Untamed

untamed_souls

Give me a typewriter and some black coffee to complement it.

Make it drizzle outside my bedroom window and let vapors of caffeine flirt with my head.

Allow me to ponder, as I wipe away the drops of first rain from the window pane.

It will take some time, some giving-up and then some pulling-myself-up again to begin.

But the blend of rains and coffee shall suffice; it shall be enough to bribe my heart.

To spark the thousands of tiny street lamps in the corners of my brain.

And then I will write, I will put you into words, I will cage you into a stanza and I’ll only give you the keys to the egress.

I will write you into something that will carve your heart out of its rib cage and place it onto your hand and ask you what to do with it.

Dead poets will listen stealthily to my plans from behind the bookshelves.

They’ll stand witness to you tearing me apart with those stares and to me fucking your brains out with lyrical armaments.

Take off the clothes of sanity; my hands are itching to write, to send shivers down your spine.

Allow me to slide my hands into your hair while it drips off dew shining along their edges.

The beam of sun punches holes into the blinds and illuminates your wet neckline.

The slow fuck escapes your lips as you watch me and read yourself.

Love might take another form but the smell of first rain remains the same.

Melancholy to your sighs and reminiscent of your breath.

Teach me how to inhale this world and exhale it as art once again.

Sanskrit – a sacred murder

sanskrit_language.jpg

sanskrit2

(Amongst all the languages, the language of Gods (Sanskrit) is the sweetest, in that the poetry and further in that Subhashitas)

I cannot agree more to this subhashit.
I was born in a religious family in the heart of Pune. With an idol of Ganpati at our ancestral place and me being the only boy on my paternal side of the family meant – that it was me who was supposed to perform all the religious customs on behalf of my family. A mediator between the God and me obviously was a Hindu priest belonging to an upper caste. Being born with a curious bent of mind, I wasn’t much comfortable with this barrier of communication between the holy God and my naïve yet inquisitive mind. And the only apparent solution was learning the sacred language itself. The priest wasn’t much happy with the outcome. Over the years, he got further irritated with me reciting the shlokas before he could even begin chanting and further, more with me suggesting that we can skip one or two this time. And as I grew up, I read more on the language and fell more in love with it, with subhashitas and with the works of Kalidas. But all this was possible because I was living in the 21st century (Kaliyug as people ironically call it)

The origin of Sanskrit goes back to 1500 BC in Rigvedas. In fact, its roots lie all the way into Syria, Iran – the lands from where it later reached India along with the migrating tribes in the form of Vedic Sanskrit. Panini was the first one to standardize the grammar and vocabulary for the language. Interestingly Sanskrit went on to become a language of Gods or Dev community.
Sanskrit the so-called sacred language became restricted only to upper castes in Hindus. So sacred that the lower castes (more than 75% of modern Hindus) weren’t even allowed to listen to it being recited. This was the first horrendous mistake by then Sanskrit speakers which led to it eventually getting lost in the sands of time.

Prakrit languages – Maharashtri, Magadhi, Shourseni and Paishachi also developed around the same time. The prakrit languages were further developed into modern languages known as Marathi (from Maharashtri), Oriya, Bangla, Assamese (from Magadhi), Western Hindi (Shourseni), Kashmiri (from Paishachi), etc. Both Sanskrit and Prakrit languages had the influence on one another. No doubt that a Marathi, Bangla or Hindi speaker will find it easier to learn Sanskrit compared others. The important thing to note here is that the majority of southern languages had more or less nothing to do with Sanskrit, as claimed by many. Sanskrit was never the official language of all Hindus (except for few). Not a surprising fact that today it is spoken by less than 1% of the Indian population and mostly Hindu priests during religious ceremonies.

