Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blogging from A-Z: Z for Zilch

Z for Zilch
Image from the web

Everything that starts must come to an end, everything that begins shall encounter a finale. We start our journey full with aspirations and desires and then enter the hemisphere of zilch, the ending, the nothingness. Nevertheless, the aftertaste of fatigue and exhaustion of our journey is often accompanied by a feeling of bliss and satisfaction that generally qualifies the ending.

 In the middle of the nil of the null and the void of the virtual world, we have been exploring our creative talents for a period of thirty days. Here, for the last month, we have been posting our daily compositions of a myriad nature thereby proving that even virtual zilch is not devoid of merit and emotion. Our journey together testifies to the fact that despite the strictures of form and aspect we have been taught to attribute to any writing activity of a formal, and even in many cases informal, writing, the proper usages we must remember, the clichés we must never use, we ultimately learn that what matters is the development of one’s own style, one’s own comfort zone within oneself as one writes and nothing else. This is the truth that I gathered from my month long activity of writing from A-Z.

 Over the month, I have read blog posts on fictional characters and books, on herbs and cooking, on philosophy and daily ruminations, and they not only proved to me that all it matters is the task of putting pen to paper or more exactly, typing words and letters in a virtual papyrus, but also that in most cases, all it needs to begin a writing activity is as simple a prompt as a word beginning with one particular letter or the other.  I am at awe with the immense capability of the human mind, the talents it possesses, and its intrinsic philosophy only ready to pour down with a tilt of the beaker that sustains it. One letter, one simple letter led each of us to consider so many things: places, characters in novels, recipes, décor, etc, and still we are not satiated. The jorum still holds more ideas that will bloom in the course of the future life.

I stand under the hallowed portals of nothingness with a mind not empty, but rather full to the brim with happy experiences of writing. I agree I have taken a lot of liberties with the creative challenge of blogging from the first to the last letter of the English alphabetical series, but in the end as I check the posts submitted and posted in my blogger page, I am satisfied. I indeed have written on each and every letter, and in the process have discovered a fresh knack for writing poetry again. The escapades into the past also offered me immense satisfaction and joy as well the suspense of thinking about a word/idea to write daily. 

 I know that even though we are not to type any post tomorrow, that we will have zilch at hand tomorrow concerning this writing challenge, I will find myself happily dwelling on the fulsome experience I gathered from my own writing and from the others’ I read.  In the zilch and negativity of the world, tonight I wish to depart with a happy note of a fulsome tomorrow.

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: Y for Yesterday, a poem

Image from the web

Yesterday you needed a word to create dreams,
those golden reveries of mountainous aspirations
covering any distance, any terrain
without difficulty.

Yesterday you could start anywhere,
unawares, unwary, and let yourself
forget your destination, and enjoy
the going.

Today you feel the need to look back at the silent desert
Of memory, and brush the smeared faces of uncouth
peccadilloes white.

Today you wish to crush the beans and berries
under your hobnailed feet and forget those words,
those sights and breaths that remind you
Of yesterday.

Yesterday you were born to the warmth
of a cradle song, to the cries of wonder
and love for your downy, blotchy form,

Yesterday you listened to the fire of youth,
you imagined the sun and the earth as your legal legacy.
Remember the ten little green globules at hand, and the
one in the sky, white and freckled and often eaten away by a monster?

Today they strike you as dark, the white globule, the white star,
you smell their green-white and imbibe stale yellow.

Today as you tell yourself the story of scattered eyes and
lamb-flock like dreams dropping from a blue, blue sky,
you ignore the loud bird-noises and tell yourself
           you were afraid of the sunless dark that blanketed 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

X for X

As I sit composing my blog-post on the letter X, I cannot help but pity the poor fellow jostled in such an un-strategic position among heavyweights like W and Y. How many times do we think of this letter X in our daily social exchanges? Come to think of it, the situation of the poor letter X is like that of the diminutive status of the planet Pluto; we hardly consider it as important for our communicative exchanges. Every time X appears it is preceded by some other letter, or if it appears anywhere unaccompanied by other letters in the alphabet, it signifies our wrongs, our mistakes (remember those red crosses on our answer scripts we used to dread; they still freak me out though) and danger (a skeletal head and two grayish long bones forming a letter X). Even in Xmas, the letter X reminds us of the cross of crucifixion that killed Christ the savior.

