Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why i am still a hindu: as revealed in a bad dream

This is a real dream i had after i went to sleep, somewhere around 8 this morning.

We want to talk. It is really late. But we are feminists. We are not supposed
to be afraid. We are walking down a dark midnight kerala road.  I start getting
more and more afraid. I want to feel safe. Lets go where there are some people, 
shyly i tell her. Did she want to walk on? I don't remember...

We see a huge bulding. And even as i say, lets go in, i realize that it is a temple.
Celebrating a midnight festival. Inside the temple in an auditorium made of granite
stones, there are women in bright blue and pink Benares sarees
(aren't dreams supposed to be black and white? But i am so sure i saw pink).
And there are also those letchy, orange, hindu swamis, reputed to having killed many.
We step in without thinking, and the swamis welcome us warmly, making me feel queazy,

We sit down on a cold granite seat, under the thick dark starless sky. We see a
huge temple pond before us. And in it there are these specks of light floating.
Something huge is about to happen and all the rich temple people are waiting.
We start to feel guilty. I feel it most coz i am the one who manoeuvred this move,
away from the rape fantasies of the dark, midnight road.

I know we ought not to be sitting here. We who have renounced our crazy religion,
that tells us that we are second hand citizens. That strips us of our healthy humanity
and yet prods us to hate and kill. We try to read an intellectual magazine, which
materializes from nowhere, in some show of feeble resistance.

She lies in my lap. At that moment i find her way too attractive and
i realize that i want to sleep with her. She plays with my hair. The temple
awaits its festivities.

Suddenly i spot Farida's face in the crowd that has formed before me.
She still has her sweet flick on her forehead. It looks prettier than usual.
But Farida looks like a ghost and she looks terrible SAD. Her face is pale,
and she slants it sadly to one side.  Her eyes are flowing downward with
sorrow. And she sits there refusing to look at me.

I feel i have done her immesnse wrong. Like i am a scrawny, brown,
broomstick man, who can do nothing but hide his face in shame before
his jilted lover. The way i always have felt with her, especially towards
the end. Now that comes back a hundred fold and the dream becomes
a nightmare.

I want to get away, away from the temple. I tell the woman with me that
i want to leave.

We are on the road now which suddenly turns into a long glass-
framed airport corridor, which is endless. The woman with me
becomes a ballerina in a white billowy skirt and stands talking to a man
in a velvet suit. I am left alone in the corridor.

The glass frame is so transparent that it almost feels like i am standing
in the open, looking at the sky. And i almost forget that i am trapped.
Suddenly i remember, panic and wake up -

Friday, December 19, 2008

student politics

i must describe her before i sleep tonight. starting with the huge college tree,
that must be deaf by now, listening to all that noise, for the last half of a century.
we sat under it on plastic chairs..

i must tell you about her muddy chocolate skin, her smooth eyes,
the sparkle of her intellectual spectacles.

she denied knowing bhojpuri, though i never asked her.
she denied that she was an intellectual,
though i did not even suggest it,
and she described herself as a kid of the modern world
she did not want to be dry, grey, stay stuck in libraries

yes she was intelligent and her mind never stopped working
(and her tongue never stopped talking)
but she did not want to waste it on a teaching career
(smart kid) lecturing  students who knew only
to bunk classes.
she wanted to use her brain to bring in the moolah,
yes that is what she said
coz she wanted a great and comfortable live
and help her poor father out

yes i am reading derrida right now
no its not part of the course, 
but  i feel fascinated with the way he talks about language
m'am its true what he says, why should we call this tree a tree, m'am,
we can call it a dog, cant we?

but i am not going to get into all that

do you think event management will suit me?
or should i try and be a radio jockey?
and eventually i can start my own channel,
like anil shrivastav of thodi catty thodi meeti?
or is it better i try for the corporate sector?

what do you think m'am?
am i disturbing you?
do tell me if you have any work, like
preparing the mark lists or attendance sheets,
shall i get you some more tea,
from the canteen?

you know i am very traditional,
i believe in guru dakshina, you
are my guru m'am, i am waiting
for you to guide me through !!!

(oh god, now what will i do?)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

c'est la vie

and this is called life..

you wake up to a  morning with such swirling winds
lilting upon the curtains, hesitating near the green door
that opens to the garden that has woken up in haste,

all her yellow leaves untangled, and you read
chapter 12 from book 3 for class 202, in room no
047, to a set of students who don't want to 
listen to anything..and then you come on a 

rickshaw that is so cold and sick, hands like 
ice sticks, and you almost cry reading the story 
of the rajput guard who went mad, not able to 
take shit and the rickshaw mans reminds you
that he has to drop you and go attend
a meeting, you try to whisper to him,
he does not listen. and then in class, where

students get business calls, you control the noise
acting strict.. and they cant believe it, m'am, 
its so cold today give us attendance, let us leave..
and this is called life, the best alone day of the month

is spoiled.. and you just want to get into the sheets 
and sleep, but the metro, the kid..when i meet her 
will i be happier, will the splash of pink on her
lips make me smile..