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Frozen in Time

Cycling across and forth the cemented portico
I vividly recollect
Your skinny moth eaten torso
Knees pressed to the ground
Head hung down in prayer

The reed charpoy and the spotless turban
Ceremoniously accosted you
Every single day
As you read out the verses
In silent communion with the Lord

Perplexed and Bemused
I was blissfully unaware
Of your intent and your prayer,
Of the panache
With which you cosseted
The Immortal Being

As I weathered the ravages of expectations
Your pepper grey hair connoted the same with time
Yet you fervently prayed
At dawn and at dusk
And at odd hours of the day

The red handle of my cycle is bent
My roots have turned into wings
My bags are packed
I look up one last time
And there you are

Looking up to the downcast sky above
Knees pressed to the ground
Head hung down in prayer
Hands cupped and eyes closed

Oh dear Lord
The only constant in my life
Overwhelmed with tears
Of long lost memories
Of happier days
I clench my fingers
And shut my eyes

I pray and pray fervently
May you be seated
Whenever I look obliquely
Towards the terrace spotted with the redness of bricks
When the lid of the jar of my childhood memories conks off

And I shall gaily remember
The sights and sounds
Of the evenings spent cycling
Of the untold stories hidden within you
Of the friendship we shared
In thought and in time

Frozen in time you shall always be
Furlongs away
Yet miles away
So close
And yet so far!

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in My tryst with poetry

 

The cry of a foetus!

Securely I lie huddled in my mother’s womb
Happily I dream
Of the day I will place my tiny feet out
On the face of this earth
Of the verdant green
Of the blazing sun
Of the golden daffodils
Whispering to me

Voices I hear
Shaken I feel
Unspoken words, unfinished tasks
The edge of a steely blade
The rigid contours of the human mind
Scared and Appalled
Is this the world I fathomed?
Is this the world am destined to enter?

Slaughtered and butchered
My tiny face puckers into a coverlet of tears
The innocent me refuses to surrender
To give up
To die
With the last of my effort
I cry out to the unconcerned, cruel world
Let me live
Let me dream
Let me not die

How I wish I were a male
How I wish I could feel the pincers clutching on to my legs
Pulling me out to witness the world of beauty, of glory
Alas! I am a wretched female
A wretched female I wish to be
In my next life
In the nine lives to come

Knives I see
Blades I see
Blood I see
They deem me a stillborn
I deem myself murdered and throttled
I shall come back yet another day
I shall come back through yet another womb

Thou shall see me fight and fight
To make my sex known
To make myself known
To defy all odds
And make you ponder
How I wish I had let her live
How I wish I had let her dream
How I wish I had let her fly

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in My tryst with poetry

 

The ovarian lottery!

I recently came across a blog post which revolved around the thought process of a dreamer…one who is not straitjacketed into one primary goal in life..one who has the hunger to explore different facets which interest and stimulate the mental faculties. I have always belonged to this genre of people. I love getting involved in multiple activities. It stretches to reading as well. At any point in time, I am reading 3-4 books for sure. As much as I try giving my undisturbed attention to a particular task or a book for that matter, when I come across an exciting job to do or a book which makes me want to bring everything around me to a standstill and gobble it down, my will power goes haywire. It gives me some kind of an uncanny kick and more importantly makes me happy.

For the last few weeks, I have been writing a lot…for magazines, newspapers and the first book in the pipeline. The reading has gone up a few notches higher too. The exciting part is, the reading has spread its tentacles into Odia Literature too. Until the past few months, I had an aversion towards reading in Odia. There was no particular reason. Blame it on westernization or on the vehement stress that our society places on usage of English Language. Whatever it might be, it never happened.

The journey begun when I was given the task to write about venerable Odia women. It involved a lot of research into their background and since all of it was written in the regional language, I was almost forced to read it. I found it rather irritating, more so because it took me a while to fathom and figure out the coherency in statements, primarily because of lack of practice over the last few years. In due course however, I started liking it. I also started to understand the truth behind the statement when people say that a translated text loses its charm in more ways than one. At this point, after reading many such autobiographies, I am very open to reading in any regional language that I come across, to taste the freshness of language and of perspective, in a society which was very different from ours.