X can probably be adulated for its symmetry, but I wonder if we can ever elevate its status and reestablish X as a neutral letter that doesn’t bring to mind the erroneous escapades of our career.

W for writing

W for Writing

The following week we will be heading toward the closure of the fantastic writing tour we have been participating in. My feeling of satisfaction at being a participant (albeit the liberties I took) in this awesome writing trip wafts from my mind like misty sheets of smog abaft pine-embedded hills. My intimidations about the writing exercise persists, but like a injured child who wouldn’t jettison her favorite game despite the injury she received while playing, I too wouldn’t dream of defenestrating my writing in spite of all my mental tribulations concerning my prowess in that art that I experience periodically. I have realized overtime that it is the only, and I say only, activity that when performed gives me the most pleasure; and I am sure many of my creative compatriots too will feel the same way about the lovely activity of writing that unites us all in this virtual world.
Tonight I raise my glass to the fabulous art of pen-pushing, the activity that unites the mind and the body, that gives us so much joy that we feel not only pleased and refreshed by it but start to consider the goodness in the world, Surely, we must dwell on the negatives as well, but I always believe that writing enthusiasts are happy persons at heart. So, to writing it is that we cheer with the hope that we all get better in the art of translating mental images and impressions on paper and continue to enjoy the daily joys of each others’ lives through our writing samples. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: V for Virtue--a poem

Being virtuous is like being in love
you never know if the moonlit path 
you think you’re traveling will lead you anywhere.
You are dazed in pursuit of a flame
of desire unheeded or forcefully dulled,
and destination is forever hidden under heaps of garbage.

Maybe we are never sane in life and 
never virtuous too,
May be it’s all an insincere battered act 
we put on to close the chamber that lead
us to air and water and laughter.

Maybe all we aim is an arranged communiqué
with the citadel of philosophy,
and knowledge of that dead art of pontificating 
practiced by grotesque agelasts long departed.

Enclosed in the cloistered shyness of virtues
lost and never to be regained  is the unconditional,
unenclosed sea of mortal wishes.
The heaving waves hammering on dust and sand
act as impediment to my pursuit of moral cries
for nonviolence and sleepy righteousness,
but like a king’s fool aiming at a jest I it can never  perfect,
I know the ideal is inaccurate, 
that virtue is a slow-dead comic art that never entertains. 

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: U for USA

Like every day, this evening too as I sat prior to giving form to few inchoate thoughts that crowd the cranium, I spent a few moments ruminating. The few vacant moments before the inception of the mental activity of mothering words and sentences on a black sheet of virtual paper, prove particularly efficacious for me. It gives me a chance to concentrate and connect with that little voice in the head that often chirrups away and then often is balefully silent. about something. Especially after an enervating day when the exhausted body-mind craves for a communiqué with a pillow over a few dreamless hours, I find it extremely difficult to establish contact with the meta-voice. On such days, I often find myself haunted by thoughts of a creative block, or wonder if I am inflicted by some malicious ailment that would prevent me from writing any further. But all intimidations vanish when that little voice in the head start talking once again to self. Today it has been more than busy thinking aloud and reiterating to self the fond memories of my stay in the USA.

For nearly six years after I got married I lived in the USA. It was in that country that I grew up, learned how to take care of self and family, learned how to cook, clean and keep a house. Moreover, it was in the vacant hours at home in the country that I realized the joy of reading and composing write-ups. I believe in many ways the country has matured me and made me the woman I am today. Over the fun and the frolic of experimenting with chores and housekeeping, over the trips we took to different states, over the experiences gathered and the people met, I fell in love with the country. It is often said that you cannot love another country the way you love your own, that your patriotism is limited to the land that bore you in its womb; nevertheless, on the five 4th of Julys’ I spent in USA, I found myself singing the patriotic paean to the country the same way like my neighbor. We know that the idea of nation is a fictional contract, that in reality boundaries that separate countries are illegible pencil marks on paper removed with an eraser, and I felt that the bouts of patriotic love for the country I experienced satisfied my doubt that you are capable of loving two countries, two motherlands.

