Month: December 2015

If only !

Mahadevi Verma was one of the pillar of the romanticism/chhayawaad era in Hindi literature.It was marked by a rejuvenating and renewed sense of the self and personal expression, visible in the writings of that time. I read one of her poem as prescribed in the school text book -swati ( which means first drop from the sky that falls into the sea and turns into a pearl) in grade 10.

जो तुम आ जाते एक बार
कितनी करुणा कितने सन्देश
पथ में बिछ जाते बन पराग
गाता प्राणों का तार तार
अनुराग भरा उन्माद राग
आंसूं लेते वे पग पखार
जो तुम आ जाते एक बार

हंस उठते मन में आर्द्र नयन
घुल जाता ओठों से विषाद
छा जाता जीवन में वसंत
लुट जाता चिर संचित विराग
आँखें देतीं सर्वस्व वार
जो तुम आ जाते एक बार

I cannot think that it can get any more romantic,submissive and unconditional than what she has described. In the poem the poetess is describing what her feelings would have been if her beloved comes to see her only once.
I might not do justice with the translation but I can present a crude one here.
Inordinate compassion, inordinate communiques and messages
would have bestrewed the path as flowers.
Every chord of my soul would have sung a melody full of intoxicating passion.
The tears would have washed the feet.
If you would have come once; if
The moist and tear drenched eyes would have gleamed.
Would have washed away the megrim and sepulchral from the lips.
The spring would have canopied my life.
The eternal hoarded despondency would have been lost.
I would have submitted everything that I have.
If you would have come once; if
———————–***************———————-
I have heard that many people associate romanticism especially in Hindi literature with God but I am open ended to this discussion as the feelings could have been directed towards a lover too for which a poet/poetess or the protagonist in the poems is longing for.
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Window to an outer world

Though the title of the post sounds “deep”, “thought provoking” and “philosophical” but there is nothing scholarly about this article. But digressing a little bit I would concur that window is the best part of any room, its an opening to an outer world, its a hope that there is something other than the room in this world, and its a realization that only a brick wall separates us from the outer world and we can at any point leave the inner sanctums to explore the Parthenon of exterior world. Enough philosophy ! I have two double hung windows that actually are as large as any French windows in my apartment. And I love them ! Few months ago I came back from office and was inserting the keys in the main door to enter the building and at that moment I was stopped by an old woman. She introduced herself as Mrs. Atkinson and we exchanged pleasantries as the decorum of the civil world says. Upper east side of Manhattan is famous for wealthy old people and lack of night life although I can argue against this Vox Populi as we have Penrose, Heidelberg ! In your face !! She said its very nice that we have vivid and alive diaspora in the Yorkville neighborhood and I was thinking that I am glad that I don’t have to pee otherwise it could have been awkward. She went on to say that for past 25 years she and her husband take their evening coffee at 6 pm in their balcony during the spring and during summers. And 6 pm is generally the time you come home. I thought about 6 pm for a while as I had seen a video on senior dating problems; In that video,which you can check out here , women are complaining that men asked them out for dinner at 7:00 pm which is not acceptable as in their world dinner is 4:30 and anything after 7:00 is a booty call. Its hilarious ! Mrs. A continued in a hesitant manner and said “dear ! I don’t know how t say this but you know we can see you through your window  and I was only wondering whether you are aware of this. It gets a little uncomfortable for us as our balcony faces your room and despite the tree we have clear line of sight.” I was a little startled and tried to speak but words got garbled up and something like uhhmmaakmm came out. She continued and said “I am so sorry dear, I had no intention to embarrass you but I had to let you know”. I should make it clear here that I don’t do any socially prohibitive activity in my apartment. I calculated in my mind that only my study table is visible to her from her position and I use that only for office work, writing or sitting while on chair just after coming from office and letting the sweat from the body dry. In that case I do get a little negligent towards clothes but hey there is nothing for anyone who is interested in any type of voyeurism. And there is this massive green tree just outside my window that should block “ideally” any attempt to see into the apartment but I guess nothing can be hidden from Mrs. A’s X ray vision. I explained to her that out of the two windows I had put curtain on only one as the other window has radiator just below it and I couldn’t find the right size curtain and I always had assumed that the tree provides a camouflage that renders me almost invisible. She laughed at my answer and said she better go for her tea and invited me for lunch on coming Saturday. I did go to the lunch and examined the point of interest- the majestic balcony- myself. And boy ! she wasn’t wrong. I have always under appreciated optics in my Physics courses and optics trumped this time.

