A gentle warning to all readers of this blog article. Avoid reading this when about to operate heavy machinery! It is definitely better viewed close to bedtime, when sleep is gently nudging you, this will surely deliver the final kick into snoredom.
It all starts with a blank page.
Words get written, struck, rewritten.
What will be the essence in the end?
Can you go back and change things?
What if there are points of no return?
When the last sentence is done,
What will it be worth?
Will it be loved, hated or worse, ignored?
What about the pages of yore?
That of the first man?
What did he do all day?
Perhaps only rub two stones together.
Lo behold! His mindless action lit the first spark.
In its warmth, we all bask!
In follies that one was the centre of the universe,
Pages have been written.
When someone tried to change it,
His life sentence ended.
Many a bloodshed page there has been.
But even in the bleakest of such,
There’s the punctuation of a child’s smile.
Pages written in gold embossed letters,
Silver spoon and diamond legacies.
Not any more interesting than charcoal imprints,
Engine smoke and dirty hands.
Pages that travelled the world.
Pages that stood still at a point.
Pages that moved the world.
Pages that the world moved.
Pages so abstract
that different eyes read different words.
Pages so simple
that different hands change to different words.
On which strength stands,
There, a page of a mountain rock;
On which freshness flows,
Here, a page of a morning breeze;
On which serenity serenades,
There, a page of a wandering stream;
On which inspiration invigorates,
Here, a page of a shining spark;
Pages are right there to be seen.
But where is the author?
Why hide behind this creation?
Questions arise in surprise.
‘God’, ‘Nature’, ‘Consciousness’
‘The Force’, ‘Genes’, ‘Circumstance’
Answers abound around.
Crashing on the wall of truth,
Comes the resounding ‘You!’
You write your book!
Even though you know not to write.
The world may insist that it be written by another,
The Parent… The Teacher!
The Well-versed… The Knowledgeable!
Resist. Forget not your precious words.
It’s your precious choice!
In the colours of many languages,
Singing the same human song,
Penning the same human story;
In the fonts of many lifestyles,
Living different lives the same way,
Living the same life in different ways;
In the ordered and bordered pages of the developed,
In the overlapping and gaping pages of the developing,
Existing as the solitary word on a vast page,
Subsisting as the ignored word on a cramped page;
Standing in block prints,
Where the individual reigns supreme;
Flowing with the neighbours in cursive,
Where only society makes sense;
Whether as one in a million or one among the millions,
Pages filled as borders dictate;
Bold words fly beyond borders too.
Be it across those eons or these miles,
Every time a page is opened,
There is doubt but also hope.
Claps few; Curses too;
Clamouring voices queue.
‘This will be worthless!’
‘This will be priceless!’
‘Are you sure?’
‘What does it matter?’
‘Why don’t you just stop and end it all now?’
Just be sure to hear the whisper
Of that gentle voice, ‘Keep writing…’
Outside a clinic, hangs a board with smiling men and women in white coats. The text proclaims ‘Athena White’. A woman and a man in their thirties approach the clinic. They walk at a balanced distance, not as close as lovers, not as far as strangers, at the point of convergence called marriage. A receptionist with a dazzling smile greets them. He nods them in and asks them to wait in the reception area. He tells them, ‘The hygienist will call you in once the room is ready.’ The man meddles with his mobile while the woman takes in the atmosphere. The place looks as if it’s been refurbished since she was last here. Her eyes fall on the date flashing on the wall – 28/12/15.
After some time, the man gets a call on the phone and just then, an attender arrives to call them in. The husband gestures to his wife to go in first. She enters a room and sees hi-tech medical instruments – probes, scrapers, polishers and other assorted unnameable ones. The hygienist starts her work. She peers inside and says, ‘You have some deposits. Not much. But watch out for the sensitivity’. With her probing eyes, she picks up an sharp instrument. An attender stands close by, with a long tube to suck in the waste the hygienist dislodges. The hygienist painstakingly scrapes off the deposits.
‘When was the last time you were here?’, she asks.
‘In May’, comes the reply.
‘The sockets should be tighter. But they have loosened a bit. Add a massage routine everyday.’ she advises. The woman on the slanting couch, nods her head silently. As the hygienist proceeds, she squirms a bit as a sensitive nerve is touched now and then. The cleaning goes on nevertheless and finally, it is done. The woman scans around and feels it to be fresh and clean. Satisfied, she walks out and sends her husband in.
Taking a look at the man, the hygienist tells herself, ‘This is going to be a dicey one. At least his wife took some pains to routinely clean. He has been slack.’ It’s a painful, bloody affair, as the hygienist works her way around. But meticulously, she makes up for his lack of care and attention. Months of sediments peel away. Deep inside, the healthy and the unhealthy have gotten intimate and it’s hard to get them to break up.
‘Too busy a life he leads, no doubt’, the hygienist tells herself. After a long and soul-searching effort, the cleaning is complete. In spite of all the bleeding, she acknowledges the inherent strength. A lot of wear and tear but he’s essentially strong, she decides.
‘He certainly bites more than he can chew’ she quips to herself. While all these theories go on in her head, as a true professional, she gives nothing away. Done with her work, she smiles and recommends that it would be better for him to meet another specialist.
He comes out and his waiting wife sees traces of the strain and asks,
‘How was it? What did she say?’
‘Not a single problem. So perfect and fine!’, he replies.
They both start laughing.
She makes a face at him and asks, ‘How do I look?’
‘Great, as always!’, he replies.
The receptionist hands out the bill, with a even more dazzling smile. The woman settles it and they both get ready to leave. Just before she opens the door, as if she remembered something, the woman turns and asks the waiting hygienist,
“Your name? I want to recommend you to a friend. When did you join this place?’
