Jul 30, 2010

He and us

Targets are built. Targets are achieved after they are built. And targets are remembered after they are achieved. But those who starve of memory are the victims. They are the bodies who stack their bodies to raise the ladder that leads to the stage of victory- a bright and live stage where the reality lies, literally, beneath. There are men who do nothing and get everything, there are men who do something and get everything, but he is a man who does everything and gets nothing.

Nothing he gets, nothing is known of him in the yolk-yellow past which brightens the top and shadows the deserving one. He sees everything, but nobody sees him seeing everything. While others crave for attention, he craves for anonymity so that he must not meet his fate before the right time. He realises the reality of succinctness of life. He has seen the life nude and the death nude. He is therefore not scared of the pleasure or pain fate has preserved for him. He hates to call it fate, he calls it effort. Destiny has no meaning for him. When he sees through the lens of his present, his future, he finds his effort not his destiny waiting to embrace him.

He has seen everything. Everything human or inhuman one can create in one’s most catastrophic imaginations. All his nightmares relive when he wakes up and they prevent him the luxury of a silent sleep while compelling him to sleep in silence. Those loud noises- big crowds – shrieks – moans – cries –agonies – remorse – dust – wind – rain – heat – ice – blood – skin – flesh – urine – faeces - vomit- corpses and most certainly his own body among the carcass: lucky if breathing, but seldom a difference if not.

Nothing in his life is periodic. Sleep is in parcel and food is in gloom. Or food is in parcels and sleep is in gloom. No family but too many strangers. No friends but too many enemies. No love, but too much hatred. No belief but lots of suspicion. No surety but lots of delusion. No sanity, yet again, too much insanity prevails. The equation of his life strives to get balanced, but the penchant is never to the correct side. It’s always the unwanted awaiting him while he adorns the wanted.

Though men are often more valuable to others then to themselves, but his valiue is undermined in his as well as others’ eye. Respect, yes that is there but a mere mundane tribute. Nobody bothers to go at the helm of his misery. Land is silent because he is loud. Soil is fertile because he is vindictive. His sleepless nights are his people’s tranquilizer. His wounded body is his people’s shield. His emotional haemorrhage is his people’s impetus. His tedium is his people’s euphoria. His commitment to death is his people’s tryst with life. He is the morning sun. He is the twilight silhouette. He is the night star. Then again, he is the morning sun.

He is the child’s smile. He is the woman’s wait. He is the man delayed. He is the noise of town. He is the calm of wind, H e is democracy. He is communism. He is monarchy. He is all the religion. He is for allthe religion. He is the masqueraded seer. He is the loud leader. He is the savage saviour, but the philanthropist predator. He is the assaulter, but the protector. He is the protester, but the supporter. He is the SOLDIER.


Jun 19, 2010

My Father... His son

The relation of a father and son steers through a spree of emotions, tensions and associations. My dad was my hero when I was a child. Back home every evening with happiness, love and often a small edible souvenir just because we were his blood. Dragging us out of home for that new Hepatitis-B vaccine and instead surprising his timid boys with their first Cricket Kit, then a football on birthday, lift us effortlessly and mock us graciously. Weekend visits to relatives, parks, cinema halls, a dinner outing each week and umpteen delights for all my senses.

As I reached my teens, I found a teacher in him. Those practical files and tedious holiday homework, covers on my notebooks each session, tying shoe-lace because his younger one took 14 years to learn it, a lift so school every time I was late, distributing candies and patisseries every summer on my birthday, driving sessions, obscene demands of pocket money and countless other favours which even best of friends freak out considering.

And today, when I am mature by my standards and still a ‘boy’ by his, I have a great friend in him. Understanding me when I freak out, waiting for me to come back from work so that we can dine together, calling me without fail to confirm all’s well when I am driving or away from home or in a beer party. Calling to check if I am doing fine when he is gone far away for work, dropping me to work each morning because I don’t want to ride that old bike, he never let us feel the hard effort behind that obvious.

Extending huge sums of money on my every birthday to treat those new friends who came much later and will leave much sooner than him, he seldom questioned why I can’t spend the day with him.
Opening single barrel Red Label when I got my first job and sharing it with me. Switching off the TV or understanding the lip-movement of his favourite soap just because I am trying to concentrate, calming me down when I am angry (even on him), soothing me when I am upset from my girl friend, offering me to take his car till I buy mine, coming to my hostel with food items, money and goodies so that I shouldn’t miss home, he undeniably played the best friend.

