Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Message From The Grave

The following is a message from a mother, who is dying after a long struggle with a disease, to her newborn child, expressing her hopes and despair about the future.
* * *
A Message From The Grave

When I first held you in my arms
And cradled your head against my chest,
The joy was somewhat marred by my qualms
Of what will happen to you when eternally I will rest.

Know, that I tried and fought my child,
Against the impending doom ahead,
And to shelter you from the wild
Before the endless path I begin to tread.

But all my hopes have perished and efforts have failed,
For I am going to leave you alone and bereft.
Without your mother your life will be forever maimed
And mine will be desirous of you and a suffering for the duration left.

Now I am living on borrowed time
Hugging you to my bosom, feasting my sight,
To know your fragrance and make your touch forever mine
Constantly aware of the receding light.

There is just one wish I am holding on to,
That to the world you will be my legacy
And the stars will eternally shine down upon you
Showing the pride I will feel and also my ecstasy.

When I am nothing more to you than lore
And you feel we are a universe apart,
Just take a peek inside and you will know in your core,
I miss you and love you with all my heart.
Thanks Sh, I owe you one. I knew it was a beautiful idea, hope I did justice to it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why I Paint?

There is something especially beautiful and wonderful when anything breaks through the walls surrounding it expanding itself to appear before the world in its full glory and majestically making a statement-' This is what I can do, never underestimate me again.'

Strangely I have had a decided preference of sketching over painting. Ever since I first picked up a pencil to marr the surface of paper with cruel and harsh blows to produce something so amazing, soft and delicate that I forgot the process and its brutality, I have been in love with pencils and paper. We read poetry about clouds, candles, earth and many more things which are praised and revered because they take pains and then extremely selflessly provide us with something precious whether it be rain, light or food. Inspite of a wonderous collection of such writings I am yet to encounter any praise dedicated to paper. How can something so obviously important be so easily overlooked. We sharpen our pencils and then start putting down our words or images, carving a reminder of our pleasure, on its surface.

With this realisation in mind, one day I picked up a sable haired paint brush just to put some colour on the paper without any base sketch to work on, partly because of my newlyfound compassion for paper and partly because I did not have any idea but just an insufferable need to see colour. Smeared with paint and water when I touched the paper with its tips I had another feeling. I felt, somehow I was making up for my years of torture, somehow I was applying a balm to a bruised soul, somehow I was providing it with a reason or an assurance that its value is appreciated. It felt that my gentle massage and the rainbow of colours would give it new hope and let it know that whatever it suffers is for a higher purpose. The end product of all the toil on its part does not go into oblivion unrecognised because it is something of insurpassable beauty.

The paints stuffed inside tubes, sealed until someone is ready to 'Create' do not lose their character in confinement. What I believe is that they signify hope and patience. Confined in tubes forced to forego their shape, hiding their character from the world, they patiently abide their their time keeping up the prtense of objects -mere objects- until they are released to appear in their full grandeur as colours of life, not just as constituents but as life itself.

Astoundingly with this revelation the quality of my paintings has considerably improved, they are no more abyssmally pathetic attempts at creation but they are wonders. They are amazing objects... no that would be wrong, objects are exactly what they are not, they are precious...and just that. Thruthfully- no, my paintings have not improved, I have not had a rendezvous with Picasso's ghost who gave me overnight excellence but now my paintings are not imitations of objects which can go bad and niether they are portrayal of ideas which can be less than perfect, now they are ideas in themselves which are perfect and unique in the true sense because even I never visualised them while painting. They are life which is never what is expected or planned.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Walk Down The Aisle Part-2

She wanted to preserve this moment forever, live it to its fullest. She wanted to learn each and every detail, each and every feeling as well as she knew his face and then after the passing of the moment, embalm the memories and stow them away in a corner of her mind. A corner with dust and cobwebs, a corner which should never see the light of conscious or subconscious thought again. A corner where she would never allow herself to go again. Some things are best left undisturbed and forgotten.

Looking at the speedily darkening golden sky her mind drifted back towards another memory of another day two years ago…

* * *

They had just seen the end of their first fight and to celebrate they were going to their favorite coffee-house. It had been over something very small but somehow they had managed to treat it in the exact wrong manner to make it a full blown fight, their first fight. They had decided to meet at their usual spot on the beach road but she had not been their on time. With her characteristic lack of clairvoyance she had not taken traffic into consideration and had ended up being two hours late...

She stepped out of the cab checking her arsenal for every apology she could think of ready to bombard him with them and demolish his anger. However when she saw him what she encountered was a cold stare, not angry, not anymore just cold and resigned. She barely opened her mouth and uttered a syllable of her fairly detailed apology when he said “So you finally did come? I was beginning to wonder whether you were going to even inform me if you had decided not to bother with it at all. I know you think that I have no other work or the least consideration of my time since I spend it being in love with you and if I am as useless as that let me wait. What difference do a couple of hours make to my life”? She knew that he had the right to be angry but that didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt her. When they had just started going out, she would say that he must be pretty useless because he was going out with someone like her and then beam with pleasure when he would reply that it was completely absurd of her to think like this and tell her how wonderful she was.

His words hurt her more than they should have because deep down she knew that she just said it to hear him deny it, and how much she wanted it to be true. Angry and unreasonably disappointed she retorted without thinking. She said “ well I have no intention of wasting any more of your excess of free time so please just go away never to come again and believe me I will not bother you anymore”. She turned around. He was not supposed to see the tears welling up in her eyes. Walking briskly towards the first cab she saw, she clutched her handbag tightly. He was not supposed to see her trembling hands too. It was not until she got into the cab that the tears started falling…

Two whole, long, painful days passed but he did not call. She didn’t call him either. She had picked up the phone innumerable times, sometimes even dialed the number, but had hung up each time. Her own words were not letting her find peace anywhere. She had never been as happy as when she was with him and now she knew that she had never been this upset too. They had promised each other that they would stay together and happy forever, but she had broken it. She couldn’t help thinking that only she could be so obtuse and devoid of an instinct of self preservation to lose something so precious.

The third morning she decided that she could not stay in the house and look at the disappointing, beastly phone for another second. She took a cab and went to the library intending to bury the memory of that last meeting in some deep dark corner of her mind, under tons of information from an encyclopedia or a bundle of latest gadget magazines, never to be remembered again. The attempt was pretty futile and ineffective and by noon she had started wishing that libraries were noisier places.

When she reached home she saw the red light blinking on her answering machine. With a racing heart she pressed the button. The message was from him, infact her inbox was full of his messages. She stayed there just long enough to hear the last message say that he was waiting at their usual spot on the beach road and would continue to wait as long as it takes her, because life without her did not make sense and after all he had plenty of free time.

Luckily the traffic was light and half an hour later both of them were leaning on the rail towards the sea. Their fingers were loosely entwined, just an assurance that they were together. She smiled to herself when she remembered his torrent of apologies for hurting her and how similar it had been to the words which had stumbled out of her mouth, roughly meaning that she was an idiot. But now everything was well, the setting sun marked the close of a beautiful day. The music of the waves and the silence of the sun’s movements somehow belonged together. But the best of all was the knowledge that the sun would rise again the next day and they would still be together, happy, precious…together.

* * *

She was not so sure now. Was this the last sunset? How could it never rise again? In all its stillness and silence it still belonged with the waves but then maybe she was singularly unfortunate…may be it was the last time only for her. The sea would still have its sun which would keep on rising and setting each day…maybe it wasn’t so obtuse and devoid of an instinct of self preservation that it would lose something so precious, so perfect, so essential…