Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Religion in the East

There in Rangoon I understood that the gods
were enemies of the poor human being,
just as God is.
Gods of alabaster, lying down
like white whales,
gods gilded like wheat,
serpent gods coiled round
the crime of being born,
naked and elegant buddhas
smiling at the cocktail parties
of empty eternity
like Christ on his horrible cross,
all of them ready for anything -
to impose on us their heaven
by torture or pistol,
to buy our piety or fry our blood,
fierce gods made by men
to cover up their cowardice,
and that's how it all was there,
the whole world reeking of heaven,
of heavenly supermarkets.

Suggested read : Pablo Neruda

Suggested rhythm : "Khawaja tum hi ho", Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Thanks to Nina for this find !! its one of the rarest.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Only Christmas Story

Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden.

It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. "How happy we are here!" they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.

"What are you doing here?" he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

"My own garden is my own garden," said the Giant; "any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself." So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.


He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. "How happy we were there," they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. "Spring has forgotten this garden," they cried, "so we will live here all the year round." The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. "This is a delightful spot," he said, "we must ask the Hail on a visit." So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

"I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming," said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; "I hope there will be a change in the weather."

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant's garden she gave none. "He is too selfish," she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King's musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. "I believe the Spring has come at last," said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see?

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children's heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. "Climb up! little boy," said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant's heart melted as he looked out. "How selfish I have been!" he said; "now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever." He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant's neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. "It is your garden now, little children," said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o'clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

"But where is your little companion?" he said: "the boy I put into the tree." The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

"We don't know," answered the children; "he has gone away."

"You must tell him to be sure and come here tomorrow," said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. "How I would like to see him!" he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. "I have many beautiful flowers," he said; "but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all."

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, "Who hath dared to wound thee?" For on the palms of the child's hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

"Who hath dared to wound thee?" cried the Giant; "tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him."

"Nay!" answered the child; "but these are the wounds of Love."

"Who art thou?" said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise."

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

Suggested read : The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde

Suggested rythm : "Hark! The Herald Angels sing, glory to the newborn King" - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis

Friday, December 15, 2006

Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm

There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah

Girl, ya gotta love your man
Girl, ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm

Suggested read : Jim Morrison

Suggested rythm : Riders on the storm, Doors

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

To My Party

You have given me fraternity toward the unknown man.
You have joined the strength of all the living.
You have given me the country again as in a birth.
You have given me the freedom that the loner cannot have.
You taught me to kindle kindness, like fire.
You have given me the rectitude that the tree requires.
You taught me to see the unity and the difference among mankind.
You showed me how one being's pain has perished in the victory of all.
You taught me to sleep in beds hard as my brothers.
You made me build on reality as on a rock.
You made me adversary of the evildoer and wall of the frantic.
You have made me see the world's clarity and the possibility of happiness.
You have made me indestructible because with you I do not end in myself.

Suggested read : Pablo Neruda

Suggested rythm : Imagine , Lennon

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tomato Ketchup

In our country,
A woman who writes poetry,
Is eyed as an odd fish.
Every man presumes
That in her poems
He is the issue addressed!
And since it is not so,
He becomes her foe.
In this sense,
Sara didn´t make many enemies.
She didn´t believe in giving explanations.
Before she could become the wife of a poor writer,
She had already become
The sister-in-law of the whole town.
Even the lowliest of them
Claimed to have slept with her!
All day long,
Jobless intellectuals of the city
Buzzed around her.
Even those who had jobs,
Would leave their stinking files and worn out wives
To come to her,
Leaving behind the electricity bill,
And the children´s school fees and wife´s medicine.
For these are the concerns
Of lesser mortals.
Morning through late night,
Heated discussions would take place
On literature, philosophy and current affairs.
When hunger knocked in at their empty stomachs,
Bread and boiled pulse
Would be bought collectively.
Great thinkers,
Would then demand tea
Declaring her the Amrita Preetam of Pakistan.
Sara, the gullible,
Would be very pleased with herself.
Perhaps, there were some reasons for it.
Those who were responsible for supporting her,
Always fed her on Kafka coffee
And Neruda biscuits.
Because of saliva-soaked compliments,
At least, she could have one meal,
But for how long?
She had to free herself
From the clutches of wolves.
Sara preferred to leave the jungle itself.
As long as she lived,
The connoisseurs of Art
Kept nibbling her.
In their circle,
She is still considered delicious,
But with a difference:
They no longer can take a bite of her!
After her death,
She had been elevated
To the status of Tomato Ketchup!

Suggested read : Perveen Shakir

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Mother do you think they'll drop the bomb
Mother do you think they'll like the song
Mother do you think they'll try to break my balls
Ooooh aah, Mother should I build a wall

Mother should I run for president
Mother should I trust the government
Mother will they put me in the firing line
Ooooh aah, is it just a waste of time

Hush now baby, baby don't you cry
Mama's gonna make all of your
Nightmares come true
Mama's gonna put all of her fears into you

Mama's gonna keep you right here
Under her wing
she won't let you fly but she might let you sing
Mama will keep baby cosy and warm
Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe
Of course Mama's gonna help build the wall

Mother do think she's good enough for me
Mother do think she's dangerous to me
Mother will she tear your little boy apart
Oooh aah, mother will she break my heart

Hush now baby, baby don't you cry
Mama's gonna check out all your girl friends for you
Mama won't let anyone dirty get through
Mama's gonna wait up till you get in

Mama will always find out where
You've been
Mamma's gonna keep baby healthy and clean
Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe
You'll always be a baby to me
Mother, did it need to be so high.

