Monstrous K

She devours

in large unlimited quantities

qualities of every kind

patience, perseverance and discipline

aesthetics, conscience and much more

demands attention like a bawling child

growing in need every moment

no wonder, so many have turned against her

even with captains at their hand

she is messy, wild,insatiable

leaving you with a sense of worthlessness

the mistress who is so assured of herself

even in times of calamity or scarcity

not a moment is free of her service

now the sink, now the cupboards, now the stove

and her many die-hard fans who swear by her

but will never lift a finger

bloating her ego and compelling you somehow

to play the servile attendant

often I have put up my hands

cried in exasperation and vowed never to return

but widening girths around the waist

a bottom too big to be hot

drives you back to the tyrant

gleefully laughing at your discomfort

I told you so’s too many

nodding heads and whistles taunting

there has to be a way

there has to be a way

get around thee and still be happy

soon I shall have my day

let this be yours

I drop the spoon with a thud

until evening, then!

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Woman of the wall

She was busy building it. He was busy too, in removing the building blocks of the wall. It was a continuous, consistent effort on their sides, each to his own.

‘I have to build it’ she insisted. ‘It will protect me, may be even you’, she added as if she was not sure of him. His presence, his company or just him, it’s difficult to say.

‘You build it, again and again and get yourself walled in’, he argued trying to gain some authority in an argument which was tilted towards her right from the beginning.

It was not for him to argue with her. He could not stay with her sullen face. He preferred the sunshine even if some times it rained right on to him. It didn’t matter.

As long as she was there, he was happy. He had decided that long back. That is how it is going to be. Her happiness, his happiness.

‘Come help me’, she shouted. She was good at that, ‘loud noises’, whether it was joy, sorrow or anger, it was always loud with her, ‘even pleasure’, he smiled to himself.

What was this woman to me, he asked himself. Why can’t I tell her that the wall she was building was going to kill her, her free spirit, her joy, it will not be seen now, but feeding it with love, she was nurturing a monster, perhaps monster is too gross a word, but you see, you must get the flow, right?

There was no use arguing with this woman of ‘loud noises’, with whom his life is so intricately bound, woven, warp and weft, she is decided if she is decided and that’s it.

It has been like that for the past so many years. Some said, talk it out, he smiled, nodding his head, no, he was not desperate as they thought him to be, nor was he bound without his will, it was a knowing commitment, I am with thee, come rain or sunshine.

There was never a need to run away, yes, in spite of the wall, the many walls she built and so delicately designed, decorating them with mosaics of experiences, feelings, fantasies, observations, hearsays, she was important, yes, despite the wall, so he stood through, just being there was enough and it gave him joy to do that.

Once in a while though without her noticing, he climbed the stairs, clambered on to the wall, peeped outside, in fact, even jumped out and ran away, panting at the effort, it takes a lot of running to actually run, if you know what I mean.

He breathed in fresh air, rubbed against fresh faces, clung to fresh fantasies and ran straight back to the woman with the wall.

The wall that kept him in and kept so much away from him. Ha! life!

‘Are you there?’, she called, the woman of’ loud noises’, a warm bosom and a tight clasp, far too tight!. ‘Coming’, he shouted back and ambled in her direction.

Kannada Baruthe

Been in Bangalore, Karnataka for almost a decade, yet all I know is rudimentary Kannada. Why did it never occur to me to put myself to the task of learning a new language, when supposedly I love languages?

It must be sheer laziness and the fact that in Bangalore, you can speak any language you know and still get the work done. Bangaloreans in general are conversant with Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and more and that is a deterrent.

The desire to interact more with youngsters at college, talk to colleagues and feel more at home here in Bangalore, I am trying my best to get a hold over Kannada.

Well, reading and writing can wait, speaking Kannada decently enough would do for now.

I used to speak Telugu fluently way back in my primary school when I studied in Vijayawada but soon forgot all of it after moving back to Kerala.

If I manage to convince myself of having learnt to speak good Kannada, I definitely want to brush up my Telugu.

Then comes, Tamil, which I being a Malayali, tend to think that I know already. In reality, it is definitely not so. It is only my good friend, Sudha who taught me a smattering of Tamil heavily laced with Malayalam.

When this much is done, well, it already looks like a 10 year plan, I am keen to pick up some Sanskrit and then maybe a foreign language.

