Monday, August 10, 2009


Sea by Leonid Afremov
Ariel... he called her. And she winced and smiled at the same time. The ordinary her. With an imperfect face and everyday eyes. She was not a shiny sea princess. With star dust in her eyes. But he still loved her. No, he loved Ariel. Neptune’s baby. Spritely. Light. Impish. Not Earthly. She belonged to another world. A never-there-land. Neverland. A parallel universe. Where fireflies danced in front of everyone’s eyes. Magic. Not the world where they shine briefly and evaporate into evanescence before you can tell someone — look! She was not Ariel who glided along the surface of the world with a liquid grace. She couldn’t be. Ariel never had cavities. In her mouth or in her heart like she did. Worldly maladies. Mortality. Ariel was a wisp of air. Floating on the world’s eye. Ariel was transparent. The world’s colours reflecting through her shimmery self. Ariel was no one. Ariel was not one. Ariel with a shiny orange pearl. Her sceptre. Her crystal ball. She’s not Ariel. She of mundane ways. With hungers to be fed. Thirsts to be quenched. Desires to be burnt. Longing. A feverish one that melted into her skin. Under it. To fill her up. A molten ache. Golden. Magical. She looked out into her world. Small human face looking out of a big window face. Starry eyed. She wanted to be Ariel. She could. All she had to do was spin. Spin fast. Spin wild. Spin out of control. Shake off the Earthly pains. Shake off the mundane ways. Shake off the cavities (both the toothy ones and the ones in the heart) Spin faster. Spin wilder. Spin. Shake off the imperfections. The hungers to be fed. The thirsts to be quenched. The desires to be burnt. The longing. Her sceptre shines brilliantly. Her crystal ball. Her orange pearl. Spin. Fast. Wild. Shake off the everydayness. The everyday eyes. The molten becomes golden. The golden becomes molten. Spin. As fluid as her watery eyes. Spin. Till she became Neptune’s baby. Shiny sea princess. With the magic of secrets. With secrets of magic. Ariel. Spritely. Light. Impish. Not Earthly. She was Ariel. She could never love him.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Salar De Uyuni
I unashamedly admit...when I was reading today I became the lady in Sarajevo....the one with the red scarf sitting against the pillar...waiting for an eternity to unfold... this is not the first time...I've become many such people...people waiting...the ones wanting...or longing..even hoping...always loving...maybe that's why I devour books with a voracity that even I don't understand....maybe that's why I plunge headlong into those pages... maybe that's why I empathetically tell everyone around me that the books I've read are so beautiful that.....When I try to tell them I realise that those are the only moments I'm completely left with nothing to do you describe that strange feeling after finishing a book that makes you want to live in it....that it physically hurts somewhere inside once you finish it.... because that's how badly you miss it...because it feels like someone yanked you away from your life so hard that it made you bleed and leave all you loved behind....because it makes you want to become that person who found his destiny in those pages.... or didn't find it maybe...mostly they didn't....For at that exact moment that they fade into the oblivion of the last word, they turn back one last time as if to say maybe I'll meet you again....the people I've become are always that disturbing? Should it worry me that I'm constantly sifting into them....I'm a fistful of sand seeping through keyholes and into that tiny gap between the floor and the door...flowing fluidly into worlds which are locked away and becoming somebody else..stolen intrusions into someone else's imagination...I panic on the days I don't have a book to read...Claustrophobia pales in comparison..I need to escape...I need the warmth of those comforting pages....Someone once told me I wander too much...I have Wanderlust I'd proudly think to myself..besides I like the fancy pomposity of the word when i twirl it on my tongue like I usually I'm an exotic gypsy traveller finding life and love in remote, unexplored places...I'd like to believe that I am...or that someday i will be...slapping those luscious green leaves on a wet, rainy day in the Kerala backwaters just to feel the cold spray splash onto my face... watch my reflection in the pristine mirror of saline where the lines between the horizon and the skies are cleverly smudged in the Salar Di Uyuni...watching the sunset at lake Titicaca....dip my feet into the breathtakingly multi-hued and blued and greened waters of the Great Ocean Drive.... relive the rise and the fall of the Byzantine and the Ottoman empire in Istanbul... see what Darwin saw in the Galapagos and learn what the whole fuss of evolution is about...wince in disgust as I see spiders crawl up the mossy walls of the Inca temple ruins in Peru....or wince even more when I see Komodo dragons eat their young in obscure Indonesian islands....I wander again...maybe I won't see all this before I die...but maybe it won't matter because I've already done this a million times...not just when i sleep but when I'm awake...when people think I'm here with them... listening to them...I've wandered through these worlds so many times that someday maybe I'll actually believe I went to all these places....maybe one day I'll never realise when I was here and when I wandered because those days it is reality that seems like an alien land....that day I know I'll be more at home when I become that lady with a red scarf in Sarajevo than in any other moment of my life......because something beckons me in an antique land... because a wanderer ill be forever....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Swirling clouds of fuming smoke
Delightfully stings the fervent eyes…..
The camphor flavoured vapours intoxicate the senses…

The zealous dance begins….
As the inhibitions evaporates with the fluid atmosphere
divine surges of devotion overwhelm the being

The drum roll resounds in the sanctum
Pulsating with an uninterrupted pace and an unfailing rhythm
like the throbbing pulse of life itself…

Tongues of flame lick at the humid air
and the fiery orange glow engulfs the darkness
as mystical chants are sung by the holy lips

