Monday, 30 April 2012

Lessons of Life

I wrote this poem, hoping to offer some solace, to a friend who was grieving over the loss of her dear one . I hope my words brought her some comfort. I decided to share it as we are bound to find ourselves in similar circumstances in life. 

I'm drawn to guess,
Something I see amiss
Where she smiles
But something else she cries

A dozen expressions
Mesmeric dimensions
She wears that lovely smirk
Though something makes her shirk

I'll seize this chance
To humbly sing to her life's balance
It offers never, anything with ease
Nor does it intend everlasting peace

It will toss you around
Like a futile toy found
But in that lies the secret -
Life's most riveting test

When it makes you remember
It seals that memory forever
When it makes you cry
You know that you are far from lie

When it causes a fear deep
It wants to strengthen your belief
When it leads you through miseries galore
It cements the glory of your character

Though I lack in intellect
To tell you an explanation perfect
Why it splits us from ones
Those who are dear to our hands

All we can hope is that they're delivered
To some heaven where peace is forever
And we continue to live our life
And call it a gift despite being torn by strife

For those who leave, watch our scars
From distant spaces bet'n the stars
They know our hurt and count our tears
They'd never want us to be stuck here

Instead, they'd say, with love
'Cherish me, smile don't sob
Whenever you think of our days
A joy you must feel like the warm sunrays’

                                                                                                                 - Anupam

Monday, 23 April 2012

Victor's Song

The bells ring and the trumpets blow
Into agonized hearts triumphs flow
Mates march into the laden vessels
Hollers of victory engulf the heavens

Chests chocked with riches foreign
Forgotten guilt of hundreds slain
The shores wash the red on their hands
Unbiased waters of hostile lands

They bid adieu to the plundered homes
To the ravaged fields and shattered domes
They leave behind wandering souls
Muted audience to their beloveds' calls

I couldn't give my friends company
Couldn't revel to a champion's destiny
They sail back to awaiting eyes
I lie here with earth ridden dyes

Many foes this hand too silenced
Many blows this body too dealt
I wasn't meant to bask in glory's zone
I wasn't meant though to hug my son

I wasn't meant to honour my promise
I made to my lover as we parted with kiss
I wasn't meant to comfort her sorrows manifold
With her, I wasn't meant, to grow old

I pass my love to the ones I belong,
I convey my loss in a victor's song
We came and conquered but they went alone
I am left to witness the misery we've shown

They'll run to the care of their homes
I'll stand here till infinity comes
They'll forget their pain under a warm hand
And also the victor who died in a vanquished land

                                                                                     - Anupam

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Affair

Frankie and Lita first met in the neighborhood park, became friends and found the heavens in each other eventually. They never preferred to see each other outside the playground even though initially they had found it difficult to interact under the disapproving watch of their guardians. Frankie being the introvert of the two, would have spent an eternity in approaching Lita, had it not been for the latter's efforts to break the ice between them. They had become friends from the first day, both doubting development of something far more divine inter se. Soon they confronted 
the love that brewed in their hearts for each other. They had been together since that day, faithful, caring and ever eager to bask in mutual affection.. Words of their intimacy traveled with the speed of some far away aroma swimming to famished nostrils. Most who knew their story adored it, a few were against it. Their affair was thus no different.

Once when it rained non stop for almost twenty four hours a short lived coma was etched in their flowing tale. Desperation to catch a glimpse of each other had gotten the better of the two. Frankie forgot his chores and moved about restlessly to an extent whereby he ensured that his restlessness did not go unnoticed. Despite raving opposition from a few over protective members of the family, permission was ultimately accorded to him to go out, though under the glare of Mamita, the babysitter of the five year old Sanket, and the cover of a big umbrella. The moment the towering iron gates were slid open, he literally flew to the park. Tender tunes of some solitary flutist cordoned the two when they saw each other, after a million moments of a cruel bygone day. Her eyes glistened when she saw him walk into the park. There was no one around, except for Mamita and Jolly, the latter being the sole female friend of Lita. The lashing rain had luckily receded into a soft drizzle. Everything around was moist green. The grass in the lawns had overgrown by a couple of inches. The disowned drops of the skies, were being delivered to Mother earth through  remarkable coordination between leaves and petals of small sized plants. Nature was at work to enhance the romanticism and make matters velvet for lovers. Frankie ran to Lita with the playfulness of an infant and the latter cuddled near him lovingly. They exchanged brief pleasantries. Lita noticed that Mamita and Jolly were engrossed in a never ending gossip. They had forgotten their purpose. Lita drew Frankie's attention to this fact. He teemed with excitement at this opportunity. The thirsty had spotted river. They quietly strolled towards the farther end of the garden hoping for a modicum of privacy.

