Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I’m taking an unexpected off. I’m visiting Kashmir. At best of the times, the valley has been a glorified glade on earth. It goes on with many banal euphemisms -- Paradise on earth, India’s little heaven, Land of endless meadows et al. The place is undeniably beautiful. The climate is fantastic, unlike most of India. Gazelles hop in open wilderness. Ducks glide. Silvery mountains dot the landscape and colorful water birds flap their wings on crimson evenings. Tweedle-tweedle the birds chirp. Alas that is where it all ends!

The place has another ugly facet. It is run-over by a ruthless lot who kill at will. Bombs go off in crowded markets. Bullets start a macabre dance – unexpectedly -- on tranquil afternoons. You are frisked and frisked till you go red in your neck and bitter in the eye. It is all standard procedure. It is a war-zone. A low-intensity conflict has been going on in Kashmir for 17 long years now. The majestic Dal may gleam with its gold fish and sequined Houseboats but the murky pale of death always looms large.

I think I’ve drifted here. It always happens to me. I am taking an unscheduled off and going to Kashmir because my kid-sister has hurt herself. Poor gal went to buy an innocent pack of tang juice for herself, forgetting for a silly second, that she is walking in war-zone. Kaboom, the bomb went off. Sending the fruit-vendor, opposite side of the road, flying a metre high in the sky. Next moment, another soul exited the phantom-vale. Dead. Such inexpensive is human life in our little paradise. Thirty others got injured. My sis got a splinter or two in her leg. She fell on ground, her juice tightly clutched in her hand. Live people were on fire, children bleeding, women wailing, many shivering. What can one say: A slice of the Armageddon, only this pain is too real to be passed over.

Thank heavens, she is doing fine now. Most people live perpetually under a dun shadow of death in Kashmir. It all boils down to a little game of probability. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I reckon, there is only one reality about war: People die. Incidentally I just finished reading Gen Musharraf’s ‘In the Line of Fire’. The guy appears chivalrous most of the time in his book, yet the only time he seems to loose composure is when he describes a bomb that went off near him. A top-rung commando, a General, normally used to booms and wars, visibly perplexed. Imagine the plight of ordinary people used to only Tweedle-tweedle.

Harold Pinter, last year's Nobel Prize winner for literature puts it rather succinctly and simply:

The bombs go off
The legs go off
The heads go off

The arms go off
The feet go off
The light goes out

The heads go off
The legs go off
The lust is up

The dead are dirt
The lights go out
The dead are dust

A man bows down before another man
And sucks his lust

Hope peace kisses the water birds again.


Saturday, October 28, 2006


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. ~ Anonymous

I often doodle in my mindscape that humans must be the most interesting species that ever walked upon earth. All our lives we hanker for love. We traverse great depths to explore it. We sail and we soar, trying to find it. We ramble into obscure territories, often running into mean cul-de-sacs. Weeks give way to fortnights and then sheepishly turn into months but our little quest almost never ends. We keep searching for that real relationship. The various trials we endure and the countless tribulations we follow, only makes us strong. Astoundingly, it is a constant pursuit for love? A single person in a world of five billion! Whatever it is, it must be the world’s most pious hunt.

We meet many interesting and not-so-interesting blokes on this journey. Some we never think about again. Some, we wonder what happened to them. There are some that we wonder if they ever think about us. And then there are some we wish we never had to think about again. There are times we dangerously delude ourselves about. Foolishly enough, every time we try find a reason to the heart’s furor. However in the most private realms of our mind, we soon realize it is only companionship, settlement, and physical compatibility. Not love. Not that sacred little thing.

Not love. How can it be? Love allows you to listen to the still voices within. Then obey them. You know it occurs to you when someone can listen to your heartbeat without being anywhere near you. It makes your eyes go moist suddenly, unexpectedly – for no reason. It makes you say a tiny prayer in a long time – not for yourself – but for the one you love. It is selfless. Always!

