I once had come upon a bedraggled painter who when he was not drunk painted with oil on canvas and sold them for a living. His name was Bhaskar and he was quite good at his art but drink would mostly get the better of him. He charged about six to eight hundred for a canvas of size six by four ( this was 2008). This being very affordable for small time art lovers like us, we gave him pictures to convert to canvas. Mostly, he returned with a painting in about a fortnight or more but sometimes he simply went underground for days, trying our patience to the limits. We managed to get him to do about three or four paintings but in the case of the last one which I had kind of commissioned personally, he simply disappeared into thin air and was never seen again. This picture was one of a pond full of water lilies, the ones we call shaluk in Bengali. I adored that little picture I had picked up from a desk calendar and it cheesed me off no end that Bhaskar never returned this picture back to …
My first attempt at Hindi. Forgive the grammar and spelling.

आज बड़े दिनों के बाद धूप खिली थी:
मीठी धूप, नीला आसमान, पंछियों की संगीत।
बादलों का कोई नामोनिशान ही न था।
था, तो तिरंगा, पटाखें, भांगड़ा;
थी, तो Twitter की चहचहाहट;
था उतकंठ इंतजार, उमड़ती खुशी , और कड़ोड़ो आॅखो की नमी : बेटा जो घर वापस आ रहा था, देश का बेटा।

जिला बेगुसराय, गांव बलिहार के एक छोर पर, उस टूटे फ़ूटे मकान के बाहर, जिस पर बादल आज भी कूढ़ रहें हैं,
पूलवामा की मां ने मैले आंचल से आंसू पोंछे और कहा: राम करे, सारे बेटे ऐसे ही घर वापस आ जाए......

The Soldier and the Terrorist

The Soldier and the Terrorist met just beyond death.

There were no boundaries here, in this realm that was neither dark nor light, neither now nor then, where the past was inconsequential and the future non-existent. It was easy to talk here and so they did, if you can call it talking. But then, it did not feel any different from talking as they had known it.

I’m dead, then. The Soldier remarked. Matter-of-factly. As if it were an absolutely normal thing, as if he had known that it would happen someday.
The Terrorist looked around himself. And then nodded. Yes, this is death. Un-surprised. He had no doubts.

They now looked at one another: the Soldier and the Terrorist. And found that they were both young men.

The Soldier was curious: You drove that car-bomb into our bus?


The next question came automatically: Why?

The Terrorist answered: We seek revenge. Mechanically, as if it was a reply he had rehearsed often.

Revenge. The Soldier muttered the word to himself, under his breath…

Snow and Wistfulness

Snow and Wistfulness

It never snows down here.
Up there, on the slate-sharp hills, almost every day, without qualm. But downhere,
Never, not even when the demented winds rush down the slopes, like meth addicts on a high;
Not even when the rain congeals all around, like sheets of cold grey gel;
Not even when the old woman with snow-hair and wrinkles like the crags on the face of the hills predicts: “It will snow down here, this time pucca.”

So, in my chilled gray garden with the snow emblazoned hills looking down upon me, I sit and dream:
Of tiny flecks of snow, like soft candy floss;
Thin icicles, with old sunlight trapped inside;
A spider-web of snow over the strawberries;
Pine trees wearing woolly snow caps;
The kids' park in front, under a duvet of mink-snow;
And the last red rose,
Fossilised in ice!

What's this thing with me and snow?
A longing: old, unrequited?

It snowed late last night, quietly, stealthily, as I slept.
In the morning, clumps of snow cl…
I am devastated.
That good for nothing app Google+ has died an untimely ( though well deserved) death and has carried with it all my blog comments to the Netherworld or where-ever e-words go after death.
Oh, my precious, precious I mourn their passing....
Today, as I opened my blog, it was like opening your bank locker to find it completely empty of your of all your jewellery.
It seems most of my readers who left comments did so through their Google+ account and therefore today, nothing of their precious words remain.
Since all the comments ( ALL) were encouraging, positive, complimenting, they were my Xanax during bad times and now with them gone, I am left empty and grieving and in withdrawal.
As I lament to Other Half, he pontificates: Virtual duniya poori hi ek ghor Maya hai....iske chakker mein mat padh...

I can tear my hairs in frustration, dear Readers....Arrrghhhhh

How I hate Google+. May he rot in e-hell, may he never rise to be online again, may he never h…

Mimie: A Requiem

Mimie: A Requiem

           I have died recently. In this space I now habitate, Time is not a dimension. Not just Time but Length and Breadth and Depth also do not exist. Of course, that doesn’t worry me at all because the space-time conundrum was never of any importance to me even when I was alive. Surprised? Well, for a dog, time and its three sister dimensions are of no consequence. Since I was a dog, a rotund cream-white Labrador Retriever, time had meant nothing to me. I had never counted its passing, neither by the ticking of the clock nor by the movement of the sun across the sky or the seasons over the hills, nor by the number of laboured breaths I had to take before life ebbed away from my fur covered body. So I am not at all distraught or even concerned by this dimensionless state of existence that I currently find myself in. On the contrary, I am quite comfortable with this light airy feeling, this sense of weightlessness that fills my being. What makes me sad though, is the…

The Buddy : Chapter III

The sun was warm and the sky such a deeply luminous blue that it hurt her eyes. The snows had taken leave for the day and lay slumbering atop the mountains like sunbathing polar bears. Pink-white almond blossoms preened against the sun, a few bumble-bees coaxed out of hibernation buzzed around them and  languor filled Priti. It was Sunday and though life out here was not much different on a Sunday from any other day of the week, Priti was enjoying the holiday sitting under the almond tree, back warming in the morning sun. But an itch nagged the pit of her stomach. It was the 'buddy' itch. However much she hated to let her mind dwell on these tiring issues on such a lovely day, she had no choice-she had made a promise to herself and now she could see the ‘problem’ lumbering up the slope to her barracks.
‘Ram Ram Saab’. Bhati’s stance reeked of being under deep duress.
‘Why does he insist on calling me ‘Saab’? Do I look masculine? What’s the difficulty in uttering ‘Madam’?’ Priti…