Blindman’s Troy

Blindman’s Troy

They fade into dust

My dreams in the darkness

The light is dying out

They mock me so…

The soldiers of death

They say I deserve this

For I stole their bread

As it pours down my eyes

That burning ether

It sears through my flesh

They mock me so…

These heroes of the unjust

They say I deserve this

For I broke their law’s unfaithful trust

At length there comes warmth

That comes from lack of light

For all is darkness

And in the ignorance of pain

Lies my might

I smile in the joy

For they’ll have to go

I’m in the blindman’s Troy

They can’t mock me no more!

The Distant Dream

When the sky turned dark
and i was left alone
you were my dream of something real

When life was dead
and solitude paid respects
you were still the dream i lived

When oceans ran dry
and throats were parched
You were my dream of the crystal lake

When the doors went away
and i was locked away
You were my dream of the tiny window in the wall

When dreams came true
and I was free
You were there my distant dream…of life!

Man in the shadows

I lived in the mist
I’ll die in the dark
Spare the glistening sword
A head severed

No blood marks
No footprints
No signs of pain
No flashes of petty revenge

A lone life am I
Out on a stormy night
waiting a long wait
waiting to be given a fright

At length he comes
the rain stronger still
I hear him unleash
a writ written wrath

Spare the glistening sword
a head severed tonight
I beg the man in my shadows
to spare me this life’s last night

Spirits Implore

The spirits of the Private east 
walk on to the shadows of the nightly west 
my heart for that love still beats 
the drums of a calm unrest 

It’ll come riding on it’s ill-fated luck 
Death will come, my best friend 
It’ll smother all who stand 
and the world will come to an end 

As the battle cry roars 
I’ll unleash my scathing sword 
I’ll look up to you, my friend 
and you’ll but not breath a word 

The earth will tremble 
the skies will weep 
as my wrath descends 
the lightening will strike 
and the brave will keep 
the hate I unleashed for you, my friend! 

What’s Justice?

I live in the images of death
in the lives of wrath
and in the depth of despair
in the sorrow of this red sand

I am silent
I do not scream
and yet I haunt your days
and your darkest dreams

I lived in innocence
and died in negligence
I laughed at joy
and cried in agony

What justice you serve
what fruitless spite
what end you hand over
to this endless fight

I have sighed my last
laughed over my past
and yet you live
your guiltless heart

What justice you give me
What dress for this wound
What life for the lifeless
What justice for my tomb?

Away from the City of the Lost souls

It’s a lost city. I’d always call it that, you know, like Darlymple calls Delhi, the City of Djinns, Suketu Mehta decided to call Mumbai, “The Maximum City”, Kolkatta of course is called “the City of Joy” (by all the proud Bengalis 🙂 )
Chennai is “The Lost City.” Not because it has no culture, in fact it’s the most culturally sound city I have ever been in. It has a history and a language and even has a rhythm. But it’s still lost because it has no face. Just when you think, Chennai is the culmination of all things intellectual, a person walks up to you and says, “Monday is a bad day to move” or worse still you see the same person peeing on the corner of the street seconds later.
Not that these things don’t happen in Delhi or Mumbai but the faces of these cities allow such sick activities, Chennai always tries to maintain this intelligence and then walks ahead and pees in the corner.

As a city, it has few hangout joints, now I know what the Chennaiites would say, that’s because you havent been to these joints. But really think about it, we have a metropolitan with exactly 3 malls and exactly 3 multiplexes…not a good picture. While the rest of the Metros (and I am not counting Thiruvananthapuram coz well…it’s in Kerala) boast of new airports and new Metro Railways. Chennai can boast extremely little when it comes to infrastructure.

To an outsider, the people seem a tad too conservative, they judge you if you wear jeans and hate you if you speak more than one language. Their logic : If you can speak in Hindi, Malayalam and English at the same time Why did you not take time out to learn Tamil!

The auto drivers are probably the worst thing about Chennai, they are rude, obnoxious and charge twice as much as Bangalore auto drivers! (I calculated!).

