Not a Haiku

It is not always
that I'm in the mood
to write
there are times 
that I'm not
in the mood to write
and when such times
do present themselves
and when the ryhmes
seem old 
why my dear reader
I write on still
for to write is to live
well not really for
 if that were true
 then 
you all would be
dead

A Most Terrible Grave

As the numerous lines of meaningless code stream down across the computer screen, his mind rushes back to the past. Standing in front of the class in white school shorts, he was reading out the 'paragraph' he had written in his test. He had loved writing those. He would rush through all the sections of the test to reach the writing section, relishing the prospect of creating new worlds and spinning new stories. He would savor the process, the first sentence, nay, the first word had to be just right. He could almost see it floating around in the air, he would reach his hand out to touch it and it would drip down his pencil onto the paper. Oh but the one page space was not enough for his adventures, he would draw more lines and fill them up, turn the page over, draw more lines, fill them up. The words now pouring down in a most lively torrent as the story grabbed hold of him and led him on and on, his mind working faster than his hand until the bell rang and he had to stop.

When you're a child you are so many things, a writer, a musician, an artist, and somehow the process of growing old strips away all these possibilities and you're left with a shell of a human being. Or is it the other way around? Maybe the years pile upon us layers and layers of rust, numbing the mind and darkening the heart, and the 'person' is hidden away, the spirit languishing in neglect and subjugation of the brain.

Mrs Surabhi Dobhal, his English teacher back in junior school had loved his writing. Not his handwriting mind you, no, that had always been inconsistent and shabby. Now he could feel her looking at him as he read out his creation to a silent class. He stops at a word, he can't seem to decipher his own handwriting. He asks the teacher what he had written and she obliges much to the amusement of the class. He has finished now. There is applause. He hadn't cared about that back then. But now it seemed like a rare privilege. When was the last time he had received applause? It wasn't the fact that he hadn't received any applause but that he hadn't done anything worthy of applause in a long long time. 
Mrs Dobhal had shared his love for the writings of Ruskin Bond, she was from the hills too and she told him that he had even come to her father's wedding. 
Though you do not realise it then, there are people who momentarily cross your path in life, like two ripples in a pond, leaving a mark on you. A mark that is slowly pushed down by the dross of the years, only to make its way back up when you find yourself looking back for counsel.
He wonders where Mrs Dobhal was now, whether she even remembered him, the audacious class jester who could write. He wonders if the years had changed her too. "Oh I hope she didn't give up teaching", he thinks to himself. That would be a grievous loss to the pedagogic world. He feels a slight ache in his heart now. Oh if only he could go back. And then a realisation dawns upon him. Had he too not given up on writing? Had he been humble or selfish in thinking that the world would not be at loss without his writing?
He now thought how disappointed she would be in him if she could see him now. A faceless face, another brick laid square in the walls that form the boundaries of our stifling world.

Then he feels a stir within, it seems as if a long sickness were being lifted and he sees them again, dancing and floating in front of his eyes. Words. His hands start playing the keys and after so many years, he feels the same rush, the same jubilation, as words pour forth through a chink in the mortal wall and he writes : 

"Break free O Mortal!
As you were of birth
See you not
thy life as it passeth away?
Your eyes to watch
the meager years
as in sordid soil
you dig for treasure
to what end who knows
Till you realise you dug

A most terrible grave"