Suggested read : Floyd

Suggested rythm : I dont wanna be a soldier mama , Lennon

Monday, November 13, 2006

King of Ayodhya

Time and place has lost its significance. I haven't slept for days now. I lose consciousness every now and then, rest of the time life is just a blur. My head pains as if it had hit some rock, this headache is killing me. Sometimes I feel like father is sitting right beside me and his fingers are moving through my matted locks , then I open my eyes and all the pain begins.

The whole family is here, orphaned, abandoned, they want me to return to Ayodhya.All the great seers and sages are here in Chitrakoota with me. Vasistha, the great sage, says I need to return to Ayodhya and take up the burden of Kingship. Only the eldest son becomes King, that has been the Ishkavu tradition. Bharatha cries at my feet begging me to be king, Laxmana will go with me, wherever I go. I am unable to grasp anything they are saying. I knew that father would one day be gone, like everybody else, but today life has lost its purpose. I feel betrayed. I feel like a warrior betrayed, a child betrayed. I am not angry, I am not conscious enough to be angry.

I have seen the pride in my father's eyes every time I came home victorious after battles, after pacifying Parashuram, after defeating Vishwamitra's enemies. There is no one else in the world who admired me so, but my father. When I vanquish the whole of south and return as the greatest warrior ever, whom do I go home to. If it was not for that look in my father's eyes, would I have taken up this dangerous mission. Now what is all this struggle worthy of, whom do I tell all my stories to.

I performed the final rites for the departed soul.I fed my father's soul with darba grass and oil cake, and then I bathed in the cold water of Mandakini. Mandakini felt like Sarayu back home, I felt my father's touch. On his long journey to some other world I wished my father well, he blessed me on my incomplete journey in this world. I rose from the river and all the seers and sages bowed before the new King of Ayodhya. I appointed Bharatha, my younger brother as my deputy ; Shatrughna, my youngest brother and Laxmana's twin as the commander of Kosala's armies. On the banks of Mandakini, I held my first court as Kosala's dispenser of destinies.

Bharatha and the seers want me back in Ayodhya, leaving the mission incomplete. Jabali suggested that Laxmana head the southern push and build buffer zones to prevent a southern incursion. Vasistha suggested building a stronger Arya Varthi force based out of the plains. I was surprised nobody talked about Ravana and the riches of Lanka. It was as if Ravana's overthrow was a distant fantasy. I had to take decisions, I was the decider now. I could feel the real burden of Kingship.

I told the court that we cannot busy ourselves with the nutty gritty of tradition and day to day governance, while forgetting the future of Ayodhya and our people. A southern push was inevitable and if that meant locking horns with Ravana, we should be doing it. I told them that without the resources of the south and peace with the southern dominions, the northern empires will continue the decline. I told them that there comes a time in the history of nations when they have to wake up from slumber and wield the weapon however cosy the slumber might be. I told them that securing the south for Ayodhya will mean one empire with an all powerful king streching from ocean to the himalayas. Even the northern dominions will be annexed into Kosala, I did not hide my intentions. An empire with no caucuses, an empire for our way of life. I told the court that Bharatha, my deputy will govern over Kosala for me and I, the King will continue with my mission. We will secure the south, with or without Ravana. I wished Bharata and the ministers well, as the King I asked them to keep the Ishkavu flag flying high. I was amazed that I could speak so well, then I am King.

I adjourned the court and the visitors reluctantly left Chitrakoota one by one. It was dusk and I went back to the river. I felt a chill go up my spine, I crouched by the river gasping for breath. The holy spot where Laxmana and me had performed the puja for father looked like a butcher's shop. There were limbs and blood all over the place, the offerings were scattered here and there. I could see the carcass of two male lions with a deep stench, there was a freshly separated elephant head with blood gushing out into the Mandakini. Intestines, livers and testicles were pasted all over the rocks. This was the most gruesome spectacle I had seen in my life. It was some message which I did not understand. My anger knew no bounds, Laxmana and me set the whole forest on fire, killed every living thing around. Vengeance is the only thing I crave for standing in this circle of fire.

the princes and Sita left Chitrakoota immediately. the fire spread through the banks of Mandakini ; to the south, like a snake.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Love and peace in Chitrakoota

The Chitrakoota mountain rises above the mists of the Mandakini river. It is summer and the forest is full with its fruits. The harmony of the woods and its beasts, the flowers and their fruits, all in this multitude of rocks. Ancient herbs surrounds us and purifies this air, flocks of birds moving from one hill onto another is perhaps the only sound around. The crystal waters of the river reflects back the greenery of the forest. There is calm all around in Chitrakoota, a heaven on earth.

Life has never been so good. Laxmana had built a mud house for the three of us in the mountain. The view from the mountain is breath-taking, its serene. Mountains remind me of the unshakable things in life, of the higher purposes of living. Our little house is cosy and I'm surprised where Laxmana learnt all this from. He knows every fruit that is edible, every animal that can be hunted and every twig that will burn. It was a surprise when Vaidehi walked all this distance through the forest and slid so well into the daily difficulties of this forest life. Laxmana's inventiveness surprises me more than that. If it was not for this difficult times, possibly the best within us would never have come out.

Forest life has its difficulties. There are no paths in the forest and often we clear ways through the jungle which end up in deep ravines or waterfalls. Food is abundant, but cooking the meat is difficult at times, with Janaki so inexperienced with the different animals we hunt everyday. Certain fruits are not edible and often leave a bad taste for days. The animals have been very kind to us though they make weird sounds during the night and Janaki wakes up bewildered and shocked. I dont think Laxmana sleeps any time, I have never seen him sleep and many a times I think of him as a tiger among men which prowls all night. Despite all this we are on our own, without a care, with no fear and no responsibilities. If I had ascended the throne, I would have been pacifying the caucuses and people and losing sleep around that. Compared with that, what a good life we have.

