Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lost, Times Apart



With rounded breasts concealed by cloth of bark
Fastened at the shoulder in a fine knot
Her youthful form enfolded like a flower
In it`s pale beauty sheath unfolds not it`s glory




"Wow!. Kalidasa`s a genius!", exclaimed Sanjay. His face was bright with excitement as he motioned towards his roommate and friend Jeevan. Jeevan came over and looked at the book and read a few lines.


"No.. not really worthy of praise", he remarked. Sanjay could not hold back a frown. "You know what.? Kalidasa must have been a pretty normal guy. What is more important is that he must have had some really heavenly looking women around him in those times, and thus the inspiration."

"Jeevan it`s not funny..!. I`m amazed, by these verses", replied Sanjay.


"I`m being pretty serious here. Just think about it. If Kalidasa were in our generation, and if we were to take him to one of these malls and show him all those girls in Tee-shirts and Jeans, do you think he will be writing poetry..? He would mostly have been a software engineer rather writing code in C and C++. Haa haa..!". Jeevan was besides himself with laughter. He always had this strange habit of laughing at his own jokes. Even stranger was the fact that he went and looked at the mirror while laughing.


But Sanjay wasn't listening. He looked rather lost in another world of his own. He kept reading those beautiful words and verses, getting transported to a totally different realm.

Her cheeks grow thin; her breast and shoulders fail;
Her waist is weary and her face is pale:
She fades for love; oh, pitifully sweet!
As vine-leaves wither in the scorching heat.



It was sometime before he remarked, "You know what, Jeevan. I think I am in love with Shakuntala.!"


This time, there was no response from Jeevan, because he was already snoring. Sanjay smiled, looking at his friend and went back to reading the book. He didn't even realize that the book fell from his hand and that he himself had fallen deep in sleep.

All was silent as the night moved on over the town, concealing it with it`s cloak of darkness.


*~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~*


It wasn't night actually, though it was pretty dark. The sun was still reluctant to bid goodbye to earth and kept holding it in it`s shiny embrace. But Raja Meghanatha could not feel the pleasure of twilight. The towering trees in the forest over which different vines hung around enclosing it like a protective sheath, the light rays of twilight were cruelly denied permission from entering the ground beneath them.


Hunting had always been an excellent pastime and the king had a great reputation of being an immense power in bringing peace to the forests and the sages, ridding the dark woods of demons and dangerous beasts. However, today he had gone too far in chasing that beautiful gazelle and in time had gone very far away from his retinue of soldiers and attendants.



His tongue was parched and his body trembled with hunger and fatigue. He smiled at the irony of events that a king so powerful as himself who delivered prosperity to thousands of his subjects was today at the mercy of the all-pervading lord for survival.


Suddenly, he heard the sound of small bells. As he struggled and heaved himself onto the nearest tree, he saw that heavenly woman, who dressed in hermit clothes was tenderly plucking flowers. Her every movement so graceful, accompanied with the bells that tinkled on the girdle that adorned her slender waist. The movement so magical that he almost mistook it for an unearthly vision of the great lord`s cosmic dance. Her slender arms and that vibrant, peaceful face glowing with radiance and piety in that otherwise dark jungle evoked complete awe and fascination in his mind.

Her, very presence and gentle touch seemed to awaken the sleepy reclining plants and the trees around with mystic grace. His eyes were transfixed upon her, his mind forgetting to seek help, his body forgetting all fatigue and pain.


The cups of flowers, she has just plucked
Have not as yet sealed themselves
and these tender shoots, broken off
are still moist with their milky sap.
He could only look on as she walked ahead and soon was lost from his sight. He cursed his tongue, which failed to call out. But then, he himself had failed or rather lost himself to that holy woman. Who could he blame.?

His legs failed him, and with great difficulty, he shed himself of his headgear and bow and arrow and crawled and heaved himself in the direction, where the woman had left that prominent trail of footprints, along his path to salvation.



Upon moving himself in that painful and strange way, for what seemed to him, like generations, he finally reached a clearing. There was a thatched hut, with trees all around, with the fragrance of incense and sandalwood welcoming him. He reached up to the entrance of the hut and peered inside. And, there she sat that same woman, he had seen before. She was in meditation and he was dumbfounded again, by the beautiful picture of peace and auspiciousness, she painted upon the natural canvas of her surroundings.


After some time, he gathered himself to call her for help, but his body failed him again, his vision was blurred and in this dizzying state, he fell down unconscious.

*~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~*

.
He felt the warmth of the morning sun, filtering on to his body, and slowly he opened his eyes. It was 10`o clock in the morning. He looked at his cell phone. There were 8 missed calls, five from his office and three from Jeevan. Jeevan, it seemed had already left. Sanjay slowly sat up and tried to stop feeling drowsy.

