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Showing posts from July, 2005

Critique Please !

I am learning that praise stagnates. I would rather have a harsh criticism than a friendly pat on the head. Recently I received a blistering critique for one of my poems from a person whose opinion I value tremendously. Others defended me, praised my work, refuted his charges. His charge was that with first half the poem raised expectations, which I had failed to fulfill in second half. A serious charge indeed. Friends advised me to ignore him, the poem was good, as a poet it was my right to stick to my words.

I re read the poem, understood exactly what he meant, re wrote the second part- which totally improved the poem. It added a closure that the poem badly needed. When I mailed the revised poem to him, he loved the new version but what he admired even more was my ability and willingness to self critique. When we write it shouldn’t be for a pat on the back, or even instant adulation. We must learn to assess our work dispassionately, comparing it only with the best. If I want to write…

My Keepsake Box

My friend's elderly aunt had, what she called, a Keepsake Box filled with vague, unrelated things. Only she knew the significance of things treasured in there. When questioned about any pieces in it , she used to gently take that thing out of my hands, put it tenderly back in the box and give a mysterious smile.’ Just something a friend gave me”she would murmur. We all thought her a bit crazy but I was in love with that box. It stored such exquisite junk . I still remember the faint smell of old 'Attar' which wafted out every time she opened it.I have seen a lot of ‘Keepsake Boxes ‘since then, filled with of truly fascinating and weird stuff. Old letters, notebooks of poems, diaries, photographs yellowed with age, dried roses, handkerchiefs, are easy enough. But I really get curious about a bit of pencil, a button, a bit of ribbon (wrapped around a present I suppose), a sea shell, shiny wrappers of chocolates, only ONE earring, truly useless stuff- precious only for the me…

Tito and the Call girls.

"See, one more girl has gone in" Tito whispered to me urgently. I tried to take a look over my shoulder, but couldn’t. As the nature hadn't designed my neck to turn in 180 degrees, I had to depend entirely on the faint reflections in the glass door opposite me and Tito’s dramatic narration.

We were sitting in a fancy downtown restaurant. as we were meeting after a long time there was a lot of catching up to do. Right in the middle of ‘what happened to ...’ Tito broke off to exclaim in a shocked tone .."I say- these girls look like hook- I mean... call girls. Is this THAT kind of a joint?"

I was a little surprised to find this puritanical streak in Tito. I wasn't sure if I entirely approved.
In this metro city of ours I have stopped worrying about who does what for a living. From Barrister to Bar girl, each has to battle on the same turf every single day.

"Hmmmm ….May be they are" I mumbled into my wine. Having wine for lunch made me feel deliciously …

A New pair Of Glasses

I went to purchase a new pair of glasses. Alone.
Normally having friends along for selection of frame is a given. My friends-superior beings with creative temperament- have very exact and rather fixed ideas about what my face should look like. Don’t blame them really- after all, They are the ones who have to do the ‘looking’ where as I am safely Behind it- looking Out-so to speak.

The moment some one screams - Go get a hair cut, you are looking pathetic- I head out to the stylist,of THEIR choice of course.

So I went to purchase a new pair of glasses. Alone-as it was a working day.
I felt abandoned.
I entered the fancy showroom where I had been ‘Requested' to go.
I cleared my throat and mumbled-‘ I want new glasses’.

A guy- terribly smart in a jazzy pair of glasses- looking suave like the heroes of bygone era smiled kindly at me and reached for the glasses perched on my nose. I couldn’t have been more shocked or surprised if he had reached for the top buttons of my shirt.

I backed off – ‘…

A Battle Won

My friend’s mom was diagnosed positive for the cancer of breast.I could relate with the trauma the woman must have gone through.The dreaded ‘C’ word-Countless stories about the dread of chemotherapy. Loss of hair, more than that, the loss of a breast .

My friend, a male, was confiding in me about his mother’s condition. Both he & his father were distraught at the thought of the operation, & the subsequent loss of a woman’s prized part of anatomy- her sign of ‘womanliness’- The Breast ‘!!! He wanted to know about the operation- how much damage will it do to her breast, will they carve carefully & remove only the malignant cells or cut it off completely?
Do they have to ??? Isn’t there some way The Breast can be saved?
To me, this was a prime indicator of universal male attachment & preoccupation with The Breast.

I answered patiently, as well as I could. It seemed to me that the fear was more within these two males in the family, the lady was fairly composed. I told him tha…

The Tao of Windows.

( This is an entry from my old Blog. It is carried over in this one because my hopeless Inaptitude about all things windows still remains unshaken. )

Creating this blog was not an easy task. You may not believe me- but after creation this blog was lost....twice……Geeta will vouch for that.

Let me get one thing off my chest, I am just not a computer savvy person.
I went to the shop to buy a book to learn how to work with the windows. There were big – colorful books , Some were illustrated with pretty cartoons & what not. I admired the pictures, liked the glossy pages of the books – even managed Not to flinch when I read some of the prices …… but the problem came when I had to choose between ‘Windows for Idiots’ & ‘Windows for Dummies’.
I thought for a long time .. but couldn’t make up my mind where I fit in- Idiots or dummies. I even thought about taking a poll with my friends on this matter – but the names THEY usually call me by– nobody has written any books about Them yet !!!! At…