Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Books, Me and a Cup of Coffee

Dribbling the last drop of filter coffee onto my ever gastronomic neurons, I kissed goodbye to this year's reading. It is time to catch a gasp of fresh air and recollect the bountiful times of the year spent in reading. The journey began with The Myth of Sissyphus, a philosophical account by Camus that imparts a sense of life and existence in a world torn apart by chaos. No one will back up on our ardent fervor to pursue personal objectives is a fact and this is subtely pointed out with remarkable clarity.

Stephen Chobsky's epistolary work The Perks of Being a Wallflower precisely details the growing up phase of an introvert and the poignant yet lucid style would have made me yearn more if I had read this book as teenager and not young adult. Nevertheless, the lessons learnt there were amplified by Scott Peck's lauded bible of living with spiritual values- The Road Less Travelled. Few sentences out there are to be read not once or twice but over and over again until the ideas seep deep.

Among the travel writings, Around India in 80 Trains by Rajesh Monisha wins accolades for celebrating the spirit of Indian Railways with wit, humour and a mild dose of sarcasm. Though the book was chosen with not much expectations, the writing was at par with my all time favourite account on Indian Railways, Chai, Chai. Hail Indian mass transit system!

Set around the same theme, both Tibet, Tibet and A Journey in Ladakh are classic renditions portraying the culture, tradition and ideals of Buddhism and pilgrimage. It is high time that I set out on a trip to the mountains and not confine myself to be an armchair traveller.

To spice up reading in a light way, Le Petit Nicholas and Tom Gates' Everything Amazing were picked up. The former one has deep-seated philosophy hidden beneath humour filled lines and the later is a musing of childhood and innocence. Once in a while, it is vital to slip back to tender age memories so as to replenish mind, body and soul. That said, nothing can perform the stint better than good books.

Let me write about the next book before the clock strikes the dead hour for The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova still gives me chills. Wound around the lives of three folks from three succeeding generations, the gripping tale will make one conveniently realise that blood sucking draculas are living amongst us- along crowded streets, silent racks in a library and brightly lit rooms but that is not all. Speak of the devil and it is here hunting for the most inquistive and intellectual breed on earth.

For once, I learnt that a piece of writing can make one both curious and furious. Thanks to J.M.G. Clezio's Terra Amata for that. The book is so overpowered with details that I lost patience just after second chapter. However,the intricate details cast a spell on the reader to slow down and enjoy the world one sip at a time. On the whole, Terra Amata is a fine substitute for meditation.

While the above mentioned books were instrumental in bringing about a change in my attitude towards reading and life in general, two well known books, Reginald and The Prophet gave me sleepless nights and palpitations. I am not leaving them here. They are reserved to be reread and analysed in 2015-New Year, New Thoughts and New Ideas.

Friday, 19 December 2014

It is she, again.

Angst ridden rants of a sleep paralysed specimen.

Curled up like a shrimp, I sleep
To the hush lullaby of distant winds.
Concealed under the diaphanous sheets,
A tranquil trance on my cradle neat.
The Teak door creaks, whines and moans,
A hard run breeze assaults her ribs.
Some rich gloss leaks from the orb of night,
And scantly veneers the floor inside.
An agile stir, my eyelids squint,
Loathing to stare the dead of night.
A swift slant at half open door, I curse
Intestinal fortitude. Damn, what I see !
Cold sweat trills, down the temple raps,
Feet teetering on the brink of torpor,
Fingers fizzle, heart flounders and
The ball of fire in deep skull quavers.
A voluptuous form, beguiling indeed,
Strides onward,chanting an aria of her own.
Plopping down by my frosting knees, she strokes
my cheeks that stiffen with unease and terror.
The heaviness hikes, my forehead shudders.
Angst hidden underneath my flesh oozes,
With every diabolical shear upon my neck.
Shedding invisible tears at vain attempts
To gasp fresh air and gain a spoon of life.
Owning a latched body and a clamped mind,
A game, I am, to the ogre besides.
Decade back, she made a scene on a pitch dark night,
Sending bouts of dread down my choking throat.
All set to plunge her nails acute, 
to savour my vital body juice under the night tide.
It is she, again.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The confused soul got confused a little more..

Be careful what you wish for... I didn't quite believe in it until I met you. You were a dream come true, only fear being, could it indeed be a dream that would leave me shattered, once it is over.You showed me things that I didn't know existed, you showed me fractions of myself, that would have remained hidden forever. You surrounded me, engulfed me,completely shut me off from the external world.You touched me, No protests, no resistance, absolute surrender. You knew it would happen. didn't you??I was lost, in the truest sense of the word. Yet when you left  I felt nothing, possibly because I anticipated it.

Time spent with you would remain a frozen account in my memory bank. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Don't you dare touch my books !

Dear Book Borrowers,

All these years, whenever you came to borrow books from my little growing library, I have never been reluctant to give. Sometimes, I gave the most precious ones(in terms of the work) even for indefinite periods. Today, you have driven me to make an awkward conclusion- I am not lending books anymore! Never again knock at my door with that smirky smile to hunt for books. It is downright distressing to see the way my books were treated under your sloppy and indifferent custody.

