Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stormy Breeze

I hear the garbled sounds of memories; they hush me by like a gentle breeze;

The breeze is gone and fierce storms blow my wonted vaults and their assorted jeweleries.

Contradictions of various mathematical possibilities leave me flat and hung.

Notions of freedom leave me trapped and all these I sought to reveal or find during my natural born years.
The hair I play with today thins;
The knuckles I crack wrinkles;
The eyes staring me back hollows in empty delight.

Knowing me today is no more familiar than knowing me yesterday.

These woeful songs would have you beguiled and fooled.
The treachery of our minds are just the tip of the mail-berg;
For the base stays grounded in drama and the ensuing hullabaloo is all a part and parcel of our own karma.

There is nothing more left to seek;
There is nothing more left to heed.

I look at me in the pupils of my eyes!
They glisten back inundated with lingering hurtful memories of causes that have resulted in innumerable bruises.

“What did you want, My Sun?”
“Meaning, I guess”
“What kind of meaning, My Moon?”
“The kind that satisfies curiosity, restlessness, boredom, yearning, desire, vanity and emptiness I guess”
“And where did you suppose you’d find them, My Celestial Star?”
“In books, in knowledge, in history, in travels and in love”
“And did you, My Dear Immortal?”
“I thought I did. In the beginning there was curiosity, then there was longing and finally there was the experience”
“And you found the meaning, My Dear Seeker?”
“Are you still looking for it, My Fearless Warrior?”
“And why not? My Wealthy Landlord?”
“Because it’s everywhere”
“And did that insight help, My Liege?”
“No. It did not”
“Why not, My Master?”

Because my questions were wrong;
Because the basis of my wandering itself was conceived in ignorance:
Because my yearning for love was fueled by hatred:
Because my very accumulation of knowledge was founded on brittle sticks of ignorance.

I had not known how to love because I had never abandoned the selfishness I carried with such smugness.

I read the sutras and it gave me pride;
I read the classics and they gave me knowledge;
I traveled far and wide and that gave me mileage;
I made good company with females and that left me inflated;
I lived because I needed to do all of that again;
And that made me sad.

I wasn’t alone, I was lonely.
You see, love I echoed aplenty and recognized none;

Today I reap the fruits of my indolence;
Today I taste the bitterness of my nectar;
Today wisdom peeps and my knowledge shudders;
Today truth beckons and I freeze;
Today I’m learning to live with unease.

"Well. Now You Know, My Son, Now You Know!"

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!


Old Men Tell Their Tales,
Over Hearths Villagers Listen;
The Quiet Forest Laughs!

Terraced-clouds-field the big-blue skies,
Like quiet feathered snowflakes.
Nights-glow with fireflies;
The sky glitters as the stars litter;

The freshness of reviving showers on oily monsoon days,
The sweet fragrance of blooming flowers,
Of myriad colors painting unknown horizons,
Of shy settings, orange sunsets and silhouetted mountains,
Of strange moonlit-karmic recollections;

Here we are;
Rainbows and all…

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!


The Misty Road Lives,
It Winds And Tells You Stories,
If You Will Listen...

The Monsoons Are Fresh,
Raindrops They Take Me Places,
Showering Secrets!

We Are All Poets,
Though We Loot, Plunder and Steal,
We Are Still Poets.

The Women I Love,
Come In Lovely Disguises,
How They Torture Me!

Loneliness My Friend,
Why Are You Always With Me?
Go See Some Body!

The Monsoons Are Dry,
Yet We Know That It Will Rain;
That Is Refreshing!

Don't Give Up On Me,
Life Works In Mysterious Ways,
SomeDay You Will See...

You Called Me Jurmi,
And We Used To Hang About,
It Was All Good Fun!
Though I Miss You Bad,
I Remember Times We Had,
You Are a Good Lad!

Even If i Die,
Life Around Me Will Flourish,
Now That Is Living!

Haikus Within And Without

This Is My Sorry;
This Is My Story,
I Want To Be Gone,
And Follow The Forest Monks; The Elders That Tread The Path.

