Saturday, April 25, 2015

meeting a barista

'Where from you learnt this?'
Asked her,
She poured the liquid into the cup,
Stirred it on the fire for a while and placed it on the small circular mat.
'Very few people know that baristas are well travelled...'
She said.
'I brought fincans from there...'
She added.
It was only nine in the morning of a holiday.
Customers were scarce.
The aroma of coffee was hanging in the air.
'That means Turkey...'
Said working on a hunch.
'Yes! But how do you know?'
'Heard somewhere that they use fincans...'
'Yeah... they do...and they use a brass coffee pot...cezve...'
'Brought one of that too?'
Asked in a jocular fashion.
'Yes...'
She replied,
'You seem to take this job quite seriously...'
Made the remark,
'That is half of the trade...'
She said,

Took two quick sips from the cup.
The smell of beans was invigorating.

'You know something, they use Arabica, and they ground them to extra fine...'
She said,
'Brought them too?'
Asked her,
'Wish I could...'
Her voice became suddenly wistful.
The bell at the door rang.
An elderly couple entered the shop.
Knowing she would soon become busy, thought of wrapping up.

'I don't know Turkey... but this one tastes superb...'
Said and looked at her.
'Flattered...'
She replied.

'Teach me one day, how to make this...'

'I will not...for then, you will not come here!'
She was pretty straight.

I guffawed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Upon a Levone Sterling

How can I say, what the meadows sing?
What godliness those flowers bring?
And that thin silvery stroke of your paintbrush
With what benediction you create a beauty such?
Those distant hills, they seem so angelic
With what divine glow you make bright the bleak?
The sky seemed so ethereal and blue
From which palette you get that hue?

How can I say, what the meadows sing.

(The picture attached is a work by Levone Sterling)

For Auld lang syne...

Stand there, for a while,
Under the shade of the tree,
Stand there, for a while
For auld lang syne and me;

The world might be busy
Full of snarls and shouts,
But stand there, for a while,
And see the rainbow through clouds;

Stand there, for a while,
When you got a little time,
Stand there, for a while,
For auld lang syne.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Muted

'We can have our meal here...'
Prahlad said as he signalled the driver to stop the car infront of a hut.
The hut looked bigger than the usual ones
found here, only the entrance looked outlandish.
Nikita descended and the first thing that she noticed was the row of pots and pans and other household common utensils being used as pots for growing flowering saplings.They were placed side by side right at the entrance which added to the sombre beauty of the milieu.
'Welcome memsaab!'
A girl in bright red jacket appeared at the flight of steps,
'You can get our special meal today...'
The girl declared, though her voice seemed not very loud,
It still evoked a feeling of warmth and hospitality.
Nikita smiled and went in. She found the dining hall empty, barring two middleaged men  busy eating at the farthest left corner. They were talking while eating.
Nikita inspected the hall and within a few seconds decided to sit by the window
facing the road. She always preferred the window seat, for windows always open one to the world. So she carefully dodged through the tables and chairs till she reached that table by the window which had two chairs facing each other. She put her bag on the floor and sat down. The road was clearly visible and the few cars that went up or came down were also could be easily seen. Nikita looked outside and felt that though she could see the outer world through the glass window, the sound or the noise of the outer world was not coming to her. It seemed she was witnessing a muted world.
'Your order madam?'
The same girl in red jacket came with a notepad in her hand.
'Two plates of rice, two bowls of lentils, mashed potato, and chicken stew...'
Nikita ordered,
'And a plate of salad...'
Prahlad chipped in.
He had already entered the hall.
The girl went away.
Nikita looked at the only occupied table in the hall. The two men were preparing to go. One of them pulled out his wallet and placed some bills under a plate.
Nikita looked at the man. He had salt and pepper beard and his face had the suntanned look.
It suddenly occured to her that the face resembled someone's she knew.
'But how that could be... he could not be here... '
Nikita thought.
The two men were going out.
The man with salt and pepper beard and cropped hair, held his backpack by his left hand. Nikita noticed something written on the man's left arm, a tattoo.
'God! I definitely know this tattoo and ...'
Nikita thought.
The men had already gone out.
Nikita got up.
Prahlad looked up.
'Where are you going?'
'Just a minute dear...'
Nikita pleaded.
'But our food would soon be here...'
'Ok, if you are hungry, carry on, I will be back soon...'
Nikita quipped.
The two men who were on the road just outside the entrance must have heard her.
They both looked back at her.
The salt and pepper bearded man seemed particularly surprised. He stood still. His companion was asking him to take the walk down the road. But he was not moving. He was staring at Nikita.
'Ani? Are you Ani? I mean Aniruddha ? Aniruddha Sanyal?'
Nikita asked.
The man looked at her.
'No... madam... I am not Aniruddha Sanyal...'
'We still got a long way to walk...'
The man's companion appeared a bit impatient.
'O yes!  Let's go...'
Salt and pepper bearded man responded.
'How can I be so wrong?'
Nikita thought.
She was going back to the hall.
Prahlad might be thinking where had she gone.
The girl in red jacket appeared at the corner.
'Memsaab, forgive me for my eavesdropping, but you were right...that man was Aniruddha Sanyal... he had arrived here only few years ago...'
'How many years have passed in between? '
Nikita tried to remember.
Some twenty years might be, since they broke up, she and Aniruddha.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mother and daughter

