Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stages of Life

Stage I (HOPE)
A seedling once thrown carelessly
After thousands of years
Sprouted into a beautiful plant
Where pleasant flowers of my dreams
Bloomed like I'd yearned for so long.

Stage II (STRUGGLE)
The yacht of life flowing random
With uneven tides of thunderstorm
The dark night engulfing
My destination with its fiery convolutions
Finally reaching the shores of void.

Stage III (EXISTENCE)
The heat of battlefield
After a long war
Still breathes the cool air of peace
Besieged long before
With hopes alive though.

Stage IV (END)
Life is very short
Whispered that old tree standing
Aimlessly for thousands of years
One day, it fell down
Really! Life's too short
Like my unfurnished dreams.

(These pieces of poetries have already been published independently. I just compiled them to make a meaningful single.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Guide: Revisited


I was wandering through the narrow lanes of Bagbazar (and dirty obviously) when a sadhu gesticulating his weird demeanours came towards me. I was afraid to confront his eyes because I was told that they rob you of all your senses but fortunately, the sadhu went passed by me and it was when I sighed a breath of relief. A little far, I was encirlced by a queer feeling of how these sadhus had been in their childhood and adolescent days. Were they sadhus by birth or some hefty circumstances triggered this spiritual transformation? And yes, I remembered the railway guide, Raju.
I found the answer in the review of TIME which read, “The Guide floats as gently as a lily pad on the surface of Indian life and yet suggests the depth beneath. It manages to describe a saint who is neither born nor made but simply happens, almost like the weather.” It was only last weekend while removing some old papers I happened to get sight of the 39th reprint of my long lost reading ‘The Guide’. I don’t pretty remember the number of times I have read this book but I can definitely tell that I have watched it only once and that also many years before during my stay in India when the only channel of the time, Doordarshan-I had aired it in its weekly dose of movies. At that time, I didn’t know that this 1965 blockbuster was based on R.K. Narayan’s award-winning novel. I got the original script only ten years after, when I happened to find a road-side second hand(more correctly, third hand) book vendor put it under a stack of old magazines on the streets of New Road.
                ‘The Guide’ received the Sahitya Academy Award in 1961 and four years later, ‘Guide’ bagged seven filmfare awards. The critically acclaimed novel with its excellence is a magnum opus in the world of literature and Guide, a movie of its kind, is a masterpiece of the Indian film industry. The introduction published in the 1994 reprint explains the greatness of this brilliant work of art. The railway Raju is a disarmingly corrupt tourist guide who lives by his wits and falls in love with a beautiful dancer. More by chance than skill, he seduces her away from her husband, a lonely writer who is obsessed with local rock-carvings, and transforms her into a celebrity courted by wealthy and influential dignitaries wherever she performs. Raju makes and loses a fortune, finds himself in jail, and – through a series of hilarious, ironic circumstances – becomes one of India’s great holy men. The history of his success and unexpected fame has all the excitement of a suspense story, told with Narayan’s customary tolerance and delightful humour. At the same time, it raises many profound and disturbing questions. These contrasting textures of human nature have been brilliantly portrayed in the visual rendition of the novel and the justice given by Dev Anand to R.K. Narayan’s character has been complemented by the soothing melody of S.D. Burman which still leaves us sing along the libretto of Shailendra.
Even after 50 years of its first publication, ‘The Guide’ is still new in its form and The New York Times Book Review then thus had some verses of appreciation in store for this opus- “The latest of R.K. Narayan’s pensive comedies is a brilliant accomplishment… In the first pages of The Guide, we recognize the charity, the unstartled comprehension, and we settle down to a gracious but knowledgeable evening.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the year 1985…

