Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Twilight Zone

We had missed the beauty of that twilight.
The twilight of mystical colours and earthly hopes.
The raucous birds had hovered over the river Brahmaputra.
And sunset had lingered on the sky like an old confused person.
I had waited at the same place, alone and forlorn.
And the dying light had wrapped around me, softly,
 like my  favourite pashmina shawl, like a shroud.
I saw the breathless wind stop its game and rest
 in the dry winter grasses and dusty benches.

And sometimes the shadows of the evening trees whispered about some tale
Where hearts had met in the fields drenched with magnesium moonlight.
When love and desires had whirled and swirled in a hot sultry night.
And a Midas – hand had turned life into a dream and the dreams so alive.

But tales like this fit only in a fictional story
where things always end happily.
For love if that is its name was crushed under the feet along with the dry leaves that day.
And the promise of “walking together come what may” was left unsaid.
And the defeated sun had yielded to a pall of thick darkness.

You had already left, left to be someone else’s.
And now I know I will miss the beauty of all the twilights.

When Mars & Venus make war on an sms on Earth

My friend has almost decided not to send such sms to me and perhaps now I miss the funny "RakhtCharitra" but what happened had happened and I can't change it.
So the sms was :
To make a woman happy, a man only needs to be: a friend, a companion, a lover, a brother, a father, a chef, an electrician, a plumber, a driver, a good listener; without forgetting to compliment her regularly, be honest, be very rich, not stress her out, not look at other girls and at the same time give her lots of attention, loads of time, never forget her birthdays and the anniversaries. But to make a man happy- just leave him alone.
I know many men out there are right now nodding their heads in full agreement.
But why is it that the simple idea- just leave me alone- dawns to the male species when they have wooed a woman and made a commitment as in a marriage or a serious relationship?
So playfully I sent an answer.
To make a man happy, a woman needs to be: his friend, companion, a lover better than a whore, a sister, mother, cook, housekeeper, laundry woman, a machine to beget his children who preferably are replicas of him, a nanny or babysitter, a decorator, a morale booster, a right accessory by his side to flaunt, with vital stats that can shame the katrinas or bipasas; a multitasker, a charming, sweet angel even if the devil’s around or hell breaks loose, and at the same time  give him the right attention at the right time, wait on him, be warm and friendly with his friends even if they booze like fish, are cricket bugs, or belch, fart, snore or pick their nose. Give him space to work like an addict, to chill out late nights with buddies, beers n girls and this need not be in this order. Pamper his ego that also includes faking the big O, never draw too much male attention to one self, and become invisible when he does not need you and so on.
Many of you may agree with what seem like a verbal war or rather sms war between the species from Mars and Venus. And there are some grains of truth in all this. But frankly speaking, the urban educated women are comfortable in their own skin and do not shy away to accept that they have had enough of multi-tasking, enough of playing the super woman. They no longer want to take the burden of so many roles that they have been conventionally playing and definitely want a new man. A man who is ready to share her roles. They want the men to show clearly that they are making an effort- effort to accept and change for this new woman. And change not just in appearances (hey, we too like John Abrahams and Brad Pitts) because change in material world is still easier than the change women need and also hope and many times demand in the non-material world. And when they do see this effort, women are ready to come half way. Yes, I say half way, because there is an expectation that the other half the man will tread.
Under pressure, dear men, from this new breed of women?
Well, we have learnt to enjoy ourselves. We are excited to explore and discover ourselves, from pottery, to scuba-diving, to clubbing, to heading a company, to playing football in rain with the son, or men-watching, or even being more adventurous and articulate sexually. We don’t mind being on top. But we are not being the feminists of the 80s or even the 90s. We are simply saying: Treat me equal but treat me special.