 Where is the lustre of the pale white pages ? Where are the razor sharp edges ? Where is the life that dwelled inside the cover ? What you have given me back looks like a dull, uncombed baby with broken spine.(Well, you did not even give it. I had to dig it out of your room.) Why don't you have an iota of decency in handling them ? They were given to you for the sole purpose of reading. They are neither pillows nor kitchen tables for you to crush and spill your favourite curry.

 If you think I am making a big fuss out of 'not a big deal' thing then please dump yourselves underneath a pile of rotten veggies and shattered glass and let me know how it feels. I am sorry. I am way too possessive of my books-my love and I do not give a damn if you are cussing me for such a boorish and impolite behaviour from my side. Books are my biggest wealth and I am not letting anyone steal or mutilate the accumulated treasure.

Don't you dare touch my books again!

Annoyed and irked,

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Orange Lights and Serendipity

Some orange light sneaks through the blinds and highlights the little bottle of water lying on my table. The room is pitch dark except for the golden rays from the neon lamps that struggle to creep inside. It is not a steady beam of light but it flickers. Flickers to the rhythm of the cold winds that sway the blinds embracing the window panes. I turn around to look at the bottle of water more closely and it looks wonderful. The table is shaky and that adds mystique to the otherwise ordinary bottle of water. I see ripples. Ripples of gold and amber racing towards the wall of the bottle. Bubbles of air entrapped at the sides rise mellifluously in sync with the ripples. I see life. A life that was not noticed before. A life that was not appreciated before. A life that appears only to the keen eyes. The blinds tap to the tune of the howling winds. I get lost in the play portrayed in a casual yet elegant style. It feels like sitting all alone in a theatre and watching a mono act. The wind now settles for the drizzle to catch up. A mild drizzle that softly highlights everything on its way with a glitter and gently breaks into the skin of a little pool of water outside. They carry with them their own rhythm and this time, the active procession of golden waves retire to become inanimate once again.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Embryo Unallowed

Her clan swarm to party the day,
Cheers! she is in the family way.
Puddings and pastries fill her tray,
Softly she says hip hip hurray!

The day comes like a thundercloud,
Her kith and kin are no more proud.
For she bears an embryo unallowed,
A birth that will end under a shroud.

She will have rosy cheeks and a little chin,
So what? we won’t let her life begin.
She will do us proud, earn wings and win,
No,she is a burden, bringing pain and sin.

Words descend like pricks and stings,
She writhes on the bed and lowly sings,
A trite little verse for the unborn wings,
Apologizing for the heinous things.

She twitches and turns out of dying pain,
Little angel, she drowns in the void in vain.
Women, they think, put an extrinsic strain,
On humanity which is simple and plain.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

I find bliss in solitude

I find bliss in solitude.
Sipping a cup of coffee
Or, tasting a caramel toffee.
Munching a bowl of peanuts
Or, lunching a sugary donut.

I find bliss in solitude.
Hearing the ticking old clock
Or, crushing little pieces of chalk.
Mending with my old, unused pens
Or, standing upside down till I count ten.

I find bliss in solitude.
Trekking through the mountain ranges
Or, resting next to country granges.
Riding in pretty luxury trains
Or, gliding around and flying planes.

I find bliss in solitude
Searching for the physics of light
In a lab that is far away from sight.
Penning down my thoughts day and night
Hoping for something big and bright.

I find bliss in solitude
Running away from mobs and herds
Or,hiding away from mortal girds.
Whisking off to a different altitude
And find my bliss in solitude.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Saturday afternoon Blues

On a lazy Saturday afternoon, I write this, with a random instrumental music playing in the background. It feels like the perfect time to reflect on my 23 years of existence on this planet. There are the few lucky ones who know what they want to do or at least pretend that they have always known their purpose in life. Then there are the others who know what they want, but are unable to live life in accordance to their wishes. Very unfortunate! Then there are others who do not know what they want from life, this is where I fit in.  I bet the majority of the population would belong here.

I went to school like every other kid, chose a subject to specialise for my under graduate degree and did my master’s as I was expected to. Then began looking for a PhD, am yet to find one. I found a job instead.  Growing up in a country like India doesn't give you a lot of choices, you are expected to do certain things and you do them without questioning.  I am expected to start working and so I will. I am to be blamed as well. I gave in to peer pressure, to make sure I fitted well with the crowd. Success as defined by the society, it unconsciously makes you look down on the people who don’t follow norms. These are real people who listened to their heart instead of bowing down to the societal pressures and come under the first class of people I described above. There are trail blazers in every field who took the road less travelled, I didn’t. It is terrifying to go against the tide. So here, I stand at the threshold of another new venture, unsure of what the future holds.  Will I ever find out what my passion is? A backpacking trip to Bhutan would probably set the ball rolling!!