If all this happens before I kick the bucket, I would be somewhat proud of myself.

Looks like a lot of work.

I did read somewhere that learning a new language is the best way to keep one smart… so that be the goal… a smart polyglot! Sounds good!

Frog in a city

It is strange she said that I should think of you so much

when there is nothing of you that I can hold on to

there is not a memory, not an experience

dreams yes, fantasies yes

of swinging legs,sitting idle, long silences

it is strange that I should think so much

of that ascent of your nose bridge

dividing the world into 2 halves

that half that you like

the half that you don’t

I must definitely fall into the second,yet

when rains fill the pores of the earth

with soft wetness, the drum and drill of moist drops

I think of you staring into something I cannot see from here

I could never see, could I?

perhaps I will never, ever, seemingly

it is still nice to think of a face I think I know

than to think of faces that think know me well

oh, too well, fitting me in and out

a case of ‘fitment’, strange it sounds, except you stranger

even if it is unlikely like the unmelting of glaciers

the singing of the dodo or the thumping of the dinosaurs

the skies roar in thunder,gentle folds of approval

heard a frog croak after a long time

a frog in a city, now that is something!

Ps: Post Mrs. Dalloway

Balloon- Bubbly, beautiful but not very eco friendly

I remember how while I was growing up in Vijayawada, a major town in Andhra Pradesh, the balloon seller would come to the street on weekends. Me and my brother, along with other kids would run after the balloon man and get our red and orange colored balloons. For a few days at least we would wake up and go to sleep with balloon by our side, that is if it lasts that long.

I loved the balloons and I would be lying if I said that I was aware of the dangers to the environment posed by the balloon at that age or even much later.

It never occurred to me that a light, fluffy , beautiful thing could cause any damage to any one at all.

This I am sure is how we look at most of things. But now the times we are in force us to evaluate the environmental cost of every item of use be it a balloon, a ball, the ubiquitous plastic bags or anything else.

Here is an example of a balloon fest that went horribly out of turn to become a major environmental disaster. In 1986,the city of Cleveland announced that it was going to set a world record by releasing 1.5 million balloons up into the sky. It was a mass movement with a lot of hype on the television and the print media, there was much enthusiasm, great community feeling and lots of positive vibes in the air. In fact the television anchors announced that it was time to prove that Cleveland was a happening city to the world!

Soon festivities took a serious turn when an impending storm hit the city and the balloons fell all over filling the nearby lake where two local fisher men went missing.

The rescue efforts were affected because it was impossible to identify the life jackets of the fishermen among the many floating balloons.

In fact, Cleveland Balloonfest became an example of what not to do in celebration!

Kids love balloons so do adults but it is important that we consider the cost to the environment of these blown up plastic bags.

With environmental damage causing flash floods, droughts and other major catastrophes across the world, it is time to act! Say no to balloons!

For further reading!

https://www.ecowatch.com/balloons-bad-for-the-environment-2596193514.html

Of how she talks

To talk is to exist

so she does

it didn’t matter

who listened

who didn’t

sometimes the cat sat by

more out of boredom than interest

as she belted out her tunes

old tunes of old times

some sparkling new

smelling more of fantasy than reality

the other day I saw her talking to the sky

I didn’t interrupt her reverie

her holy communion

a few earth worms in hiding

came to the fore

volunteering to keep her company

a centipede or two joined

a crow cawed her approval

she spoke unabashed, uninhibited

of thin walls pressing on to her

of spaces cramped

of eavesdroppers

of rude turn-aways

of forbidden pleasures

of craving for what is not

of efforts to evolve

of struggles within without

a tear was shed from above

manna for her soul

a deluge for the earthworm and the centipede

each to his own…

Ali’s Wedding : A Review

It’s my vacation, the yearly break when I get time off work. Well, not really because I am continuously working on something or the other. Yet, the fact that I am at home is a privilege. How do I make good the time I have? By watching loads and loads of movies, even 3 a day. So I catch up with Malayalam Cinema, Kumbalangi Nights, Sudani from Nigeria, Bharya Athra Pora, a few more are lined up.

But the film that touched my heart and soul today is Ali’s Wedding, a beautiful rom-com set in Australia, revolving around a young Muslim couple greatly in love.