Frankie  walked close to Lita, never letting her out of his sight. He was aware of her joviality and anticipated that she might act silly under its effect with the weather already working its magic on vulnerable hearts. They reached near a small hill of grass, where Lita lied down facing the rain. Frankie  quickly went up to her and became a sheet between her and the rain, ensuring that she did not get uncomfortable due to the incessant pouring on her face. He was sweet to wipe a few drops which seemed to have landed just on her eye lashes making her blink rapidly. Lita and Frankie  kept staring at each other infinitely. Frankie's mind was distracted by something imminent. He saw that Rana and his whole gang of loafers lustily staring at Lita. Rana was infamous for his vulgar antics in the whole neighborhood and his group consisted of filthy, spineless good- for - nothing 'followers' who never stood up against the dishonorable indulgences of their leader. Talks had reached Frankie's ears, of how Rana had molested and harassed several of his acquaintances. A sense of alarm swept over Frankie and he menacingly covered Lita from Rana's sight. The message was clear 'Bugger Off'. Rana and his pals looked teasingly at each other and decided to leave the lovers alone. Rana blinked his eye at Frankie, exclaiming "Lucky fellow" and treaded along, followed by his crew of imbeciles. Frankie did not turn back until he had seen the last bit of the mob disappear into the distant alley. Lita moved closer to him and comforted his raging body. He turned back and they hugged passionately. Lita felt  safe in Frankie's company and he needed nothing else when she was around. They completed each other.

Just when they found themselves transported to divine dimensions, Frankie was jerked out of the reverie. Mamita violently pulled him out of Lita's embrace. Both of them were dragged apart and the matter was reported to relevant people, who were utterly irrelevant to their love saga. It was decided that Frankie  and Lita shall no more mingle with each other. Days no more brought the same excitement and joy for Frankie as he was banned from going to the park. In fact he was prevented from going anywhere. Witnesses to their love story, often passed by his house, conveying to him the depressed state in which Lita sat in one corner of the park, denying herself any kind of socialization. Frankie was hit by a pang of helplessness and sorrow. But he was happy for the fact that at least Lita still visited their park, the immovable testimony of their love. He did not touch his meals, not even his favourite lemon chicken, despite it being alluringly advertised before him. Hallucinations of Lita claimed his sanity. Finally one day Frankie did not wake up, his tongue stayed jammed inside his mouth and his breathing became rapid. He was rushed to the medicine people. The doctor made a thorough diagnosis and seemed dumbfounded as he could not notice any particular ailment, except for the lack of willingness in Frankie  to go on, that too when his life had just begun.

The sixth sense characteristic to dedicated lovers, informed Lita of something ill occurring with Frankie. She too gave up eating and getting out of her bed. She lay still there, speechless and lost in thoughts and prayers. No one noticed. Burdened with guilt of bringing bereavement to the two lovers, Jolly and Mamita decided to help them. One night when, everyone was fast asleep, Jolly and Mamita, informed Frankie  and Lita about their plan. A faint smile adorned the lovers' faces as they saw a beacon of hope in those two people who were the very cause of their suffering. The following night, Jolly and Mamita aided Frankie and Lita in eloping. Elopers' support arrangements had been made in Mamita's village. They had to run till they reached their destination. Rana having previously visited his cousins in Mamita's village, volunteered to show them the way. Noticing her lover's reluctance to accept help from Rana, Lita comforted him and talked him over it. Rana's gang was ready too, but Rana commanded them otherwise. He did not want to risk their strategy by allowing unnecessary fanfare. He insisted on keeping the whole mission low profile.

So Frankie & Lita ran, with vigour long lost, with hopes renewed and with faith in tomorrow where they were  to share their lives with each other. They crossed traffic posts, amidst the glare of fellows who cheered for them and wished them good luck, beyond the banks of the river flanking their home town, not stopping for a moment, climbing high lands, treading rugged paths and braving the chill of the January night. Countless  jumps and leaps later they were greeted by Mamita's younger brother, who embraced Frankie with unabated affection. He had known him since his birth. He greeted Lita and while turning away, shot a playful glance at Frankie who blushed with embarrassment. After all Mamita's brother was a father figure to him, in whose protective lap he had spent his fragile childhood.  He had made a cozy bed for the two of them. He offered them food and water and let them slide onto their bed. Before he retired into Lita's arms, Frankie  conveyed his sincere gratitude to Rana and asked for his forgiveness for having misunderstood him. Rana shot back a Never Mind smile at him and fled away, promising to forewarn him of any impending danger. Nothing bad happened thereafter.

Since that day Frankie and Lita have lived together, in each other's care. They have seen good, bad, stormy and blissful save any moderation in their mutual love.  They often express their deep indebtedness to Mamita, Jolly and the entire family of the former who have so sincerely taken their care. Frankie and Lita have become proud parents to a litter of puppies. They hear humans fondly call their puppies Goldendoodles, aptly named so, after their parents. Lita loves it when they bark, just like their father.


("The Affair" is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person (alive or dead), place or incident is coincidental.)

Friday, 20 April 2012


Where are the sunny days gone,
Why have the frivolities become unknown,
Why I can't relish my days
Despite the countless ways

Why have the birds stopped singing
Where have they been flying
No flutter of wings I hear
No kissing beaks saying "Love You Dear"

Where is the smell of earth gone
Why can't I feel it being born
When the rain comes lashing
And answers our praying

Where have my mates travelled
The lure of the abstract they no more marvelled
In some distant village they found 
Among strangers the reason for an abode

Where have the waves of the sea gone
In their company why I feel alone
Why can't I feel my heart beating
Nowadays when I see beauty walking

Why today I have to try
To stretch my wings & fly
When I used to be air borne
Since the day I was born

Why no more I dance to music
Why do memories make me weak
Why do I remember futilities
Why am I n't pulled by galore gravities

Where is that thrill gone
That never left my heart alone
Where did it die
That I now live with a lie

What has become of me
Things no more, I can touch or see
If they say they're still there
Why then, do they escape my stare?