However, his friend was often a thankless fellow who took his amity for granted. These words are but a miniscule memory of endless favours my hero, my teacher and my friend did for me. And the deadly blow is the realisation that I have. I know I will be busy for the most of my life as I grow. I know I will not be there to extend him the warmth that he does. I know I will take 3 names in my family: me, my wife and my kid. I know I will crib of my disproportionate income and expenses when it comes to spend on him. I know my wife will always be right and parents will take a second place. I know when I say something to him, I am practical and think about my family, but if he says something to my family, he is being mean and old.

However I know one more thing, if I am to find one man who has been there for me throughout my life without a second thought, one man who has watched me since I came and will continue watching me till he leaves, he is.... my father.

You are my hero dad!

This is in response to the contest 'Tribute to Dad' organised by Blogadda in association with Pringoo!

A Juvenile Elegy

Those moments were adored
As a princess she was adorned
With her silk skirt brushing adown
No women didn’t missed an envious frown

For heavens she was dressed
Her fervour at its best
For he, her love was waiting
A reunion, they both were anticipating

Higher and faster she was running
As her impatience, the day was dawning
The dawning of pleasure should not be delayed
The climax of cuddle shan’t be underplayed

Higher and faster went her pace
Fatigue and ecstasy overwhelmed her face
She pierced the crowd without much dawdle
When the street roared a crash and crackle

She ran fast to meet her hubbby
Not faster than approaching wagon-buggy
While she was striving and dashing sans rest
Those big wheels ran over her breast

The pink turned red and of pain she fell
Out of crowd came he, saw her and yelled
He came to her to count her five
But learned soon she was striving for life

He clasped her hard and tears mixed with red
She put her head on his lap and said
George O’ George I couldn’t deliver my promise here
But oh my mate, I shall wait for you there

As tears left his eyes he murmured,
Oh unfaithful’ your promise sank undelivered
You pledged of always being together
So now I escort you to the world other

Said this, he picked the spiky glass pane
with no thought, slit it over his vain
Red stream rushed, took shapes on ground
Satisfied, he slouched beside with a sigh profound

He aroused, kissed her lips, now lifeless
His soul wept as her bosom he pressed
Seeing his next act, a shiver left each spine
Stabbing himself, he popped out his intestine

From benign priest, to sadist callous
The entire crowd shed tears countless
As it envied the bond that lived and depart
Their graves were hence placed least apart

Their love succumbed here, unregarded
Yet fate made them to remain unparted
Their love was redefined miles above
Above pristine clouds met two spirits, like dove

Free from clutches of pain and pleasure
They found that belongingness, with celestial treasure
As eyes met, tears mixed with passion
And angels blessed this platonic association

~Abhishek Mishra

Jun 17, 2010

Why People Change ?

Below white dots, when thoughts are pink
I ease with the breeze and often think
and a gloomy thought wets me from rain
that people around me, why they change?

A lamb in love licks butcher’s hand
about to slaughter its throat till end
Till final blow, it remains sane
then people around me, why they change?

They cuddle a garland in other’s neck
But after marriage, weaken their pledge
that throat once flowered, is still the same
then people around me, why they change?

Those lovers, were so serenely sentimental
Have turned so obscenely corporeal
If flesh in the bed and grave is same
then people around me, why they change?

A child weeps when her anger he bears
but sobs her mother’s name in those tears
if gravity of relation can never be blamed
then people around me alas… why they change.

~Abhishek Mishra

May 29, 2010



Not many are unaware of the legend of Mahabharata. But individuals like Arjun, Krishna and Duryodhan have taken much of the prehistoric limelight. A character that played a pivotal role in shaping the end of Mahabharata was Ashwathama. Ashwathama was the Son of Krupi (Mother) and Dronacharya(Father), the great teacher who taught archery and weaponry to all Pandavas (remember the forgotten Hero Eklavya?) and Kaurvas. Ashwathama fought in the epic battle of Mahabharata as the commander of the forces from the camp of Kauravas (the antagonists) against the Pandavas (the protagonists), as did his father, Dronacharya. Quite an intriguing fact about Ashwathama is that since his birth, Ashwathama had a jewel (mani) embedded in his forehead which saved him from demons, Gods, snakes and from worldly botheration of hunger and thirst. So here goes the legend of Ashwathama
Towards the end of the battle when Duryodhan was killed by Bheema, the left over Kaurav warriors (including Ashwathama) made a treacherous attempt to kill Pandava brothers. They hideously attacked Pandava’s cantonment at night and beheaded the five warriors sleeping in one of the kiosks. Hours later on Sunrise, they realised they have instead of 5 Pandava brothers they killed the 5 sons of Pandavas. Naturally, Pandavas also discovered 5 headless bodies and strode in agony and anger towards the rival camp (accompanied by ‘mortal-Lord’ Krishna, the Friend-Philosopher-Guide and charioteer of Arjuna).