I remember those long days when I would sit at the library at Vanderbilt University and read my fiction books and dream about getting back to school myself. Certain circumstances prevented me from attending school in USA; but my love for academics, my stern promise to self that come what may I will get back to school and finish my degree was begotten in that country. I often tell to myself that I did need the hiatus of a few years in my academic career to realize how fabulously cool studying for a subject you love is. Now that I am doing exactly that, despite all the difficulties I experience in life, I feel fantastic.

I know the idea of American dream is perhaps more relevant in bygone novels penned by creative writers than in real life. Nevertheless, to me, USA, my fond pied-à-terre will always be the land that taught me to dream, to persevere in the pursuit of that dream and prove all negative voices wrong by catching the blinking dreamy star in your gowpen.

I see the picture of the Statue of Liberty, the tall, ventripotent lady standing with one upraised arm holding the torch of enlightenment pointed in the direction of the firmament and feel what a beautiful it was seeing her only a month before we left the country. As I stood on the deck of the boat that took me near to lady liberty, I felt my eyes cloud with unseen dreams, unheard ambitions that I now spend my time chasing. It was a beautiful experience seeing her and the rest of the beautiful places in USA; and when I won’t say my stay in the US was totally devoid of negative experiences, I surely prefer to disregard those dregs and concentrate on the delicious mouthfuls I enjoyed during my stay in that country. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T for Trains

On this rather pedestrian Tuesday, I am thinking about trains. The undulating serpentine bodies of trains, their massive iron structures exhaling vapor. Gargantuan serpents I consider them, nosing their way up and down battered railways track—their heaving steel-bosoms the jorum of so many of our childhood memories. Remember the train rides we took as children, those family trips far away from home. How exited we were at the advent of the journey and how we fought with our siblings over the occupancy of window seats. Think of all the cities and towns, the meadows and strange little settlements we saw. I close my eyes and recall the kashfuls nodding their delicate white heads like happy onlookers bidding us a happy journey on board the train.

Oh, what fun it was to be a child, and the very idea of train is a ticket to those days gone by when the naive heart counted the minutes before a train ride would begin. And then, there were those meals on board the train, the luchis (deep-fried bread) and aloo dum my mother used to cook religiously before every trip. Under the stark reality of night in a metropolitan city I so wish to now transport my spirit back to those happy childhood days in company of parents on board a train on our way to some place away from home. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: S for Shakespeare—the Logodaedalian

                        S for Shakespeare—the Logodaedalian 

Even after I had finished composing and posting my blog-post of Shakespeare’s Rosalind, I found myself thinking about the man and his works. I thought of Shylock and his “Signor Antonio many a time and oft” speech in Merchant of Venice; I thought of Viola, I thought of King Lear raving mad, of Hamlet stealing his way through the eternal quandary of life and professing his doubts to himself  in the famous soliloquy : “To be, or not to be, that is the question”. And then I thought of Shakespeare as a logodaedalian, a person versed in skilfully using words.  

Shakespeare was a genius if there was one. He composed compelling speeches, crafted complex characters quopping with life, and masterfully adjoined, like the  tessellating pieces of a puzzle, the acts and scenes of his plays. But today I am going to talk about another facet of this creative genius: his fulgent logodaedaly, his stunning skill with words. 

Shakespeare has enriched the incondite and inchoate English language of his time with words and phrases he coined. A creative artist at heart, Shakespeare fathered nearly 1700 of the words we use daily, says Amanda Mabillard in an article titled Words Shakespeare Invented. Words like Amazement (“And wild amazement hurries up and down,” King John), Champion (“And champion me to the utterance! Who's there!” Macbeth) that we now use in our quotidian communications were coined by the Swan-of-Avon. 

