Friday, 27 July 2018

Crawley: the Worm with a Glowin' Bum

Today evening I spotted this thing crawling confidently across the floor. In the half light of dusk I couldn't be sure what kind of creature it was and so switched on the light. It turned out to be a funny looking thing; a cross between a caterpillar, a flatworm and a miniature armadillo. I decided it was safer for me and happier for the creature if it remained in my garden outside and so tried picking it up with the flattest thing at hand, a band aid packet. And lo behold, the moment the edge of the paper touched it, the thing curled itself into a ball, just like an armadillo!!! I picked it up on the packet and as I was transporting it to the outdoors, I noted with immense interest that it possesses a prominent spot on its bum that was glowing with a green  phosphorescence just like a firefly. I'm pretty familiar with fireflies and am cent percent sure this is not one. I don't know what manner of creature it is but it's glowing bum presented an interesting photo opportunity. So  I placed it atop the almirah and took a few snaps with my cellphone. Here they are and if you can recognise the creature, let me know. I have sent him/ her out into the garden where I hope he/she can phosphoresce to its heart's content all night long.

PS : Crawley the worm,
       Cannot help but hum;
       For how can one ever be                 glum,
       With the sun shining 
       On his little bum!

( Copied and altered a bit)

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Pablo Neruda

No, this one's nothing to do with my writings. It's about someone else, that wonderful poet Pablo Neruda, the one who wrote lines that make you delirious with pleasure, lines like -"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming" and "I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul".
He wrote crazily beautiful love poems, poems that make your heart swell and your eyes tear ( even in this staid middle age), and I haven't really found a better romantic poem writer in the modern times.
He was Chilean and wrote in Spanish. He was a politician, a diploma and a poet; a weird combination. He won the Nobel for literature in 1971, a year before I was born. He died in 1973, a year after I was born. Wait, there's more coincidence: We share our birthdays, today, the 12th of July!

In his honour and on the occasion of our shared birthdays, here's a piece of verse by him. It reflects something of the way in which I found poetry (or perhaps she found me) and the way it has influenced me. 
Of course, it's called "Poetry":-

And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived 
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

Happy birthday, Pablo Neruda

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Khushi and the Tulips

Khushi came to us fourteen years before and left six years back.

Someone who knew well that slim, cream labrador remarked the other day,
"She was such an elegant lady!"

Yes, that she was. Dainty and petite too. Even her name was lady-like: thedelicate and pretty- Khushi!

It was my good friend Tall and Pretty who had suggested we name the new puppy 'Khushi' and so Khushi she was named.

Khushi was an introvert, a bit like me and a linguist too, again like me but there the likeness ended. She was slim and fearless, qualities I have never been able to inculcate; and she was a very finicky eater, again a trait I've never ever been accused of possessing. But there was this one other quality that put me in her league: she was crazily intuitive. She read me like the back of her paw and knew my state of mind better than I knew it myself.

She died after a short illness and left in us a void that can never, ever be filled.

I have always reacted weirdly to bereavement. At the time when a death occurs, I become strangely anhedonic. It happened when my Dad died and it happened again when my Khushi left. My grieving always comes much later and with sworn vengeance and so I mourn Khushi till this day, mourn her in secret and in silence but  very, very deeply, her memories turning my innards upside down with an indescribable wistfulness.

I've tried to paint a likeness of Khushi today. Of course, I could never capture the beauty and poignancy of her burnt sienna eyes but still, it was a pleasure trying. The tulips are in memoriam for the three tulips that  had bloomed in my Shillong home the time Khushi died and these tulips will always remind me of her.

To all those who have loved and lost a dog, here's "Khushi and the Tulips...."

PS: They say that because God could not be everywhere, he sent us mothers. I'll just tweak that a little bit and say: because God could not be there for us everywhere, he sent us the Dog......

Alu and the Crown God

I had rolled barely a hundred metres down the road when I spotted her gambolling in the adjoining park. "Heyy Alu," I called ou...