                                                                                  - Anupam

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Memories of a Boulevard

     " You redeemed me without a clue
        I lost you that day too"

                                                -Ashok ( to Shakuntala )

Ashok always took the same road to work and back home from the first day he joined office. It was full of filth, irritating obstructions, dirt trespassing into air and the stinking cow dung smell which hung for the whole distance till Ashok's office. But Ashok knew better. Despite pressing advises of his friends and peers to resort to an alternate shorter route to his office, Ashok considered it worthwhile to walk his way to the office on his favourite route, which he had accidentally discovered on the very first day of work. He maintained that treading on that route treated him to delightful scenic experiences which he considered too dear to trade up with saving time and energy. So what if one has to exhaust himself a bit extra. Its worth it !,  he reassured himself. He often eloquently narrated to his friends all the visual delicacies which he relished on that street. He depicted animatedly the typical countryside scenes of cultivators tending their lush fields, half naked children playfully bothering anybody who fell on their way and teenage herders marshalling their cattle.  It was a  unique picturesque considering the fact that just a couple of miles ahead stood the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle, where he came from and to where he went.

But deep down Ashok guarded his secret.

On the way, so vehemently discarded by his peers and so passionately adopted by Ashok, fell the hamlet where lived the sole source of Ashok’s bliss and joy, Shakuntala. He never missed a day without walking on that road and watching Shakuntala engaged in naive frivolities. He had seen her play, dance, quarrel, smile and even doze off in the shade of her village trees. His joy knew no bounds when he caught her glimpses. According to Ashok, the kind hearted Lord had assimilated, in Shakuntala, the whole gamut of exquisiteness that epitomized the idyllic beauty characteristic to nature's splendor. She fondly called her Shaku. He had once overheard her friends yelling at her by that name, when she had come dangerously close to being run over by a reckless motorcyclist. Ashok liked to believe that his beloved Shaku symbolized various spectacles of nature. Her mystic eyes were like the enigmatic village mist, her long flowing hair which seemed eager to kiss her ankles bounced to life just like the willing ripe crops on the vast fields allied to the mischievous breeze. Her smile infused the joy of immeasurable bliss into the comatose hearts of hapless on lookers. She moved about with an addictive playfulness characteristic to an unblemished childhood and spoke in the tranquil voice of the serene spring water. No wonder her lover braved the heat, dirt, stink & occasional rowdy drunkards in order to catch a glimpse of her, first thing in the morning. On reaching his office, he would enter the air conditioned chambers with big splotches of sweat all over his shirt but his heart made merry. Once Ashok had allured a boy from her neighbourhood with some pocket money and tried to pass on a chocolate to Shaku. The boy happily pocketed the sum, walked a little distance ate the chocolate and said something to some very serious looking men who shot murderous glances at Ashok. He paced away like he did not even exist. This had caused him to believe that his Shaku was a lone lotus stuck in a swamp of scoundrels. For a whole week he walked inconspicuously trying to avoid proximity to Shaku's hamlet.

A year passed in the meantime. An imminent fear began claiming the peace of Ashok's mind. It was the fear of never getting to have his beloved Shaku know about the intense feelings which he nurtured for her. Back home when talks of his marriage were raised, his attention would wander off to those playgrounds and countryside scenes with Shaku fluttering like a butterfly in them. So one Sunday evening Ashok dared himself to take a chance at interacting with her. He enthusiastically put on his most appreciated pair of trousers and slipped into the grey jacket which, according to his female peers, made him look extremely handsome. He tied the long laces of his navy blue sneakers and after having thoroughly frustrated his mirror for a full hour, ventured out on heart's adventure. He almost ran down on the flight of stairs, said a jovial 'Hi' to almost everyone he met, including his milk vendor, naturally shocking him down his bicycle. He randomly sang romantic Bollywood songs, whistling away to his heart's content. Even the dogs which saw him on the way, did not take it long to realize and bark in agreement that he was possessed, in love. The man was on a mission and his objective was to get as close as possible to the target and establish communication of some sort, preferably intimate, with her, 