And – then it occurs to us. We aren’t even looking for it. Suddenly it comes, as if Godsend, to whisper a beautiful secret in our ear. How can one put it in words? Magic without magical spells. Happiness without reasons. Conversation without words. Celebration without occasions. Togetherness without being together!

No feeling is more comforting and consoling than knowing that you are being loved. Frederick Nietzsche was one of 20th century’s most influential philosophers. I quote the old German: There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness.

Need I say more?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What is your Color?

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.

All of us love colors, don't we? Click on this link to find what color you are!



Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Party at Panchkula

The train began chugging exactly at quarter past five. Diwali eve. India’s greatest festival. Luckily, no one came to occupy the two vacant seats next to mine in the Shatabdi -- dubbed one of India’s swiftest passenger coaches. I was alone on my three-hour trip to Panchkula, Chandigarh’s twin township. Home to my friend – Jitz.

Earlier in the day, I’d loaded my apple I-pod with the latest I-tunes. With ‘The Zahir’ by the mystic Brazilian Paulo Coehlo for company and Ajnabee Shehar (Strange city) soothing my acoustic senses, I knew I was in for a delectable trip. Enjoyable as it was, the entire route to Chandigarh was lambent. Lit up, as if some royal carriage was scheduled to pass by. Chandeliers glowed on naked trees. Old houses wore a luminescent look. Every time I gazed out of the ac-gilded windowpane, a band of boys and gals would smile their best smiles. Everything was bathed in a strange mirthful hue. Festive airs!

Punjabi’s are known for their heartiness. Jatin's entire family stood at the belvedere -- of the train station -- to receive me. I felt touched in my soul. It was hospitality standing along with gladness. Such beautiful-warm people. I hadn’t expected this! I was led to Panchkula, a five-minute drive from Chandigarh. Surrounded by the valleys of Himachal and the air-force runways of Ambala, Panchkula is an exotic, historic place with an overall laid-back feel. The roads are wide, clean and everyone seems hell scared of the traffic cops. Law is followed to the last little detail. I learn’t that Panchkula is prone to unreliable rainfall and has a great variation in temperature. It actually rained on Day-2. The place was true to its form.

Night-1 was Diwali. The carnival of lights. We quickly gobbled a rather finger-licking dinner. They are too good at it. Sanso da sagh aur makki di roti (No English equivalent, no translation – at least I don’t want to attempt). It was a sumptuous meal with dollops of ghee. Normally – in Delhi – I shriek at the sight of extra oil. Here in the middle of an effervescent place, with a magical family surrounding to feed you, I simply gave up. It is better to indulge once-in-a-blue-moon.

We burst crackers. We lit candles. We fired rockets. We toggled little atomic bombs, with no fear of a reprimand from Prez Bush. We set aglow a few dozen fuses. I’ve never allowed myself to be absorbed to such daring, on any previous occasion. I admit, however that I do love fireworks, and I have missed them before, and I couldn’t miss them again-oh! It was a little team-effort. Jatin, his naughty nephew – Aman, his sis Meenu di and me. Together we added some more decibels to the myriad booms, which rented the usually tranquil evenings of Panchkula. Uncle and Aunty clapped on the porch. The stars twinkled. It felt relaxing. Homely.

Day-2 began on a rainy note. It poured. A cold morning and hot bed-tea is always a terrific idea. The tea smelled of ginger and nectar. Balmy. After a rocking night – fireworks continued long into the morning – it came as an elixir. The rain stopped towards afternoon. In the meantime, we sat – a brainstorm – to create a small poem for Aman, for his fancy dress competition. I wish the witty master wins.

I drove to the Rock Garden in Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh. I was amazed. They say the lotus blooms in the mire. Built of industrial waste and thrown-away items, the garden is perhaps the world's most poignant and subtle statement of a possibility of finding beauty in the unexpected and accidental. It expresses so elegantly -- fragility of the environment, need for conservation and importance of balancing industrial development. I loved the architecture, conceptualization and art of the garden. Replete with imagery and layers of meaning, it offers you lots.

