Saturday, October 31, 2009

I would much prefer a certain someone to stop using my nick-name and inserting an 'l' in it along the way.
Also, somebody please confiscate his duster. Please.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I will miss all of this, won't I


The J

The M


The S

The L

Courtesy: The CJM community on fb.
I really like dragging my finger across the laptop screen. Especially if the background is blue.
(Yes, it has been one of those days.)

On Free Wings

There is a little golden bird
Perched on a tree, precariously.
It is as yet trapped in its shell;
The little thing yearns to be free.

It chirps out loud, hoping for help,
But nobody can hear.
Are they there and yet not helping
Or is really nobody near?

It knocks with its golden head and beak.
It lets out a feeble trill.
Battered and bruised as it is
It tries harder still.

Suddenly, it sits silently
And all it sees is black.
It thinks and thinks and thinks some more
And finally finds a crack.

One last jolt was all it took,
One last push, but slight.
In streamed all that surreal light
And nothing to stop its flight.

The little golden bird was finally free.
It flapped its wings with glee.
It has yet to learn to fly,
But now at least it was free.

Wrote this some time back, 13th August to be precise. Inspiration when commanded. Well, at least my class teacher was happy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Watchers/ Cat-Talk

Two cats, healthily plump, sit atop the parapet enclosing the school yard. The brown one sits lazily in the noon sun, absently pawing at the ants passing by. The black one stands, motionlessly surveying the girls uniformed in red and white, running, seemingly pointlessly, around the lawn.
Black Cat (Bl C): (contemptuous)  Oh! The noise! These creatures thundering past. Pointless. Stupid. Idiotic.
Brown Cat (Br C): (balefully) Mew.
Bl C: (turning around sharply) Be more articulate than that!
Br C dips down head and sheepishly sways its tail. Once. Twice.
After a final glare Bl C resumes his stance and continues.
Bl C: (looking left, then right) As I was saying. Stupid. Two silly legs to totter on, clad in all those extra layers of that skin-like... well, skin. Pointlessly cumbersome. If they had an ounce of sense they would all just grow fur. And all that loud noise! So much like dogs! Howling! Speaking of dogs, they are stupid too. If only they would all just daintily mew. All that nipping and whimpering, primitive manner of life.
Now feline manners; so immaculate, so elegant, so graceful. The personality, the aura. The finer things in life.
(A distant ring sounds and the mass of red and squeals changes course towards the building, leaving the lazy afternoon empty.)
Bl C: (thoughtfully) But then, if they were more feline... that wouldn't really do, would it? Their stupidity leaves space for silly things, like generosity. All you have to do is walk up to them, mew weakly and rub you head to their leg a bit for them to part with an 'awww' and some milk. A feline wouldn't do that. Being rational, she would scratch, spit, hiss and lap up all of it on her own. Hmmm... Best let balance prevail. Things are almost right the way they are. A certain appeal, it holds, to my rather refined sense of identifying beauty. Oh no, it's not the people. But I do like milk. That makes the taxing ordeal relatively bearable... Are you feeling too hot?
Br C: (balefully) Mew.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unlike somebody I know, I have better luck at haircuts.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

For all that it truly symbolizes- a very happy diwali and hereafter to everybody! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Life's like that"