Heartfelt prayers are offered amongst the fragrant flowers
A joint buzz gradually arising
amid the sea of scarlet vermillion smeared foreheads

A wave of tranquility flushes across the horizon
even amongst the paroxysms of devotion
A spiritual moment of both passion and peace

The ringing of the bells awaken the soul
The pace quickens, chants become louder, the drums beat faster,
and the moment reaches an overpowering crescendo

The moment culminates, the devotees depart
and the tranquility gives away to a mundane buzz
and life goes on in all its monotony

And the lord awaits on his ornamented throne
For another spiritual odyssey…
…for another fleeting moment of pure devotion, peace and passion

Sunday, February 24, 2008


A castle stood on a tall high up that we felt like we were standing at heaven's gate... jagged ends of the rocks almost rose up to the castle in their splendid was a three sided castle...there was no wall on one willing suspension of disbelief in a theatre....but only difference is that we were on stage yet we were the spectators to the landscape thrown open to us ......colourful but washed colours on a canvas intentionally smudged by the artist to get the faraway an antique land......the whole scene was doused in a radiant orange black..the setting sun refused to be put was very dark yet bright enough to blind you...a rich, deep, alluring orange black....and then we see and me.....the suns...BigBeautifulBrilliant...Five of them...or was it five...we were counting...we stopped at five maybe...the counting could wait!!! The massive fiery orbs were as orange as orange gets and seemed to be just miles away...we reached out our orange glowy hands......the suns looked like they were so many suns...MammothMonumentalMighty....we ooohed and aaahed....shrieking in excitement like we sometimes do when we think or do something we think is so smart...highlight of our lives as you would say...there were people around us....a mob of faces....mostly obscure....faded like the landscape..... like the same painter had smudged the colour of their faces too...we ran up to them begging them to take a look...but they didn't....they were busy having tea.... the lavish kind...high tea? with silver tea pots, croissants, cakes, tarts and other jammy treats..the one we read about in Enid Blyton books... We screamed to them and asked them to turn..."There is a this breathtaking, awe-inspiring cosmic phenomenon painting the sky and you choose to turn your back to it and have tea!" ....."so what" they said.....brushing us away....and in that moment it came as a flash... we are the last cowboys...

Friday, February 15, 2008

If only....

If each one of us would be a lot less voyeuristic...the world would be a better place to live

Monday, February 11, 2008

Historical musings......

A half broken down wall, with moss struggling its way through its spidery cracks. A flight of blackening stone stairs leading to a quaint chamber that seems to resonate the eerie empty silences. I’m looking at the remains of a dilapidated fort that once in all its majestic splendour housed royalty. The first thing that struck me on seeing this oddly beautiful sight was that a long time ago, in a bygone era these colossal forts lay witness to the glory of a lineage of kings and monarchs, only to be swallowed by the dark swirls of time becoming one with history.

The fascination of ‘what-may-have-been’ enthrals my imagination somewhat more than the present itself. I cannot look at these testimonies of the past without wondering about the kind of magic its old world charm held. One ‘historic’ day, as I walked through the colossal stonewalls of the Golconda fort, visions of an age gone by flashed before my eyes… I could hear the sound of life permeate through the royal palace…the images of a majestic king seated on his throne with the whole realm at his mercy, the peals of laughter coming from the harem. The tinkling of the anklets of the court dancer, the queen with her maids in her chamber, the visions of the hustle bustle of life as it passed through decades of war and peace. The Golconda fort… where the world’s largest diamond Kohinoor was discovered, where gems and precious stones were sold in heaps in marketplaces, where art and architecture saw new light of progress. It was a world of beauty, of opulence and riches, of grandeur unknown to today’s world. Today I see the magnificent Golconda fort against the backdrop of a setting sun, standing tall in pride as a testimony to Hyderabad’s glorious past.

Even a few years ago, I could be included in that class of people who think it is impractical and a total waste of time to study the past. I would declare in a pompous manner, along with the others, that enlightening oneself on dead corpses and long gone decrepit buildings will be of no use to our lives. But then after pursuing it as a subject (quite unwillingly, at first!) there seemed to be born in me, a newfound love for history. Corpses no more remained corpses, they began to fill with blood and flesh and they became breathing, walking men and women, who lived, but only in another dimension. These derelict buildings were once bustling with activity and their floors were tread upon by these same men and women. I begin to speed through from era to era in a matter of seconds…imagination running berserk, if not wild…and the rest as they say is history!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Yummy yummy....words in my tummy... :)

Sometimes I indulge in words like it's a forbidden pleasure...the words just leap into my mouth like moths to flame.....a fiery fatal attraction...they hop onto my tongue and sway around......a slow seductive dance turning into a rage of frenzied passion....

They splash around my teeth mirthfully and softly serenade my palate and in a fluid move sink into my skin being drawn to it like it's in a lethal quicksand....

Some words just rub against my tongue like a feline in a moment of happiness, purring in the obvious joy of a caress earned.... some just land with a painful thud making it's presence felt...some creep in like a whisper almost unheard, tickling the top of my palate.....

But there are some words that weave complicated webs across my mouth tangling my sensibilities in their intricacies...they confuse me...muddle me up....until i drown in their murky pool of ambiguity...a victory won by them....another lost by me...

And sometimes I'm triumphant as I tug on their equestrian reins which are in the control of my senses..which steers them in the direction I want.....a battle won....

But they all have the same taste.....the words....with a bittersweet twang.. like that of a sour orange....overpowering fragrance.....tangerine?