Saturday, August 30, 2008

Footprints on my shirt

Footprints on my shirt
Shoe size number 2
It s clean
You haven’t walked yet
You haven’t talked yet
What is this strange song
You sing to no one and to all

You are small.
With tiny feet
But my shoes will fit you
All you have to do
Don’t grow up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The convenience of the unclear

I have short sight. Hence there was a point while growing up when I thought , what I saw was how everything actually existed. Hazy, blurred, distant and harmless. Too bad that reality strikes, you are given spectacles, and forced to see harsh lines, clear boundaries and piercing views.
Being an architecture student, when a design is in its process I realize that it is the most beautiful and the most potent ,when the lines are still not clear and when one is at a point where we play hide and seek with glimpses of ‘what will be’ in the ‘what is’ .This then generally drags forward into the realization of the design where the ‘what will be’ starts fading out before the ‘what is’. That I feel is the dead end!
Van Gogh s skies are an infinity of a collective haze. A homogenous haze constituting a myriad of tiny clear and real brush strokes. It seems as though the strokes exude a force that gel into the canvas , wholly yet fragmented. This smudging of life , this unclearness of the seen can take one on fantastic tangents.
An alaap can very beautifully mould the words or the bol around it and within it so that what we hear is not words in notes. We hear unchained melody . I have a personal favourite tape of Veena Sahasrabudhe s Bhopal todi raag sung in concert in London. It melts so beautifully with the morning , waking you up gently from the confusion of your dreamy slumber as it progresses from a warm vagueness into the freshness of the day..
A cynic may call it the convenience of the unclear. I have no argument against it. But then I revel in this convenience; To take off the glasses and see the world as a blur of visions , as a painting, fueled by a palette of sounds!


The bus moans and reluctantly halts. Warm with the breath of its seething crowd , I board.
It is my routine on a normal college going day.

Inside the bus , the man woman barrier has some how meandered . Through the sticky fabrics , I ooze through . My temporary destination – that seat right behind the driver and that relief of a rod to rest my head on so I can see the full road ahead.

Too bad that seat is occupied . A boy and a lady. But I still have my road ahead : much preferred to oily hair braids or high decibel gossip.

Two stops further a seat beckons. The lady has boarded off. The boy has not. Puzzled I sit beside the boy who looks out of the window.

Now my eyes see. See a dark boy of six or seven or eight in orange shirt and orange shorts. A set of black stripes and peeling fabric. He is so small and so morphed that he cannot reach the back rest of the seat. It seems like a disproportionate task to balance as his head droops against the glass and legs dangle from the seat. His eyes are fighting a struggle – a losing battle with his eyelids. When at last the battle is lost he turns around and startles me. With his back resting against the window sill and legs tucked up he glances once at me and unphased droops back into a drugged reverie. My sluggish smile meets his closed eyes.

In his sleep he nudges me with his hand : just once seems enough as I shift at his command. As his legs stretch themselves – I see a gaping septic wound on his knee. His limbs are rusty with dust and gashed. Hands clutch nothing but a tiny bundled yellow plastic bag with some clothes in .

“So much sleep that it seems drug induced ?”
“Mustn’t have slept last night.”
“Who has bought his ticket? Why does not the conductor ask ?”
“ Hmmm ….”
“ And that awful gaping wound ”

------ no answer strikes me.
I question and I answer and I stop at a dead end.

His utterly helpless head bobs to and fro : mouth agape as his dreams feed him. The wound shows no sign of healing or medication. Festering and septic it eludes me.

“Has he been beaten ? Could it be just a normal bruise he got while playing ?”
“ A runaway child working in the outskirts? “
“ A child going to his mother, labouring at some quarry ?”

The lady in front gives me that incredulous flat smile that I can never return. The middle aged woman beside her is hardly aware of her fellow travelers and is buried in her newspaper. I wish I could be her but the sight beside me is too much to take.
One tiny weakling drowning in sleep travels all alone to a destination unknown as women all around -college going, office going, home bound and unbound , merely stand and suffer the intensity of the boy’s sound sleep.
There are some fifty odd mothers born for him on that 9 am bus on that Thursday . I feel the responsibility too. As each bus-stop renews its set of ‘mothers’ and ‘sisters’ , I wonder if I will get down at his destination or mine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Concrete cries..

The first step into the newly paved street assures of a firmness of the masses. There exists a fine line between the event of being and the event of the transcending. We live like we are meant to. Do we question what causes our being here at this place ad time to be of so much importance. Is it so important at all that the definition of existence should be pivoted around me or you or for that matter any body at all.
Where were we when time paused once to take note of its trail of aspiring catchers, expiring aspires and exasperated non catchers. Time catchers in a constant race to overtake. To win to lose to want to win but always in the league of those considered.
Considered to be present absent or expected for some special time and appointment.
What if you dissolve yourself into the crowd and become everyone yet not one. With heartbeats of the whole breed instructing the remixed music of the mind.
Hands , fingers and feet clicking to an unsung rhythm of the concrete jungle like the graphic equalizer of an ever changing countdown. Counting down to the first one from the last millionth. The first one to go to school, the first one to ride a bullet, the first one t scream at the minaret , the first one to drop out of std 5, the first one to stand in line for water , the first one to walk out of her marriage ,the first one to beat and cry .. cry .. cry is what the grey walls do, cry is what the dolls within do .The grey mist reddens sore eyes of the spurned lover and the sea thirsts for the salt of warm tears. Drops of vanity flood the deep rooted hate-city lying underneath the teeming bustle of the happy-city.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


There is the Act of growing up that we all are aspiring to learn. To get interested in ways of life and to get disinterested in many others. We develop likings . acceptable. But we develop even more ‘dislikes’. Do we know enough, to know that some things , rather, many things should not be liked by us? I do not know any thing at all. Hence I cannot decide why I cant like something. When did our minds start conniving on planned territorial maps? Today there is the young college goer who reads the “money matters” page in the newspaper and discards the rest as if undeserving of print status.
How one transforms from an innocent face to a triple chinned mannequin has a direct link with the time graph of mental regress.
I am assuming we shall have to therefore , maintain , the valves of our mind, to keep them free and functioning . they get clogged somewhere down the lane . I guess we ll need to oil them back to working state. To be rude is a basic case of a one way valve in the mind which sadly cannot budge from its habit. Just oil it and you may possibly realize the flip side has you stamped bang on it! Valvular freedom -the circulation of the mind. Seems to be a nice concept . Help me out . Have you seen the mind?