Friday, March 28, 2008

MY OLD LOST FRIEND



My friend – I lost years ago,
I came across her one day
Memories of child hood began to flow-
That had refused to fade away.

Those days of fun
Spent under the clear sun-
Was nothing but pure joy,
The doll’s house
The game of cat-n-mouse
The toy king and his convoy!

Then we grew up, with books pulling us apart
Yet we tried to hold on –
A thin string still connecting our heart
And which one day was gone.

Each went in our own way
As life taught us to dream and pray
But deep within our heart we cried-
For once –
Give me my friend for old time’s sake.

Then one day we come face-to-face
After a decade’s long wait,
What an irony, that we just walked past
Not even changing our pace.

They say that time is the best healer –
But to me it is the greatest stealer,
For it is to Time that lost my friend
With whom I wanted this journey to end…

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

INANE DIALOGUE

This friend of mine is one of the closest ones that I have here in this anjaane city. We are the perfect example of the love-hate relationship that exists between mallus and bongs! These are some the hilarious and the most innane pieces of conversation that we have had over Gtalk...
Mind you, we both are just a floor apart... Lazy bums that we are we converse this way!!


sneha: did u see the list of names that we got!????
me: yeahhhhhhh!!!!
sneha: this is exactly WHY i was against this idea
me: woh man!
sneha: =/
Peer2 peer??!!
me: i wash my hands off this
sneha: Taar: The String that lets us to Express???
i want to cry
i really want to sit down and weep my lungs out
me: wat abt audacity?
sneha: someone's said domino mag

me: WGASA????
LOL
sneha: and they ve included that in the list
i mean, why
WHY??!!!
EFLUence!?
me: wats ths /something/somethng/...../....???
sneha: telekinesis!!!
me: stupid corner?!
sneha: waaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiill!!
me: flluent eflu...THY VOICE!!!

sneha: :((
me: THY VOICE!
Wat do they think of us? - organized chaos??
bitextuality!
mummmmyyyeeeee!!!!
sneha: i seriously want to cry
me: amritha is almost rolling on the floor...
says hilarious
sneha: i swear i'm gonna caste my vote for bitextuality and taar
me: lol

sneha: and maybe WAGSAGA watever
=/
me: silence is the best option...peace....om.....
sneha: silence??!
i m fuming
there's smoke coming outta my ears
i swear there is
me: ur hair doesnt help at all
plz do not come dwn and kill me!!!
sneha: pooooooooooodi
me: lol

sneha: i'm gonna go to ishita's room and jump
me: good none taught me mallu
y bother the poor kid
ppl hv strtd tking their picks too!!!
sneha: i REFUSE to be the editor for a mag that calls itself apna EFLU
i'm an inch away from murder

MY CRAZIEST NIGHT...

The experiences I have had in this place (till now) will be something that my memory will refuse to dump in the garbage trash of obsolete memories. The most recent is the one that I had on the evening before the day the second issue of the magazine was to come out...
4:00 PM - I decide that I will not take my second Spanish sessionals.
4:30 PM - Sneha gives me a list of the names and asks me to come up with funny bylines as soon as possible. Then comes the grueling task of coming up with crossword...something I have never done in my life before.
6:00 PM - I stop dilly dallying and decide that I will seriously not take the exam
8:00 PM - frantic editing and layout work going on.
Vivek with his philosophies was not helping us in this stressful condition.
Sneha is almost on the verge of committing murder...!!
I, trying to be the smart ass, call up the Printing guy, assuring him that we are on our way.
8:15 PM - Sneha refuses to get the point that she is working on her laptop... which can be moved to places. M y (for once) sane suggestion of taking the laptop along with us and making a move to leave for God's sake was falling everywhere but into Sneha's ears!!!
Finally, illumination dawns on Sneha and without a second thought she grabs her lappy and runs out of the room and out of the hostel and towards the gate!
Thankfully, or may be unfortunately, given that we are called the "conjoined twins" by a majority of the campus (thanks to Upi) I could read her mind and action...
I follow her out of the room grabbing our wallets and cell phones. Vivek...late to 'get the point' as usual follows us a tad bit behind.

