Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It’s a strange thing
To be a woman.
It’s equally strange
To be proud of
Being a woman!

Pride never comes
With the sex,
It comes
With the gender.
It grips a girl,

Still in her teens, and
Senselessly strips her
Off of girlhood
And makes a woman
Out of her;

A woman, who childishly
Flaunts her sex,
In the blind arrogance
Of her gender!
A pitiful loser, who

Celebrates her stains,
Rejoices her ripeness!
Ready for sexual banquets,
She is no longer tempted
To sit in her father’s lap

And tug at his moustache,
For he too is a man after all!
Daughters become women,
Fathers retreat and
So do brothers!

Years later, sleeping with
A strange man, she
Longs for the gentle touch
Of her father,
And silently mourns

For being a girl too late
But a woman too early.

Now Playing:: Tum pukar lo...............Hemant Kumar

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Relishing on Relics

The only way I could ward off my frustrations was by making a long expedition into streets where books are sold. There aren’t many of that kind in the city yet one is sure to find a suitable midnight darling depending upon your age, experience, and most importantly your “mood”, which prefers one writer to the other in different hours of the same day!

The city is not bred with rich literary tastes and the few shops which sell books turn out to be too modest in their collection, even depressing at times. But that is when you’ve a fetish to buy new books only and an intense disrelish for anything used and soiled by too many hands. The city gets absolutely seductive when you are on a hunt for books; old and yellowed with time. There’s some kind of a silly romantic pleasure that walks along with you in these streets and makes you stop at every nondescript shop nay, cabin and forces you to look for books of your interest amidst that eye-relishing heap of volumes.

It is highly likely that you might end up getting your hands on an odd volume of old English authors, or editions that have been long out of print, or anthologies of the finest collected poems, essays and memoirs.

I remember the last summer when I was high on Hardy and how an anxious visit to these streets to find more of him ended in something like a treasure hunt. I was literally hopping from one end of the street to the other as everyone had some other shop to refer to where almost all the English authors are likely to co-exist. Today, I’ve almost all of Hardy’s on my book shelf; a prized possession of meticulous English, which cost me less than a hundred bucks.

But somewhere down the line buying books on the net replaced every other modes of shopping and my visits to these streets became less and less frequent. Much seems to have changed now. Some of the big old shops are still there but the cabins have been removed and they now lie scattered in obscure places of the area. In one word the streets look neat and clean and organized, and the hunt becomes tiring and toiling, but its fun anyway.

Whiling away an evening in these streets, leafing through odd old volumes, I realized how much of priceless and rare antiquity lies unclaimed and neglected in these dingy looking cabins. If only people were novel enough to appreciate antiquity…

Whiffs of evening dust now began to settle on the books and a call from mom reminded me that I had to pick her up from her office. I was about to return with my prized find of The Metaphysical Poets by Helen Gardner, when all of a sudden I remembered that it was the 23rd of April, a date which is held to be sacred by all lovers of English literature.

It couldn’t have occurred to me at a better place, I thought! Shakespeare lay in an extravagant abundance in front of me…

Now Playing:: Jajabara....................Akhaya Mohanty

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Necklace of Skulls

Sprawled on the cool floor on a wild, blazing noon, with A Necklace of Skulls, I wasn’t sure what I was preparing myself for. Things began to unfold in an inert, unhurried, and sedate manner. There were occasional jolts of course, but I was safe. My eyes were getting heavier with every passing second and just when I thought I couldn’t further any longer, it began:

It was never a painful rain of blows, nor lethal enough to draw some blood. It hit me like a whiplash; its even more cruel because it leaves marks, right where they do not belong. But, as I reached the end, writhing and whimpering, I realized, what an ecstatic dance of irony it had been all this while.

Here’s a glimpse of those beatings:

Advice to Women:
Keep cats
If you want to learn to cope with
The otherness of lovers.
Otherness is not always neglect—
Cats return to their litter trays
When they need to.
Don’t cuss out of the window
At their enemies.
That stare of perpetual surprise
In those great green eyes
Will teach you to die alone.