Some other words Shakespeare coined are:  ADDICTION (OTHELLO, ACT II, SCENE II), ASSASSINATION ( MACBETH, ACT I, SCENE VII), Bedazzled (The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, Scene V), Fashionable (Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Scene III), Inaudible( All’s Well That Ends Well, Act V, Scene II), Eyeball ( Used by Prospero in The Tempest). Many of these words may have existed in some form or the other in the Shakespearean society, says Roma Panganiban in the article 20 Words We Owe to William Shakespeare, but it is undoubtedly  Shakespeare’s innovative usage of the words that made them popular. 

In coining the fascinating words and phrases we have now domesticated, Shakespeare imaginatively convoluted the English vocabulary; he adopted words from foreign languages, attached prefixes, turned nouns into verbs and so on. I wonder how weird and wonderful there “new-fangled” words must have sounded to the English ear. Did they criticize him for his usage of neologism? May be they did. In any case, Shakespeare didn’t curb his imaginativeness and follow the ways of conventional English grammar at the time; instead he gave in to neologism and developed words and phrases that not only enriched his texts, but also bolstered the English language. 

Shakespeare's brilliant vocabulary shines like pearls in the sepia-tinted pages of his work and inspires amateurs like us to go beyond the established cannons and strive and seek new ways of communicating with our readers without being intimidated by our critical meta-voice or by the criticisms put forward by our peers. 

References: 20 Words We Owe to William Shakespeare by Roma Panganiban: http://mentalfloss.com/article/48657/20-words-we-owe-william-shakespeare

Mabillard, Amanda. Words Shakespeare Invented Shakespeare <http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html>

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: R for Rosalind

R for Rosalind:

As I contemplated today’s blog-post, several words starting with R came to my mind: R for romance, retribution, reading, rest, retaliation, rectitude, relaxing, et cetera;  but then at the back of my mind, behind the nebulous sheets of inchoate ideas, I located the remnant of a word, the tail, if you may: Lind. Subsequently, the word that materialized from the haunting nothingness was Rosalind, the crown-jewel in the list of masterful characters the Swan-of-Avon begot in his creative life-time.

I guess we all read As You Like It at school under the strict pedantic gaze of our teachers who taught us the Acts and the scenes  so thoroughly that we never enjoyed the wit and humor liberally lathered in the text. It happened to me at least; and so I came back to Shakespeare years later to fill the vacant time at hand during my stay-at-home era in USA.

Being naturally drawn to humorous books and comic creations, I found myself drawn to Shakespeare’s comedies; and while I read As You Like It I felt naturally attracted to the vibrant virtuosity of the featous Rosalind. Dressed at Ganymede and providing love lessons to Orlando, who I always thought was an effeminate male, a weakling, Rosalind speaks the following words when Orlando says that he may die of love:
“Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.”

It is the aforementioned quotation that endeared her to me. Her practical realism, in contrast to the idyllic mushy romance of the Forest of Arden, sounds appetizingly-normal. She is the one normal human being who knows the meaning of rationalism and ratiocination. In contrast to the solitary contemplativeness of Jacques, the brooding-man, Rosalind shines in full vigor; her character, her wit and intelligence addto her latent appeal. She is amazing in her male get-up as well as in her feminine guise. As a friend to her cousin and as a lover, she dominates the stage.

 In many ways Rosalind reminds you of Viola, Shakespeare’s charming heroine who also took on the male garb in Twelfth Night. She is the ultimate empowered female, and it is often said that Viola is the synthesis of Rosalind and Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona). And yet, even though not as full and rotund in the complexity of human emotions as Viola, you can never disregard Rosalind. To me she is one of the most delightful Shakespearean characters I ever met, and if I ever am asked to imagine myself doing one Shakespearean character on stage I would unequivocally choose Rosalind over others.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blogging form A-Z Challenge: Q is for Quest

Quest: a poem

We are always out on the streets,
out of our houses, our neighborhoods,
in quest.

