Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Across the fields of yesterday

I remember a poem, that has always touched my heart. It's by Thomas Jones Jr.


Across the fields of yesterday
He sometimes comes to me,
A little lad just back from play -
The lad I used to be.

And yet he smiles to wistfully
Once he has crept within,
I wonder if he hopes to see
The man I might have been.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nice things to say

I hope to add a happy ending to this piece sometime.

In a world,
Where it is difficult to find
nice things to say

Where it is easy to blame
other ppl for my faults,
their vices for my shame,
their rise for my falls;

Where it is easy to find
shelter from conscience;
And it is easier to be blind
to grudge, anger, vengeance;

Where it is impossible to say
a single nice thing to my friend,
cuz I'm busy planning the next day:
how to get offended, and offend.

I am no fool and I very well know,
Less of hatred could make things right.
But as I know - "It is all I have", so,
I save my bitterness with all my might.

[Update: Although I never got around to a happy ending for this piece, I did write a related poem: Choice things to say]

Sunday, August 13, 2006

There are no strangers

Rarely, have I used the word disgusting, if ever, to describe something.

Things are beautiful, sometimes ugly; people are interesting, sometimes boring; movies are good, sometimes vulgar, at times gory; performances are superb, sometimes mediocre, at times even pathetic; but disgust - now that's not a feeling one normally gets; even my friends, who seem to be quite fond of the word, I don't suppose really feel disgusted so often.

How about conversations? Can a conversation be disgusting? Without making up a story, without making you listen to a long prelude of sad / angry music, without a page long passionate preface, can a simple down-to-earth conversation make you feel disgusted? Can it make you want to cry out loud? Want to tear the walls of your room apart? Can it make you reconsider if you should've been in army? Can it make you cry? For strangers? Can it make you pray? Even if you are an atheist, like me? Can it make you tremble with anger? Can it make you forget values like 'forgiveness' and 'compassion'? Can it make you want to kill? For things strangers did to strangers?

Yes, it can. Have a look.

And who is a stranger? To the guys who put bombs in Mumbai trains, to the guys who planned & executed the 9/11 attacks, the businessmen working inside WTC were nomore stranger than the accountants going back home on 7/11. There are no strangers. There are no Indians; there are no Americans. There are no strangers.

There are people, and there're terrorists. It's "us" and "them". And it doesn't matter if some of us don't want to to be counted in the "us". We already are "us", courtesy "them".

Friday, August 11, 2006

Amol Palekar - English version

Previous poem, translated in English.

in my middle-class colony, there lies a middle class lawn

twenty five feet broad
about forty in length
with dull green grass, it's not really garish

often i wonder, "isn't the world round,

then how does every evening, it manages to get found
in a shape so squarish?"

Amol Palekar

This poem reminds me of Amol Palekar movies. Hence the title.

मेरी छोटी सी कालोनी में एक छोटा सा लॉन है

पच्चीस फ़ीट चौड़ा
कुछ चालीस फ़ीट लम्बा
ज़्यादा बड़ा नहीं विस्तार में

अक्सर मैं सोचा करता हूँ, "दुनिया तो गोल है,
हर शाम फिर कैसे आ सिमटती है,
इस चौकोर से आकार में?"

[Update: I translated this poem into English and it is available as the next post. ]