Sunday, April 30, 2006

School time

Hey guys, I found some of my old poems today. Not too old, really. I scribbled them in the fall of 2003, when I was just 22. Then I lost them. Being the messy kind, that I am. Writing on scraps and then throwing the pieces around. I luckily retrieved them today and here... I share with you the first!

Where fun hangs in air
and ideas take their root
Where hands learn to draw
and world starts to unfold
Where chalks roll the year long
and mind opens for a lifetime
Where bells toll a welcome break
and manners make a man
where teachers help you tread
and life takes a shape
Where friends share secrets
and hearts flutter aloud
Where words fly past
and legs run and slide
Where benches, boards and books
never fail to tire
Where ties, tunics and tricks
always are a must

Where first sweet crushes
turn you red in cheeks
School, school, school
nicest time of my life


Friday, April 28, 2006

The Tiff!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Mark Twain

There is a golden rule in fighting. Hit first and hit hard. One must never pick a fight but when someone tries to slog it out with you, then as a matter of amour propre one needs to be on top of it. I -- for instance -- am a pacifist. It is not the likes of me to start a fight or join issue with someone. Then there are exceptions!

The cab driver was suddenly abusive. He wanted to push ahead perhaps and finding himself lagging behind, started bad-mouthing.
Scene: Crossing. Cab, next to my car. Issue: Next to nothing, the chap was plain calumnious.

Assuming that a bespectacled 20-something guy who does not share Stallone's biceps may be harmless, he loudly uttered some invective. Then another. I got down, went over to his door. Pulled him out and knocked him over. All brashness of the dusty kind -- and the rustic machismo -- came flying out of him. A quick aplology followed. The burly guy added, will behave in future.

I think the punch left a blue spot in his eye and a perfumed sweetness. I usually spray Hugo-Boss on my wrists. I think some of it passed on.

May be, I never get to see him again. But justice of the swiftest kind was served piping hot. Matter finished.

Moral: ne pas oser le désordre avec moi. That is -- Don't dare mess with me -- for those who don't know french.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

You are my thought!

You are the thought that comforts me
you are the breeze that wraps me
you are the belief that haunts me
you are the silence that hurts me
You are the sheath that cuddles me
You are the lap that holds me
you are the feeling that engulfs me
you are the wind that nourishes me
you are the idea that consoles me
you are the treasure that spoils me
you are the touch that amazes me
you are the flight that ducks me
you are the vibe that teases me
you are the shade that harbours me

You are the one I pester
You are the one I like


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

mad mad world

Ah...the sameness of things! The slumber of each night. Sweet hours of the morning sleep. Fast-paced life. The morning rush hour traffic. The hollering masses. People creaking open their land-cruiser doors to spit out mouthfuls of paan (Beetlenut). Rickshaw-wallas veering dangerously close to your automobile untill you go bonkers. The mad rush to nowhere. Girls with lanky boy-friends sneaking into shady parks. Trying to find true love. Preyed on by curious eye-balls. Guilt-ridden and yet satisfied.

There are curbs upon every nook. Corrupt corpulent cops. Only belly's, no morals! Difficult officials. In colleges and universities. Egoed politicos and professors. Haughty, hectoring. Unlike the west! But then they -- westerners -- are good for themselves alone. Outside their borders, they sell arms to everyone and his mother -- including us -- and our notorious neighbor. And we kill each other. We pillage. We flunk to negotiate. The stalemate continues.

Back home...the development curve dances and continues to rise. There are still pockmarked roads that trammel your movement. It gets so spiritless and stuffy. Not to forget the stupid advertisement blitzkrieg. Everywhere. The usual chatter on FM radio. Junk Music. Talking through their tired brains. Any piece of crap passes. As long as you speak. News-papers are no better. Journalism has long been trivialised. Less than 5% people read books. Intellectual development, who cares! The beauty of Shelley is lost. I can't help smirk.

Religion continues to dictate people. Govern lives. People cheat, loot, plunder in its name. Wars are fought. Bombs are thrown occassionally in temples and mosques. Yet people pray. This is called faith. It keeps people going. People want to discover God, forgetting that God is nothing but goodness in us. How good we are. How loving we are. How compassionate and humane we are. And how unselfish we are. No one cares for the homeless. The poor. The needy. The elderly. Yet people will take cocunuts and fruits to offer to gods. Do god's need the stuff ? I don't know. I might be hacked for blasphemy. Looking down upon mankind and looking upto God, makes no sense to me.

