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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

…spilleth away

this post by a friend reminded me of some couplets by Omar Khaiyyam, from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khaiyyam. Ah, how well I know the speed life takes, and how quickly it passes, and how difficult it is to hold onto a single moment. Life can change in a moment, take twists you never expected, bring you to a completely different place from where you started. The trick is to keep looking up and ahead, with hope and faith rather than despair and fatigue…to realize and accept what we’ve been given and live it as well as we can…

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter–and the Bird is on the Wing.

Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.

 Sometimes, though, its just so difficult.

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I should be more regular in posting, but continuously whining about that but never doing it is neither here nor there.

I’ve been feeling a little low this week because I have a lot of grave things to think about and I’d rather not, and its always difficult trying to figure these things out. At the same time, reading the news is really depressing because the conflict in Gaza keeps making me go WTF WTH WTF WTH in shock and pain. Its infuriating, yet you feel helpless. I think now all lines have been crossed, and I think everyone can agree: I mean, a UN clinic was bombed. A CLINIC. After a SCHOOL. And people are being shot at as they leave their homes with white flags (note, after they are told its safe to leave). It is such an open massacre that there’s really no words left to describe it. I don’t care who’s right or who’s wrong, but I think its freaking enough. When will it stop?

I thought I’d read something other than journal papers to distract myself and this week I brought home five novels from the library, two of which are devoured. I’m working on Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia now, and I’ve never read his work before, but after a long time I’ve really been attracted to a book and an author in this way. The book is exactly the kind of black satire I enjoy, and its brutal at times, and hilarious, and moving, but at other times its terribly disturbing and uncomfortable. It makes you uncomfortable because the characters are so human and so stupid and so faulty, and you flinch and squirm and ache for them as they make their mistakes and shirk responsibility and make stupid, immoral choices. Its funny enough to add an edge so you can handle it, but real enough to make you take a look at your own damn self. The main character narrating the story is at times very Holden like, and I remember feeling terribly uncomfortable for Holden. Actually, thinking about it, the satire is also very Salinger-like, though I don’t think comparisons really work. At the same time, its not really doing its job of distraction because it gets very heavy and thought provoking at times, about subjects that at any other time I’d love to ponder over (like race relations and the immigrant mentality). I’d recommend it to anyone who’s up for a challenging but funny and moving read.

For some reason this one line after a key moment in the book really got me. I swear, I almost cried. Out of text it may not mean a lot to you, but it really struck me as being so simple yet so hard hitting and poignant.

“So the three of them bundled out, their faces full of tears and fear and pain and anger and shouting. ….The house was silent, as if no one had been there.”

I knew Kureishi was well known, but I finally know why that acclaim is so well deserved. That very simple sentence doesn’t just speak of an empty, abandoned house, within its simplicity it speaks of everything that had been there but isn’t, the life that had been there but will never exist anymore, the home, the warmth, the living, the action, the movements, the feel of family, the noise, the daily sounds…which will never be there…gone as if they never had been there. I guess you need to read it to truly experience his words…for Kureishi, like the other great authors of the world, is to be experienced, not read.

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Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho….

Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho….

Yeh Baadal Aisa Toot Ke Barse,

Mere Dil Ki Tarah Milne Ko, Tumhara Dil Bhi Tarse

Tum Niklo Ghar Se…..

Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho….

Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho….

Tanhayee Ho Dil Ho, Boonden Ho, Barsaat Ho,

Aur Tum Aao….

Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho….

Dariya Ka Sahil Ho, Poore Chand Ki Raat Ho,

Aur Tum Aao….

Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho….

Kabhi Yun Bhi To Ho, Jagjit Singh

(Sometimes this should happen….rain clouds burst and pour down….and just like my heart, your heart also thirsts to meet…and you leave the house….sometimes this should happen….complete silence, raindrops, the monsoon…and you come….sometimes this should happen….the sea, the shore, a full moon night….and you come…sometimes this should happen)

Note: The beauty of ghazals is always lost in translation…..

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The last final….hopefully the last time i will have to read the words “PCR” in atleast the next few months (forlorn hope)…and yet i am not free. one questions, why is it that I do not deserve the luxuries of freedom and “being done” and one hears no answer except the echoes of one’s own voice.

A nice dinner with a friend, a nice gathering with some friends and now a load (LOAD) of packing in front of me, and I’m sleepy, tired, and half-unconscious……”Lord, can you hear me now”?

{Cold Water by Damien Rice happened to be playing in ITunes} 

Lets not exaggerate. Lets just say…..”it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (as ripped off from the incredible Charles Dickens)

And lets end with  some of my favorite lines from the “Ode To A Nightingale” by John Keats, possibly my favorite poet.

“Away! away! for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,

But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:

Already with thee! tender is the night,

And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,

Clusterer’d around by all her starry Fays;

But here there is no light,

Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown

Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.”

And so it ends…here it ends….and where does one go from here?

Random Song of the Day:

Bhai Re, by Shubha Mudgal, from her first amazing album, “Ab Ke Sawan.” An amazing story about love and maintaining a relationship, about the realistic side of how love unfolds and what it should healthily consist of (in an ideal world). I have loved this song for years, and I feel it is one of the most meaningful songs in the world that I have experienced so far. I hope to translate this one day in English as beautifully as it is written (possibly an impossible task?), because I think it says all their needs to be said.

PS: To a certain friend (or his significant other) who might/might not be reading this (whose email I recieved a little while ago)..I’m very happy for you and for what you’ve found, i.e., T and M, good luck with everything as this journey unfolds. This song is dedicated to you 🙂

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