Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crystal Ball

Is a crystal ball
In the hands of a Toddler...

It may slip,
It may fall,
It may squeeze itself out of shape.

It may drop,
It may break,
It may bounce back where it was.

It shows us
What we wish to see
And sometimes what we fear.

It grows, shrinks,
Changes colour,
Makes our dreams come true...

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Photo by @agnnair, Bangalore, 2010

Spring in Bangalore is a very brief affair. It creeps in through an open window or a gap under the door, and catches us by surprise. It does not announce its arrival with the drumbeats of thunder or the music of rains or the winds of heat or the chill of sunset. One day you switch on the fan because you feel warm, but you keep your blankets on because you feel cold, and then you ask yourself, is it here yet?

It comes in different disguises and makes us wonder if it really is what it claims to be. And before you know it, it has gone out the back door and vanished into the woods. Blink and you will miss it. Breathe in, breathe out, and Spring is over. As though Winter had paused on the doorstep to catch its breath before handing the baton to Summer, and this merry little fellow with flowers in its hair and a sparkle in its eye slipped in where it wasn't normally allowed. As though Summer, just before pouring the cauldron of boiling water over April and May, let Spring have a look around, with a stern warning that it shouldn't break a thing.

Like a spoilt kid, it runs around the house, hands outstretched, squealing, breaking bottles of honey, leaving ripples of laughter in its wake and causing blossoms of all colours to burst open and flutter and blush.

Then Summer storms in like a stern teacher and scowls at the pretty, fragrant mess, and this cheery little bloke chuckles in glee and takes off, leaving behind flowers to grieve and wither and fade and wait for its return the next year.

Blink, and you will miss it.

Monday, February 18, 2013


The truth is that you get addicted without realising it, without intending to. You had thought you'll have some fun while it's there. Just for the heck of it. When it is in your system, you think you can drive it out whenever you want to. What you do not realise is that you would never want to let it go.

Then one day you try to (or you are forced to) do without it. And you can't.
You're drowning.
You tell yourself it is nothing, it is a fleeting pain, it will pass.
It doesn't, and you are pulled back into its clutches again.
Denying its presence is not going to scare it away.

You give in to it once; then once more, then several times.

You try to fight it, this feeling of wanting. You keep fighting to keep it from your thoughts, to keep it from bubbling up and frothing all the time. It's difficult, impossible.
You surface, gasping, breathless, terrified.
The mind is a butterfly, as they say, fluttering over the flowers of thoughts, unsure which one to sit on, which will yield the sweetest honey. 

So you struggle to keep your mind away from settling on the most painful thought.
It works, for a while. You think you've done it. It's over, you're past it.
Just when you think you have shoved it out of your system, it comes back - in full force, with a vengeance, with an army wreaking havoc along the way.
You buckle.
You give up. Just one more time, you think. Just this once.
You lose.
And you fight.
The circle repeats.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Beaten and Distorted

Used to go a long way
Once upon a time.

It grew
Like everything else,
Bloated and distorted.

Overused, Meaningless
Became two words of gratitude.

Ruled the world,
And Hello lost its sheen.

Became a myth
One likes to believe in

Santa Claus and Elves
And Fairies and Magic.

Remain, for they
Still hold us together.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Surprising how far
the world has moved on
when i wasn't looking...
while i was engaged
in a different world
beyond the horizon
beneath the stars
over the mountains and
across the seas
as the road and trees
sped past unseen

I return to find
the forest gone
the village vanished
the news is new
the folks've changed
their faces rough
their hands are coarse
li'l kids no more
innocence, returned
to the old and senile

A void where
the people were
the ones i knew
the ones who spoke
the ones who sang
the ones who fought
the ones who came
when it mattered,
when it really mattered.

Like a lightning bolt
in the darkest deep
blinding eyes
shocking senses
arrives the truth:
grabbing, clutching
never letting go
forward, always forward.
... Forward.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Selfishness is relative too

It's been a long period of selfishness.

People are not selfish all the time, even the most selfish ones. Just as people are not selfless all the time. It shows up only when there is a choice, a decision to be made. If I make food for myself and eat, it is not selfishness. It is routine, natural, normal. But when I know you are feverish and starving and has no one to boil you a glass of water, then if I ignore you and munch the last piece of bread without offering you, it could be. Possibly. I don't know. When there is a choice between You and I, what do you choose? Most of us sway between the two, sometimes choosing the You and sometimes the I - based on priorities, perspectives, experience, position, appearance, emotions, thoughts, fear. Sometimes sacrificing, sometimes neglecting, sometimes offering help, sometimes forgetful of others' needs. Selfishness, that's relative too.

It wasn't that bad, the phase of intentional selfishness. A trifle guilty here, a little embarrassed there, but nonetheless relaxing, a long spell.
I am sorry.
I can't.
I won't.
I'm not in the mood to.
After my siesta, probably.
Why don't you carry on.
No, I didn't get the hint.
Did you just say something?
Who cares?!

No, it wasn't bad at all.