Promises Kept

How easy it is,
For you to judge,
Without knowing even,
A semblance of what transpired?

How easy it is,
For you to spew venom,
With such intense hatred.
It really pains me.

That despite my best intentions,
Despite being honest,
Despite not harbouring any malice,
Or any ill-will to you.

All I get is a bunch,
Of hate-mail and curses.
It is perhaps my destiny,
To remain misunderstood.

This is a curse,
That landed on my head,
And shows no signs of going.
I shall never be good enough.

I know that for a fact now,
So many people, can’t be wrong, right?
I am a two-faced hypocrite,
A liar, a rogue and a villain.

Yes, this is what I deserve,
For trusting you,
This what I deserve,
For keeping my promises.

I am a failure,
Nothing more, nothing less,
Each time I make an effort,
To move out of a quagmire;

I get pulled into,
A web of quicksand,
That traps me tight,
And all I do is sink.

I know you are reading this.
Relishing the joy,
Of reducing me to this state.
May you find what you wish!

Yours truly..

Dear Ones,

If I have to defend,
Each and every deed,
That I do,
If you fail,
To understand, why I,
Do things the way,
They are done?
Despite being patient,
To a fault,
You seek to create,
Mirages of your own,
Then I am sorry,
I feel that I have failed you.

You have a wonderful,
Group of people,
Who will always be with you,
Alas! I am not one,
Who is ‘man enough’ to crack jokes;
When others mock; its perfectly fine,
I am just a vile man immersed in his own ego.
I understand, I am not good enough,
For all your intellectual stalwarts,
I am sorry I am not good enough for you.

It does not make sense,
To go on with this.
It’s not my circus,
It’s not my menagerie.
There are enough visionaries,
To do a swell job,
For a way-farer, who was pulled,
Into this – I have tried my best.
But then I am still a failure.
Despite everything, I am just,
One big fat zero.

I will stay away,
I had a life before,
I lead a life now,
And I have to lead a life after,
So farewell to all of you.
Good wishes as always,
May all your dreams come true,
May all that you dream and desire,
And deserve – be granted unto you.

Yours truly,
A failure who deserves to lose.

A Moment in Time

What is beauty?

Is it the one that the eyes view,

Of skin that’s flawless,

In various shades,

Of eyes that convey,

A hundred tales.

Of a smile,

That hides a hundred sorrows.

What is beauty?

Is it the physical strength,

That is able to bear,

Every burden that’s thrust on it?

Be it as a brother, son, father or husband, boy-friend or partner,

Or as a daughter, sister, mother, wife, girl-friend or partner.

Where does one seek beauty?

In words, in deeds, in what?

Can you measure the beauty of a mother’s love for her child?

When a soldier away from friends and family,

Lies bleeding on the war-front as he wages a battle!

Can you measure that patriotic fervour?

Isn’t that a wonderful form of beauty in itself?

Have you ever held a puppy in your arms?

When the puppy looks into your eyes,

Your heart melts and you feel an inner joy,

As the puppy licks your face!

Can you even describe the beauty,

Of that one wonderful moment?

When you seek to find a soul-mate,

And he/she says “Yes”!

That one magical moment,

When two souls agree to become one!

Can you describe the ‘beauty’ of that one moment?

When as a friend, you make that ultimate sacrifice,

You know your friend will never manage,

To handle rejection and you help orchestrate,

A new bond between him and the one,

Whom you loved, but could never express!

Is that beauty or bloody foolhardiness?

Time they. say heals a lot of wounds,

So isn’t time beautiful??

How do you measure ‘beauty’?

Can you handle the death of a loved one?

Move on, forgive those who wronged you,

Live on without regrets or malice?

Isn’t that beauty?

What is beauty??

 

 

 

Mission Melbourne – The Jackal – Chapter-1

Because Jason Bourne is hitting the screens and forget super-heroes who are either billionaires or aliens or mutants. Here’s one chap who is a human, a man whose past is a mystery to himself, a lone wolf. My tribute to Bourne – an old contest post from the past, replugged! Read on…

The instructions always came in a blue envelope. This time for a change it came in a yellow envelope and contained a photograph, an address, flight-tickets and a crisp message – “It is your time to visit Melbourne, NOW”.

There was a sudden tinge of joy and sorrow on knowing the location – Melbourne – where I found my one and only love and lost her as well. I wondered how Lisa would be now? 25 years is a long time.

Lisa and Me:
The Qantas flight departed right on time and I relaxed in the comfort of my Executive class seat. It was time to reminisce on my only love-story. Melbourne in the 80s was much different from the high-rise super-tech, honey-mooners destination that it has turned into today!