The sameness prevails. Albeit love makes us strong! Some special thoughts keep us fresh and happy in the mind. And jovail in the heart. Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees, Victor Hugo once said.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Dreamz....Thank you!

Thanks for coming in my dream
though you didn't stay too long
Thanks for breaking bread with me
though you didn't munch a lot
Thanks for exchanging love notes
though the ink was a shade dark
Thanks for gracing my tiny space
though I couldn't offer you much
Thanks for being part of my thoughts
though it is difficult to part with you
Thanks for dropping by anyways
Hope to see you again -- in my dreams!


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Americans and Their Myths

I exist because I think

Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980) has been one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. He was an existentialist. Philiosopher. Dramatist. Novelist par excellence. Critic. Professor. A Frenchman. A Cosmopolitan.

He is one of those geniuses for whom a determined philosophical position is the centre of their artistic being. Although drawn from many sources, for example, Husserl's idea of a free, fully intentional consciousness and Heidegger's existentialism, the existentialism Sartre formulated and popularized is profoundly original. Its popularity and that of its author reached a climax in the forties, and Sartre's theoretical writings as well as his novels and plays constitute one of the main inspirational sources of modern literature.

Sartre refused the 1964 Nobel prize in literature -- the only person to do so in the history of the highly coverted awards -- because he thought it will make him an institution.

Here is what Sartre said about America in 1947:

Excerpts: Americans and their myths
JOHN-PAUL SARTRE [October 18, 1947]

EVERYTHING has been said about the United States. But a person who has once crossed the Atlantic can no longer be satisfied with even the most penetrating books; not that he does not believe what they say, but that his agreement remains abstract.

The system is a great external apparatus, an implacable machine which one might call the objective spirit of the United States and which over there they call Americanism-a huge complex of myths, values, recipes, slogans, figures, and rites.

There are the great myths, the myths of happiness, of progress, of liberty, of triumphant maternity; there is realism and optimism--and then there are the Americans, who, nothing at first, grow up among these colossal statues and find their way as best they can among them. There is this myth of happiness: slogans warn you to be happy at once; films that "end well" show a life of rosy ease to the exhausted crowds; the language is charged with optimistic and unrestrained expressions-"have a good time," "life is fun," and the like. But there are also these people, who, though conventionally happy, suffer from an obscure malaise to which no name can be given, who are tragic through fear of being so, through that total absence of the tragic in them and around them.

There is this collectivity which prides itself on being the least "historical" in the world, on never complicating its problems with inherited customs and acquired rights, on facing as a virgin a virgin future in which every thing is possible-and there are these blind gropings of bewildered people who seek to lean on a tradition, on a folklore. I shall never be able to paint as long as I stay in the United States; and there is the obscure, slow effort of an entire nation to seize universal history and assimilate it as its patrimony. There is respect for science and industry, positivism, an insane love of gadgets.

There are the thousand taboos which proscribe love outside of marriage--and there is the litter of used contraceptives in the back yards of coeducational colleges; there are all those men and women who drink before making love in order to transgress in drunkenness and not remember. There are the neat, coquettish houses, the pure-white apartments with radio, armchair, pipe, and stand--little paradises; and there are the tenants of those apartments who, after dinner, leave their chairs, radios, wives, pipes, and children, and go to the bar across the street to get drunk alone.

While Sartre made this intellectual arguement against the US in 47', it has been more than 58 years and US made tremendous leaps in most spheres, Sartre mentions here. However, the intensity with which the philosopher articulated American ways still resonate.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Of Passion!

Passion can be a tricky feeling. It has to happen to you to be truly felt. If you are not touched by the boughs of passion, you may simply miss on the elation. It is welded somewhere betwixt the beautiful ripples of love and the often sinful indulgence. Where sin ceases to happen, as two souls transcend. Levitate!

I've to be balanced here... It is -- or was -- touches. Hugs. Drawn ever closer by desire. When waves of concupiscence wash us over. When cool winds suddenly blow hard. It is a million crumples on the little piece of cloth and squeaking of the bedstead. The incandescent flickering of eyelids and random wandering of hands.

Bare and Good. Heaven!

Certain delight
Actions between lovers
Entwined involved movements

I've to stop. Some one might kill me.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Come join me!

Hold onto me close/to bliss-land we go/where nature nestles us/as we lie upon pine scents


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Mystic trek

A perfect person does not disclose the secret of Friend
Bakhtiar Khaki

During the weekend I went on a spiritual-trek. I am not a religious guy but spiritualism fascinates me a great deal. Still I rarely go to shrines, neither do I visit any reverned places of worship. I believe in the goodness of spirit.