Sometimes we wonder what if
we accidentally hit upon it,
the quopping quest, that is,
resting feebly on the pavement.

The work will  be over then ,
the quest will attain a finale.

But that never happens.

It always reminds me of the
Knight-errant, the Don Quixotes
Of the world, and the Round-table

What was it that they searched for: a
chalice, a new hope in this rotten world?
And did they find the jorum that held the carpenter’s blood?

No, the quest is still on.

The passed on the dream of attaining infinity
to us.
We bear their burden,
we carry on their expedition.

In unnatural skyscrapered cities,
we, riding on the horse-back of civilization,
are always in quest of our infinitesimal dream
to find that grail
they could never locate. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blogging from A-Z: P for Past and Penmanship

I sometimes cannot help but wonder that succumb as we may to the general fluxion of the world, can we indeed totally jettison the past and all the elements related to it in our process of change. Doesn't the waves of the eternal sea that envelop us and drown us also contain iota of sandy particles gleaming with the essence of the past? I think they do for even full metamorphosis of nature and character can never take place unless a body rooted in past is laid “etherized” on the table of the present.

As a preteriest myself, one who collects antiques for her home and antiquarian memories for her writing, I feel the past has more to offer than we consider. It was the sniff of the past gathered from an article on penmanship I read this morning that led me to today’s topic of blogging discussion.

Think of those ancient letters, yellowed with age lying in dead-trunks and mummified-suitcases, those notes composed by some invisible hand dedicated to one or other member of your family, now dead. I have several of the letters composed in blue inland papers or yellow post-cards by my grandfather, who was a colonel in the Indian army, during his postings in the remote corners of India. Those letters written to my grandmother may be mundane notes of a daily and dreary army life, but they suggest his love for his family, his worries and apprehension; behind all the logic and realism, these letters were notes to his life and perhaps, and notes to my past. My grandfather is long dead and whenever I miss him I often read and smell those letters he left behind. In the quivering words and faded ink I see him, my grandfather in person. It is his handwriting that connects me with him.

Penmanship has a sentimental value to all of us. Those days in school when we were taught copperplate inscription technique, or perhaps when we wrote using our trembling hands our first inchoate and curlicued sentence: A for Apple or something, it was our handwriting that gave us a head start to our future. Among the Bengali people in India we have the tradition of Haate Khori (the beginning of writing). Devi Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, is akin to the Pierian muses of ancient epics in a more humble package, for she inspires knowledge and wisdom in all as compared to the select few the muses zero upon. And so, on the day of Saraswati puja (Basant Panchami, which usually comes in February near about St. Valentine’s Day, is the  day the goddess is worshipped), thousands of Bengali children under the careful supervision of their elders are given little chalkboards and chalks to curve their first letters. Thus the ritual initiation into the world of learning begins for the little ones. You can read more about the custom here: http://my-opinions-my-views.blogspot.in/2010/01/hate-khari-beginning-of-writing.html

As we get used to typing letters on our computers, we realize that the process is much easier and fast. But do we have a connection with the text we write? Maybe we do, but that connection is a virtual one, I believe; and like all the other virtual connections we have, it is limited and erratic.  You walk away from the computer and the relationship you had developed with your text is frayed.

The writer of the New York Times article mentions the book “The Missing Ink” where the author talks about the direct communication that penmanship establishes. But then I wonder in a world where most of our relationships are virtual, does penmanship hold any importance for its inmates. Of course, there will be enthusiasts of penmanship, a few people like you and I, who will miss having pen-pals and buying pens before examinations from stationary stores; nevertheless, we must agree that the formality of the tradition of penmanship is fast dissipating in the informal virtual set-up where the code words of texting (ROFL, LOL, BRB) have taken over like monstrous alien troops, the uncomplicated habit of penning our letters.

