Tuesday 14 February 2017

[Short Story] Many Tales to Tell

Arjun sat on the sofa, agitation written all over him. Every few minutes he changed the songs in his play list, tiring easily of each one. Either he didn't know the whole song, or the lyrics were bad or it was too tough.

He felt his mother's touch on his shoulder and saw her looking down at him in amusement.

'What is all that frustration for?
You are going to break that iPod today.
Don't think, your father will buy you another one all that soon.'

Seeing her laugh only heightened his anger.
He plucked the headphones and flung the iPod along with it on the sofa.
'The cultural programme at college is starting tomorrow.
The music competitions will happen day after.
The seniors said, that they are banking on me.
And I am not even able to decide on the song yet...'
He gave her a blank stare.

She sat next to him, and gave him a hug and he slumped down on her lap, even letting her ruffle his hair, which he was very protective of, ever since he joined college.
'Oh! you remind me ever so often that you are still that little boy, whom I desperately wanted to grow up.
But, it is nice to meet him, every now and then.'
He sat up suddenly and glared at her.
'Ma, cut the crap ...
I think I'll go out...'
She jumped up and stayed him.
'Hey, calm down...

I have saved some of the new songs ... you know... those that you haven't heard ... I am also sure you will find something interesting...'
Mothers know their sons best and he did find that magical song.

The beautiful love song, sung in his earnest voice moved almost everyone in the audience.

'My nights grow listless without you
My heart grows agitated with out you
My peace deserts me without you...'

Every girl there felt, that he had actually sung the song for her.
He was the most popular guy in college from the next day.

The song helped him meet and marry his future wife.


Arjun stood in the kitchen, cooking an elaborate meal of dhal and parathas. He fortified himself with a steady supply of tea that simmered on the smallest burner in the cooking range. The kitchen was an absolute mess, but he had won the cleaning lady's heart with his generous tips and his kindness.

Now that he was alone, he wanted to make the best use of his free time. ‘Freedom from bland cooking!’ he shouted or rather sloganeered as he slathered more ghee over an already soggy paratha.

His mind kept reminding him of what lay in wait that evening.

Marriage, he agreed, was good yet there were many sacrifices, some of which, he missed terribly- like his friends or the late night parties with them.

He hated having to behave so responsibly all of the time.
‘Come prepared with some songs…’ his friends had ordered, they were equally eager to meet him. They specifically requested for a song that was taking the Internet by storm.

It was a song of joy, a song of liberation, a song of celebration.

He worked up the mood to sing it with the right amount of gusto.

He sang it loudly and experimented with a few moves that could go with it.
In his enthusiasm, he failed to notice the generous drippings of ghee that had enriched not just the paratha, but the floor as well.

He felt his feet slipping and fell with a thud, the song turning into a whimper in his lips.
He could never recall the events that followed clearly, but he found himself being helped by a contrite tearful wife, who looked at him, her eyes brimming over, with love.


Years later, when her children grew up, she would tell them her love story animatedly. How her husband, their father had loved her the moment he set eyes on her and how he had wooed her with his song at the college cultural show. She would tell them of their first fight and how, when she had returned home plagued by pangs of guilt, she had found him slumped on the floor, crying his heart out for her

‘Oh! my wife has gone away to her mother’s…’

She would also tell them of her firm resolve to never leave his side, ever again…

And that, my friends, is how myths are born and propagated.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

[Poem] Hymn to Defeat

                                  Image was found at http://dods.gamebanana.com/maps/664

I walk this road
Beastly foliage
with bare hands
If I fall
I crawl
With the insects in the dust

I walk
Clawing at cobwebs
Mummified in grey tendrils
A noose gripping my throat

In dark caves
I cower 
Fear laughs
And swings from the roof
Or hovers
Overhead, leering
Waiting to taste despair


There is no turning back
There never was
Will each trudge
Towards the Promised Light

The landscape shifts
Paths become roads
Roads turn to ruin
Dust powders buildings
Rust and grime reign tall

[Translation] ஆண்டாளின் நாச்சியார் திருமொழி - கற்பூரம் நாறுமோ

    What form does bhakti take? In deep veneration it evokes intense spirituality. Can one express romantic love towards the divine? Great s...