Anger Management

 

My mother does not realize,

That pleasing 1001 gods,

Is not going to help,

Her BP or sugar,

Every single time there is a festive occasion,

Fat-laden foods in the name of prasadam,

I am not a big fan of all this,

On top of that fasting,

Rituals, decorations, and what not??

Which God demanded all this?

So many years of doing these rituals,

To what effect? To what joy??

Falling ill, making me worry to no end.

Not heeding to my warnings,

And all to what end,

Like one idiot I have to rush,

Hunting for medicines, looking for a specialist.

I am tired, I am sick and tired,

Of this repeated loop,

That I am stuck in.

How easy it would be,

To run away from all this.

A cross and a burden,

That is testing my patience,

Where is this God?

Who plays joke after joke after joke on me!

Where is He/She/Power/Energy/Light??

What blasted adjective should I use,

To describe this all powerful,

Omni-potent, all-knowing energy,

That seems to forever laugh at my antics,

As I falter again and again,

In trying to create some semblance,

Of sanity in this great gift called ‘Life’!

How long does one keep travelling,

In this tunnel, hoping to get,

One glimpse of light,

That seems to be at the next bend?

How long should I continue??

To be weighed down,

Morally, physically and mentally,

Because of decisions taken by others,

Which have ruined my dreams beyond repair!

 Depression, anger, blindness,

What word does one use,

What phrase does one create,

To represent this massive lie,

That I am being forced to lead??

I shall never find redemption.

This is the truth,

Till the end arrives,

Like a welcome release,

Continue to mock me,

Continue to blackmail me,

Continue to destroy my life.

Thank you dear family, relatives and well-wishers.

Thank you!!!

 

True Friends in the Time of Facebook Drama Queens and Kings

One wonders if real friends,

Real friendships exist any more?

Everyone seems to be seeking,

A drug called self-gratification.

The number of likes, shares and comments;

Begin to define bonding now?

You ask a question,

Out of genuine care,

I reply, you acknowledge it please.

Stop generating sympathy for yourself,

You are an adult, not a nursery kid.

If you have self-created problems,

You can very well, self-solve them.

If it is a problem caused by someone else,

Face them, need help, call, will be by your side.

Don’t create a drama worth a Shakespearean tragedy,

And then chicken out and refusing to confront your fears,

And make me look like a filtered idiot of the first order.

Friendship works two ways. 

Friendship is not sitting and watching reruns of Friends and sharing old jokes.

Life is an open door, stay if you want.

If you wish to go, leave.

Stop creating a scene and portraying yourself as a martyr.

Every single person is going through a battle of one’s own.

One doesn’t want more drama!!!

Who is a friend?

Look into the mirror,

Smile at that reflection.

Only you can be your friend.

Oppam — Movie Review

Oppam is a return to form of sorts for Priyadarshan and Mohanlal a director-actor combo that has given Malayalam cinema lots of memories to treasure.

A long, long time back a movie called “Yodha” came out. It had Lalettan playing Ashokan who travels to Nepal and becomes the protector of a Rinpoche – Holy incarnation of the Buddha. There is a section of the movie wherein he is rendered blind by the villains and Mohanlal becomes a blind warrior relying on his hearing and martial arts skills to destroy the villains.

In Oppam, we get a sense of deja vu , all over again, but in a good way. After a fair amount of debacles in recent years and Priyadarshan choosing to remake movies in Hindi with varying degrees of recycled success; this is a decent attempt.

In Oppam, Lalettan plays a visually challenged lift-operator/care-taker who witnesses the murder of a retired judge played by Nedumudi Venu. He is accused of the murder and the movie goes on in how he proves to the police that he is not the murderer.

Samuthirakanni is in a purple patch of sorts and getting some real good roles. Here he plays Vasu a mentally deranged serial killer of sorts. There is not too much of suspense as the audience learns that he is the killer and the confrontation scenes between Lal and SK are well done.

There is a little girl as well who becomes the target of SK and how Lal saves the day is what the movie is all about. Unwanted drama towards the end with SK trying to ape Jack Nicholson from “The Shining” with an axe in tow. A fair bit of loopholes here and there in the plot and Vimala Raman in no way looks like a maid! Hopeless casting there!!!

Songs nothing remains in memory!! Mammukoya and Chemban Vinod have a good bit of comedy with a play on the blind man not witnessing/witnessing the murder!

One-time watch — Good fun!

