Ashk snippet - I

8:06 PM

She used to ask me often,

'You are a poet, an author. Why don't you ever describe my love? Not me..
But the way I love. Not the way we make love..
But the feeling that my love is..

Why don't you tell me if I am a storm or the gentle patter of the rains? No actually..
Not me, my love.. What's it's character to you?
Does it remind you of the constantly restless, unsettled desires & inquisitiveness of the Renaissance?
Or is it like the after shower of dust post an air-raid in World War II?
Or is it the rage, despair and audacity of the World War itself?

Why don't you ever write about the anchoring emotion of my love's personality?
Is it like a wild fire, or does it incite in you
the feel of touching the surface of the lake?
Is it grounded as a serene meadow besides a stream
or as flamboyant as a thunderstorm?

Does it smell like a crowded city night,
or like the sultry afternoon on a sea shore?
What taste of fear does it have? Like entering a volcano or a cyclone?'

And so she used to often ask me....

- Ashk


The Creaking Chair Part VI

8:57 PM

Creaking Chair Part VI

24 June 1999

It was one of those days which was tiring..
Not physically of course..that’s the usual story every day at my age
It was exhausting mentally.. and I somehow feel just as drained as in the year 1967
And I am glad some things in life never change
Like standing under the cold water shower for a long time
As Manu used to say, ‘as the drops run through your head to toe, it drains away your thoughts’

I still remember that day I took the plunge..
One of the hottest Summer we had seen was ending in June
And my father was fuming with rage watching me pack my bags
My mother was equally troubled … but with emotions much more mellow than my father’s
His was rage filled with concern … hers was concern filled with a sinking sorrow
And there was I, in my late 20’s … as rebellious as my grand-daughter today is in her early 20’s..
That’s what they call Generation Gap I guess

Did you feel a sudden edge in my tone there?
At least I thought so.. I think I could imagine the flaring of the nerves on my temples..
Oh boy.. I was angry that day..
After all what use is youth if not for foolish choices & ill-tempered decisions..
And so I looked one last time into his eyes, and there was this slight tinge of plea
But his vanity was too tall a wall for it to spill over..
And my blood was too young to see through the wall..
Today Manya signed up for the Army..
She says Navy & Air-force is just a façade to brag about gender equality
She wants to test her metal where it is the hardest to endure..
Her personal endurance test she says…

Of course, I did not counsel my Grand-daughter on her choices
I have learned my lessons in time..
And so shall she..
I only hope and desire them to be good, or bad but not horrific
And of course Kamal is agitated at me for not taking his side
But all he can do is sulk .. and not complain
Certain privileges I get with age on my side..

Though I doubt he would set up the lights
For the badminton in the backyard tonight…
I find it difficult to sleep without that hour of cheering..

P.S. -  Though angry my father never reproached me for my decision to take a 2 year break from my job & to go on a Solo trip round the world..The only regret I have is not sending him postcard from Alaska, his favorite destination.. (somewhere in the December of 1968 I guess)


57 times turned over...

10:23 PM

It was one of those evenings when the twilight is in love with itself... Like a mistress on prol.. Inconspicuous... So sure of herself...Like flees falling in the web of mystique... That passion which eludes... Twilight was having a romantic time with herself... 

The moon felt ashamed to be full today... For it dare share the beauty of the evening with the twilight in passion... The sky gave away its allegiance.. As it refused to turn dark... The orange mist across the horizon spread.. Like a smile spreading long after the waft of her scent had passed... 

And there lie the book she was reading....the same page... 57 times turned over...as if in a trance.. Music to her soul...the words danced in her mind... For they were incoherent... There was too much to comprehend for the eyes... And senses alike... For her mind to register the subtleties in between the lines...

As the last bird lost from the flock flew close to the unturned page of the book... Searching for her home... Or running the rebellion alone... She slipped into her sleep once more... Tomorrow would be another day... Tomorrow would again be today... The nurse took her to the bed... 



The Passive Observer - On the other side ...

1:37 AM

Fear, an emotion; I have never felt striking me with such a strong force before. Like the air gushing out of my systems without my will...like the sound of the unknown shrieking in my ears...like a consistent itch...Like I want it to stop..NOW...like i want to be absolved of the guilt that has been gnawing at my consciousness...paralysed by the fear of the act...