We do write however, on cheques and examination sheets and on post-its, but those are loosely constructed scribbles devoid of heart. When was the last time we wrote a note to a friend or exchanged pleasantries to a relative via the written medium? When I was a kid I used to exchange letters with my sister where I used to write how much she meant to me and how I loved her. She used to write me back and the process went on for a few years and then they abruptly stopped. We still have those letters and the greeting cards we exchanged with such platitudes printed on them as: “…if hearts are true distance doesn’t matter,” or “Make new friends but don’t forget the old, / because new is silver while old is gold.”

My sister and I often talk about those days and laugh at our foolishness, but then we do miss those times when all it needed to communicate one’s real feelings to a person was a piece of paper and a pen. And then there were love letters; I wrote a million to my husband and he, being a scientist, wrote me one, just one, before we got married. That letter is my treasure; and I am not sure if I would loved that one handwritten yellow sheet of lined paper any more than I do had it come straight out of a print machine.

My Lily and Waterman fountain pens

To keep alive my love for penmanship, I have adopted the habit of scripting my daily one hour of free-writing on paper. I have a leather bound diary wherein I write everyday using my two favorite writing instruments: a Lily fountain pen, which was a gift from my father, and another, an indigo-blue Waterman fountain pen. The Lily is very old but it still writes very well. The greatest fun apart from writing with it is refilling the ink. Of course, inks for fountain pens are hard to find nowadays in the metropolitan city I live in, but you do get them in certain stationary shops.

In conclusion, however much we try to diminish the exolete art of copperplate scripting or and penmanship, it will demand its existence in some form or the other in our quotidian written communications. There will always be writing enthusiasts, book lovers, and intellectuals who will embrace the old and the new with equal élan. To them, writing will always be a ritual that crafted our history: “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and they will never think of formally putting a stop to penmanship despite the outcry of the world for they know, as the writer of the book “The Missing Ink” says “to diminish the place of the handwritten in our lives is to diminish, in a small but real way, our humanity.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: O for Optimist

O for Optimist 

Blogging from A-Z: N for Nameless Neighbors

N for Nameless Neighbors

Odd, how their names
are conspicuous by their absence,
a woman with a bespectacled –daughter;
 another in unfashionable salwar suits;
the third, a rotund lady with a dog;

I inspect their daily reflections
in the sunlit pool of faces,
and wonder if they notice my pursuing gaze!

For long they have been peopling this pool with me,
like unpolished pebbles and sleeping grasses;
I know their uninviting neighborly faces. 

From dawn to dusk I see them swim
their outrageous butterfly strokes.
And in the end, I cannot help but reckon,
seeing them paddling without cessation
if they too are blind like me. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blogging from A-Z: M for Miss Marple

Wikipedia page on Miss Marple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Marple

I close my eyes and breathe-in the cool, conditioned air around me. I see letters; crimson letters silhouetted against the closed ianthine background. They drop and pile pell-mell on the mackled yellow carpet of creative prompts; and from this disorder a word is born: murder. Of course, murder it is—delicious death. And this very thought of composing an entry on murder leads me smoothly like ballet-feet on a shinning stage to the very topic I want to write about: M for Miss Marple.

I wonder if for those of you who are ardent aficionados of delicious murder mysteries like me, the name of Miss Marple is accompanied by a thrilling sensation in the system. Having read all the Miss Marple mysteries more than once, and even imbibed the television series (starring Joan Hickson), I feel that indeed this elderly spinster-detective is an inspiration for women in general, and creative writers in particular. This frail, wrinkled, wool-clad maiden armed with an astute brain has solved some of the most convoluted mysteries that Agatha Christie could ever mother proving that age-drooped trees are also capable of bearing fruit. Despite being branded a “nosy pussy,” this old woman has shown time and again in all the mysteries that she appears in that when it comes to intelligence and observation, she is above average. I especially remember the The Thirteen Problems where Miss Marple proves the keenest of brains wrong by solving all the thirteen mysteries that appear in the stories. Her triumph is the triumph of the female sex often thrown into the box containing adjectives like “weak,” “stupid,” et cetera.