Another Way to Die
Being eaten by maggots
Is fantasy

The real thing is
To touch the outlines
Of the hands, the hair
To find no body there

In a few hours
Or a few days
The bits reassemble
A breast flies back
A dull pain
Where the heart should be
An ache for a touch
Or a quarrel

For a while again
You are almost

I certainly don't have, even the slightest inclination to put the name of the poet out here, as she says in Don’t Look for My Life in These Poems

Poems can have order, sanity,
Aesthetic distance from debris.
All I’ve learnt from pain
I always knew,
But could not do.

Yet one is tempted to scribble the name of Eunice de Souza.

Now Playing:: Aaiye meherbaan...........................Asha

Friday, April 16, 2010


All day long one lies inside the house like a hostage; quiet, lazy, and soaked in the salted dank drops of sweat, doing absolutely “nothing”, for when there is nothing to be done one does nothing!

With the doors and windows shutting the gentle summer sounds without, one is left alone in the silent semi-darkness of the house, too reluctant to turn the lights on, and finding nothing much to do in that state, flops into bed amidst the gyrating noise of the ceiling fan which neither dissipates the heat nor lulls one into a profound afternoon siesta.

Meanwhile, the heat catches up more and more and again and again.

The arrogance of the heat without and the sheen of sweat growing heavier within the depths of hair bring a crowd of ideas and fancies; a wild restlessness that refuses to doze off, keeping one awake for long… too long…

One wakes up from that half-sleep thoroughly drenched in sweat, and finds boredom hanging all around like a landscape in swoon. One might let sleep wash away the ennui but one chooses to pamper it into a ‘tranquil boredom’, squeezing things cool into glasses of glass, taking little doses of the antidote, killing the heat in a pale motion, until what remains are the still traces of the boredom which one no longer wishes to stifle and allows it to hang around like the common cold which, during its stay makes one miserable, but once it leaves, it also makes one crave for that sexy phlegm once again!

One might as well trick the self into the pleasures of reading, but then one is still reluctant to turn the lights on, and the heat continues to catch up more and more.

Eventually, one switches the computer on and lets the music take on a different turn.

One fancies the idea of writing, but then, to unfold writing materials and to put down thoughts systematically and grammatically sounds no great zest in contemplating.

One lingers around for a while; flutters frantically on the keyboard; styling thoughts into ill-formed blog posts before they slip away as vacant daydreams, and the evening with its senseless cooling makes a sacrament of the all vital heat…

Now Playing:: Mora saiyaan mose bolena................Khamaaj

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Incredible, perhaps it is
For a woman
To be smitten by one,
To be addicted to another,
To worship yet another,
And to passionately desire
For someone else!

Incredible, perhaps it is
For a woman
To talk about
The animal longings
Of her limbs, and
Never to resist
Parched lips even
When the sun is
Yellow with burning!

Incredible, perhaps it is
For a woman
To be falling in love
Again and again,
Unknown to herself, and
Yet not believing
In its reciprocation
Even for auld times sake!

Now Playing:: Jaiye aap kahan jayenge...................Asha

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


On days when I don’t see, meet or talk to my professor, I realize that my imagination goes sinking and floundering. Nothing excites me readily, not even books, and a chance encounter with his presence in the reading room begins to loom larger. Well this seems to be the classic case of ‘being smitten’ but one wonders as to ‘how much’? Ah! It’s a good deal I feel but it’s a lot less when I sit down to think. There is probably no hypothesis, theory or evidence which can at least guess, what it is that repels or attracts us in our dealings with people. But, as Ms Austen puts it, “silly things do cease to be silly if they’re done by sensible people”, therefore I wouldn’t mind entertaining an equally silly thought of ‘being smitten’!

Now Playing:: Kajra mohabbat wala...............Asha & Shamshad Begum

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One More

Why do his thoughts, so often
Like geckos on the wall
Out-pace my lassitude?
Why do they keep licking me,
So often, both
Within and without?

Maybe it’s a dream after all,
That shall end in a waking relief,
And make me mock and laugh
At the lust which
I once conceived
For a man,

Who made a sacrament
Of every embrace;
Clinging to me like
Mortals to goddesses,
While all through it was
I, who was worshipping,

Every inch of his frame,
Seeking comfort in
The superiority of his being!
This should be a dream after all,
For I have slept too long, and
Had other dreams as well…

Now Playing:: Jajabara......................Akhaya Mohanty