There is the sweet innocence of Ali who wanting to live to his father’s expectations of him, ends up screwing his own life, washing hands off his dreams and regrets deeply. (Some bells ring there and I shout an advice to my daughter, whatever happens follow your heart, only yours O.K!!!)

There is the usual family emotional blackmailing, community moments, fun and theater in the mosque and much more.

Worth more than a watch, truly!

Cute film

Anger walks out

anger, seething within

intense,dense

colors everything

knits your brows

rasps your breaths

fogs your eyes

fastens your steps

anger pinches your core

surprises and shocks you

with its very existence

and it excesses

anger clogs your head

ties your tongue

or lets it too loose

clenches your fists

glares your eyes

anger rushes you

pushes you to do more than you can

nudges you to seek more and live more

horrifies you with its deep darkness

kills your slow smile and tender moments

good friend, anger

now don’t be angry

when I say

you have run your course

it’s time to say good bye

if need be

you will be called

yet, stay away

light living, lighter moments

till then! Ciao!

Of Kumbalangi Nights

There are actors, many of them, then there is Fahad Faasil. Fahad must have a different measuring scale of acting prowess, if you don’t believe me please watch’ Kumbalangi Nights’.

My first encounter with the word Kumbalangi was when I was in Cochin for a training, I asked the participants, ‘where are you from’ in a typical, Malayali expression of ‘how do you do’ and he said, ‘Kumbalangi’, I had never heard of the place before and found it extremely funny.

Sometimes, laughter threatens to pounce on me with a vengeance, it was about to happen that day, but I controlled myself and uttered a civilized, ‘Oh, is it’ saving my dignity.

Kumbalangi Nights takes you to a setting that is almost surreal, the deep blue waters, the china nets, the canoeing in and out through the village, only hinting at the lurking possibilities of darkness in the vile-now, not so vile, but polished smile of Fahad, springing beneath his top class bushy mustache…oh, what a smile, reminding one of the quote  “O villainvillainsmiling, damned villain!” from Hamlet.

But the tension built up in the story telling is such that one does not know or cannot comprehend what is going to happen, where will the evil appear, though there is a promise of the same it is difficult to predict until it is unleashed.

In fact all the characters in the movie have done their parts well, the innocent almost drunk in delight smile of Franky, the transformation of Saji, the love story of Bobby and Baby and the silence of Bony. Simmi, Shammy’s friend, Saji’s partner in business, his wife, each character is beautifully etched.

Kumbalangi Nights is a classic. It looks deep into the diabolic in the decent, the so-called normal and leaves the audience speculative, asking perhaps, ‘so, what’s behind the mask?’

Kumbalangi Nights

Come you may or may not

I am not sure of your reading this or anything else that she writes, wrote or will write at some point of time in future.

I know not if words reach you, her words I mean or make sense to you in any which way.

Friend, lover that never loved, don’t be amused at the pain of a soul so deep in the mire of feelings, overwhelmed by emotions that deluge her very existence that at times take her by surprise, nay shock.

Stupidity, friend, is what I have often called it and have oftener called her out.

I have many a time told her to move on and not hang on words that were never there, promises that never came or those that were not hers, not hers.

I have laughed at her derisively, laughed out loud in her face, and many more times behind her back.

I, yes, I have advised her, consoled her and confronted her, but nothing has worked not now, not till now.

Delusional, she is, ha, perhaps, that is what it is, a magic potion that sustains without supply of raw material, her feelings….stupid, stupid woman

When she rests her shoulder on mine, I kiss her tenderly on her forehead.

I watch the thin, fine lines of worry crease out, slowly and a small smile dimple her cheeks.

I sit with her though even when she insists she is fine, knowing how good she is at hiding her true feelings , I stay back and keep her company.

The speckless sky is now dotted with dark clouds, a heavy downpour is expected anytime.

I keep the towel ready for the showers.

I know I am good enough yet it is you who makes a difference to her life.

It is you who she yearns for so openly, unabashed of ridicule.

With her grey hair and slow prance will she still look to the window to see you?

Will her failing heart, bear the pain of your sudden appearance?

Will she, so gentle in giving be given what she asks for?

I cannot tell.

But, this I know, I will be around for her at a glance away.

Come what may, come you may or not.

Ps: Post Stephen Fry’s impassioned love for words