There is something funny with my sleep these days. I see dreams in the wee hours of morning and the next day,the same things happen around me. Yesterday I saw this leopard chasing a black antelope in my dreams and it really happened today in front of my eyes in the western bank of the river. Today I saw black vultures over Ayodhya, whatever that means. It is as if the whole world around me is what I see in dreams. It is fun, but a bit scary at times.

Life is good as Janaki, Laxmana and me sit on this huge moonlit rock overlooking the dark forest below. The sky above is clear and starlit, the air is cool with wafts of sandalwood and jasmine. There is no human being in any conceivable distance. Its just the three of us tonight, and for us, just the kindness of this forest.

Love and peace in Chitrakoota, Ayodhya braces itself as fears of anarchy sets in. Bharata rushes to Chitrakoota with the news of Dasharatha's death.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And from here to....

This is Ganga flowing at the end of the Kosala countryside, on the farther bank is the forest of Dandakaranya. Ganga, the all encompassing flow, the refiner of minds, the melting place of punarapis. She carries within her the destiny of nations, the germs of future empires. She gives birth, she carries ashes. Has anybody asked her why she flows, what she is searching for.

Sumantra, my charioteer till this point, asked me where this whole thing is headed. He will return back to Ayodhya in the morning, leaving us here in the forest all by ourselves. He is the most trusted friend of the family and I want him to take good care of father. I told him I had no idea. I told him I had to keep my father's word and protect his honour. I told him when I returned back, if at all, maybe father wouldn't be alive, mother may die of grief, maybe he himself wouldn't be living. I might lose Sita or Laxmana on this dangerous journey. I told him this will be a journey of truth, courage and love. This journey will probably be its destination.

Tonight I have seen how much father loved me, I saw him crying like a child when I parted. I have seen the overwhelming emotion in Ayodhya, with people lined on the streets asking me not to go. Laxmana's mother told him to treat and respect me like a father, like a king, to treat the forest like Ayodhya and to treat Sita like herself ; and then she blessed him well. She is a woman of very few words, but I havent heard anything more beautiful, so selfless, ever. Sita insisted on coming, she could have stayed back like a princess with all comforts, but Janaki chose this uncertain path of hardships. I fear she will lament later, on this big waste of her vernal years but she says it is her duty. She says she will go wherever I go.

O Sumantra, look at that young man,my brother, pretending to be busy so late into the night. He is staying guard for me, protecting me like the thousand headed snake that protects the God of light. He is Adi Shesha himself, my constant companion, my friend. I'm not sure where I will be tomorrow but tonight I go to sleep in the warmth of all this love. I dont know whether I deserve it, tonight I'm just thankful to existence. I'm crying now.

the two princes and Sita cross Ganga the next morning and continue their journey through Dandakaranya forest towards Chitrakoota. In Lanka, the poet-warrior smiles.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the Apocalyptic vision

The Sarayu flows in the darkness, bereft of its constant companion in the sky. Laxmana and me, sat by the ghat listening to the river, deep in thought. Laxmana wants me to go south with the armies, he is angry at father for suggesting Bharatha's name. I am perturbed at this turn of events, we need a new king by dawn and a new warrior.

The Caucuses had a bigger announcement to make earlier in the night. There was an apocalyptic vision by a venerated seer in Himalayas. The seer predicted the doom of all kingdoms from Vindhyas upto the Gandharas, which meant the end of powerful dynasties like Kosalas, Mlechas, Kekayas and the Aryavarthis.The end would be after fourteen years when the Pulastyas of Lanka - the strongest empire on earth, led by their Emperor, the poet-warrior Ravana marches into these holy lands. It wouldn't just be the end of dynasties, Ravana would replace everything - our way of life, our Gods and the way we see it.

The Caucuses were virtually shaken and had taken some hasty decisions. Their decision was to unite all of north under the joint command of the Caucus seniors through Rajasooya, to face the threat from the south, which meant Kosala would be merged with the other kingdoms and there would not be a fifty seventh king in the Sun dynasty. Father brokedown and lost his senses on hearing this. He was terrified at the spectre of the Sun dynasty ending while he was in charge, he couldnt fight against the mighty Caucuses - so he pleaded. The Caucuses made it clear that unless one of the princes takes up the impossible task of killing Ravana, Ayodhya would be annexed. Father agreed to it. I thought he would suggest my name but he chose Bharatha instead. He loved me so much.

Killing Ravana was impossible , but thinking about it was not. His was the richest empire in the world with mightier weapons and gigantic soldiers. He lived in his island kingdom with golden walls, somewhere in the south and that was all I knew. Killing him will be difficult, very difficult. But as the eternal rebel, sage Vishwamitra had told me, every empire will fall one day. If I get hold of Ravana that very day, I'll kill him.

Yesterday night my intention was to invade the south with the four limbs of the army, but for this new mission an army will be of no use. Ravana would crush any army movement across the blue mountains of the south. Laxmana and me influenced the Caucuses through Bharatha's uncle, the Kekaya king, who himself was happy that Bharatha wouldnt have to go. The Caucus announced its final decision on fathers proposal, they wanted me,the eldest son and heir to the throne, to go to the forests in the south and kill Ravana within fourteen years or the Kosala kingdom will be annexed.

I am leaving Ayodhya again. This time with Laxmana and Sita, who insisted on coming. Father said he would die if he parted with me. I felt sad on leaving the old man alone. I am his strength in this old age, but I'm undertaking this task like Bhageeratha to preserve his Dharma. It is the duty of a son to walk the distance his father could not cover. It is a son's duty to complete the journey.

