Saturday, December 08, 2012

A place to hide

It had been some time since he had written a word. There was a growing feeling of creative deficiency inside him as life took systematic turns. Society, he thought, had finally purged him off his angst and the nausea attacks, which would only subside once he had written something; had ceased to occur. He did not know if it made him happy or sad. Was writing really important to him? Wasn't it normal for the young to confuse idling with passion, musings with creativity? Age eventually pacifies the deliriums of youth.
"Even if you were in a prison whose walls would shut out from your senses the sounds of the outer world, would you not then still have your childhood, this precious wealth, this treasure house of memories?" He continued reading his favorite book.
Yes, he thought...he still had his childhood. Childhood...when imagination triumphs reason. Curiosity dominates acceptance. Innocence blurs ego.  He lit a cigarette (after a long time) and sat thinking about his childhood. Images conjured in the blue smoke he exhaled.
His home, his room, the Sundays he would spend there, the afternoons when he would hide as the house slumbered.
His favorite hiding place was the Gulmohar tree just outside the boundary of his house. It was a young tree, not old enough to have a graceful circular shape of mature tree but old enough to have blossomed once, in the last season.
He used to climb to the highest part of the tree and sit there as inanimate as an extension of the tree. His limbs sprawled as dangling branches of the tree. He used to stay extremely quiet, not utter a word, sway with the hot wind that rustled through the branches and counted the time before his mother would notice his absence and call for him. Meanwhile, he would remain extremely still and even allow a train of ants to pass through his hands and not flinch an inch.
What if nobody noticed that he was gone? What if nobody found him?  Would his parents file a missing report? He had read story of a cat that climbed up high on a tree but would not come down as it was too scared. The neighborhood had to call a fire brigade to take the cat down. Surely he was not afraid of coming down and obviously a fire brigade would create quite as scene. He always got down sooner or later. He preferred an anti climax for a melodramatic end.
He sometimes, used to carry a book with him on the tree and sitting there with his book he would create a miniature world of his own. He would read his story to the tree and add a few twists of his own to make it more interesting.
He opened his eyes and took another drag. He had not changed much over the years. He was still conjuring a miniature world of his own through the books he had been reading. He was living many lives in this cosmos. But his creativity had no place in reality. Reality as such is too harsh to co-exist with art.
Books were his favorite hiding place these days.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Old friends...

Old friend
remember how we met?
I was going nowhere
and you were going somewhere
but we both smiled to greet
our worn out boots

And we started to talk,
old friend,
about the places we had seen
the people we had met
which roads led to which?
when to turn right
and when to turn left

Old friend
there was so much to talk,
we went for tea and a smoke
shared our anecdotes
and compared our travelogues
but between our tired eyes
old friend,
we both knew
we were just drifters

And we settled on serendipity
rather than destiny
to explain why we should hold hands
and drift together
on this course
old friend

Old friend,
when I was with you,
I was with myself...

Old friend

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tale of the tamarind tree

The tamarind tree
and the old woman, make an
aged couple who look alike,
rough skin, deep roots
thin branches devoid of fruit
with wooden knots and varicosities

In the little shade
the tamarind tree can provide
she knits silently
with her needles and weak eyes,
courses and wales like
the vagaries of life

once even they were children
who played with pebbles
and recited rhymes with
the birds and wind,
they became soulmates
with their first tamarind

and the tamarind tree heard patiently
her infant fantasies
her first love
her first moan
her furtive affairs
no one else could have known

later they discussed
marriages and funerals
and with the little wisdom
that they could gather
they shared the secrets of their
wrinkles together

Now that they are
grumpy and old
the tamarind tree
wishes their story be told
from a flute crafted
of its branch

and their duet when
sung in the evening hour
on the melody of the woodwind
would leave a taste
like their first tamarind
a little sweet, a little sour

Friday, January 27, 2012

a forgetful poet

come back
ink my thoughts
don't disappoint my pen
and the few readers i have,

my words await your texture
my lines forlorn your rhyme
tune my banal words
into a song,

come back
if not for me
then for my musings
for no one likes a bland prose
and worse still,
a forgetful poet
who moved on

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Prelude to a poem

The sky was grey and low. A dullness prevailed over the surroundings. Nothing moved except for the cold wind that scurried across trees to sweep away their dead leaves. Obstinate clouds had successfuly blocked the sun since morning and the sun after his initial attempts to peep out had retired and dimmed.The setting was perfect.It was a beautiful winter afternoon to write grim poems.

He opened a blank leaf of his notebook quickly and sat on his desk. Now it was just a matter of time, a patient wait for that moment of nausea to strike. A convulsion of emotions would stir inside him and in an uncontrolable fit he would vomit lines and spread them out on paper.

But not today, today his gloom desetred him. He could not conjure a single thought of melancholy on this perfect day. Restless, he had tried reading several passages of Master of Petersburg to catalyse his thoughts with grief. No reaction.The fact that his faculty of sadness had failed to utilize this opportune afternoon angered him bitterly. He could no longer be sad at his will.What had robbed him of this ability? What would he write now? It had taken so many great authors to convince him that only a great tragedy could infuse in his words a charm that would have a universal appeal. How could Rilke be wrong? Only after enforcing solitude and pondering over a tragedy would creativity find its roots in soul. Now all those hours of seclusion when he endured boredom seemed to have gone waste.He gave pondering one last try.

He read his previous poems.Since when had his thoughts slipped towards the dark and the gloomy.What had turned him so despondent, when did he convince himself that nothing signified anything.

He was very idealistic in his youth, he remembered. He was determined to display that his mind had a certain precociousness that education could not provide its pupil.With a dismissive air, he hid his hard work. He enjoyed practicing the obscure language of mathematics over white sheets in secret, it looked so systematic, so neat. He remembered his old desk, books piled up, notes tucked one leaf beneath the other.A youth fueled with idealism and discipline

He had also pasted one of his father's poem on the wall. What were the lines...he tried to reconstruct...

You cross your fingers if you want
i am going to sail my boat in the storm

empty lighthouse, fog or mist
i am not afriad of nature's fist
.... or dead albatross
nothing can stop me from faring across

...broken oars or broken mast
like polestar I'll stand steadfast
to catch the wind in my sail
and whistle my way....

You cross your fingers if you want
i am going to sail my boat in the storm

A shame he could not recollect the entire poem, all he remembered now were a few words glittering in green ink and his father's signature beneath.