Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Absence by Pablo Neruda

I have scarcely left you
When you go in me, crystalline,
Or trembling,
... Or uneasy, wounded by me
Or overwhelmed with love, as
when your eyes
Close upon the gift of life
That without cease I give you.

My love,
We have found each other
Thirsty and we have
Drunk up all the water and the
We found each other
And we bit each other
As fire bites,
Leaving wounds in us.

But wait for me,
Keep for me your sweetness.
I will give you too
A rose.
Pablo Neruda

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Not tonight, darling.

Another day, perhaps,
I will take
your pity
poured in a glass
called "love"

Not tonight, Darling.

किसी दिन शायद
मैं पी पाऊँ,
तुम्हारी दया की मदिरा,
तुम्हारे प्यार नाम के प्याले में,

आज मन नहीं है जान!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Computer Abbreviations quiz

Happy Lohri .. old draft post

पींगा , हूटे, ते मेरी माँ

सुवेरे सुवेरे चूडिया, गौण , ते हासे

किनारी वाली चुन्नी,

आठ आने दी रेवड़ी

ते रुपये दी गजक।


आज लोहड़ी देंदे हाथ

तेरे हथां नु बड़ा तरसदे ...

Indira Priyadarshini

25 years ago, on this day, I was a perky 7 year old. Stuck in a friend’s house in Jammu bcs the road to Katra was blocked by snow. Sometime at midday, when uncle came home for lunch, he told the elders that Indira Gandhi has been killed. All of us laughed in his face, asking him to stop spinning tall tales..
In a while, there was a curfew, we were told to forget abt Katra, and I remember being driven through curfew, to “safety”. I remember boarding a train to Delhi. I remember the journey, and what happened at Delhi.

25 years is a long time to wait for justice. It’s a long enough time to see an entire generation, left fatherless and education-less, gone nowhere.. children massacred and the sheer ruthlessness of the whole thing..

In 25 years, I have not understood the logic of this plan.. not understood why it had to be so barbaric , and not understood why no justice has been possible, in all the 25 years..

Not ONE culprit punished. However, all of them have been elevated by the Congress High Command. Answers, anyone?

Oh, and if u are planning to write in the comments section, a la Manmohan, that 1984 should be “forgotten”, here is my reply:
If you want me to forget 1984, sure, I will do it. Just allow me to pull your men and your young male children, drag them out of the house, pour kerosene on them, and then, put a burning tyre around their neck. Allow me to let you see all this, and you should also see me laugh hysterically at your wails, and at the wails of the one being charred to their death. Let me hack your child to pieces, a little 2 year old, who was caught while he was still wondering what just happened. Let me do this in your full view, forcing you to see this right after you have seen your husband and /or young son being burnt with a tyre around his neck, when none of your neighbors could, or did, come out to help. Let me leave you with 3 generations of just widows.

Now, tell me, how long do you need to forget all this happened? How long will you wait for the judiciary to bring you justice? How long will you wait before you become a terrorist to avenge your dead? How many of the victim Sikhs went on to become terrorists in this country after 1984? They could have. And they have waited, patiently, year on year, for the justice system of this country, to deliver that justice to them. 25 years.

And you think it’s a sin to remember?

On the Congress Party

If you are pro-Congress Party of India (Indira), you must read this post and comment. I love a good fight sometimes.

The voters are talking anyway, but like people touched by the moon drops, our Congress leadership is wondering in delusion as to why this is happening. Madam, this is your coffee beans service. Smell the coffee.

1. Take the 9% growth rate statistic to the farmers committing suicide, to the small shop owners losing their livelihood to retail giants, to the small entrepreneur for whom things kept getting difficult till the recent budget; for the urban unorganised sector that still does not get easy loans and is therefore in the grip of the unorganised credit sector; the rural unorganised sector that is heavily in the grip of goons. Ask them what they think of your statistic. Income disparity in this country is today much higher than what it was when the BJP lost power. What is your hope?

2. VP Singh implemented the Mandal Commission- literally, on the corpses of hundreds of students. But neither he, nor his party was ever seen in power again. MMJ got into a similar tiff with the IIMs, and the BJP has not seen power since. Now you have Mr. Arjun Singh. Moral of the story: it is a bad idea to antagonise the students and their parents, and to play with the futures of meritorious students because they were not born into a certain caste.

3. For 50 years, this country has tried to rid its people of their labels of caste, religion and region. You might remember the old patriotic songs sung by your elders in the same party - Hind Desh ke niwasi, sabhi jan ek hain.. ?
Now, suddenly, the administration appears hell bent on pasting these same labels on people, with a vendetta। To get an admission, you need to indicate your caste. To get a bank account, you have to indicate your religion. To get a job, you must indicate your mother tongue. Whatever happened to merit?

4 It has been a long time since the 1984 riots, the Babri masjid, Operation Blue Star et al. Yet the congress has not been able to win back the "vote banks" that it lost then. There is a reason for that. A Sachar Committee and compensations for 1984 riot victims will not bring back those votes. Ever. Quit trying.

5. Interest rates are almost at the pre-reform levels. So is inflation. What is the difference between then and now?

6. Under the congress regime, there is never any explanation. EVER. Inflation rises within a matter of months. No explanation. Madam comes up with a quote like "Retail FDI on hold". No explanations(don't worry, the whole country knows the names of companies that benefit from this. There are very few Indian retail companies that are going it alone). Interest rates continue to rise because the RBI thinks that liquidity = inflation. No explanation. What are economists like Singh and Chidambaram doing in the cabinet if a Lalu prasad Yadav can come up with a better budget?

So, let's see the report card.
1. Economic Reform: Interest rates high. No direction plan on h0w we want to use FDI and FII. Inflation rising and economic disparity rising even faster.

