Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Resolutions I have made
Kept, I have none
Why do I have to make
Resolutions anymore?

I pause through endless time
For this year to pass
And the lights of celebration to die
On this New Year day.

Remember those magical days
When the promise of meeting
Was what held us together
Alas! No more!

Years just flow by
As water beneath bridges
Gathering speed towards
The great sea of immortality.

There you and I
Will rest our weary heads
On the bed
Of our broken promises.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Interesting take on poets here.

Sample this:
They all wanted to be writers. Every maniac in the world that ever brought about the murder of people through war started out in an attic or a basement writing poetry. It stank. So they got even by becoming important heels. And it's still going on.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

This is me at a recent readmeet of Caferati. I read my short story Rina's Dog. The response ranged from "Girls don't wear frocks anymore," to "Girls don't play house." Guess girls in my days did. Times change. So do readmeets. Someone called it an eatmeet. True. There were lots to eat including chocolate chip cookies (everybody's favorite, there were verbal duels to get to the cookie box), gulab jamuns, jalebis, home-made cakes, samosas, snacks, snacks, snacks and to top it all divine coffee.... As a wag remarked, an eatmeet it was with breaks for reading.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The wife is away!

The wife is away. I wake up groggily to do some feeding... um... chores. Where’s the bloody milk vessel? Where’s that damn knife to open the milk sachet? Where’s the blustering gas lighter? Where’s the effing knob to switch this on? Is it left for sim, or, right? Where? Where? Where?

I run cold water over a cup, rinse it. For the coffee, of course. My hands chill to the touch of water. The detergent, clammy to touch, the scrubber so squelchy, yetch. How does she do it?

Where’s the coffee power? I holler to my son. Where are the spoons? Why can’t everything be ergonomically placed? Assembyline style, asks the industrial engineer in me. There should be a system to this madness.

There’s water to be filled. I run to the bathroom. The tank’s ball valve isn’t working, so I have watch out or water will spill all over the bathroom. Is the milk boiling? I run into the kitchen. No. Safe. It’s near boiling with those little bubbles about to break.

Back to the bathroom. The tank is about full. Shut off the water; get doused though from the first part of a forestalled deluge. Sound and smell of incineration from the kitchen. The milk is all over the kitchen platform in great white tides of froth. Oh! Where’s the damn cloth she uses to handle these dorky things? Never mind, I will use my hands.

Ouuuchhhhh! I burnt about an acre of my precious epithelial cells. Quick. Douse it with more water.

Coffee is out of the question, I say as I look at the mess on my wife’s precious gas stove that she lovingly polishes to a mirror-like finish. Women, you know. Now I will have to use my knuckles to do that, or I will be a dead man.

Bread and jam, asks son. Yes. That’s easy. A cakewalk. Walk to kitchen. Put the skillet on the gas, glance pityingly at the white mess sticking to the stove. Well, let me eat first. Then I will do the cleaning. Spread four bread slices on the non-stick skillet. Non-stick skillets cost a bomb, wife had warned.

What was that song, ummm, “Christmas season, season, is a merry, merry, season. You can dance the Christmas polka...” It is the season to be jolly and I am doing this? What’s that smell?

Oh! What does this have to happen to me? Duh! The slices burnt and are stuck to the precious non-stick skillet. With my burnt hand I try to remove the damn slices and turn them over. That side is gone, a black mess. At least I can eat the other side. I turn four slices over.

Where are the plates? There should be something called ergonomics in the kitchen. I am an industrial engineer, you see, method study and all that stuff.

More smoke. The other side also has been burnt a crisp black. There goes my breakfast.

“Papa, breakfast, I have classes.”

I bribe him with a hundred-rupee note, “This is for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and don’t spend too much. Have idlis and dosas from the Udupi restaurant, okay?”

He looks at me strangely. I know what he is thinking. Papa can’t do anything right. Mummy always says that.

I am a wreck. The kitchen looks like the aftermath of the third battle of Panipat. How do women do it? She does this every morning, packs my lunch, goes and teaches children and comes back and does this all over again.

Thank god for women! As for the bread slices, I had to eat it. Serves me right!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Muscles or talent?

Muscles, or, talent?

Just a thought struck me as I was watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (whichever, whatever, all of them look the same to me!) yesterday.

When, I mean really, when, did this thing of acting prowess as muscles take root? I mean, when did the likes of muscle-and-brawn men like Arnold and Sylvester Stallone come to be called exponents of the fine art of acting. True, neither can act. The former confessed that directors have to make him lie down on a table to bring some expression into his immobile face. The guy just can’t act to save his life. He is an actor because of his muscles. Ditto for Sylvester, why, he can’t even speak.

Back home in India, our heroes-in-waiting have taken to the idea of brawn as acting skills as a fish takes to water. If you visit your local gymnasium you will find at least a hundred youngsters pumping iron in the hope that they would get to be actors like Arnold, Sylvester, Khan, and Kapoor. I guess our own wanna-be Khans and Kapoors must have been inspired by the Hollywood duo to beef up their pectorals and fight, sorry, scare the villains with their biceps!

Acting? What acting? We are into the “looking good” business. Acting is for sissies and grumpies who sit with books the whole day.

A big “ha!” to that!

Now, can biceps, triceps, or, for that matter, pectorals, compensate for good acting skills? Agreed Arnold, Sylvester, the Khans, and the Kapoors have churned out a lot of hits. That’s what biceps do to acting talent.

Confession: I have watched a lot of these capers, and have, ummm, liked them too. But can they really, really, act? Can they?

If they can act, then “Wat r u ding?” is great literature. And the following is great poetry:

“Honey came in and she caught me red-handedCreeping with the girl next doorPicture this, we were both butt nakedBangin' on the bathroom floor”

Written by some pop or rap star called Shaggy who is also a shabby writer. But, come on, he sells millions of records. That’s what biceps do to music. Don’t you know?

What does it say about the state of humankind when a fine art form like acting is not done with brains but with biceps, triceps and pectorals? Is acting and poetry no longer an intellectual pursuit?

Is it all about flexing the above-mentioned muscles?