We gadded about in Sector-17, Chandigarh’s fashionable shopping street. The Punjabis enjoy life with a shade of humor, which I truly admire. I laughed out loud with them.

A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


In the land of many faiths, celebrating the greatest festival!

Some joys spill love loads
on a love lorn world
Touch us in ways unknown
to rekindle our soul

When lights, glows & wicks
Lap the lands,over
Moments which one wished
stay on for ever

Endless stars and sparkles,
dazzle in the night sky
Big bangs rent the skies
to a myriad eager claps

When a hug undoes hatred
when blooms wipe off bombs
When sweets mix with smiles
and joys meld with love

It is Diwali time folks,
when God loves our shimmer

sameer bhat

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Desire is the same as yearning. It rises from the heart and gathers in the soul. In life we never say many things we ought to say. There are certain zones of heart and mind that are too sacrosanct to be laid bare, perhaps. Often enough we wait an entire lifetime to realize a little desire only to realize it was not after all that tough. There are occasional obstacles. How often do we lay awake until small hours in the morning to hear the birds chirp, only to sleep at dawn. Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable!

I must confess: I like my desires. I carry some images home to stay awake with. I think there is nothing wrong in me except, perhaps, my imagination. It runs too far, too wide, too unbridled, too luxuriant, too raving. It takes me to the most unchartered of the territories, to forbidden frats, to old abandoned churches, to the strums of a thousand guitars, to melancholic operas, to ancient alleys. To unbroken time. I hold a flocculent hand. If you ask me whose hand, I won’t answer. Not because I am afraid. I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate us.

I desire to be an enthusiast, never dogmatic. To be full of ideas and good humor. I desire to walk holding that hand on a heavy snowy morning, when the city looks like a gigantic Christmas card. I desire to sit near the fireplace looking at the most winsome eyes in the world. Eyes that promise intimacy. And say nothing. To let the silence sit in one corner and do the talking. I desire to make love on a solitary deck, under the stars with the soft fragrant breeze cooling our nakedness. The feeling is unsettling but an exact desire.

I know I will live my desires. I can wait. Albeit not too patient, I have reconciled to the idea of tarrying. Sometimes the shade of melody, having hovered for days on the edge of hearing, unfolds and blessedly reveals itself. That is when the desires come true.


Saturday, October 14, 2006


They say to me in their awakening, “You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea.” And in my dream I say to them: “I am the infinite sea, and all words are but grains of sand upon my shore.”
Khalil Gibran – one of the greatest philosopher-poets of the 20th century

I am a complete romantic. Mercurial. Caring. Protective. Buddy. There is an ancient cadence deep down me that prods me to feel a special bond with my loved ones. Basically a very small charmed circle, it contains my small family and friends. When it comes to life’s tough trials, I wish to protect myself not by some fence, but rather by my friends. Always a kid at heart, I still dream about Jack and his beanstalk. I do not want to shatter some sweet myths. We may evolve and grow up; we may go places but our memories must always remain ensconced in cartoons and lots of cornflakes. That’s how I feel. In life’s superfluous baggage, I keep a corner for some innocent dreams. Yet I know life is never easy for those who dream.

I have a recurring dream and I often see the love of my listless life in those tiny dreams. From a distance, I can see drop-dead beautiful eyes. They tease me on solitary nights. I wake up suddenly from my slumber and find them gaze intently at me. However hard, I try to sleep, I cannot. The images have haunted me since childhood. However, I could see them clearly, only about a year back. In blood and flesh. Smiling. Innocent. Truthful. Daring. Elegant. It appears for real. It is not an apparition, I can vouch.