In fact the excitement reached a crescendo when I figured that I would love to read original works of Tagore, which would mean that I would have to pick up Bengali, right from scratch. I called up a friend of mine in Kolkata and asked him to mail a copy of “Shahoj Path”, penned by Tagore and published by Shantiniketan, for beginners in Bengali. This being a Saturday night, he was almost sloshed and thankfully the network saved me of the string of choicest comments (an euphemism), I would have otherwise received.

I hope the peaks continue. I hope the excitement does not wane. I hope I am well versed with Bengali Literature a few years down the line.

Stringing the post to a new note, I shift to one of the current books I am reading titled “Wise and Otherwise”, by Sudha Murty, the Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. I picked it up after ten minutes of subtle coerciveness by the owner of my favorite book shop, lined on the street, near the railway station, in the capital city of Odissa. I disregarded this lady, not in a very dismissing manner, but for the simple fact that I had the impression that she finds publishers at her doorstep only because she is the better half of an IT icon. After reading the book, I still feel the same, though the respect for her as a person, has increased tremendously. She has picked up 50 everyday occurrences, which salute life; instances which make you stop and ponder about how sensitive or scheming people are. There is a particular part to the book where she talks about recognizing one’s limitations, which touched me. She says that one always starts out with an idealistic perspective that you can change the world. But ideally, one should stress on lighting a single candle as well you can and then move on to lighting as many candles as you can. That might not change the whole world but it certainly changes somebody’s world! How seemingly simple and realistic is the thought behind it!

The book is very lucidly written and makes a decent read. I still think that had she not been associated with Infosys, this book would not have been published. There are scores of bloggers and writers who are much better versed with the language and have a superior might of the elbow.

Ummm…writer’s block! 😀

(An excuse to abruptly shift to another topic 😀 )

I and a couple of friends..we are making a docu-fiction on incest. The last week has been one crazy ride. Visiting film makers, writing and reviewing the script, auditioning for actors and getting the technical part of it in place, meeting tons of possible funding agencies and the like.

An excerpt from a recent conversation with the Senior Security Officer(SSO) at Infosys:

Me: Sir, we want to meet someone from the CSR team. We are making a documentary on incest and would like to talk to them about funding it.

SSO: Hmm…incest!

Me: Yes Sir, its based on male relatives exploiting girls within the family. We want to create awareness about it through a documentary,

SSO: Lemme talk to the HR.

(Wondering what on earth has the HR gotta do with this!)

SSO: Sir, a couple of students have come and are making a film on INSECTS.

Me(Hurriedly Interrupts) : Sir, its INCEST.

SSO: Haan haan.  Sir, its INSECTS. Should I send them over?

(Almost tear my head in frustration)

(Conversation ends. Meeting stalled)

P.S: This post is as randomly connected as it can ever be! Blame the sleeplessness and the blurry eyed, drowsy me…typing out the post, because its been long since I’d updated my blog and also because, Indiblogger will review my site in the next week or so 😀

And why should you read it?

Maybe because I won the ovarian lottery! 🙂

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 27, 2011 in As I see it, Print Speak

 

A baby step in the world of print!

I have always had a thing for writing, particularly the imaginative kind. I did know I would be associated with it at some stage in life but that it would happen so soon, was nothing short of a delight.

The attached image shows the first article that I have had the good fortune of writing for a newspaper. Reading your own piece of work can be cathartic, more so when it is coupled with the idea of your thought reaching out to a hundred other people.

I hope you genuinely like the read and I also hope I continue to be a part of the world of writing in some form or the other, all through my life.

I know this isn’t even close to the Booker 😀 , but I thank Baba for introducing me to the magical world of books at the tender age of 3 and continually feeding me with food for thought through my adolescent years. He is the sole reason for any kind of writing that I would ever produce hereafter.

