Friday, December 31, 2010

From a wannabe writer

It is amazing how a few hours can change your thought process. I'd planned to type this post last night (it was churning in my head for a long while now) with the title I would have been mason or carpenter discussing the blurb of a slim book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke that goes like:

Go within and scale the depth of your being from which your life springs forth. At its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must write. Accept it, however it sounds to you, without analysing. Perhaps it will become apparent to you that you are indeed called to be a writer. Then accept that fate; bear its burden, and its grandeur, without asking for the reward, which might possibly come from without.

I had planned to write how I would been a mason or a carpenter (who works as diligently as a painter or a writer towards his craft without giving much thought to the world around him) instead of struggling to be a writer, a choice I always think is compelled by my physical limitations. But, a short visit to the hospital yesterday (29th Dec'10) and completing the book in single sitting this evening (30th Dec'10) changed the form of this post.

This book is not merely an advice or encouragement to a young poet from a senior fellow as the title suggests. But, it dwells on the mysteries of life like any good book should; from creativity to love to sex to God, it covers many topics but, its main focus is on solitude, aloneness or loneliness of a creative soul; apathy of the world towards a creative soul to be precise (that is what I could gather). In the modern world I doubt that such experience would be limited to creative people alone, even a corporate honcho, a lawyer or a medical professional would be experiencing such apathy.

Even though I found this whole book to be a big quotable quote. Still there are a couple of nuggets worth sharing:

Things are not as easily understood nor as expressible as people usually would like us to believe. Most happenings are beyond expression; they exist where a word has never intruded. Even more inexpressible are works of art; mysterious entities they are, whose lives, compared to our fleeting ones, endure.

For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult task of all, the epitome, the ultimate test. It is that striving for which all other striving is merely preparation.

Wishing you all a happy and fruitful 2011.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time too had waited

Time too had waited with me

Watching life move on, from a corner.

For you to come along

Hold my palm

And help me continue my journey

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wonder why…

Wonder why some mysteries remain unresolved

Some truths never unraveled

Questions go unanswered

If they add charm to life

I could do with little less of that charm.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


A few days back I made a long face in front of an online friend using emoticon saying that I wasn't getting a sentence as good as I wished. She reassuringly said: “you'll get it, just keep trying.” Next she typed something like “you don't practice, if you practice daily it'd be lot easier for you.” She meant writing (or should I say typing), I know every writing manual or 'How to write' book says: “put away a few words daily – Practice.”

But, I never paid heed to it. Being lazy to type, my excuse being, writing is just an extension of thinking. So, as long as I can think I can write. And, thoughts are rumbling in my head throughout the day or to be precise until this laptop comes in front of me, then more important things sprout up seeking my attention, checking emails is the foremost. Then looking for friends online and telling Hi to few of them. The list goes on like this, and the actual writing rarely happens, sacrificing the thoughts that glowed during the day in the subconscious as being mundane or pedestrian not deserving the effort to be typed out and shared by the night.

Here is a glimpse of the Master Writer Marquez's take on practice in the beginning of his book Strange Pilgrims.

When I began Chronicles of Death Foretold, in 1979, I confirmed the fact that in pauses between books I tended to lose the habit of writing and it was becoming more and more difficult for me to begin again. That is why between October 1980 and March 1984, I set myself the task of writing a weekly opinion column for newspapers in several countries, a s a kind of discipline for keeping my arm in shape. Then it occurred to me that my struggle with the material in the notebook was still a problem of literary genres and they should really be newspaper pieces, not stories. Except after publishing five columns based on the notebook, I changed my mind again: They would be better as films. That was how five movies and a television serial were made.

My friend BG sharing similar thoughts on his blog here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Rudderless drifter

Flowing with the current

Wishing to be caught in the whirl

And disappear in the depths

But thrown out all the while

To continue flowing.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Letters trickle to form words. Words queue up and make sentences. Sentences creep along to become paragraphs. Creating something new or reliving old memories. Do they make sense? Very hard to guess. They project my mood or change it while at work... making me nauseous or exhilarated by the end.

The naked soul being vulnerable for the world to see.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


These are the few pictures taken collectively by my folks of the garden. They have been my limbs for life. Now they try to be my vision by clicking away with this camera every morning.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I wish to believe…

I wish to believe that:

Prayers are answered

Faith is unshaken

Love remains undiminished

Something will fill the hollow heart

There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

And that belief isn’t misplaced.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Words Or Raw Emotions?

