Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Temple Erotica

Why did our ancestors choose to
Mix the profound with the profane
The sensual with the sublime
To adorn their temples with erotica
- Blue films on stone?

Because they said
This is your body, your flesh
Composed of the five elements
And this is the vista of pleasure
Base, carnal yet pure
That it can offer

Recognize it, know it, accept it
And then shake it off-
Water from a lotus leaf

Then and only then
Enter the portals
Of the sanctum of your soul
And search for your Creator.



person of
no significance
a tireless ant, crawling
up, down , sideways, twisting, scurrying
with a headload along the pathways in the
corporate anthill, thinking this is the universe
this is the cause. And the wages of this exalted
drudgery and glorified, coveted slavery - tolerable existence.


Small town boy
don’t you feel lost
amidst the glitteratti,
the shimmering chandeliers,
the shining silverware,
the starched napkins,
the polished cutlery,
the almost silent footfalls,
the stilted conversation,
the tinkling laughter.
Did you remember your lessons?
Fork in your left hand and
knife in your right.
Or was it the other way round?

What am I?
Sensitivity, a sense of fairness
- Bengali genes , I guess.
Upper class/caste machismo,
typically Hindi heartland,it is a put on)
- almost entire life spent in Bihar,
rites of passage to manhood retained.
Ability to make decent conversation
In tolerable English (accent varying from ersatz-BBC to New Delhi doublespeak),
depending upon the listener and a veneer
- Jesuit education in the formative years and
What else but BBC!
Analytical, logical, expressive and assertive
- professional training and experience.
Abrasive, rough-grained and aggressive
- school of hard knocks and growing up in a rough mohalla in a small town,
where fists and tongue go together. 'Been there, seen it' -
that's simply smart-ass attitude,
I guess!
So, what am I?
An incurable optimist.


Physical frame
Optimistic 5'8"
65 kilograms, down from 70
slightly squat, lifetime of exercise and peasant genes
recently touched by hyper-thyroidism
eating away at assidiously collected pectorals, biceps and triceps,
receeding hairline, more salt than pepper beard
nose bent during boyhood foray in to boxing,
missing tooth- motorcycle accident in misspent youth,
on the whole a used face.
Used, abused, misused by life
too many cigarettes
too many long nights
too many books.
I was aiming at larger than life, till
Life cut me down to size.


A sense of ennui,
Tiredness, scepticism if you like
Creeps in insidiously
When one takes stock
Of the things achieved
Against the price paid
Do not simply add up.
The question just keeps on popping up, time and again.
Is it all worth the pain?
What happens if one just gives up
And let's go?

We ask a great deal of life

Thank you Virginia Woolf

As you so succinctly put it.

I ask for:

- life to be fair

- life to be just

- effect to follow cause

- efforts to culminate in results

- the good, honest to be rewarded

- the bad punished

- love to beget love

- good behaviour to be reciprocated

- politicians to be honest and politics clean

- bad things not to happen to good people

Now, that's a tall order! I am indeed

Asking a great deal of Life!


The present me

As defined by the mental frame-

I am the product of millions

And millions of incidents, accidents,

Circumstances and impulses.

A thousand cross-currents

Have tagged me along.

A smile, quirked eyebrows,

Pouting lips, a pointing finger,

An upraised hand, a frown,

A smirk, sighs and

Coos of approval


Has moulded, bent, deviated,

Eroded and formed me.

So, take me

For what I am

And not what I should have been,

And I'll do the same too.

Forget the rearview mirror, forgive

Craftily it proclaims,


(it’s a blatant lie!)

Preying on your fears of your past chasing you

Magnifying, establishing its place in your life.

The rearview mirror

Seduces you with the backward glances,

The pleasure-pain narcotic;

Leaves you wallowing in self-pity

And self-recrimination.

Sucks you deeper in to the whirlpool,

Of a past-centric life.

Takes your eyes away


The vistas unfolding


The possibilities.

Wrests control of your life and

Gives the future to your past.

In the ultimate analysis

You are unable to

Forgive others

Forgive yourself

And carry forever the baggage of your past.

You become a rearview mirror