Ultimately he approached nearer to his favourite part of the town. He had never been beyond a particular point on that path. The last time he came to this point he had come dangerously close to being manhandled. Suddenly those scenes from the past threatened to come to life once again as he was welcomed by a couple of drunkards who swore at each other recklessly as if they were privy to a prize that was to be accorded to the most avid swearer of rustic slangs. Names of mothers and sisters were being flown around with utmost reverence, as he sheepishly avoided their gaze and walked past them. There was absolute peace for at least ten to fifteen furlongs thereafter. That, however, was not meant to last longer as he ran into a gang of middle aged men seated near a Kadam tree. Circles of dense smoke were being emitted as they smoked an indigenous version of something akin to a pipe. All of them looked at him in quick succession with bloodshot eyes, the bloodshotness being the sole courtesy of the blinding smoke. One of them mumbled something and the rest started laughing like madmen. Ashok nervously shot two or three melodious whistles from his dry mouth, pretending to have turned deaf. That seemed to quieten them. After a negligible pause, one of them swore loudly at him. Ashok kept walking, with an increased pace and chose better than to look back. After having treaded a good twenty to thirty steps ahead he turned back to check the position of the rowdy group of men but kept walking. He had been inattentive to the passage of time and he realized the same when he noticed everything around him had turned pitch black. Except for the far away flickering flames of earthen lamps creating dancing shadows of strange looking human figures, Ashok could not see a thing. He had begun hearing strange sounds. He guessed that animals must be emitting them. He found it very strange that just besides his town, which was brimming with din and commotion, there existed this place, where modernization seemed as alien as Martians. Completely devoid of any visibility in the dark, he ambled for dimensions. All of a sudden he heard the hysterical ringing of a bi cycle bell and before he could ascertain the direction of its source, he felt a sizeable piece of cold metal ram into his crotch leaving him writhing in rippling pain. He clutched his private part and kneeled down breathlessly. Before he could come to terms with the shearing pain, a pair of hands grabbed him by the collar and lifted him up. Then came the torrent of blows and kicks. He sank back into the ground. Fringing on the point of blacking out in the dark, he heard a husky voice angrily calling him 'blind', 'nincompoop' and 'moron'. He heard the cursing fade away into the dark behind him. A few seconds later Ashok got up, wiped his face clean with his handkerchief and began circling around frantically. For all he knew, he was lost. He heard a faint sound of singing accompanied by harmonious percussion from an unfathomable distance. He cherished the rising & ebbing music and felt reassured that he was in no savage land. He began walking again, with only one thought in his mind that seemed to do away with all the disgust. It was that of the apple of his eye, Shaku.

Ashok kept walking, chanting some vital hymns. He ultimately found a tiny hut. From the look of it, the hut appeared to have been deserted centuries ago. He could not sense the presence of anybody there. Just when he was beyond expectations of running into any soul, he heard the clinking sound of anklets which reminded him of the comforts of his home where he had heard identical sounds as his mother and sister walked about. He saw the silhouette of a female figure growing larger as it advanced in his direction. She inquired, in a guarded manner "Yes ?...Who is it ?..Raghu Chacha ?  .. or is it Basu bhaiya ?". She immediately informed "Mother has gone to fetch our tumbler which she left at the village well..and Father has gone to his friends. You come back tomorrow. Ok ? ". She began to shrink back in the same direction from where she had emerged. Ashok stopped her and blurted "Wait..please. Can you kindly help a lost man here ?. " The girl noticing that the man did not sound like any of the villagers she knew, became stiff with alarm. Ashok however continued "Listen Ma'm, I am Ashok and I have come from the nearby town. I cannot see you in the dark. So can I please come a bit closer."  He began walking ahead. "Look actually I have come here looking for someone. Her name  is......"  Before Ashok could conclude, the girl let out a deafening shriek that seemed to embarrass even the loudest of vehicle horns. Ashok was dumbstruck at her response. Not knowing how to go about it, he hurriedly ran upto her and capped her mouth with his right palm while pressing the back of her head with his left. He started saying something like "What's the matter ?" when she managed to slightly loosen Ashok's palm on her mouth and at first opportunity sank her canines and incisors into his index finger as hard as she could. Ashok howled in pain and instinctively grabbed her hair and violently pulled her, in self defense ofcourse. She again scremed for her life. "Hey I'm not here to hurt you. Stop It." Ashok yelled with all his might trying to vocally overpower her. In the ensuing push and pull, both of them had moved nearer to the hut's entrance, where a soft glow of lantern light dimly illuminated the girl's face. Ashok felt all his strength receding through his feet. He loosened his grip on her and gaped at her face as if he had seen an angel from his grandmother's fairy tales. He had seen Shakuntala.

The next feelings which Ashok experienced were a mix of violence and bliss. He heard blurry voices cursing him and mighty hands caressing him recklessly with blows, slaps and kicks. But the unshakable ecstasy within him obstructed the penetration of pain. Before he lost his senses, the last thing he remembered was how Shakuntala's eyes were locked with his, in a most transparent exchange of thoughts as he slipped into unconsciousness. The pain was only felt by him the next day when he regained consciousness on a shabby bed in the local dispensary. He learnt that a criminal case has been registered against him and that the Police would be soon taking him into custody for producing him before Court to face his trial. It was quite an incident for the town and even bigger for the rural community. So on the day of trial, the Court room was bustling with murmurs and whispers. The Judge rose to the Bench and the case of The State vs. Ashok was called. Ashok had been booked for charges of outraging the modesty of Shakuntala, which was a criminal offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code. The Public Prosecutor had thoroughly examined all his witnesses,  most of whom testified that they came to the spot after the occurence had taken place. Taking advantage of this, the defence counsel managed to establish through their evidence that none of the prosecution witnesses, hitherto examined had seen the accused actually assault the victim in any manner. So naturally, everything now depended on the version of the key witness, Shakuntala.

