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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

31 October, 2005


I think I dreamt of you and suddenly, I felt like writing…is it nostalgia? God knows, there’s no evidence of it.

These days, I turn my cupboards upside down, looking for traces of the past, and I’m forced to the sad conclusion that my life so far could not have happened at all, because there’s nothing to show for it. No letters; some photographs—all of recent date; a large collection of books.

Luckily for me, when I was younger, I believed in writing my name on them (and forcing other people who gifted me books, to do the same) so that I now know, up to about 1989, where I bought a book and when. In more recent years, the title pages tend to stay blandly printed, so that I have to really think if the book’s mine at all. Mostly, I’m very certain. At least, with books, I am.

What can you get nostalgic about? Smells? They’re gone. Yellowing letters? I’ve torn them all up. Photographs? They’re painful and I’d rather not look at them anymore. I’ve covered my traces well.

But living in the present is overrated. I wish I’d kept bundles of stuff I could look at now. I’d untie ribbons, take out each letter from its well-preserved envelope and lose myself in them while my son looks on pityingly and in slightly respectful silence.

30 October, 2005

Doggerel for Caferati

You can sing the blues,
You can pay your dues,
You can try, and still lose,
There's no "money back."


You can't expect it,
You can't demand it,
You can deserve it,
And still not get it.

You can be bold, shy,
You can despair, cry,
You can ask God why.
But you can't do jack.


You can't expect it,
You can't demand it,
You can deserve it,
And still not get it.

You can do it all right,
You can fight the good fight,
You can spend lonely nights
Put your head on the tracks.


You can't expect it,
You can't demand it,
You can deserve it,
And still not get it.

Gotta tell you this, baby:
You gotta do it for free,
There are no guarantees
For love and feedback.


You can't expect it,
You can't demand it,
You can deserve it,
And still not get it.


28 October, 2005

By my side.

You with me,

A child
picking up pebbles,
hunting four leaf clovers,
running along primrose paths
licking lemons sitting on doorsteps,

You with me,

A youth
in a restaurant full of people,
gazing into my eyes as I gazed back
at life aromatic with pain and strife
loneliness so faithful,

You’re always by my side.........



What makes you think
It will disappear
When you tell it to,
That it will fade
If you close your eyes?

What makes you think
The images will stop
Changing form and color;
That the birds that hover around your head
Will fly away?

What makes you think
Your words will heal, kill, purify,
Resurrect, or chain to graves
All colors that change
From green to red, to orange, from black to blue to gray?

Not to white
Not to white

What makes you think
You can wash all colors in the rain
And expect a white canvas
To throw colors again?

What makes you think
All colors will remain frozen
And not change
Within the wall
You build around it?


flu season

and throw.
and throw.
and throw.
and throw.
and throw.

how little it matters
to you, my friend,
whether it’s kleenex,
or people.


25 October, 2005

sky people

i used to be like you
wary of those
wayside wanderers,
of their manic mutterings,
their tattered appearance
was distasteful.

i would cringe too,
exactly as you just did,
afraid to catch their germs
hated the smell
that would linger
long after our paths crossed.

but i’ve been touched
by the Blue one now you see,
and i guess most of you
who now cross my path
miss me completely.

you saw me stare at the sky,
bump into street lamps,
you rolled your eyes,
and crossed the street.

you spotted me,
in deep conversation
at crowded coffee shops
and thought me strange.

you did not see him at all!
all you heard was muttering,
you thought too much coffeecino
had driven me crazy.

you bumped into me
at the bookshop,
my nose buried
in a brand new
book of love poems,
you moved away
a patronizing smile later.

you don’t know,
how he smells of nutmeg,
of snow lillies,
and the elusive clean
of new books.

i am sorry i missed
the questions
your eyebrow raised.
would i really care
if the sun and the wind
were roughing up my body?

the stars in my eyes,
and the occupant
of my heart, leave no room,
for anyone or anything else.


22 October, 2005

My Muse Tonight...

