Friday, April 30, 2010


I believe in illogic. So....

I believe in magic. Of simple things like rain and winter sun. Like smiles and a single tear. But also the magic of grand things. Like love and passion. Like birth and life.

I believe in fairy tales and happy ever afters. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Alladin and Ali Baba. Beauty and the Beast. I believe they all once were.

I believe in here and now fairy tales too. Like friends and family members who found each other and are happy. Ever after? That would come too.

I believe in miracles. Of a forgotten song remembered on a Christmas eve. Of seeing a rainbow at cross roads. Of cheating death. Of living a life.

I believe in spells and love potions. I believe in elves and goblins. Dragons and knights.

I believe in Angels. And Lucifer too. Neither is white or black. Neither is grey. They are all full of swirling colours of human emotions and passions. Only the scale is grander.

I believe that there is a world beyond the clouds. There are castles in the air and that stars sing. I believe that the russet colours of a beautiful sunset bloom because somebody up there is very happy. It could be a sprite or an angel of Heaven.

And yes, I do believe there is a Heaven and a Hell.

I know they all are.

I believe in God. Trappings of religions are inconsequential. Just God. And not just the idea of Him. I know He is. And He does not need science to prove Him.

I believe that everything that I imagine is real.

I believe in the illogic of it all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tree Talk

Almost everyday, as I curse and swear my way to office in sweltering heat, I see chopped tree limbs, a sad stump or uprooted trees strewn at various points of my journey. If you take the time and trouble to ask why the tree has fared thus, the answer is likely to be a variation of one of the following:

  1. The tree was about to fall; its roots had become very weak
  2. The road is being expanded

Both the answers, you would have to admit, are as reasonable as they come.

If you counter question with, “When you chop off a tree, should you not plant another in its stead?”, you would discover that this question apparently is not very reasonable to ask. Not your business, you would be told in very firm and hopefully polite tones.

The other week, a big, beautiful coconut tree in the compound of a building next to my home was cut down. “The tree was so weak at roots that it could have fallen onto the building across the lane any day”, my mother explained to me the culprit’s reasoning.

I was appalled. If the tree’s roots were weak, whose fault was it? Who was responsible for laying house foundations in such a way that the roots loosened their hold on the soil?

And now that the deed has been done in the name of safety, has a new sapling been planted? The answer to this question, expectedly, is ‘no’

What is worse that it is not just private property owners who are responsible for such blatant massacre of the city greenery but also the government. We need the flyovers and the highways, the eight lane roads and bypasses to airport (it is another matter that they take an eternity to become functional). So, the trees lining the existing roads have to be sacrificed. But how about re-planting them? And if there are such plans in the pipeline, when do we see them being put in action?

As a kid, I used to enjoy the ride to a relative’s then new flat, which was on the way to the airport. The VIP road which leads to the airport, used to be lined on both sides with big, lush green trees that smelt fresh during rains and looked cheerful with bright red, orange, yellow flowers weighing down on their branches. Only a handful of trees that have survived the axe can now be seen and everyday a new tree is reduced to a sad, ugly stump.

While I believe that we have abused our environment shamefully, I have always taken all doomsday prophets and their prophecies with a pinch of salt. Yet, when the sight of dead trees, lying pathetically on the road side, meets my eyes, the guilt of destroying the beautiful becomes a little heavier each time.

And each time, Captain Planet becomes more of a need, than a figment of a cartoon channel’s imagination. Or else, the grand, wise trees, Ent, from Tolkien's Middle Earth, could come to life and bring us to our senses.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dear Child

Dear Child! Fly away
To a world of Fancy.
Dear Child! Dream away
And make the Fancy real.
Dear Child! Do not just scream
And do not just wail.
Dear Child! Open heart and mind,
To Love. Do not fail.
Dear Child! Let the Innocence be
And not be a Man –
‘Tis not yet time.
Dear Child! Grow beautiful
And grow strong.
Let breaking toys and knees scraped,
Be your greatest wrong.
Dear Child! Keep the Trust
And keep the Faith.
Earn the Trust precious
‘Tis not too late.
Dear Child! There’s war
And there’s carnage.
There’s Beauty and her Love,
In unnamed Bondage.
The war is yours to fight,
My Child dear!
But keep the soft, baby soft,
Naiveté and the Hope shining.
Be a Child now,
And a better Man perhaps,
Shall you be.
Dear Child! Think not
To a Utopia build.
But to live in this world
And with your Fancy gild.
And then let the Imp
Its magic work,
Till the Fantasy beautiful
Is oh-so-real.
Dear Child! Think not
Of these lines as a sermon.
Nor as the meanderings of a mind,
Not quite sane.
Dear Child! Think of these words
As a Plea and a Hope,
Of eyes growing weary and
Growing older still.
Dear Child! Say an Amen true,
And let your Fancy soar.

Friday, April 2, 2010

To Books

 I cannot remember a time when I did not love books. They have always been with me. Give me stories – any time, any place, any kind – and I am content and happy. In fact, it’s a common joke among my friends, regardless of how long they have known me, that I just want to travel to all the exotic places, so that I can claim that I have read a book there.

Well, I admit that is partly – only partly – true. But it is correct that I am book crazy and book obsessed.

Sometimes, I wonder why’s that? Why do I love books so? Because they are a treasure trove of knowledge? Not really. Knowledge is just the by-product. I know that a lot of people read to improve their grammar  English, Hindi etc. Some read so that they can get the right words, phrases and facts to show off. Some read because there’s nothing better to do for passing the time.

My reason is just one: it is my escape mechanism, in the same way movies are for a lot of people.

When I read books, I can be anyone I fancy. I have experiences that I would probably not have in real life. I could be having a midnight party at Malory Towers or solving a mystery with Mr. Holmes. I could be living a fairy tale with my own happy ever after or be in Diagon Alley with Harry Potter.

I can also visualize the scenes very clearly when I read books. It was all very well, until I was introduced to Count Dracula by a certain Mr. Stoker at the age of eleven. It was an abridged version but the minute long walk across the courtyard at dusk with birds returning home sure turned longer. And I learnt to avoid horror novels. So, Stephen King and I still remain strangers. But I ain’t complaining.

When I was younger, I was told that with age I would outgrow certain kinds of books – Enid Blytons, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, Mills & Boons and Grimm Brothers – you get the drift. But surprisingly, I haven’t. I read anything that catches my fancy. And I almost never read to learn. So, the mini-library at home is stocked mostly with fiction – from Shakespeare to Austen to Marquez to Beauty and the Beast to mushy romances to Wodehouse. Even the few non-fiction books that I own and read have had human drama to keep things from becoming too dry (as an aside, do read White Mughals, if you get the chance. It’s one of those rare books that tell you about history as ‘his story’).

I am also told by my married friends (especially those who have kids) that once I get married and have kids, I will not have the luxury of spending the days and nights with my nose buried in a book. Maybe, that is how it would be. But I like to think that that would not be the case.

So, there would always be a room (preferably the largest) designated as the Library in my dream house. It would have floor to ceiling book cases and French windows to let the sun stream in. And a hearth with a golden fire crackling in the evenings. Ah, heaven!

On that note, adieu for now. My escape awaits.