Of Parchment and Marmalade

Buttoning your collar against the cold mist of dawn, if you walk down the mall road of the still sleeping hill town of Lamuri, your nose will detect the comforting aroma of morning Chai. By the time you realise that your feet are making their way down the chosen lane you will find yourself facing the toothless grin of Sitaram, the owner and chief concoctionist (if there be such a word) of the imaginatively named Sitaram Teastall.
But tarry not hither for the brew is yet to come to boil. Make your way further down this path till the path begins to go up and then go  up with it (the path). Walk past the shops as they awaken with half open shutters and the end of your journey will find you at last stepping gingerly over a puddle and planted firmly before a board that reads :
                                                              'Silas and Sons Stationers'
As you bring your gaze downwards your face will be illumined by the soft glow of a lamp in the shop window, benevolently offering the promise of warmth and you will know that all that remains to be done is to step in.
This was the precise chronology of steps followed by Mr Shaw one August morning while the town still slept clinging to the hill slopes. Mr Shaw was a writer and like all self respecting writers Mr Shaw needed parchment. For last night he had had to stop midway through a sentence that read,"Mr. Wilson relished the prospect of breakfast, he always had two hard boiled eggs and toast smeared with". Smeared with what? Butter? Jam? If jam then what kind? Or was he more of a marmalade man?
They say the way to a man's heart passes through his stomach (or some such nonsense) and I say If you were to wish to find out what manner of heart one possessed, it becomes essential to know what he smears on his toast.
It was to provide his reader with this urgent knowledge that Mr. Shaw had resolved to buy parchment first thing in the morning and which is why he found himself announcing his arrival with the chiming of the call bell. Like all shops that possess a call bell, this shop too had a door behind the counter which lead to the 'back', the place where the proprietor would hide engaged in heaven knows what witchcraft that the order of his men practiced until the chime of the counter bell summoned him from the darkness. Mr Shaw conditioned by years of cliched writing had expected a whiskered old man with preferably a crooked back and half moon spectacles. And if he had needed parchment a year ago he would have found him too, but this man had left our mortal world and had left his son to fulfill the stationery needs of the same.
What can one say about him, he had the proud self assured look of a man who knew his stationery.
Mr Shaw was impressed. "I need parchment", he nervously requested. Mr Silas II responded by raising his left eyebrow one quarter of an inch. He seemed to be assessing if this man was worthy of requesting stationery. He seemed rather majestic, standing behind rolls of pink ribbon, in his suspenders as his bald head processed the customer's request.
"What kind?", he at last asked him not without a hint of suspicion in his voice.
Mr Shaw was not prepared for this. His mind was trying to gather all the knowledge it had about paper. He was certain the Egyptians had invented it and the Japanese amused themselves with miniature swans fashioned out of it. What was it called now....polygamy? Ornithology? Or was it .... Origami! Yes! That was it! He had Origami for Mr Silas but that wouldn't do. And as he fought with images of pyramids and china-men making tea his ears turned pink and he began to perspire.
His literary career was not to end in a respectable scandal of words. No sir, his end was to come by parchment. Then the thumb of inspiration pulled taut the strings of speech and he ventured,
 "The best you have".
The second eyebrow now ascended to the abode adjacent to its partner and stayed there.
"Best for what?"
Apparently there was a lot you could do with parchment. Now writers are temperamental creatures and Mr Shaw had suffered enough. In an outburst of unrestrained and helpless emotion Mr Shaw confessed, "To write! I'm a writer! I need parchment to write on! Please give me some". Presently the eyebrows commenced their journey earthward, a hand expertly slid across the counter a stack of the desired stuff.
"Is that all?" , a light seemed to diffuse throughout the room as the atmosphere lifted from the dreary gloom of
a room without parchment to a room fulfilled of its parchment needs. Mr Shaw was too ruffled to reply.
The relief had come as suddenly as the attack. As he performed the monetary ritual and made his way out of the shrine his head began to clear. Outside the sun was rising, the birds had commenced their customary chatter and Sitaram's tea was ready for the day's first customer. As his thoughts cleared he found himself holding a cup of the hot sweet tea, a slice of bread dunked one third of the way in.
Mr Wilson was not a marmalade man after all.

The Misadventures of Col. Walter Cuthbert : #3 Of Ponies and Journalists

This narrative finds a mention here .

#3: Of Ponies and Journalists 

      "Gather round my friends and hark to the tale of Marie Lin and the pony"

This history dates back to the time when Col. WC  had a clear view of his feet. It was a time when the sleepy town of Lamuri rested atop the hills like a ketchup stain on a crumpled shirt and other similarly enchanting analogies. 

It was in this sleepy ketchup stain like state of existence that Marie Lin the not at all famous Swiss (or Chinese?)journalist appeared upon the face of the hills. At first she was spotted and next seen by all who did not wish to see her but had to by virtue of her being visible as are things of norm. Her appearance heralded the most disturbing two months Lamuri had seen so far (Col. WC having not yet reached the pinnacle of his success).
From the day she arrived Marie Lin appeared to be a ubiquitous phenomenon which in simpler and non pretentious English of the Queen means  " 'er lassie be present e'rywhere ". She was seen in the town square scribbling heaven knows what with furtive glances at the clock tower. She was seen on Mrs Blake's balcony inspecting her Petunias, she was seen in Church on Sundays (an unprecedented event among the religious folk of Lamuri) all the while scribbling in her notebook. Such literary intrusion was not at all welcomed by the people of Lamuri who were suspicious of all that she wrote and all that she didn't, for the people of Lamuri were a patriotic and occasionally self respecting bunch.

