Monday, September 13, 2010

Pliable, you and I.

I pass a statue and touch its rudimentary ears.
Later, I see the sentry at our compound wall. He has the thickest moustache I have ever seen, yet I do not touch him.

Human beings are not statues but their ways can be hard as stone.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This weekend's most memorable image:

I was travelling in an auto to a bus stand; just abreast of us was a man riding a scooter. Attached to the handle at the back was a knot that held some sixty chickens captive. It was interesting, how they were arranged, in what position.

The two legs of each chicken were tied together. The two tied legs had subsequently been tied to those of nine other chicken. In a curious way, the image resembled a bouquet, a single stem of legs from which flowered the heads and bodies of whole birds. There must have been six such chicken-bouquets (60/10, elementary math underway).

The birds dangled, upside-down, inches from the road. I thought at first that they were carcasses because they did not appear agitated. Then I saw one peck at the neck of a contemporary; another stir in an attempt to raise its head above the body-parts around it.

The scooter left a trail of white feathers. I wondered how those birds suffered the impact of blood-rush to their heads.

Veena-players, Soul-stirrers, S.

S plays the Veena (beautifully, with reverence and dignity, I add).

It lies in her room, within an intricate metal cuff that she calls its 'prop'. S does not approach the instrument when she has her period.
The Veena is sacred, she says.

I ask: Who said to you that you are not sacred when you have your period? Who said it first? When did you first begin to believe it?
I ask: If you respect the Veena, if you come towards it with respect and touch its strings with love, are you not performing the sacred, no matter how you are attired or what colour your discharge is?
I say: "Veena" is the name of a woman.

S says: It is a custom. I want to follow it, and I only know to follow it. There are some questions that do not have answers.

S reads this blog sometimes. Don't mind me, S. I like to listen to you when you play the Veena. In my greed, I only wish that your time didn't face such monthly constraints.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Everything points to a monster

'Great sins burn like wood, small sins like straw, those of middling import like hay.'

Monday, September 6, 2010

Covers her Face with both Hands

This is something I discovered by the American poet Daniel Ladinsky. The line breaks are a little unbearable, but I find the poem appealing nevertheless:

We speak
Becomes the house we live in.

Who will want to sleep in your bed
If the roof leaks
Right above

Look what happens when the tongue
Cannot say to kindness,

"I will be your slave."

The moon
Covers her face with both hands

And can't bear
To look.
Click on the title for the link to a page with Ladinsky's poems.