Hope –
It’s my muse tonight.
It drinks wine with me.
Gurgling, gushing
Down my gullet –
A bitter taste –
Churning my innards
Till I vomit
Blood and disease.

But no, I won’t miss her.
Hope is here

Like a muezzin’s call
From its soaring minarets
Beckoning me
To summon faith,
To look straight
Into the night’s face,
Shut my door
On her

And keep
In this dank musky room
My flowers in full bloom.

© Dan Husain
October 10, 2005

PS: I watched ‘Cinderella Man’ today with few students of mine. After the movie, as I drove back, I kept hearing the song ‘The Great Beyond’ by REM. I guess this is my complex response to the events of today’s evening. The phrase ‘flowers in full bloom’ is taken from REM’s song. I hope I am not nailed for plagiarism and this sleight of words get passed as creative freedom. :-)


21 October, 2005

God of Gods

I must start writing, they tell me. Why? Because I'm a writer: in just the same way as a lover must go on loving, or a liar must go on lying, and a murderer must go on murdering. But then I am a lover and a liar and a murderer too.

See, I just write that and you believe me. If you're intelligent, you'll wonder if I mean those things in a physical or in a metaphorical sense.

Words! These are only words. Turn them one way, they mean one thing; twist them another, and their sense convolutes beyond the notions of a blind man. I'm not blind. But there, I'm digressing. Let me come back to my point and I can do that very simply by choosing to write these words. THAT is the power given to the writer. It is the power to come back, and to undo, and to modify.

If you ask 'why' I will tell you very simply that it is because the writer uses words. You now think that we are going around in circles and you are right. I have craftily brought to back to my pet peeve, to my words - with my words.

Words are such simple, efficient tools. With enough practice anyone can learn to wield them to his purpose. But there's another interesting point for digression: Purpose.

Purpose drives the machinery of existence.

No, don't bother arguing with me because this is my page, my space and I choose the words that go down on it. But to indulge you or irk you - as you would allow for - let me explain that Purpose not only drives you into love, into sex, or into procreation, but purpose also drives the slop that drips from your anus just before you reach for the toilet paper. Sometimes Purpose is disguised in tricky alphabets that spell DNA, gravity, divine revelation, etc. But the undeniable fact is that Purpose is omnipresent.

But wait, Purpose is not God. I can see where that logical analogy is coming from: you must have been a good student at school. But here's where the simple logic of 'A-equals-B and-B-equals-C-so-A-equals-C' fails. However you may assume that since God is omnipresent and since He allows Purpose to define all His actions, Purpose is also omnipresent.

Now let me show you a simple word trick. Do not try this on your own because it is a dangerous trick. However, since I am a writer and I have the power of the words, I can do it easily. Watch!

Purpose is omnipresent and Purpose defines all the actions of God. So God is actually a slave to Purpose. But then as I already explained earlier, we are all slaves to Purpose. So if we apply your A-B-C logic in this case, what we have is: we are God.

See? You are God. And so am I.

This is really crucial so never let it slip out of your mind. This is one of those things they don't teach you at that logical analogy school you went to. Of course, I wouldn't expect them to teach you this because it would upset the equation.

I don't expect you to know the equation either. I mean, if you didn't know that you were God until now, how would you know the equation? But now that you are enlightened, it will be really easy for you to guess that there are a number of people who aren't just as you weren't before I could tell you. Get it?

The equation is between the people who know and the people who don't know that they are God.

You are not going to ask me how it makes any difference because you already know. Just imagine what a person who was blindfolded permanently from as far back as he could remember would do: mostly nothing, unless he had a serious death wish.

Let me explain: this blindfolded person is akin to a blind man who has never seen the light. He doesn't know that everyone around him doesn't wear a blindfold, so he believes that it is a part of his attire, or that he might die if he gets rid of it. But then I come along and tell him that he's only blindfolded, not blind. That knowledge gives him power, power to reach behind his head and throw off his blindfold. And voila, life is a different place altogether.

So you see there IS a difference between the people who know and the people who don't. It IS a key difference because it brings about the balance of power or the equation.

