Friday, 31 October 2008


Rage is a curious thing.
No shallow anger will do.

Wash it clean.
Let it trickle
Into every secret sorrow,
Every minute crack,
Till you're saturated in its clarity.

Then cut,
Cut deep and cut fine.
Carve it with a subtle knife,
Till a stream runs into each wound
And each scar is pooled
In bitterness.

Hide it,
Shield it in cast iron,
And try to forget
The palely smoking poison
That lies cupped in your hand,

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Magic Monday. It rained and rained. All different sorts. Slanty. Sharp. Bitter. Light. Jhomjhomano brishti straight out of Robi Thakur's poetry books. I slept during most of it. Woke up and took a walk through a queerly distracted evening. Soft lashes of rain, glowing dim in orange streetlights, wet my T-shirt with dull determination. Slick asphalt and no water logging in this para, thankyou very much. The air is muted. TV sounds melting away, loudspeakers fizzled out. Would the skies dare this again the next evening? I very much hoped so.

When I got back, mud on my feet and smell of moist paper on my skin, I was told that I looked like a dripping crow. Oh, a white dripping crow, hahaha. White crows are considered omens of death, but I didn't say a word. It was that kind of evening.

It was that kind of evening, where you were almost convinced that something was going to happen. Something worth hoarding and looking over later in secret patches of daylight. Something should happen. Nothing did. At least, nothing that I noticed. The next day, the skies did not dare mess with the festive spirit. The night rumbled in triumph and dazzled me with its brilliance. And so I sit in this familiar seat, stretch my fingers, and return to the evening where nothing happened and everything was promised. Because maybe it's that waiting which brings out the best in me.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Twenty-two candles. That's all my father came back with at 5:30 pm this evening. Everything else sold out. Ma was upset. Not that any of us had intended to contribute in any way to all the cracker-exploding shimmery-glimmery jollity that permeates the city this time of year. Diwali, it's called. When the stars go into hiding and are not missed by many. For weeks afterwards the smell of secondhand cigarette smoke reminds me of booming skies at two in the morning.

Twenty-two candles. Well. One must make the effort. They would have to do.

Ma set them up on the balcony, even spacing, lifting back her sleeves
carefully, skirting around the potted plants. I hovered near, unhelpful, munching on kaju barfi. Why put up such miserly little things when they're going to go out in a few minutes anyway. She didn't deign to answer that one. We must be content knowing that we must.

People came. More barfi, laddoo too. Talking, laughing, pjs, ciggie smoke, breaking out the Smirnoff, political adda. An evening of general bangaliana. They all left eventually, off to have kali pujor bhog at another friend's place. Only Baba and me left. Someone turned on Sony Pix. I fiddled around with playlists, turned off the lights, lay flat on my bed and surfed missed calls. And then, interrupting the Doobie Brothers, walked out to the balcony.

Orange light everywhere. Burnt orange and thick fog. An electric streak cutting through where a child waved a feeble phuljhuri. Hiss of brief fire licking the sky. Only thing is, from this particular balcony you can't really see the sky at all.

Not one of the twenty-two candles remained. I was momentarily so surprised that I called Ma up, asking if they'd been stolen. Was told to not be silly, they'd just burned out, now don't bother me please.

Twenty-two candles that, true to prediction, had burned out before I'd ever got to see them. Is it strange that I should miss their light?