Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You, Me and Our World

Between you, me and the world
Looms a sense of unsteadiness

Your power made credible by the world
Mine affected by the exercise of it

Our common knowledge of the world
Unaware of its exclusionary practices

I understand
I am on a slippery ground
Yet nailed to a reality you created

You own what’s offered by the world
I am one of them, you say

You can practice detachment being one from the world
I remain tied to meanings and consequences

Our journey together in this world
Viable in the absence of a scale to measure differences

It’s a matter of perspective
Yes, it is
As afforded temporally and spatially

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Water on fire

The old molten rocks stopped the sea
A crab laughed
Water was set on fire

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Ashamed Mountains

Dusty naked mountains were tamed
Tall pride run over by moving wheels
Their cry echoed

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A heap of rocks, pebble and soil
Gathered near a large pit
Wondering over destiny

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Morning Sun

The morning sun peeped through the window
Sprinkling colour in the room
The rays smiled

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Young Tree

Shortness of breath encircled the young tree
Submerged in dust
Wind blew away its leaves

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Feather-like clouds floating on their fuzzy edges
Suddenly cried out
A jet shred them apart

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Birthday wishes

I’m told wishes are the only thing that cannot be bought or sold
But their value is far greater than gifts and gold.

Cold and lifeless, gifts and gold do not see or hear
And in the time of emotional churning they cannot even cheer.

Gifts have neither desire to listen nor a heart to understand
Gold cannot comfort or reach out a caring hand.

To cut the long story short, there will be good wishes galore
Neither gifts nor gold, only promises and promises and more!

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Work Fever

So today you realized you have fever

You also realize travelling on work sucks
Ah! It’s the beginning of a horrible day
Sadly it wouldn’t just go away
But I hope it’s just that
And that you are not down flat
Not that I want you to
But watch out for swollen throat
And that rugged temper of yours too
It may just decide to go awry
Specially because you can’t be sorry
No time for ego-indulgence
I hope that those tabs help maintain balance
Remember not to take them on an empty tummy
For it will make your brain hummy
Also watch out for weather
It can only get rougher
And with loo blowing mad
The story of heat stroke can be sad
And your tongue may feel thick
Take iced tea to give you a kick
Not to forget, you must sleep
Don’t pace up and down or leap
Innumerable working days are ahead
So for a while befriend the bed
Lightheadedness is just a sign
Take note before fever makes you moan
And don’t act like a madcap
Just go, relax and take a nap

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Monday, July 7, 2008


‘There’s no life without creativity’, said a colleague many years back. She used to get annoyed at the lack of imagination. With her around, nothing was permanent, plans changed every day, consistent patterns were not the thing to look for … except, perhaps, consistency in her eccentricities. I might be planning a day off – actually, a weekend – to do nothing and to leave the mind blank and just at time there would be a call, ‘nisha ma, I have an idea … let’s do this by … ’. And I would sigh and say to her in my mind, ‘Why you didn't think of it before and why can’t you wait till the first work day next week’. Did I have a weekend or a holiday? No, not really, perhaps, four or five days in a year. My imagination had to follow her’s and make a contact with her creative spirit. My sub-ideas would follow and we would have animated discussions about the style of delivering the idea, planning the steps and on good occasions would also begin the implementation and bingo, the creative spirit would begin stirring again! Programme cycle management was an elusive venture. Occasional insights and non-stop manipulation of the phrases, ‘compliance with regulatory systems’ and ‘obligation to donors and participants’, would help me keep some things going. But more than often the planned action would give way to the persistent desire to innovate, to explore new ways doing and seeing things happen, to make creativity visible and more visible.

It wasn’t easy to manage creativity. The flashes of occasional insights used to be the last stage of a long process involving distinctive creative stages. The first stage used to be pre-empting the creative outbursts. The second, creative options for problem solving. The third, preparation for something altogether different – another more creative idea taking over the last creative idea. The fourth, options to deal with something altogether different. Did I realize that my own creativity was spent coping with my colleague’s creativity? Yes, that is one of the reasons I eventually left the organization. It was a free environment but in the hierarchy of creative order, my imagination could not roam free. It had to be a lot like the fire-fighters who follow fire.

But that brings me to the question whether all of us are creative or only a few are granted this delightful ability to innovate and imagine. I believe all of us are but some of us get caught in something like habitual fixedness. The day to day life does require a lot of order, unthinking responses and uncritical compliance. And this begins right from the formative years. There is a great danger of becoming so used to routinised way of thinking about practically everything. Because we are taught to look at the things in a particular way and have particular beliefs and so we see only the obvious way of coming up with questions, analyses and things to be created. We run into a situation where comfortable ways of thinking block innovation, deviation and imagination.

