Saturday, May 23, 2009


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant: they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery but let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Specially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

- Max Ehrmann.

Another favourite of mine, back from my growing up years….We are off for a two week holiday today so I leave you with these thoughts….undoubtedly, the world is unfolding as it should!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


As I said, I'm a very private person. Yet today I went to my email contacts and informed some (not the entire address book, no way!)people I consider close to me to check out this am I gearing up to open my heart for the world to see or am I just pushing the limits of my own self worth? Whatever, in the end each poet, each songwriter, each author is in his or her own way, a Narcissist. Otherwise would we be able to emote about ourselves so eloquently...delve into the depths of our despair and bring out a heartfelt outpouring as if words were created only to fan and give a voice to our emotions? Sometimes I want to laugh. Once in a while I see the larger picture and I see myself, small and unimportant, it's hard to suppress a giggle and at other times, its just me and me and me. Then I'm larger than life and all my hurt and angst, real and imagined, cease to limit itself within the limits of normalcy. Recently something happened which I really smarted about...spent a while moping and howling at the moon and pleading and groveling and feeling sorry for myself. But I know it's enough. I've done enough. And now it's time to pick up the pieces and move on.... And as Baba would have put it, "..this is not the end of the world."


A cold grey world
a reddish glow to the Eastern sky
the morning song of the koel
a caress from the waiting breeze
and another day is in my hands
another day to love and hold
another day to live in hope
the promise of another day,
another life, another world....
My thoughts drift in like roving clouds
scattered across the morning skies
all my words, all my doubts
still unspoken for this day.
I need the torture of your love
I need the vanity of your taking
I need the chains you bind me in
I need your loving lies of hope.
Just now it's only the sun and I
trembling I wait, for this is mine
the world to my touch
for a moment - one brief moment-
I can pretend I'm indispensable!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bach, again today...

"The world is your exercise book,
the pages on which you do your sums.
It is not reality,
although you can express reality there
if you wish.
You are also free
to write nonsense, or lies,
or to tear the pages."

Need I say more?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lets talk about Richard Bach...

When I was in my early teens, someone gave me a book called "Illusions...." by Richard Bach. I devoured it. Hell, I even tried cloud vaporizing!!! I wasn't very good at it but in my scheme of things I often convinced myself that the clouds shifted somewhat...(how quaint, how naive)!That book never was too far from me and I managed to read all books by Bach...a personal favourite being "There's no place such as far away" which I have thereafter gifted to countless people. I grew up on these philosophies and tried to live on them and live off them...they helped me out when the winds howled outside and it seemed that the world was going to end. They made me a less judgmental, less interfering person....unconcerned about things that do not concern me to the extent of being labelled a snob (a mantle I carry happily!). Now that I am slightly better read than I was then, I personally feel the thoughts have a lot of similarity to those of Lao Tzu...obviously the universe is unfolding as it should and you should just take a back seat and let things happen! Sure. Only sometimes life kicks you in the gut and you wonder where you're headed and if it is the right direction! And no matter how well you know your illusions, there is always some delusions you have to shake off!!!!
So at this opportune moment, very timely as Bach himself would say, my mum gives me this book..."Messiah's Handbook", the one that had been thrown away, remember? And do you remember how this book was to be used? "Hold a question in mind, please.Now close your eyes, open the Handbook at random and pick left page or right."
Here's what I found:

"When you live
by the highest you know,
the outcome of the game doesn't matter.
However it comes out,
it came out right."



Your Gift

I accept your gift, unfair though it may seem
of sleepless nights and relentless dreams
chasing through the night to where you stand,
calmly watching me fall, not lending a hand…
Mornings are filled with disrespectful light
all at once too busy, all at once too bright
it’s glow too diffused to be unkind,
dull and lifeless like my daily grind.
Somehow time passes, days bleed into one
while each day I race only to be undone
by the dreams: the tears wet on my face
as night falls and there’s still no trace
of you. There’s no running away - naked and cold
shorn of all pretenses I now clamour for a hold
back in my old life. So I buy myself sleep
with shots of whiskey and wonder why I keep
living. For I was not ready for your perverted game
the love I treasured was to you only lust by name.
Now I imagine your face cold and cruel
Unsmiling eyes watching me grovel -
I thank you for the hurt, surely I asked for it.
I thank you for the agony, surely I deserve it.
More fool I, for despite your heartless coup,
I still – stupidly, insanely, blindly – love you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ghosts.....She-devils and the like.

"..for friend and father Deb Kumar Sett
who loved life and me
And who waits for me still
around the corner
walking among the ghosts
of living strangers
not one as real as he..."

{That's not entirely original. The credit goes to Linda Goodman, I think. But I like it too much and it reflects exactly how I feel.}

Some friends, and foes too, with malice probably, called me "she-devil" in college. I had this favourite red jacket and long curly hair flying every which way...with my face covered with a black scarf with only the eyes peeping out I guess I did look chudail-like when I zipped about on my bike! And truth be said I loved it!
During a recent trip to Shimla, I stumbled upon an enchanting book called "Ghost Stories of the Shimla Hills" by Minakshi Chaudhry. It was full of short stories in and around Shimla and even in the Mall and the US Club, close to where I was staying on the Mall.
I was up at 3, tormented by a migraine and unable to sleep. Tossed and turned for a while with visions of ghosts and moaning voices running through my mind and decided to take a walk to the US Club and hopefully meet some of these notorious denizens of the night! I've always wanted to meet them, who hasn't... I have too many questions to ask....The sleepy Receptionist was just that. Sleeping. And did not notice my exit.
The night air was bracing and the sky was clear and bright. Stars lit the night and the mall was deserted. I walked up the road to the US Club along a narrow unlit stretch shaded by looming trees. It was quiet and the only sound I heard was my own laboured breathing! No, I did not hear any footsteps nor did any lost souls peer at me from behind the pines....nothing but the distant sound of dogs barking somewhere and the wind whistling through the trees. So I stood a bit, took in the fresh mountain air and returned quietly to the hotel where the receptionist stared at me as if I was the ghost!

This book says that descriptions of chudails or she-devils vary from beautiful damsels dressed up in bright clothes to the other extreme of monstrous creatures with protruding nails and teeth and long unkempt long hair. They can be identified by their feet and hands which are turned inwards. Folklore has it that they can change their form to appear as a woman, a man, a child or a beast.......
So which one am I now?
Go figure!!!!