Saturday, December 2, 2017

...

A procession of poets at the rented door
Their words, their music, their ecstasy
I stand mute, without lines

At dawn it will flood again
Sinking prayers like paper boats.

There is a place beyond the beyond of beyond.
Ask the poets to meet me there
Where we will attend the funeral of the dead once more

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Letter to the saint


Oh Saint of the broken people....
We who carry too much light through our broken bits
Come to you in our states of trances
...
They must be blessed
Those who can pray or have faith

O Saint,
Coming here to wash away the traces of 
Walking with an apparition
Might be as pointless as the threads
They tie at your doorstep

The flowers we carry
Like the memory of footsteps 
Saint, is there a way to send in less light?
.....

That mad poet of yours
How do we, the people of silences
Sit through the ecstasy of his answers?

Kings who bowed at your doorstep
Princesses who built ornate walls for you
But then, you were a fakir

Oh Saint,
Take away the weight of flowers
And fill it with the lightness of roads



Sunday, November 12, 2017

The day after the flood
And tornado.
The day to count abjectness.
But, there is a freedom when the water
and storm has taken away everything.
There is nothing to count.

This time friend, I am not beginning again.
Let the full stops have their way.
As the bout of flue evaporates, will hit the road again.
Roads have always been kind, they have always taken me in
Without any questions.

Next week, Pushkar

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Winter

It has barely been a year since bags were unpacked on this shore, which I thought will be closest to that place they call home.
By now, have managed to sail with Jesus without the accompaniment of tea and oranges.
Friends who make this place home are a few time zones away, at least for a few years.
And, without the aid of therapy and the lines of Tathagatha, a few realizations arrive rain drenched, looking slightly awful without an umbrella.

There ain't going to be a place called home. Transit is where life is. The people I meet in transit, over a fraction of seconds, they are everything.

As I sit with Foucault and shed tears over a cup of tea, he makes a suggestion. May be it is fine to run forever, to new places, to new work. He offers to be there, on a wall in Boston or Santiago or somewhere else, to give company over new tales of heartbreaks, alienations, new kinds of genocidal mobs. They are all the same, still they are different. A change of scenery always looks fine, even if the story that you will carry across continents will be the same loop.

Friend, this is never going to be that happy marketing brochure story. This flawed, broken, wonderful, colorful, bleak, tear filled, joyful, mundane, exciting life. You are not going to check any of the boxes that they sell at the counter in standard human sizes. This is gonna be an experimental piece, always open to new ways of breaking and being whole again.

Don't lose heart in this bleak winter (though it is so sunny outside).
It is time to repack again.
What is winter to a nomad who knows another place where winter can unfold slightly differently.
Is thankful for the smallest things. Like that warm dinner with an almost stranger.
Or the warm embrace of a friend who is getting onto a plane to another time zone soon, may be for another 2 years before we meet again.

It is time for new work. New books, new diagrams, new proposals. You just cease to be a flute when you stop working. May be a year or two. Will give all I have again to this new project which is kind of flitting inside head. Will leave again for another shore, may be by that river. Though it is going to be cold there,  the buildings definitely neoliberal and the mobs a bit genocidal. But, aren't they all the same everywhere? At least I might be able to try out this new tune, which needs a lot more funding and an altogether different set of tools. Foucault says that he will come with me, wherever it is that the tunes will take us.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Travel

I am in New York
Sitting against lot of soulless buildings and deep water.
Not the kind of place that can indulge your existential crisis, however small it is.

Still, there is some thing to travel. You might start all broken, but somewhere it can fix the cracks within. It can make you see everything in a new way. Out of the small box in which you were getting bruised against the same mundane sharp ends. Opening up, seeing everything in another light.
It could be a small one day journey to an old palace in Rajasthan, days of moving through Himalayan foot hills or a plane journey to a whole different continent.

I will go back to the same box, to bruise myself against the same sharp edge. May be should plot more pilgrimages. Now I know that the pilgrimages were never really about reaching anywhere. God might have been somewhere in the journey.

Have been walking for hours. Knees and ankles threaten to break. May be, we are designed to move, run, see. Instead of brooding over stuff that will poison your cup with their proverbial drop.

Over the past 4 years and the PhD, it has been all about work. May be one needs to live as well, even if that means getting broken occasionally. The scariness of things that can go very awry. But sometimes you might need to learn to not fall off even if you are standing on the very edge.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Friend,
These are the perils of being alive.
Burn like water
Break over and over like glass

There are roads, and taverns, and streets.
Walk back home to undo all their work.
Moments which hang like dead bats
As if they can last forever.

But friend, forever is not even a place.
Run from places that catch fire
There will be tomorrows
Even after darkest nights

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Single

Those of us who don't win in love
Who don't get to clasp the beloved to heart
We are lucky
We are set free

To roam the mountains
To write till our pens go blind
To sing till our voice changes the seasons

As perennial losers at love's door
The moon takes us under its wings
We travel with the tides.

You will see the solitude of Marquez in our eyes
Sometimes, even the hurt of Frida
A few of us can drive Freud to the asylum
With their endless brush strokes for that one painting

We are lucky

We are never alone
In a well made home, with a marmalade family
And a marriage which smells like diapers

As for love, we are only there
Before it begins
We are blessed
To be never around for love's funeral

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Penance

Like every season this too shall pass
This delirium of impossibilities
Which hang over head and heart
Taking lightness away from footsteps

What is the point of haggling
With that haggard old woman called fate?
After every encounter with her
I walk back in shame
About the pebbles in my hand which I try to pass off as coins

How many mountains, roads, streets shall one walk through
To wash away the dust of still born hopes.
Not the enlightened one
Nor the monk with the bowl
May be should turn on the self help mode
And take the lemon for walks of penance to make lemonade

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Loneliness of a film

I am a jew in Germany, some where in the 1930s. There should be other things which concern me. Like the smell of genocide which wafts through the air. Will it arrive at my doorstep in a few years, months?

But, being fickle, I worry about other things. Like a film which remains largely unwatched. I remember the blood, sweat and tears of making it. Smell of fear, police men who delete footage, paranoia , hunger. Patches of poverty as you save up for another hard drive.

Now as the film sits alone in a corner, with hardly any audience, I wonder…which is the harder phase? There is no censor certificate, showing it has to be like walking on eggshells. Getting screening spaces is becoming harder and harder. Then, there is the panacea for all-an online release. But, being on the net means risking safety issues. So, the film sits alone, in the corner. These days it never gets up and comes to me with wistful eyes to know what I am doing about getting more screenings. I send emails and emails and emails.

Entering in festival circuit has meant over a 100 rejection letters. From dozens of different countries they write the same line, may be they get it from some template in the internet. “Unfortunately, we were unable to select your film to this year's edition of the festival. We had watched a large number of documentaries, which were carefully considered and the limited space in our program has forced us to make many difficult decisions.” I look at the vimeo link. The link was never played by some festivals. They screen the same films again and again, in a strange kind of film festival incest, blessed by PR managers.

 I walk alone through the tunnel, worrying about the film. I remember the man who travelled across with a rag tag projector and showed the films that theatres refused to show, creating a new audience. He died alone, penniless.  May be I should get a projector and go to places with a group. But, I don’t have the money for the projector, there is no group and most of all, I am not a man. With a bit of vomit in my throat I remember the progressive middle-aged film curator who had an almost 7 minute conversation with my chest.
..........

May be some films are not meant to be seen. May be I should worry more about the impending genocide.