Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Haiku

I used to dream of
Things I thought I did not have,
And then I woke up.

The neon at night
Lights up the dismal city
With unhappiness.

I think the horizon
Ends abruptly because I
Never look further.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Need to Write

I need to write;
Without rusted doors creaking,
Without a dozen voices wading
Through canals in my mind.
I need to write;
Quietly,sans distraction,
Without the deviating yelp
Of well meaning help.
I need to write;
To remember
The amber of the sky
As I turned pensive.
I need to write;
To recollect
The drone of verse
Turning indecisive.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Guilt Trip

Dear Diary,

Writing is a guilty pleasure,not because I derive so much from it but because I expect others to read what I write.I must be the embodiment of conceit and unfazed narcissism.There is no remedy to this condition.It is a case of the means justifying the end.I need to know that someone else is reading so that I may continue to write.I cannot deny the instant gratification I gain from the little comments I get on my blog, no matter how scathing or flattering.

Writers often use a self deprecation as a weapon to gain compliments.I prefer to use a garbled sense of humility instead.My Indian sensibilities make such things very easy and my aversion towards self deprecation is probably genetic.

I can go on and on; but I wish to save myself the embarrassment of having to use words like 'magnanimous' and 'illustrious'.

Yours truly,
A guilty writer.

P.S. Dear reader,I know I am supposed to apologize for the use of such utterly indiscreet methods of manipulation.However, since I am still the writer, I am only doing my job.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two States

I did it! I came out of my shell,with an inching reluctance,took a look around and decided to crawl back in.Earlier this year, I had resolved to look beyond the lure of classic literature(when it comes to classic literature I am the proverbial moth that hovers around a flame).I've read non fiction,contemporary fiction,books on evolution,theoretical physics,self help and endless rhetoric. I miss the comfort of my familiar niche.I miss the lilt of the words and the archaic obsolescence of the writing.This feeling is reinforced by a recent reading of 'Two States' by Chetan Bhagat.

Chetan Bhagat is something of a poster boy for self confessed 'unsophisticated' writing.He is as colloquial as the 'big fat Indian novel' is allegorical.'Two States' is the saga of a couple who meet at business school,fall in love and nearly end up being star crossed lovers as they are from very different communities.The stereotypes are easily recognizable and the writing makes it almost possible to play the various Indian accents in your head.At times the book assumes the pace of three hour long Bollywood film.At some point I began to wonder if the lovers were going to burst into song and run around trees.

Bhagat has often been hailed as simplicity's answer to the 'great Indian novel'.Bhagat's style is unassuming and annoyingly simple.Unlike R K Narayan,whose style is unequivocally Indian in a quirky but lovable way,Chetan Bhagat's writing ends up being dry and predictable.If I want to hear the juicy account of a star crossed marriage,I needn't look beyond the ever prevalent and ubiquitous neighbourhood gossip.

As an afterthought;I should try Vikram Seth.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ahead of Time

Let us talk in slurs
That bear no meaning;
Till the lifeline of wit blurs
And relives its years of weaning.
Let us both reflect in repose;
And,casting stoicism aside,
Let our lofty ideals prepose
The underlying lethargy in our stride.
For who knows? In some lamentable eon
Our words;churlish and devoid of depth,
Like cherished relics of a time bygone;
Will hold all to ransom,with an empty threat.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Book Trail

I take a lot of pride in just knowing that each book in my collection is a vault of secrets.There are telltale signs that do more than just reveal where each book has been.There are some with what I like to call 'tears from the rain',or the after effects of keeping books in bags that aren't water proof.Others bear signs of insufferable suffocation,a consequence of stuffing a bulky book along with a plethora of necessities in a container.The 'fresh from the crop' variety are those that remain untouched;some laden with dust and slithering silverfish, and others spic and span from years of imprisonment in an airtight(or so I believe) bookshelf.

'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' is an exception.My mother gave the book rave reviews,she passionately maintained that it was 'more poignant than 'Jude the Obscure''.For an adolescent the impending appeal of a book increases exponentially when it bears the whiff of a century old scandal.My mother bought it as one would acquire a relic.I began to read the story of a maiden of aristocratic descent, born into poverty and duped into being scarred for life.Hardy's gradual narrative with rural overtones can tire the impatient reader.I read three fourths of it and moved on to Dostoyevsky(Hardy is rarely as intense and as dramatic).

Years later,I turned to Hardy again.I suppose it's safe to assume that in literary terms,age caught up with me.I re-read it and understood the melancholy and the dignified suffering of Hardy's people.For the first time,I saw the breathtaking splendour of the English countryside that formed the core of Hardy's work.I grew accustomed to his style and then I was mugged. My handbag,the one taken by the thief, had a copy of 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'.

A few months later,my mother bought another copy of 'Tess' to make up for the loss of the first one.The new book is from a different publisher and it stands eagerly,in its unused yet familiar glory,waiting to be read again.When an old book goes missing,a new one arrives to take its place.