However, my most favorite Miss Marple mystery is not the aforementioned collection of short stories, but the novel A Murder is Announced. So delicious is the plot of A Murder is Announced and so shrewd is Miss Marple’s acumen therein that I am convinced that this story is unequivocally one of Agatha Christie’s masterpieces. Of course, with Agatha Christie you can never touch the nub and say “this is her best work”— still, among the detective novels she prolifically composed, A Murder is Announced appears as an unputdownable baffling mystery upon finishing which you will be forced to genuflect before the crumpled, fleece-enmeshed Miss Marple and say “you are a genius, dear lady.”

For me, Miss Marple is a living character— clever and complex, weak and energetic, ruthless and kind— a mixture of all the human elements that make up vivacious characters. She has come out of the pages of the novels she domesticated and now lives in the nest of fond memories of happy reading experiences in our mind. I reckon this is what happens to immortal characters of fiction; overtime they adopt a life of their own independent of the clutches of their creator. And so Miss Marple happily dwells in all of us who live our lives trying to solve those trivial mysteries of a pedestrian existence that are of no importance to the world; and yet, when we hit upon an imaginative solution to those little problems that life presents before us, we cannot but feel happy and proud of the iota of creative ability we possess.

P.S. For me Joan Hickson is the perfect Miss Marple; who is your favorite Miss Marple on television ?

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: L for Living Life!

Outlandish it is how people think of it—
living, I mean;
on some sunlit afternoon
as we pursue the fantasies of life
with no time to reflect on loneliness or fecundity,
it strikes us as beautiful.

Like the delicate green on a stone-strewn pool
our faces sweetly touched by the air and the cool water
rise and shine as they float in that inviting
stream of ecstasy and ruin,
and we feel relieved to be alive and living.

But there are times too
when the frail arms of life,
ever so weary of the enervating stretch
 and having had enough of catching the sun
in empty bowls,
howl…enough is enough.

And yet at end of the storm,
the fly caught in coffee dregs is finally relieved;
 its agglutinated wings been dried by the air exhaled from some invisible mouth,
it is able to fly once more
in the full-throttled light of the world
contented: to be living a life for itself. 


My dear blogging friends, I must apologize to you for not being able to come online to read your posts or compose mine for the blogging challenge . It was viral fever and pressure of examinations that jointly withheld me from enjoying the joy of participating in the A-Z blogging challenge for a few days. But now I am back, and here are the postings for the days I have missed: one must be civil and keep the spirit alive, don't you think so?

I wish to thank all the people who have commented on my earlier posts:-) 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: K for Khajuraho

Thanks to the Blogging from A-Z Challenge, I am writing poetry once again. It has been a genre I had once decided to jettison for prose fiction because, I thought, my talent in that particular category of creative composition is limited. Nevertheless, one cannot expect to master one category of creative writing if one turns a blind eye to another, so I have decided to try my hand once again in wielding a dish of poetry and, I am happy to say, that so far it's not going absolutely awry: I managed to produce, though after a great deal of effort in each case, three poems in this month. 
Today's blog-post on the letter K is also a poem; it's a composition based on my experience when I visited the Khajuraho group of monuments in the heartland of India, Madhya Pradesh. Here, I would like to add, that contrary to the popular belief, Khajuraho isn't at all steeped in sexual passion; it's an erroneous orientalist view that should be ignored. The group of monuments though generously sculpted with sculptures of an erotic kind, also contain myriad figurines that have nothing to do with lust or passion. Passion, there might be, for so breathtaking and surprising  the sculpture-embedded structures are that I don't believe that the geniuses who crafted them could have done it without the inspiration of creative passion. 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: J for Jaded World-- a poem

J for Jaded World—a poem

Now all the casements and egresses 
 are closed, and we are trapped in the stinking room
eternally waiting for a dollop of fresh air,
on a spot of melting sun; a dead fly rests on the window sill,
its corpse-eyes glued to the closed exterior,
it’s head resting on the un- sunny mat of dust.

