Sunday, January 30, 2005

the next post

On a sabbatical from blogging. The next post will be after a while.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Rewrite, rewrite

Sunday evening, Vivek Narayanan went through a few of my poems. This was the first time someone formally grounded in the discipline of poetry was looking at my poems with a critical eye. The experience threw me over bit but also made me look at them again - as written not merely for myself but for a wider public - double take - and showed me things I had not seen (both good and bad), what I was actually doing when writing.

I'm looking forward to more sessions. Suddenly, there is another level of seriousness I have to apply myself to. When there is someone taking apart your poems scrupulously, you better do a very good job or let your ego mortify! So the next few days will find me revising and rewriting extensively, and the poems already posted on this blog might appear again in a brand new avatar.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blissful sun

It’s Sunday morning and all’s right with the world.

Had a strange dream last night – about blogging. Can remember only part of it, a volley of questions thrown at a man sitting on a chair, including: “What is the name of Grinchscrumpit’s blog?”

And the man on the chair says, “Grinch!” while I know his answer is wrong.


In the final year at college, we put up a play about a class reunion eight years’ hence. While this imaginary scenario was being played out on stage, with occasional flashbacks about friendships, affairs, exams, ambitions, decisions and regrets, at the side a complementary slideshow of photographs taken "eight years ago" carried on - for which we had all posed two days before the show.

Here is one - sent by a friend (a co-star) last week, with the message, "I though this picture may bring back some memories !!"

The memory of playing at memory while still in college. Two years later, the real and the artificial real blur in the memory - did this happy group actually stand together thus for a keepsake of happy times? - its reality existing beyond the photograph clicked for the purpose of a play.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Philip K. Dick dedicates The Man in the High Castle to his wife and son, “with great and awful love”.

Have you ever felt within you this oxymoron, this passion of the Dark Lords, this Darcy-like terrible love? Almost masochistic in its need to annex every emotion to its fold.

Of course, think Insufferable Roadside Romeo a la Aamir Khan in Dil and you think “great and awful love” also, but I talk here about the kind that suddenly turns its face the other way, facing something not yet seen or borne.

Once is enough. The memory of that once makes you deeper and wiser for life.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Join the Dots

I cringe as I find myself on the front page of the Sunday Express supplement. The Eye of media glare is less enjoyable than I'd expected it to be.

The cringe-factor is higher on page 4, where the highly successful interview I thought I'd had is rendered inane and my responses reduced to infantilia.

Cringing, this blogger emerges from the shell she has been in for the past six-odd days.

Yes, Loper is back.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

frogs in love

a green frog hovers
on my smile glistening
irrepressible glad

all raw green charm

darting fearlessly onto
every shoulder, lavishing
the sun you turned on

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Nothing else

When nothing works for you except fat bites off a good chunky novel. The ultimate, most delectable comfort food, something you must usually eat in restrained quantities, since you know you need nutrition other than chocolate and get only so many hours a week to fill up the tanker. In an emergency, you need it to prop up the body against the pillow, so you have nothing to do except turn the pages.

Boondoggling at the moment with The Cat Who Sang for the Birds. The satisfaction of a lazy read.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The quality of mercy is not strain’d

Or it sometimes is. Like when you see a young man with plastic buckets and tubs outside your house, ready to exchange anything for a pair of “sport shoes”. Like when you invite him up to show him a pair of unfashionable sneakers, and he turns his nose up at them, asking if you have Adidas or Nike. Like when you tell him, laughing uneasily, to get lost if he doesn’t like these.

Like when he beleaguers you about knickers or watches or old transistors, and you feel terrible for having to refuse him, for wanting to refuse him. Like when he asks you for a glass of water, and after that, another glass of water, and you raise an eyebrow and shut the door tightly behind you before going off to the kitchen for an entire bottle. So he doesn’t bother you again.

Like when he leaves, leaving behind a bitterness in the air.

When I give, I give on my own terms. Don’t demand, don’t pester me with your needs: I’m not concerned with them. Only with myself, and how I feel at the end of the transaction. Let’s all go home feeling good. Acknowledge my generosity.

Loper Update

Not found. Walked inside all of Friendicoes between rows of cowering dogs, snarling dogs, excited dogs, indifferent dogs, ugly dogs, beautiful dogs. Between their keen(ing) extra-human awareness that we were looking for someone else, not them.

Hundreds of these friendless animals, and here we were going berserk worrying about Loper. Makes one think.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Severest critic or sympathizer?

Other people might remember Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz for different reasons. I remember it for the spell its characters cast: I, avowed feminist, find myself almost in sync with Amina's angry bafflement with women who step out of the house or question male authority, and thus denigrate "sincerity, virtue, and religion". What better marker of great literature?