When her name was called, the defence counsel fidgeted in his seat and the Prosecutor beamed with confidence. She walked into the witness box and after being administered oath, stated her identity and address for the record. Ashok was standing in the dock meant for accused persons. Shakuntala looked at him briefly and turned away her gaze to the Public Prosecutor who was rummaging through his files.
"Do you know this man ?" he asked Shakuntala, pointing his finger at Ashok.

"Yes" came her reply.

"Please state before this Court, how you came to know him" said the Prosecutor walking up to her stand.

After seeming to contemplate for a brief moment, she began "On the day of the occurence, he had come to our house. He asked me to help him find his way. He seemed lost."  she wrapped up. She looked at the Prosecutor who was also watching her curiously. He sincerely gestured at her to continue to speak. Shakuntala gave back an equally sincere clueless look.

"That's it ? That's all you've got to say ?" the Prosecutor fumed impatiently. "And he did not do anything objectionable ? " No sooner than he finished his sentence, Ashok's defense counsel shot up from his seat crying "Objection  - The learned Prosecutor is leading the witness" seeking an intervention from the Judge. His objection was accepted by the Judge and the Prosecutor was refrained from asking such a question to the witness. The clever Prosecutor apologized and rephrased his question "Tell us everything that happened that night" he asked Shakuntala again. Shakuntala repeated her statement and only added further that "I do not exactly remember what else had happened that night. I was a bit sleepy and I wasn't in a state to remember accurately the entire course of the incident. But I assure this Hon'ble Court that the man did not do a thing to me which by the farthest stretch of imagination be called as criminal." she concluded emphatically and looked at the Prosecutor who had no other recourse but to helplessly look back at her. The Courtroom broke into hisses and murmurs as the Judge rapped his gavel on his table ordering everyone to be silent. Shakuntala was excused by the Judge from the witness box. As she walked down, she stole a fleeting glance at Ashok, who was already staring at her. Both smiled miserly at each other this time. She was escorted out by her family and relatives, with her father angrily mumbling something to her. The Judge gave his verdict wherein he declared Ashok innocent. Ashok hurriedly walked out of the Court, but could not find Shakuntala or any other villager. He was immediately congratulated by his lawyer, and also advised by him to sue the girl and her family for malicious & false prosecution of Ashok. He also assured him of sure shot victory and a hefty compensation. Ashok humbly denied. But he once again  conveyed his utmost gratitude to his lawyer, to which the latter responded with a strange grin, as if he wanted to say "We both know why you won, don't we ?". But Ashok had no clue.

Six months have passed since Ashok's day at Court. He has been promoted in the meantime. He bought a car soon after his promotion, which he occasionally drives to work. Everything seemed to have fallen into order. Except for the fact that Shakuntala is no more seen at the playground or anywhere in the vicinity she used to be frequently spotted at. Ashok still walks by the same street, hoping that someday he will see her again and say 'Thank You', at least.



("Memories of a Boulevard" is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person (alive or dead), place or incident is coincidental.)

Monday, 16 April 2012

My Grandfather's Bicycle

(This poem is a tribute to my grandfather's  bicycle which I always rode when I was a kid. But as I grew up, I could not find any use for it, hence it stood  "leaning on the wall"in our backyard for many long years before it was finally sold to a junk dealer. I regret not having cared for that one thing which was a source of great joy to me during my childhood. 

It depicts my lament with an undertone as to how man usually forgets long treasured things upon meeting new found indulgence.)

There it stands leaning on the wall,
On a simple touch it shouts a call,
Be not deceived for on days sunny and in the rain,
It carried me through throngs thick and plain

I stole it from under its master's eyes,
And rode it all right after a dozen tries,
It never let me use my feet,
Carried me to distant meadows and friends in need;

The neighbourhood brats always on a chase,
But it'd fly with me and top every race
Though many came and challenged to win,
We always rode ahead and clean

I was never nervous in a race,
For I knew it'd surely top every chase,
It got me rid of the school bully,
And I held on to it so dearly

It risked all and let me have my way,
It smiled through pains and bumps I gave it night & day,
Cried and complained it never
It rolled over wounds and seemed to go on forever;

My lures changed and I moved on,
To newer rides with flashy horn
Never looked back on that thing so slow
So what!, if once I begged for it bendin' low;

It had left its master & to me it clung close,
It went on, no matter what I chose,
Only to see that one day I'd leave it
To stand alone and get covered with dirt

My heart's in a race all the time
Seeking bliss and pleasures sublime
But the one who gave me those tastes first
Now wears a coat made of rust

It has no hopes I can hold,
Yet it dreads the day when it'd be sold
It has no illusions any more,
I've achieved to make it feel unwanted to its core

No one bothers anymore to recall,
How once it stood by us in our chores big and small
'T's okay if it's forgotten by its people,
After all it's just my grandfather's bicycle.

                                                                                     - Anupam

"She'll Be Loved " - A Short Video

"She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 is one of my all time favorite songs. I made this short video out of my craze for this song.

