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Raindrops

Drip 
Drip, drip 
Drip, drip, drip 
Dainty droplets dripping on my palm 
The rhythm seeping through a blanket of silence, calm… 
Winds whistle as the leaves ruffle 
Clouds drift over dilapidated shanties 
Narrow lanes, honking traffic, fallen trees 
Scattered twigs, mucky roads, nature dims the light 
The city where dreary people await sunshine 
I stand motionless feeling the soft chill on my skin 
Calmness merged with the distant noise of a recuperating life 
My still hands below quivering raindrops, in delight, I catch 
The gentle reminiscence of a fiery past and perhaps 
An omnipresent essence drips on my palms….dripping pearls 
Of life trickle down my skin, cleanse my soul…I bloom 
Like a flower, as I stand mesmerized 
Again, I spread my hands, clutching 
Quietly, the raindrops 
Dribbling on 
My palm

Rilke, again

I love this guy!

“Avoid providing material for the drama, that is always stretched tight between parent and children; it uses up much of the children’s strength and wastes the love of the elders, which acts and warms even if it doesn’t comprehend. Don’t ask for any advice from them and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

 

Gives me some comfort, much comfort.

Writer’s block

I haven’t been able to write for a while. No prose, no poetry..not even a bad verse. It’s a feeling I grapple with. Writing has made me grow so much. And, now here I am, reading and re-reading my old poems..trying to find something to hold on to. .something that can lead me to a treasure-trove of words blossoming in the fragrance of imagination, words dancing to the rhythm of  emotions rising and falling like tides, words..

This makes me uncomfortable. This makes me churn on the inside. Am I poet, or even a writer anymore? Rilke comes to the rescue. Here, he talks about the futility of literary criticism and says that-

Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them. Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentation, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

     In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!

So, here I am..wandering in the realm of unsayable. Growing- not like a flower breathing freedom in the cradle of spring, but like a tree weathering the rashness of winter. And, I see something building in me..a surge, unsayable as ever but heralding a promise, a hope of spring. And, I swirl, smile and wait..for my words and for hers.

Raynebow

Alone, away, I rode adrift-
demurred my love divine.
Inside of me did grow a rift,
convulsed with no sunshine.

Bouquet of light, I shone apart
like leaf  laden with dew.
Her touch, so soft, imbibed my heart
the stars twinkled anew.

a lonely way, disdainful din
and still, no hand to hold
someday, she shall come carved in
His most beautiful mold.

winter haiku

Winter sun shading mist
with shadows of warmth on
basking cold: crossed paths.

My soul is dark – Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o’er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
‘Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now ’tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once – or yield to song.

 

You

Extinguish Thou my eyes:I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound:I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.

Sever my arms from me, I still will hold Thee
with all my heart as with a single hand,
arrest my heart, my brain will keep on beating,
and Should Thy fire at last my brain consume,
the flowing of my blood will carry Thee.

 

– Rilke

 

Crush

Oh, I think I am going to be an expert in handling (silly) crushes, unrequited love and break-ups, rather than relationships. That’s what happens to me, most of the time. There are different types of crushes and wow- this is a new type for me!
I wonder, how long can you hide a crush while you are still talking to the concerned person. Everyday, you live on hope while insinuatingly expressing your like-ness. And one day, you say to yourself- “enough of insinuation. I’ll get rid of the could-have-beens, should-have-beens and might-have-beens in my life.” And, you do it. Instead of an indirect insinuation of like-ness, you express a bold, direct insinuating expression of like-ness. And, it goes awry. Bad decision, resulting from immaturity, taken at an inopportune moment.

Then what? You can’t even say a sentence to her without revealing that you have a (silly) crush. And, what’s more – life is so transitional, so “in-the-middle-of-nowhere” that “crush—–>relationship” hardly makes sense. So, you stop talking to her and distract yourself from your distraction. Is this the end of this (silly) crush? I don’t know yet, but oh, this silly post- why is it even here!

When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakednessand pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonlessworld where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

love is sufficient unto love.