I Can Learn No More; The World's Been Enough:-
Old Path And White Clouds Beckon...
And I Must Heed The Calling...
And Face All My Fears!

Many Moons Back In Time,
Glistened And Glowed Tempting Me;
The Trap Killed Many.

It Drove Me To Books,
Fancy Imaginations!
Life Alternative; A Customized Life.

Riches Of The World,
The Mind Cannot Comprehend,
Hence Ceaseless Questions!

Sights Of Mendicants,
We Compare With Our Own World;
Thus We Throw Cheap Alms.

Man's Will To Reveal,
Is What Brings Us Our Ordeal;
Time And Time Again!

Today I Got Up,
Brushing My Needs Selfishly;
Forgetting Others.

Compassionate Seeds!
Bud And Bloom When Without You;
From Within Your Soul.

The Masters' Message,
Be Aware And Be Mindful;
The Living Moments.

Logic Cannot Feel,
Rationality Limits;
Listen To The Gut!

What Was Your Real Face?
Before You Came To This Life?
Your True Nature Calls;

Everything We See,
Is Revealingly-Naked!
Opaqueness Restricts.

Everything We Hear,
Sends Us Songs Of Inner Truth;
Listen Carefully!

Everything We Touch,
Is Teaching Us Shunyata;
Form And Emptiness.

Everything We Feel,
Like Waves And Tides Of Oceans;
Web And Ebb And Flow; Knowing That Is So,
Brings Us Immediate Calm;

I Must Learn To Breathe.

And Co-Inter-Dependence;
Is The Wheel Of Life,
Is The Life-Cycle,
Is The Realm Of Men,
Is What Drives The World;

This- If Understood,
Will Alight The Darkness Within;
Displaying Rainbows!

TellingTalisman: Wherever You Go; There You Are!

Sacred serpents coiled around their clutches of eggs yet to hatch in rock caves had the faithful attending in droves to offer their prayers. Some dubbed them ‘suckers’ while others merely found some value for astonishment and surprise. I felt both; legend of the ‘Guardians of Taras’ floated and the cliff next door with the elephantine protrusion added still more gravity to the story. Yet when I drove past that road I did not feel the need to actually go out and check out the serpents firsthand. People were still hurrying up and down the road from where the snakes lay. What am I gonna do even if I went up there? My lame thoughts came and went, and with that, I was already kilometres away from the scared premises, my son in deep slumbers and me lost in great mental numbers.

I did make a trip to Taktsang though, and found myself panting and praying at the Guru’s Holy Cave. The trip ended with a throw of the dice at the deity’s chambers. The Venerable Singye Samdrup was generous, and gave me a dice of confidence to carry and call on during the coming days that I was gonna travel. The day arrived and I departed Paro Airport with a heavy heart, a sad recurring case every time I leave the kingdom I malign so much.

In-flight, fears of the future, immediate and relative, started hatching their own eggs. Had I been a good son during my yearly sojourn back home? A good brother? A good uncle? A good cousin? A good friend? A good husband? A good Bhutanese? A good Buddhist? A good person? The answers were shouting out in unison, a loud collective thunder roaring ‘No’! That didn’t feel too good, but worse still were my irrational worries about stuff like how would I get to the Royal Embassy of Bhutan? In an auto-rickshaw or an ambassador car? Would the embassy guest house ensure me a room? What if they didn’t really get my half baked reservation? And how would I spend the 48 hours I had at my disposal? Wouldn’t the heat and the pollution be too discomforting? How would my son react to Delhi’s surroundings? Would chicken be safe enough to eat? It was a nice comfortable flight to Delhi.

The first hurdle of finding transportation to the embassy was solved by a chance encounter with an acquaintance I barely knew; she was travelling westwards and had a pickup arranged for her by the embassy. We could join her, ‘Fantastic’ I said and started worrying about the rest of the fears left on my list. The immediate one being, ‘Now that transportation has been solved, what about the accommodation? Arriving at the embassy, I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had indeed had a reservation in my name, though they had had to downgrade me from the ‘suite’ to the ‘deluxe’ room. The going rate was Rs. 2000 a night for two occupants, since I was with a minor, I only had to make do with a 1000. Thankful and surprised, we checked in. I showered while my boy watched Mahabharata cartoons. To double check that it was really my name the room was booked under, I walked over to the reception and asked the man behind if there were any complications with my reservation, ‘No complications’, he replied. ‘No complications?’ I ventured again, totally surprised, ‘No complications’, he shot back, a wee bit amused and cheesed.