Dressed in plain clothes, the men and Sita leave Ayodhya. Dasharatha dies in pain uttering his son's name.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

the next in line

This is Ayodhya,the unassailable city,the nerve centre of the Kosala empire.These days I wonder why anyone would care to assail this land; why would anyone want a dead horse. I see decay everywhere, stagnation, yes that would be the word - stagnation. I see fifty five dead kings of the Solar line with all their glory and I see my dying city bereft of all its vitality. I see Ayodhya as my father's city, a civilization that he loves more than himself, everything in Ayodhya reminds me of him.

But Dasharatha is old and he is worn out after his constant struggles to meet dharma and ardha meet, to make philosophy and life meet. The administration is in the hands of caucuses and priests who quote the ancient texts and set rules for every single move. Vast tracts of the plain remain barren as the priests have threatened against channeling the abundant river water,they warn about the wrath of the river Gods. Most of the produce from the countryside is set in flames for pleasing the Gods by these same priests. The result is abject poverty and disease, and the priests breed on that - poverty is their stranglehold on this empire.

Not a leaf in the administration moves without consulting the soothsayers, in Ayodhya every sunrise has its horoscope. Father will not utter a word against all this, he is weak and relies entirely on the seers and soothsayers for the sustenance of the Solar line. The nerve centre of this great kingdom has ceased to perceive. At times I feel like cutting down this forest of old Banyan trees leading upto the Sarayu river with my mighty weapons, just to bring in a little more light into this dark palace, but then I remember my father's face and I subside. I love my father more than anything in this world, more than Ayodhya, even more than Sita.

The caucuses descend upon Ayodha every new-moon day. It includes the warrior sages, farming nobility, the weapon makers and kings of adjacent territories. Ayodhya has become important to them after the seers from Himalayas gave their final solution to halt the decay of the Ganga plains. They concluded that a push to the south was inevitable and a prince of Ayodhya will deliver the rich and fertile lands of the south. Dasaratha, my father, took that up as his Dharma and waged wars against the southern kingdoms which the seers and priests had labelled evil. Father is no more the same person who lynched the Sambaras of the south, he has become weak. But when the caucuses decried that the 'old fool has lost it' I saw my father crying. He has been my strength all through my life and my heart broke. No son can watch his father cry.

Being the eldest son, I will inherit the throne of Raghuvamshis after my father. I will inherit all his beautiful land and his beautiful people. I will also inherit the caucuses, the army of priests and those vicious soothsayers - I dont want that. I dont want to ascend the throne with all my limbs tied down by this patriarchal inheritance, I want to win the throne, I want to cut down those old Banyan trees with no one stopping me, I want a new start for my beloved people, my father's beloved people and for that I will have to win the south.

The south is rich and strong because the Kshatriyas there, the warrior class, do their duty and do not contest in vain with each other like my father and Janaka on who is more Brahmin. A Kshatriya's duty is to be a warrior, despite its cruel hand. When a kshatriya tries to be something he is not, like being a brahmin, depravity and decay sets in. I will conquer the south as a Kshatriya, not for the caucuses but for myself, my father and my beloved people. Then I will be the King of kings, the Emperor. Father wants me to be the King of Kosala. He wants me to take charge tomorrow, he wants to let go. He will meet the caucuses to announce his decision.

It is a new moon day in Ayodhya, the caucuses have descended upon the city. It is the day of reckoning.

Monday, November 06, 2006

the chariots enter Ayodhya

This is Janakapuri in the kingdom of Mithila. Janaka,the lionized king of our times presides upon his empire from here. The cool,dry,fertile city was bustling with Brahmins and soothsayers and chariots from other countries. The wedding of the king's daughters were being planned and the lobbyists and priests from other kingdoms had pounced upon Janakapuri to win the girls' hand. There were demonstrations of chivalry everywhere with hundreds of kings praising themselves on the streets,in the palaces and in front of the two princesses. The elder princess had hidden herself in an earthen jar as the uncertainity of the whole exercise was too much for her. I met her on Vishwamitra's advice. I talked to her from outside the earthen jar and she talked from inside. She had a uneasy yet uncaring tone. Finally she came out of the earthen jar with a curious smile on her face. Sita was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen,not that I had seen many,but she was different. Her careless yet intimate tone, her what may come sense of wit. Sita wasn't fair or foolish like the other princesses, Vishwamitra explained that saying Sita was the adopted daughter of Janaka. I had heard Vishwamitra's aides joking that she was originally from the Pulastya dynasty of down south and they would one day claim her. I had overheard soothsayers saying, she had bad luck in her horoscope and Janaka was rushing her into a marriage to get the bad luck off him. But these stories of lesser, cowardly, gold-seekers did not matter to me anymore. My soul was filled with her careless voice and I wished she cared for no one but me.

Janaka and my father, who had rushed from Ayodhya were all too happy with the turn of events. We the four Raghava princes married the four princesses of Janakapuri. Janaka embraced me and told that he understood who I really was and my purpose in life. I didnt understand a word of what he said but was too busy winking at the girls to think more about that. Sadly Vishwamitra bid farewell at Janakapuri. I had learnt so much from him,he was my Guru and I liked him a lot despite his angry hand. Before continuing his journey into the Himalayas,he whispered to me that he understood the lakshya -the aim - of my being born and he was happy to have played a part in that. He told me, as his part in my life was done, we would never see each other again. I was sad about that, but Vishwamitra always talks in circles and I did not think much about it after that.