Any guesses why Sanskrit did not spread to the other parts of the world? Because according to Hindu priests back then, crossing the sea was a sin. That not only did kill the language but also made overly-dependent Kshatriya kings more vulnerable to foreign attacks and being conquered. Oxford dictionary, on the contrary, adds new words from other languages to official English language every year. It isn’t a surprise that English was established as a global language. Imagine if Sanskrit was also taught to people belonging to other castes and religions back then. Imagine if the masses were able to learn and recite Sanskrit shlokas the way few privileged ones were able to. Imagine the kind of literature that would have been created by writers and artists from rest of the Hindu classes which formed the majority of Hindu population. Such as Dnyaneshwar (13th century Marathi poet) who wrote Bhavarth Deepika (Dnyaneshwari) in Marathi for the masses who could not understand Sanskrit. Nothing killed the Sanskrit language (and other ancient arts) more than the devilish tradition of restricting it to only a few classes did.

Anyway that being the prime cause of the disease, what further killed the language? The ego and the self-proclaimed superiority of religious fanatics. For example, let us imagine a hypothetical situation where the current Government does succeed in promoting the Sanskrit language to masses. Let’s imagine a situation ten years from now, where few Hindu priests are performing a religious ceremony in a room full of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras all of whom can perfectly understand and speak Sanskrit. Will the priests be pleased with everyone becoming proficient in Sanskrit and catching them uttering gibberish and charging fees for it? If you know the answer, you’ve got my point.

I genuinely hope that Sanskrit survives and future generations get to savor the beauty of its literature and rich history. But the fact remains that the preachers of Sanskrit are the original murderers of this language. And these desperate attempts to impose the language on everyone are nothing but an epitome of hypocrisy and embarrassment.

sanskrit1

(It is essential to speak the truth, but it is more important to speak out things that matter to the masses. According to me, the thing which is beneficial to the community as whole is the truth)

Hatred & Love

romance_after_the_fight

“Romance after the fight is the best romance in the world” is a pretty mashed up line now. And I do agree with it for starters. But what they don’t tell you is ‘why’. I think you have to look for the reasons in the fight. Hatred. Anger. The words themselves are so strong and the feelings so intense. I think it is the intensity of the fights that resides in our hearts, lurking like a molten lava challenging to be calmed down. You cannot. You could only channelize it. And what is the best stop apart from romance to get down at?

Call me crazy. Call me a lunatic. But I feel I am equally in love with her while she is screaming at the top of her voice and am trying to subdue it with my husky (clears throat) one. I think I’m oddly drawn to her flushed cheeks and her fuming eyes. I do not think I love her any less even when we are fighting. And the secret is neither does she. The anger burning in her tone only  tells me how much she believes that she owns me and cannot settle down to agree with any disagreement that may happen between us. The little things that she does not shy away from, tell me that it is the version of us belonging to this moment or the period of time we are battling and not us – whole ourselves. She inherently acknowledges this far superior worth of our bonding and knowingly or unknowingly she is careful about the fragile nature of it even when we are fighting. That knowing and yet not knowing part is what builds our castle of cards, our cloud of dreams. And each time we have an intense fight, we only prick away the least important clouds that we made together. We do have to sacrifice a cloud or two, though, each time we quarrel. That’s the rule of the game.

But hey, we have only been talking about the before romance – the fight part. Once you clear this stage of the multiplayer game, romance awaits you to rekindle few dying sparks and ignite the new ones. The fire that was set up by hatred, jealousy, possessiveness and all other motherfucking siblings of them, is now waiting to draw you close. Fucking close. It starts with her pushing you away. That is the first stage of it. Then there are more attempts from your end, marinated with sweet words of affection. The names you call her, you know. She says, Do not call me that! You then call her ‘that’ again. Next stage is your ego making an intermittent appearance questioning your pursuance of her. You ignore it at first and swallow it down at second. She then surrenders. Not completely. But you see the glimmering hope in her eyes with a reflection of yours. That hope is what we live for and die for. The hope in her eyes. Yes, that is the end. It starts with once upon a time and ends with hope and grace. Not ‘they happily lived ever after’. That is your job asshole. You write, edit, proofread that. Good fucking luck.

 

 

Evanescent Happiness

evanscence_blog

Through my bedroom window the other day, I saw it was only a little time left for the Sun to set over Rock garden – and my favorite spot over there.