The rest of the day passed by like a snail on a sprint, a turtle on the run. The hot and humid Delhi midday heat kept us off the streets, and the deluxe room was really a living room in disguise, nice fat couches and two good beds, with a Flatron T.V to keep us entertained. The kitchen was good, the chicken even more delicious. ‘Not sick, are they’ I asked the reception man, ‘Not at all’, says he and soon enough me and my boy are chomping chicken curries. That done, my fears and their associated worries came back like good old friends. How do we spend coming days? How come the tickets say I am leaving two days later than scheduled? What do I do once I get back to my adopted working country? How do I cope with this, and with that? Night came and I couldn’t wait to get moving, two more days seemed like forever. So many hours to kill! Next day arrives and I’m still caught up trying to figure out how best this day will pass. I look at the tickets and there is still another good 24 hours before we get going to the airport. Another lethargic day trickles by and it’s sheer boredom. Finally dusk gathers, the birds go quiet, and my boy’s asleep as well. I sit on the couch watching football. It’s late at night, midnight, and then the T.V goes blank and zaps. I curse and head for the bed. I’m almost dozing off when it hits me. I looked at the wrong dates! Our flight departs tonight at 1:50 in the morning and it’s already 12:30! There is pandemonium as I sit up in horror and start throwing everything into the bags, look for the reception man, find him snoring, wake him up, tell him to prepare the bills and call a cab. He can’t find the food bills, so I pay him for the room and 500 for whatever we ate, wake up my crying son, get into a Maruti van, and head for the airport with ‘Baza Guru’ on my lips.

It’s a real tussle trying to get a sleeping five year old, a trolley to roll and documents to show with just two hands. We get to our airline and find a long queue of passengers and baggage. An eternity descends when I’m at the counter. The airline man takes another eternity before he declares, ‘No seats’!

Three hours and three thousand mental clogs later, we are boarding Turkish Airlines to Istanbul on an empty economy row. An hour later in Istanbul, we are boarding Austrian Arrows business class to Vienna. In Vienna, we are compensated with a neat 1200 Euros for the inconvenience caused and arrive in Amsterdam, in peace and in one piece.

I just had to think of the Venerable Singye Samdrup, and knew there was something more to deities and dices, serpents and eggs.

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!


Dear M,

You Are Nine Today!
My Dearest Mipham,
A Jolly-Good-Happy-Birthday!
May You Live Kindly...Happily...And May You Stay Forever Young...
And Keep Your Sketching Heart,
Even If The Paint Should Peel Off;
Keep Sketching Your Art!

Traveling Nowhere;
I Was So Much Older Then;
I'm Younger Than That Now.
Having Said My Bit;
Thank You For The Memories...
Those I'll Cherish,
Bite In And Relish;
When I Board Amnesia!

This Constant Drumming,
That Would Have You Explaining;
Until You Explode!

Throw Away That Tie!
Unbuckle And Abandon Those Attachments!
And Just Try And Be...
I'm Telling You,
There Is Nothing Left To Tell;
Or Communicate!

The Meaning Of What?
When From Dusk Till Dawn You Breathe;
And Forget You Live!

Everything Is Quiet,
A Lone Crow Now Caws Far Away;
My Mind Makes More Noise!

Our Lives Miracles,
See The Surroundings Around?
Here Is All We Have.

Do Not Cuss The Cub,
It Could Become A Tiger;
Old Mongol Saying...

The Story Of Genghis,
While He Was Still Temudjin;
Lord Of The Steppes...

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


“The internet is a global network of interconnected computers, enabling users to share information along multiple channels.” Okay. Clear enough. Global, network, interconnected, information, multiple channels all say one thing. That this thing really is frighteningly connected! But what does it do for common folks like me and you? Broadly put, it brings out miraculous results to a key word or two typed into search engines such as Google, Yahoo and the rest.