But it is not just the habitual fixedness, self-censorship and the pressure to be politically correct also suppresses thinking and an ability to see and create new ideas and things. It has the potential to make us a prisoner of what is deemed as ‘acceptable’. Actually even most creative people also have some or the other habitual fixedness or produce ideas and things along politically or socially acceptable norms. Creativity too is a matter of practice. I feel, it has to be acquired – constant mulling and pushing the mind to the limits is critical in order to step out of the box. Though some people go through this process and just when they are all set to come out and about, the fear of rejection hits and creative ideas and innovation are left in a permanent mental incubator.

Being alert and aware is not enough to be creative. The burden of realities may loom so large that every thought and every action may turn into a conscious exercise that may not allow ‘uncultivated creativity’ and beauty to surface at all. An alert mind, after all, is a calculating mind as well. It controls expressions, innovation and works of beauty from forming unpredictable associations. Without persistence to let go of the control by the mind, a random creative thought cannot be converted into a creative act or a creative creation.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

And To All Other Friends

Dear ones, the connection you make are such delight

Connecting, like birds on a flight,
On a playful sunny morning light.

Connections are what we desire
Loving life and rejoicing even in satire.

With razor sharp notes to share
We can set our tongues on fire.

Yet we can make our way through the ideological strife
If we recognize each is holding some truth of life.

Connections, however, we have known
Carry noon of the sun and the dawn of the moon.

Connections can tell and connections set
Warmth and heat in the relationship net.

Though each connection moves on a journey of its own,
Connections conjure, cross, overlap and get strewn.

Connections, my dear ones, let us know
We are not alone in our laughter and woe.

Connections humour, connections test
Sometimes they can give our sketchy brains a little rest.

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And To My Happy Friend


Here’s the important thing
Yesterday and day before yesterday
You had a dream come true
A dream you dreamt or dreamt not
But it came true by and by
To fill your days with pleasure.

It may feel vast and wondrous
Not unreasonable though
Considering the humane poverty of the past.

How does it matter that reality of the dream is frugal
There were great exterior and spendthrift leftovers
But luxuries never came near those on fringes
And any way unwieldy pockets made you cringe
So now feel great, enjoy the frugal dream come true
Ring the bell, sign the papers
To you heart’s content.

And in case it is dream you did not dream
Go ahead woman dream it, stay afloat
But only as long as you know
You will have time to check
Those solicitous arrangements
Make sure there are no seaweeds
All set to sail with you.

Let those from the past
Call their mournful cries

As you indulge in the dream
Their grimaces large, small and crooked

Will not reflect on you.

Go and fly, I say
Climb those hills with speed
You will sail far, away and above
Days to travel have actually arrived
Bon Voyage, dear one.

See the power tall and true
Witness the coliseum
Your ability will show
Climb the K2 of echelon
And when you feel a bit blue
And feel you have no clue
Revel in the bouquets
That will surely come your way.

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To My Not-so-Happy Friend

All the things
I heard today
Make me feel
Your loss is nothing.
Ten bucks, sweetheart
Is worth losing
If you get connected
To the loved ones.
It would be hard to remain unaffected
Were you to hear
The flip-flap of my brain.
It's a wonderful feeling
To have reassuring talks
To have friends like you.
It’s soothing
To know that
The heat will not melt you
And that you will not be fence sitting.
It’s happiness
To find some folks desperate
To have us on board.
Think, Woman
So much pleasure
And the loss of ten bucks
It’s not comparable, it’s nothing.
Consider what I am saying
Your gesture made my days different
You helped me retain faith
With the things you said and did.
Taking on mine and me
The pleasures, the pains
Woman, you made me laugh.
In the times of low and dark
Your humorous crack
Blew away the gloom.
I am not feeling down
I am up and about
That’s why
Your ten bucks are nothing.
I have been ecstatic
I see promise in everything
And so my dear one
Losing ten bucks is nothing.
It may sound queer
It is possible
Those ten bucks brought
The daily dose of cheer.
Perhaps they are smiling
Somewhere in the air.

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Some Thoughtlessness

To help find a moment to be on my own
And to have space of my own
To get me what seems to be my dream
To let me be
A gentle reminder is on its way
To the one –
A part of the dreaded chaos.
The brain

Ordinary get the discreet
But not this one
Let us see
If the slow wind whistles
And manages to manoeuvre
Its way through the thicket
That sits on my shoulders

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