I left home hurriedly & crossed the road to enter the garden located on the opposite side.
‘Hurriedly’ because I knew it was a fleeting, evanescent moment that I had to catch. Universe painting the sky with its blue, pink & saffron crayons to remind us again that the nature is the biggest artist of all. And we both watched it together all those times, pausing for minutes, letting our silence appreciate that moment; for we knew it was a transitory one. We knew that something so beautiful would last only for seconds before the darkness conquers the sky. 
But honey, we let the nature fool us by its artistic sorcery as if it would not return the next day.
It did, right? And we watched it again, enthralled by its magic. I watched your face yet another day, lit up by the golden sunshine and the wind complimenting the scene by gently flirting with your hair.

Today I ran away to reach my spot and thought of all the times we could rewind the sunset and beat the so-called fleeting happiness. The other side of the bench was empty though, as I let myself to be tricked by the Universe again, as if I was Vikram & nature, Betaal.

The warmth of the setting Sun reminded me of your nudging me when I used to be lost looking over the horizon. And then you would shake your head like you always did, before you smiled, showing an even row of teeth. I would ask how your day was. And as I rummage through this past, I realise that the biggest trick the Universe ever pulled on us was not hinting that ‘us’ sharing that time and space was the only evanescent moment of them all.

You know, I desperately bleed ink on the paper tonight, gasping for thoughts and hoping to preserve our memories before the darkness conquers the sky yet again. Because every time I sit at my favorite spot, I remember so much and yet forget a little. That little is a scary part. I keep wondering if you remember the part of the memories that escaped my fingertips. For I am just a writer with only a limited power to immortalise the part of us that I can recall. I sometimes wish you could lend me few of our laughter & fights that I must have forgotten now.
Because I’m just a lover with an aching heart. If only we could become those purple sunsets and make a pact with the Universe to let us meet behind the horizon. If only if we could blindfold the Sun and trick the time into thinking that it isn’t yet the time to set apart. Because girl, I am just a writer, not yet a match to beat the nature’s art.

 

The Prisoners

Prison

This is a story of the imprisoned 3.
They sat together in this big round chamber.
First one – a mischievous little boy of 9.
Playing with a Rubik cube he held firmly in his hands.
Twisting & turning, pondering, making mistakes & restarting.
Trying to remember the yellow squares, green ones & the red.
Laughing at his own failed attempts,
Not able to solve the cube, not able to get out of the chamber of secrets.

Sat next to him a young teen of 16.
Knowing he has learnt things, not knowing there was so much more to it.
On his flushed cheeks, reside anger, passion and desire to step out in the Sun.
To experiment his own version of right & wrongs.
Wanting to see new faces, fall in love and rebel against what others teach.
He paces up and down the chamber, plans & replans the ways to be freed.

Onto the bed in one corner of the chamber, lays a boy turned man of 23.
Seemingly at peace, yet battling an armada of thoughts he thinks,
He thinks of things that made him who he is.
Of the mistakes, the decisions – he took & the ones he refrained from making.
He senses a bigger picture in his mind, for himself and the ones he loved.
Rearranges the boxes of dreams inside the cloud of thoughts that hovers around like a bumble bee.
He doesn’t have a plan to unlock the chamber, yet.
He focusses more on getting all of his ducks in a row.

In a cubicle of white walls, air smelling of worldly tasks & an air conditioned wind;
Is sitting a man of 30, wearing a neatly ironed shirt he bought with his own money.
Trapped in a repeated pattern of 5 working days, for the sake of remaining 2 of the week.
He watches the hour hand & minute hand mocking him, parting ways & meeting over the time.
He gulps down the coffee with extra caffeine to euthanize the 3 in his head,
His head so restless with the imprisoned 3.
The 3 unknown of the illusion, of freedom of secret chamber they are safely tucked in.
The freedom, the man of 30 envies.

Nothing

Romantic Poem

You look up with tearful eyes and I tuck your hair behind your ears.

You stare at my face and fail to read it. You ask me, why am looking at you like this.

I glanced into your eyes in turns and say ‘nothing’ with a grin on my face.

You ask me the questions you ask, about the future and the present.

You roll your finger around my chest and I reply with nothing more than a racing heart.