The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran

Candle light vigil at Delhi Queer Pride 2010

(this is my own personal account/experience of being at the delhi queer pride)

Before we begin, a few points to note-

  • It was my 2nd pride. I lied to mom, with much more finesse(as compared to the way I blurted out “I’m going to CP” last year) It does get better😛
  • THANK YOU- Delhi Queer Pride committee for scheduling the event from 3-6 PM. I could attend the whole event- including the last leg which consisted of slogans, poems, speakers, cheering and candle lighting-without having to rush back home for my 7/8PM curfew! Thanks to Delhi Metro as well😀

So, as I stepped out of Barakhamba Road Metro station, something struck me; and it was-ease, consciousness and excitement. This was unlike my first queer pride when I was ridden with apprehension, fear and anxiety. Ease with which I knew Tolstoy Marg because of having traveled through the same place for several QueerCampus meetings. Excitement to be a part of “queer” “pride”- when I understand that “queer” is much more than an encompassing term for LGBTIQ and “pride” means much more than putting up a defensive reaction on hearing people crack a gay joke.

Now, we come to consciousness- and here, I made my first conscious decision. I decided that I would not wear a mask. A mask was something that my soul had already rejected and wearing it would be like suffocating myself with a polybag. Yes, I know that I’m not out to my parents and that I’m not out at large. “But c’mon, no news channel is here to make an entire documentry featuring every single person attending the pride! I am not even flamboyant enough to get noticed! And, if tomorrow’s newspaper has my face somewhere in it- I’ll smuggle it out of my family’s reach” That is what I thought😀 Jokes apart, my conscious decision was more about rooting out irrational fears and being confident enough to brace up for any consequences of my decision.

So, we marched. We marched ahead. And for the first time, I could look up to people, recognize them and say “hi”. People who bumped into me and said “hi”! People knew me and I knew people, dammit! People that I came across at QueerCampus meetings and people whose activist-y work I’ve always admired! There was a friend I could call up and admonish, “Sambhav, why aren’t you here?! I’m waiting!” And, I missed a few others- those who had accompanied me at my first pride- Anahita, Manas and Ramia. There was warmth round my neck, I had my rainbow muffler on and I missed my first-last-ex girlfriend. I missed how she would listen to my endless talk about starting up and being a part of some queer student group with a smile on her face. And in my pocket, my cellphone still has a picture of the first online gay friend I ever had. I tell you, she is beautiful. I missed these people- but in a happy way. Finally, I don’t feel so lonely now🙂

Revolution. I was merged into a revolution. I waved my flag high. Played around with rainbow balloons. When Sambhav got on stage to speak on behalf of QueerCampus, I cheered him the loudest I could. I pumped up my fists in air at every slogan, at every cry of Azaad! Azaad! Azaad! And with an equal sense of quiet, I lit my candle and remembered those unspoken voices that were and are forced to whisper in their closets. And when it all died down, an immense feeling of another revolution took over me. A revolution I was walking along with- Sambhav’s grandma, his mother, brother and sister had come for the pride. I was walking with them all along- half-believing, half-wishing that they were my own family. While I was accompanying them back to the metro station, Sambhav’s mom asked me, “So, do you have a girlfriend?” Half-amused and half-flushed, I said “No Aunty, not right now. I had one, but she broke up”. As I talked with them, I realized that they are no different from our families. Even they live in the same uncompromising society that our families live in. It’s just that they ARE courageous enough to face that society because they love their child. And, they’ve begun to understand him too. Sambhav, you are one lucky guy!

“bye Ananya. see you! Bye! See you at some QueerCampus meet! Bye Aunty, ek din main aapke ghar zaroor aaungi! Bye, Ananya!” I took leave and stepped into the train back home. A deep sigh. Of happiness. Quiet. Still. “For heaven’s sake, who is Ananya! It’s just a pseudonym. Beyond that pseudonym, no one cares and no one knows. My friends, well they know and they support me but perhaps they don’t love me enough to come marching with me to the pride. My family, they love me but they don’t know. If they knew, they would never have understood.” “Oh, stop thinking sh*t” I told myself. “You know, it takes time!” And then I remembered, someone I have never met, had SMSed me- when I was cheering at the top of my voice- asking how the pride was. And I poured my heart out in some hundreds of characters.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Oh, I have plans already. Next pride, I’m going to get outta my camera shy nature and give interviews like I’m SRK! I’ll be right at front waving the big rainbow flag. And, at the pride after that, I’m definitely going to be a part of organizing the pride! At some pride, I’m sure my “non-queer-identified” friends will march with me! And sometime, I hope my mum will come with a placard that says “I am proud to say, my daughter is gay”(Sorry Sambhav, I’m stealing your slogan :P)