Thursday, October 17, 2013

To my best friend

I look at you smiling at the girl sitting next to you and I smile; because your smile makes everything alright.

I watch you stumble with what you want to say and I want to tell you that I already know.

I know she broke your heart and I want to tell you that you can keep mine.

I believe it when you say you love me and I wish you’d know the love I feel for you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We were never close. I’m two years younger. But we grew up together. I never admitted that I was jealous of her prettiness, her devil-may-care attitude. I took solace in the fact that I was much more intelligent. All through our childhood we only laughed at stupid things we thought our parents said or did. We barely cared beyond what Grandma was making for lunch. Today she told me that she was getting married. I knew that she’d been talking to some guy from Australia. He is coming to visit her in a few weeks. If all went well, they would get engaged by mid-September.

I almost choked at that message. I’ve been to a million weddings. My family specialized in being part of one every year. But it has never been someone I’ve grown up with. We’ve devoured Kulfis in frilly frocks. We’ve attended family functions and secretly laughed at everyone. We’ve stealthily shared a smoke after a few beers. And now, she is ready to change her life.

It would have been okay if I’d known her closely. I’d have made natural progress in accepting her decision to ‘settle down’. Now it just hit me out of the blue. And she said she needed me there. I’m oscillating between feeling bad at not maintaining contact with her and feeling blue that people are going to peer at me, armed with the ridiculous ‘You’re next’ gleeful smiles.

I’ll never be close to her. I’m never going to maintain contact. But I do love her. I wish I knew what to wear for her engagement.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


There aren't many mornings now-a-days, when I wake up feeling inspired to write something. In fact, it’s been so long, that I've developed a rather unnatural apprehension about my writing skills. Till about a year back, I had no doubts that, if I’d pushed myself a little more, I’d have written for a living. Now, I’m not too sure. Of course, I've put all those plans on the back-burner. But whatever happened to blogging?

Everyone talks about needing discipline for writing. Heck, I even read a book recently, which had a character facing a huge block. He spoke about discipline too. But it’s me that we are talking about here. Discipline is something that I've never managed to inculcate. I’m the spawn of a delirious marriage between recklessness and haste.  No, I am not boasting. I’m working on it.

This feels good. There is a flow here. I feel good about typing. But, there is no thought. It’s just me, rambling on and on. No true writer writes for himself. That’s the biggest lie anyone can spout. You write to be read. You leave little nuggets of your soul in quiet, little paragraphs, waiting for people to spot them, and announce your genius. No, it isn't wrong. It’s just a little insight into people claiming to write for themselves.

What I’m trying to say, in too many convoluted sentences, is that I lost that confidence somewhere along the way. Nothing special happened this morning. It’s just an inner voice that was waiting to be typed out. Hope this is a new beginning.

Next time, I’ll make sure I actually have something to say. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Stupid, simple words

Take me someplace nice,
somewhere I am yours for the moment;
and all you do is look at me with that crooked smile,
and all I do is grin back hopelessly

This rattling of my soul…
The jumpiness, the anxiety…
I like that I don’t know if you’ll be around.
I like that you still tell me that it is meant to be.

Today there are no words.
There is just the twinkle in your eyes.
Everything else is a blur.
Everything else is irrelevant.

I want to tell you that I dread this farewell.
Hold my hand till the end of this path. 
Do we see a fork ahead?
Do we meet someplace nice?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A puppet's lament

The puppeteer pulls the strings again.
Her smile widens, unwittingly. 
The rigmarole of innocence,
an acceptance of a lifetime.

An ignorant fool she wishes to be,
it's a story she has no part in;
a character she's entrusted with, 
a muted performance to be delivered.

She aches to tell the puppeteer,
"There's no one here to applaud.
Come out from behind the smoke-screen
and let go of the strings that bind me. 

Go on, build that new stage you wish for.
I want no part in it."

Monday, November 7, 2011

The journey that’s ‘Rangeele’

When Kailash Kher sits in front of you, flanked by Naresh and Paresh, it is almost like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. A glimmer of hope shoots through you; hope that you may finally be able to understand the roots of this band, their philosophy, their ideology.

I was excited; excited that I was going to be one of the few privileged lot, who might get to listen to the new tracks from Kailasa’s upcoming album Rangeele. At the end of 6 hours of interaction with the trio, the overwhelming feeling that one is left with is the beauty of their collaboration. It stems from their desire to create, to seek the magnificence of music from within and spread its wings.

There is an inherent idealism that envelopes Kailash’s persona. His beliefs have an almost transcendental sincerity. He believes that the roots of music lie in each and every one of us, at its pure, unadulterated form. Evident from our interactions, Kailasa’s musicality stems from Kailash’s deep-rooted spiritualism and the dynamism of Naresh and Paresh and the other artists.

Another interesting aspect of this gathering was that we got an opportunity to interact with the other faces of the band. One such talent is Tapas Roy, who is a master player of rare instruments such as the Oud, the Dutar, the Rebab, the Saz and the mandolin. Amidst a magical rendition of the Saz, the brilliant artist recounted how he proceeded to actually invent his own version of the Dutar, namely, the Tuitaar.

Their new album, Rangeele, has easily the most robust compilation of songs by Kailasa. As one heard track after track, the idea one gets is that here is a desire to break the shackles of the tag of a ‘new sound’ that Kailasa introduced with their previous albums. There is such amazing symphony of genres and sounds that it is difficult to pin-point the genesis of the track. One might surmise that Kailasa is ultimately an experiment to break new ground in contemporary fusion music.

There are a few tracks that stand out for me personally.

1.      Rangeele
The title track almost defines the ideology of the album. Kailasa is known for its soulful, Sufiyana lyrics and Rangeele (the track) does beautiful justice to uphold the credence. The song speaks about the desires of the mind, its need to break free, to unleash its wildness and yet to be guarded by the boundaries of reality.

2.      Albeliya
Lyrically, this track appealed to me the most. It spoke about the duality in self; about how one is constantly cornered by the expectations of what one is perceived to be versus the actual reality.

3.      Daro na rang
This track is the most brilliantly produced one in the album. It is a heady concoction of West Asian/Mediterranean instrumentation that blends seamlessly with a Jazz Rock harmony. The lyrics are a throwback to folksy, light-hearted words that once marked Hindi Cinema music.

4.      Babbaji
While harbouring a deep personal relationship with this song, Babbaji retains a kind of universality in connection. This song is actually a gift by Kailash to his adorable son, Kabir and the inspiration of Sheetal, his wife, is evident in the track. The track is characterized by simple use of percussion to highlight the strength of the words.

The album contains 3 bonus tracks.

‘Ujale baant lo’ - The song created by Kailasa for NDTV that talks about Global Warming.

‘Ambar tak yehi naad gunjega’ – Kailasa’s clarion call for awakening, this track was created in solidarity with Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption

‘Dharti pe jannat ka nazara’ – This song was created for Kaun Banega Crorepati’s new season.

Rangeele is an experimental album. It is a serious stab at creating newer pedestals of contemporary music.

However, as I traveled back home that night, the only thing that rang true in my head was the philosophy of being true to one’s inner self and how Kailasa is the very embodiment of this idea. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My confidante

A million flames lit-up for you,
you shine, resplendent, in all glory.
My searching eyes fall upon your visage,
and my heart leaps like a surging wave

Groping around in the darkness, I was.
One glance; and the warm blanket of calmness envelopes me.
Wonder-struck, I look askance…
Your bewitching smile obliterates all doubts, all insecurities.

How beautiful you look tonight!
Krishna, my love…
I carry you in my heart, for I know no other truth.
Krishna, my confidante…