Our trip back to Ayodhya with the girls was easy with the chariots and aides except for this strange angry person we met on the way. He had the same name as mine but the similarity ended there. Everything about him was angry, he seethed anger from every pore of his body. The birds clamoured and storms hit whenever he spoke, I felt the earth itself shaking a few times. This huge man walked in circles around the chariots shouting at Vasistha the sage and my father, threatening to repeat some fearful thing he had done before. The bow he had in his hand was untied, I lifted it and tied it properly. The man calmed down and came towards me. Father thought he was about to kill me and started crying like he did before Vishwamitra. The man looked at me in the eye and said he was waiting for this moment for a long time and now his purpose in life was over, he added that he understood who I really was and was giving all his blessings and powers to me. He said he was going to the Mahendra hills and thanked me for taking up the burden of preserving Dharma off his shoulders. As I think more about it, the last few days had been very confusing indeed. But with Sita around, nothing else really matters.

The chariots entered Ayodhya to celebrations and fanfare. Twelve years of peace and love descended on Ayodhya,the unassailable city.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Two women and a Eunuch

This is the heartland. This is where the heart lies. Ganga gushes by as Jahnavi and Mandakini and Deva Ganga. She sure is disdainful at times despite that ancient churning and humiliation in the unending gridlocks of the ultimate masculine. Ganga would have happily been in heaven, had not Indra played his nasty trick with Sagara's sons. But then, this lady purifies our land, and her father himavan protects us. This is the heartland, this is where Ganga flows.

I keep getting these strange images in the middle of the day. I see two women in distress, pale bloodless faces, hope purged eyes. The first one drags herself through fields of unclaimed corpses, slain warriors, decaying limbs, souls chained to purgatory till eternity. The fallen are her sons who went in search of the meaning of death ,for churning out the potion of life. She searches in vain for a drop of the potion, she argues in vain for vengeance, she cries in pain when her priced foetus is cut in seven inside her womb with a thunderbolt. She is the mother.

The other woman, the ravishing one, is always in a state of suspended surprise. She remembers a man dressed up like her celibate husband, she remembers him entering every pore in her body like a thunderbolt and she, trying in vain to convince herself that she was doing no wrong. She remembers her husband cursing the thunderbolt into a piteous eunuch and condemning her to a moss-filled existence. She is the wife.

I see the man emerging from Diti's vagina and Ahalya's body. Vishwamitra says he is the arch-toppler of dynasties and as powerful as Gods. He is the smasher of enclosures, the impeller of streams, the agitator of the waters. The Gods call him their king, Indra, the King of Gods. Vishwamitra says, with my new weapons like Pratihaaratara and Dundunaabha I am more powerful than the Gods themselves. If Indra was anywhere around, I would have definitely killed him.

The men and the sage rescue Ahalya from her moss-filled existence. They continue their journey to Mithila where destiny, and its child awaits them.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Killing of an Enchantress

This is Dandakaranya, the dark dark forest. A daily ingest of bala and atibala kept us alive through this tiresome journey through Angadesha and Kaamashrama. The sage population is pushing south by the day, they have spread across the plains and now into these southern forests. Fights and skirmishes between the forest dwellers and the sages happen everyday ; the sages have weapons, Vishwamitra himself is a sage warrior. The northerm kings like Janaka and my father aids the sages, the Pulastya king Ravana I have heard secretly helps the forest dwellers. The forest is dark and dangerous , feels like the air is impregnated with a war ,waiting to be born.

I was surprised at first when Vishwamitra asked us to trumpet the bows in the middle of the night. Tataka, a haughty middle-aged women came shouting at us from the top of the hill we were climbing. She was very annoyed at the disturbance, still she was beautiful.

"Kill her", the sage shouted "do not get mesmerized by her beauty, she is an enchantress, a yakshi and she instigates these forest people against us"

"Oh great sage" I asked "I am here to preserve dharma as you and father had said, isnt it against my dharma to kill a women and it sure is against my heart to kill such a beautiful thing"

"Your father has left me in charge of you both" Vishwamitra said "my word is the dharma, now teach her a lesson"

Tataka, the enchantress sensing danger charged at me with rage. I was terrified and accidentally released the arrow which pierced the space between her full, rounded breasts and killed her instantly. The forest suddenly became beautiful , it was as though Tataka hived in herself the entire beauty of her land , which she was releasing now forever. I felt a vacuum in my stomach , I crouched there wailing.

The sage says she was evil and he says this all the time. He was very happy that I killed her and gave me and Laxmana some powerful weapons and deadly arrows. I have started admiring the sheer power of these weapons, it makes me feel all powerful and the sage promised us more if we continue the good work. At times, I feel the sage was right, Tataka must have been evil and I did the right thing by killing her. But still, she was a beautiful enchantress.

The boys went on to kill Subahu and decimate Mareecha at Vishwamitra's ashram. The journey to the heart of darkness had begun.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the boys leave Ayodhya

This tranquil flow is the Sarayu river and the turbulence behind me is Ayodhya. We the princes of the Sun dynasty dissolve in these cold waters of Sarayu at the end of our lifes , in ashen forms. Sarayu carries the ashes into the holy Ganga and from there ,like every drop we find our ocean. Khatvanga who begot Dirghabahu;Dirghabahu who begot Raghu ;Raghu who begot Aja ;Aja who begot Dasaratha ; then me and my three brothers, all have ended or will end in this mighty flow. Sarayu is the destiny of Raghuvamshis.

