I will Sing for You!

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When all our abodes of music sacred

Are being razed and wrecked,

And plundered all dwellings of blossoms tender,

When all cool and deep shades of trees huge

Are being ravaged and bulldozed,

When collapsing under our feet are

All shores azure, emerald, shimmering,

Listen to these songs of mine

– listen!

 

I had heard the mighty eagles

Brave, beautiful and fearless

Chase the storm and these daring songs sing;

Wings outstretched in a sky anxious:

Grey and ashen with fear and panic

Of storms mighty, fast approaching.

 

One afternoon – thick, hushed, and dense,

I had heard a river ancient,

Cool, deep blue, languorous,

Sing these ditties long forgotten,

As it sat calm and motionless

Under the dark shade of an old Peepal,

These songs of mine

– listen!

 

All these songs melodious

Of vales leafy and sky indigo and springs sunlit

These hymns sweet – of flowers wild,

Of earth and of life,

These songs mine,

Are all yours,

These songs

– will you listen?

 

Listen,

I will sing for you

In these dark hours of frightening destruction,

Riding on the waves wrathful

That roar and rumble as they rise and rave,

Standing on the shoulders of the storm  

Wild and savage,

Ascending the volcano furious,

I will sing for you 

All those songs tender,

Which promise life and renewal,

All those songs that have you in them

 

I will sing for you

Till my last breath

And when these dreary hours shall end

(My journey will be over by then),

When a new dawn shall come,

These songs shall bloom and blossom again;

These songs – the joyous serenades of spring,

These songs – the saddest requiems of earth,

The most pious aubade to that morning first,

Yes, it shall come,

Soon shall it shall come!

Monsoon Diaries-II: Song of the Earth’s Darkest Night

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When clouds gather dark and green

And the earth’s pores damp and soaked

feel its silent quivering untold

When there rises the fragrance unknown

of the earth from its deep dark womb –

I have tears in my eyes,

When shall I meet you?

 

How soft and how tender my hands were

When you held them firmly

And pulled me along on that path washed by sunlight

Rocky, solitary, perilous

(It was, the most beautiful dream of my life).

 

But look,

These hands can handle today the plough and the hoe

And break rocks and stones,

They have learned how to wield the sword

And carry the load of the entire earth.

But look, how fresh your first touch still  

On my palms cracked and rough!

 

Yes, I get worn out and sometimes spent

And feel ashamed even to admit this,

Ever since that dream – drenched in light,

Blessed my life,

Hoping to see you one day on this path meandering

Far I have traveled

I want to tell you everything,

Those wounds, when you touch them, will heal

I know so well.  

 

Before I bid adieu to this world –

You will come,

That you will come, I never gave up hoping,

And waiting for you

My days I spend,

Years pass,

And year upon year I watch –

A sad spring on my land descend

Descend and take leave,

While I wait patiently,

Wait for you to come and meet me.

 

Listen to me,

I want to meet you,

And tell you so much,

Tale of a little girl, who once lived

And of a childhood long vanished.   

Those broken stone stairs –

That led to that river,

See, they are still there,

Those stairs old, shaded by trees of plums,

Where still lies a day incomplete somewhere,

You will come and make it complete

You will hold my hands there,

They are no more beautiful,

Cracks and scars ugly – all are visible.

 

I know,

Your dream and your hope shall live

Even when I depart,

But what to do with this heart

That wants to see you before it beats its last.

 

Yes, I hope to see you and tell you

That many a times did I fall,

Walking on this road rough,

There are wounds and cuts, yes,

But every time I have stood up again

I have kept my words,

These long dark hours spent in waiting

I have learned so much –

Your land beautiful,

For it, sword I have learned to pick up,

My head is still high

And as much beautiful

I never let it get disgraced and blemished!

(Pls note: The featured image is from my garden. And yes, do drop in your comments and suggestions! thanks.)

monsoon diaries: A day off, a capricious monsoon noon, and some musings about life.

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After many days of hectic running around, I have taken a day off. It’s past noon – there is a sunny and verdurous quietness of a moodish, vagrant, capricious monsoon noon around me. Sitting in my old easy chair in my verandah shaded by overgrown climbers and thick bushes of raat ki rani, I am seeing clouds scurrying across the deep blue sky with the roguish westerly wind. I can see under the thick and green bamboo bushes across the verandah little robins hopping around and tiny shards and shavings of the sun littered in the deep shade, shaking the tender shoots still sleeping under the moist soil.