‘Nothing’ could be a perfect answer for am too afraid and weak inside.

And I finish the leftover courage to belie the sensitive-me with just another witty tale.

You laugh your heart out and shake your head like you always do.

Before you know, it is a poem being written in the drafts folders of my mind.

‘Nothing’ but a poem, with too many feelings tucked inside.

You wish for more answers and I fray with own self.

‘Nothing’ is what we started off with, you say and I stare at the ceiling.

The kaleidoscope of our memories starts to play.

Our feelings so intense, of love, possession, jealousy and hatred.

We’d love to kill each other, with no arms, no weapons, just words to express.

 Rainy afternoons and the orange sunsets, walk by the beach and your window pane.

I saved you secretly, in the songs you like and the things you hate.

Yes or No were too narrow to explain,

How beautiful you are when you look at me and say ‘nothing’ and I…

I tuck your hair behind your ears and whisper ‘as long as we are here together’,

And you complain, as long as sounds so little.

Left is Right

left handed

Mom was cooking biryani and I was standing next to her, trying to remember the recipe.

“Wait…How much salt did you put?” I asked not having been able to keep up.

“You can use it as per approximation” came her reply.

“Yeah, that is the answer I don’t like. Does not help the person trying to learn to cook.”

She smiled and handed over the cover plate to me, indicating it to be kept on the side. And in the process, the plate slipped out of her hands.

With a reflex action, I caught it deftly in my left hand.

She watched me do that and exclaimed, “Oh..!”

“Oh…what?” I asked.

No reply.

“Oh my god” I looked at her and said, “I was left-handed, wasn’t I?”

She gave out a sigh. “I am sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t force you to be right-handed or something. But neither was I sure that you were left handed…sorry, really.”

I just smiled back and nodded my head at the same time.

I was not angry. And I was a little maybe. Not with her, though.

“I knew it!” I said to myself.
I thought of all the times I felt I was better at writing with my left hand. The times when I felt my left arm was stronger than the right one. And back in school, when I played as a goalkeeper, how smoothly I could dive onto the left side.

I suddenly recalled everyone whom I knew, know and had come across – who were left-handed. It was sort of a minority. It wasn’t a taboo. It was not a bad omen anymore. And yet it was not considered normal somehow.

I thought of the seminar I had once attended on ‘Use of both sides of the brain’. Recalled the articles I had read on how left-handed people use the right side of the brain the most. How right side of the brain is related to artistic work as compared to the left side, which is more of responsible for analytical skills. If left-handed is not a bad thing, I wondered why ‘they’ were a minority. Statistically (ref. Scientific American) left handed people only make up 10% of the population. Am I left handed or shall I call myself ambidextrous now? I wondered.

According to a study published in Neuropsychology in 2006, researchers at the Australian National University believe that left-handed folks can actually handle large amounts of stimuli better than their right-handed counterparts. No wonder I could beat my friends at video games. Or maybe because Arsenal ‘was’ a better team even in FIFA game back then.

I smiled a hopeful smile when I read that lefties are more likely to pursue creative careers and are better at multitasking. “Aah! That explains a lot” the dreamy cloud hovered above my head.

The dreamy bubble was punctured into an exclamation mark when the internet told me that left-handed people are more prone to develop schizophrenia as compared to right-handed fellows. But then I just asked my other personality to shut up and not to believe everything that web says.

Interestingly the holy bible also mentions left-handedness almost 25 times, all the times in negative light. Thankfully I was not born in medieval times when they considered Devil himself to be left handed. Except maybe medieval time soldiers, for whom spiral clockwise constructed staircases of castles (designed so in order to give advantage to soldiers on top to attack with their right hand while maintaining balance with the shield in left one) did not pose a problem.

Well, evolution has been kind. For we not only adapted better to the environment but also culturally we evolved into better human beings. I reaffirmed this thought while typing the article with both my hands.  Left. Right. Left. Maybe the diversity nature offers is meant for better appreciation of what we have.
*Self High-Five!*

Cheat codes of Happiness – Black coffee & Ilaichi chaai

cheating

7 am.
Alarm started to sing a song. ‘4th tune’ that Shahid had set as an alarm ever since he bought the clock. But it had not taken more than few weeks for him to think that the tune was depressing. Some people can never get used to waking up early. He was these ‘some’ people.