Vishwamitra, the angry sage wants me to fight against the demons disrupting his holy rituals. I am twelve years old but father wants me to go. He had begged the sage with tears in his eyes but Vishwamitra insists on my going. I am afraid, I dont know what demons are but father has to keep his word,his dharma. I am setting out on this journey with Laxmana and the sage, I am terrified ,I want to stay back in Ayodhya. Did Rishyasringa curse the dynasties at the end point of his innocence , did he feed the flames of Ashwamedha with his own tears.

The two boys with quivers and bows follow the Sage Vishwamitra to keep their father's word and the warriors dharma. They would never be twelve year old boys anymore.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The End

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
Ill never look into your eyes...again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...strangers hand
In a...desperate land

Lost in a roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

Theres danger on the edge of town
Ride the kings highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake...hes old, and his skin is cold

The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and well do the rest

The blue bus is callin us
The blue bus is callin us
Driver, where you taken us

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and...then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door...and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother...i want to...fuck you

Cmon baby, take a chance with us
Cmon baby, take a chance with us
Cmon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin a blue rock
Cmon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But youll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

Suggested read : Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness

Suggested rythm : The End - Doors - Jim Morrison

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Its a tag

Neermathalam has tagged me. He's promised to give his sexy username to me if i do this tag - not that I'll use it - I'll preserve it for posterity. Jus kiddin dude :)

Well the tag is simple -eight things I like or dislike abt moiself. Oh thats tough !!

and here I go blah blah black sheep have you any wool......

I like me - sometimes I like me so much that I wish senate passes that human-cloning bill. Its just that I get a bit too comfy with myself.

I'm non-venomous - I do have disagreements and sure make fun of people but it comes by nature to me that I dont get personal and I dont answer personal criticism. Its just that I dont hit below the belt.

I'm not a revolutionary - I'm not out here to prove anything though I like anarchy a lot and comment a lot on the life I see ,though my comments are not intended to change it. Its just that I come out of Watterson's Calvin and Laxman's Common man.

I'm highly brainwashable - I'll fall at your feet and accept your holiness if you have a point,often contradicting my stand till then - me the arch turncoat. Its just that I have the lightest mind in town after all this washing.

I'm a timid extrovert - I'm pretty jolly but do keep some secrets, but then I've lost a few battles. Its just that some of my best friends dont know my name.

I'm superstitious - I think there is a Distilled Gogilba galaxy with a Dondalavan subsytem and all the gandharvas and pirates and supermen and elephant head gods live in it. Its just that I think communism is still our best bet.

I'm vague - I live in a esoteric hell with metaphors for words and a stinking commitment-o- phobia for their meanings - I'm repulsive to intimacy,oh the same place Dante warned you about; and some say I respect their personal space and some others say I'm a sonofabitch. Its just that I'm a poor pisces man.

I'm sorry - I dont keep in touch with people I adore, God !,only you know how bad I feel about that , but then I'm a lazy cocoonist. Its just that my friends forgive me and thats why I adore them.

thats about it and faster than I thought :)

and about tagging others - this blog has a total of six readers who come and go. Four of them dont have blogs, one that has a blog has an altogether different format and I'll surely ask the last one standing to take this up.

Suggested read : Your feudal Lord - my autobiography (out of print)

Suggested rythm : Kashmir - Led Zeppelin (this song is killing me)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bright Future In Sales

Sleeping on a planter at the Port Authority
Waiting for my bus to come
Seven scotch-and-sodas at the office party
Now I don't remember where I'm from

I think I had a black wallet
In my back pocket
With a bus ticket
And a picture of my baby inside
And if I make it home alive

I'm gonna get my shit together
'Cause I can't live like this forever
You know I've come too far
And I don't want to fail
I got a new computer
And a birght future in sales
Yeah, yeah
A bright future in sales
Yeah, yeah

Heading for the airport on a misty morning
Gonna catch a flight to Baltimore
Try to kill an hour with a whiskey sour
If there's time I might have just one more

I gotta do some quick reading
For the big meeting
But my head is spinning
And I can't quite open my eyes
As long as I don't have to drive

I'm gonna get my shit together
'Cause I can't live like this forever
You know I've come too far
And I don't want to fail
I got a new computer
And a bright future in sales
Yeah, yeah
A bright future in sales
Yeah, yeah

I had a line on a brand new account
But now I can't semm to find
Where I wrote that number down
I try to focus, I'm staring at the screen
Pretending like I know
What all these little flashing lights mean

I gotta do some quick reading
For the big meeting
But my head is spinning
And I can't quite open my eyes

I gotta get my shit together
'Cause I can't live like this forever
You know I've come too far
And I don't want to fail
I got a new computer
And a bright future in sales
Yeah, yeah
A bright future in sales
Yeah, yeah

Suggested read : Fountains of Wayne,lyrics

Suggested rythm : Fountains of Wayne - Bright Future In Sales

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Suggested read : Dylan Thomas

Suggested rythm : Easily - RHCP

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fleas interest me so much

Fleas interest me so much
that I let them bite me for hours.

They are perfect, ancient, Sanskrit,
machines that admit of no appeal.

They do not bite to eat,
they bite only to jump;

they are the dancers of the celestial sphere,
delicate acrobats

in the softest and most profound circus;
let them gallop on my skin,

divulge their emotions,
amuse themselves with my blood,

but someone should introduce them to me.
I want to know them closely,
I want to know what to rely on.

Suggested read : Pablo Neruda

Suggested rythm : tAi tOmAr Ananda AmAr par - Pankaj Mallik - Rabeendra Sangeeth

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Suicidal Note

To Boddah

Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton
who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee.
This note should be pretty easy to understand.

All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years,
since my first introduction to the, shall we say,
ethics involved with independence and
the embracement of your community has proven to be very true.