Seeing the extent of approaching Pandava’s fury, Ashwatthama realised the extent of his mistake and feared his life (though he was immortal!). In his dread, Ashwathama used a blade of grass and using his knowledge of Vedas, made the deadly weapon called Brahmastra (erstwhile version of Nuclear Weapon conferred to supreme warriors by Lord Brahma). He threw this weapon at Pandavas articulating the curse “May all the Pandavas be Destroyed”. To counter this weapon and its curse, Arjun withdrew his bow and released another deadly weapon called Pashupatiastra (another version of Nuclear Weapon, named after and conferred by Lord Shiva).
Now both these weapons had apocalyptic capacities. So seeing the potential danger to Mankind, Lord Vishnu (The most supreme God) descended from heavens and commanded both the warriors to withdraw or take back their weapons. While Arjun took the Pashupatiastra back, Ashwatthama din’t know how to do so. Vishnu then asked Ashwathama to decide a single target of this weapon. Still under wrath and binded by His promise to deceased Duryodhana, Ashwathama chose the womb of the pregnant ‘Uttara’ (wife of martyr Abhimanyu- the great archer and son of Arjuna) in sense that on her delivery she will have a dead child and Pandavas will be destroyed.
As a penitence for Ashwatthama, Lord Krishna pulled out his forehead’s jewel and commanded that he will not lose his immortality and will roam around till the end of the world. And worst of all, the hollow made on his forehead by digging the jewel out will never heal and will always seep blood and Puss, thus arousing a foul smell.
So months later Uttara did begot a male child who was dead. This brought a wave of Sadness to Pandav Kingdom as they were left without an heir to their prodigal dynasty. Seeing the sentiment, Lord Krishna took the child in his lap and said something close to this “If I have never favoured the evil, If I have never lied and have never did a deed, but towards just and truth, MAY THE CHILD COME TO LIFE” and as expected, the hitherto dead boy started crying. The buy was nomenclatured on this incident. His name was ‘Parikshit’ (The Tested: through a test of God) and he ruled the Pandav Dynasty after the 5 brothers left for heaven.

So coming back to Ashwatthama, his blessing of immortality turned into a curse and he joined the league of Chiranjeevis (The timeless or extremely long live, but not necessarily immortals-other examples are Hanumana, Narada and Parshurama). Since then Ashwatthama is roaming around on earth with a bleeding forehead.
Now comes the most incredible part, Ashwatthama is claimed to be seen by some people. Here are the two instances:
a) A renowned Vaidhya (Ayurvedic Doctor) in Madhya Pradesh had a tough patient with a septic forehead. After several applications of a fail-proof potion, the wound was still afresh and bleeding. Amazed at his potions inability, the doctor wittingly said: “Your forehead’s wound seems ageless and cureless. I wonder, are you Ashwatthama.. hahaha”. At the third ha, he turned around to apply the next doze and found that the seat was empty. The patient just disappeared into thin air, sealing Vaidya’s wit with reality”
b) Legend says that in an Indian village near Burhanpur, there is an old dilapidated fort called Asirgarh,, ancient tomb in India where Ashwathama supposedly offers flowers to a Shiva-ling (pneumonic of Lord Shiva) each day.
While incidence a) was reported in Kalyan Magazine, incident b) was briefly on News channels too. Some yogis like Pilot Baba have gone as far in mentioning their encounter and conversation with Ashwathama, who was living among tribes of Bheels at Himalayan Foothills. In all such incidences, the narrators mentioned the height of Ashwathama around 12 feet.
Even if you don’t believe in mythology and religion, the idea of a 12 feet tall, 6000 year old man, witnessing history’s biggest bloodshed and living with God, is still intriguing. I really wonder, if there is a real Ashwathama or any other Chiranjeevi, can’t he come to public eye and narrate us the magnanimous battle-story of our past or is Ashwathama purely legendary?


Apr 19, 2010

I am still wandering...