Chief Editor of Deccan Chronicle. Shahid’s business card sat proudly across the study desk next to his bed. After switching off the alarm, he turned around to watch Sana. Still sleeping. She was hardly bothered by the sound. He watched her for some more time. He moved hair off her face with his right hand and with a quick reflex to that, she cuddled up into his arms. Kissing her forehead, he whispered ‘Good morning’. With closed eyes, she smiled.

“Got to get up. Have a board meeting” he said gently putting her arm away from his.
“Hmm. Yeah, go take a shower. I’ll make something for you to eat”.
“Cool. Black coffee and bread toast” Shahid stretched his arms, getting off the bed.
“8 year since our marriage, Shahid. You think I don’t know?’ Sana was up too, tying her hair into a ponytail.
“Hmm. And you’re not late?’ Shahid asked.
‘Working from home today. And I’ll take kids to Mumma’s place later in the afternoon”.
“Oh yes, their summer vacations are on. Forgot” Shahid looked at both of his cheeks in the mirror in turns, until he was sure he didn’t need a shave.
“Now, Go. Get ready” Sana pushed him out.

7.30 am.
With his left arm resting over the bathroom wall, Shahid was inviting water droplets to dive on the back off his neck. “It helps relieve stress and calms your head” Priya’s voice spoke sweetly in the corners of his mind. He remembered her gently pressing his head and then resting it on her heart. Turning off the shower knob, he put the towel across shoulders and tried not to zone out.

Dressing up and shoving the matching tie inside his bag, he moved to the kitchen.
Sana was waiting for him. She knew 8 am was time for him to have his routine breakfast.
“So haphazard and clumsy my husband is otherwise. But it has always been surprising how timely you are every morning” Sana watched him takes sips of coffee out of a small mug.
Shahid just smiled in reply to her question and watched both the kids coming out their rooms, rubbing their half opened sleepy eyes.
With arms stretched, he hugged both of them at once.
“Go you little monsters. Go back to sleep. And don’t trouble mommy too much” he kissed them.
Putting the bag over shoulder, he let Sana come along till the door. Then turned around and kissed her gently onto lips.
Sana watched him all the way – the Merck strolling out of the parking lot and taking over the road.

8.30 am.
Shahid left the house for office.

The meeting was to start at 11 am.
Merck moved smoothly through early morning traffic.

In less than twenty minutes, he had parked the car outside her house.
Priya.
She opened the door and said ‘hey’ like she always did. Shahid got in with a smile as big as his lips could have managed.
“So ready for the meeting?” She watched him sit back on the sofa, pulling the shoes off one by one.
“Yes. No. Both. Don’t know” he replied.
“Relax. What do you want to eat?”
“Is pancakes a possibility?” He asked with both his eyebrows raised.
“Yes it is!”
“Cool. I’ll make some Ilaichi chaai for us” Shahid spoke happily.
Priya and him moved towards the kitchen.
“You know, Avni is growing up fast. She is a clever kid. I would want her to meet you someday” Shahid looked at Priya for her reaction.
She took her own time.
“And do what, Shahid?”
“Just. I think she’ll understand”.
“She doesn’t need to. No one does. Apart of us. No one can”.
“Hmm” Shahid poured hot tea into glass mugs.
Sitting across dining table, Priya watched Shahid. She loved this part of the day. She loved the simplicity of this period of time.
Girlfriend and Boyfriend of past. Back in college time. Kept fighting till they got separated in 2 years. Shahid says, they actually fell in love post their break up. She felt love was a small word to describe them.
“Umm. This really kills my stress” Shahid said wiping his mouth.
“Me or Pancakes?” Priya made her eyes big.
“You know the answer”.
“Pancakes!” he said and they both laughed.
The laughter took a minute to transform into a smile.
Priya lifted his bag and removed a tie of it, like a bunny from the hat.
Putting it around his neck, she tried not to look into his eyes.
He held her hand into his.
“I think am ready for the meeting”.
“Thanks”.
“And you’re not going to office?” He asked her on his way towards the door.
“Working from home today” she answered and Shahid turned around with a surprised expression on his face.
“What?”
“Nothing. Just” he said laughing a little.
“Go you weirdo. Go. Am sick of you. Move out” she nudged him gently.
“Bye” one of them said and the other one just smiled.

