Monday, November 17, 2014

To Ginsberg

“The weight of the world is love.
Under the burden of solitude,
under the burden of dissatisfaction
the weight,the weight we carry is love. ” 
―     Allen Ginsberg 
The destitute old man's
mumbo-jumbo
follows me around
his eyes
have some of my questions
Across cities, centuries , continents
loneliness has the same texture
I listen to Ginsberg
and following my inner moonlight
I show my madness
the world turns away
like dubbed cartoons
who speak a foreign language
merely mouths move
conversations are long dead
heads buried in smartphones
hearts buried even deeper
all of us
are yellow sunflowers inside
looking for a sun
the soul howls
at lighted cities
and the fountain of darkness
spilling over
threading colored beads
on a string
I think of Ginsberg, Kerouac
and Rumi
we the damned
unclassifiables !

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CHILDREN'S DAY SNAPSHOTS

31st December
my frozen hands
want to loose
their painful fingertips
long after the party is over
the dishes are done
I make a new year wish.

20th January
The shiny new flyover
is not a road
its curved underbelly
is home
cold, unsafe, no walls
the NGO people
tell us fairy tale


14th February
I sold 100 roses today
the money and mother
are gone
Are all policemen bad?


23rd March
I serve tea
to intelligent people
in the university
while they talk about revolution
someone called Bhagat Singh

17th April
My mom died
father is in prison for it
I am now a parent
to three of us.


27th May
The little girl
in the big house
where mom works
has something called vacation
I am sure it must be pretty

20th June
She says touch is love
Love cannot feel so bad
the chocolate she leaves behind
always tastes bitter
even when
I be a good boy

16th July
I polish the pretty school shoes
I iron the beautiful pinafore
I pack the tiffin
I walk the dog
I sometimes feel hungry.

15th August
I sold flags
at a traffic light
the tar burns
into my soles
what is In-de-pen-den-ce
who knows?

25th September
I can never forget
I can never tell
what he does to me
but I want to go to school....

19th October
The Diwali sweets
my fingers
my skin
tastes like gunpowder
my eyes can't bear the light
I make crackers.

14th November
CHILDREN'S DAY


 

Friday, November 7, 2014

FREEDOM

The year was 1975.They had met in Shantiniketan. He was already a reputed writer who was visiting for a workshop and she was one of the most stunning and promising singers the university had seen in the recent years.

It seemed like love at first sight, though he was several years her senior. Like a proper aristocrat, the following week her parents had received a formal proposal for marriage which they had no reason to deny.

He expected no dowry and the only condition was that Suparna would not sing after the marriage, certainly according to her parents this was not a huge price to pay by a poor girl to marry into a rich aristocratic family. She was hesitant at first but then love took over her reservations and she believed her love would soon make him change his heart about her singing.

She went into the haveli as Chotti bahu (young daughter-in-law). He had no siblings and after his father’s death, his mother had retired as a pious widow to Vrindavan to spend her final years praying. It was a new life, she had truckloads of new sarees and jewellery, the house was palatial and she had dedicated maid servants for her.  She had started reading English classics at the university and continued that habit, taking out books from the huge library at the haveli, her favourite being the ones by the Bronte sisters.

He called her his muse and dedicated his new collection of poems to her. She was mighty pleased. But gradually Suparna was overpowered by her new identity as Mrs.Sengupta. She was no longer the happy go lucky girl she once was.

Other than his short temper, he was a pleasant man and never interfered in her routine in the house. She had once casually mentioned starting Rabindra Sangeet training again, he had smashed the wine glass against the wall and didn’t talk to her for a week. She never brought up the topic again.

Three years later she was used to a walking-on-the-eggshells life. Whenever his mother wrote or made a phone call to her it was about conceiving an heir for the haveli. Suparna felt violated in more ways than one. Obviously the poor lady didn’t know her son and his wife still lived in different rooms. He being the artist always needed his space and she was not allowed to get into his room, however whenever he chose he could come to her room for exercising his conjugal rights.

On their third anniversary he bought her a singing parrot in a gold cage. Though initially she was averse to the idea of keeping a bird caged but according to him the bird could be the closest she could get to singing now, so she accepted him like a consolation prize and not as a gift of love.

Suparna named him Mitthu, the chirpy and bubbly bird soon became the companion she never had in her life. She would take him around the house neatly perched on his gold bar in the elegantly crafted gold cage. The lady and her bird had become each other’s shadow.

Just a few weeks later one morning, Mitthu was found dead inside the cage. Suparna was inconsolable, but a few days of gazing into the empty cage resting on her dresser, led her to an epiphany. Mitthu’s unexplained death was a message for her. She would one day end up like him if she didn’t help herself now, she thought.

The next weekend she quietly walked out of the house with only the cage in her bag. It was precious enough to pay for the rest of her education at the university and the lawyer’s fees to file a divorce petition.

Suparna had started singing again, and every time she did she felt Mitthu joining her in his honey laden voice. It was ironic that her freedom from her golden cage was bought by selling another cage. Finally Suparna and Mitthu were both free.

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 !!!!!