I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as
creating music along with reading and writing
for too many years now.
I feel guity beyond words about these things.

For example when we're back stage and the lights go out
and the manic roar of the crowds begins.,
it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury,
who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration
from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy.

The fact is, I can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me.
The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off
by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun.
Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage.
I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do, God, believe me I do, but it's not enough).

I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. It must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasms I once had as a child.

On our last 3 tours, I've had a much better appreciation for all the people I've known personally, and as fans of our music, but I still can't get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for everyone. There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad. The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don't you just enjoy it? I don't know!

I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what i used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've become.

I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.

Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away.

Peace, love, empathy.
Kurt Cobain

Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your alter.
Please keep going Courtney, for Frances.
For her life, which will be so much happier without me.


Suggested read : Kurt Donald Cobain, 1967-1994

Suggested rythm : Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Thursday, September 28, 2006

You'll never die !!

I came to Vayalar with the first red rays of the morning - to meet you.

Those old days - days of commitment and sincerity,
in Cherthala when blood spread over the mud and loose sand.
When the flag was as red as blood, days of the martyrs.

I came looking for you on one of those days.
Amma served us rice porridge on that wooden patio
with the smell of flowers and snakes all around.
We ambled along those sandy lake shores.

One night Kalavamkodu Balakrishnan joined us - NSP Panicker too.
That night we wrenched out and broke one stupid idol
that stood by the algae filled green pond.

Years went by.....
You became the anthem of this land, our pride, our intoxication, our rythm.

Finally when you said 'so long' .....
those idols which never cried and we who only cried
- wept and wept for you.

You are the pride of this beautiful land, you'll always be.

You'll never die !!

Suggested read : Malayattoor Ramakrishnan, Vayalar RamaVarma

Suggested rythm : Chandrakalabham chartiyurangum theeram - Vayalar, Devarajan , kJY

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wines, Bottles and Plato

I knew that old wine in a new bottle is better
than an old wine in an old bottle but not as good
as a new wine in an old bottle. But to clear my doubt

whether the new wine in a new bottle is better
than a new wine in an old bottle, I invited Plato
for a drink. He took a bottle, drank the wine

and placed the empty bottle on the table and
showed me that what goes inside is the wine
and not the bottle. Any advice? I asked.

Make New Wines he said, not new bottles.

Suggested read : Pradeep Dhavakumar

Suggested rythm: Fountians of Wayne - Stacy's Mom

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Glimpse

A Glimpse, through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room, around the stove,
late of a winter night--And I unremark'd seated in a corner;
Of a youth who loves me, and whom I love,
silently approaching, and
seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand;
A long while, amid the noises of coming and going--of drinking and
oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little,
perhaps not a word.

Suggested read : Walt Whitman

Suggested rythm: Is there anybody out there ,Pink Floyd

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's just about time

(Just about time I'm feelin' blue tryin' to get over you)

Maybe it's just about time I told you I'm all through with you
But just about the time I start to tell you I start feeling blue
And just about then I lose my nerve and wait another day or two
Cause just about the time I think it's over I start missing you

It's just about time I had my sayin' I told you a thing or two
It's just about time I paid you back you treat me like you do
But just about the time I get the nerve I can't seem to carry through
Cause just about then an mpty feelin' reminds me I miss you

It's just about time I let you know I've had my fill of you
But just about the time I think about goin' I start missin' you
I'd like to go find another love that'll never be untrue
But just about the time I think about leavin' I start missin' you

(Havin' a hard time feelin' blue tryin' to get over you)

Suggested read : Johnny Cash,lyrics

Suggested rythm: Johnny Cash - Complete Sun Singles

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Moment of Silence

Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to join me
In a moment of silence
In honour of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last September 11th.
I would also like to ask you To offer up a moment of silence For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared,
tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes,
For the victims in both Afghanistan and the US

And if I could just add one more thing...

A full day of silence
For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died
at the hands of US-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation.

Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children,
who have died of malnourishment or starvation
as a result of an 11-year US embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem,

Two months of silence for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,
Where homeland security made them aliens in their own country.

Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin And the survivors went on as if alive.

A year of silence for the millions of dead in Vietnam - a people, not a war - for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives' bones buried in it, their babies born of it.

A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos, victims of a secret war .... ssssshhhhh.... Say nothing ... we don't want them to learn that they are dead.

Two months of silence for the decades of dead in Colombia, Whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.

Before I begin this poem.

An hour of silence for El Salvador ...
An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua ...
Two days of silence for the Guatemaltecos ...
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years.

45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas 25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than any building could poke into the sky. There will be no DNA testing or dental records to identify their remains. And for those who were strung and swung from the heights of sycamore trees in the south, the north, the east, and the west...

100 years of silence...

For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples from this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail of Tears. Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the refrigerator of our consciousness ...

So you want a moment of silence?
And we are all left speechless
Our tongues snatched from our mouths
Our eyes stapled shut
A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest
The drums disintegrating into dust.

Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won't be.
Not like it always has been.

Because this is not a 9/11 poem.
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
This is a 1492 poem.

This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written. And if this is a 9/11 poem, then: This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971. This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977. This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at Attica Prison, New York, 1971.

This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground in ashes This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told The 110 stories that history chose not to write in textbooks The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored. This is a poem for interrupting this program.

And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children
Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the instant messages,
Derail the trains, the light rail transit.

If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window of Taco Bell, And pay the workers for wages lost. Tear down the liquor stores, The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the Penthouses and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton's 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful
people have gathered.

You want a moment of silence
Then take it NOW,
Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.
Take it.
But take it all... Don't cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime. But we, Tonight we will keep right on singing... For our dead.

