Archive | March, 2011

Seasons in Haiku

24 Mar

A Haiku is a a form of Japaneese poetry with 17 syllables in three lines structured such that the first and the third lines have 5 syllables and the second line has 7 syllables. There are several varieties of Haiku which have evolved over the years. Our dear Megzy has already mastered the art and I am a huge fan of her Haikus.

I was sorting some of my photographs when I thought of putting up a picture and writing a Haiku for every season. Here is the end product of my attempt…

Winter (View from my apartment after a snow storm)

Winter’s spell – warm barn,
snow capped hills and chilly breeze.
Calm in still white peace…

Spring (Sunset from my apartment just after a rainy spell)

Spring’s blossom – cheery bright.
Witnessing nature’s delight.
an engrossing sight…

Summer (Dry and parched Grand Canyon)

Summer’s fury – harsh heat.
The Sun mercilessly blazing,
noon shadows gazing…

Fall (Colorful & fiery leaves at Bear Mountain, NY)

Autumn’s gift – misty milieu.
lapping water, warmth in the sky,
leaves – colorful n dry…

An Ode to Immortality…

22 Mar

It is rightly said that music is not bound by language, region or anything potentially prejudicial. As I listen to Raag Puriya Dhanashree rendered by the insurmountable legend of Hindustani classical music, Late Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, what amazes me is the impeccable alignment of thoughts in the rendition. Every note so serene, every word so divine, that Panditji’s music challenges one’s vocabulary.

The mere thought of something being immortal is intriguing. I cannot think of a moment when I have not had an emotional attachment with things I possessed – my books, my music collection, etc. Knowingly or unknowingly, we invest both emotionally and mentally in our possessions and it is obviously difficult to relinquish them. My father could not bear the fact that he had to sell his first ever scooter which he had bought by his own money just because it was old. At that time, I could not appreciate his feeling. I was more than glad for the upgrade. A few years later, when I was in his shoes selling my first bike, I could not stop myself from sharing the same sentiment.

I feel that these attachments give birth to desires and expectations. The expectations lead to yearning. May be it is this yearning which has led man to discover earthly secrets and also to make astonishing inventions. While most of the religions preach abstaining from worldly desires, it is also true that it is because of these desires that discoveries and inventions happen. I feel that our sensibilities are skewed when we speak of such intricate designs we are surrounded with. This dilemma does not seem to resolve at least for me!

The fact remains that our expectations do not always align with our destiny. This leads to disappointments in some cases, while in others, an instigation to strive even harder to achieve the desired.  Our desire to make things faster, smaller and more convenient can be considered to be the one end of the spectrum of immortality.

The question that pops up is where does the attachment which someone like Panditji has with his art lie on this spectrum? Is there any amount of insecurity about an artist’s prowess which tags along with fame and fortune? I don’t think these questions have any definite answers. May be someone like Panditji never had these questions; or may be his state of mind was as Kabir exclaims his state of intoxication – void of any differences and segments.

As I get back from my ramblings to the soulful rendition, I cannot help but think of how sad I was to hear about Panditji’s demise. But, I now feel that his notes and his music are so profound that they are even beyond this vicious circle of birth and death… they are simply immortal…

“IMMORTAL is an ample word
When what we need is by, 
But when it leaves us for a time,
‘T is a necessity.”

— Emily Dickinson

हेच व्हायचे पुनः पुनः

3 Mar

We often use the trivial question of whether one sees the glass half full or half empty to discuss pessimism and/or optimism. I personally feel that both these philosophies are intertwined with an ultimate aim of reaching the golden equilibrium. Maybe a state where pragmatism dictates everything else. And that is when pragmatism asks its usual question – whether your desires match with what you deserve?

I think this very tryst with handling the tight rope walk between taking a step forward and looking over the shoulder into the past is what fizzled up in the following poem. Every challenge and every struggle reiterates the need to perceive.. the need to persevere… again and again..

Disclaimer: This is the first time I have attempted to write a poem in my mother tongue, Marathi. Apologies to the readers who do not understand the language. Although I tried to come up with a translation, I don’t think I would be able to do a good job at it. To all those who understand Marathi, feel free to comment and critique. I would be more than happy to know what you feel about the poem. For those who want to give translation a shot, you are most welcome.. 🙂

ओंझळीत तू घेउनी स्वप्ने,

घे भरारी उंच नभा,

हेच व्हायचे पुनः पुनः.

*

पुनः एकदा नवीन आशा,

जुनी वळणे , नव्या दिशा,

पुढे जायच्या घाईमध्ये ,

क्षणभर मागे वळून पहा,

हेच व्हायचे पुनः पुनः.

*

पुनः एकदा नवीन नाती,

जुने रण, अन् नवी नीती,

गुंत्यांच्या ह्या गुंत्यामध्ये,

मुक्तछंद तू विहरत राहा,

हेच व्हायचे पुनः पुनः.


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