One by one her articles began appearing in the local newspaper. Several people and establishments were hurt. There was a two paragraph account of Mrs Blake's drinking habits (apparently the petunias were not Marie Lin's object of interest), this article also served as an advert for the various breweries in India and abroad. Next the Residency was attacked and called "a place of  slothful leisure" where "morally questionable men spent their Sunday mornings gambling instead of attending church", the latter was much to the annoyance of the priest whose morning game had been spoiled by such false accusations.

The town seemed to be on the brink of an absolute blow out when Marie Lin appeared in the stables.
Some say that she was writing an article on the morals of the animals therein and some say that she wasn't. The truth shall never see light as  the said article never made it to print.
 Marie Lin bent down and stared into the eyes of a little white pony apparently trying to make it confess to grim crimes committed against humanity. The pony stared back in defiance, for it was a righteous pony. It was in this bent down position that Marie Lin received an epiphany and conceived the idea that she should use the pony to cover distances hitherto uncoverable by her so as to cover every inch of Lamuri in her writings. The owner of the stable handed over the pony to her with suspicious eyes and Marie Lin set out on a stroll through the hills.
Now the fire of revenge burnt steadily in the heart of the pony for it had been wronged by the woman who now held its reigns. Its memory flashed back to that fell moment when Marie stared into its eyes. Bitter was the blood that coursed through its veins when it decided to bring upon Marie Lin her doom. On a well meditated impulse the pony jumped into a full gallop, its destination was the hairpin bend below the church, its mane glistening in the afternoon sun. A fresh horror crept upon the face of Marie Lin as she sat paralysed in fear.The wind moaned amongst the pines and the birds stopped their singing. The pony's life flashed before Marie Lin's eyes and Marie Lin's life flashed before the pony's eyes as they neared the fateful bend. The pony with a heroic grunt launched itself off the parapet and both master and beast plummeted down into oblivion. 
Thus ended the life of Marie Lin the Swiss(or Chinese?) journalist and The One Pony.
The people mourned the passing of the pony and a bronze statue was erected in the town square in its memory. The plaque reads :
   
 " In memory of The One Pony who gave his life to protect the honour of this  town" 

and to this day squirrels play between its legs and birds sing atop its ears.

                                        
~As to the killing of Marie Lin being justified I can say naught for the tale itself has mutated through the long years of its telling as can be discerned from it being absolutely ridiculous~ 


1998: The Beginning


1998: The Beginning.

The year is 1998. As he stands before the ten odd marble steps to the "C-block", little P feels a chill run down his tiny spine. He holds his mother's hand tighter. A gentle march breeze plays with the kerchief pinned to his shirt.
                                             
He steps onto the marble floor. A glimmer of hope arises in his mild heart when he sees a square courtyard in the centre of the building. "This could be good", he thinks to himself. He is then led up a small flight of stairs to higher ground. There is a row of rooms on one side of the yard at some height.
His gaze still fixed on the yard he doesn't realize that he is standing at the entrance of a room. When his legs stop he turns and looks into a room with about ten hexagonal tables. Seated around these are children much like himself, only they don't have tears rolling down their cheeks.
A woman holds his hand and leads him to a table. Sitting down he peers through the tears at five faces that stare back at him.
                                             
Then with a shock he turns around and sees his mother waving goodbye to him from the door.
The door shuts in front of her nervous yet smiling face.
This is it. This is the end. He is trapped in a room full of beady eyed children and ...and the woman.                              
                                               
                                            He has a  nasty feeling about this.

Super Spiderman

He stares at the white screen. His conscience a blurry nag. His feels the stare of his books. He looks behind him. He tries to concentrate. Perhaps he'll write something worthwhile. Col. Cuthbert won't yield.
Subdued by evil forces, he turns to his books and awaits night. But it won't come. Not until dusk has first passed. He must find some other occupation. Unsuccessful, he gives his books another glance, hoping they'd seem better. Numerous wise sayings disturb his being as flies on a sultry summer afternoon.
He must fight the evil.
May the force be with him. 

Poetry for Retards

It seemed to be a cow
It seemed to be a hen
Who cares what it seemed to be?
It seemed to be a mend

A mend for all the crows
A mend for all 'em trees
Who cares what a mend for?
A mend for all the keys

A key of mind spun anew
A key of soul they say
Who cares what a key of?
A key it was for bays

A bay for all 'em ships marooned
A bay for all beneath
Who cares what a bay for?
They look up through the sea

Bah booh be baloney
Pish Poosh pee
Bhoo bhee poo a poo poo?
Swish push pish posh pee