
Or did he not say it at all?
Yet it is true that Pontius dreams
of Yeshua for two thousand years.
Where there is conviction
Where there are tears
And laughter. Where there is death and life.
In short, where there is contradiction
There there is imagination
fantasy, and love.
It is there we build fiction.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Post-Colonial Poetry.

Often I have this great feeling of displacement and dislocation, especially when we do classes on the Augustans. Unlike Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o I have no issues with not being able to relate to Romantic poetry viz, 'Ode to the Nightingale'. I could relate to anyone who feels lazy or indolent. I could relate to this entire hazy rigmarole about truth and beauty, they sound so grand and convincing. "Truth" orre baba...beauty! From a very early age I thought Keats was the cat's whiskers, my grandfather would often (suddenly) quote from Keats and Shelley. For some reason that generation loved the Romantics, but that is another story.

I have written some PoCo poetry. It is neither profound nor brilliant. I hope it captures my angst sufficiently well. I feel terrible when I read Pepys, or Garrick's memoirs or other things of that sort. And when I read about Brummel and the bluestockings and Drury Lane and Sarah Siddons and muslin and....I love it and I can never fully visualize myself in that world. Young women from India who have read Georgette Heyer, unite!

Now for my poetry. Applaud it.

Some Tories wore wigs
Some Whigs wore out Tories
Had I been British
I would have known more such stories.

*sob*

Saturday, 10 April 2010

(a)musing.

Some moments never die, some moments refuse to be recalled, and some moments just are.
I am amazed at how time and again certain moments come back like so and then it was just a few years ago that M got married and then he had a baby and now that baby can speak, recall my name, call me both didiya and doggie. When one sees new life grow up and be capable not only of cognition but recognition that moments become something else.

The ability to realize that one is growing old.

How little one knows about these things. How little I knew you. All we have are moments therefore, moments that fade uneasily. Only on sultry evenings with a slight breeze(like today) I remember(and dismember) many other evenings. Was the breeze same or different? Neither of us care. Who are you but a figment of my nostalgic imagination, sometimes I wistfully and horribly wonder whether you exist at all. What did you think? What do you think? I do not know. And while this hurts me most, while everything hurts me most, I think I have forgotten how to sleep because I am not at rest. This constant state of flux has tired me beyond everything else, I need to get out and go away. I need to breathe in a breeze that is fresh and does not stink of the acrid and bitter smell of memory. I need to make newer moments and realize that I do want to grow old. Like Benjamin Button, I must grow young.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

schooldays

I had a few friends with whom I'd walk to assembly in school. I wasn't really very keen on the Morning Prayers. Two bells would be rung to call the little good girls- the 1st bell and the 2nd with a gap of a few minutes. 2nd bell would mean everyone trying to neatly and hopelessly file into the Big Hall. Mrs. Baruah's bus, on which I travelled from Class VI onwards always managed to reach just a few seconds before the 2nd bell, and everyone would rush out of the bus (I mean matador, calling it a bus is an insult to the very institution of a bus) and rush helter skelter towards the Big Hall. Anyone who is familiar with Loreto House and the two gates would know that the back gate i.e., the entrance from Middleton Street, and the Big Hall is considerable distance apart. Therefore this brisk run was not a pleasant task, not by any means. I would plague my friends, notably Ramona, muchly when we embarked on this brisk run....

for I would never run. It was a matter of principle. I would still trot gently at my own pace and often stare at the sky, or do something meaningless, and scrape through at the end. I would always be the last one to enter the auditorium. Sometimes I would even be barred and made to stand in the "Late Line" but by gad, I'd never run. Some people thought it was because I had a heavy bottom which looked ridiculous when I forced it to accompany me every time I broke into a brisk run. Some thought it was my chest, I would often grasp it and gasp for breath. Some even thought that I was plain lazy. Perhaps, conjectured a few who remembered their Radiant Reader poetry, it was those immortal lines by William Henry Davies- What is this life is full of care, we have no time to etc etc....I am yet to ascertain the true reason why I never cared for any of those goddamned bells. I never managed to get a hymn-book, and always had to sing from memory, and even then my memory sucked. Basically, what I did was-
1. I'd trot, I'd amble, I'd meander, in short I drove Ramona et al crazy.
2.Will you walk a little faster???!!! they would thunder at me. I would then warble in angelic tones Will you walk a little faster? said the whiting to the snail. There's a porpoise close behind us and he's treading on my....*2nd bell*
3. I would grumble and grumble and grumble, until even I was ashamed of myself. Then I would shake my hips-i.e., my buttocks would jiggle, i.e., my bum would move 5 inches behind the rest of my body, i.e, I would run.

I still run, but hey, in my mind!