People who know about the equation are able to use the power. They are able to make things happen in the manner they wish them to happen. You are not so naïve as to expect this to take place directly. It doesn't. This power is channelled through chains of other people before it achieves its goal.

Who are these other people? Some of them are people who know, and concede the use of their selves. But most of them are people who don't know and hence, who get used unwittingly. So you see it is completely beneficial for the people who know to have lots of people who don't know around them. That is how they are able to make things happen in the manner they wish them to happen.

You will now think that I am crazy. But stop and think. Haven't you been used by so many people? Haven't you felt cheated and almost forced into something you really didn't care for? But that was the story of before. Now that you know that you are God and you have understood that this means being a slave to purpose, you can turn things around.

Once, there was a woman. Don't expect me to tell you what kind of woman because that is not my purpose. I will not reveal her name, her hair colour, or bone structure. I will not tell you if she was fat or thin. I have already told you all that I wanted to tell you about her. Instead, I will tell you something about myself: I am a man. But if you are smart, you already know that. This is also something that they didn't teach you at that logical analogy school you went to. This is something you know by your power of being God. I will repeat this many times because I want you to believe it. But also because I have the privilege of being a writer and right now as you read my words you are a slave to my purpose. And you know much about me, that I am a writer and that I am a man and that I am not blind.

You also know that a man needs a woman. And therefore, you will not be surprised when I confess that I once considered having a woman. Your mind has been considerably opened in the last few minutes. So I'm certain that you are not conjuring up images of physical union. Physical fulfilment rests in my palm, on the shoulder of the girl I'm standing next to in the bus, in the rump of my guard's teenage son. Physical fulfilment is not difficult to attain.

When I say I needed a woman, my words must convey the desire to fulfil a spiritual need because a woman holds the other half of a man's soul. The union of these two souls is the ultimate union of two Gods. This is where power is multiplied manifold. If you are trying to realize this level of authority over your life, you must find a woman or a man (as the case may be).

I found a woman, the one I just spoke of. She didn't know that she was God and I didn't tell her. What I did tell her was that she was beautiful and that she had the prettiest eyes in the whole wide world. Don't even begin to envy me; envy is not the game of Gods. Also I don't know if I told her the truth. I can hardly tell what beauty is or what pretty eyes look like, much less compare them to all the rest in the world. But women like to hear such things and if you want to have a woman, you must tell her such things. And I told her many more because I have my way with the words. But you know that already.

We were both Gods, one with the knowledge of it, the other without. Although she didn't know about the power balance that was involved in this union, her soul knew instinctively. She fell in love with me. I would not like to use the same words to describe my own composition, so I will merely say that I allowed our souls to unite. You will not believe me until you experience this yourself, so I will not bother to describe it.

I will only say that it was like being lucky all of a sudden. Only you know that it wasn't luck; it was the power of purpose that I had claimed for my own. I could make a lot bigger things go my way much sooner than before. There is an inherent advantage in binding your soul to a person who doesn't know: you can be the sole master of an infinite reserve of power. This is how it was for me.

However, I must confess, I made a slight error in judgement that lead to a huge disruption in my plans. I assumed that having had my woman and having harnessed the power brought about by the union of our souls, my job with the woman was done. There I was wrong.

You may call it sheer coincidence or deliberate mischievousness, but through my powers of being God, I became aware of a growing interest in my woman of other men. I also came to know that these were men who didn't know that they were God and who weren't aware of the equation. If they did they wouldn't have even tried to think of a woman whose soul was united with that of another God. A previously unheeded fear took seat in my mind that my woman was also susceptible to such thoughts of other men because she also didn't have the knowledge that gave power. I was in a tricky situation and I had only my words to help me out of it.

I decided to tell the woman that she was God.

I laboured lovingly over my words, sharpening them, blunting them and occasionally twisting them to make her understand. You already know of the painstaking efforts I have taken to make you understand. So you will believe me when I tell you that she believed me when I told her that she was God.