Ironically my delicate dream does not come to me on clear, sunny days especially when I am alone and I so need it. It even skips me on romantic evenings. It makes me tarry and tarry. Yet it walks upto me in the middle of the night. Unexpectedly. On a starlit night, when there is sound of water gushing in transparent brooks and fish plop. It swaddles me in its entirety. It drinks my scents. And leaves me completely perfumed. I don’t want to let it go, I swear. Not at my life.

Like the tender shard of a broken dream, I sizzle. When I am alone and have no one around, I wish the dream appears to me. With friends and family taken-in with the day-to-day rigmarole of life, whom do I turn to in my most private, passionate moments? Amidst all the lovelessness and the sparkle around our fast-paced, artificial lives, I look for my friend – the sacred dream.

It is a picayune present I’ve given myself. It is distant, yet so close to me. It caresses me, as I shut my eyes. It is a dream – true -- yet it is mine.


Friday, October 13, 2006

The Interview with God

Take a break. Click on my fav link and gently touch the view presentation button. Don't tell me it did not make a difference to you.

Sam's highly recommended:http://linux20230.dn.net/cgi-bin/pop/card.pl?8.29.064210.05
Culled: Best of my Blog

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The worried adonis

Wasy -- blue and boyish
Night-out Posted by Picasa

Cool dudes

Wasy -- my best buddy -- and Navvy -- the sweet one -- pose for the shutterbug.
Cadence night-out Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

A lifetime of love

A great philosopher once put it rather fittingly: people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know – and put your index correctly -- which one it is, you will know how to steer the relation and what to do for the person. The key is: Staying Germane!

The premise is basically simple: When someone comes in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need that you have expressed. They come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem godsend and they really are!They are there for the reason you need them to be. They give you a reason to cheer.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace and make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They give you an unbelievable amount of joy. We reckon it is all so very real, the prayer we sent up has finally been answered and again the heart gladdens.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. They are people in this blue little planet who love you selflessly. One lesson one must never forget in life is this: Friendship without self-interest is one of the most rare and beautiful things of life. Our job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said – and rightly so -- that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Living a Dream

I've a Dream. Martin Lurther King gave this historic speech when he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites would coexist harmoniously as equals. King's little speech on August 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC is considered a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Often ranked as one of the greatest speeches in the history of mankind, it talks about a small Dream. That dream was soon going to revolutionize the whole of United States. Like King, all of us have a Dream. The dream to make it big. The dream to succeed. The dream to hold ground in harsh winds. On lonely nights. The dream to carry on amidst all the love and lovelessness. I think our little dreams are the answers to questions that we haven't yet figured out how to ask.

Often, I think about the places I need to go. About relationships I need to take along. About times-zones I shall trundle on. Much of it seems yonder, yet the dream lulls me to believe that it is so close. Within grasp. I am going to clench it one day! Nin, one of my fav French writers says, our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. It is this beautiful act of putting together one and one -- Dreams and action, that we actualize our dreams.

More often than not, I have these dreamy, fluffy clouds in my eyes, making me doodle the most innocent of things. I am holding hands and ambling across the orange sods of some European countryside. Quietly with my love! The small crackling sound of the autumn-fresh leaves under our feet. Looking ahead. Listening to the silences. Happy in the mind. And soul.

I have dreams about a little moron, I really adore. I wish to see my family jolly. Simple pleasures in life one cannot buy but cherish. Sometimes you don't know what you're missing until you reach out to touch it. Sometimes you can't see how soulful something is until it steps back into the sun. When you need love, dream.

There is a silly hang-up that troubles me at times. I find myself unloved. It is at these moments I try telling the only beautiful heart I have known -- in my dream: You might have loved me, if you had known me. If you had ever known my mind. If you would have walked through my dreams and memories. Who knows what treasures you might have found. Yes, I know you love me, stupid.

We live a small life. I want to live this short life -- Full -- in all its tiny moments. No one knows which way life takes us. Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don't collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don't really mean anything!

I too have a dream today.

To sleep! perchance to dream:--ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Hamlet ACt III Scene I