All around me life balks, stops short and waits for an end.
The clammy cells of our bodies refuse to profuse anymore, 
they die in hoards, drowned in the acid of blind ignavia.
And then there is the heated up, hollow disposition
of a surfeited, exiguous  physical life too.

This season’s white-washed wall is fading away,
it seems as cold as a corpse with protruding cheek-bones—
A bunch of yester-season’s flowers and crows
form the jaded company that pulls its shroud off
with unheard cries of alarm and hatred,
and all the while, the un-jocund earth lies still, 
un-calm, unhappy
in the coarse-pink satin layered box of eternal torpor. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: I for the Internet!!

Prior to composing today’s blog-post, I sat ruminating on the letter I. For the purpose of better concentration I had switched off my Smartphone and was away from my laptop as well. After a hiatus of ten or fifteen minutes when I found myself vacillating between ‘I for the internet’ or ‘I for impossible’, I found my mind yearning to check the Facebook webpage and see if there was any update. My sudden urge to press the button of my cellular phone, which was almost indomitable, led me to believe that indeed it the internet to which I should sing my paean.

When I started thinking about the internet and its illimitable possibilities, I came to the conclusion that the supramundane agency that brought forth the genesis of the world must have had access to the internet. Come to think of it, the internet is as omnipotent and omniscient as the all-mighty mother or father dwelling abaft the concave watchet dome. Though born out of humble academic sires, the internet has overtime become the portal housing such myriad people under its shelter that you wonder sometimes how good it would have been had we indeed lived in a virtual world. I like several of my peers have once censured the internet and considered its distracting quality as discomfiting; but then I didn’t realize that it is absolutely erroneous to disregard as powerful a medium as the internet for the reason it distracts us: aren’t everything we encounter in our lives, aren’t our jobs, our household chores, our movies, our books also imbued with the distracting quality for which I was falsely reproaching the net? Right now, my idea of the internet is that of a savior, a brilliantly illumined second messiah who came into our lives with breathtaking possibilities ready to fill any vacant space that we have in our lives with new and improved playtime activities. Of course the discretion rests with us as to how we would spend our time here, what social-persona would we adopt, or perhaps how veridical we would like to be. “Which will you choose,” I wonder, “which will you choose, which will you choose of these?”

A casual chat about the internet is never complete for me without a reminiscing paragraph dedicated to my favorite movie, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starer You’ve Got Mail. I guess I watched it a thousand times, and yet, every time I see it, the romantic, heart-melting movie makes me think about the deliciousness of the internet. Indeed, I wonder if there is any other more perfect glory-song written and dedicated to the medium that literally drives our lives nowadays from start to finish: the internet.

I close my eyes and try to think about our bluey earth: a brilliantly lit up labile globe where every inch of its surface is populated by a person who has access to the internet. It’s a universe where national, regional boundaries are conspicuous by their absence; here the citizens of the orb are one and united, they stand in circles celebrating life, holding one another’s hand and exchanging limitless data. This is my idea of a perfect world, a world where boundaries that separate us and prevent us from interacting with one actual life with be stuff that fictions are made on. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blogging from A-Z Challenge: H is for Home sweet Home

H for Home Sweet Home

Home is my own dreamscape
where buds of comfort
effloriate and bring to life
frequently my own unsung musings,
with a splash of happiness 
that wraps me throughout the day.
Two summers and two winters have
passed by, but my present home,
my abode of happiness
still remains new.
It is as sweet as ripe mangoes,
as pretty as a bunch of peonies,
and as delicate as the petals of a white rose.
White is my theme here, white linen,
white chalk on a tiny chalkboard
with scribbled messages indicating
a wish to freeze fleeting moments
or cherish subtle warm memories.
The bell-peppers are ripening this season,
ample little Catharanthuses load the plants
in my little balcony-garden and flush
my life with red, pink and white hues.
My clean little space, decked in
comforting beauty is a sight
that brings abundant pleasure
on tired days when I come back
from a disquieted world waiting
for a touch of order.
Then with a sepia-tinted gaze
my home assures me that you can have
your own little world of calm and beauty
away from the ranting and fretful house outside.