Search This Blog


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Rice Kettle

For a moment I was selfish;
(We all are, at our own conveniences)
Now I'm back again
To share my world with you and the universe.
I'm not saying I'm not clueless anymore;
I'm not saying I'm wise, it's far from that.
I can't make promises,
I can't look you in the eye,
But one blind spot can now see
And you'll know I've learnt something
Something ineffable, something transcendent,
And it boils my heart to compare
What could have been to what is...

They are alright in the beginning,
the rice at the bottom, the water on top,
and filling the spaces in between.
Then they feel the heat, and they wince a bit
trying to comprehend the change
then they become a little more frantic,
they call their oracles, pray to their gods,
look for omen and blame each other.
In a while there are talks of a revolution,
as the entire body of the community
starts feeling the tremors
the dance in unison,
the waltz that becomes the salsa
and then the wild aboriginal tribal dance
and then finally the bacchanalia -
drunk with the heat, mad in the head,
metamorhosing in the very being,
as they soften and weaken against the heat.
It goes on forever, I think,
in the cosmic cycle of things
at varying frequencies.
The Tenor breaks someone's heart
while the Soprano pierces another's.

But then the particles of choices slow down
every time I turn off the kettle
and turn and turn twice more
before they settle down,
slowly ceasing their maddening dance,
cursing, proclaiming their return
Waiting with bated breath,
for a rebirth, the destined moment,
beyond which even Zeus cowers
with his tail between his legs
like the poor mongrel at any roadside dhabha,
waiting for the next bone to come its way,
for fortune to fill its sails with wind again,
for the carousel to complete a circle,
so they can get on to it again
reminding me of my vulnerability,
my vanities and my pride;
crushing them, but not without a fight.
There rages a war, and I am the battlefield.
It doesn't matter who wins or loses -
the blood is on me, it fills my veins, and then it overflows,
maybe I added too much water to the rice.

I wander off in another direction
(as the water overflows till enough remains)
where walls of Troy have fallen, or were never built
where Helen stayed where she should have
where Eve never bit the darned apple;
where people would sit and stare
at the beauty of the moon,
rather than trying to reach it,
mincing their lives making buildings
and guns to kill each other or themselves;
swearing, shoving, extorting
climbing back onto the carousel,
taking a full circle, as the kettle boils,
doing all they can
before the thermostat turns the kettle off
and there will be no more bubbling,
no more overflowing with froth and venom,
poisoning the walls and the very earth it came from
till all is quiet,
the storm quietened with one command!
the form changed along with the being.
I am not who I used to be
I have been in the kettle.


flip flap flap flap
went the lobsters' intestines
or whatever it is they were
waiting to be cooked
or eaten, one of the two...
they marched in tandem
there were three of them
yin on the table
yang by her side
lying, waitng to be eaten,
waiting to serve their purpose on earth,
their love, their career, their ambition
all roled into one plate
of delicious, appetizing curry
eager to go into a welcoming stomach
eager to turn into pulp,
give out some energy
and a whole lot of dump
eager to complete the cirle of life
where man rests at the pinnacle
believing in his right to eat, to destroy
everything else around him
that he possibly can
at least kill them when you catch them!
those meaningless masses of flesh
born to please your tongue
born to whet your appetite
flip flap flip flap
they wait to be devoured
on a plate in the market
far away from their homes
far away from their families,
their childhood dreams
their freedom
the fun and frolic
into the net
into the boat
into the bag
into the tub
into the pot
into the plate
still alive and kicking
flip flap flip flap
just eat the damned lobster!
and let it die in peace...

