Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So, the rains are here. About time too. {cue: grin :D}

And I have a cold to boot. Which is not surprising, if you know the history I share with my barely functional respiratory system. Falling sick when you're alone has got to be the suckiest thing in the world. Yes, you grow used to it, but the suckiness stays.

Did I tell you that the rains are here? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy {cue: more grinning :D :D}... everything is so wet and so f***in' green - it just kills you to look at it. Wait till it gets heavier. Just wait. I'm gonna stand outside my balcony and watch it pour. All day. Better still, I'll pull out a chair, sit with my feet on the railing and read a book. Who needs music?

The last two weeks, every single day, I've been like Calvin, except that I've been pleading for it to rain. And now it's here, and it's gonna be like this for a good two-three months. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy ... okay, okay, need to get a grip on myself.

In other news, this blog is the first result on Google if someone looks for Neruda's Ode to Bicycles. {Pats self on the back} No, I didn't have anything to do with it. Apparently people kept looking and kept coming here. And Google rewards quality, you see. Or at least, that's what I delude myself into thinking. {Before people start lining up to explain how Google's algorithm works, I'll be all snooty and say: I know}. The funny thing is that post doesn't have even a single comment on it. Bah.

Talking about poetry, read this book of poems called "Ultramarine" by Raymond Carver. Carver is a writer I'm beginning to like a lot. His poems are like short stories and don't quite fit the "notion" of a poem but I like them all the same. The intensity does waver a little here and there but it's a solid collection of poems. They are never about the writer or his craft, no showing off, no "ooooh! am i clever or what?", just moments snatched from a life and presented as is. It's interesting how he makes his poems work and how they leave that lingering bit of emotion in you even after you're done reading. Need to reread them again. One "cute" {ok, so I just used that word} poem from the collection:

An Afternoon

As he writes, without looking at the sea,
he feels the tip of his pen begin to tremble.
The tide is going out across the shingle.
But it isn't that. No,
it's because at that moment she chooses
to walk into the room without any clothes on.
Drowsy, not even sure where she is
for a moment. She waves the hair from her forehead.
Sits on the toilet with her eyes closed,
head down. Legs sprawled. He sees her
through the doorway. Maybe
she's remembering what happened that morning.
For after a time, she opens one eye and looks at him.
And sweetly smiles.

It's fascinating how he paints these "word pictures", as he calls them. Lots to like about the guy. In case you're new to Carver, you might want to read this.

Polished off this book called "The time traveler's wife" by Audrey Niffenegger over the weekend. A friend had recommended it a few years ago and I finally got around to picking it up at a book sale last Friday*. It's "an old-fashioned love story" between Henry, who time-travels because of a genetic condition, and Clare, who meets Henry for the first time when she's 6 and he's 36, and gets married to him when she's 22 and he's 30. Did that intrigue you? Then you should read the book.

It's a good, well-crafted book, although the craft does show here and there. The book is downright hilarious in some places {like when Clare asks Henry if he thinks they are having too much sex; like when Henry's librarian friends bet about why he keeps disappearing; like when the older Henry time-travels to teach the younger Henry how to pick locks and pick-pocket}, delightful in the way it carefully ties every knot, engaging, moving, and much much more, leaving you with a lump in the throat when you put it down finally. I really should put a review up but then it's so much work. Oh, gah!

Other books read during a surprisingly good month for book-reading: The Black Swan, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, Selected Poems - Wislawa Szymborska and The Essential Hemingway.

Life is good :)

Meanwhile, it's raining outside :D

* - In case you're in Mumbai and love books, you might want to check out Magna Book Gallery in Fort; they have a 30% off on some books and 20% off on most others. The sale's on till July 3rd, if I remember right. They don't have a lot of books, but you can snag a few bargains if you're looking for classics. I got a Fitzgerald for 80 bucks :D

PS: A quick hi to people whom I don't know and are "following" this blog - much flattered.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wish you were here

I keep feeding the darkness my loneliness and soon, the night morphs into a monster, one with a hundred eyes.

Because silence can eat
only so much.

Nowhere to hide now. No use pretense. No escape. Nothing to do but lie back on the grass, hold on to my shadow, gnaw my knuckles and stare these fears down.

I'm so tired.

Because patience wrings
the heart dry.

Every minute is an exercise of tongue-biting will, every hour a recurring nightmare, every dreamless day a deliberate act of absurdity. Time agonizes, admonishes, apologizes, but it goes about its routine like only time can, quietly counting, one second at a time. Every night, I fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion.

Never knew this could be this hard.

One touch. One whisper ...

So bloody goddamn hard.

... of eternity together.

I hug myself, trying to feel you in the space between my arms, searching for the memory of holding you till dawn came looking for us. I try.

One hug. One wish ...

So hard, so hard, so so so so ... hard.

... for lingering bliss.

Why is it that two people travel best hand-in-hand? Maybe I'm a little ahead of you on this road. Maybe, I'm a little behind. How would I know? You seldom call out. And so, my confessions are all a little tempered; my need carefully calibrated. Lest I get ahead of myself. Lest I lose you in the distance.

When I was little, my father bought me a pair of binoculars, the green of a billiards table.

Because distance breeds
demons and doubts.

One summer afternoon, I discovered that if you looked in the far end, where the black eye-pieces were smaller, the clouds no longer became bigger; they just grew tinier.

Because truth is a trickle
too little, too

And if you turned the knob, the birds flew farther and farther away till all you could see was just the blurred outline of the horizon.

Because evenings grow purple
with twilight dread.

Have you ever done that? There was always this brief moment, before I turned the binoculars around and looked in the right end, the right way, one infernal instant when I used to think "What if ...?"

Because tomorrow will come
crashing through the curtains.

Have you ever been caught in that moment when you didn't know if your world was coming back?

And I will wake up
wishing you were here.

Well, have you?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

So the f***er finally did it. Well, like my brother used to keep prattling about, twenty years from now, nobody will remember Nadal's early exit and Fedex will have a career grand slam to show his fat kids.