The biggest plus points are of course, the thriving Rock culture, there are a lot of original Rock bands from Chennai that are genuine in their pursuit of good music. Also, People of Chennai LOVE TO READ. and I love that about them, even the ones who don’t know English, read in Tamil but they read.

Chennai is nevertheless lost, between the new and the old between the beauty of the Margazhi Masam and the rocking jives of the pubs. Not much to boast of as a nightlife though all pubs close at 11 30.

People in Chennai are a little too sensitive to shouting, which is why someone from Chennai would hate Delhi. The daily routine doesn’t involve fighting excessively and offices are astonishingly full of doormats 🙂
But that doesn’t mean they are without their venom, they just don’t say it on your face. If you boss says you don’t have to finish it today, it means I’m going to give you a rating of 2/5 anyway for asking if you could do it tomorrow! Everyone in the city is running away from it and that seems a little sad.

I’m out of the lost city, but often I found myself torn in Chennai. To accept the people and do same unto them what they do to me or to play the role of the over adjusting outsider who took time off to learn Tamil 🙂

It frustrates you with the heat, the lack of places to see, the excess of time but it also wins you over with  the strength of the culture, the abundance of book shops and of course the Chennai Sangamam! 🙂
Will miss it! Will always miss the city of lost souls!

Three Cups of Tea

The idea that appealed  most to me when I saw this book was the subtitle : “One man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time” Here comes a story I have never heard of before. In fact had somebody narrated it to me I wouldn’t even believe it. It breaks past stereotypes of all kinds and makes you realize that if you want to help anyone at any part of the world all it takes is one good heart!
Greg Mortenson is ahead of his time always. He is a new picture of America, a picture I’d like to keep. One of humanity and kindness. And one of humility.

This story is far away from the images we have of Pakistan: The “madrassas”, where maulvis “train” children to become terrorists and how every village has a Kasab born in them.

We, Indians, are generally very shallow. We take everything exactly the way it is served and forget that there exists a world where such battles exist, where a walk to school could maim you or even kill you. Greg Mortenson goes to such a world and comes back victorious. He talks of a tangible permanent solution which we could use against all forms of terrorism (and god knows we have fought our demons too many times!) He answers the question everyone is now asking regarding the Maoist “situation” in our country. He answers it with one word : education.

A part of a team of mountaineers, scaling the difficult terrain of K2, Greg was lost and spent a terrible time surviving the grueling cold mountains of Karakoram till he was found and taken care of by Haji Ali a local village chieftain. There is a sweet moment in the book when Haji Ali shows him the local school, or the place they call a school. The village has no teacher who’d come this far everyday so on the days without a teacher, the little boys and girls sit in an open ground writing on the sand with sticks. Haji Ali says, the one thing I wish for is a school for this village and Greg overcome by the desperation of the kids to learn puts his hand on Haji Ali’s shoulder and says “I’ll build you a school”.

What starts with one school goes on to become a revolution. The one thing the author writes about is that the moment you meet Greg Mortenson you start thinking “What should I do? How could I help?” and this emotion is not just on the meeting. I found myself going through the Three Cups of Tea website and clicking on the How To Help section, the moment I finished the book. The story is simple enough. The man had no money, no job and just had a simple dream to build a school for a bunch of Pakistani kids he had only met once.
The best part of the story would probably be Mortenson’s humility. He’s bad with compliments the author says, he just blushes and mumbles I just got lucky. And he did, the story has a lot of other heroes as well. But for Mortenson’s desire and relentless will, these people would have never known how exactly to help.

For the first time I saw the Kargil War from the other side and actually went ahead to apologize to my counterparts across the borders. We all really do have the same problems : corrupt governments, uncontrollable armies and social issues. I wish Mortenson would realize that none of the Indians knew about the injustice done in Pakistan during the war.

The book is a must read for inspiration, kindness and most of all for humanness. I think we are innately human and want to help, we just have to believe in our convictions and take that first step and make the resolve. With you all the way Dr. Greg 🙂

P.S: The next book has been published and talks about the next piece in the struggle and is called “Stones into Schools”. Mortenson has now moved on to Afghanistan with the resolve of building schools for the war ravaged country.