Why can’t beautiful women behave nicely to their carnal and visual opposites- murmured Vyas as he de-boarded the bus, the old bus with an older conductor whose hands always smelled of rusted, peopled iron। Vyas never gave him more than the ticket amount as he always avoided the rusty-ironed-hand’s change.

So Vyas, the eclipsed sun of our story and son of a late Army official and a typically illiterate sweaterknitting, two-saree-owner mother works at a bank to only earn his bread as there’s hardly anything left for butter.

A 5’7” shabby 26 year old boy or man, he knows best, Vyas is elbow-complexioned with red lips and facial skin like a tanned buffalo’s! His hair puff was the only visible feature of his façade that whispered of his youth. His textured hair kept him seeing a mirror each morning, being shamelessly oblivious to his premature ageing!

All these miraculous features with a life of struggles at pinnacles and the not-to-miss banker’s job barred his masculinity to mid-bathing masturbation sessions and occasional cleavage peeps in the bus.

Today was supposed to be like any other sans-energy, sans-smile day when for the first half he opens his mouth for customering and Gold-flaking and second half for customering, Gold-flaking and burping, adding foul-odour yawns in the siesta hours.

But the evening had unexpected waiting for Vyas. Enough to kill the yawning and stir him!

Vyas while dealing with the customers usually kept his head low for two reasons. 1) He doesn’t want futile socialization as he calls it atrophy and 2) he doesn’t want people to see his face and make unwanted gestures with their.

But today there was a head lifting voice after the lunch that made him alter the angle of his neck. This was Vyas’ friend- a college pal- Surojit. His sight made Vyas’ lips flicker in a welcoming gesture for it was after 6 years of college that he saw a known face. After opening his new account, vyas opened the conversation as he replaced a hesitant colleague at his desk.

The conversation, ought to be loud and hearty was low and short. Both talked of college, life after college and job. On Vyas’ question about livelihood, Surojit’s answer was-“I am still wandering”. Vyas, not to embarrass him, carpeted the topic. After some Gold-flaking, both bid farewell to each other with the promise to meet monthly in the bank.

With this promise they parted and Vyas replaced the replacement. As Vyas enveloped himself in monotonous, single-syllable routine, he was still brooding college times which used to be umpteen times better (he even used to be fairer than this in the college). He started smoking on 3rd day of college. He loved Bindra, who loved Krishnan, who loved Padmaja and Padmaja ran with her domestic help Mutur, a bihari. Bindra consoled Krishnan and today they are happily married with two kids, darker than their parents, perhaps a shade darker than Vyas even. Had Padmaja not ran with her domestic help, Vyas would have a Social and biological outlets to enjoy. But college was not that bad after all. He watched his first porn film in college, a Srilankan porn movie with 1 hour of foreplay and 10 minutes of action.

Vyas attributes his virginity to such a gory exposure first then to his social circle and finally to his facade. The only women he knows other than his mother is Mrs Lakshmi a co-worker. Vyas thinks Mrs Lakhsmi met her menopause at least a decade ago and her husband could gather the courage to fornicate with her only twice, for they have two children.

His Virginity was a celibacy which always left Vyas in the purgatory of pride and prejudice.

All these and more thoughts, as fast they travel, steered him to Surojit, for this flashback was an upshot of his arrival. Surojit never attended mathematics class, the professor was his father. His Bengali sister was far better than any other girl in the college. He and Vyas became friends at the end of first year. Vyas took his Bajaj Vespa when he went to Bindra’s house (in his best shirt-RED) to say her happy birthday.

And suddenly, Vyas froze in his chair. The floor slipped from under. With wide eyes and sweat drops forming on his forehead Vyas recalled a haunting memory… Surojit died in the final year of college. It was an accident. A bus ran over him while he was driving his Vespa.

Thick sputum formed in his throat. And like the sputum, Vyas could not digest he met with a dead person or-what froze his spine-a ghost.

It took him three minutes and a customer’s meddling to regain mundane consciousness. As he finished the work till evening, he decided to check his records for he address Surojit gave him. It seemed that the spree of surprises was not over.

The form bore the address of their college.

Vyas held his scalp into hands to grab all that happened to him. Did that mean Surojit was still living in college? Is surojit, the now metaphysical, still attached to college memoirs? How long will he be like this? Will he come again? Then Surojit’s righteous words echoed deafeningly in his head

“I am still wandering”

His spirit was wandering in the college compound and it came to see an old friend six years after they parted.