Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Love, In an Hour

Walk...walk walk and is at sixteen that I discovered the pleasure of walks, the joy of rambling through nowheres and everywheres, in morning drizzles and evening breezes. And those talks, endless and so meaningful, talks about everything and anything, that dripped with hazy and squishy teenage philosophy. As we went along the road once, friends together, he asked me what was the most intense of all emotions, and I answered that it was love. But then time flew towards me with beastly wings and hijacked my life of sparkling tenderness, and time in this disguise that was strange to me, was so unbearable that the overarching emotion of my life for quite some time then altered into frustration. Rage, rage against the swarthy abyss into which I had stumbled,and rage against those people who relentlessly thrust me into it. I was suddenly hurled into dark, killing loneliness, and was only seldom allowed escapades into life.

Like it happened one evening, when I was part of a group that set out to visit an old age home, where I met so many people and so much agony that I stood paralyzed at how crudely hostile life could sometimes become. And then, as we tried to make their day a little better by simply talking, smiling and plucking guavas from their courtyard, I ended up talking to a grandfather who sat in one corner, with eyes that petrified me with its lack of emotion; there was no joy, no hope, not even pain. It was sheer surrender. But he talked to me, and only talked about his wife, who lived in the women's section, which was a home apart from their's. They lived in a single compound, in homes close by and yet so far from each other. The rules of the place did not allow the grandfathers and grandmothers to meet, and the limitations of the organization struck off the possibility of a grandmother and grandfather living together, even if they had been together for decades, even if it was together that they had once laughed and cried, and together that they had brought up the son who left them there.

But then there was God, and God willed that they meet. Every morning the grandfather would smile, talk, and probably there would be in his eyes twinkle, for he got to meet his love every morning for one hour, in the church. I closed my eyes and could see them, wrinkled and tired, snuggling together in the serenity of a church, not bothered about the God that stood before them, the less blessed grandfathers and grandmothers who sat beside them, or the world beyond that conveniently pretended not to see on their faces the seething desire to be there the way they are, for as long as the world remained. For once, I was happy there is God.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Flower

The flower was a nymph-like beauty,
Red, Violent, full of love and lust.
It was born like an expectation,
Out of memory and conviction.

It had the memory of
A young man who came running,
Smelled, Kissed, then slowly
Walked back to the street.

It had the conviction that
A flower could metamorphose
Into a star, with the roots
Always wet, deep, knowing.

And so it lived and lived
Until it decided to die soft;
The petals simply fell out smiling
While petals were still revelling.

*this poem is dedicated to Aswathy and Chintan, who took great pains to explain to me why and how it is "tellingly erotic"