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To Those Who Hate- An Open Letter

When I see your comments on online threads, when I read and hear about the atrocities you commit in the name of your faith, in the name of the God you say you love, when I see the images of the aftermath, my mouth fills with bile and my heart with disgust. I feel anger. I feel outrage. But increasingly nowadays, I also feel weariness. Where does this end? And above all, I feel an utter incomprehensibility. How do you kill a little boy? How do you rape little girls? How do you destroy millions of lives without thinking that they are people, just like you? If you cannot love the human beings that you claim your God created, how can you possibly love God? People are real, they are born, they suffer, smile, love, feel anger, pain and joy- just like you. God, if S/He exists, is intangible. If your heart can’t comprehend the tangible, how can it hold love for the One who is Limitless and beyond definitions? And I wonder how utterly empty inside you need to be to have so much hatred inside y…

Footsteps

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The other evening as I was returning home from work, the twilight sky was awash with a strange neon blue. The street lamps held their own- bright and fluorescent. The sound of evening news and movie songs mingled with the tinkling bells of bicycles, the revving engines of auto-rickshaws, the honking of horns, the friction of rubber wheels against the uneven pitch of the road and disjointed conversations. The wind was cool against my tired face as it rushed past the auto back into time. And all of it crystallized in this one undefinable moment, and I was suddenly aware that Pujo was coming. It was an ordinary road, broken, shabby, lined by ordinary shops, filled with tired, ordinary people going home. There was no symmetry in the crooked street lamps, no beauty in the dust, but somewhere far from that busy road was a field full of kashphool where children ran in the golden light of sunset; and at that moment, the soul of the road and the soul of the field was one, touched by the same…

Tomorrow night

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Tomorrow night if the dreams come along I shall catch them all and spin up a song. And there’ll be no more pain and no more brine. No scars, nor taste of sour wine. Sweet Lady Death, give me tomorrow night, I swear to you I’ll make things all right.

The sands are slipping, give me a little while The stars are dipping and I don’t wanna die. Give me a month, a week, a day, I’m yet to build my castle of clay. Let the clock stop ticking, let the flame be bright, A few more tries and I'll make things right.

Tomorrow night I’ll catch the train, Retrace my steps or begin again. I’ll pay my debts give me another chance- I had never flown or learnt to dance. A year, a month or just one more night Give me tomorrow night to make things all right.

Tomorrow night I’ll call them back- The unsaid words that have gone off-track And broken hearts

The Flow

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The other day I came across a photograph on my Facebook newsfeed. It was a photograph of a river. It should have been a perfectly ordinary experience, after all, people post scenic photographs all the time on social media. But it wasn't one of those photos. This one was special. It was a photo of the Ganga as seen from Baghbazar Kolkata, the same city I name whenever I need to mention my postal code. Here's why it was so stirring- I had forgotten that there was a river in my city. And that unexpected recollection filled me with wonder.

A few nights later I had a dream in which I was going back to college as a student again, riding the metro- except that in my dream it was a cross between a metro and a tram and it used the streets as its path. But dreams are always a little meddled, aren't they? But during my journey, my streetcar crossed Baghbazar and I saw the river again, a little muddy, but calm, serene and yet flowing in a definite direction. I had forgotten about the m…

Once upon a nowhere...

A man lived alone beneath a mountain on a little island. All around him was the ocean. The man didn’t know there was anywhere beyond it. For him, the world was a little island with a mountain, ringed by the water. Perhaps the seas ended somewhere and fell into the sky. That was his world, and he was happy. There were times however when he felt a strange unwillingness to move, or hunt or do any of things that made up his daily routine. At night, he would watch the stars for hours, telling himself stories that he had made up about them. But they were the same stories and on some nights he would get tired of them. On those nights, he would pick up rocks and smash them against trees till his muscles ached and his fingers blistered. He got quite good at throwing rocks. But on the whole, perhaps he was happy in his little world. Then one day a boat came to his island. The man had never seen a boat before, or another man, so he was astonished. “Do you live in the lands under the sea or did…

A Sky Full of Sun and Stars

Before the beginning was the night. And the night was without boundaries and the night was without end. In the beginning was time. The relentless beat in which things could happen, in which everything could become, dust could coalesce, matter could exist. In that coming together, the universe was possible, all versions of it. In it, people could dream and die. In it, stars burned and flared and went out. -      Neil Gaiman, Overture-04, A Madness of Stars
Where did we come from? I remember once watching a documentary about circles. It began somewhere in Venice, with children skipping with circles they use in the circus. Taking that circle as a starting point, film proceeded to increase the diameter of the circle tenfolds. And so with each increase, the circle held Venice, and Europe, and Earth. Within a few leaps, it had reached the boundaries of the known universe. Then there was a reverse trip as the circles got smaller and smaller till we went inside molescules and atoms and encountered…

A Walk Till the End

Imagine endless night, and a sleeping world, in which you are the only one awake. You decide to take a walk. It is an imaginary situation, so there are no killers or rapists or drunken drivers waiting out there for you, no kangaroo court to make an example thoroguh you of their twisted, perverted ideologies. Everyone is asleep, save you. you walk past quiet shadowy houses and tall, silent  trees that line the path like sentires. Each house is a microcosm of illusions, a multitude of stories we tell each other in order to breathe. Each tree is a whisper from the Yggdrasil.
Slumbering dogs raise their heads as you pass, sniff the air with eyes unseeing, and then return to their canine dreams. And then you note the slippery edges of the strange light of night that settles like a blanket upon the soul of the world and the only things that matter are you and the contours of the road that stretches endlessly, emptily before you. And so you keep walking through the years and eons of night, …