Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Elbow Cream

Today, I write about you
Words come from my gall bladder
All drenched in bile,
And wine made from cider

I remember those summer afternoons
When coal tar would stick on shoes
And you would dress up in cotton Pyjamas
Planning to set up a ruse

You, lost in your own world
And partially in mine
You’d seek refuge in the recycled paper
And lie down beside me

On the top floor of that house
I would go to sleep
and you would look at me
And then lie down beside me
(as I felt the mole near your navel)

Remember? You were after me those days
Trying to change the destiny of my elbows
Armed with, do you remember, the elbow-cream?

You’d be soon leaving for Kolkata
I knew you had surrendered
Their happiness mattered to you.
But what about my elbows, Nina?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Mind wanders in Meerut

He wore a silk scarf. One last time, he thought. He also held a silken handkerchief in his hand. Ram Bahadur put his sleeping bag and his suitcase in the rear of the car. As he shut the dickey, two crows sitting on the electric pole became alert. They tried to ward off their fear, hopping restlessly on their feet, but then decided to fly away. Ram Bahadur looked at him meaningfully and he gave a nod. The time had come...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Postman, Bouncing High

A paralysis has gripped me. There is internal bleeding as well. Of words, which don’t come out. I imagine myself, on a bed in a hospital, wrapped in a calm, white sheet. A needle lies embedded in one of my veins, near the elbow joint. I also visualise a red-coloured Thesaurus attached to it, hanging upside down on the drip stand. I imagine.

I think of myself to be a Postman at a hill station. I walk on the lonely stretches, negotiating bends and curves; a bunch of envelopes in my hands and an old-fashioned black umbrella held under my left arm. I stop at the tea shop. I have a bun and an extremely sweet tea, served in a chipped glass. Sometimes sun shines. Sometimes I cut through the mist. And sometimes I have to open the umbrella.

Actually it is nothing but loneliness. Also, there is no agitation of mind. My inner demons are in a state of comatose. I am stuck. Struck off too; struck off from my own margins.

I try to write. Like:

When he saw a snake creeping over his leg; making a rustling sound on his silken pyjamas, he knew the time had come. Time to tell the story. (Sentence left as it is)

Insalubrious. (Nothing)

It rained heavily as we carried his body till the main road. The load was very heavy, almost backbreaking, despite the fact that he was a mere skeleton now. But carrying him from his cottage till the main road, climbing those fifty-eight steps, laden with bare leaves, we stopped at various places and tried to take stock of our breaths – the phenomenon that he had ceased to perform. (Harmonica, four years ago; as I saw it. MS word file closed)

Maqbool Sherwani. Hindu astrologer; the story of 300 apple cases. Snake bite outside Bhadrakali temple. Raahchok, the ghost. She jumped into the river. Dost Mohammed jumped after her. Leather sandals for seventeen rupees. It was snowing when I opened my eyes. Six months had passed. (Wrote it on the stick pad and pasted it on the CPU)

Yes, aware that I am dying,
I carry my body on my back
Into my mind. Take a shovel
Dig myself a pit. It’s simple. (Doc’s poem. Put it back in the cupboard)

Isko kisi ki arzoo bhi nahi. This does not desire of anything. This. This. Write Rahul write. For God sake write. Please. Write for the sake of that red wall. Write for the sake of that look in your eyes (Secret). Write for the sake of that thought in your mind (Top Secret).

If I can bounce high. High-bouncing self, I must have you!