Being God, you expect not to make mistakes. Being God, you expect not to falter. But that expectation is in itself a huge miscalculation. Once you are aware that you are God, you need to keep reminding yourself about it. You cannot allow the lethargy of expectation and assumption to creep in. That is why I keep repeating to you again and again that you are God. I made a mistake when I assumed that everything would be fine now that we both knew we were Gods. I lost my purpose.

But my woman had found hers. Just as I had used her dormant power to my benefit, she began using mine. She soon discovered all that I have revealed to you about the equation and she understood that it would benefit her most if she were united with a soul that did not know. The only obstacle in her path was I and I was a mighty obstacle because I not only still wielded the great power that she shared with me but I also had the power of the words because I was a writer.

My woman began looking for a means to get some power that could equate with the power of my words. It had to be a power that only she could tap and I could not access. She used a considerable extent of our combined Godly powers to find another such power but she was unsuccessful, that is, until I helped her unwittingly.

I told the woman that she was beautiful and that she had the prettiest eyes in the whole wide world. For a long time she had not thought of questioning her belief in my professed admiration. But one day she heard the words of another writer, not as proficient as me, but nevertheless endowed with the power of the words. And then she knew that I was lying. She knew that she had none of what you could call beauty. And just like that she now had a power that could not only equate with but was also greater than my power of the words.

She had the truth.

You must know that the truth is a gigantic power. It hasn't been documented, but it is probably the greatest power of them all. In fact, when the Gods who wrote a holy book said it, they forget to highlight it: the truth shall set you free. It worked for my woman too. She had wanted it for long and so our souls began to disunite. The truth had begun to set her free.

The moment it began, I knew. And I didn't want it to happen, but the power of my words, however twisted, was no match for her power of truth. I considered the equation and power balance. I saw that I was set to lose much because of this wanton development. But, being God, I was able to immediately sort the relevant information and work a solution.

Looking back, it was really simple. All I needed to keep my stock of power was my woman's soul. Therefore, all I needed was her soul. Since you are also God, you will know that the only way a soul will leave a person is via that person's death. And you will be right if you begin to wonder whether the thought crossed my mind.

There is no need for me to tell you how I planned and how I executed it. There were many ways of doing such a thing and these are on record in case you wish to refer to them. But that was to become the most memorable day in my life. That day I became a God among Gods for I had more power than any other God. And I was the woman. And I was blind.

You must be astonished at this point. I can tell because that is the extent of my power now. I can feel what you feel even as you listen to my words. You will soon feel my exhilaration too. But this lesson ends for today. Now go and think.

I will, of course, keep writing. But you know that already. Yes, because you are God, and because I'm a writer with a purpose. I'm a lover and a liar and a murderer too. I know you believe me now.

Being Me!

Wild are my ways, wilder than you think
You will find me standing a little left of frame
You will find me a little away from the meeting place
I am that and much more, insignificant me.

Yes I am the one with the faraway look
Of sailors of vast dreamy oceans
I look at faraway seas and mountains
And wonder why they aren’t near.

There’s great bitterness and dejection
That churns, congeals and emanates in my words
I think, I write, I orate, because I must
The anguish is great, there’s an ocean’s churn.

The world passed me by while I wandered
Over the personal deserts and wastelands of my life
Stories I wrote and the stories that became me
Characters melded into me and I became them.

Crap me, scrap me, scratch me you will find
A man too deeply obsessed by observing the world
Who feels his words and sentence lay trapped
Inside him crying for want of pixels and time.

Out there he stands that man on a moonlit night
Shining like a tube and ranting like one possessed
Talking his story that no one cares to understand
Because it’s not his story but ghost stories they crave!

(From a very personal experience that gelled and congealed into this poem. I got the guts to put it up only now.)



11 October, 2005

Muskan - A Poem


When she smiles she sends happiness
A million pleasant thrills of the heart
To parched souls thirsting for love
In the vast desert of human affairs.

Oh, is there in this world such a heart?
So pure in its expression of joy, smiles
I know not how to thank you dear God
For this wonderful creation of yours.