Christmas

Its holiday season and shopping season too. Many major stores are well known for synchronizing their products with human emotions by producing tear jerker advertisements. John Lewis stores – the Walmart of Britain are known to produce such ads and few of them are wonderful.

SpaceEx, NASA and ISRO have been sending missions to moon and John Lewis added themselves to this list with this adorable advertisement for Christmas 2015

Foot in mouth

Finally after 2 weeks of lying in bed and lolling around in my apartment, I was taken by my hospice for a brief outing to the nearest grocery store- Morton Williams 😛 . I was excited to see the outer world once again. I have noticed that mostly senior citizens shop during the day and during weekdays. There was a woman in a wheelchair, she was little on the heavier side. We started talking about random stuff such as Christmas shopping, weather etc. After good 20-25 minute conversation with her, I asked her “so, when is the baby due” with a smile. She said with raised eyebrow “What baby ?”. Oh my ! I wished an earthquake to gobble me up that moment itself. I apologized and made some pathetic excuse to get out of there.

I don’t know for how long will I live but cause of death will be “strangulation in public place by random stranger”

Neighbors in Manhattan

upper-east-side

I admit it that I am a bundle of disasters.In Manhattan you don’t talk to your neighbors. You just nod at them or give a politically correct smile in case you meet them on stairs. Keeping up with the tradition I have the similar rapport with all of my neighbors. I just know names of 2 people who live on my floor, I have talked to one of them and haven’t seen the other at all. There is another guy on the floor above who is extra enthusiastic and waves at me by calling my name from a distance.  I think its too late to ask his name, its been two years now. Its not my mistake if he has  Hyperthymestic  syndrome (those who remember everything) and I am only an ordinary human. Just above me lives a girl who seems to have Thor’s hammer and she keeps throwing it from one point of room to other. There is another woman with a furry dog, she seems to be amazon freak as she orders tonnes of bulky stuff every now and then. I wonder if Bermuda triangle is in her apartment itself.Let’s come to the story. Few days ago I was entering my building and was opening the lock of front gate. A man with shady looks was standing near the door and said “Oh good ! you are here, I have been standing here for a long time. She is not buzzing me in, (few expletives) what is she doing in there. Its wasting my time”. At first I thought he is a delivery guy but his looks were very unpromising. He had a baseball hat, a little bit on healthier side, his blue jeans was covered with grease from a mechanic shop so was his shirt. His hands were black ,he was smoking a cigarette and had a carry bag in his hand. I said to him “I don’t know you, I cannot buzz you in. But if you tell me what floor are you looking for then I can knock the door and ask them to buzz you in”. Seemed a decent and fair proposition to me. By this time I had opened the door and closed it in front of his face. He stared at me as a hungry lion stares at a gazelle in Serengeti. I walked up the stairs and knocked on the door of the apartment , actually it was my neighbor’s door whom I had never seen. No one replied and no one answered. I entered my room and from the window I yelled at the guy standing that no one is opening the door, come back later.

