October 31, 2008

I, Icarus

Earthbound, I Icarus,
One day wished to fly,
To soar into the clouds,
Into the heavenly sky.

Bird, alas, I was not,
No wings of mine to beat,
They said, “Humans do not fly,
They stand on their earthly feet.”

Far stronger
Were my dreams of flight,
One day to leave the ground
Out of my mortal sight.

Wings I grew
Of wax and leather
Tethered to my arm
By straps of leather.

I beat my arms
As I had seen the birds do
Up and down, up and down
As away from me they flew.

First, just an inch,
I cleared off the ground,
The weightlessness of flight
Intoxicating, I found.

Harder, I beat my hands
Till ache grew in my arms.
I beat on still, higher I went
As you looked on in alarm.

“Higher, higher, faster, faster,”
Until hoarse I cried,
To soar above the clouds,
Above everything I tried.

Along with the eagles,
Far over your head,
Right up to the sun,
Where even birds fear to tread.

The wax began to melt,
And feathers, off they fall,
In the middle of the sky
Oh did my flight stall.

And earthward I hurtle,
I smile and close my eyes,
I Icarus, man-bird
Will always belong to the skies.

31st October 2008

October 27, 2008

Just for a minute

She stands there,
Hardly moving a degree,
awaiting his arrival, just
A few minutes away
She has waited an hour
To be with him again,
Even if were to be
For just a minute.
The world rushes past,
Looking at them;
A couple to the world,
To an unseeing eye
They are together,
To the world around.
She counts the seconds,
A mental countdown,
Till the second arrives
When he moves on above her.
Her joy unforetold,
They seem to appear one,
One body as,
Her small body mergers
With the big one of his.
Even in unity,
She anguishes still,
For even together,
They are apart,
Joined at the feet
Cursed to go around,
Awaiting that one minute
When they be together.
She cannot touch him
Just his feet,
He is stoic,
Does not seem to mind
As if he is looking ahead
To move away from her.
She pleads and beseeches
"O why for more than a minute?
Can we not stop time,
Forever, for us?"
For the whole minute
He does not talk
And as the minute ends
He moves on,
Parting slowly but surely.
And as he moves on
He whispers into her ear
"Hold on my love for
An hour goes very fast.
Move not very much,
For I will run
And we will be together again
Even it were for
Just a minute".

Let the muse know that I have been mused

October 26, 2008


Sitting at the wheel,
Movements automated
Gears move from first, 
To second, third,
Hitting higher speeds,
They move to fourth and fifth.
No thought on the road,
A blank mind.
Hand handling the wheel, 
Legs handle the pedals,
The music blaring on
Music I do not hear,
Just the sound
That drives away the languor
I look on at the traffic ahead.
All in a state of hypnosis,

All moving ahead, 
In the same direction
At the same speed.
One stops and so do the rest,
One moves, 
And rest do likewise.
No individuality,
All just the same
Image of the one ahead.
The roads are long, 
They are straight
Nothing to distinguish
This bend 
From the next,
All driving along
Waiting for their exit
The one that takes them home.

26th October 2008


Another festival, one of the many that dot the Indian calendar has come. However, this one is different, for it is time for Diwali, the festival of lights. There are many mythological tales behind the tale, the most notable ones being the return of Ram to the kingdom of Ayodhya, and the conquest of Krishna over an evil ashura, whose name I forget. I am not going to talk about that. 
I am going to talk about what this festival means to me. 
  • Fighting with mom to sleep a few minutes when she comes to wake me up at 4:00 in the morning
  • Having an oil bath, squirming when she gets the oil on the face. Trying to remove the oil from all parts of the body with the bitter Sheekakai (I have tasted it, accidentally) and coming to terms with the burning eyes. No matter the rest of the year we use shampoos and conditioners, that day belongs to sheekakai. (If you are a kid, you are allowed to use Kadalamaavu)
  • New clothes, the ones that we shopped for the previous weekend, bugging dad to get a jean (when I was a kid, they were a fad and not the ubiquitous clothing of today) and a Tee shirt 
  • Making a thousand faces when mom feeds you the Diwali marundhu (Diwali medicine), a concoction of things that I still have no idea of
  • Going out to be the first in the society to set of a hundred wala, the first to start the day long sessions of crackers
  • Coming back home for the puja, praying to god for things that I do not even remember
  • Waiting for mother to finish cooking, the Vadais (Wada), the paal payasam (Kheer), the poricha appalam (fried papadams). Eating till I can eat no more
  • Going back with friends to either burst more crackers, or play a game of cricket (is there any other game.)
  • Going out with dad in the evening and seeing him bravely bursting the bigger crackers, the ones that I was scared to burst, the atom bombs, the giant flowerpots, those Vishnu chakarams, closing my ears in fright, bur completely enthralled with the event.