The hygienist points to her badge with a smile, and says, ‘2114’.
It reads, ‘Mana, Mental Hygienist’.
A blank page;
A barren land;
Whatever flows flows.
No barring the surging waves;
No stopping the sprouting seeds;
Will this river reach the ocean?
If it didn’t, would it be a river?
Will it make deserts flower?
Will it make mountains cower?
Why not let it be what it will be?
Why not a symphony of serendipity?
Why pain for the past?
Why fear of the future?
Why seek to find something?
Why not find whatever was found?
Why is any path, the wrong path?
Because it should be somewhere, elsewhere?
What if it didn’t go all the way?
Because of this dead end?
Either ram it with all there is,
Or turn back and find another way.
Brave enough to choose either!
What flowed in isn’t what’s flowing out!
That’s all the meaning there is.
The change within, the destination!
Every mistake made, was to be.
Every path trod on, was to be.
Flowing words flood the soul!
Of a room in Den Haag
Of a soul within
Of a far-away souvenir
Of a long-ago gift
Of an unborn child
Of a dead parent
Of an unanswerable question
Of an irrefutable answer
Of the yet-to-speak toddler
Of the about-to-die elder
Of a fighting couple
Of an estranged friend
Of a reunion, prior
Of a farewell, after
Of an attentive listener
Of a perpetual talker
Of unexpressed love
Of concealed apathy
Of a monastery
Of a library
Of a fallen tree
Of a sprouting seed
Of a crowded theatre
Of a deserted graveyard
Of spectators of a crime
Of photographers of a disaster
Of the moment before an applause
Of the moment after a rebuke
Of leaders who should condemn
Of followers who should complain
Of the sinner
Of the forgiver
Of the speechless speaker
Of the speechless signer
Of a loving look
Of an angry stare
Of the black night
Of the white moon
Of a thinking mind
Of a feeling heart
Of the breeze
Of the earth
Of hands that do
Of eyes that see
Of the universe
Of an atom
Of a tear
Of a smile
That speaks a thousand words!
On a red hot dance floor,
An empty pan sets the stage.
Through two doors,
Enter oil and butter on skates.
The same question on their faces.
With a raised eyebrow,
‘Why you too, when I’m here?
Overcoming their initial friction,
Losing one in the other,
Light up the dark stage.
Ginger and garlic, the siamese twins,
Take the first leap in.
Moving left and right, all around,
Till they have worn down their young selves.
Five unique red-blooded tomatoes,
Conforming to the pressure of the blender,
Becoming indistinguishably one,
Join the siamese twins on the floor.
After a while, to heat things up,
Arrive, a dash of powdered red chillies.
They waltz and do their salsa thing
In the heat of fire and spice.
Until the skating oil having had enough,
Steps away from their merriment.
As if there isn’t enough show of strength,
The flashy cashews make an entry.
At first, they all get along well
Then the oil does its hermit trick again.
Things are getting a bit dry.
To lighten the mood, enters the water guy.
‘Let there be music’, shouts the crowd.
And there is, drum beats of green chillies,
Lilting guitar strings of ginger,
And the mellifluous singing of salt.
Now, the plot thickens.
Time for the party’s guest of honour.
Lady Paneer, dressed in gold sheer;
The whole party crowds around her;
Embracing, enveloping, electrifying;
The lady is now, one with all.
Delighted eyes watch this drama;
A watering mouth dreams of a closer look;
Nostrils echo a song of fragrance;
Ears, now hear the rumble of the stomach;
And a hand reaches out to the party floor.
The dancers are welcomed to a place within.
Beginning a journey deep down,
To the destination of their dreams.
[ Inspired by: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/paneer-butter-masala/ ]
Here I am about to describe the pleasure of having a pedicure done. A Pedicure, as defined in ‘dettol’ fashion , is a ‘cosmetic treatment for the feet and toe-nails’. Anyone who has had it done in the hands of a professional, will stare with disbelief at this understatement. Here I am trying my hands at doing that, a bit of justice. No, this article is not sponsored by any salon!
As the feet enter the doors of their heaven, the sins of dirt and grime, the pains of cracks and callouses melt away in a few minutes. Watch out, here come the ZZZs in the following description: The tiny dirt particles hiding in the crevices of your nails are removed with surgical precision. Then they are neatly trimmed and the serious business of removing the deposits on your feet are underway. The lines and cracks are explored with Columbusian efficiency. The icing on the cake is definitely the few minutes of massaging the feet, when all the tensions seem to vaporize like ice on summers’ day! This systematic process of scrubbing, filing and massaging is one of those human inventions that deserve a Nobel. Ok, that’s going a bit far. Well let’s say that if all the terrorists got more of these done, we’d have less hijacking and bombing on our hands!
After every session, I have a burning desire to write to Oxford Dictionary – To add this word to the English lexicon – Pedicurean , adjective with the meaning, ‘I-can’t-wait-for-this-to-happen-again’ !
A budding village in ruins. A few, scattered well-built houses in disrepair; Bricks laid lay abandoned. Cobwebs, dust and broken rods eclipse what could have been.
An opportunity; A possibility – To build a town, a nation, why even start a new civilization! So much scope for growth, for creating self- sustaining systems, for changing the way this world moves.
Why get down and clean it all? Why change things now? Why not be in the comfort zone, delighting in what was? Why spend so much energy on what could be, on what glorious-could-be?!
But doesn’t it beckon you, with arms outstretched like your loving child? Doesn’t it pull your heart strings with passion? Doesn’t it electrify the mind and fill the nerves with zing?
And… what is this about? A blog, home, society, nation, life or something else entirely? The scene and the seen lies in the seeing!