The next scene: Vivek (who manages to outrun us) running towards gate 3. Followed by me (still running) carrying an odd assortment of multiple cell phones and wallets. Then comes Sneha carrying an entire laptop with a pendrive sticking out from one of the USB ports!! Quite a sight we were i must say!
Autowallah has mercy on us... agrees to go without much qualms...

On our way in the auto: Sneha is still working on the layout!! The touch pad and the cursor seemed to have a mind of their own...and Vivek and I were mute spectators to this 'Sneha and mouse' chase...
I decide to be the smart ass again... I call up the printer and tell them that we are almost there when we were at least 20 minutes away.

We finally reach: The man is more relieved to see us actually there in flesh and blood than us reaching there.
Well this is just the beginning...
A call comes from Vrinda (back in campus) - Sai, the xerox center, has not bought the A3 sheets!
After some convincing that Vivek can go by herself the guy actually makes a move. Thankfully he gets a free ride from the owner to General bazaar where from he is to buy the papers. And mind you the guy has not got a dime on him!

After a lot of other mini dramas we finally reach campus armed with our MASTER COPY!
Sai gives a "better news". The machine's not working. So we probably cannot start photocopying before morning! We fix up a time with him... At the insane hour of 6 in the morning!

THE NEXT DAY 5:45 AM - Something buzzing.... zzz..... zzz....
I pry my eyes open... Ishita calling... hearing someone else's voice on the phone... blabbing some thing in Bengali (well it was Sneha on the other side trying to wake me up). I hear a calm voice say "Asmita, this is Sneha here. I can't understand a word you are saying but I think it is time you wake up... and call Ishwar Bhaiya" (the xerox guy). Given my luck, I catch the man in the act! He was in the loo! (let's rhyme)... The things that we do!

6:00 AM - In front of Sai Xerox... Sneha me and Vivek... Gandhiji ke teen bandar. (okay this one does not rhyme... big deal!)
The photocopying finally starts... and the rest is history!



Sunday, March 23, 2008

Water water water everywhere...




The raindrops keep fallin' on my head...
I love it when the drops-
Fall pitter patter on your face.
It's been raining all day,
And all night.
Life has come to a stand still-
The window is the only vision
To the world outside;
But I'm glad it is so...

The trees afar in the horizon
Sway their green tops in joy.
The water caresses my face
As it drains down to my feet.
I feel like the tree...
My head swirling in the motion.
But my life is standstill now;
It's now drained off life-
For reasons unfathomable...
I can still hear the rain-
Hitting the muddy field outside.
We ran out when the first showers came;
But now life is a shade dark-
A shade grey.

But let it come down...
And shatter the walls,
Let the rain come down...
And wash away the pain
Let a new day come...




THE NIGHT IS STILL YOUNG


A ride down the river
Of what is left still;
The night is young,
The water restless-
It carries me-
Into the lanes
Crisscrossing my mind.
A window opens up-
I see the past;
The past of not today
But of yesterday,
Of the first step that treaded
On the soft muddy banks.
The first step of one man
That becomes a giant leap
For the Brits.
The distant sounds of music
Coming in snatches;
I go back even further-
The night plays a magical charm…
Angels in bright raiment,
Touching silently
The soul within;
It is ephemeral,
The touch… intoxicating
The night is still young,
I open my eyes
The lights glare back at me,
The old boatman gives a toothless smile
Says, “amra eshe gechi…”

Friday, March 21, 2008

An Open Letter to George Bush!!