I have been grumbling in my writings for quite some time now and it seems to have made me look cynical towards life, towards what I write. Changing the course of letters this time, I hope I won’t sound judgmental. Time and again, the best chapters of bygone days, nostalgia has attacked me hauling me to a period of time when all the hoof marks of memory appear vague. Even the chronicles of those periods have been flushed out of my head but this is one of that can never be over and done, this is my story of first love. Having passed the entry exam, I had just been admitted to Montessori One in Holy Cross School. It was back in 1985 and I was just three years old. Her name was Sushmita Mukherjee, a beautiful Bengali girl and I was her proud class mate. I don’t remember so much of other things, but the break time was when our love would take its deeper roots. It was the time when she always used to share her tiffin with me and many times, my parents had caught her feeding me with her hand. Our love bloomed in a childish innocence; her love, true like a dream and my falling for her as natural as a breeze. It was more of an acquaintance in the clear which my family making fun of me later had translated as love. Love it was indeed and intimacy but of our purity, of our simplicity, and of our juvenile affinity. I don’t have any idea of where and what she must be doing now. After completing our Montessori, she left for some other part of India and I joined St. Thomas. We have never seen or talked to each other since. Of an age that nothing can be recalled, I still remember her chubby face smiling at me and her handful of morsel moving towards me. Years have gone by and life has put us to different edges; many things have changed and many forgotten but still when I have to think of her, a blur image clearly shines on my mind and I hear Tim McGraw singing-
“I worked so hard for that first kiss
And a heart don’t forget something like that

Like an old photograph
Time can make a feeling fade
But the memory of a first love
Never fades away.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Writer's Perturbation

After years of scribbling in a scrap and throwing it in the trash, I don’t know why I have still been writing.  The trash can is full of my aggravation, my failure; even the recycle bin of my conscience cannot salvage my humility. But I still write with a hope that one day I won’t have any chip on my shoulder. My perception of writing is against those factors that babble insignificant stories of the social order. My norm of writing has an association with the progression and pragmatism of society and life. My impression of writing is a demarcation between the upper crust and the subjugated class.  My reflection of writing has a message, a story to tell of the everyday life. These must perhaps be the reasons why my writing breathes its life only in a litter. My pen never belched out the ink of treachery, my brush never stroke the contours of deception, the verdict of my principles never allowed me to haggle for pleasures and my writing always followed the esteem of my being. I was never taught to write for penny, power or praise unless it is compassionate to the sentiments of the laypeople. I won’t trade it against a meagre lump of comfort no matter how long these contaminated feelings transport my letters to a stack of garbage. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Complaints Unjustified...

Though we Nepalis till now have adequately learnt to deal with every problems, we still can’t remain without grudging. Why do we forget that we are one of the world’s poorest countries? There were many complaints registered in his psyche overnight.  The load-shedding snag, the mobile network, bad roads, traffic mismanagement, increasing population, disturbing pollution, political instability, corruption, worsened educational sector, no employment, price-hike, no social security, growing criminal activities, and the list went on till he finally concluded with nothing going right. It was the day of his flight. He flew away with a new hope to a nation where such complaints sounded like a myth leaving behind a helpless nation of his belief which he thought would never prosper in any way and even if it does, it would take hundreds of years. Salute to his thoughts of finding all the odds he found in Nepal met in that foreign land though he didn’t care to work there as a substandard labour (even if it is believed that work is never small but not for Nepali mentality).
A year passed by and one day he called me up. “It’s very hard to work here, no night, no day. Though the problems and scarcities we face in Nepal sounds like an illusory tale here but whatsoever they say, our country is ours. We can never be a friend to this nation.” I never heard from him since that day. One day, a news broke into my ears. He has been diagnosed with cancer, a throat cancer. He has returned from Australia and has been admitted to the Bharatpur Medical Hospital. I was wondering how he got affected to the throat after all he was never into smoking or something that disturbed his wind-pipe. This was my presumption but the reality was in itself perilous.
I ran to see him. His once cheerful face hid behind the quilt of agony clearly exhibited the dark lines of sorrow and tanned marks of hopelessness. “When did you return? You didn’t inform me! Everything will go fine, don’t worry.” No sooner had I said this, he started crying bitterly. His swollen eyes clearly depicted the frequencies of his cries. Seeing him, my tears also couldn’t stop its way. He had gone too feeble and his hope of conquering every odds now seemed like a fairy tale to me. He is fighting for his life, for his existence in the darkness of this helpless nation.
I pray for his better health (if possible in any case) and wish he gets enough strength to fight with the ailment; who knows if a miracle happens!