Flowing love

Melting anger

Drowning guilt


Numb feelings

Raw emotions or just random words?

Well, I'll let you pick.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Deafening silence

Echoing in the head

Making words disappear as air bubbles

And the heart waiting to explode

Due to an unbearable vacuum.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arzee the Dwarf

A slightly edited version of this book review has appeared in Apr-Jun 2010 issue of Success & Ability

The vulnerability you feel being physically abnormal in the so-called normal world or to put it simply the insecurity and fear of emotional and physical hurt one feels for owning a deformed and weak body, yet hiding it with built-up audacity and witticism is beautifully brought out in Chandrahas Choudhury’s debut novel Arzee the Drawf. That is not all; the book also successfully brings out the fact that these people live life internally (in which everything is magnified or looked through the prism of their deformity) even if they pretend to be extroverted and out-going. They are like iceberg, with only a small part of them being seen by the world.

Arzee is employed as deputy projectionist in a dilapidated cinema hall named Noor. He seems to be regaining his confidence after a failed love affair and is hoping to get a promotion as the head projectionist seventy years old Phiroz has conveyed his desire to leave the job. Though unsure of the good times he just boasts about to his friends with whom he plays Card games.

The book is divided into thirteen chapters in which the author tries to provide us the experience of a roller-coaster ride ending one chapter on a happy note and the next one on despair. It tries to mingle the personal life of the protagonist with the atmospherics of the metropolitan Bombay (sic). So, there is everything from the stench of urine on the roadside and a rat passing through the legs in the theatre to Cricket betting and goons chasing you for the amount you have lost in the betting.

But, in all these the writer does not lose the meditative narration of Arzee’s inner life. The turmoil he is going through almost in a ‘stream of consciousness’ manner where a serious thought may end rousing a chuckle in us or a seemingly lighter thought culminate with unexpected profundity. Sample Arzee’s thoughts on reading the poster of breathing exercise recommended by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living; The breath! Arzee had never really thought about breath – it seemed to take care of itself, so there was always something else to think about. He breathed deeply once or twice, but didn’t feel any difference, and he was too tired to hold out for longer. Idly he found himself wondering what brand of shampoo Sri Sri Ravi Shankar used.

These things give a solid base to the character whether in his thought process or even in his dealing with others. The language used here is proper English, without peppering of local slang. But, that does not take away anything as far as representing low life of Mumbai is concerned; even the cosmopolitan nature of the city is well.

There are characters doing cameo (for a couple of pages); like Arzee’s cab driver friend Dashrath Tiwari, who doubles up as dialogue writer of Bhojpuri films. Once they have zestful conversation in a roadside teashop past midnight about Arzee’s depressing phase and vanish never to return.

Arzee even fights against being stereotyped, so he slaps his girlfriend’s father who tells him to go back to circus in a violent fury. Later he convinces us that the slap was unintentional. Likewise, the humiliation he feels when he has to dress up like the bottle of a newly launched soft-drink and stand outside malls on a daily basis for a good amount.

Arzee the Dwarf is extremely readable book for the empathy it has towards its eponymous lead. Its slim size (of just 184 pages) is deceptive as it is heavier than it actually feels like.

Chandrahas Choudhury’s blog The Middle Stage

Monday, March 08, 2010

Hey Ram!

Hey Ram!

Was it a grunt as the Mahatma struggled to catch His breath?

Or was He seeking a ticket to heaven in His final moment?

Can’t be sure of that.

But, when my sexagenarian mother utters these words,

While making an effort to carry me as a baby,

They do echo as death knell in my ears.


PS. Happy Women's Day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Let the heart melt with the pain

The soul drench in blood

If it is the only way to repent

And regain lost love

It isn’t an expensive bargain

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


An effort to write fiction... Very rough edged... Posting the beginning just to keep this blog active in the new year...

Today is our thirteenth wedding anniversary. The thought left me numb the whole day, making me physically and mentally inert. I kept wondering whether she remembered or had forgotten, leading a blissful life with her new husband. Though it didn’t hurt as it did a couple of years ago; I had never imagined that we’d end up like this.

The unscheduled call from Priya was reassuring, as usual she just asked: ‘how are you Appa?’ her speech was so clear that I couldn’t imagine her face while listening to her. Maybe, I felt like that because her mother had remembered that it was an important day in our lives, which made me very happy. Even otherwise, I always look for improvements in Priya, however small they are.