Aphrodite at the Bar

What could I have wanted more
at that moment,
than a dance with you in my arms,
with your breath steaming up my cheek,
your fragrance doing things to my brain
the orange blossom does to the bee
the buzz in my head
the way you played along in harmony
our swords crossed...
we were both armoured
I perhaps a trifle less than you.
You hid your weapons
in the most unlikely places I presume,
for I had the usual spots covered
and yet you had me wounded;
for I think of you long after you're gone.
Was it your poise,
or the way you turned your head,
the smoothness of your neck,
the sureness of your shoulders,
the calmness in your eyes,
or was it sorrow, or desire?
maybe the way you wore your dress
I dont remember the colour -
blue, grey or black?
I might return, I might find out...
might - such a wretched word - heathen!
and well, if I dont,
I wish thee well
and may you be forever accompanied by your
elegance, your charisma, your charm - your armoury.
for somethings are better left unexplored -
more magestic in their mystery,
ravelled like the corners of the universe.
I will remember you like we remember
thaose gentle whiffs from our childhood
that leave a permanent mark on our psyche;
that aroma down that desolate street,
that song on the radio,
that comfort, that warmth,
That were to never become a part of reality;
forever surreal, forever gone,
like that moment when I met you...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Across the bridge

drained and twisted
a question mark of a body lies
rolled into a ball of indecision,
while a shell-shocked consciousness
awakens to the world
wondering how you got here
trying to find a road back -
you walk amidst the alien signs,
hitch a ride;
anxious moments and disgusting monuments
of memories whiz by,
the gates part as you grope
fervidly for Pandora's backside
in a sickly fervour brought about
as if by fate
a final sense of loss
of an irreversible metamorphosis
of the rajah felled by a brainless pawn
of Adam, smitten by an apple
and bitten by a snake,
watching his favourite tune
spiral down the drain
as the lyrics turn hazy,
and the crotchets and quavers
melt down his staff
like mozzarella down a skewered steak
The pink walls - not so pink anymore,
but a certain disgusting black -
charred with mascara and eye-shadow
the welcoming warmth,
the luring sheen of the bright lights,
vanished like vapour on a hot summer morn
the hazy daze lifted at the end of a play -
a new beginning
as branches that sprawled mystically overhead
fall like logs of a tyrant reality
whipping you with seaweeds of remorse
You lie awake in constant dread
as you do the balancing act
in your head
while the moral universe moves a leg,
and sleeps in a new position.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Gold Rush!

Dulbhul Singh was found dead in the bathroom one fine morning. The cause of death had been determined to be excessive intake of calorie rich food. Dulbhul Singh was just like every other hardworking, competitive, corporate man. Right since childhood, he had been told that the key to success was hard work and dedication, and that true happiness can be found only by means of wealth. Despite his greatest efforts, he had never managed to top his class as a kid, right throughout school and through college. He never did badly, but there were, somehow, always a handful of people who always did better than him. In this futile race of life, he spent so much time trying to beat the competition, that by the time he was 28, he could barely remember the last time he had stopped to take a breath and smile, breathe, relax and actually enjoy life.

"To hell with it!", he thought to himself... there is always time to enjoy life once you retire, that is what all the ads these days are about. Dulbhul was still struggling with his life. Although he had a good job in hand, everything that most people his age were still trying to achieve, he, like everyone else around him, wanted 'more' - of what? he never knew, but he wanted more for sure. So one day, he took a break from the usual meetings, project reports, updates, training sessions, MRMs, WRMs, MBRs, and all the other acronyms that had woven themselves into his psyche. He took a pit stop in the perpetual race he was running up the corporate ladder. He had been running after promotions, incentives, perks, revenue, growth, benefits, etc. for the last 5 years, but had still not found what he was looking for. No matter how much money he earned, he always seemed to want more. "I am still young, and still have enough ambition left in me to not want to stop", he said.

So, upon that fine day - a warm day in February right at the onset of spring, while the birds chirped in the trees and the children played in the gullies, Dulbhul sat in his 11 by 11 one room apartment, busy chalking out new ways to earn that elusive satisfaction. He had alays planned several investments - the stock market, real estate, mutual funds, insurance - everything under the sun, but today,as if that were not scope enough, he 'went the extra mile' - beyond the sun, to the stars and astrologers. Of course he lit his usual candles and broke his usual coconuts in front of his usual deities, nailed carefully upon the wall, surrounded by incense sticks and garlands of jasmine and marigold, but he also particularly appealed to each one of them individually to give him more money in this world.