 

 

A Ronin in the Twilight

 

ronin

Image Courtesy — Myth-Weavers

Tried to run a bit,

Gasped for breath,

Attempted to do push-ups,

Fell flat on the floor,

Thankfully nose did not get crushed,

Aimed to handle some weights,

Every muscle is stinging in pain.

The mirrors that are placed,

In the gym as walls,

Stare back at me – taunting,

Mocking me with scorn.

I wonder – what am I doing?

Was this the same individual?

How did so many disconnected incidents,

Turn to conspire and join hands,

To break me into this hopeless nut-case.

The gloves that used to adorn the hands,

Lie sealed in a cover,

There are a truckload of memories,

They all come rushing back.

The pain, the anguish, the scars,

That adorn the body, like laurels,

Burn at times, kindling a violent life,

That I keep running away from,

How long, how far, till what point?

Nothing makes sense,

I sought to find comfort in the written word,

That too evades the faculties,

If the body feels tired,

The mind weakens with scarier intensity,

I dread the day, when I will board,

The wrong train and land in some remote village.

There was a time,

When I would finish a novel in a day,

Now reading one book,

Requires immense patience,

Distractions are too many,

Worries and fears cloud the mind,

Nothing gives joy, nothing offers light.

There has to be a way,

To break free of all this chaos.

What was the point?

Of penning all this down?

I am as clueless as you are!!!!

Till we meet again,

If we do meet again,

Sending all of you prayers and good wishes!

One Moment of Madness

Why is it that the heart still bleeds?
Despite knowing very clearly,
That this was never meant to be;
Why like a fool,
Did I even dare,
To walk up to you?

Despite knowing with all my powers,
That I am a loser and a failure,
And you would mock me for sure,
Why did I even choose to ask?
Once a fool, always a fool.
This is the irony of life.

All I did was make,
An enemy for life,
How fickle is the mind?
All it does is take one,
One idiotic moment,
To ruin everything!

Bitterness is all that remains,
It increases in quantum,
With every passing moment,
And nothing placates the anguish,
The pain within that burns the heart.
No end to this foolish charade…., no end at all!!!

Come September

It is about five minutes past four in the afternoon or early evening, as I sit down to type this. A lot has happened in the last two months. Equations have changed, daggers drawn, daggers sheathed back, trust broken, trust regained, friends lost, friends gained, friends lost forever. It has been a strange two months, in more ways than one. I have shifted jobs after nearly six years of service in one organisation. At the new place of work, there is a lot to learn and implement, gain the trust and respect of colleagues, plan things, get work done, a lot of trust has been placed upon me and every single time from day one, the biggest fear has been that I will let down the ones who trust me the most. For all that I remember, the fear of failure and ridicule has driven me a lot in everything that I have done for the longest time that I can remember. I have been pushed to the corner literally and figuratively many a time and I have overcome challenges to focus on life.

This year so far has drained me out tremendously, I started the year with hope that I would set things right on the personal front, but everything that I do has returned to torment me like an evil nightmare that never stops. I thought I made peace with my past, but by some weird coincidence a bit of my past comes back and again I have to run, speak to people, calm things down. Friends have always appreciated my phenomenal memory power, but I seem to be forgetting a lot. The day I saw “Thanmatra” I was sure that I would go down Rameshan Nair’s way and like a weird premonition the memory lapses are recurring, a favourite book, a movie or a song, or an answer to a question or an important phone number, things are fading. The mirror does not lie, I try to run a bit the knees hurt, gradual exercise, patient breathing, controlled diet, nothing works, the waist expands like India’s economic debt.

For over 20 years, I have believed that I will write a novel of consequence, something that will be a treasured piece, but all I have managed to do is create a pseudo-aura of a pontificating puritan who just finds errors in what others write. When others come to me for advice, I wonder – “What do you see in me; that ensures you that you have come to the right person?” – I keep these thoughts to myself and help others.

No point in harping about Amma as she keeps vacillating between ill, very ill and forever bossing me around to get things done at home! One fine day, I am just going to stop, point at the sky, say “God told me to stop listening to you”, look at her and say, “I have a life as well”. As you know very well, all this is imagination and will never turn to reality.

Externally everything seems fine, but internally there is a deep-rooted melancholy at the inevitable tragedy that the visions foretell.

Come September,

Come embrace me,

In your comfort,

Far away in a world,

Where light and cheer spreads,

Flowers bloom and brooks babble,

Away from the madness,

Of the mundane chores,

Of an existential crisis,

And a battle for survival,

I hope to find peace.

Here’s wishing you a positive, fun-filled, productive and awesome September!

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