P.S: As much of humility that I would want to showcase, I’d rather fall for the quest for likes and comments which in this case, will coax a lot more articles out of my being. 🙂

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Print Speak

 

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White

“Show me those”, she pointed out to the white roll of curtains, kept amidst the blue and green ones.

She uncomfortably shifted her weight to her right leg. The middle finger of her left leg was hurting. Her legs felt heavy.

The man in blue, standing diagonally opposite to her, slipped a chair towards her. She kept down the brochures she was clutching on to and sat down with a sigh.

The curtains were perfect. She imagined them on the windows.

The roll of curtains and the metal rings they would embrace, when they would get back home, were securely tucked in, beneath her arms. Her hands on the wheel, she tuned into Carpenters and drove it down to Uncle Shovankars’.

She swerved the car around, placed her Blue Mustang in the parking lot and stepped out.

The sunflowers were beginning to bloom. The yellow in them felt sublime. Her face lit up as she saw the old fellow walking up to her, with a big grin.

“What’s the matter with you, young girl? Why on earth did you drive down?”

“Oh, I just came down to show you the curtains I purchased” , she said. “Do you think he will like it?” , she asked, with a perceptible nervousness and a curbed smile.

“Of course my dear, he will. More so, because the little lady has done it all by herself”.

After a cup of ginger tea and her favorite chocolate chip cookies, she noticed his gout had aggravated. The limp was still very much there. She looked up. She wondered whether it was because the clouds would shower yet again. Aunty’s picture on the wall was as radiant as ever, a garland of freshly strung marigolds hung around it, precariously on two hammered iron nails. One of them seemed slightly bent.

She liked spending time with him. She could discuss the challenges life ahead would pose, given the current state she was in. Thankfully the morning sickness had still not set in. She found a reassuring, albeit older, confidante in him. He respected her courage and not once questioned her about the reasons of her being such.

“Uncle, I will leave now. Please remember to take two of those tablets after dinner. Do talk to the cab driver. I might have to call him soon”.

She reached home. She saw the tell tale signs of the newspaper vendor and the milkman outside her door. Damn, one of them had left his muddy footmarks on the scrubbed floor yet again.

That little room. Her paradise. She lovingly put up the curtains and looked around. Overwhelmingly gratifying.

A scream. She was dizzy. A burning sensation filled her. She desperately rummaged through her bag. It was almost as if a swarm of bees marauded her. Speed Dial.

She opened her eyes. Pleasant white curtains. A hospital tray covered with a green cloth stationed beside her. She was still in a daze. Suddenly, she felt it. The sting. She tried to move her hands. They refused to budge. She tried again. This time she managed to grope down her belly. Yes, she was right. But then, where was he?

She tried to get up. To no avail. She tried to scream. Her mouth went dry.

She desperately wanted a sip of water. The saline dripped momentously and went into her veins.

Uncle Shovankar comes in and his booming voice rings through the room, “My child, you have delivered a bonny baby boy. The tiny bundle is being cleaned up and will be with you in a minute.”

She sighed and wondered what next?

What next?

“I have asked my sister to come down and stay with you. Don’t you worry about anything darling”.

The façade of a composed self spluttered and exploded into a flood of tears. She held her baby tight and sent a note of thanks up to the Lord.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Fiction

 

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Eat Pray Love

“Eat Pray Love” has been one of the most talked about books in the last few years. Authored by Elizabeth Gilbert, it has been turned into one of the biggest block buster feature films of the year 2010, featuring Julia Roberts.

The book describes the journey of a woman who is in search of fulfillment in life. She is a victim to a failed marriage and is torn from within. Though her spirit is marred, she still has the courage to take a spiritual journey to rediscover herself.

Her thoughts on getting out of a rough marriage, alimony included, “It’s the emotional recoil that kills you, the shock of stepping off the track of a conventional lifestyle and losing all the embracing comforts that keep so many people on that track forever”. She writes in a lineal fashion, without including any sort of euphemism whatsoever.