I had landed up at the University of Melbourne on a 1-year student-exchange programme. The summer of 83 – India had just won the Cricket World Cup and I was among the few college cricketers who got a chance to visit Australia as part of a sports programme that would involve the training of fast-bowlers in Australia. It’s funny when I think that now Chennai has the MRF Pace Academy and Glen McGrath an Aussie heads it now.

The University of Melbourne was a lovely place a perfect mix of old-world and new upcoming modernist architecture. The rigorous training that our physical fitness instructor Mr James Larwood would put us through would build and mould me into what I would become in my later years.

Lisa was the stuff dreams are made of – a cross between Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep she walked with a fluidity of a ballet dancer and was studying sociology. I met her at the ‘International Student Orientation Programme’ where she guided a bunch of us new students about life in Melbourne.

We saw ‘Terms of Endearment’ at the Astor Theatre and something clicked deep within – me the tall fast bowler and she the fair golden-haired sociology student. It was an affair that we knew might never last but it was a beautiful summer of visiting museums over the weekends. Going cycling exploring the hidden by-lanes discovering some quaint cafe and trying out wines and cheese. Being in love was such a beautiful feeling.

We moved in together and we were contemplating marriage and then I received an international telegram. – ‘come back immediately – Das’. Mr Das was our Man Friday and he looked after the needs of me and my elder brother. My elder brother was in the export business and exported handicraft products to the USA and UK. I showed the telegram to Lisa – she hugged me and told me ‘Come back soon Honey – someone’s joining us soon and smiled at me’. I was mad with joy and took her into my arms and kissed her. She playfully hit me and said ‘Hey Tiger go visit your brother and return’.

To Kill a Mockingbird:
Mr Das was at the airport to greet me and when I reached home I was shocked to see Dada’s body in an ice-box. I broke down and Mr Das comforted me. I said ‘Kaku what happened?’ Then the bitter truth came out. Dada was an assassin and he had been killed when a hit-job went horribly wrong as someone had double-crossed him. Universal Exports was a front and was headed by the elusive Mr. Ranganathan who sent in details to the group of ten assassins – now reduced to nine.

That’s when Mr. Ranganathan walked in – he walked straight up to me and said ‘Chottu, your brother did not deserve to go like this – I am giving you an opportunity to avenge his death and take his place!’

Thus started my journey from being a budding cricketer to one of the world’s most feared assassins!

I wrote a long letter to Lisa – apologizing for my inability to return to Melbourne! She sent me a reply with a photograph of us standing in front of the Astor! That was it…

Now so many years later when I had decided to retire this last job landed – Melbourne! Would I meet Lisa again? Had she left Melbourne?

To Kill or Not to Kill:
My assignment was to kill a chap named Peter Markham – 24 years old he had made the mistake of falling in love with Supriya Hirani – scion of India’s biggest oil company. The two were deeply in love but Mr. Hirani was looking at acquiring Patel Steels by marrying of Supriya to Bhavesh Patel. Who was I to deliberate on love I was just a professional who was paid to do his job.

It was a weird twist of fate that Supriya was majoring in Sociology and Peter was a research associate working on an alternative fuel source project at the University of Melbourne. I had Peter’s address and did a recon of the place an old two-storey apartment and that’s when my heart skipped a beat – could it be – was old age finally catching up with me – could it really be Lisa?

She had aged with grace those golden strands of hair that smile still intact! The biggest shock was when she unlocked the flat where Pete was supposed to reside – was Pete Lisa’s son? And then it hit me – no it could not be…

I walked out slowly and approached Pete’s flat and rang the door-bell; the door opened after a minute – and Lisa stood before me. She said –‘Oh! My God is it really you?’ and she started sobbing – she hugged me and I stood there bumbling not knowing what to do!

I comforted her and took her inside – ‘Lisa tell me who is Peter?’ – She wiped her tears away and smiled and said – ‘Guess!’

Then it hit me – Peter was my son our son!

How could I kill my own son?
At that moment I decided – enough was enough – I quickly asked Lisa to change and pack her belongings and take her valuables. She was flustered but I told her who I was and then said – ‘We need to reach Peter soon’ Call him and tell him to remain in the research lab and not to come out till we reach there.’

Universal Exports functioned on a back-up plan – always – if one assassin missed, there would be another assassin to finish the job. Now that I had deliberately missed my target, the wheels would already be in motion – who would be the back-up plan – Panther, Eagle or Cobra?

I asked her where Supriya was – Lisa said Supriya had gone to Sydney for a seminar and would only be back next week.

I took Lisa to my hotel room and asked her not to open the door till she heard either my voice or Peter’s voice.

She hugged me and said ‘Honey please come back safe and bring our son back safe!’

