In the House of Knowledge
once it took hold of my hand
and walked me through time-
from bronze age to the present-
my feet refused to move
when I saw Samudragupta ((320-380 A.D.)
looking at me from his gold coin-
the walls of the Bhuvaneshwar Museum,
faded away at the twinkle of his eyes-
only the compassionate king and I remained-
‘dust away the time’s crumb
of my military exploits-
I was a poet and a musician too’-
I hold this dear reverie
in my core to date-
Posted for Susan’s Midweek Motif Museum/s @ Poets United
Once I was asked to write an obituary about someone I adored a lot. She was a school teacher and lived in the same building of my parents’ apartment. She loved my mother very much. When I was given the job by the secretary of the housing society I was a bit hesitant at first but accepted the request and set to do my work.
Tough part of the job was it wasn’t supposed to be an official obituary. Rather a homage in a meaningful way to convey her personality, her impact on her family, and the world around her.
I tried to make it personal and also decided to do away with the fog of grief and flowery phrases. But when it was read out in the meeting much was changed without my knowledge. Was it my writing at all? The spirit was not there.
I didn’t react but fumed within and wasted much of my energy in doing that. I did let my ego hurt so easily. Later on I was ashamed to think that I was that fragile. It wasn’t even a direct negative criticism. May be the editor preferred high-sounding phrases and replaced some of the words and sentences. May be even the vital ones. If some people choose to be impertinent why should I suffer?
Vituperative outbursts are a very common feature in social media. What about in blogs? I am very fortunate to be surrounded by thoughtful, accommodating and amiable fellow bloggers. I haven’t come across any negative comment full of spite and bitterness so far. A blog is your sweet home where you entertain your visitors with words. But…there is a ‘but’. When you comment on someone’s work and your visit is not reciprocated day after day it begins to hurt your feeling. So once you are aware of the writers’ character trait, instead of harboring resentment and anger towards them it’s best to avoid such negative personality and attitude. I try to follow this rule.
Posted for Magaly’s Moonlight Musings: the Interactive Edition, #1 @ Poets United.
When truth looks on you on-screen
it is devastating-
it numbs your ears, eyes-
your taste buds die-
but come the ornate lie-
you are suddenly
robbed of your senses
and begin to feel, why,
nothing is wrong with the world-
peace is hanging from every tree-
you have a good night’s sleep-
when you wake up
you find the world resting in peace-
Posted for my prompt ~ Televised @ Poets United Midweek Motif
Safety is the softest down
in care of a mother dove-
safety is in the blessed dawn
when noir night departs-
safety expands in a warm heart
where love is alive-
safety rests in the morgue
when we delight in lie-
Posted for Susan’ Midweek Motif ~ Safety @ Poets United
I was always fascinated by the beautiful kanthas (soft, cotton made embroidered quilts). Even today mas and didas (mothers & grandmothers) of Bengal keep old, cotton saris and cloth to layer them with kantha stitching (very tiny and subtle ‘run’ stitches) for the new arrivals in homes. These mas and didas would remind you of tuntuni pakhi (tailor bird) who deftly pierces and sews the edge of the leaf with the leaf fiber to cradle a nest for its little ones.
Then came a time when these stitches began to show up in cotton and silk saris. You’d find all kinds of intricate designs, patterns and motifs done in kantha stitch on the sari with carefully selected threads. Specially in the Pujas everyone had to have a kantha stitch sari. One year, I also bought one blue silk kantha stitch sari with stone age motifs all over it. Threads were black, white and orange.
Some wanted to go beyond patterns. They wanted to speak through their stitches. At first their love for mythical characters and happenings found space in the long silk drape, like we see in the ‘Baluchari’ saris. Slowly their narrative art embroidered their own thoughts and stories.
This has happened in many places in India, specifically in Gujarat where an artist once stitched how she had crossed border, lived in refugee camps in desert, rebuilt her life, lost everything in a devastating earthquake and began once more. May be the stitches were not kantha stitches of Bengal but they were stitches of blood, struggle and toils.
Posted for Telling Tales with Magaly Guerrero: A Pantry of Prose, #6 ~ Stitches in 259 words
Whenever I tell myself
Let’s look for birds”
they emerge from every corner
of the trees, skies, ponds, lakes-
these miracles of feather-
they are my muse and my songs-
my freedom and my faith-
my storm and my peace-
my virtue and my frailty-
my wisdom and my sky-
my rhythm and my light-
these little miracles of feather
are my soul-
my thirteen ways of life—-
Words in quote are from Pablo Neruda’s Ode To Bird watching
Posted for Magaly’s Midweek Motif ~ Not-so-old-fashioned “Hobbies” Magaly’s Midweek Motif ~ Not-so-old-fashioned “Hobbies” @ Poets United
I miss your visual splendour-
your kohl-eye, telling stories-
your swift pirouettes in the wind-
your enthralling foot-work-
did your ghungroos (anklet) have hundred bells
like the Kathak dancers?
Wasn’t I mesmerized hearing the dance steps
on glossy, green leaves; on metal shades?
the touch of those graceful hands
blossomed Kadam flowers-
your odhni (veil) of cloud
where are you my pretty, danseuse?
Have we killed you
like the colonial British trying to smother
the Kathak dance
calling its practitioners ‘nautch girls’; harlots
in contemptuous fun?
In our desert homes
we are missing you sorely-
[Whatever I try to write now it leads to the rain-less days we are living here. So my Kathak dancer is the monsoon here.]
Posted for my prompt ~ Dance @ Poets United Midweek Motif
Have all lost their aroma
Since there is no rain
Poet sits with misty eyes
And fragrant memories
Posted for Sanaa’s Midweek Motif ~ Perfume @ Poets United