Thursday, April 16, 2009

Echoes of silence

The melancholy night

Sings a tuneless lullaby,

in cacophony almost.

The madman crosses to the other side,

And whispers grave forebodings

To the dreams of tomorrow.

The man with swaying steps

Lingers for a while, in memory of an unfaithful mistress.

And in the cold, dark crescendo,

She stands forlorn,

Her bright lipstick pouring over

Like red wine from a spout,

While she waits for her man

In tainted solitude.

In the draught of her being that she has poured for him,

Shall she seek the jingle of coins at dawn.

For the life that is this death,

In the echoes of this silence,

Mankind shall rise

Like a phoenix.

With the morning Sun,

As we bow our heads in solemn prayer,

There shall be truth,

And we shall be whole again.


Your melancholy,
My sighs,
Your dreams,
My lies,
Your questions,
My quiet,
Your cosmos,
My riot,
Your life,
My breath,
Your love,
My death,
Your madness,
My method,
Your preoccupations,
My lifeblood,
Your infinite,
My Now,
Your smoke,
My thou,
Your vagaries,
My pretense,
Your faith,
My penance.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The latest chai- time discussion

Maybe it’s law school that did it to me. After all, here you get to know of so many ‘wrongs ‘ in the world around, that the ‘right’ stops making sense after a point. Or maybe I was born with it, an inherent irresponsible part of me I pointedly kept overlooking over the years. But yes, I realize, with a touch of sadness (or bitterness, perhaps?) that all the blood and gore, all the terrorism brouhaha, have left me unmoved at a sentimental level. Impervious to all the bloodshed and tears that have left the country reeling in its wake, I have no feeling, nor much sympathy for those who died. It’s not that I don’t lament ( the fact that I invariably forgot to wear white on 1st December doesn’t count coz only my absentmindedness accounts for that). But at some level, I’ve become numb, my emotional system now exists purely for the purpose of being affected by me, myself and people who I am acquainted with. A handful, almost. But then, isn’t being selfish what this new age world order is all about? Isn’t unbridled capitalism (personified by Donald Trump, United States of America and Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead) the whole point of life today? Why, despite this commonly known and accepted axiomatic truth, do they still expect you to be affected by people you don’t know, have never met and never going to become chummy pals with? And besides, how much of 'bad" stuff can you take, and how "bad" can you keep feeling? I have now got into the practice of digesting every news of atrocity, terrorism or otherwise, with my morning toast, carrying no baggage with me to college. I dutifully stood up in class with the others when it came to observing a moment’s silence for all the who perished in the Mumbai blasts, but my thoughts went in this vein : “ Joy Bhogoban, Joy Bhogoban, Joy Bhogoban.” Don't laugh. No, seriously. This is my standard opening and closing line during prayer, having to choose among the multiple Hindu Gods and Goddesses, I did not want to rouse the ire of any and hence appease them all by addressing my prayers to a common denominator – bhogoban. Had this brainwave way back in early primary school and now it’s become part of a rustic ritual. But lets not digress. Thoughts continued: “I hope the souls of all the departed rest in peace. May their survivors of the Bombay blasts soon find their way back into normalcy. Have I enough balance to wish Happy Birthday to Subarna in Mumbai or should I get a recharge?” That’s just what I mean. The shallow, cold blooded indifference to it all makes me cringe in self loathing. I know one emotion that has come to the surface in the midst of all this, though. It is anger… raw, unadulterated. Anger at a system which acknowledges, mourns, forgets, moves on. But never, never, stands up and fight. Anger at a nation that is always terrorized, and never terrifies. Anger at a society which after being hit by terrorists 12 times in this very year, still needs Mumbai as its wake-up call. Anger at a government to which a nuclear energy deal is usually more important than its country's sovereignty. Anger at a not-so-distant country which clearly hasn't heard the adage "Love thy neighbor." The latest chai-time discussion topic shall soon be replaced by another, at the onset of the finals of Indian Idol 4, or when Amitabh Bacchan goes to Leelavati hospital for the umpteenth time. Until the next time terror strikes. I look on at the candlelight show of empathy, bemused. I know that it stems from a moral duty, an obligation to feel, rather than the actual feeling. I know all we care about is our own thick skins, and wonder if we are next in line.

In the end, I sigh inwardly in relief and am thankful to be living in Calcutta. After all, as everyone knows, an assumption that has so far proved accurate, this is the breathing, breeding space of terrorists and so they wont attack here. And so, my family shall survive. And that is the thing I care most about.

A humble beginning...

“I told you to do this long ago.You never listen to me!” is what Anasua, a best friend, is probably going to say when I tell her I’ve started blogging. To be fair, She has indeed tried her level best for the past two years to entice me into the world of blogging. But my innate laziness is something, despite best efforts, I can’t quite shake off. And it is this laziness, best described by the word ‘lyadh’ in Bangla, coupled with a terror of emerging trends, which blogging was in those days, that prevented me from making my foray into the hallowed virtual reality of the blog world much sooner. I always told Anasua that those who blogged were deeply unsettled, attention-craving ( what else could account for the blog comments that every blogger lives for?), neurotic pseudo-intellectuals. And I wasn’t going to be a psychological case study, thank you very much. Also, technologically challenged as I am, I preferred writing in the traditional way - with pen and paper. I still type about 20 words a minute, and believe me when I say that’s an improvement from last year. But then, as I grew up, (I like to believe I did, even though detractors might scoff) I began to realize that that blogging was about much more than just having a few moments under the limelight. It is also about catharsis, when you sieve through your emotions and get to the real you beneath all the layers. But where it veers from keeping a diary is in the fact that it is also about questioning the accepted norm, standing up for your beliefs and sharing that on a more visible platform. You are more open to criticism too and other people’s opinions now matter making for a more humane outlook. Humane, but not mellow. Over the past few days, I read a few blogs, like an educational tour through a strange, exotic land. Although occasionally venturing into uncharted territory, I kept following the right signs and somehow made my way through. While reading blogs about people I know gave me this inside peek into their minds which gave the curious Jane in me quite a high, I also loved reading some of the blogs of people I was not acquainted with, because it gave me a sense of knowing the unknown, familiarity in anonymity that was like reading a novel.

And I know I want to belong here.