And how am I today? As serene and light as few on earth can be – no worries, no qualms, no fears. I cleaned my working space and tidied up my things today morning, smiled to look at the results, then took a rather long bath, washed my hair and pulled out an almost weightless long frock of light green and lemon colored floral print from my closet – an exact replica of my mood today. I am about to enter the 36th year of my life and am enjoying on this day-off, the freedom that I have snatched and secured from the clutches of time. Yes, despite the thousand and one challenges facing me, I am today as free as any woman on earth can dream to be.

I often take such day offs from my self-chosen hectic schedule (I love to work hard) to be with myself, to listen to my soul, and rediscover that essential vitality inside me once again – that all grave failures, heartbreaks, irreparable mistakes notwithstanding, I am still young and in good health, that I am learning, growing, improving, that I have a whole life ahead of me to live the way I want.

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A dark, magical monsoon noon in my room

Yes, it is true that I have chosen (like Frost’s poem that I admired as a child) a road really “less traveled by” – full of challenges, difficulties and dangerous twists and turns. And it is equally true that I met with a very major accident recently after which followed a dark and dangerous phase of bitter realizations, regrets for mistakes that cannot be mended. But was this all not very much foreseeable when setting sail for such an unknown journey? To my complete dismay I discovered that the way I had been working all these years was totally wrong and that instead of moving nearer to my goal, I had moved farther away, that I shall never be able to become what I could have become. Worst still was the realization that I had failed to understand myself and what I actually wanted from life. . . Continue reading

Letters to my daughter, Dawn, who shall live centuries and centuries hence . . .

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Do you know Dawn, my daughter, who is not yet born? She would live on this blue wanderer thousands and thousands of years hence when the darkest night of this world would be over and the earth would be rising to sing its first manly aubade after ages of waiting, to the Dawn, and with which the sweetest courtship ever written down in the annals of human lore would begin; and then would follow the season of romancing, celebration, and wooing, and the world would wear a new colour and the most tender music ever sung by man in love would burst from every corner. 

dante-and-beatrice.jpg!HalfHD ‘Dante and Beatrice’ Continue reading

Defeated!

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If you can watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
 And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools . . .

It’s been a long long time since I posted anything. Roads I traveled the past month were rough. It has been a very sad month really. I lost the battle I had been fighting for years with my heart and soul. I fought for truth and lost. I failed. And with this defeat a chapter of my life seems to have ended too.

And here I am – left with the broken pieces of my most cherished dreams. With half of my life over and a defeat to mark its fruitless end, I stand on cross-roads contemplating which road to choose now. I remember Milton:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account . . .

All I can tell you is that it was a battle of principles. And I fought with all the goodness, with all the goodwill that life has given me. Had it been a personal battle the injuries would not have been so deep.

Giuseppe Mentessi (1857-1931) Italian Painter. such emotion

And do you know what I discovered? Continue reading

This Thing – Called Loneliness . . .

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Courtsey: pinterest

Courtsey: pinterest

One word that has always been my companion – loneliness. Yes, it is true; I could never find one single man who could be my man. And every time I tried to force myself to believe that I had finally found one, I was forced after a set of sad experiences, to accept that no – he is not the one. With a potent desire in me to love and to be loved and a mortal fear of loneliness, I stepped into your world – the world of grown up and wise men and women. As I turn back and look at what I was some 15 years back – I find a lean girl with deep, dark and eager eyes and an enormous heart. I find a tender half-bloomed flower eager to embrace life and its celebrations, its rituals, its colors and its joy – waiting for its share of sunshine, waiting for a man who would one day come rushing into her life and make her complete.

It is true, I confess, I grew up with books and romances and adventure tales in a family that gave me in inheritance a world of dreams and high ideals and values. As years rolled by, the sadness, the void, the unbroken silence was the only thing that remained unchanged.

 I regret the loss. Fifteen years of futile quest – fifteen years all gone, gone . . . but not in vain. It was last year that I made my last effort and its failure brought me face to face once again with the most dreaded thing – that thing called loneliness. 

courtesy: pinterest

And it was last year that I decided to face it – to face this dark void inside me and to fight for my share of happiness. And today I stand – single and happy and upright. I have decided to remain single for the rest of my life.

Why did I not marry? Because I could not find someone who could be my man and I cannot accept someone for whom my soul does not stoop with respect and regard. Yes – love is all about respect and restraint, which make it dignified and humane. Love without them is nothing but a mere animal passion and is destined to meet the fate  of an empty useless wine bottle after its fulfillment.

My man? Well, I am sorry to utter the bitter truth, but I have so far failed to came across someone I can marry, someone who is truly a man – he who knows how to keep his head high, whose resolute fists tighten for a tough fight against all wrongs, whose heart swells with love and pity and compassion for the helpless people of my wretched land, whose love knows no bounds, who can embrace like a father, a son, a brother all who need strength and support. He – whose love would never be confined to me, whose bosom receives the tears of all who suffer, who is actually a fighter. Yes, a man whose strength does not rob him of his meekness, whose strong hands know how to touch the fragile petal, whose heart kneels only before beauty and truth, and who knows how to protect them – yes, he is my man.