What makes Muskan’s smile so beautiful?
Is it the deep pain and hurt she is hiding?
Wringing the joys from the sadness of life
Throwing away the bland fiber and rinds.



10 October, 2005


Mumbai, 10 October, 2005

Little bundle in my arms,
Your pink little face,
Asleep, Vulnerable, Innocent,
Drives me to tears;
And emotions
Beyond description.

As I hold you,
I fall into a reverie –
Diaper changes, Baby baths,
Pink dresses and paranoid wife.

Toddler days and teddy bears,
Crawling, standing, falling down,
Those first steps;
Camera poised to record
those fleeting landmarks.

Schooldays: A tearful face,
dimpled cheeks pinched cruelly
by o-cho-chweeters;
Leaky water-bottle,
Sandwiches given to the crows,
A bewildered nursery teacher
And mother bent over A-B-C.

Fights with those rough boys
For the playground swing,
Daddy dearest will beat them up
And my little doll remain unhurt,
Only her spirit a little bruised.

Tampons, boys and pimples;
Those giggles
Those looks of shyness
Awkward days for daddy.

Young lady about town
Dashing admirers
Phone calls, flowers,
Paranoid papa.

The coy bride,
Copious tears, Silk sarees.
A deep
That some young man
Is losing his freedom.

Pesky grandchildren
Running all over my house
Upsetting that collectors’ vase;
A hassled mother
Now with the deepest
Worries of her own.

And aged matriarch
White-haired, Wrinkled,
With a dignity unmatched
Coming as it does
From a life full-lived.

I shake my head.
Baby is still asleep.
Well, my child,
In this moment,
I have lived your life.


Why I Am Here: Endings and Beginnings

So after resisting blogging for so long, I have been beguiled by Peter into accepting this invitation. and so , after Month 1 of the Flash Fiction hosted by Caferati Madras, here i am. This is where it began--my personal favourite entry, of all the four.


The four of us, giggling in the dark. Earlier that evening, we had passed him as he was going to her house. Sasha waited until he was almost out of sight and turning to us, winked and said, “See you!” waiting expectantly. “N, T!!” I said, and we both sniggered. I never disappoint Sasha. Suman, always a little out of it, said, “What? What does that mean?” Naturally we didn’t explain. I mean, she’s the one who finished a math test early and asked the teacher if she could “shove off now, sir?” She never understood why everyone laughed.

Next to me, Suman is about to get up, but Chandana says, “Shh!” I don’t think she’s really heard anything, but she doesn’t like the way Sasha and I are pinching and giggling. A quiet one, Chandana. She thinks Sasha and I haven’t noticed that she sleeps with a pencil stuck between her breasts.

But for once, Chandana is right. The lights come on in her house. There they are. Our hearts stop beating, so we can hear everything. But there’s nothing to hear. We can see her head as she turns to talk to him, her chandelier earrings swaying in time. That, and her hands under her kurta, tying her nada. It hasn’t taken him time to slip on his t-shirt and he’s leaning against the door.
When he leaves, whistling softly so as not to disturb us, I think it is the most obscene sound I’ve ever heard. But somehow, not one of us can find a snigger.

lost in the woods

Am lost in the woods,
treading the unknown path..
Will cross this road again,
before i end the journey..
For, life is a big circle..
and we often end up,
where we first started from!


07 October, 2005


Not sure what it feels like when you step through the fire storm. Perhaps, it’s something like this. Hot and cold at the same time. Cliched and novel. Something new that you can’t really describe because your teeth are chattering and your hands are shivering. Try to remove the lens from your eyes but you can’t, because your fingers twitch.

It’s almost a special sight, watching those fingers, artistic like your father’s, long and tapering, with small blunt nails like your mother’s, and they can’t enclose the lens between them. It’s a piece of blue ellipse, something that you imagine a supernova of your mind would look like, but you can’t really be sure, because you’re stepping through the firestorm, and that means everything is very uncertain. The forearm starts to hurt and you remember the bite that he gave you earlier this evening.


