Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A gentleman's will

His safe deposit locker
Revealed a will
Which bequeathed hectares of property
And bonds to her

Plus a handwritten note in a buff coloured envelope
That said -
I meant to say this, everyday, for the past 57 years

Please don't play Schubert after Mozart
It ruins everything

Why she didn't get Binayak Sen's autograph - and other shorts

Ideology is detritus
And hard-working governments
Manipulate it better than we ever can

He prefers
Anonymity to self-promotion
They prefer
A Mahatma and a good-looking poster boy

Politics is theatre
And yet, people abhor plays that make them think
Since it can spread brain disease, you know

World social forum or social world forum?
Where media junkies try to persuade the masses
About what's right for them
In their pitiable ghettos

When she strode upto Binayak Sen
For his autograph
He was calculating the body mass index for ordinary people

Alarmed by her own obesity
She turned around and walked off

Monday, May 16, 2011

Two short speeches about governance


There are more cabinet-reshuffles
Than popular uprisings
In this country of ours

I wonder
Who lets me down, oftener
The government I vote for
Or the people I think I know

At the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese

At the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese

The priest spoke of God creating the world
In six days

The young man who was studying science in standard five
Asked his mother, "Didn't God hear about carbon dating and fossils?"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Susan Sontag sneezed on my face


He got a special darshan
At the Vaikunta Perumal temple
Due to his upper-caste status

Plus the billions which were stashed in opium fields

The dyslexic
Pressed the wrong button
Voting for the wrong candidate
In spite of his best intentions

Memory is deceptive
Said one physicist to the other

Instead of talking about mechanism design theory
They plugged gigabytes of hard-disk into their brains

Continued with their lab work

For decades
The district was known for 0% voting
100% poverty

I ran after Amitav Ghosh
For an autograph
At the Frankfurt Book Fair

He ran away
Faster than me

The 125-year old shepherd from Jhunjhunu
Married for the first time
His 16-year old wife told him to gift two goats from his flock
To each of her thousand family members

He obeyed her
In true Shekawati tradition

I stepped out of the cloakroom
Stretched my hand out to greet Susan Sontag
She sneezed on my face

Since then, my life is a blur

Friday, May 13, 2011

One bar girl's mantra to the other

Time to exist
Was one bar girl's mantra to the other

Instead of a time to exit

Tuscany's red wine
He could easily de-code
With his tongue

That made self-consciously long speeches
At business banquets

In between which
He, intermittently, insulted his girl-friend
Who was flesh and skin
Since the day she was born in Dhanbad

Stroked his pony-tail
As he roared his BMW Z4 model

Remembered how she loved him
He loved her, too
When he rescued her from the ordinariness
Of family life