Friday, 17 December 2010

Short and sweet(?)- #04

Voices from far away,
dormant wishes awaken.
A flame much brighter,
new-born whims grow.
Organized chaos.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Short and sweet(?) - #03

Everything that you believe in
will crash and dissolve one day,
shattering and disappearing
into sweet oblivion.
And from this rubble of nothingness
shall arise your new world,
renewed and brimming with vigor
new life, new breath.
Faith untouched and invigorated,
the umbilical cord that is hope
in place, nourishing and protecting
everything that you believe in.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Morning musings- #01

Feeling ever so isolated
from the rest of the crowd,
she trudges on forward
apprehension and doubt growing inside.

The Inner Voice subdued
but not dead,
shades of gray transform into blue and green
sometimes fiercesome hues of red.

Her hands are tightly clasped
she takes in a deep breath,
and walks up to the girl by the pillar
feeling a complete conversational klutz.

A moment passes,
and then two.
A laugh escapes her lips when she hears
"Oh you are like me,too!"

They share talks and walks
their fears and dreams.
They wonder about the future and what lies ahead
while watching the faraway sun behind the trees.

Sisters by bond beyond blood,
from different mothers.
An understanding so deep,
their friendship has transcended words.

For everything under the skies
she needs to look for no one,
her sister- a call, a letter away-
she no longer feels lonesome.

But life is so full of surprises
some are good and some not,
its endearing quality of leaving one dazed
with things beyond comprehension.

What naivety, to take things for granted
an unauthorized,unlawful liberty.
Human folly and erroneous judgement
never seem to cease with time and experience.

In sudden realization and a moment of truth
the bond lies broken and crushed by time.
All the dreams dissolving into nothingness,
scattered and lost in the sorrowful winds.

Change is the only constant
broken hearts and broken dreams are soon mended.
The hope and longing for a kindred spirit
remain forgotten in the chasms of the heart.

Dormant they are better off
never to be stoked and kindled again.
'tis a dangerous thing
to be so deep and unified in spirit.

But there is a refusal of acceptance
to subdue these very impulses,
try as hard as one may
they throb in silence and await a revival.

I bide my time in silence
watching moments fly in a rush,
people walk in and walk out
some leave footprints behind and some just vanish.

Etched they remain in memories
silent remnants of a wonderful past,
How many more shall come and go, I wonder ,
all this transience magnified and overwhelming.

Still feeling ever so isolated
from the rest of the crowd,
I trudge on forward
feeling oddly at peace and a silent resignation.

The Inner Voice speaks to me
stronger and wiser.
A pervasive light in me, glowing bright
telling me I am not alone after all.

I watch someone approaching me,
a conversational wizard.
"Oh, you are so like me!"
There's more to me than meets the eye.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Short and sweet(?) - #02

I received a mail earlier today and wanted to share a few quotes from it. They are quite well-known, simple truths of life, but to me, they are very beautiful thoughts and deserve to be shared.

I will start with the one I identify with the most.

"A friend is, as it were, a second self."

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old."

"Happiness is an unexpected hug."

"Friends have a way of speaking without words."

"To have joy one must share it."

"Falling in love is easy but staying in love is something very special."

"A hug is the shortest distance between friends."

And my personal favorite-

"Life is full of surprises."