Life went its course for a couple of days until few days ago I found a small dog like thing peeing on my front door. I just returned from my office and saw this small creature peeing in front of my door.The dog ran into the apartment in front of me. I thought the liquid will dry up and I will later throw some clorex on it. Minimum work !!  But it became a regular affair for that tiny dog and  on the third instance I decided to complain. I went down, learned the name of the guy from the mailbox and knocked on the door. A woman with disheveled appearance opened the door, I asked for Mr. X and he came to the door. It was the same guy who was standing in front of the door few days ago and I refused to let him in. I exclaimed , Oh you ! Never mind, your dog is peeing on my door, would you mind cleaning it. He was just staring at me . I said once more, “your dog cannot pee on my door, make it stop and please clean it”.  I said “you can ask your house cleaner to clean it”. To this he said “she is my wife” . Oops moment for me. I backed off a little and said “clean that thing up please” . He did clean that and the dog evolved to use human toilets but since then whenever I see that guy or his wife I get one X ray stare from them.

Single during holidays?

I sometimes think being with friends and family all the time is overrated. A person can enjoy his time alone but holiday season is a vicious time that can mark a dent is this staggering confidence of all the singles in the world. Apart from the holidays there are other ways carved out by the ruthless committed and married people in the world to make the singles in the world feel miserable, left out, ostracized. Though I am not sure about the ulterior motives here. May be they are really happy or they are doing that in spite of the independence of singles. Whatever may be the case, this tug of war is never ending. Facebook causes depression. Period. Too many people in my friends list are getting married and are posting photographs of the wedding ceremony on the social media. Such people should be arrested and should be sentenced for life. They are major cause of social depression in the society. I mean, they will post anything and everything that exist or doesn’t exist on the planet. Those who are married for some time relive the moments by posting 2 minute long slide shows of their photos with background music from “Sound of music or Casablanca”. All the movie making and Photoshop software should come with an extra “Terms and conditions” point that the software cannot be used for such unethical and anti social purposes. Facebook adds a cherry on the top by providing “How are you feeling now” option. Yada Yada Yada eating dinner at some arbitrary place and “feeling blessed” with “xyz”. My brain is impotent to understand this concept. Valentine’s day is another one dark recurring day in lives of singles.This lol cat is adding insult to injury here.

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True that !

Have you ever seen the look given by the waiters at some high class diners when you ask “a table for one”. I am just asking a table for single person not asking you to donate your kidney. Apart from such frosty nose stares by the different people from the society there is the empathetic  creed. I am telling you they are the worse. “Keep faith my dear ! May be this is your year. You never know what life brings to you” . Thanks for these words; I feel reincarnated and “blessed”. Its like you are giving hope and life to US Soccer team that they will win the Fifa would cup or telling 1899 Cleveland Spiders that they have best home runs.

All the travel websites should be sued for they offer discounts when you travel with more than one person. All those traveling alone for vacations should be given special status for they are confident and brave enough to leave the comfort of their bed and are willing to see something new.

At the finishing note of my rant I would say no I am not single, I have been sharing my bed with 2 towels, an iPad, a t shirt, a bag of potato chips, earphones 3 pillows and a pair of socks for a long time now and have been calculating length of diagonal of my rectangular bed in my sleep 

 

The impressionist

IMG_20151215_113749

For past couple of days there was a mail delivery box lying on the first floor and I never bothered to check it for I hadn’t ordered anything and all my mails are delivered into my mail box. Today, while going out to get groceries I checked the box from a distance and was surprised to see my name written on it. I took it to my apartment and opened it. The box bore my name and address and was delivered from Sunnyvale, California. I opened to see that it contained a print of an impressionist painting. It looked familiar but I couldn’t decipher who has sent it to me. I don’t know any artist from California region. I am nonplussed as its a conundrum. I have emailed few friends of mine to ask whether they have sent it. Till then its a mystery but I am enjoying this beautiful painting.

 

Tolstoy

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! In the Wild !

Leo Tolstoy is one of my favorite Russian writer. I do not like to those people who plan each and every single thing in their lives. Sometimes few things need to be left on your impulsive instincts. Into the wild is a great movie and my favorite quote from the movie is

“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.”