I speak for equality...I speak against the acts of horror against women...I speak for a community of men who do not speak on the idea of equal human rights...

But I fear...for I am a Man...a Man who fears the ire of the feminist brigade...a Man who fears the rejection from the community of brother hood....a Man who would be questioned on his orientation if he goes too far to support the cause of the "Pink" revolution...someone who would be looked at with queer eyes and questioning intentions...Courage is always the second step to change...the first is the acceptance within oneself, of and from the community of change...

I may even be seen as an opportunist....someone jumping on the bandwagon at the right time...someone who wants to make it big in the social sector..and what better a 'cause' to join than the issue of equal rights to women.

There is a reason I ended that sentence with a full stop before it finished logically. For it is no longer a matter of equality between 'sexes' or 'gender' that we address...It is still a question of a battle of "You vs Me". It is a debate that demands a solution that ends with "We".

But I fear to make that statement, because male chauvinism has a definition with as wide an interpretation as words can take...

We like...We share...We retweet....when a man blogs about a woman's rights...when a woman understands the challenges men face .... we appreciate those women who speak up and stand up against the challenges they face... But I fear to write about the fears of a man to jump into this battle...

And so I stand and watch...waiting to see which side does the weighing scale tilt and which side wins...and then maybe I shall shout out along with those who celebrate...but is it not the start of what we set out to end....exclusion from the mainstream consciousness of the society...What I need is to fight with you...for you...for the solution is not a win...the solution is an acceptance of exclusivity of the three circles in the Venn diagram...

The first circle representing "Gender", the second representing "Sex" and the third representing "Equal Human Rights"..for all of them are a part of the universal set...and each has its own integrity... but they can not cancel out each other...they need to co-exist as independent entities....

 I speak against the acts of horror against women...and men...

- Ashk

P.S. - To be followed by "The Passive Observer - On this side..."


The memory that Faded..

10:50 PM

So this is how it feels to be that memory which fades away in Alzheimer.. This is how it feels to be eroded from someone's consciousness.. Like a snow ball loosing it's identity in a downhill fall..

So I had thought it would be.. But wasn't it supposed to be sudden.. Like you wake up one morning and you remember not the color of her Cardigan.. Or  the pattern on his tie.. I always thought it would be like the morning hangover of a poorly thought off one night stand.. I never knew it would be like a wave vying to be the last to be remembered or forgotten in your memory on a beach...
So this is how it feels to be looking into the eyes and seeing not yourself but a perplexed look of faint recollection.. Of the scent of his cologne fading away.. Like the smell of her skin after shower fleeting away... Like the change of seasons so confusing.. When did the winter leave... Curling in the blanket... Waiting for the night to never be over... Where did the smell of a summer morning leave.. When did the rains fall.. So this is how it feels to be a memory that is lost to alzheimers
So this is how it feels to not finish a poem... To not let the words rest.. To be unsettled like a lingering wriggle of memory on the wall of his flight.. To be the veil of conscious negligence on her wall of her courage... So this is how it feels to not be...

- Ashk

The Jibe of the Joker

10:47 PM

Without tears he could not breathe... For the fears were way too heavy a lump in his throat... With the tears flowing... He only felt more empty... Like the treasures cherished for months had been lost... Like his life had slowly ebbed away... Like hopes had seeped out...but this time not as words which he could keep in his pen... But as water that would dry.. And leave no trace come the morn.. He felt emptier than he had thought he could feel.. The marks on the wall when he had screamed and scratched searing the burning rage forever into his memory... They now screamed on his face...and he felt blank as if it was a different him who had cried... As if it were not his finger marks on the wall.. As if he din know that animal.. He was after all a docile and honourable man...
The feathers from the torn pillow smeared along the floor of his room... The laughter of the maniac still echoing from the walls... Between reverberating silences of memory... Are u hurting they asked... And then took him into their embrace.. And he let go into the laughter he couldn't control... Insanity was not a refuge... It was home...
Intelligence they said can take you only so far...you needed to be mad to be in the reckoning... And so he laughed... The joker... The scars... The joy... The laughter... The bliss of oblivion... He slept... Sleep was after all an insufferable justice in the eyes of time...
- Ashk

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