I am late! Run! Okay, people are staring. Just walk. Fast.
At the gate of the hospital I realized I wasn't entirely sure where the dentist's room even was.
Hmmm... I think I take a right here... there it is. The blue board- Room 3.
I barge in. I don't always do that, but I am late.
There is the lady dentist. She looks up and smiles. I have known her for a long time. She's sweet. Goes out of her way to make you feel relaxed. Not that I need that. I have too much experience, courtesy my orthodontic treatment. Every weekend, and then, every other, was spent in a little cabin on a 'chair', disproportionately large, for a very long two-year three years back (the '' signify that I do not know what that contraption is called).
But, she is not the one who is going to work on me (this statement has always sounded rather Frankenstein-ish to me). Next to her stands a tall turbaned man wearing a grim look. Well, at least his eyes were grim. The rest of his face was cloaked behind the surgical mask. The kind of look which says, "Well, I don't really like what I am doing, you know."
I questioned the sanity of letting a person who thought thus to be given control of my teeth while I followed him to a chair, the afore mentioned  kind, in one of the small side-rooms.
Well, I sat all the same.
The roof was, get this, polka dotted, black against white. That is the last thing I saw (this ominously). I closed my eyes. Prudent thing to do let me assure you.
Yes, I am experienced, been through much worse and painful too, and I knew that. But, I had forgotten the whizzing sound which now whizzed somewhere near me. I have heard it countless times before, but I hadn't remembered how downright scary it can sound.
Nothing big. I was just getting my teeth cleaned (this months Reader's Digest had quite an impact on me).
But, I will be honest, I started getting slightly scared. Only slightly.
The next noise was worse. The whatever-it-was-which-emitted-a-high-pressure-spray-of-warm-water screeched against my lower-center tooth. A banshee would have cowered. With a sinking heart I remembered my father's words, "Half-an-hour, forty-five minutes, that's is what it should take."
Anyway, the process began. It wasn't painful, but it certainly wasn't pleasant. The screeching eventually faded into a drone.
Suddenly, interrupting my otherwise silent musings, I heard a familiar song- ik onkar, the Rang De Basanti version, of course. The Oral Hygiene Specialist's  phone was ringing.
Professionalism forbade him from picking it up. The caller, apparently trying to surprise the man into picking it up, kept disconnecting and calling, again and again, in seemingly nonrhythmic intervals. Finally, he gave up.
The relief was short. Then the poor man, just trying to clean my teeth, was disturbed again by an assistant who came in and asked him to get up for a moment. He wanted to check if the chair (the normal kind, which he sat on) needed any repair. He left, at last, making sure that the chair would relatively survive.
I must have thought, at least thrice, "It's over." The final time I was right.
He sprayed, with a thankfully larger nozzle, something which I am guessing serves the same purpose that varnish does.
He stepped back, inspecting his work critically, and, satisfied, permitted me to get up. I saw the large orb-like light hovering over me, slightly blinded. Then he admonished me for not taking better care of my teeth.
My earlier evaluation turned out to be wrong. He was a good-humored person and kept checking now and then if I was in pain.
As I was slipping my shoes on he asked me to fix one more appointment for something which sounded an awful lot like buffing.
After forty minutes since I had entered, I stepped out. Everything was of a wrong color, I was still dazed by the sudden overhead light.
The ordeal was over and had been motivation enough for me to brush much more sincerely from now on.
Well, at least I have clean teeth.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And then caffeine loses its kick. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

101 Corporate Haiku by William Warriner

A few of which are:

Rabbit and dog tracks
cross the snow: tell me timing
isn't everything.

A mushroom has pushed
through stone; it knows the art of

A marketing bird!
He tells me, tells me, and then
tells me what he told me.

One nagging instinct
pursues and stings him; never
be accountable.

By some mystery
of scent, we know our places
around the table.

Heat shimmers from cars
surrounding my parking space;
they all want my job.

Truly, the Wise One
is creative: he invents
his own statistics.

Heavy silence fills
the room and points to me- I
spoke the truth too soon.

No moon and no rhyme,
no reason, no blossoms, I
drink my Chardonnay.

It takes great heart
to view the Rockies as a
sales territory.

My cat on a hot
car hood, gathering warmth- is
this why I commute?

What makes a samurai
step down from his high horse?
A few bad quarters.

Seventeen syllables, enough for one to recognize a genius.
William Warriner has a piece of art to his name.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Listeners

Quite recently a girl in my school van, class IV, I think, was reading her English literature textbook before her Unit Test. I happened to glance down at it and remembered the poem that she was frowning at. The Listeners. I remembered frowning at it too. The teacher had not given as complete a meaning as I would have liked. There were too many things left ambiguous. I had asked her a lot of questions- Who were the listeners? Why weren't they opening the door? What promise?
She had replied with a quizzical look, a few incoherent words and a nonchalant shrug. The crux of this performance was, "I am not going to test you on it, so never mind.".
I remember I had hated that. But I had still loved the poem. So many things hinted at and left trailing. My favorite part had been the lines-
"But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:"
"'Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,' he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:"
When I came back home I went on the net and found it. I think I read it at least four times consecutively. Then I went on to read reviews and interpretations. I guess some of them were nice, but... not quite there enough to dispel the shroud.
A lot of them suggested more poems, some of which I had already read at some time. All in all, it was day spent magically! It is quite something to just spend the whole (or a quarter) day reading ballads which make you cry with despair (I had to keep repeating to myself, "I didn't really happen") or send a chill down your spine. Some of the poems that I went through were:
The Lady of Shalott - Alfred Tennyson
The Highway Man- Alfred Noyes
My Last Duchess- Robert Browning
I am very open to further suggestions. In fact, I practically beg for them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mental Devolution