Walking up a few miles,
Copperskies whence left a distinct hue
She put her legs on the slope
And thought of lying there for a while,
The bees might be humming somewhere,
And the evening would be soon having a sweep,

She remembered when she was much younger than
Today, she had the habit of lying flat on the yielding earth
And her mother would then also come and sit by her,
She would sing songs, tell her stories, and run her fingers through her hair,

There would  be silence all around,
And those were her moments of bonding with her mom,
She would find smell of spring flowers in her,
And her songs often left a wandering tone
She would close her eyes and listen with attention rapt,
She would think that her songs might be floating
And going to faraway places, down the valley,
To the barn, where horsemen might be still working on,
From there to the small town, dotted with shops and hotels,
From there taking the road by the stream to another place...

'Gotcha!'
She was taken aback by the shout
Followed by giggles,
She turned around to see her daughter,
'Come, sit here by me...
I will sing you a song'
She said.

The final masquerade

When you would come down
In glittering black a flowing gown,
And by your eyes, covered by velvet
When you would beckon me, for a masquerade,
I would tap on the floor by my boots,
There would be, shouts, calls, and hoots,
The music would be quick and fast,
Your eyes would upon mine last,
We would be dancing to the tune,
You would spit fire and I would fume,
That would be our final masquerade,

You would by your long sharp nails make marks red,
And I would whisper in your ears words of hatred,
Then we would spin, swing and dance fast,
Your heart upon mine would thump just,
I would press you against me for a while,
You would pour on my mouth your venomous guile,
We would dance still the same,
Our masquerade, the final game.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Old age

Once met that good ol'man
Sitting on a slab of a rock,
He had crowfeet at his brows,
'How old are you?'
I asked,
He seemed short in hearing,
He said nothing,
Only looked at me with a blank face,
His dress was simple
A pair of trousers
And a flannel shirt,
His face looked impassive at first,

The day light was then dimming
And the horizon had that glow
Which many painters and photographers
Tried for ages to catch in their works,
The man seemed very much part of the scape,
And then he looked at me straight
And cleared his throat,
'I am eighty and you?'
'Half almost of your age...'
I replied,
He smiled,
'Why are you sitting here?'
I asked,
'O ...it is my daily ritual,
I come here every day,
And sit here
And watch the sunset,
And other things...
For i have got all the time in my hand
And all those which i failed to savour
In my youth, i try to understand them,
Like how this world is made
So beautiful by some cosmic force,
And how the world moves
Following a pattern of its own,
Despite wars and carnage
And bloodbath,
Everything in this world
Is perpetually following a course...
And no one, can alter it...
Is it not something magnificient?
Something wonderous?
Something evocative enough to
Cherish specially at this hour?'
The old man did not ask,
He was, i thought, making
Rhetorical queries,
Answers of which
Were not to be sought,
I thought,
And old age crept
In me.

Friday, April 10, 2015

At the back yard of your heart

At the backyard of your heart
Where you sometimes stand still,
And try to be alone with the clouds,
Singing a song perhaps, or simply
Curling threads of your auburn hair,
Give me a place right there,
I would just stand quiet
And be a part of your quietitude,
And if you laugh out loud,
I would just flash a quaint smile,

At the backyard of your heart
Where you sometimes sit back
And try to unwind yourself
Sitting on a rocking chair,
Give me a place right there,
I would just sit quiet
And be a part of your quietitude,
And if you recite a ballad lyrical,
I would do the same with you,

At the backyard of your heart...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lost in the woods

Once losing myself in the woods
Got for the first time
The shooting rays
Piercing through
Leaves and boughs,
They fell on the ground
And also on my face,
I saw how the trees had spread
Canopy of greenness
All over the sky,
And below the earth
Had the mossy layer
Of algae,
The smell of wilderness
Got into me,
I walked through the shrubs
And bushes,
Following the trail
Made by woodcutters,
And huntsmen,
Every moment seemed
Thrilling and yet so unbecoming
For me,
For i had rarely got the chance
To shed off inhibitions of my urbanity,
And to ponder over the Creator's benediction
And equanimity.

(Posted as napowrimo , thanks to A.Koshy and the group)