Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Holi re holi..rangon kee toli

Who are You playing Holi with this year?

Satanic v/s ...

Innumerable epics, so many religions, paths leading the way to heaven, teaching us right from wrong, telling us to live, love, celebrate - not kill, grieve and hate.

So much hype around God, around this religious Guru and that - trying to convince us that He is almighty.
Yet…in each one of us Satan lives…more certainly than God does

Every time we talk of good, it is in relation to evil. We cannot seem to exorcise him -from ourselves, from our society. He wins every time ..reinvents himself. Sometimes I wonder if he created God or we created God to deal with him. He manifests in each one of us, in everything we feel and do. Sorrow, hatred, envy, fear, destruction, war. ....

...and where is God? Just in our minds? And if He is in our minds, why aren’t all our thoughts divine, Godly, Kind? Why do we spend our entire lives trying to find Him, if we are already part of Him?

Why is Satan so easily a part of us? We have sorely missed God sometimes, but Satan never left us…He’s around us, within us…omnipresent. You can find him everywhere, smug and smirking. No meditation, no mantras, nothing. He seems to exist independant of it all.
I think about it sometimes and shudder. Maybe it is only he that can rescue our souls, leave us pure again. Should we be worshipping him instead? Praying, pleading with him, to just let us be?

Gritty nitty

DefinAtely, I don't think so there are any doubts. You can be rest assured. But I'll check and revert back to you anyway.


Am I a nitpicker or does this kind of talk turn you into a raving lunatic also? Grammar Nazi? Spelling Nazi? Yeah, whatever, I don't really care for labels. It just completely puts me off how people will not try and use a language the way they should. Not just English - any language. To add insult to injury they'll also tell you how it is only a medium of communication. Not that I'm perfect or anywhere near it even. I lose sleep when I trip up and express myself clumsily. It happens pretty often, but I think the fact that it embarrasses me is redemption enough.

I remember Dad getting terribly annoyed by my teenage habit of ending every other sentence with 'or something'. He'd grunt "Decide what you want to say and don't be vague!" He also hated my using the word "shit" and would ask me what relevance "shit" could possibly have in any decent conversation unless ofcourse we were discussing medicine or manure. Thank God the F word wasn't popular back then. I think he tried to teach me to respect languages and that I tried learning. He only spoke when necessary and then, only what was necessary . He wasn't given to flowery confusing speech but he used his words well. Effortlessly measured and neat, his sentences made sense. I guess that gene didn't really reach me. I have to try and again, my consolation is that I do.

Till very recently I hadn't learnt to count to ten and hold my peace. The fallout of this open nitpicking was that many people avoided speaking to me or in front of me even. They nodded, smiled and fled, afraid to say hello - just in case I picked on their accent or something. As a result I still have very few friends that actually speak to me, but the good part is that I am spared a lot of agony. But can you avoid family? I remember how I almost passed out when my 3 1/2 year old announced very proudly at her friend's birthday party with around 15 mothers and 20 kids in attendance and paying complete attention that she'd "died a mosquito". Then I kicked myself because she was so very little and giggled "So cute, she means killed..". I guess that was probably dad's way of reverting back to me..or something.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pas e aaina - the invisibles

There is a thin line between stupidity and insensitivity. I think I crossed it the day I said "I have to go, it is getting dark outside" to the child I was reading to, in the Blind School in Delhi. What is 'dark'? he asked very casually. This question has stayed with me for longer than I can remember. It haunts me still. I had tried to explain that I meant 'late', but I had meant 'dark', hadn't I? What is 'dark'? And why did it scare me more than it did him?

Somehow, it is really not about having special places for special people. That would be racism of a sort, wouldn't it? It is about being able to share the whole world with them. They have as much right to it as we do. Yet we decide what is best for them because we refuse to tap our hearts and intellect for ways to deal with their needs. We refuse to learn the languages they speak. Instead we try and come up with devices to make them as much like us as possible. We would do well to introduce braille and sign language as optional subjects in school. We could have interactive workshops in schools and colleges where special children mingle with 'normal' children. But we'd rather skim the surface and do what we can, comfortably. I call us emotionally handicapped.

There is a world on the other side of the mirror but we prefer not to look. Perfect images, made to order, please our eyes so much more that we force parents of special children to sweep entire entities under the carpet with our insensitivity. We almost never see these children at malls and cinemas and birthday parties and parks. Why? I know they enjoy everything 'normal' children do, maybe differently, but definitely as much. Why do parents of these very special children rather they live in isolation or confinement than bring them out to face the world? What do these people fear?


And that, I think, is a shame.


Have you met those people who talk incessantly about themselves and have to run the moment you say "I.."? I think I was one of them before I met this 'friend' of mine. I enjoyed her company, revelled in it even, thinking I was the only one she confided in. The poor thing, so upset with the cards her kismet had dealt her, wanting to share the little joys she squeezed out of her lemon sized existance... till I met 5 other 'friends' at a 'kitty party' ( sic) I was dragged to ( she couldn't make it). There I discovered that they'd all been subjected to many of the same monologues - verbatim! I listened, quietly nodding, amused and angry in turns. Not that she was 'discussed', but you know how these kitty parties are. There is one unspoken rule - Always Show Up!

Now when she calls, I often go " I..." within about half a minute knowing fully well that she'll hang up almost immediately because she just thought of something more imporant to do than talk to me about me. Am I a bad friend and/or a bad listener? I hope not. But she did put things in perspective for me, holding up a mirror to my not so distant past. So if somehow I am a better person now or on my way to becoming one, I owe it to her. I'm glad I have her in my life to remind me that there are others who want to be heard too.

My pen, my weapon
…spewing words
Ink…like blood from a sliced vein
Gushing, drowning all semblance of shame
Words that cannot be withdrawn
Feelings that will not be denied
They are painted all across the skies…
In colors that will not fade
Painted in words…
They are all I have
And they come…
like a river in spate
And I die…very slowly
As my mind speeds by
One word at a time…
I die
As I let go of my soul…
One word at a time

Light and shadow

Creaky gates open
Into an age-worn place
Rickety steps
Lead to the now
A familiar space
Yet strange somehow
Light filters in…
A dusty beam
From yesterday
Past lurking shadows
Some, my own
Thru curtains of time
Half drawn over memories-
Most unlived, most forlorn
…and falls on
A yellowing picture
Carelessly framed
Of a face with an open smile
A smile…one that reached the eyes
It is a face I used to know
A face that I think I once wore

Ahh..My weary wary mind...
Pawn of the devil - Time
What wicked tricks you play!


Call me irreverent
For I flout the rules
Running a-mock
rebelling ...without a pause
Let it be known
I am not clay for a mould
I am like water
Like the air that you breathe
Life itself let me be
There is more to me
than you'll ever see
A soul that will not be tamed
A wild spirit...absolute and free
My eyes are on that finishing line
where I will be me in totality
These shackles will weaken
These ties won't last
I'll run the distance...
far beyond my past
Faster... faster...Until I find release
from what they call
my destiny!