Her writing will appeal to the fairer sex as much as it will to the males of the society. She visits an ashram in India and writes about the process of getting over her inhibitions about meditation. She continually fights the voices in her head that supersede the terrifying calm that eventually takes over, in her initial days. She understands the ethereal façade that exists, regarding the idea of how a soul mate should be.

She writes, “A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too Painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.”

She writes with an uncanny ability to hit the cord where it makes the most sense.

The letters that she writes to God in the city of Rome and the palpable excitement she showcases while tasting the best pizza in the world, the Neapolitan Pizza, is strangely and humanly believable!

The story of her journey, from a jilted woman who has the lost the will to live, to a lady who is one with her soul and life and has found the love of her life, is one every woman will relate to.

Julia Roberts says, “It’s what I’m giving all my girl friends”.

This book is a memoir of a woman who is gutsy, adventurous, cares two hoots about what people feel about her, is true to her instincts, down to the minutest bit and believes in her capabilities as a writer, not shying away from pursuing her calling in life.

I recommend Eat Pray Love as one of the must haves in your bedside bookstand. It is one read which will make you smile and cry and give you those proverbial goose bumps at different points in time.

Note: This is a sample book review I had done for one of the leading media houses in the state of Odisha, “Dharitri” ,for the literary section of their upcoming English daily, “Orissa Post“.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Reviews

 

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Yet another day!

Kudos to the person who coined the term “mood swings”. He has successfully managed to justify the thousands of fleeting, unjustifiable thoughts that enter the head of a homo sapien, especially the fairer sex. At this exact point in time, I am a victim to the infamously famous mood swing.

Reason?

None at all.

I had a decent day, not very high on the “Eventful” quotient. The day started with a flurry of multiple tabs on my browser, with an intent to research on the parallel articles I am working on. Freelancing happened, by a quirk of fate, thankfully though. I have always wondered how to integrate the love for writing with the hodgepodge of everyday living. Indian Express came in as a divine reply. I am eagerly waiting to see my article in print.

After a sumptuous lunch, I set out to driving school. If it hadn’t been for procrastination, I would have finished with the theory classes a week back. None the less, I had to undergo a session of sheer torture, with video lectures ranging from “How to deal with skidding” and “How to reverse and park” to “The importance of wearing a seat belt”!

The more hilarious ones included a video on “Women Rage” which was one helluva ride with two women out to seek revenge on each other, in the process crashing into and scooping out the head and tail lights from each other’s cars.

My enquiry on the commencement of on road driving was met with a brusque response, “Madam, Simulator ra ahuri 4 ta class baaki achi”.(You still have 4 classes to go with the Simulator).

To hell with the video game like equipment! How on earth am I supposed to learn driving without the probability of any vehicles crashing into me from directions, all and sundry?

The next stop was in relation to yet another article I am writing on the life of the only woman chief minister of Orissa, Smt Nandini Satpathy. The lady, who I still haven’t managed to get to, is a firebrand politician and one of the most well known women of her time. I thought I’d see her in a rocking chair, enjoying the last few years of her well lived life. Highly mistaken, I was. She was out to attend a women’s welfare meeting after a full day at the clinic. Respect.

That’s how I see myself at the age of 85, if I manage to live that long.

The day out ended with an hour long conversation with one of my school teachers. Wonder how many lives has she managed to bring back on track!

Did I forget the innocuous ring road ride! 😀

Multiple tabs yet again, this time its adsense and adwords and the amazon affiliate program and blah blah blah!

I am yawning.

Yes, you can see the whole of Europe within my outstretched mouth.

I have no inkling what exactly will I get down to, after I post this blog. Perhaps sleep or curl up with my recent read.

Random ramblings?

Yes.

Why?

No Idea.

Get Idea!

Baah.

Buzz Off!

Ummm…okie!

 

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in As I see it

 
 
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