My friend's mom wanted to visit the tomb of a famous Sufi saint. Perched in the labyrinthine bylanes of Merauli in Delhi, the place oozes a marked difference from the imposing Qutub Minar nearby. Just beyond the fashionable Qutub Colonnade, where designers meet occassionally to talk artificially over endless sparkling glasses of champagne and beyond the faintest idea of many tourists to Qutub, lies the modest tomb of Khawaja Qutub Uddin Bakhtiar Khaki. I didn't know the place existed before Sunday.

We had a tough time looking for the place -- me, wasy and his mom. Our car led us to dead-ends. Luckily, we chanced across a guy -- Azhar -- who happened to live in the precincts of the shrine. The good samartian led us to the place and told me an interesting tale on our way. (My journalistic instincts to enquire). Back in the year 1200 AD, a lady accused the mystic of making her pregnant. She made the accusation -- egged on by the sufi's foes -- in Emperor Illtutmush's court. The godman was hauled to the King's courtyard. Stunned, he simply said, 'Let the unborn speak'. The embryo then muttered, this man is not my father.

I do not believe in myths. I think the tale is largely made up but Azhar said it with extreme faith. Miracles do happen -- I trust -- but my rationale doesn't absorb these allegories. Luckily, after a short while we made it to the outer-enterance of the shrine.

It is a mystic heaven. Lost in a million attirs (perfumes), the place sways to Qawalis ( devotional music) sung by impromptu singers -- who were the least melodious. One has to wade through a motley of shops -- cubby-hole types -- and across a succession of mendicants to the actual tomb, which is situated atop a small hill.

History amazes me. A 12th century mystic. Super-natural powers. Saintly. An author and a poet. Lover of Music. Humane. Spiritual. Chant-er of God's name. Traveller. Guide. Mentor. Protege'. One word: Exhilarating!

The joint turned out to be mysterial with no grandeur. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims pray at the shrine. Girls in jeans. Aunties in saris and Maulanas in beards. It is a mixed brew. There are graves littered all over the place. Amazingly, the hilltop is clean. Men read Quran on staircases. Qawali's belted from the nearby cubby-holes, mainly re-takes of popular hindi songs. People come -- pray, weep, reflect and leave. Some bow. I remained quiet, noticing the small crowd. Taking mental notes.

900 years later, one feels good inside to travel the same paths. Touching the same stones. Climbing the same hill. And perhaps experiencing the same highs!

sameer bhat
Descending from Prophet Muhammad's grandson -- Imam Hussain -- Khaki was born in 1173 in Transoxania (modern-day Uzbekistan and southwest Kazakhstan).

Monday, April 17, 2006

Free Love

By all means they try to hold me secure who love me in this world.
But it is otherwise with thy love which is greater than theirs,
and thou keepest me free.

Lest I forget them they never venture to leave me alone.
But day passes by after day and thou art not seen.

If I call not thee in my prayers, if I keep not thee in my heart,
thy love for me still waits for my love.

Don't we feel the same, at times. Words are the constant yet unnoticed currents that carry our thoughts. Aeons back, Tagore said the timeless words on Free Love. Decades later, I can easily identify with the greatest philosopher India has ever known!

In our small life-spans we truly long for a special glimpse. Although the whole world may conspire to like you and even if you may bask in the glory, you still yearn for that free love.

You rekindle the flame in your mind when it is nowhere else in sight!

Socratic again. That's me.

I will be concise. I've lots to catch up with!


Saturday, April 15, 2006

God, What injustice!

It borders on the irreverance of human dignity. US of A now knows how to play it out. Another UN Security Council statement aimed at putting some kind of pressure on Israel to stop military strikes on Palestinians is blocked by USA, this week. It was not even meant to be a resolution. A mere STATEMENT. Like a respected organisation asking one of its members to behave. Stop the unnecessary killings of school children. The newest Isreali PM Olmert -- who last week declared his master permanently incapacitated -- wants to flex his own muscles. And that often means spilling innocent Palestinian blood.