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courtesy: flicker

         But look at your world. I am sorry to say – I find it full of dwarfs and cowards and boneless beings who do not know how to live, how to love, how to cross their arms in a deep beautiful silence and restrain the rising surge of emotion inside, who don’t have the strength not to fall on my feet for the gratification of their thirst. They cannot handle me – the destructive storm that rages inside me, they cannot fulfill the undying thirst inside me for life and beauty and knowledge. Yes, I am a fighter, fighting for my motherland; I am a soldier, and only a soldier can be my man. Someone who would never ask for my freedom in return for his love, who would take me to the last rock of the wild sea and to the dangerous thousand feet high mountain edge; someone who would be able to keep pace with me when I fly like a storm and hold his breath when I lie motionless like the quiet starry sky high above.

On solitude: why i was absent from your world of facebook and twitter?

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Have you read The Tempest? Do you remember the solitary Miranda who has never known any man but her Godlike father? Growing up in blissful innocence far far away from the cunning intrigues of man’s world on a forlorn island that has never known human pollution and has never heard of the endless sad tales of deception, that has never felt the pain of heartbreak, Miranda is as innocent as the island itself. John-William-Waterhouse-Miranda-The-TempestOn the humanless shores, she watches the waves come and roar and splash like a ceaseless, boundless, everlasting solitary song but her eyes everyday look in an unfading expectation for a faint sight of a ship on the faraway horizon beyond which she knows is the glittering, throbbing, pulsating world of her fellow human beings.

4f5ced92ccc6c9e3026c5bce97398ccbWhy do I tell you all this? Well, because I reopened the doors of the cyber social life yesterday and felt something, which reminded me of the Tempest. I must admit that it disturbed me and i found its teeming streets suffocating. I want to share with you my last experience. — years back, after a set of saddening experiences, when I was at the height of my feverish involvement with this alluring and glamorous world, I suddenly snapped all my contacts with this delirious virtual world that had started dragging me into its heartless, deceptive depths. I do not like to remember that frenzied stormy time anymore. I had entered that world with all the best intentions – to find good friends, revive contacts, and build up a pleasant social circle. But that sudden break off told me everything – about its futility, its cruelty, its unreality. And I understood that all my friends, with scores of friends on their friends’ list, were all equally friendless, lonely and self-deceived. This unpleasant experience made me understand what I always knew – the bitter, undeniable truth of the modern civilization – loneliness and alienation. Each one of us is growing even more lonely with all the modern communication technologies the owners of which claims that it is “bringing people closer.” People come close when they offer their steady hand of friendship, solidarity and help, rather than when they click on the button “accept friendship request.”d6efbf4050839cf00d46f5b07b381b8a 1

It is, I tell you, and pardon me for this, nothing but fooling yourself. For months, I felt like an abandoned house. But tender saplings soon started smiling again on my wan land. I regained my peace and harmony of mind and plunged into the real tangible world of colossal human sufferings and pain and struggle, to reach out to people who needed help, who needed a friend, a sister, a comrade. 0ec38d7e6bb16ce0479c00c8b2ce9731.jpgMy wounds healed. I forgot what I had left behind and embraced the new life.

Away, away, far far away from ‘the frenzy, the fever and the fret’ of this noisy and colorful world I lived quietly. No one to drop an easy message, “hi! What’s up?”, no one to rent the virtual air with impotent anger on some political scandal or social injustice, no one crying his heartless heart out for sympathy. Just silence, solitude, an eremitic peace. And believe me – it was beautiful. I would never in my life like to exchange it for anything on earth. On the dim shores of that far-off world I had left behind, I sometimes heard a dull uproar, saw joyous fireworks, and strange clamors that I had once known so well, and I would find myself smiling. 

Yes, I lived like Miranda ignorant of all that everyday happened in that glimmering city of lights and sounds. I made contacts with real people who are not posting bombastic pieces on their walls on social issues that fall on the deaf ears of men who do not exist. Man – real man – who is he then?

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If your feelings, your sense of right and wrong, compel you to act, to contribute with sincerity towards changing the state of affairs that you find wrong, if you don’t shout aloud and accept in the end by your very inaction like a coward the things against which you had raised you voice, if they compel you to wipe out tears from sorrowful eyes, and shoulder the responsibilities of a hapless father, if your anger makes your tighten your fist for a real fight – I consider you a real man – my real friend and compatriot, I welcome you to my little circle  of friends who have pledged to live and die together.

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