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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

05 December, 2007

This festive party (for Janet Fine)

Too soon for trips! don't leave   this festive party
the moon's eclipse would grieve   this festive party

we met along a road   toward a rare concert
the tablas' taps retrieve   this festive party

you twirled in natyam   as   a whippersnapper
must Rudra's steps re-weave   this festive party?

you caught the screenings   festivals received you
lost stardust tints the eaves   this festive party

Mumbai Cairo New York   pearls for your piercing
low-budget trips don't peeve   this festive party

in five-and-dimes you’d shop   in several countries!
and fashion’s glitz achieve   this festive party

you found a manuscript   on pleasing women
God's microfische conceived   this festive party

the dusk of palaces   caught your affection
you threw   Raj Pipla's eve   this festive party

does Bollywood recall   one who first named her?
the skinnydips are brief   this festive party

you sliced my heart   critiquing   my first movie
don't seal your lips!   nor leave   this festive party

I still have tales to tell!   who'll understand me?
don't doubt my quips   believe   this festive party

I won't be brief!   I'll flourish   my bandana
I've got tricks up my sleeve   this festive party

the kiss of death   they claim   is liberating
reluctant lips receive   this festive party

the smile of Tukaram   lives in the painting
newspaper clips   frame Jiv   this festive party

Ellen sends love from yon   out at East Hampton
and look!   a glimpse of Steve   this festive party

here’s Lucian!   Betty’s also   soon arriving
the commune   let’s not cleave   this festive party

too swiftly time's page flits!   we were still reading!
the boat tips   and upheaves this festive party

the ghazal's wit   steeps love   in lamentation
a dye that suits the sleeve   this festive party

a million notes   the soul jots   on its journey
we've still chits   to retrieve   this festive party

days vanish   and the nights   fitfully finish
tell me if it’s   a thief?   this festive party

the world drifts   in its dream   yet   Parabrahma
motionless sits   who sees   this festive party?

in Haridwar   there's aarati   morn and evening
trays wave   as Shiv bereaves this festive party

from Raphael accept   gratitude's bandish
his note   slips through the sieve   this festive party


For Janet Fine, a friend. She expired in Mumbai, 24 November 2007.

verse 3: natyam (Skt.): dance – more specifically, Bharata Natyam, a discipline that engaged her from a young age.

verse 7: “a manuscript” – viz., Lazzat un Nissa (The Pleasure of a Woman, circa 1850), a translation of which she published (under her own imprint) in 2003.

verse 8: Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, from the former princely state of Raj Pipla, was a friend of hers.

verse 9: She wrote journalistically about the film industry; and she is credited as the original coiner of the expression “Bollywood.”

verse 14: Jiv (Hindi): life

verse 22: aarati (Skt.): a Hindu ceremony of worship

verse 23: bandish (Hindustani): a classical song


© David Raphael Israel.

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3 Comments:

Blogger subodh said...

Oh what an ever-enthusiastic Indophile Janet was!! Always keen to participate in an event, start up a conversation, cheer people up - and finally she was a great admirer of Bollywood. Mumbaikars will surely miss her presence at all the art dos and film events.
Subodh Maratt - Toronto

06 February, 2008 07:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen Janet for years, but was close to her and her family and her high school friend, and friends as she was in journalism school. We had alot of fun together running around the city with her international friends. I'm sad to hear she is gone.

12 March, 2008 10:14  
Blogger simplymani said...

It's been four years since janet moved on to another world. in October visited her at Basant and she gave me a book "No time to say goodbye" authored by her sis Carla. She comforted me as I was then shattered by the demise of my dog companion Atharva in a suburb of Mumbai while I was in dubai. I miss them both. in 1996 literally bumped into each other a screening of a childrens film at the Metro. we went to some great parties and once she introduced to a phrenologist Yusuf who alas departed earlier. Can anybody give me email address of Carla? mani media guy. my mail mchitoor@gmail.com

02 October, 2011 20:54  

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