10.15 am.
Shahid left home for office.

Cheat codes of Happiness

Cheating

“Six years, really?” Savio’s friend Ishaan and now a roommate had asked him when Savio talked about his relationship with Maya. Savio smiled his a proud smile and nodded yes.
“We are in fact getting married in February” he said.
“Wow! You don’t even need to. I mean six years is like a mini marriage already.”
“To you it is, Mr. Playboy. You change your girlfriend every month” Savio said and Ishaan had simply sipped on the leftover scotch in his glass with a naughty smile.

Today Savio was just getting free from his office. ‘7pm’ the Fossils watch said.
3 months it had been since Ishaan had shifted in. Maya and Ishaan were already good friends now. Savio noticed how she always wanted to know how Ishaan manages to charm so many women. And then also noticed how Ishaan would hold onto the secrets for some time and then let out the tricks in an impressive way.
“Bull shit, that works!” she would say with a smirk.

But Savio wasn’t stupid. He had seen it already. Them stealthily looking at each other. He knew it right from the beginning. He knew she was sharing lot more than sneaky looks with Ishaan. He knew her from six years. He knew her too well not to know it. It was the first time she was doing anything like this. She kept saying, she still loves him. But Savio was aware of it all. No, he was not mad at her. He just wanted her to stop on her own. He just wanted Ishaan to confess on his own.

Savio was getting free from office. He dialled Ishaan’s number and asked him if he would like him to get a few beers on the way back. He dialled Maya’s number. He asked her if she wanted to come to his place for three of them to hang out tonight. She let the whole ringtone play before answering the phone finally. Finally, before Ishaan had asked her to pick it up. She said ‘No’ the way Savio had heard her say in his head 1000 times already.
“You boys have fun” the routine sentence closed the conversation. She wouldn’t be able to lie so well, Savio knew. Not as smooth as Ishaan. Because she did love Savio. Still.

But she was taking off her coat now in Savio’s room, as Savio was catching the metro for Malviynagar. 40 minutes ride back home.

She must be opening her hair, with a clip between her lying lips. He must have cupped her from behind. Savio held onto the hand-rest in metro tighter than before. His fist turned round as he thought of Ishaan kissing her, where she’ll surrender herself to him.
Maya slid her hand inside Ishaan’s shirt now. She was biting gingerly on his shoulders to leave marks for later. ‘Marks’ Savio and Ishaan will laugh at the next morning, while Ishaan is narrating a story of his own with a girl he met online.
She was just lying on the bed now, as Savio utilized the last fifteen minutes they were left with. Maya’s breathing started to race fast as he moved her hair off her naked back and held her close and tight.
The metro slowed down at Green Park stop. Savio was playing the heavy metal track in his Sony experia headphones as if that would calm the venomous snake in his heart. It just kept blowing fire of envious thoughts.

Sitting at the corner of the bed, Maya was taking a drag off a dying cigarette. Ishaan came forward to kiss her on her cheeks. She silenced the cigarette in an ash tray and his attempt to cuddle her. Putting on her jacket, she asked him to wear clothes.

“He will be here in sometime” she said in a cold voice.
“Yeah” Ishaan replied.
“Am going. You boys have fun” the routine sentence closed the conversation.

Ishaan watched her go all the way and tried to remember her scent, the rush of her hair and her…till the next time. He was in love. For the first time.

Savio got down from the metro. He had decided to let it go for one more time.
“We all make mistakes” he told himself.
“Six years is lot bigger than this. Friendship is lot bigger than this” he murmured inside his head.

Two pints of beer met each other back home, as they said ‘cheers’, shared jokes, laughed and talked about old times. Ishaan didn’t confess. Neither did Savio ask.
You boys have fun” they both remembered her voice.