Monday, 9 August 2010

The two way glass

A drive. A really long one.
That was what I was embarking on one night.
I drove on and on till I lost track of where I was. I didn't know where I was headed to, and frankly, I didn't care either.
This was my liberation. At least that was what I would have liked it to be.
The sky was dark. A beautiful pitch black. It made the stars seem like tiny solitaires, gleaming away in serene silence. The moon was peeking out from behind mournful clouds. I had music on, as always. 
Suddenly, everything seemed to disappear in front of my eyes. Before I could realize, the stars and the moon and the clouds- they were all gone. There were no more buildings on the sides. No more people walking the streets. An empty dimly lit stretch greeted me. 
I continued driving, though. I didn't want to stop. The fear of the unknown held no place in thought. 
I seemed to be in a tunnel that seemed to last forever. The car glided along noiselessly. I looked at my sides. There was glass covering the entire tunnel. I saw my reflection looking back at me.
Then that vanished too.
I saw my parents. My mother cooing to me, a bundle in her arms. I noticed the tears glistening in her eyes. 
I saw my father teaching me to walk, his large hand holding on to my tiny fingers gently.
I saw my grandmother telling me stories at night, brushing away strands of hair from my face.
I saw my little brother in the cradle and I saw me kissing him on his forehead.
I saw my first teacher at school handing me out candy for something I had written correctly on the chalkboard.
I saw my first friend waving me goodbye as I left town.
I saw the first glimpse of pain on my face as I lay hurt on the sports field.
I saw the first scar from a sister-brother fight.
I saw the cards that my friends gave for my 11th birthday when I had to leave town again.
I closed my eyes. I didn't think I wanted to see what was going to come after that. But the images wouldn't stop.

I saw my best friend the day we first met.
I saw all the posters I made for the middle school display board.
I saw the report cards handed out for my academic excellence.
I saw the Himalayas again and I saw my mother beckoning to me. She wanted to show me those lovely flowers that bloomed only in the hills.
I saw myself looking at the empty valleys below and wondering what life there would be like.
I saw my mother being taken away on her final journey.
I saw my best friend lose herself to drugs.
I saw all the wonderful people who came to be an important part of my life.
I saw our college, and its lawns and all the coffee and the talks.
I saw the loss of more friends.
I saw the first sign of bonding in my brother's eyes when I left home.
I saw myself..alone.

I stopped the car. 

Ahead of me , the glass on the sides was still showing images. 

I turned the car around and drove away. From everything that was waiting for me.

I was back in my mother's arms, a helpless thing bundled up in blankets.

That's where I wanted to be.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Short and sweet(?) - #01

Sometimes, it is better to let go than hold on.

(Such a cliche but I have a reason for posting this)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Chronicles of a hungry student

I'm so into cooking of late. I search for blogs on cooking. Youtube downloads of Srirangam mamis cooking Pongal and Vatha kozhambu cramp my RealPlayer library. The weekends that I spend at my cousin's are dominated by 'Nigella's feasts'. For someone who used to consider holding so much as a ladle an offense, this is big time transformation.
Like so many other changes happening in my life, this change is also attributed to the fact that I'm staying alone. Away from family. Eight months of survival owe it to curd rice and home made pickles and podis and appalams. Making something for myself to eat was the last thing I wanted to do along with the battle against homesickness. The weekly calls home made things worse. Hearing all my favorite dishes being spelt out as "sadharana samayal inikki" only made the starving demon in me stronger.
Still it was not strong enough for me to feel inspired enough to enter the kitchen. The curd rice saga continued. Monthly trips to Komala Vilas and Murugan Idli shop were meticulously planned. A couple of thayir vadais and a dosai transported me into a state of euphoria. Ashamed as I am to make this comparison, it was my weed.
My friends/ neighbors in my on-campus accommodation had begun full fledged culinary experimentation. Cross breeds of established recipes were unleashed by the day. And their questions of "What did YOU make today?" stopped with time. The answer was only too obvious.
Seeing myself in the mirror one fine day jolted me to my senses. I had reduced to a quarter of what I was in high school and a sickly looking person stared back at me. Enough was enough.
All it took was one long distance phone call two weeks before Diwali.
"Chiti, sambar podi anupungo!"
I can swear I heard jubilatory screams on the other side from my aunts, my grandmom and possibly my little cousins, too.
"Ippovadhu unakku thonithe!"
Erm. Survival of the fittest.
"Enna samaika porai nee?"
Good question.
That's when Srirangam Radhu entered my life.
Seeing her bony hands with throbbing veins in close up, churning out all my favorite dishes on Youtube served as a big time motivation. Oh, and throw in the software professional Iyengar father of two little girls making the most endearing video on how to make vatha kozhambu. Next find, the Eatomaniac blog.
Time to get into action.
My first attempt at keerai kozhambu was a disaster. The tamarind was too much in proportion and the spinach had been boiled to a mush like consistency, which was not of the approved state.
Rage boiled inside me. What does it take to be a good cook??
Involvement. And the love for what you do.
That was my answer.
Pyar se pakao aur anand mein khao.
Akin to the jaadoo ki jhappi this worked wonders for me. The compliments from my roommates was proof enough.
Now I can't resist cooking. What I cook may be simple, but I love what I'm doing. And turns out that makes a world of difference. Not only in cooking but every small thing that we do in our lives.
Maybe I will ask my dad for that really expensive cookbook off the bookshelf for my next birthday.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


