Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guest Blog # 2: Laconic Poetry- By Ashwin Kanan

Last guest on my blog was my friend from Chennai, Deepika who had written something I had requested her to write.
This, is a poem written by a very good friend of mine from college, who has delved into the world of poetry recently, and I can say without any doubts, that he has delved into the art pretty beautifully.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Bail on me. Today. Forever."

Sometimes, during  that cusp of just putting your head on the pillow and having your head in mid-air, when your eyes are just about to close, your whole life flashes in front of you.  That life, which you seem to be closing for the next 5-6-7 ( because you don't even know for how long you can shut the world around you, because this particular material of  this very world will wake you up, as you have wound it to do so) hours. That life, which you think you are leading the way it has to be led. That life, which sometimes, you think, is being led by others, for you.

These flashes, though they come for a millisecond, make that thud on the pillow more profound, the very action of going towards the pillow, is alongwith 100 million things that accompany your head. Your head, in its very physicality, is going to touch the pillow, your eyelids are halfway through, that you see 100 flashes.
100, 1000, but they seem 100. You always want definite things around in life, so let it be 100.

These 100 flashes constitute of those recurring images of your first achievement, your first fall, certain moments of your life like the day you laughed so hard, that day when you rode the bicycle, when you think of the bicycle, you think of how you were afraid to swim for the first time, then you swam, then this leads to other incidents, and other, and other.

All these 100 flashes, have one thing in common- you have always been doing something. Doing, doing, working, working, repairing, undoing, reacting, stopping a reaction. Not one flash, there is not even one flash, where you see yourself sitting, thinking, pondering, contemplating, smiling. It is always standing, executing, getting a job done, and not smiling, but laughing- laughing at a joke, at yourself, at someone else, at some situation. You never see yourself smiling, smiling because you saw your life in front of your eyes in broad daylight and not in a millisecond, saw your life in a panorama and not in a flipping comic book style, saw it with your consciousness intact, and you smiled, because you liked what you perceived.

Then your head is just there, just about there to reach the cloth of your pillow, your eyelids have halfway reached their destination, and you see 100 more flashes.

Most of them are about your future, some black and white, some sepia, some duo-tone. Some are about how you could have changed the past, did something different, said something different, said something before doing, did something after saying. You see a person walking back, and you see yourself wanting to stop him, giving him a pat, or a hug. You feel regrets, a sense of urgency, a sense of what if, what if this was not. But then you feel " Well, it was. And it was meant to be this way."

And your head finally hits the pillow.

Your eyelids are closed.

The thud creates a depression, your head settles in.


You wake up. You are late.  The material which was supposed to wake you up bailed on you.

You see the time, you rush.

You curse the material.

You run. Run, And run for completing the day.

You come back, to bed, again.

Wind the material, again. Feeling, you should not be late the next day.

But some corner of your heart, says

"Bail on me like this sometimes. Like Today."

Bail on me, forever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hold me.

I felt,
I was falling
soon came 
held me
I felt

I felt happy.
I did not know
that "someone" held
to throw me back

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tell them you love them.

"Since then I decided I will tell people that they are great and I am happy to have them in my life, and that they matter to me and if they decide to go from my life, I will at least be happy that I made it a point to tell them how much they meant to me."

 I told this to my friend and she went to the person she liked a lot and told him that he means a lot to her, and that she cherishes his presence. She felt great, she felt free and contented. He had a smile on his face, and reciprocated the same feelings. She came back to me and narrated this incident, and I hugged her and said-'' I don't know why people do not seize the opportunity and tell people that they are likable, amazing and truly great. It is a heavenly feeling." She said that even if he had not reciprocated the same feelings, she would have had the same amount of happiness she had then. Not that a weight, a load was shed from the heart- but something which was meant to be shared, was finally out there.

One day one of my friends got startled when I was talking casually to my 'crush', a senior in my college and in the conversation, randomly told him that he was my first crush in college. I don't know whether he really felt weird or taken aback, but since then our meetings have not been weird, but have become more amazing. He had laughed, smiled and acknowledged my revelation, and it was a great feeling that I did not mediate my thoughts through someone else. Whenever I tell a person I cherish their existence, I feel that if I die tomorrow, I won't regret anything.

But what does 'since then' signify? Since when?

Not that someone I loved and wanted to spend my life with died, or someone very close went so far away that I could not reach them and tell them that they contributed to my life. When in Chennai, I used to pass by a general store where I used to eat 5 rupee Ice cream or a 10 rupees juice while returning home from school. An uncle and an aunty used to greet me with, 'vaa kanna' ( come dear), 'yepdi irundudhu school' (how was school), and other things which strangers won't really ask you. But then it became a ritual. I always used to stop there for some reason or another, and had a unique relationship with the two.

One day, my mother went for some function but came way too early than expected. I was doing my homework, on a register I had bought from the general store. My mother came, and sat next to me and started crying. I asked her the reason and then she said that the uncle in the general store died. A drop made the paper of the register wet, and the ink spread. It was a very symbolic moment for me- a single moment had changed my entire system of thought.