And then suddenly out of the blue it struck him.! He had gone up to the hermitage, he had seen her, he had felt intense love for that divine woman, he had felt the pain in his body. He remembered falling down. What had happened..? His head started aching as he tried to see that picture again in his mind, in vain.

And then the phone rung. He picked it up. It was Jeevan!.

“Get up Lazy Goose!. I've been getting royal enquiries from your office for quite some time now.. Get up, go to office and ask that teammate of yours, never to call me again.!”, barked Jeevan. He hung up sometime later.

Sanjay slowly went about getting ready, but the thought of that dream or rather experience never left his mind at ease. He folded his bedspread and arranged the pillows, and then his eyes fell on the book. He opened it and read out a verse.


Now that the moon has set, the pool of moon-lotuses
Delights not my eye –
her beauty is but a memory
The grief of women left alone when loved
ones
Travel far are beyond measure hard to bear

He was suddenly grief stricken. So that was it. He had fallen in love, with that women of his dreams. His one love was trapped in another dimension, where he could not reach, and the pain he now felt in his heart was the pain of separation, the pain of longing and the agony of loneliness.

The phone rung again. It was from his office this time. His teammate Vinay almost shouted in to the phone.
"Sanjay, you've got to be here. This release is crucial and we've got to ship it by tonight. Just be here man.!", he pleaded.

Sanjay still had the book in his hand. He kept leafing through the pages, in search of his love, in search of peace of mind, and then he saw those lines.


Required to perform duties in places
Widely separated, I am in two
minds
Like a river that strikes a hill in mid course
And forced back parts
into streams

He realized his dilemma. He was lost in two places, his soul not deriving peace from both. Putting aside the book, he slumped down on the bed, and then he bent down and cried.

The phone started ringing again. It just kept ringing.


Verses taken from translations of Kalidasa`s AbhijnanaShakuntalam by Chandra Rajan - "The Loom of Time", Arthur Ryder.

Pics - Courtesy, Paintings of Raja Ravi Verma.

Monday, April 02, 2007

3 things to let know.

Yes..! I have three things to let know. First thing is of course that I`ve again been mercilessly tagged by Sreejith. This guy is just not going to let me rest..! :-)
.
Secondly, I have not been active on the blogosphere recently. Well!, there is currently a lot of change happening in my professional life and my mind does not have the necessary space in terms of time and energy to really post/comment. So forgive me about that.. Will be back soon and kicking..! There`s no permanent goodbye to blogging on the cards at all.
.
Thirdly, Wish you all a great time.. Keep Dropping by and blogging yourselves..!
.
... and, now the taG.
.
Three things that scare me

* Big Rats, Centipedes and Heights.

Three people who make me laugh

* Charlie Chaplin
* Jagathy Sreekumar
* A big group of teasing friends

Three things I love

* Poetry
* A Good Movie
* A Good Dose of Sleep

Three things I hate

* An Unnecessary Crowd
* Over the top Restriction of Freedom.
* A Dilemma :-)

Three things I don't understand

* Why good things dont last forever
* How Time moves so slow, when you want it to move fast
* Where we will reach at the end of it all.

Three things I am doing now

* A lot of thinking
* Listening to "Sivaji" Music
* Searching for a new Desktop Picture.. Everything except working..!:)

Three things I want to do before I die

* Write a book of poems and stories..!
* Speak at a public gathering
* Lend my full fledged hand to a social cause.

Three things I can do

* Dream a Lot.!
* Talk to some friend anytime
* Eat beyond my limits..!

Three things you should listen to

* Soulful Music
* Voices of Children
* Opinions of Elders

Three things you should never listen to

* Something bad about a third person
* Sycophancy
* Anything demotivating

Three things I'd like to learn
* To ride a bike
* To moonwalk
* Photography

Three favourite books
.
Narrowing down my favourite books to three would be injustice so let`s make it three recent books, i`ve read.
* Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts
* Godan, by Premchand
* The Argumentative Indian, by Amartya Sen

Three favourite foods

* Idiyappam with Ishtu!
* Masala Dosa
* Kadai Chicken

Three beverages I drink regularly

* Light Coffee
* Iced Tea
* Tender Coconut Water

Three TV shows/books I watched/read when I was kid

* Ramanand Sagar`s Ramayana (T.V Serial )
* Tintin, By Herge
* Chandamama
.
And finally I tag three of my good friends, who painfully seem to have suddenly shut off from the blogosphere, in the hope that they return... I tag,