Jun 5, 2011

An unsung eulogy

As the mighty rain has settled in her town
Creel on head, she’s out without frown
The fish are fresh, and if streets are dry
She’ll sell them to every passer by

The catch is small as wave was fierce
and her rotten net needed repairs
But those young drooling eyes don’t realise
that waiting and hoping will never suffice

For she too waited, fancying it’s a sham
that tsunami to which she lost her man
But hunger and misery broke her trance
For survival, she seized another chance

Her growing kids, her ageing face
her placebo of memories, her totem of rage
the potent gaze of her weary eyes
that was real beauty, now I realise

But the minced words of that enchanting sorceress
Who worked for them in her cramped fortress
When heard were full of chagrin and fears
If her young ones could tell trickery from tears

She wept noiselessly and never complained
The living-for dead- should not be refrained
Happiness, though fatherless, was their right
So widowed & vowed, she remarried her plight

That woman utopian on a stage dystopian
Performing her role, banal & vaudevillian
That shapeshifting figure doing her duty
Is my human version of real beauty...


You just read an unexaggerated account of a young fisherwoman I met on Andaman Archipelago in 2008. Having never forgotten her face and her story, I decided it was time she gets her tribute. Brooding as I wrote this, I can still imagine her with her creel, looking around with those unforgettable eyes, just as when I asked her which way to taxi, and our conversation began.

This post is participating in Indiblogger Real beauty contest started by Dove & Yahoo. You may vote for it if it meant you something. 

Apr 4, 2011

Ramacharitmanas: The lesser known facts

We all have somewhere heard of 'Ramcharitmanas', the epic story of Ramayana written by Tulsidas. Ramcharitmanas was adapted from ‘Ramayana’, the book with same story written in Sanskrit by Maharshi Valmiki. Valmiki (once a robber) is the sage in whose hermitage (Ashram) Ram’s wife Sita lived with her two children Lava and Kusha, after her husband (Lord Ram) abandoned her. Before I begin throwing light on the lesser known facts of Ramcharitmanas, let us understand how the story—whether fictional or real—was conceived and written, flanked with some more trivia.

Feb 9, 2011

Prayag: The land that calls millions, but why?

The Prologue

Even in that chilling cold, I am sure I saw a trickle of sweat on my Friend’s neck, as I heard that Saadhu screaming at me “Kya kar raha hai”. While he was pacing towards us, I couldn’t decide if we should pack the camera first or simply run away. Clad in his saffron dhoti, a blanket and bhasma (ash made by burning bones) on his forehead, the Sadhu paced a long walk from Sangam ghat to our position, which diminished some of his Anguish. “Kya karoge iska” he scowled at my friend. Amit meekly answered. “Kuch nahi, mujhey accha lagta hai bas.”

The Sadhu, moments before he saw us and got agitated.

Jan 28, 2011

Two people at a time

It was fine spring, a Saturday afternoon. Yet it was different than other holidays: without movies, without friends, without novels, without home. I was not in my room, not in a shopping mall, not in a movie seat, but in the waiting lounge of Saroj Hospital. Appearing marginally excited from outside, I knew I was severely overawed and praying within. On the other side of that hard stared door, a hoard of careful hands was working on a small womb to bring out a yet genderless child. Bhabhi was undergoing a Caesarean operation. Mom, dad, Bhaiya, his 3 friends, Bhabhi’s parents and I had two things in common: we were terrified, we were praying.
Shifting positions on same couch since last night, I was hungry, thirsty and sleep-deprived, yet attentive and praying. I stole a glance at mom and saw the same fear in her eyes that was in mine. There shouldn’t be another miscarriage. For better, she will deliver a living baby. For worse, this will be my second stillborn nephew/niece and probably the last attempted.

Jan 27, 2011

The Ghost on the moon

On my cosy cushion, moon in my vision

The world moves in circles, then your ghost encircles

Tips of my hair, my skin so fair

They rise in fear, it’s white from despair

This moon has a face, a legend of disgrace

That silhouette on window, I wish I could undo

Your eyes lurk and stare, to that mantle where

I’ve buried those links, my diary your cufflinks

But I’ve travelled too far, on feet and in my car

Those trees are rotten, those pillars forgotten

But where’s morning, why isn’t it dawning?

Oh moon deface, and return my sham grace