So here I am sitting and typing away another post for my blog, which has no followers(Whee!). I'm supposed to be working on my thesis and doing productive stuff that grad students are expected to do. But then I've never been a good student. Superficialities aside, it is the truth. I may pretend to be a sincere, devoted workaholic. All I am in reality is someone who craves to do nothing but sit and stare at the ceiling. I know it is the hardest thing to do but it is easier than putting your brain to work on something that you don't care much about any more.
When I get into a mind freeze(which happens ONLY when I'm working), I let it wander everywhere. What a paradox. Isn't it weird how you think about everything under the sun and still feel like you aren't thinking about anything! I fantasize about writing poetry again, being in absolute solitude, listening to soul lifting music, sometimes a world tour too! And dreaming about things does make me happy. It is probably a small consolation for the emptiness that surrounds me now. It's always great to think, "Well, someday I could be the one skydiving just like HE is now." You get the idea.
When you are alone and you have nothing to do, you also tend to bring out the worse attributes inside you. And then,people see a whole new you. Suddenly, things that seemed like the end of the world dissolve into nothingness. You hear people complaining about say, pathetic morning coffee, or cheating boyfriends, or an overcrowded bus. And it goes six feet over your head. Suddenly, it doesn't matter at all. All the blemishes of reality seem inconsequential. You are so lost in this Utopia you have constructed in your head that everything that is apparently negative is not worth a second thought. You keep telling yourself that all that is real is not going to last. What happens today, is gone with today. Tomorrow, you may be too ill to drink coffee. Your boyfriend might leave you for good. Anything could happen.
Well, I guess I've deviated from my point. come to think of it, I never had a point to begin with. This was another session of mind freeze and my mind went all the way round the Milky Way. Now I'm brought back to reality and all these simulation designs stare back at me. And I realize I've work to get back to. It was nice talking to you all. Wait, there is no one! Anywho, see you around.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Cross-cultural music

Youtube, in my opinion, is one of the most important "inventions" of the century. I cannot imagine my life without this portal now. The affiliation gets stronger by the day. Initially, it did start with the mundane things that anybody does on this site - movie clips, trailers, gossip news, blah blah - the works.
Then one day,I came across this piece by an artiste, Talvin Singh. And that was the day I was introduced to this concept of world music. I have heard a lot of music in international festivals and art celebration gatherings, but never quite comprehended the all-encompassing nature of world music till now. 'Fusion music', as it is called, in layman terms, was never an attraction to me. Most often, these 'fusion music' recos that I received from friends turned out to be jarring remixes of Carnatic classics or Sanskrit shlokas with a generous dose of rap and drumbeats thrown in. Some of them were worth the appreciation. The others were pure junk. And as an ardent lover of music, I couldn't help but feel offended on listening to such "music".
Now I am of the opinion that it is impossible to restrain music within boundaries. The difference arises when we look at two or more genres and then try to bring them together in an unharmonious way. The result is a pain on the auditory senses. Music, in its purity and sanctity, is bliss. A compendium of notes to produce joy. Global music, as I have perceived in the last few days, has transcended established boundaries. It seems hard and even sinful to me to separate the elements as Carnatic or Jazz or Hindustani. The blend is so impeccable and it seems to be a genre in itself- assuming varying dimensions every time I hear something different. I'm not trying to invalidate the established genres. I'm a passionate fan of Carnatic and it'll never leave me. But having listened to some really good music, as collaborative efforts between Indian and International artistes, I only feel proud that our music is going places and its versatility is coming to fore.
To be very honest, I wrote this post after listening to this album by Karsh Kale, an Indian American musician, and Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Pandit. Ravishankar and an extremely talented Sitar player herself. It made me realize that our music is truly beautiful and with the right mix of artisitic sense and creativity, it surpasses itself beyond compare.

