Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pushing out the first

How do I feel right now? Sleepy-headed and wide, wide awake. The past two years running through my head in a funny, rodent sort of a way. My first novel just went live on amazon and kindle and now I don't know what to do. No, I mean, I know there's a lot  to be done in terms of showcasing, marketing and promotion etc. But I really am sitting in a void and watching things happening around me as if I belonged to another time-light plane right now. Is this what one calls- taking a breather. I'd rather make that a breezer. There's a porridge of thought in there....just one or two short of slush!

The baby that was conceived two years ago and went through endless months of labour pains(thanks to bad, baaaad mid-wives), has finally arrived. It is not born with a silver spoon in its mouth, but much-loved anyway. As I watched it grow in my belly, taking form through drafting, editing, formatting, page-setting, interior design, trim-size, cover design, cover photo, preview and finally pushing it through for the world to see, there's a sense of relieved happiness. A home-birth, I'd say is so much more involving as compared to the meticulous, yet robotic hands of a famous surgeon. All those with self-published books know what I mean ;) Yes, there's always a thought about getting the next one out in a fancy hospital, and that prized stamp on the birth-certificate, but the baby shall arrive to cuddling arms- hospital or no hospital!

I reached Chandigarh today, and between discussions of my impending surgery; I'm trying to keep an eye on this baby. It needs tender, loving care right now and I'm going to hold it up like a proud mamma. Counting my blessings and leaving it in the hands of well-wishers.

Do pop by for a peek at the little one : ) at

Cheers and clinks...

Friday, March 8, 2013

If hope doesn't...

If hope
doesn't find me
and hides from me
self, and
the reason of betrayal
I'll not
give it up
by giving up on it.

If hope
doesn't explain
the reason why
it is necessary
for it to live
only in voids
left by nonfulfillment
I'll give its place
to solace
ill-gotten from
wide-eyed prayer,
the next best thing.

If hope
finds pleasure
in playing snakes and ladders
so be it
let the dice roll
time, like a rat gets eaten
but the game never ends.

I'll roll
too, with
desires unfulfilled
and turn them into snakes
of poisonous longing
till the floor plan changes
and each ladder
then, leads to
the point of hopeless no-return.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kinetic Stupor

Stillness is an oxymoron in Science. In each still object, there jive many electrons in their crazy orbits, flying around , zipping past each other. Do they have a purpose? Is their galactic frenzy, the reason behind the still form of a stone. Can those electrons ever conspire to alter their orbits and make the stone levitate? What if they were driven to push the protons out of their comfort zone and take their place instead? Would the stone still exist and be tangible, and still? The atom is a microcosm of the Universe. The Earth is one such particle that aspired. The Universe is merely an atom in the Space-Time plane, that still hasn't met its potential. I want to sit inside Stephen Hawking's brain and see the energies coalesce and dissipate. I want to hold Time as a physical reality. Questions come into existence because the answers have already been floating around the Cosmos since before forever. Is each electron a memory chip? Seek the right question. Prepare the ground for the answer. And how?

in my step
to dig in the heel
and prepare
the ground
for flight
from the edge of the cliff
and how.

I feel a stillness
yet resonating
in the orbital centre 
an agitated electron
running pink to colourless
at titration point.

I know
I'm the dot
that makes the Universe
and in being so,
the Universe itself
like the Higgs' Boson
a microcosm of the Cosmos
many in each
and each being One.
do I explode in kinesis
and make a million galaxies
of me
with my wants,
and needless keeps
or feed the stupor
make it thick, viscous
and inwardly magnetic
to implode and cause
an infinite blackness
that envelops
all knowledge,
all need,
all cycles?

Searching for
the God Particle within
prepare the ground
for kinesis
in stupor,
for the electron
to jump an orbit
and become the nucleus
and for the dot
to become the unbound circle.

Blame it on the name

"What's in a name?" Like any delirious poet, Wordsworth had no idea what he was getting into when he said this. What? Not Wordsworth's words? Bah!What's in a name anyway. There are greater identity issues lurking around than to bother about what other name to give a rose. But now that I mention it, do you think a rose would smell just as sweet if I called it horse-shit? No, really, it's worth the imaginary, aromatic plop.

I guess our tryst with a name begins even before we are conceived. It was quite difficult anyway to sort out the XX and XY issue and then no sooner that you land, you're given a couple of tags and a set of surnames to juggle with! And a few are unlucky enough to get the middle one too!

The moment a baby comes out bawling, people are fiddling with its fragile ego by ridiculous comparisons to an animal and/or inanimate objects. I mean, which self-respecting newborn aspires to be a bunny, bug, candy or marshmallow? A name, I tell you, is the first catastrophe in an individual's life.

As I grew up dealing with a gender insensitive treatment towards my name (in Punjab, there are common names for men and women, for example, Balmeet may well be a portly male or a female equivalent) as I would often receive letters/phone calls addressed to/for a certain Mr. Jaspreet. After conditioning myself not to get offended by the use(or misuse), I began to regale myself in the glory of my pet(nick) name (Punnu/Poonam) in my social interactions. It was not long before I discovered that my parents had chosen my nick-name after a passionate lover from Punjabi folklore. Quite bearable this, had Punnu not been the guy in the love-story! Soon, the benefit of multiple identities dawned on me and I stuck with Poonam, only to realise that some of my blindly affectionate friends chose to call me 'Poo' instead of the beautiful Poonam (which means full-moon night. I have additional thoughts on this too but that's for laters). Now, I just hope, they at least add an 'h' in the end and turn me into a respectable, huggable, fat bear(male again). Next time your honey (read spouse) goes missing, don't come glaring at me.

As there's no pepper in peppermint and no butter in buttercup; just so, there's no aim in a name. It's just a random use of syllables to make your ID card look meaningful. If names were of any use to anyone, people would have started patenting them eons ago. Indian names would find special mention in the Guinness Book for being the most spaced-out (like Murugan Swaminathan Krishnan Venakateshwaran Iyer), quite literally, as also the Chinese for the most ingenuously guttural tongue-twisters. French names would find 'un aspect gallant' under the title 'The Lost Consonant' and the English would be credited with the clever marriage of numbers to legendary names like Henry, James and Elizabeth. This might upset the Mexicans though, as over-rolling the 'r's and hurling gusts of sensuous wind for every meaty consonant, would only qualify for a place in honorable trivia. There you go Jojoba, Alexandra! 

I'm not the only one rolling in the mud here. Many of my friends have probably locked their cupboards with the skeletons in them and are on their way out to toss the key in the well. I was brave enough to come clean. Hey you, Titi (Tit-y?), Humpa ( hump her?) , Shabnam(Shabby?), Shagufta (Shaggy?) and the ones who've already scaled the compound wall....what's there to hide? It's just a name, m'dears...and what's in a name, afterall? Just a clever play of syllables on the tongue. Would Santa, the erstwhile Punjabi Mr. Bean, really mind if he was called Satan by a slip of the slob? He'd be able to get away with so much and then easy-breezy, just blame it on the name!

Peace, sunshine....and mosquitos!
Catch you in the morning, if these blood-er-suckers leave me alive.

Vishraam (At ease)