Earlier this evening. Met him at the bus stop outside your building, and you thought to yourself that there must be some other way of doing this. There’re other creatures to kill, other than yourself. You’ve never been the kindest, mellowest person to walk the earth, but this time, and the times before this, your prey is yourself. So you bring him up to your apartment and shut the door, and he looks at you.

It’s clear he doesn’t want to waste time, and as soon as he’s had the water you offered, he wants you. You wanted him, too. You wanted the debasement, and the supernova flames and the bites. He bites you while he makes love. He’s older than you, much older, and there’s a certain level of servility in that. Of course it’s kinky. It’s because of the kink factor that you close your eyes and beg him to eat you alive. You feel the fires even then, and wonder if he’ll get them from you. A tingle in your nose. A sharp ache in your throat. Your pharynx constricts. A shout. Is that what an orgasm is called? The remnants of torture and the memory of a bite.

You can see the crimson mark his fangs left on your arm, and you shudder.


Brown skin pales there on your arm. Red mark glistens with water. The shower jets do nothing to abate your fever. Stand there under the jet for some time. Let water drip. Dtip. Drip. Drip. Laugh while you stand. You don’t know at what. It’s a mystery. You’re burning up. Names of medicines that you can’t recall. Pop a pill. Any pill. But no, you love yourself too much to do any of that.

It’s all in the day of Garp.

Find that amusing. Reach for the soap. Rush your hands through your scalp. Knead the skin there. Tight. I wish I was in love. I wish I was in love. If I say that over and over again, can I make it true? Can, I? Can, I? O, please Santa, can I?

Find that funny. Laugh like Garp would.


It’s a gay ball. Streamers. Balloons. Heart shaped ones at that. How tacky. Laugh. Drink like a fish. But you’re burning up. So fast, and the image of the blue lens in your fingers comes back over and over in your mind. How did you manage that, you wonder. Somehow, you did. Somehow, you grasped that slippery blue half-orb in your artistic fingers and touched your eye. Somehow, you could see again, though it was through veils of water. Veils that kept on flooding your eye as you rushed out of the apartment, past the bus stop where the man who bit you stood earlier in the evening, and you rush into the cab.

“Take me to hell,” you urge the cabbie, flashing an extra tenner at him, and then you notice his horns, as the car surges forward. It’s a circle, and that’s when the supernova fire storm and the burning and the shower sequence finally make sense to your fevered mind. Somebody hands you a dry martini at the ball, and you wonder how he knew what your drink was. It’s a day of coincidences, but you know that there’s no such thing as that.

Sip. Swirl. Sigh. Soothe. Stir. Shiver. See. Sip.

Dance. Droll.

Effort. Easy.


Spot the blue lens in the story, and that’s your pass out of Hell.

heart swap

I thought,
my heart
would not be
too rough
for a fair swap.
Apprantly, it has
not appreciated



Good English Anyone?

Good English Anyone?

Yesterday’s TOI carried this report:

“So, while an examinee will be penalized for spelling errors in essays, letters or specific English language tests, if he writes horror as “horor” (note: even my word processor rejected this and corrected this word automatically without my knowing) in a literature exam (hear, hear!) or his comprehension passage has a couple of crooked spelling, marks will not be slashed. The same applies to science subjects and other social sciences.”

“Pavnesh Kumar, CBSE’s controller of examinations, told TOI, “This year, we’ve devised a scientific marking pattern. A history exam shouldn’t be treated on par with a spelling test.” Kumar says today’s children are “extremely weak” in spelling and blames the “change in the mode of teaching at schools” for this. Spelling and dictation classes are passé, and the focus is on developing communication skills. “It is therefore wrong to penalize kids for spelling goof-ups if they have the right answers,” he says. “Too much usage of computers is also causing this.””

Joking right? This in the land in which Gandhiji said good spelling and good writing was to be inculcated from childhood, a land where Nehru’s letters to his daughter are cherished as literary works.

I was told to recruit some writers for a writing project that I was working on. I tried and tried and tried, without success. Can you believe it? There aren’t many writers who can write Basic English left in this wide country. None. Reports like the above confirm it. Technology companies are searching desperately and compromising with writers who can at best write, “Me good, you bad,” kind of writing.