While he did that, several light years away, the Gods decided to grant him his wish. They decided to give him gold coins everyday - several of them, and the quantity would actually depend on him. What they did was that they blessed him with the ability to convert food into gold, just that it had to come out the way food usually comes out once digested... yes, he started shitting Gold. Despite the excruciating pain of metal coins sliding down your anus, that is needless to mention, and the prospect of earning your bread from what used to be a waste disposal utility, Dulbhul was elated! He jumped for joy when he first felt painful yellow substance slide out his arse. "I am rich!", he yelled out. He soon started getting all the things he wanted - clothes, accessories, women, cars, land, houses, hotels - his riches knew no bounds - and if he wanted more money, all he needed to do was eat more calorie-rich food.

This kept going on till, one day, Dulbhul decided that he would be truly content only when he had produced enough money to buy the whole world. He started eating day in and day out, he spent all his money in purchasing hig calorie food, fat burners, laxatives and anti-septic cream for internal organs. As he started churning more and more gold, he realised that at this rate, he may actually be able to buy the world in just a few years. He accelerated his efforts by using all the theories of motivation he had learnt about in the dev. training sessions early in his career. He began taking anaesthetic pills and injections, so he could not feel his intestines about to explode, and had all his food brought to his custom-made toilet outlined with gold, so that he could produce the maximum amount of gold with a minimum investment of time, effort and resources He even hired six sigma experts from all around the world to do the calculations for him. The day had come when there was just one day left, according to the calculations, for him to have enough oney to buy the whole world - what he would do with it once he bought it, he had no clue. It was a day before his 42nd birthday.

As he lay in wait for the final few pieces of gold, he could wait no lnger for one more day He decided to take an extra dose of anaesthetics, laxatives and anti septic cream for inner organs, and gobbled up the food that was stocked up for the final day. As he sat on his cutom designed 24 carat gold pot seat, waiting for the final 42 coins of gold that would enable him to buy th world, his entire life flashed in front of him - the early days of carefree chldhood, the first inquisitive days at school, the numerous innocent crushes and the careless masti that used to be an integral part of life, the high school certification, the college campus fun, graduation, the joy of his first paycheck, the first girlfriend, the first kiss, the skipped heartbeats, those dazed, dreamy eyes - 22 more coins to go - the first betrayal, the first lesson learnt the hard way, the first promotion, the first car, the first house, the first step taken in the race for gold - 11 pieces left - the time he couldn't handle 'mediocrity' any more, the time he discovered his 'true need for wealth', the time he 'found his blessings' - 5 pieces left - the high-calorie diet, hi endless cellar full of defecated gold coins, empty cans of laxative, tubes of anti septic cream for internal organs - one coin left - the unbearable pain, the unparalleled anxiety, the purposelessness of purpose, the needlessnes of need, the uselessnes of use, the blood spurting out from all orifices, the knees too weak to carry his weight, the heart too weak to make the next beat, the mind unable to distinguish relaity - the last coin - stuck exactly halfway out, he would have yanked it out if he could have, but that is how thay found his body... 42 year old Dulbhul Singh; cause of death - excessive intake of calorie rich food...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ode to a Cigarette

Oh slender redhead
How you burn yourself away
In your own passionate blaze
And yet burn those that burn you
With a gentle intoxicating kiss
Hour by hour, day after day
As the years pass by
Slowly filling their chambers
With your adhesive, charring embrace
How you enchant everyone
Men and women alike
With your chemical fragrance
Slow death wrapped inside a pearly white frame
You work your trap like celluloid dreams
Luring the clever, the unsuspecting and the adventurous alike
How for a few seconds in your trance
They trade their peace of mind, their life
Oh how you make them dance to your tune
To pine for you in your absence
And upon your arrival, to plant their thirsty kisses
On your firm, well-formed behind
How you make them hate you for everything you are
And yet long for you like they have never longed before
Oh red haired mistress
Burn, burn away!