US vetos all UN resoltions that come up against Isreal from time to time. Washington however, does not have formal veto power when it comes to security council statements. It was nonetheless able to block the draft single-handedly because council rules require that statements be unanimous supported by all 15 of its members. Reuters says that during Thursday's closed-door negotiations, the US killed the text by seeking amendment after amendment -- their age-old trick: Involve, Tire, Accuse and Rubbish -- until Qatar, the council's sole Arab member, gave up the fight. John Bolton -- US man at the UN -- is a mustachioed neocon with known connections to the Zionist state. No surprises! ( Bolton: source: )

Why is the US -- which never flunks to call itself champion of freedom -- so blatantly sided with Isreal? Why would they stop the UN from merely asking Isreal to go slow in Palestine? It is an open secret...Isreal has been overtly flouting justice and international law in the occupied territories for decades now. And an overwhelming majority of UN members actually support the Palestinian cause. When did Bush last care about UN???

I guess the answers lie in the classy arguement put forth by John J. Mearsheimer -- Wendell Harrison Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago -- and Stephen M Walt -- professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government -- recently. The distinguished duo underline -- and rightly so -- that a network of journalists, think-tanks, lobbyists and largely Jewish officials are responsible for the Iraq war and Israel's status as the top recipient of US aid. Widely debated internationally, the article is an eye-opener and exposes US double-standards, blended with the Isreal lobby's influence in the US. London Review of Books carries a summary of the article:

In the end, it boils down to the same string of mysery. Isreali tanks will continue to roll and bring down homes. The IDF will kill with impunity and Olmert will hope to better Sharon's shameful record of Palestinian persecution. John Bingham was the principal framer of the Equal Protection Clause in the US constitution. That cherished professed commitment which states that all men are created equal. Outside of the US, doesn't simply apply!

Calling this huge disrespect for mankind a colossal shame would be a tad trite. History will scorn at the US for these unjust capers.

Sameer Bhat

Friday, April 14, 2006

A thought

Spend the years of learning squandering
Courage for the years of wandering
Through a world politely turning
From the loutishness of learning.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

My legion

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born - Anais Nin

My best mates, and why I admire them

Wasy: Taurian: As sweet as they come

Because he stands by you in rain and thunder; Because he is an anchor we all must have!

Suhail: Virgo: Loyal to the core

Because he still remembers you despite his US accent; Because his is the first thought when you think home

Salus: Acquarius: Truthfully yours

Because he is honest to the core; Because his is a very rare tribe.

Tanu: Scorpio: Kindergarten buddy

Because he reminds you of your priviledged childhood; Because he will stay awake in a different country to say happy birthday at midnight.

Salah: Pisces: Concerned and Caring

Because he dreams the same dreams. Because he is a constant support


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Let loose the rains

Let loose the rains
From Eden, Nirvana, Shangri-la
Wash away, wash away
Cleanse and purify

Let loose the rains.
Cleanse the marrow
Of hate and fear.
Wash away
The hunger in the wide-eyed child.
The tears of the mother with no job

Let loose the rains.
Cleanse the souls
Weary and bruised.
Wash away
The funeral wails from heaving chests.
The dust from hands digging in rubble,
Where is the child buried there?
No, no, when she is found.

Let loose the rains.
Wash away, wash away
Cleanse it all.
The grime in the streets.
My dirty hair.
The thickening air.
The eyes filled with despair.
The screams.
The pain.
The apathy.
The water.
The bricks.
The sirens.

My hands, my hands.
The blood soaked lands.
The torture commands.
The godforsaken sands.
The prisons, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
The news.
The skies.
The lies.
The gutters.
The trees.
My heart.
My mind.
My memories.
The contingencies.

Let loose the rains
From Eden, Nirvana, Shangri-la
Wash away, wash away
Cleanse and purify.

A soulful windy rendition, I coudn't help adapt!


Reaching out!!!

Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If he isn't there the first time you need him, chances are you won't be needing him again.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Leak scandal: Bush’s steady drip of lies

A stunning write-up by Trevor Royle in Sunday Herald on how history will judge President Bush

Politicians tend to laugh off old sayings about morality, but they can’t ignore the one about everything eventually coming out in the wash. When the history of President Bush’s Iraq policy is written, the biggest and worst revelations will concern the horrid little lies and half-truths that propelled the US into an unnecessary war and persuaded Tony Blair to follow suit. Ever since the so-called fighting phase of the military operations came to an end three years ago, there has been a steady drip-drip-drip of evidence to show that most of the assumptions that took us to war were either wrong or simply did not exist. There were no weapons of mass destruction, no links with al-Qaeda and no immediate threat. That’s not to say that Saddam Hussein should not have been deposed, far from it. But there is a world of difference between going to war on the grounds of regime change and on dodgy evidence about non-existent weapons. The first could be proved to be justified, the second most certainly not.