The Eagle and The Jackal:
I was code-named Jackal and I had to stalk the hunter who would bring down my son. The research-lab at the Faculty of Science and Engineering was on level-1 and I needed a either a student or a lecturer’s ID card to get into the research facility. I bumped into a middle-aged man and flicked his wallet. The wallet had the access and ID-card that gave me access to the research facility. I moved inside with ease and scanned the huge laboratory for any suspicious activity. Peter was busy sitting in front of his computer and playing ‘Angry Birds’ I smiled at my son – I wanted to go up to him ruffle his hair and say –‘Kiddo, I am your Dad!’

Then I noticed a red dot on my son’s white lab-coat a laser target for an accurate shot – I followed the trajectory and stared above to notice Eagle adjusting the sniper. I had one chance to redeem myself – I took out my customized K-7 fitted with a silencer and shot Eagle the bullet met its mark. Eagle fell down with a surprised look. No one noticed anything.

I walked up to my son and said – ‘Kiddo, I am your Dad, we have lots to talk, come lets pick up your Mom and go out for dinner!’

Patterns of the Night

It usually starts,
At about 2 AM,
A moan issues,
I dread it,
For I know,
She is not well,
I get up,
Switch on the light,
She is in a drowsy state,
In a weird state,
Between sedated sleep,
And a feverish pitch,
That asks her to get up.

I have to hold her steady,
As she gets up,
Usually she will complain,
Utter some lines –
“Why am I still alive?”
Then she will cough,
The phlegm flows,
At times, the fever,
Will cause her to vomit.
I wipe the mess clean,
Put a new maxie on her.

Then offer her a hot decoction,
Of herbs that come in handy,
It will have a bit of medicine,
That puts her to sleep,
A deep sleep,
And I will stay awake,
Sitting staring into the abyss,
Wondering on the unbearable,
Lightness of the futility,
Of this existence,
This facade called life.

At some point beyond 6 AM,
She will awaken,
The pain would have gone,
But the fever would remain,
Over the course of the day,
She will continue to be monitored,
The day will turn to noon,
The noon to evening,
And the noon to night,
And then in the night,
The pattern will repeat again!
The cycle of pain,
Suffering, discomfort and medication,
Will continue all over again.

No light, no darkness,
No sunshine or moonrise,
No joy, no sorrow,
No blessing, no curse,
Like one pointless,
Bagpiper blowing his bagpipe,
In the darkness of the mist-filled night,
I go on, till how long??
The patterns of the night….
The patterns of the night,
They are never ever right,
When will I ever end this fight?
The patterns of the night!

— Mahesh

OMR Food Street – A Symphony of Flavours from around India and the World

Date – July 23
Time – 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Venue – OMR Food Street – Thoraipakkam
Event – Blogger Engagement Programme in partnership with the Chennai Bloggers Club
The concept of a food street has been in existence since the times of the Mughals in Delhi and the Nawabs of Awadh. The parathe-wali gali in Delhi, the streets of old Lucknow, the stretches in Kolkatta near the New Market, China Town and Esplanade, Sowcarpet in Chennai the Chowpatty stretch in Mumbai, VM Street in Bengaluru are all examples of some popular food streets that we know. OMR Food Street – visit – http://www.omrfoodstreet.com has been operational for a while now and offers a wide variety of pocket-friendly culinary delights all in one property.

A lovely evening,

Of walking with friends,

Old and new,

Sampling food from,

Faraway lands,

Jokes, smiles, laughter,

All in harmony,

With lovely food,

Truly a memorable evening,

Thank you OMR Food Street!

There are shops selling vegetable and meat wraps, crepes and waffles, parathas and lassi, Salem Thattu Vadais, cakes, pastries and milkshakes, biriyani, shawarma, fresh sea-food, cooked sea-food, the ubiquitous filter kaapi, the flavoured soda, ice golas and much more.

We received a coupon sheet worth Rs 300 which we used in the various kiosks/restaurants located in the property. Other than Ajnabee Mithai Ghar all other restaurants were happy to accept the coupons.

I personally liked Ki Mu 200 – a millet-based food restaurant and their ragi dosai and chakkarai thinai pongal were good.

Zuki & Co – their crepe filled with jam and drizzled with a dash of honey and dry fruits inside was sumptuous.

Wrap-Aholics – Vegetable filled wrap was amazing – loved it!

Stuf-fed – Aloo parathas, and dryfruit lassi – safe dependable – nothing outstanding – I have eaten better parathas.

Cake Park – Chocolate Truffle Pastry – You can’t go wrong – sinfully decadent. Also bought a box of peanut cookies. Loved them!

Pros:
Good variety and easy on the wallet.

Delicious food.

Cons:
Toilet and wash basins at the very end of the compound. Have to be cleaner!

Need mineral water cans at regular gaps as well as washbasins. The paper tissue is not a good idea to wipe stuff off your hands.