2. Social Reform: Zilch. Even the population control program has gone for a toss.

3. Politics: No accountability for politicians. Lok Sabha members can skip the house and still get paid. No Control on keeping out criminals.

4. Infrastructure: No master plan. Even the Golden Quadrilateral project has been sidelined. SEZs are a hazy concept.

5. Human Resources: Nothing even remotely forward looking in the areas of education, incubation of sports talent, Research facilities.. anything!!

And to end, the PJ: Why is it that in spite of a think tank like Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram etc., the Congress party has failed to come out with any bright idea in all this while?
Ans: Because only one person is allowed to think in the Congress party.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crimes against children - an unpopular view - the responsibility of the guardian?

All of Delhi and most of India is still getting over the barbaric rape and mutilation of a 5 year old child.

And over the last week, i have been thinking.. asking... what leads to crimes like this? Criminal depravity, for sure, but that has been around forever. Other than blaming the police and asking the government to do something, what else can we do?

And here is the distilled thought:
The primary responsibility for the physical security and emotional well being of a child, rests with the parent or guardian of the child. When we bring a child into the world, it is assumed that we are ready and capable of shouldering that responsibility for as many years as it takes for the child to be self reliant.

In some cases, parents do not have the resources or the inclination to watch over the children. Self reliance is therefore thrust upon these children, whether or not they are ready. My maid leaves her 4 year old and 2 year old daughters "in the colony" when she comes to work. Thats over 4 hours of no parental supervision.

To me, thats criminal neglect of the child.

In India, the law places no obligation on the parent or the guardian. In most of Europe and the US, the children will be taken away from you if you do not take care of them.

But here, we listen to the parents scream in pain when a child is a victim of horror. But we dont turn around and ask them - was your child protected enough? Were you there to watch over the child? Did you make sure that the child was physically safe and in an emotionally non threatening environment?

No. We let the parents abuse and neglect their children. We place no blame or responsibility on the guardian. And we are quick to blame the police. Or better still, the government.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Parent child love ?

I have a lot of respect for parent child love.

However, one does believe that its not the absolute that its made out to be. In fact, quite the opposite.

  • Parents who abort daughters as accrued liability and nurture sons as term deposits.
  • Yesterday, someone was talking to me and told me that he and his wife are very stupid and their parents decide everything for them - including buying items of daily use and clothes. they dont buy anything for themselves. why? bcs "my mother is very smart. she does all this for us in a way we never can."  - Really? and what happened to learning by practice?
  • Parents who sexually abuse their own children, or look the other way when the child reports something?
  • Parents like this one
  • Parents who want to control every aspect of their adult children's lives - who they will marry, when they will have kids, where they will work, even what their grandchildren will wear.
Between them, methinks this covers the entire gamut of parental interactions in society.

Tell me, where is love in all this?

I was told that once i become a parent, i will stop seeing the selfishness in parental love and see the love in it. i dont. i still see selfishness. And my son highlights it to me over and over again. When he does something that i dont like, he makes it a point to tell me that just because i dont like it doesnt mean he doesnt do it. it has to appeal to HIS reason, not mine. And though one is angry, one has to agree in principle.

I want him to comply not for his good, but for my convenience. i dont consider what works for him, i think of what works for me and try and coerce him to comply. I try to reason it out with him, but i start from the perspective that what i m saying is right. Which it is not.

What do you think?          

Monday, April 15, 2013

Will the soap kill the family?

It is generally tom-tommed by the said programs that they are the upholders of "bhartiya sanskriti" - indian culture. that they bring indian tradition and culture)and the latest design in saris, hairdo and jewelry) into our houses. that they demonstrate what model families are like (sanskaar and all that).

But bear with me here, as i make the exact opposite assertion - The serial (or the soap) will be the end of any healthy family - forget about Indian et al. It is the serials that are responsible for families turning even more political, for the end of real camaraderie and the start of role plays in all interactions.

What you see is what you become. Dont take my word for it. When you read Jane Austen , does your idea of romance change for a few hours? When you see Olympics, do you wonder about the state of sports in India? When you read about death sentence for terrorists and the "implications" - do you get angry that people have no objection to feeding them taxpayers' money, but will object to justice being done? Yes you do. Or some variation of these thoughts. The stimuli we choose for ourselves will shape our thoughts - at least momentarily.

And when u repeat the same kind of stimuli (ask fans of Hindi novels, Wilbur Smith or people who watch crime shows), your brain is even more attuned to think in one direction.

Now lets see the direction that these soaps give to our minds:
1. The only way to take the story forward is to be mean, nasty, cruel and to hurt another person. Since the sphere of our activities in the serial is the home, it teaches us how to misinterpret, how to hurt, how to misrepresent and how to be cruel to our own family members or friends or those closest to us.

2. The "bhartiya sanskriti" tom-tommed in these serials is the MOST MYSOGYNISTIC representation of Indian culture that i have ever seen. If this is what the women are watching and enjoying, i really dont have much hope for womens emancipation in India.

3. There is no story. TV is not called Idiot Box for nothing. There is no intellectual stimulation except to second guess the next maneuver of the characters. The only message is that you should judge people, misunderstand them and misrepresent. Use information, not constructively, but to create webs of deceit.

If people in your family enjoy serials, do be ready for layered communication, circumlocution and domestic politics. And oh yes, you can kiss that simple family communication goodbye. in these serials, there is no family. Just a set of "good people" and a set of "bad people" sharing the same house and working on cross purposes.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Saddest Poem - Pablo Neruda

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

More Pablo Neruda

These are from a teacher .. both these poems speak so much to one.. like all Neruda...


And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Henry Charles Bukowski

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big ass winners .

it hasnt told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place

unpoken to

watering a plant.