Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blast from the past

Drifting away into never never land right after lunch while Geography ma'am would drone about crops grown in various continents. Snatching a bite from your classmates lunch box, especially when seated at the famed back benches. Passing chits around the classroom. Memories of many more such school time mischiefs bring a smile on our faces. However, what really made me smile today was the memory of a poem we learnt at school. Little did I think that remembering something I studied at school would give me such pleasure... Here is what brought the smile...

“Nav Kiran ka Raath saja hai
Kali kusum se path saja hai
Badalon se aanucharon ne,swarn ki poosak dhari
Aa rahi Ravi ki sawari

Vihag bandi aur charan
Ga rahe kirti gayan
Chood kar maidan bhagi, Tarkoon ki fauj saari
Aa rahi Ravi ki sawari

Chahata uchloon vijay kah
Par thithakta dekh kar yeh
Raat ka raja khada hai, rah par ban kar bhikhari
Aa rahi Ravi ki sawari”

What a wonderful poem by Sri Harivansh Rai Bachchan ji. I've always been inspired by his writing- extremely empowering, profoundly deep thoughts, fantastic language, brilliant meter and rhythm. :)

While I relive in the memories of this poem and many more... you feast your literary senses :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tera Main...

Bangalore in the month of May, over a decade ago. A cobbled winding pathway guarded by lush green trees in full bloom. The silver of the moonlight meandering and finding it's way through the thick canopy. A cool breeze bringing with it the smell of damp soil. About 50 people dressed in crisp whites standing on either side of the pathway holding candles. A sense of anticipation, peace, excitement and joy in the air. A smile on every face and a song on each lip. Even as my eyes feasted on this sight (something that even personalized private paid holidays cant always create) I saw a petite figure in flowing white robes glide along the path, we were standing. There was a smile for everyone, a pat, some flowers and love that was freely oozing for all to soak into. The whole event lasted no more than 2 minutes, but left a lasting and deep impression in my heart.

The silence of the night was quickly broken as the group jolted to follow the man in white flowing robes, with a twinkle in his eyes and smile on his lips... I was in all senses an outsider (it was my first time at that place and with these people in white) but something inside me propelled me to join the group into the hall. It was the first time that I had stumbled across the phenomenon known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and little did I know that I was soon to be swept off my feet straight into a whirlwind of knowledge, love and life.

Read the rest of my post on The South Reports. Await your comments and views :) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Played out Live

(This is my first attempt at short story writing... wrote this a while ago but posted it only now. Would love to hear from you about this attempt)

She was wailing outside; she and the rest of the women in the neighborhood. He heard the cameras flash- the 3rd time in 3 months. He was sick of it. He had participated in the drama playing out on Television sets twice before- hoping that someone would hear. He had enough of this. He would not go out. He wasn’t the only one, those news hounds would find many like him in the neighborhood. Yet they kept coming back to him- he was the only English speaking person in the village. They needed him.

The wounds were still fresh. Tears would well up naturally. But his grief was his own. He wouldn’t let this become entertainment for others. It was about 5 years ago, yet he remembered it like it was yesterday. He was 15 yr old - his father had taken another wife- his step mother, young and beautiful- less than half his father’s age. Not that the old man was a lecher, but he needed the money- dowry was the only way he could make up for all that he had drowned in illicit liquor desi daru. Habit could be a life taker he realized, when his father couldn’t stay away from alcohol in spite of the young and beautiful wife. Only last month, his father had gone out to have his evening drink- the draught notwithstanding, their little savings were lavishly given away at the local wine shop. He never came back. The next morning, the health officials found out that the liquor was contaminated. 40 men (over half the earning population of the village) had succumbed. Ever since, the media onslaught had only increased.

It had been a month. He had moved on. It wasn’t only about his father’s death. This year, mother earth had been cruel. No rains, no water, only dry barren and parched land; tilled land that couldn’t be sowed. He knocked on every door possible to get some help- some water. If this crop failed, he was doomed. The family was doomed. If they couldn’t repay the landlord, life as they knew it would crumble. He only wished that they women in the neighborhood used their endless tears to water the fields instead of entertain the camera. But he knew better.

He beat his hands against the faded blue wall of the only bedroom in their home. Then, almost as a revelation, he knew what he needed to do to stop the impending disaster. He knew this plan wouldn’t fail. The media would get their meat. His family would get the money. His sister could get married and not be ravaged. All would be right. With a smile, almost of relief, he opened the door and walked past the media and the chest beating women. He walked into the empty granary. 2 hours later when he didn’t walk out, the women went to check on him and found him lying on the floor, convulsed in pain. He knew he didn’t have time. Consuming the pesticide was fatal. He knew that the consequence of this last action would bring relief and solace to his family- he smiled and whispered in a raspy voice “farmer suicide…. Draught…. government… Compen…ssaaaaa….tion.” Then, with a gasp that betrayed the trauma and distress he had been through he lay peacefully in deaths powerful grasp.