Hope you guys enjoy it.
                                                      Watch It Here

 ** A few more of My Videos




Thursday, 12 April 2012

Saints of Nidapur

"Sri Sri Gyanasagar Paschimakabat is finally going to make a trip to our Nidapur." , Krupasindhu Jena, the head of the ordinarily sleepy Nidapur villagescreeched over the loudspeaker, with an inflated chest drawing an instant round of thunderous applause and chorus chants of 'HARI BOL' from the gathering under the oldest mango tree of the village. It needed no effort to figure out in his speech, an undertone which simultaneously announced his influence and lobby in important places outside their village. Or else how could he have succeed in achieving what his immediate predecessor Harishankar Pradhan and before him Jogi Nayak had failed to accomplish. An obligatory thanksgiving was therefore to be accorded to Jena babu. So the gathering congratulated him with full vigour. It took only one faceless voice from the crowd to shout "Jena Babu Zindabad" and the riverside mangrove was engulfed in identical reverberations of  hailing Jena babu. No sooner had Jena babu got down from the make shift podium, women flocked around him and fellow men, mostly, younger to him, fell on his feet. Each of them made the same request, which was, to meet Sri Sri Gyanasagar in person. 

Sri Sri Gyanasagar was indeed a holy figure, a guide to wandering and tempted souls. A messiah for all those who are seeking redemption. Man knows the limits to his sins yet he is rarely able to stop on his arrival there . He knows what the sins are, yet ignores the fact that he is bathing in them. However, there was near - unanimity among such men, that the solution to this paradox lied in the blessing and guidance of a man who has himself undertaken the path to salvation- the Holy Sri Sri Gyanasagar. He was a beacon of hope for all who had confronted enlightenment and sought purging their souls of the most unholy taints. It is another thing that for most, the seeking of salvation was a morality of convenience. For they did not choose this path when they were younger and when the desire to seek worldly gratifications was beyond their control. As then, it could have meant the unbearable cost of giving up all that temporal bliss which satiated them to the point of addiction. Only when the zest and zeal to enjoy that pleasure was in its ebb, did all kinds of salvation seeking cravings dawn on them. One wonders whether Sri Sri Gyanasagar was aware of this pervasive phenomenon. If he were, then only a man of his stature could explain why he embraced into his camp such opportunistic breed of men. The life and works of Sri Sri Gyanasagar are not hidden from anyone. After getting all the educational degrees, necessary for arming his parents and relatives to brag about their son's talent before less privileged fathers and mothers, he gave up the mundane life of having to run his family's traditional goldsmith business and chose to spend his days in aiding and helping the oppressed and the impoverished. He gained immense popularity among the inhabitants of the small parish adjoining his town  for they found their voice in this intelligent and soft spoken 23 year old. On an occasion he had spoken eloquently about his beliefs in the ways of life and spirituality. He never looked back from thereon. In no time he became one of the most sought after spiritual speakers in the region. 

He was initially reluctant when he was approached to visit Nidapur because he had detected that the persons inviting him only wanted to prove their worth before the villagers and thereby ensure their clout over them. He had thus turned down invitations from both successive village heads of Nidapur. But the reason he agreed to the third invitation was because he had, by then, come to believe that its people really needed some spiritual guidance in a world where the lure of matter was at an all time high. Despite his sincere hesitation, much fanfare was organized on the day of his arrival at Nidapur. People formed long snakey queues to touch his feet and establish direct contact with the holy man. Making a quick skip from the excesses, Sri Sri Gyanasagar began his discourse. He spoke about life in general and the decaying morals that he witnessed all around. He quoted from the Bhagvad Gita, the Quoran and occasionally from the Bible to restore the idea of greatness in the minds of his listeners. His mastery over the religious scriptures was impeccable. He not only enthralled the audience by his oratory but also struck a chord with them by quoting examples from their daily lives. His sermon was loaded with the singular and the most outstanding philosophy which was, that, to subscribe to God one has to first subscribe to kindness, tolerance and good deeds. If one does not immerse himself in these virtues then he can never find God and his light. Utter silence had swept the gathering. Only the cuckoos in the mangrove and the roaring engines from the nearby Highway provided intermittent interruptions in the quietness in between.

Kuna Behera, Nidapur's infamous gambler shot a question to his Holiness "Why is it that God only seems to favour a chosen few, whereas I who has served his will and never stopped believing in him, never had enough to provide for my family ?"  Jena babu, sitting on the podium with Sri Sri Gyanasagar gave a bloodshot glance to Kuna, unmistakably conveying his rage at the latter's display of disregard for His Holiness. Markand, Kuna's childhood friend seated near him, hissed "What are you doing ? Sit down..Now!!." Someone murmured "Why are you so eager to make heavier your bag of sins ?" Sri Sri Gyanasagar's serene voice tore through the hiss and the murmur "My friend, there is no short cut to affluence. Finding the right path to your ambition is as important as finding the right ambition." Jena babu, quickly sighed something into His Holiness's ear. In all likelihood he had begged his pardon. Kuna's doubts were thus put to rest. It was amazing how the great man had pacified the restless mind of Kuna, with one simple sentence. Inspired by Kuna's act, some other villagers also mustered the courage to stand up and have their queries answered. Most remained confined to their personal failures and sought answers on how to overcome them in the future. Sri Sri Gyanasagar infused steadiness and hope into their impatient minds, by means of his profound knowledge and variegated experiences with life. Jena babu had to stand up and interrupt. "Now is His Holiness's meal time. Do you want that our Maharaj should starve on our village soil ?" This question indeed seemed to jolt everyone out of their individual agendas. Together everyone remarked that Baba must eat at his regular time. Finally Sri Sri Gyanasagar concluded his deliberations and as a parting sermon, advised the people to be tolerant to differences among themselves which would enhance the feeling of brotherhood among men and peace would prevail in society. He chanted a few hymns and recited a couplet from the Holy Gita and got up.