So far Bush has managed to ride out the accusations that he took his country into an illegal war. But there is an intriguing whiff of cordite surrounding the latest scandal to hit the White House – the allegation that Bush secretly authorised the leaking of classified documents to punish a CIA officer whose husband was a vociferous opponent of the war in Iraq. What makes the charge credible is the involvement of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a trusted member of Team Bush who acted as chief of staff to vice-president Dick Cheney.

Like many of those closest to Bush in Washington, Libby thought he was one of the “untouchables”, a team player who always acted in the President’s best interests. However, he flew too close to the sun and last year was indicted on charges which included perjury and obstruction of justice. When that happened, his earlier training came into play and from the outset he showed that he was no patsy but was going to fight his corner. He let it be known that not only was he uneasy about leaking intelligence material, but also that he was acting specifically on Bush’s orders. If that is true, then it follows that Bush personally ordered the release of top secret papers that outed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, an offence that makes him culpable under US law.

From there it’s easy to make the connection that the leaking was ordered to punish her husband Joe Wilson, a former US ambassador who was sent to Niger before the war to check out reports the country was selling uranium to Iraq. As Wilson found no evidence, he reported back accordingly and then went public on the whole business. It wasn’t a smart move. He became a marked man and the White House took revenge by exposing his wife as a spy.

Bush’s supposed role in this nasty scandal is altogether credible. He probably did go along with the plan to do down Wilson and his wife, but it’s another matter as to whether this will be enough to impeach him. The Democrats and the US press are up in arms, but the evidence might not be strong enough for the legal proceedings which underpin the impeachment process. Bush will survive, but his reputation has been shot to bits. He wanted to be known as the president who brought order to the Middle East, and one who acted with honesty and transparency. History will show he did nothing of the sort.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It is still America

My fav composition on US of A. Albeit I oppose the US foreign policy, I can never stop loving what America stands for -- Liberty, Freedom and Equality.

Big cities, small towns
Pent homes, farmhouse
Ghetto, Park Avenue
Public, private
It matters not
It is still America

City streets, hiking trails
Montana, California
Models, hillbillies
Near, far
It matters not
It is still America

Wartime, peace
Torrent, drought
Terror, security
Together, alone
It matters not
It is still America

Southern nights, northern lights
County campsites, city hotels
Warm weather, cold climates
East, west
It matters not
It is still America

National parks, monuments
Countryside or metropolis
Right wing, left wing
Pacific, Atlantic
It matters not
It is still America
And always
Will Be


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy! Am I ?

Pardon me, my friends, I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall.

Friedrich Nietzsche, influential German philosopher remembered for his concept of the Over-man and for his rejection of Christian values; considered, along with Kierkegaard, to be a founder of existentialism (1844-1900)

Can we ever be fully content? The question often hovers about my senses but scoots right before I attempt to answer it. I am not particularly happy or a very unhappy bloke but something in me vellicates and stirs me to hold fast onto mirth. I don't easily give into melancholy. I think deep inside me I sure must possess a pair of cheerful kidneys and perhaps a happy thumping heart. Many of my pals will vouch that I have a funny bone. I must concede that I have a couple of them in me.

We ought to be optimists in our small life-spans. It helps to think clear and neat. Positive. There are lots of pits and pockmarks and punctures on the high road to bliss but the car -- as they say -- must trundle on. Life's so beautiful. Why not brush it colorful into one gaint canvass. Touch on the gentler shades. Trim the non-linear parts. As ballsy boys -- and gritty girls -- we stand up to face dull moments and sit down only to cheer. That's sweet life!

When we tend to become mirthless and dispirited, don't we rob ourselves of much beautiful moments in life? Soon...we forget to frolic and laugh. We capitulate to gloom. I reckon, falling into endless layers of sorrow helps only the woebegones and makes humans so very sour. That is some silly baggage all of us must readily shed. And shun.

As humans we nodoubt face tough times. Life is but a race. There are times when I find millions of things stacked up against me. As if God's playing dice with a ham-handed soul. What do I do, I doodle. The answer definitely is not lying low. It is only rising up -- and above -- after every steep and not-so-steep fall. This is the basic human essence all great philopsphers -- from the dialectical Soctares to the nobel prize refusing Satre -- attempt to say.

I can be emotional but not gloomy. I am sentimental but markedly happy! Opposites work, very often.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Horsing around

Lets horse around and run wild in the snows!