HOWDY PRESIDENT BUSH,
Since you ain't tuned in to what the rest of them people around the world is saying, I reckon that I gotta talk to you in a lingo that you'll understand. How you doing Mr. President? Trust you's doing good.
I just gotta tell you how mighty sad I was feeling, and still am I guess, when I saw them Twin Towers being blown to smithereens. I reckoned that when that happened, like all them Texan cowboys we see in movies, you would come out with guns blazing.
But Lord Almighty, you could have knocked me down with a feather when you, looking kind of bushed during the first press conference, told us people that you was gonna wait for them FBI boys to come up with evidence before you started smoking out the bad guys.
I was mighty pleased to hear you say that. "Right on, George! Now you're talking!" I said to myself. You kind of reminded me of that country cousin of yours that we folks in India used to see on TV - you know the guy I am talking about "Walker, Texas Ranger".
But I gotta tell you, Mr. President, you sure as hell ain't no Walker - cos you ain't a man of your word. You went ahead and bombed Afghanistan without showing us folks the proof you was talking about. You really had no proof when you started dropping all them bombs on them poor folks in Afghanistan, did you? I am figuring that all that talk about evidence was pure baloney. Anyways, you gave your cowboys the bombs and told them to have fun with them in Afghanistan. So what if they bombed a wedding party and killed a lot of innocent people?
Heck, it was nothing but "collateral damage". Hey, this is war and all is fair in love and war right? Can't make an omelette without breaking a couple of eggs, right? Cutting to the chase, your cowboys did such a good job that right now we sure as hell don't know where them Al Qaeda hombres are.
Earlier they were all herded together, but now you've got them scattered all over the place. Why in tarnation did you go and do that for? As for Osama, you ain't got no clue if he is dead or alive, do you? For all you know he could be hiding right under your nose. Better check the basement of the White House, Mr. President.Anyways, when your planes bombed Afghanistan nobody really said nothing. That's the reason I reckon you acted like the Lone Ranger; and with that sidekick of yours Tonto (Tony Blair) acting as the Voice of America, you went about doing what you damn well pleased.
You claimed that it was OK bombing Afghanistan, but when we Injuns said we is going to take care of business in POK, you got on the hotline pronto and asked us to have a powwow with your newfound buddy in Pakistan - General Busharuff. Or is it Musharuff?
What's the deal, Mr. President? How come you got different sets of rules to get rid of terrorism- one for you and one for us folks? I reckon we folks in India should have seen all this coming. We should have cottoned on pretty quickly that you ain't no friend of this here country. After all, you have gone and named your dog India! Not Pakistan, not Iraq, not Iran, not even Saddam, but India. Sure tells us folks what you think of this here country. Well, I got to tell you this Mr. President. Since you took over, quite a few Injuns have named their dog "Bush". So there!
Now you say that Iraq is next on your hit list. You're just itching for a fight, ain't you? Reckon you watched too many of them cowboy movies while you was growing up. For a long time for the life of me I just couldn't figure out why you was always hollering for Saddam's blood. Now everything is clear as daylight. You ain't after him cos he's stockpiling all them chemical weapons. I reckon you Yanks have ten times the amount he has got. Nah, you ain't gunning for Saddam cos he's got them weapons. You're rounding up a posse to get him dead or alive cos your Texas sized ego is hurting. Saddam tried to kill your daddy when he was the president of the U. S. of A. So as daddy's little boy you are now just itching to take a potshot at the guy who almost made you fatherless. I guess you figure that your family honour is at stake or something. But I gotta ask you this. Ain't you taking this a bit too seriously? Ain't you going a teeny weeny bit overboard? Just cos Saddam tried to send your dad packing don't mean you gotta send your soldiers over to Iraq and end up killing innocent folks. Get real Mr. President. Wake up and smell the coffee.
The way I see it, this here fight is strictly between you and Saddam. It's pretty darn clear that the two of you don't take a shining to each other.
So why don't the two of you step outside and settle the problem. There ain't no reason to get the world involved in your personal problems, kapish?
Some Iraqi official was saying something about arranging a duel between the two of you. Frankly, I think that's one swell idea. Maybe we could have one of them gunfights that we see in them old cowboy movies.
I can just picture it Mr. President. You and the man who is always on your mind standing twenty paces apart. You in your black hat, leather cowboy boots with spurs, black pants, white shirt, a black waistcoat and two shiny guns with ivory handles hanging lazily around your slim waist.
Saddam in his green army uniform watching you like a hawk. The two of you licking your lips as the sweat begins to slowly trickle down your forehead. The hands twitching by the side of the gun; each one waiting for the other to make the first move. I can tell you Mr. President it'll make mighty interesting viewing.
And you won't have to worry about TV ratings neither. I'll bet my bottom dollar that all the major networks will fight tooth and nail to cover this here event.
Talk about the mother of all battles! "High Noon in Baghdad", "Gunfight in OK Corral II", "For a Few Petrodollars More". Some of the names for the event. What do you think? Anyways, if you win the fight, you get the regime change you have been hollering for. If Saddam wins, well, Dick Cheney becomes President. Either way, the rest of us people in this world can live in peace. If you do this, you might even be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. So what do you say
Mr. President? Do we have a deal here?
Before I sign off Mr. President, I just gotta ask you something. In Afghanistan, you spent millions of dollars on bombs destroying buildings that ain't worth ten cents. No big deal, I suppose, cos you got a lot of bombs and I guess you gotta drop them somewhere. So Afghanistan was as good a place as any, right? Now it sure looks like it's Iraq's turn.
Tell me, do bombs have an expiry date or something? I mean do you gotta drop them somewhere before a particular date? Do they go bad after that?
P. S. Can't believe you ain't found no evidence against Saddam. Got something for you. Strictly between you and me, you hear? You ain't gonna believe your luck. Got this hot off the Iraqi grapevine. Earlier this year you choked on a pretzel, remember? If things had gone according to plan you would have been pushing up daisies by now. Guess what? The packet of pretzels was actually sent by Saddam! How do you like that? Still have the packet? Ask the FBI boys to dust it, Saddam's prints may be on it. That is the evidence you was looking for all along. Now, go get em George.
S. UPENDRAN

