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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

09 December, 2004

Shy Young Poets

During the past few months, I have been approached by innumerable young poets and writers- a truly motley crowd if there ever was one, some in their shaky adolescence, some in their stoic late middle-age, some overworked IT geeks, some underworked housewives with endless hours of ennui stretching in fron like untraveled highways, some traumatized by their 'roaring' hormones and enzymes that adolescence dumps on one, some oozing fatherly advice and yet harbouring poetic ambitions, some brushing up attic-hidden poetry and some spurting fresh poetry like geysers.

Those who have come close to me during a lifetime have frequently been puzzled by my lack of competitive spirit... I often abandon a game of chess with my wife and oh boy how it riles her. To me it means nothing, neither the win nor the loss. Dropping out of an adrenaline-pumping race for no obvious reason, is a thing I have done frequently. Not only this, but many times I have groomed a promising new technologist in my own specialized field to give him a position of higher level than myself... or handed over a running business. Suicidal ideas, some feel. Bombay-bred folks would think this is tantamount to saving a rupee by rupee and then throwing it all to the winds. Material world and the metaphysical world run like parallel train-tacks.

What intersts me much more is the intellectual rewards of helping someone achieve a goal... for hundreds of my own goals have been screwed up hopelessly by many a night-raiders, workshirkers, quick-buck schemers, shortsighted politicians and frequently by peers who love to act like the Indian crabs : their great thrill being pulling me down as I rose away from them to the freedom outside the box. Being recognised abroad, brings some solace at times, because the crabs then clam up. This really hurts my Indian ego !

Caferati has brought me such half-baked fear-ridden clammed-up poets and writers who used to go pssssttt from their closets and nothing more. Now many have become bold and brash, and oh boy o boy, does that lift my sagging spirits ! May your tribe increase, these shy lurkers who gingerly put a toe in the board and then with my help, riding me piggyback, unfurl their peacock like finery in the blog. I'm having a ball !

Here then is another lurker who wants her poem to be test-driven through my blogspace without disclosing her identity.

She writes :-

Why am i here
What made me walk this mile
what made me give, into that smile.

Love lives on moments
Life is on love
Hope lives in me
and me.... unknown

Is love so difficult to handle
or is my heart too stern
seething emotions trapped in me
yet i cannot let them flow

thoughts wander to unknown fantasies
and fantasies are untrue.
Will love be the same,
or will, love be the door to my trapped emotions

I have love to show, but i fear it being seen
I have joy to share, but fear it being known
have a heart thats Hurt,and yet to heal.
have lost myself

I need to find me

I call myself the sea, 'coz
I see it calm.
And underneath it i see a different world.

I call myself the sky as it's covered with stars
And underneath those twinkles are dark clouds.
With feelings trapped, and mind to follow.
How do i call my self different,
when i know what's in me.

I used to love
smelling nature as nature was full of love...
Now Nature smells Foul....


This to my mind is a rather rambling piece of writing, that hisses, swishes, splutters, throbs and flaps about and even bursts now and then.

A lot of raw energy one feels pulsating through it -and though the technique leaves much to be improved upon, the disjointed thoughts make the poem seem a bit long too.

Erudite readers would do well to make their invaluable comments. May be that could draw her out -she badly needs to be tugged at, so that the process of extrication could begin !




Blogger Geetanjali said...

"Bombay-bred folks would think this is tantamount to saving a rupee by rupee and then throwing it all to the winds."
I OBJECT!!! We Bombay-wallahs are bade-dil wallahs too...not fair Max! Kuch nahin to is bade dilwalli se pooch lete! ;-)

Hmm...wondering which category I fit in...which ever it is, I'm glad I stumbled onto Caferati and allowed you to 'drag' me in! As I said on my blog, my journey with Caferati has just's gonna be one rocking ride! :-)

You're right about the poem - feels raw and like an unedited piece...perhaps if she were to trim it a bit here and there it would shine. I liked this analogy:-
"I call myself the sea, 'coz
I see it calm.
And underneath it i see a different world."
-Beautiful..says so much about the hidden depths of human personalities in such a poetic manner!

09 December, 2004 11:07  
Blogger manisha lakhe said...

way to go max!

now about the poem. personally i always appreciate single mindedness in a poem. Take the very first three lines, as an example. a whole poem, no reams, could be written about her very first hesitant step towards his smile. While the next four lines do not appeal to me at all, the third set elevates the poem instantly into highs she could use as fodder for more poems...and so on.

but there's so much wealth of thought there as you have unerringly seen, i am sure you will encourage her, as will all readers on the blog.

09 December, 2004 11:33  
Blogger Anil said...

Indeed I agree with Manisha and Geetanjali. I'd like to see more of her work and read this poem again once its completed. It does ramble a bit...I always prefer poets who are brief and to the point but I loved the lines where she compared herself to a sky...that was a beautiful image!

09 December, 2004 16:47  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Hey Geetanjali,
Don't take offense, this was a lighthearted jab
at the Mumbaikars whose keen sense of competition
makes me wonder endlessly... instinct for survival.

Tks Manisha, I appreciate those words sincerely.
Your critique of the shy young thing's efforts
is strikingly honest and to the point... she is
one of your open admirers btw ! [Only I know...]

Tks Anil, your comments are perfect in their place
too. Lets hope the young lady finally emerges from
the cocoon in good time. She will complete the poem
with this new shot in the arm, I am sure.


09 December, 2004 23:56  
Blogger raindanseuse said...

Shy young poets! And Sonia! Sometime I will write in detail about my journey not just to caferati but to finding freedom in my pen. I can't thank you enough Max.

13 December, 2004 00:24  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Quite heart-warming, Sonia.
One whose pursuit lasted longest,
but what a butterfly from the cocoon !

cheers !

15 December, 2004 08:26  

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