Monday, September 22, 2014

This isn't a post - 7 (back to the stream of consciousness)

Fill the details correctly
life is a long application form
he once told me- no one loves old people. I want to tell him I am slowly getting there to the twilight of old age. But then age is just a number say the fools. Do they wear watches?

its dripping away second by second
every other picture of me looks like someone else
No one reads this, I am told
PUBLISH
I choose perish

Seek references
know preferences
ask, seek, achieve
no peace at all
Is worth a pay cheque? Is worth measured by love?

This finding yourself is only good for selling self-help books.

Why do I write?
because Bukowski doesn't let me sleep
because I made a promise to Eliot, Hemingway, Manto and Amrita Pritam

because the noises wouldn't stop
because schizophrenia is a possibility

only the mad ones are alive
the living ones are all compromised
for fame, money or the worst- LOVE

That was someone else
some other person who was ME then
some other space
she wore silver trinkets
loved the rain
and talked to diwali lights

forever is a lie
I type LO- for loneliness
autofill says LOVE.







 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To Ghalib



drowning
a lifetime into
this city's sunsets
and decades
of despair
to be a legend
I breathe
your angst

dead souls
masquerading
with fake smiles
lust wearing
love's cloak

words die
a silent death.

referendums
and regrets
life is worst
when it is
a pending decision.




 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Evidence

This story was first published here @ One Frame Stories.

Finally after a decade long legal battle Ria had won the rights to her mom’s property and lockers in Shimla. Since morning she had been looking for an old fashioned cassette player, because one of the lockers had only an audio cassette. Ria found one with a friend’s grandfather and borrowed it for a day. Alone in her room she played the cassette. The recording was long over .The night was long, difficult and full of bad memories. The next morning she called her lawyer. At last she had evidence to nail her dad for killing her mom.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Amaltas Avenue: a piece of enduring campus fiction


The first striking thing about AMALTAS AVENUE, Dr. Manju Jaidka’s latest novel, published by Lifi publishers Delhi is its striking cover, that has a city flyover in the background and yellow laburnum bunches hanging over, defining the geographical setting of this piece beautifully.

The author being a senior and accomplished academic herself makes the campus come to life in this latest book of hers.

The novel tells us that the title comes from a lovers’ lane on campus of the Panjab University in Chandigarh. Many characters live and work there and at various stages of the story the setting comes as alive as any other character in this interesting tale.

The novel has three parts divided into three days- Scorching Sunday, Muggy Monday and Torrid Tuesday and just like the names of the three sections the poet in the novelist takes over in the creating the impactful imagery of this book. Descriptions like the one excerpt below make even ordinary scenes have a long lasting recall value for any reader.

Narendra notes, the bird more like an ethereal dancer, arms stretched out, pirouetting to unheard music. A ballet dancer, lithe and graceful. Isadora Duncan, hair flying, scarf flying, waiting to be entangled in a wheel. Isadora with long, flowing scarves waiting to choke the life out of her.

Even a simple painting on a wall – Breughel’s Icarus makes its presence felt at critical junctures in the life of one of the main characters, Narendra.

The other characters of the novel like Charu, Atul and Madhavi are made to connect with the readers with their peculiar idiosyncrasies, their nicknames so common on every campus and a peek into their personal histories.

The novel places itself firmly into today’s time and age in more than one way. One of the characters runs a blog called bantusapera.com and the characters have Facebook friends and online interactions regularly.

Every aspect of the University living right from the happenings at the all-important Vice-Chancellor’s office to the research committees and the girls’ hostels are realistic to the core. Regular campus issues in any university in India like student indiscipline, academic frauds, office politics, manipulation in appointments and ragging are also dealt with realistically.

In the Epilogue the novelist skilfully tries to tie up all the loose ends in all the plots and

The last blooms of the amaltas fall to the ground and merge with the rain and slush.

The readers are left craving for more as they savour this gamut of multiple emotions –love, passion, sorrow, loneliness and despair all neatly packaged into the 262 pages of this brilliant novel.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My issues with DORAEMON and similar SHOWS

I am blessed to be the parent of a child who loves to sing, dance, read, role play and paint much more than she does the 24 x 7 cartoon channels.

Moms tell me horror tales about how kids won't eat, sleep or get ready for school without one of their animated friends constantly on the screen.

Often we analyse the effect of cartoons on children regarding their impact on reduced attention spans, violent behaviour and self control but we fail to realise how they would affect our kids social behaviour as well as their gender sensitivity.

Me and my child watch a show called Doraemon sometimes and I find so many things about it that are worthy of criticism and evaluation.

What the show is about?

If you are uninitiated into the world of contemporary cartoon channels and their shows let me tell you that Doraemon is a robo-cat from the 22nd Century capable of pulling out gadgets at random from his pocket, mostly to help and rescue to  his kid owner, Nobita.

This is the basic format of the show where a cowardly and careless Nobita keeps getting into trouble , and his mechanised friend Doraemon has to come up with a weird solution in the form of a strange gadget to set things right.


Courtesy : Google Images


Issues

  • Nobita detests homework, fails in all his tests and hides the test papers every time. Certainly not an ideal we would want our young kids to emulate. He is basically a pathetic role model for a child who then seeks impossible solutions with the help of a robot.

  • All the other characters in the show are the usual stereotypes  namely the bully, his follower, the hysterical teacher, the shouting mother, the carefree father. All adults in the show are also flawed and are always seen as either rebuking or giving in. The mother in particular is only expected to slog all day and "keep the family happy" whatever that means.

  • The flawed vision of life portrayed is very straightforward. Conflicts get resolved every time, good wins, evil loses and  the hero with whom the kids identify the most is always right, hardly how life really pans out to be.

  • All the little girl characters are portrayed in a hugely regressive manner and are wide-eyed, feminine and only good at baking cookies. They never are naughty or strong and always look up to the boys for help . Hardly a feminist ideal for my girl or even little boys who may think girls never take the lead in life, they are only supposed to support and remain BEHIND a successful boy and man later in life.

  • The cultural context of the show is completely out of place and the bad HINGLISH into which these are dubbed does not teach our kids anything at all other than dragging their words and raising their voice.

Now some of you may argue that this cartoon was created in the Japan of the 70s so its contextual to that time and place, but my 21st century child is viewing this nonsense sometimes and most of her friends are viewing it every day. Will it not affect their world view?
 
 
We regret the regressive speech, costumes, storylines  and settings in TV soaps , I think its time we look at cartoon shows critically and choose wisely.
I would say NEVER ever let your kid watch any of these if at all they do without parental guidance so that we can help them differentiate between good and bad in realistic terms.

Orange Flower Awards

@IAmSufiZen

COMPANIONS CALLED BOOKS

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Frankenstein
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
Lolita
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind
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I WILL RING THE BELL.WILL YOU?

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!