Years have passed and I have come to realize that the festival was more than all this. It was a time to be with your family. A festival is not the clothes or the food. It is just an excuse to spend time with friends and family. Things have changed in the recent years, festival have become a reason to call home, to tell them things that are not important anymore, discuss who is doing what and then keep the phone down returning to our daily lives. 

Here is to wishing all the people who are not with the near and dear on a festival, a Happy Diwali
and here is to wishing all the people who are with their near and dear on the festival.. A Happy Diwali

October 21, 2008

Of rocks and pebbles

Eons have passed,
Running water
Having weathered the rocks.
Those grooves I admired,
All smooth, all plain.
The grooves remain,
But, in memory.
I am, but, a boat,
Riding along the stream
On whose shores
I saw the grooved rock once.
I came back to see again
The grooves on that rock,
But here I see no rock,
For all I see is a pebble
In the place where I saw rock.
The pebble is true
For it is there.
The grooved rock is true,
For I saw it there.
I walk on by,
Another memory to carry.
Until I pass by the pebble again,
The grooved rock is a memory,
Just a memory, for
The pebble is here.


P.S. This is my 150th post, and I could think of no better way to commemorate the joy that I have derived from this medium.

October 18, 2008


Eyes, they are a one way mirror
Showing the world to me,
Everything that I want to see.

My mind remains closed
Behind open eyes
To the world outside.

Eyes they are open,
To light,
Piercing painful light.

Behind open eyes,
In the presence of light,
I struggle to see.

They hold back
From the outside world
What is me, me.

Eyes, they remain closed
To everything that goes on
In the inside of me.

My eyes close,
Light enters, Mind opens
I can finally see.

Picture courtesy: http://possikimble.blogspot.com/

October 15, 2008

A month

You barely see her forehead,
As she peeps from over the mountain.
Hiding her face,
All scarred from years of strife.
The day is special,
The start of something new.
You promised her a new start
The end of something to forget,
For she is coming out of your shadow.
Over a fortnight,
She has prepared for this day,
Each day adding a little more,
To arrive at her wondrous splendor.
As she gains more courage,
And steps out of her room
Every eye turns to her
To wonder in her majesty
This is first meeting, anew,
She has chosen an orange drape
So splendid against the dark room,
Set off by the glow on her face.
As she comes out more,
She changes into a resplendent white,
Dazzling to the naked eye,
As bright as the midday sun.
She hides not the scars
That runs along the side of her face,
Her scars make her more alive
Bringing perfection to an imperfect being.
As she progresses along to you,
Willing to put on show all she has,
She starts removing from what she put on
Moving from splendor to a thin crescent.
You could hold on no longer,
For she had to be in your shadow,
“A fortnight in the open”, you said
“Is a fortnight too long”, you said.
All dressed in black today,
Hiding the scars on her face,
She slips back into your shadow,
To remain behind you for the day.

For the full Nila outside the window, and the full one inside

October 5, 2008


A clap, a streak,
Of white in complete black.
But for a second, she stays,
All illuminating.
Purity, in all her energy,
Dissipated in a moment in
Her thousand arms,
She takes a path
From heaven above
To the earth below.
Fear not for she is sent
To quench the world
The world of its thirst.
Soon she will be gone,
Leaving her tears behind,
Her tears that will soothe
The very burns she caused
She burns the air
Around her, singeing
No mark left of her
To show that she was here.
Just the memory of her path
Infringed on my eye.
Just a memory of her tear
On the palm of my hand.

Personal public writing

Trying to make sense of the following sentences

1) I write for my pleasure
2) I blog

There seems to be something fundamentally contradictory in the above two statements.

I have always maintained that writing is something that has always given me immense pleasure. In fact, the other day, during a conversation with Suchitra, I went to theorize that writing is currently the evolutionary equivalent of being the fastest runner among cheetahs, being the toughest elephant, or being the fastest swimming shark with the worst bite. The reason being that evolutionarily, humans have come to a situation where they do not have to be fast, or sturdy. In fact, man has come to a state where his size does not matter and it is the thoughts in his head that do.

Taking the analogy forward, to be able to think is to mean to be evolutionarily enabled, to be the fittest among the species, for it means an ability to think (or at least a thought that they do!)

Therefore, the underlying is that I have a perceived ability to think. If I can do that, I write so that I have a forum to discuss what it is that my thoughts are and to receive and perceive the underlying thought processes of others writing, which means that my writing, although does not pander to others, is still a call out to others to read what I write, to comment and therefore commence a train of discussion.

Therefore, there is no underlying disconnect as long as there is a healthy conversation on the blog. Is there? I think so.

Words mine,
From thoughts mine.
To hear thoughts
On thought,
A conversation,
A discussion,
A mutual exchange.