Friday, 25 August 2017

MY LOVE SLEEPS


Tread gently, oh breeze,
Take your tickling gusts elsewhere,
For my love sleeps.

Shine gently, oh moon,
Spread your silver rays elsewhere,
For my love sleeps.

Fall gently, oh petal,
Drop on ground elsewhere,
For my love sleeps.

Flow gently, oh brook,
Take your languorous current elsewhere,
For my love sleeps.

Sway gently, oh tree,
Nod your green mane elsewhere,
For my love sleeps.

Laugh gently, oh Mother Nature,
Echo your resplendence elsewhere,
For my love sleeps.

***



Thursday, 20 April 2017

MY JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF WRITING-VII

No doubt about it, it is very difficult to resume writing after a long hiatus. Having lost my soul mate, I find no reason or inspiration to write. It is not a writer’s block but a writing block. I do not know where and how to start.

I can but try.

***

In an earlier blog, “MY-JOURNEY-INTO-WORLD-OF-WRITING-V”, I wrote about my experiments and experiences with writing my first crime thriller “The Kidnap”. I am happy to announce its publication - along with two other novels of mine “Embers of the Pyre” and “Misogynist Interrupted” – during Pongal i.e. mid-January 2017. It is an exhilarating experience to see one’s creation in print with a beautiful cover page.

***

My next venture was “Embers of the pyre”, which was untitled initially, too!

As I described in an earlier episode, sticking to one genre is anathema to me. Even while writing The Kidnap, I had decided upon the topics of my next two novels; one was to be a supernatural-cum-crime thriller (Embers of the pyre) and the other a serial killer drama (Misogynist Interrupted).

I shall let you into a secret. Handling a supernatural story is relatively easy in comparison to other genres (the most difficult genre, to me, is a comedy.) For this genre (supernatural thriller) a threadbare storyline is sufficient unless a strong, well-researched, and plausible storyline is already available e.g. The Omen by David Seltzer. Even The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty falls short on this count with just the possession and exorcism of an 11-year old girl as the storyline.

However, mine was to be a supernatural-cum-crime thriller. Now, that was an entirely different kettle of fish, babu moshai! There had to be a plausible, logical storyline for this mixed genre; merely throwing in a few imagination-on-the-loose, wild, horror scenes would not do.

***

‘Embers of the pyre’ is not a horror story per se like those in movies or novels. Without revealing the (alleged) suspense, I shall briefly outline the storyline. It comprises two parts of a story, which are seemingly unconnected, set in different periods in time. However, as the narrative progresses, one connects with the other.

In the first part, inexplicable supernatural events happen in the idyllic life of a female photojournalist. Her quest for the truth, with the help of an exorcist, brings her face to face with a horrible crime.

In the second part, which is a chronologically earlier event, a relation between the event and the photojournalist slowly unravels itself, culminating in a shocking denouement.

***

Once I decided upon the storyline, I embarked on the task of giving it a shape, a form. I wove a logical and plausible narrative around this central topic, added characters, scenes, and conversation. After several edits, the final draft turned out to be quite satisfactory. My complacency was not misplaced. My nephew and my daughter, who are erudite and never mince their words, remarked that ‘Embers of the Pyre’ was the best of my works.

***

With experience, I honed my style of narration to fast-paced story-telling, crisp dialogues, well-etched characterisation. I started dividing my chapters into short sections, moving fast from scene to scene. This practice yielded excellent results in the form of readers’ appreciation. (Some of the knowledgeable readers called it compartmentalisation, thus adding to my vocabulary.) I realised one axiom early in my journey that readers are smart and they hate being lectured at.

I write to entertain, not to educate.

My novels and short stories are woven around characters that are real-life and never lecture the readers on the rights and wrongs. To use a phrase from my nephew’s remarks on a short story of mine, my stories “…revolve around small families and never give sermons on good or bad - just about experiences.”

***

Well, that was the seventh episode of my journey into the world of writing. In my eighth, I shall deal with misogyny, I mean, my novel on a serial killer drama.

***


Friday, 14 April 2017

AM I IN LOVE?

The scorching summer sun
Feels like freezing polar ice,
Cool full moon sizzles, and
“I miss you,” my soul cries.
C’mon, tell me now,
Am I in love?

In your exciting company,
Eons vanish like moments.
Parted from you, my dear,
Every long second torments.
C’mon, tell me now,
Am I in love?

Sleep eludes try as I might,
I count sheep to infinity.
Reminiscing our moments
I fly from here to eternity.
C’mon, tell me now,
Am I in love?

Your fluttering eyelashes,
Your warm embrace and kiss,
Your soft touch and voice,
Everything about you, I miss.
C’mon, tell me now,
Am I in love?

The puddle at your feet
When you dry your tresses,
The aroma that precedes you,
Intoxicate me like caresses.
C’mon, tell me now,
Am I in love?

If there is a heaven
‘Tis here, in your presence,
In your kiss, and your love,
Life’s hell in your absence.
C’mon, tell me now,
Am I in love?

I don’t see you around me lately.
‘Tis said you’re in heavenly fold.
I don’t believe any of them,
I feel you around, Lo and behold!
C’mon, tell me now,

Am still I in love?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

EMPTINESS

Dearest Swarna,

Emptiness within, emptiness without, I am unable to believe that a person so diminutive in size could have filled a life so huge. Your departure has taken away everything that is mine, for all I had was you and the rest was incidental to having you in my life.

Now, you have left and left everything that was yours, including me, to me. I have been telling you when you were alive that without you I am nothing. I am if you are. All your possessions, material and metaphysical, are mine to tend to, now. If you are watching over me from Heaven you will see I am struggling but doing a decent job of it – household, children, grandchildren – all except me. I am unable to cope with life without you. I have let go of your physical body to the embers of the pyre but I can never let go of your soul, your memories, your thoughts, and your moments. They are all I have now. I am the “prince” for all these inner riches. I am the “pauper” for missing their source.

My life, whatever is left of it, is a drag, a burden day after interminable day. I wait, dear, for that moment when my summonses arrive, so that I can unite with you once again. Until then au revoir, auf wiedersehen, so long, फ़िर मिलेंगे.

Your

Shyam

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

PANGS OF PAIN OF A PACIFIST’S HEART

People, people everywhere
Nary a human in sight.
Politics, religion, racism all over
Fanaticism that’s not right.

I have but a small dream
Of people living without fear
In a world at peace with itself
A universal family, all are dear.

Without fear of offending
And fear of being offended
Every heart filled with love
Bereft of umbrage and hatred.

Cleanse religious, political jingoism
With perfume of tolerance ‘n’ love.
Be not a hawk, the bird of prey,
Be the symbol of peace, the dove.

Smear not sanguine, the heart
In blood of a single innocent.
Rescind lust for victory and power
Shun the fraud, for ‘tis transient.

Lead those on perdition’s path,
To manner humane and kind.
Turn bloodthirsty guns ‘n’ bullets
Into petals floatin’ in the wind.

Wipe the arrogance and hatred,
‘Tis grime of heart intolerant.
Preserve the treasure of flowers,
Let the heart shelter love vibrant.


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