He had had diabetes for a long time, had developed gangrene, and one day he was gone. I forgot what was the main cause of his death, because I did not even consider asking- the fact that he was gone and I won't see a bespectacled man while passing by that area was so overwhelmingly sad that other things were fogged. Now I could only see aunty, sitting, distraught. I continued my ritual, but it was just one-sided. He was gone.

But then, all these days I had not seen one bit of pain on his face. He used to stand behind the counter, and all my life, I had seen only his torso. I never saw the pain that was being inflicted upon him by his feet, and never cared to know or ask. Everyday that man's smile and pleasant countenance used to complete my day, but I had never made it a point to tell him. 'He died a sad man. His wife and his children had left him'- aunty said. I felt, if only I had told him how much his being there, standing behind the counter means to me, he would have been happy for at least those moments I uttered those words, or at least he would have been bestowed with some contentment. 

Since then, it became a system- trying to gain good wishes of people, filling in the void I felt after he had died. The feeling when the guy in the cafe of my college calls me by my name and shares his problems, the old uncle who makes nimbu pani talks politics with me, is a feeling where I believe that the void is huge, but then it will be filled

Not that fearing someone's or our own death should make us tell people how lovable they are, but it is the selfish feeling of avoiding regret, if God forbid they are suddenly gone, (death not being the only reason).The happiness one gets by at least contributing a millisecond of a moment to someone else's joy  made me feel that people should know their importance in my life. Ego comes in the way, but sometimes if you take the plunge, you feel victorious after seeing it was worth it. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I won't be a bad host.

A small poem about how people come and go, and sometimes you have people who need to stay but they go away too soon.

You arrived.
Stayed for a long time.
When I said I liked your stay
you went away.
Don't go.
I don't want you to stay always.
Hovering around you.
I want you to keep visiting.
Now and then.
It won't be like the stay 
you have had before.
I promise
I won't be a bad host.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why did we believe?

A minister gets imprisoned in a graft case, she loses her position and becomes the first one to lose it in such an abominable case. Ministers were once thought to be the partakers of the country's destiny. They were our representatives. They were people who represented our thoughts and beliefs. Today when I look back at my country's recent past: I see nothing worth emulating. Some minister is in an assault case, some in a corruption case, some in an abuse case, some in a murder case. A friend of mine told me, well, they are humans. They are supposed to have flaws. They are supposed to commit mistakes. But then, mistakes at the expense of the country as a whole- that is not a human mistake, it is a major blunder. We are introduced to their hypocrisy in such cases- ministers who showed their sheer love and belief in the lower classes get caught for having disproportionate assets. All this just instills fear in me- If there are 2, 3 , 4 ministers like these, how many more are out there? Who are fooling us? And then, the most important question- did we fool ourselves by believing in them in the first place?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Impervious to the Obvious.

Recently the Deepika Padukone issue created havoc.
What was the issue?
She has a cleavage.

Salman Khan's abs are fake?

Emma Watson delivers a great speech on gender equality.
Wait, let's release some nude pictures of hers.

Yeah, we are getting more ridiculous day by day.

Then I remembered those lists I see in famous websites, showing how a hollywood/bollywood actor was clicked at a certain moment where it looked like he was looking at his co-actress's boobs. It might have not been the case, but it is still sensationalized. If it was the case, well, it is not even a case in the first place. Why? Umm, isn't it natural? Okay, I might be saying something controversial here but let us face it, it DOES happen sometimes. I am NOT talking about voyeuristic male gaze here, but then, sometimes it is very natural for a boy or a girl to look at the opposite sex and admire. They look at us, and let's admit it, even girls look at guys. It isn't wrong. There are even words for it (see Krukolibidinous).

When it crosses a level, a level it should not cross, which is the level of violating the other person, then it becomes problematic. These pictures are just a matter of accidental timing of photography, when the man's face seems to be at such an angle that it is looking where it should not look at.

Second, we have sensationalized a woman's cleavage, and this same world has also sensationalized a man's boner. Yes. We also sensationalise men's erections which happen in public, accidentally or due to some obviously natural cause. "21 most awkward boners of Hollywood Actors".  Why? Isn't it OKAY? Just because they are doomed to be watched 24x7 by people like us, every action of theirs is recorded because their life is an entertainment factor, they are put on pedestal which should not exist in the first place- it just makes them look so distinct from the larger context of humanity that we say they WERE NOT SUPPOSED to have the erection in a public place. Who made their life public? We did. Do you see how highly in the wrong are we?

Third, there was a news when from an actor's pocket, a condom fell and it was made a matter of HUGE discussion. Wait, he is a guy, and has a condom. Good, he is having safe sex. Isn't that nice? No! He has a condom. He is having sex.  Who is he having sex with? Is it the woman in his previous movie? Or the next movie?

The problem is that we have deified actors- and made their life a commodity. Whatever they do, they show, is a matter of contention, debate,discussion, just like this one. A cleavage, is normal. A boner, is normal. Having a condom is normal. Smoking,  drinking by humans is normal, Going on a date, is normal. NOT going on a date, is normal. So if a 'celebrity' has or does all this, why does it become a headline on my newspaper?

It is a shame, that I had to write this. I can't believe we have reached the times of saying biological endowments are well, a part and parcel of human nature. We are being impervious to the most obvious things, and making a hullabaloo of something which does not even need a shout.