No sooner than he began walking down the stage that there started a rush among the audience to come closer to him. People started pulling the ones in front of them so that they could get ahead. The ones far behind suddenly felt the irresistible need to reach near the Holy man and when they saw their neighbours getting easy access to that privilege, they suffered a fatal stroke of envy, causing complete loss of memory of things they had heard and felt a few moments ago. There was no chance in heaven that they would suffer the deprivation of the holy Baba's proximity when people no less ordinary than them were already in speaking distance from him. Desperate shouts of "Baba..Baba" could be heard from all nook and corners of the throng. Heads and hands were frantically moving within the gathering. A man as calm and composed as Sri Sri Gyanasagar felt sweat dripping from his brows as he sensed an imminent pandemonium. He started saying something to calm down the people but his decent voice got helplessly drowned in the commotion. No one heard him, perhaps even the people standing near him missed his words. It happened then. A horrific shriek penetrated the turmoil. A few noticed but most didn't. Those behind in the gathering were still violently persisting forward lest they might miss the chance to obtain their share of blessings. Within quick moments another squeal shot out from around the same spot in the crowd from where earlier the shriek had emerged. It was followed by loud swearing in the most uncivilized tongue. Those who were so unstoppably charging ahead had suddenly halted. Like slaves to a phantom, they expressionlessly spread to form a circle and witness the event. Sri Sri Gyanasagar not being a man of tall stature found it impossible to catch the scene. So he ran. He ran up to the stage and froze. He saw a woman lying down motionless and two men beating each other mercilessly near her still body. The spectators to this violent sight appeared consumed by an inexplicable indifference. No one bothered to intervene while blood was being drawn in the fight. Completely out of his wits, Gyanasagar Baba started shouting to the brawlers pleading with them to stop. No heed was paid to the man who just minutes ago was considered second only to God. He jumped off the stage and tried to anxiously break his way into the crowd. Mid way he heard another scream. Moments later when he finally reached the spot he saw one of them lying immobile drowned in his own blood. The other was holding a dagger drenched in red and caressing the head of the fallen woman in his lap.  It was not certain whether souls of either or both the still bodies had left for their heavenly abode. People continued standing like statues taking an eternity to swallow in the gory sight. The organizers rushed both to the nearby Public Health Centre where the man was declared dead and the woman, in a critical condition, was referred to the city Hospital for emergency medical treatment. It was later heard that the deceased man had trampled the woman in his frenzy to meet Baba Gyanasagar, though it appeared quite implausible that it was the deed of one man alone, it being equally likely that she might have been knocked down by several out of so many reckless people. But as providence would have it, her husband had caught the deceased at the exact moment when he had stepped on her, causing him to believe that he was the cause of his wife's injury. 

Three years have flown by. The woman is still in a hospital ward, motionless, same as she had lain that day amidst the Nidapur mangrove gatheringA violent push to the ground had caused her a severe head injury and she had therefore slipped into a coma. The organizers of that day's meeting are facing trial for criminal negligence and the husband of the woman is standing his trial for murder. Both the trials are almost half way through. Sri Sri Gyanasagar is now running an ashram, where he continues to deliver sermons to guide people onto the right path, in the quiet and privacy of his abode. He sheds a tear or two when he recalls the Nidapur incident. He has not been heard since, of giving public discourses.


("Saints of Nidapur" is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person (alive or dead), place or incident etc. if any, is coincidental.)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Life and Death of Afreen

Today, at 11 A.M., Afreen finally succumbed to the bites, blows and burns caused by her father. The report said that she suffered multiple convulsions and ultimately died of cardiac arrest.  Three months was the duration of the life she lived or let's say suffered. She was brought to the hospital three days ago with burn marks and multiple dislocations in her neck. I'm looking at an old clip which shows her delicate and small structure tubed all over, her chest rapidly rising and falling, while she is unconscious, lying on a hospital bed about twenty times her size. Her mother has put her head near her daughter's legs. She hasn't left. I had almost begun to pray for her recovery, when I realized that the clip is from yesterday. I pull myself back to reality,  to today, where she is dead.

 I don't want to see it. Its so painful. Yet I see it. "Baby Afreen is no more". The headline goes on & on & on... I feel a hole growing inside my guts. I helplessly fight my brain,  and try not to imagine scenes of her and her father.  She was his daughter. An incarnation of his, maybe a female, but his continuation nevertheless. 

