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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.