In 10th I asked- Going by the particle theory, when we say that black absorbs light, does the mass of the thing that is black increase, however minutely, when light is thrown on it?
In 11th- Why is the sound 's' the most prominent? Even when one whispers the one sound which is always discernible is 's'. Why are human ears thus tuned?
In 12th- How can vampires come out in the moonlight when they can't do so in the sun, considering how 'moonlight' is nothing but reflected sunlight?
Yes, devolution- a reality.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hints never come easy

Have you ever played 3D cross and knots?
I have.
I didn't like it. The game I had came with no instructions. So I spent a lot of my time guessing.
Every time I thought I had finally got the gist of it I would make a move and the laptop would ping (indecently happy)- Invalid Move.
Occasionally it would kindly hint me to shift the blue ball with the white one.
Only, this left me further at sea. Blue, green, red... wait! No white?! What white ball?! Hmmm... Is there some way I can change the colours? Am I suppose to find a white ball and place it somewhere?
Damn it! What ball?! Wasn't this suppose to be cross and knots? The simple, timeless, challenging pass-time, which knew no national boundary.
Well, to be fair, I am sure this game would also be challenging. That is, after it was done being simply boggling.
Eventually, I did get it. And then I deleted it. My heart broke when I realized it wasn't worth all the effort.
I was in a similar game already. No love there.
The similarities were disturbing, distressing. One move in one plane changes the game across so many more. How repercussions always spiral back to the origin (poetic justice in a way, not that I have to like it).
And all you were trying to do was figure things out amidst hints which don't make a lot of sense. It is just too bad life doesn't come with a ctrl+z.

The avenues don't say.

Crossroads. Many. Too many. They make quite an intricate net. And I am standing in the middle of one. How did I get here...?
There is a tall pole where I stand. Right in the middle of my crossroad. As I look further, I see that such a pole stands in the middle of every crossroad. So many poles. So many crossroads.
These poles blur the horizon. They make it appear like a giant feathery... well, feather.
It is all about imagery. Overcast sky, densely so. It is sun-set, though I can't see the sun. How do I know then? Well, it is my dream. I get to choose, however subconsciously, what time of the day it is.
The roads are smooth, gray. They stretch endlessly away from me. They intersect some roads and merge into yet others.
The patches of unpaved land between the roads are an even, rich green.
Now, I come to a contradiction. The roads have no end. None. And yet this strange place is bordered by high dense evergreen forests on all sides. Well, things don't have to make sense in dreams. We'll leave it like that. An endless network of roads bordered by forests. Some how.
I am still standing there. I like this place. The weather is perfect, with gentle but cold breeze blowing without any apparent rhythm. Also, I am completely alone.
But I can't stay here forever. I am here for a purpose. I am looking for a particular road. I know I have to be somewhere. Somewhere else. ...But where...? Oh! I don't know. And yet that is where I want to be. That is where I have to be.
I look around. So... how do I get there...
Duh! Crossroads. With poles. There have got to be directions. They can hardly be decoration pieces.
I look up. And I keep looking. Yes, the poles are tall. Towering. There are direction signs right at the top. Four of them. They tell exactly where I am and where I can go. But, I can't even see the top. What do I do?! Am I lost?! Where do I go?!
Four options. One to take me where I want to be. One will take me back where I came from. The other two...? Traps... or someplace better?
I don't want to compromise.
I could wait for someone... But I want to be the one to decide.
Advice never hurt... But then I'll have to wait! I don't want to wait! Stand idle?! No!
A distant thunder sounds. It wakes me up.
And I find myself in a predicament not much better.