Suggested read : Emmanuel Ortiz , 11 Sep 2002

Suggested rythm: A Moment of Silence (mp3)

Friday, September 08, 2006

He stopped loving her today

He said I'll love you 'til I die
she told him you'll forget in time
And as the years went slowly by
she still preyed upon his mind
He kept her picture on his wall
went half crazy now and then
he still loved her through it all
Hoping she'd come back again

Kept some letters by his bed
Dated 1962
He had underlined in red
every single I Love You
I went to see him just today
Oh, but I didn't see no tears
All dressed up to go away
First time I'd seen him smile in years

He Stopped loving her today
they placed a wreath upon his door
and soon they'll carry him away
He stopped loving her today

You know, she came to see him one last time
Ohh, and we all wondered if she would
and it kept running through my mind
this time, he's over her for good

Repeat Chorus

And soon they'll carry him away
He stopped loving her today

Suggested read : George Jones,lyrics

Suggested rythm: Please forgive me - Bryan Adams

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the loveless tale of karma

... Long before the lizards, before the dinosaurs, two spores set out on
an incredible journey. They came to a valley bathed in the placid glow
of sunset.

My elder sister, said the little spore to the bigger spore, let us see
what lies beyond. This valley is green, replied the bigger spore,
I shall journey no farther.

I want to journey, said the little spore, I want to discover. She
gazed in wonder at the path before her.
Will you forget your sister ? asked the bigger spore.
Never, said the little spore.
You will little one, for this is the loveless tale of karma; in it
there is only parting and sorrow.

The little spore journeyed on. The bigger spore stayed back in the
valley. Her root pierced the damp earth and sought the nutrients of death
and memory. She sprouted over the earth, green and contended.

A girl with silver anklets and eyes prettied with surma came to
Chetali's valley to gather flowers. The Chempaka tree stood alone-
efflorescent, serene. The flower gatherer reached out and held down a soft
twig to pluck the flowers. As the twig broke the Chempaka said,
My little sister you have forgotten me !

Suggested read : O.V.Vijayan ,"Legends of Khasak"

Suggested rythm: Karmane balawanta maaye.,Saveri,chaypu - K J Yesudas - Thyagaraja.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I loved you...

I loved you, and I probably still do,
And for a while the feeling may remain...
But let my love no longer trouble you,
I do not wish to cause you any pain.
I loved you; and the hopelessness I knew,
The jealousy, the shyness - though in vain -
So tenderly I loved you, so sincerely,
I pray God grant another love you so.

Suggested read : Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Suggested rythm: Johnny Cash - You Are The Nearest Thing To Heaven,Yes You Are

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Suggested read : John Keats

Suggested rythm: Kishore - manzilen apni jaga hai raaste apni jaga,'Sharaabi'

Monday, August 28, 2006

Irulin mahaanidra

Irulin mahaanidrayil ninnunarthi nee niramulla jeevitha peeli thannu
ente chirakinaakashavum nee thannu ninn aathma shikirathil oru koodu thannu

Oru kunju poovilum thalirkaatilum ninne neeyayi manakunnathengu vere...
jeevanozhukumbol oruthulli ozhiyathe neethanne nirayunna puzhayengu vere...
kanavinte ithalaayi ninne padarthi nee viriyichoraakashamengu vere...

Oru kochu raapadi karayumbozhum nerthoraruvi than thaarattu thalarumbozhum
kaniviloru kallu kanimadhuramavumbozhum kaalamidarumpozhum ninte -
hridayathil njanente hridayam koruthirikunnu...
ninill abhayam thiranju pokunnu...

Adaruvan vayya..... nin hridayathil ninnenikethu swargam vilichaalum
uruki nin aathmaavin aazhangalil veenu poliyumbozhaanente swargam
ninnil adiyunnathee nitya sathyam

Suggested read : Madhusoodanan Nair , An English version

Suggested rythm: eee Ratriye njan snehikunnu - Daivathinte Vikrithikal

Friday, August 25, 2006


FRANCOISE : One night I will get the perfect photograph.

She presses the cable release.

FRANCOISE : Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six.

She lets the shutter close.

FRANCOISE : Take a look.

Richard leans over and squints down the viewfinder.

The sky is framed. Francoise leans into the frame.

Richard draws back.

RICHARD : You realize that in the eternity of space, there is a planet,
just like this one, where you are photographing back towards us.
You're photographing yourself.

FRANCOISE : Incredible

RICHARD : There are infinite worlds out there, where anything that can happen does happen.

FRANCOISE : So on one you are rich, on another poor. On one you are a murderer, on another the victim.

RICHARD : Exactly

FRANCOISE : Richard, you know something -

She hands him the cable release while she adjusts the camera.

FRANCOISE : That is just the kind of pretentious bullshit that Englishmen and Americans always say to French girls so that they can sleep with them.

RICHARD : Sorry. I thought I was doing quite well.

FRANCOISE : It's just the sky, Richard.

She presses his thumb down on the cable release, her hand around his.

FRANCOISE : Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept…


Francoise voice fades away over an image of the night sky.

Time lapse: the sky rapidly changes to day.

RICHARD (Voice Over) : When you develop an infatuation for someone, you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. It doesn't need to be a good reason, a bad one will do just as well. Taking photographs of the night sky, for example: in the long run that's just the kind of dumb irritating habit that would cause you to split up. But at the time - it's the charming eccentricity you've been searching for all these years.

Suggested read : Beach , the script

Suggested rythm: Goodbye blue sky, Pink Floyd

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Suggested read : Neruda,Pablo

Suggested rythm: R.D. , Kishore - Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna - what else