a moonlit night


I toss and turn in bed... The night bears down on me. My eyes fly open and I look at the moon smiling down at me. It's beauty beyond mortal description.The campus is otherwise quite. The usual barking of the dogs at night are absent tonight. It is well past 3:30 am and I lie awake on my bed, the moon light streaming into my room, splashing its white light all over the bed and my body. The tune of an old hindi song suddenly waft into the air from somewhere and I am reminded of another night, when someone whispered the lines of an old song, "where did the full moon rise, on the sky, or the kallai beach? Where did the flower of seventeen bloom, in the courtyard or on the sweet cheeks?"


The song is not in my mother tongue, but it holds a special meaning in my heart.


We have drifted apart from those intimate days when we used to pass nights savouring the presence of each other next to one another. The moon was the witness to those days of simple bliss.

Where are we now? Just where we were but no more enjoying each others' company in the midst of the silence. The silence that now pervades is awkward, something which we both try to aoid, and in the process end up avoiding each other.

I dream on of those days when words used to be spoken through our eyes, while we passed each other. We took the simple pleasure in breaking into a conversation without intent, and yet thoroughly enjoying it. Hours passed with us "speaking" to each other. Not an hour of the day passed without either of us whispering something to another.

The moon still smiles down on us. But we don't to each other. Our eyes meet. We both try to search something in them. But do the eyes find what they were searching for? The moon refuses to answer. I don't ask anymore. Even the moon does not say anything to me now. Just like we stopped saying anyhting to each other without explaining...

I asked but never got an answer. I stopped asking. It hurt me too much to witness the long silences and the refusals for explanation...

Tonight as I lie with the moon caressing my body I look at it intently truly seeking an answer...

The moon too takes its time to make up its mind... But tonight I have the ptience of the world... I can wait...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Room of One's Own

There was a time when I was assured of a room of my own with nobody to share it with. It was all mine and mine alone! But lo and behold there also came a day in my life when i decided to move out of my house to study outside. Dad asked me whether or not I will be able to cope with a situation where I'll have to share my space which for all theses years have taken for granted with someone elso whom I will get to know for the first time in my life!
First time given a chance to stay away from home and do whatever i want to do in whatever I want to do, I was more than reday to part with that coveted space of mine. I landed up here in Hderabad and the first day here was a reality check for me and for most of us here. Were put up not in the hostels but in the staff quarters and there we stayed for the next four months...we twelve girls and a dog.
Now as i write this I am comfortably seated in a relaxed easy chair enjoying the comforts of a room which has two separate tables and chairs, box beds, two cupbloards and most of all we two (in)human creatures, who are too bored and lazy to keep the room clean. The first few days were easy to do that but slowly as time went on, we too started taking this room too as granted. Sadly, here we don't have mum to do the clean up. So we stay in this shit, which of course is much cleaner for the guys, who voluntarily claim that they live in a pigsty.
S o the moral of the story is that we never appreciate the best we get in life but always focus on what's not there...