Stench of the seafood is quite thick in the air. After a point of time it was nauseating all of us are not like Goundamani in “Singaravelan” –

The concept may be drive, buy and say bye – but there were lots of people who came walking in — definitely need chairs at least!

A great experience. Thanks OMR Food Street and The Chennai Bloggers Club.

Hope and a Little Sugar

Well we are into the seventh month of 2016. A phenomenal year in many ways. More final farewells, more of marriages of friends, making new friends, separation from a lot of friends and life goes on. Cheated death again, and kept wondering, one moment was all to have ended everything! Reality of life – don’t chase a dream – a person or an ideal – that is never meant to be yours! Or rather – chase a dream – a person or an ideal – if you are sure you know them properly!

samarpanam.jpg

Nothing has changed,
I look back at,
Scribbles in my diary,
From a decade back,
The pain, the doubt,
The anger and the loneliness,
Is as deep as it always was.

Illness is taking a huge toll,
My mother’s psychological trauma,
Is manifesting into too many,
Physical worries and health problems,
The doctor says she has to stop worrying.
She says she does not worry.
She just exists!

I am at a loss for words,
Going about in circles,
From one doctor to the other,
Setting a pattern in medicines,
To offer some relief,
Nothing has changed,
Other than the fact that we are now alone.

It’s been about five years now I guess,
Dad’s in his own world,
Happy with his bottle of rum,
Wearing a cloak of divinity,
And going about on yatras!

Everyone is happy,
In their own little worlds,
Am I happy?
I don’t know.
Am I sad?
I don’t know.

When someone asks me –
How are you?
I have started to say-
“I am alive!”
It cuts down other queries.

Prayers, rituals, ceremonies,
Visiting temples, searching for tranquility,
Churches, mosques and monasteries,
Nothing offers clarity,
If there was a God,
Would there be pain?
Would innocent children die?

Rambling away and away,
Like a drunken,
Old monk – I write aimlessly,
She lies in front of me asleep,
I wonder – where did I go wrong?

Breathe in and breathe out,
And returning to reality,
All these questions are pointless,
Life has to go on.
The bills have to be paid,
The EMIs have to be paid.

No travel, no merry-making,
Point A to Point B,
Life like a pendulum,
Goes back and forth.

After so many stanzas,
You dear reader,
If you are still reading,
Thank you,
May God bless you!

Probably the annual report,
May offer a glimmer of light,
Some happiness and joy,
Instead of this boring,
Dull, dry and sad verse.
Hope….that’s all that remains!

Who is Dick?

Who is Dick?
You ask me, who is Dick?
Don’t you know him?
He is the charming gent,
He is the quizzing genius,
The technology exponent,
The nerd in the herd.

The man who knows A to Z,
Of everything from GoT,
To Pokemon Go.
He is married.
But he is a smooth-talker,
The charmer, smiles, cries, pretends,
His married life is in shambles.

He asks every single single woman and girl,
Out for coffee, a movie as well,
By a remarkable coincidence,
He has tickets, just one extra mind you,
For the latest blockbuster.
Who is Dick??

Dick wants to hit on young women,
Does not spare high-school kids,
Or young ones in college either,
Thinks he is Casanova and Iron Man,
All rolled into one.
Who is Dick??

Now tell me dear readers,
What do we do to Dick?
He hides his marital status,
Plays about, hoping to prey,
On young ones.
With friends of his who support,
Choices like polygamy and partner-swaps,
Casual flings and other such terms,
What do you suggest we do to Dick?
Who the hell is Dick?
Is he a prick?
Is he a saviour, for those who crave freedom?
Is he the balm for the souls of bruised and troubled women?
Who is Dick??
What should we do to him??
Answer me my friends, answer!

On the Needle’s Edge

Where is the time,
To sing, to dance, to be joyful,
And spend merry moments,
And magical moments with friends?

My life is now defined,
By a single needle’s edge,
18 units of insulin in the morning,
And 12 units of the fluid at night.

Life revolves around medication.
You are forever in a state of worry,
Rushing from task to task,
Worried about delayed trains.

Your only goal in life,
Becomes reporting to work on time,
Getting work done, and returning,
To put the injection as early as possible.

No time for social engagement,
No time for friends,
No time for merriment,
No time for myself.

Just a constant state of chaos,
Going through life,
Like the aimless stream,
That dies in the woods,
Before it reaches the sea!

In Search of what?

 

In search of what?

I don’t know.

As I seek to find balance,

I seem to wonder,

What lies yonder?

Day after day, moment after moment,

Like a bee that seeks nectar,

Among flowers that bloom,

I travel within and without.

Where are you?

I seem to ask,

I know and yet I don’t know.

Who are you?

I know and yet I don’t know.

Like the cigarette-butt,

That glows a bright orange-yellow,

Before it dies, I know that this life,

Too shall find its bright burning spot,

Before the flames get extinguished.