Monday, 29 March 2010

To write,or not write

I'm suffering from this common ailment which apparently has no cure. It is called 'the writer's block'.

Now I don't fancy myself as a hot shot writer with a lot of credit behind me, but it has been hurting for quite some time. I,kind of,like to think of myself as an amateur when it comes to writing. Because it has always been my passion and something really close to me. Sure, it was just a bundle of poems(that usually had rhyming verse) and a few short stories(which didn't quite make it to the benchmark that one expects from credible writing); nevertheless,writing it was. And it gave some happiness to think that I had written something.

The pleasure of writing, and I mean literally writing on paper, is unparalleled. I AM a tech freak. I do love gadgets and inventions that make life easier. But, if there is one thing that I hate the computer for, it is because it has stolen the art of writing from me. I seem to have lost the touch of putting a pen on paper and letting my thoughts flow. Scratching out sentences and rewriting words, doodling on the corner of the pages, writing private messages and then blackening them so no one can make out what had been written there- small pleasures of life. And when you 'write' on your personal computer, it is never the same thing.

So,last week, I headed to the store and got myself a lovely,spiral bound hardcover notebook and a new pen,with the hope that this would be a meaningful re-entry into my writing journey. And I sat on my bed for a whole hour without coming up with anything substantial to put down. It frustrated me,it annoyed me,it actually dampened my spirit. I was already wallowing in a lot of misery about various things and this just added fuel to the fire. I slammed the notebook shut and slept over it.

The next day,I tried to think of an explanation for my failure to write. The first thing that struck me was my lack of reading. I had lost the habit for about four years during college,and it hit me. I had never realized that I had let go that easy without being aware of it. Reading was something that I had been born with and now I hadn't touched a book in quite a long time. Shame. And then another fact hit me that seemed a bit worrisome. It had been quite some time(again) since I had had proper conversations in English. Lack of reading and loss of communication skills. Perfect timing.

I dug out the Sherlock Holmes I had kept locked in my bag and settled down with it. And woke up two hours later to find that I hadn't gone past three pages. What was wrong with me! Now,it may seem to you that it is not a big deal. So what if I don't read any more or write some crappy eight line poems. It is not as simple as that,my friend. Considering that once upon a time I used to buy five books a month and borrow books for hundred bucks from the library, it wasn't easy for me to take.

The new notebook plan wasn't working and it ended up becoming my personal diary. Sure, I write a lot in it and my language seems pretty good when putting down my grievances and my grudges. Maybe someday I will publish it as the least selling autobiography ever. But, when I consciously sit to write something meaningful,words fail me. There seems nothing to talk about. Life has been empty the past few months with only music being the reason to go on. And how many posts could I come up with, only on music!

A new blog! I had felt that I had messed up my old blog with many similar-sounding posts,with the singular vein of nostalgia running through them. For me,escaping the past is starting over new. And this blog,here,is new. Today,I've written my first post. Reading this amazes me. It has been so long since I have been able to write more than five sentences. It doesn't matter if it makes no sense. It doesn't matter if my language isn't too flowery and I haven't been able to sound verbose. Putting something down, even if it has involved the electronic media, has been the biggest joy I've had in the last few days. And I hope to be able to come up with something better as the days go by.