Oh, Mr. Pavnesh Kumar, do you realize what you have gone and done? You have pushed us brave writers sermonizing about good English, grammar, and punctuation in literary forums into the very nadir of despondency. Oh, why have I lived to see this day?

On the writers’ network that I am part of there was (there still is) a big debate about this and the English purists say English has to be written the way the Englishmen write it. I – being a moderate, and a fence sitter – said we should evolve an English of our own with our colloquialisms and our own sense of humor rather than imitate Englishmen. But, honestly, I absolutely didn’t support Internet Chat lingo and SMSese. I would rather imitate Englishmen than the herewith mentioned.

Now Pavnesh Kumar makes me assume that the Internet chat and SMSese genres are okay. Then we can go ahead and have our place in history as the country that voted – knowingly – for bad language.

But to give up all pretensions of writing good English and to admit openly that, “No, you need not write good English, spell correctly, punctuate,” is like giving the house keys for safekeeping to the robber before going on a holiday.

Is that right Mr. Pavenesh Kumar-ji?”

06 October, 2005

My keepsake box

My friend's elderly aunt had a Keepsake Box. It was filled with vague
- unrelated things. Only she knew the significance of the various
knick-knacks the box carried. When questioned - she gently used to
take the precious object out of my hands and tenderly put it back in
the box with a mysterious smile.

"Just something a friend gave me", she would murmur. I was in love
with that box and the exquisite junk that was stored in it. It had a
faint smell of old 'Attar'.

I have seen a lot of 'Keepsake Boxes' since then. Each one of them
filled with truly fascinating and weird stuff. Old letters, notes,
counterfoil of a movie ticket, dried roses, handkerchieves - are easy
enough to understand. But I really get curious about a bit of pencil,
an eraser, a piece of ribbon (wrapped around a present I suppose),
shiny wrappers of chocolates, only ONE ear ring - truly and mostly
useless stuff. But every one of these were precious for the memories
attached. The owners of these treasure troves can spend hours going
through the box and reliving each moment.

I find it difficult to relate with this passion to relive your past
through keepsakes. I am a person who merrily throws away old letters,
presents, greeting cards, travel mementoes to the acute dismay of my
more sentimental friends. As soon as the moment is gone, keepsakes
become junk. I am generally known to be a totally non senti-slab of
granite. Infact, friends have now stopped giving me any presents - even on
my birthday.

Lately I have discovered joys of writing. I am still very new to this
game. What fascinates me is the stories that are inside my mind. Now
that I have the eyes to see things, like the boy in the movie Sixth
Sense- 'I can See Stories' ! People, situations, things I have seen
ages ago and people I have met and forgotten completely have started
emerging through these stories. Whenever I write I like to figure out
WHO is person is. Then a shadowy face or a name comes out from my

Recently I wrote about Character called Tito. Everyone seemed to like
that story and wanted to know who Tito was. I was nonplussed. I didn't
know where he had come from. But then I realized Tito was a cousin,
who was something of a Don Quixote with me playing his
willing/unwilling sidekick.

It's almost like sitting with my keepsake box. Names, faces, event,
incidents, I am learning to mix and match them and create a character.
That's when I realised whether we intend to or not we all end up with
a keepsake box.

05 October, 2005


I ride on the gossamer wings of dawn
Watching the world below slowly wake up
The dark tendrils of the night softly withdraw
Leaving a pale blue light in their wake

Grey clouds move in stately fashion
Their edges lit up by invisible sun rays
Dead shadows spring to life with a passion
As a soulful morning tune plays

Around me a soft wind blows
Gathering old memories in its gentle embrace
Isn’t this how time flows?
Erasing old yesterdays without a trace

Shining dew drops drip down the eaves
While a fresh and clean smell pervades the air
As trees shake sleep out of their leaves
Birds trill gay secrets, old and rare

The best part of the day
Gently moves aside for the rising sun
With vague promises of another bright day
Arise! The king has started on his majestic procession