Stray Thoughts on a balmy winter day

Season to Love
Last year during Christmas I went to Arunachal Pradesh where I got a white carpet welcome…the roads, the rooftops, the trees everything was dressed in the purest and softest of white and if that was not enough heavens opened its doors to caress me with more whites. I enjoyed my experience with snowfalls and enjoyed not just its feathery touch but also the intricate design of snowflakes. All for the first time.
Snow is still away in Arunachal but winter has arrived in Assam and the greens have been replaced by the grey of dust (undesirably) and the chill in the year pleasanter (very favourable) and though I don't have the luxury of big garden or balcony and the privacy, I have big windows to let the sun fall on my naked legs. It is a soothing feeling, and the sun becomes the most loved thing in this season. It softly filters in warmth, love, calmness and contentment. Perhaps it is really a season of plenty and a season to love and savour the small pleasures and mercies of life. Like lazy coffee mornings with friends. Imagine the kick hot café mocha, with a lethal combination of caffeine and chocolate, can give. A walnut brownie or apple pie can be optional but some hot gossip and girlish giggles almost mandatory. Though I know I often can be only a listener and may sometimes have my throaty laugh.
And Punjabi friends or even friend ka friend ka friend (remember the Indian expertise in finding relations and friendship in strangers too), become so dearer at this time of the year. Aha the very though of it is ready to make me love them, befriend them and get oneself invited for sarson da saag and makki di roti. Believe me heaven is very near to a steaming bowl of saag, with lots of ginger and white butter served with ghee-soaked makki rotis with just a hint of methi in the batter to leaven the taste. Pao-bhaji, mooli paratha, gobhi paratha are next on the line though the bliss factor is little compromised.
Walks in a park, deserted roads and the Brahmaputra Boulevard with the sun shining down upon you and your iPod or Nature itself playing some favourite tunes in your ear is another winter pleasure. And to reward one self for the exercise one can surely sink the teeth on the best oranges from Shillong. Sweet, pulpy, juicy and loaded with vitamins.
The season invites for picnics, barbeques and al fresco eating. Pack your basket with pakoras, sandwiches, cheese, beer, wine, chocolate, fruits, cold meat any other treats and pack your family and friends into a large SUV and find a sunny spot, best next to some stream and green. Or if you are lucky enough to have a lawn, it’s the right time to make the best of it. A lawn serves its ultimate function around this time of the year- weekend brunches that lasts as long as the light and laughter do and if there is fire within and a bon fire outside, time does not play much shots.
And imagine the luxurious warmth of pashmina or fur against your skin. Time one owned all those items that makes one feel good. Some even revel at customized tailoring. And think of the joys of layering for a person like me. I mean sweaters that can go over shirt, jackets that go over waist coats and shawls that go over anything and all of it going over layers of flab. And remember you can go without the pains of waxing for these few months with no one noticing. Ok, agreed those in a new relationship can not enjoy this lazy, laidback mentality. But what we all can do is enjoy lazy lie-ins on the weekends. Snuggle deep and till late on the bed, sleep extra, linger and love and finally coax someone to get you a hot cup of tea or better still a wholesome breakfast on bed. A perfect beginning to a perfect day! And what a heavenly day one can have, on the terrace or the balcony, reading a book and feasting on roasted peanuts or spicy corns.
Evenings put on your boots over tights or skin-hugging leather pants and enjoy the sexy swagger in your walk to the club or disco. And then even if you care not much, you cannot miss the riot of colours in the form of plenty of flowers in parks and gardens, in terrace and balcony, along the roadside and roundabouts. What else one needs to warm up the hearts during the cold, winter season? 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Priceless Pearls....License to float in untangible pain....

Scattered Pearls and Souls

Anjali Tirkey

Every evening
gloom descends noiselessly
along with the night
and settles in every corner of my room.

But before that happens,
every time before that happens,
somewhere outside,
over the hills,
the sky becomes a collage of beautiful colours.

And in their midst,
in the midst of the fiesta of colours,
the sun does a ballet with the fleeting clouds
and the wind amongst the trees plays music in my ears.

And along this,
along this symphony of the silhouetty dusk,
a few boats sail quietly in the river
and the birds settle in the nests,
disturbing the harmony with much hue and cry.

And somehow unheard,
unheard in the clamour and the cry,
gloom sneaks in the room
and makes home in broken and sorry hearts.

And sometimes,
sometimes in some dark, unexpected nights,
the moon swims out of the clouds
and sheds a drop of water
for those melancholy hearts.

And once in a while,
yes only once in a while,
this drop of  salty water
reaches some lonely heart and makes a dwelling there.

And in the rarest of rare times,
the times when nature waves it’s magic wand,
a miracle takes place.
The moon’s tear perhaps with the heart’s gloom, 
creates a pearl - fair as the moon, fragile as gloom.

But often before that,
before the moon’s pearl blooms in the clandestine heart
the beating stops
and a clenched soul tears the gloom and soars high in the sky.

In that evening,
in the frozen silence of that scorching evening,
what is heard in my room
is the deafening echo of the gloom
and perhaps the soft sound of scattering pearls of moon.