I am angry , I am helpless, I am burning & I'm welling up. Fictitious visions of a beautiful life that Afreen could have lived, torment me beyond tolerance.

Hello world, my name was Afreen,
I was born to love and hatred akin
I did not know pain, 
But then I was bit and beaten
I did not know smile
I could never do it for a while
Life started and ended before I breathed
Like some numbness it prevailed

Faint voices of my mother
Crying to fight my torture
The man who brought me here 
Was the same who banished me forever
I was created by him
Somehow I never got to see him
His hands were all so unkind
How could he kill his daughter's body & mind

They hated me from the day I cried
They hated me for the body I carried
I could not even know why I was born
Some evil in some past I must've done
I was greeted with frowns,
They thought I would let them drown,
Never gave me a chance
Never wanted me to keep balance

I could not know your Earth
Its green and its past
I could not make friends
I wasn't afforded that much sense
I will know not what is a hug
A pleasure I was supposed to get a lot
I will know not the birds, the seas, the skies,
My world started and ended with cries

I could not kiss my mother
My lips were shut forever
Before my hair could learn to curl
They were dragged to satiate some call
Teeth were sunk in
When kisses were to be left on my skin
I was welcomed by pain
Unfair ! I underwent it in vain

It all became too much
One day to a ward I was rushed
Tubes galore were slided
Though silently I chided
My mother sat there looking & praying
She often stopped to fancy me playing
I knew my mother's pain
She too swallowed it in vain

I did't even know how to pray,
The hands that hated me night and day ,
Were the ones that ought to have taught ,
A beam of mercy desperately I sought
My mother, I worried what would happen to her
I knew I was nearing to say 'adieu' & come back never 
Ever believing, ever hoping to revive and take me back
I'm so sorry ! I wish we could have run more than this small track

I had to go, the angels could wait no more,
I wish I could tell my mother, its a better place that I'm travelling for
God must know what he does and what he says,
I've heard He works in mysterious ways
My body was broken in places
A new life, Yet counted were my days
But my heart broke then
When the healers rushed in

They must have noticed I was leaving
Broke mid way my mother's praying
She howled and held and kissed and prayed
She begged, I know not who, but onto her prayers she held
I was growing cold, she must have known
She held me close with her tears rolling down
Those arms where up I had woken
Now held me again when I was being taken snapped, that chord that tied
Me and her, My life was over, in her arms I died.

                                                                              -  Afreen

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Being Different

Inspired by the following quote

"they all laugh at me because I'm different and I laugh back at 'em because they are all the same" - 
Stay different !!!

There's something in me that tickles 'em,
There's something about me that maddens 'em,
I know not why it is that they laugh at me,
I know not why it is that they scorn me

I wonder if it's because I'm nothing like 'em,
I wonder whether if its a shame ,
That we are not the same,
I wonder if that's why I always take a blame,

I was not like this before,
Running away from throngs galore,
Gasping for a space
Where I wouldn't be called a 'disgrace'

Stealing away from gazes eager,
To silence an indomitable desire,
Everytime I tried to please
It all ended up with me looking down at my knees 

I've heard it all,
Mocks big and small,
Ridicule has its way with me
I'm independent but never free

I've run out of souls,
Who'd assure to not play foul,
When I empty my heart,
They'll not pierce darts

I move about, lost in fancy,
Where I am beyond the frenzy,
Of having to close the gates
Nor take in nor give shades

When will they stop smothering
When will I escape the bothering
There's no end it would seem,
Even if I've always bid for their team

Why is there no place 
Where I can find someone of my race
Its so hard for me to vent
Is it such a deal to be different ?

                                                                                                  - Anupam

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I'm ecstatic to share with my friends that I have received "The Versatile Blogger Award"
I'm extremely thankful to  Gayathri (The Passionate Writer) for considering my blog for this award. I'm profoundly pleased and encouraged by her gesture.

These blogs have been also considered for the laurel. My hearty congratulations to them & a special thanks therefore to Gayathri for accommodating me among them 

Thank You Gayathri. May the Lord keep you able to reach the zenith of success.

I now join the elite group of Versatile Bloggers.

As per the norm, I have also conferred this award on certain talented bloggers. Here is the list of  11 bloggers (not necessarily in the order in which their names appear) who in my humble opinion also deserve this award.            Nabanita Dhar  

Here are the rules that my winners will have to follow.

•Nominate 10-15 fellow bloggers
 •Inform the bloggers of their nomination
 •Share 7 random things about yourself
 •Thank the blogger who nominated you (with blog link)
 •Add the Versatile Blogger Award Pic on your blog post

Now the 7 random facts about me, which I can think of right now, are:-
1. I strongly believe in God. For me He exists.
2. I love writing
3. I love reading
4. I  adore and respect people who tread on unconventional paths
5. I can do anything for my family. Its my biggest strength. I will give up anything which tends to compromise my 
     family's happiness.
6. I love travelling.
7. I am crazy about films.
(That was really difficult to summarize).

Congrats once again to my fellow awardees. 
Thanx a ton Gayathri.
 While I elate at being awarded, I am conscious of the responsibility that I've  to live up to.