It is the ‘information highway’ where you have abundance license to roam.

To me, the internet is, for all intents and purposes, one of the crowning symbols of man’s quest and thirst for knowledge. It took eons for us to get here. The journey continues and that is perhaps more notable rather than some utopian destination or deliverance.

\You see, there is no such thing as a ‘climax’!

Man goes on inventing, evolving, destroying, rebuilding et al. it is what he does and strangely enough, what he should not do and yet he goes on; doing it pretty darn well!

The internet is man himself and man in turn, has become the internet. Our curiosity knows no bounds; our desires never cease; our imagination is vast and our creativity is littered with blood, guts and glory.
In the end, our lack of contentment becomes our inevitable doom. That pretty much takes out the above equations- for if man should possess all of these and yet lack a basic sense of satisfaction and contentment, of what use is all of the arts and crafts that he has painstakingly molded?

The world is beautiful. Look around you- everything is perfect! The mountains, deserts, oceans, forests and all the flora and fauna you can find; all the elements that make these possible and marvelous.
But we are talking about the internet. Well, we have to rewind the archives and take a metaphorical journey back in time.

This is many pages, pens, pencils and white chalks back. This was also many letters, notes, drawings and sketches back. This was when correspondence took place by hand, stamps, envelopes and the mailman’s back. This was when knowledge passed down through oral stories and tales narrated by grandparents’ at dusk, around a hearth, out on cool open meadows and walkabouts around the stupas. This was when knowledge was scarce but sacred; when experiences bequeath wisdom; when students worshipped their teachers and teachers lived the principles they espoused.

The knowledge was scarce but sufficient, retaining a reality of things that were real, comprehensible and pragmatic. People knew enough about how they had to live, whether it was with the forests around them or the rivers and streams and the animals that lived there. They shared with the land around them an intimacy seldom gained nowadays- that intimacy brought them knowledge; about the world and all its open secrets.

This communication between man and the environment sustained. The respect was mutual. There was an innate harmony pervading the air.

In time the knowledge began to pile. It grew bigger and bigger. It had to be archived and became the storehouse of all things man was witness to- within and without.

This gradually became so sophisticated that man knew all there was to know: the open skies were conquered with planes; the oceans were pacified with ships and the land itself was carved in tune with the human desire and its many plays. Mega metropolitan cities grew; time and space itself were manipulated.

Communication had evolved from grunts, growls, gestures and signs to languages that varied as the landscapes did. The rock paintings had become feathered strokes, evolving now to touch-pad styluses’. The bark of the trees and the papyrus became liquid pages and multi-faceted gadgets.

This gave birth to a lifestyle like no other. It evolves even as we speak. This very essay is being typed on an electronic key board with a thousand different alternatives and options. The pages it displays are virtual realities, but the virtuosity is as real as anything.

Today the internet is omnipotent and omnipresent. It is, in a nutshell, what man is and what he symbolizes. It is in a way the supreme incarnation of his achievements. It is the magical portal that connects man to man and man to the world. It has revolutionized life. Today the internet is the refuge and source of all things we deem to be informative and hence, knowledgeable.

It has changed the way I live, socialize and communicate. The pros and cons of such a revolutionary tool cannot be underestimated. In many ways, it is the continuing process of man’s rather distinct method of evolution. The use of the word ‘evolution’ here should denote ‘intelligence’ and ‘knowledge’. This is good news but the trap is also set. Being clever is not necessarily smart. Being knowledgeable is not necessarily wise. Having access to knowledge is different from having innate wisdom.

So we get to this inevitable point. The crossroads beckon and the junction offers multiple directions. The sign board announces the names of the places and their distance in mathematics.

And as unexpectedly, there is a sudden air of dull stagnancy. It breathes heavily without respite. It is restless. That, today, is the hypothetical condition of man. For all of the technology we have at our disposal, our lives have not changed for the better.
We have forgotten and lost something precious. We have forgotten our roots and are busy eating the fruits of dependence. We longer possess wisdom; it has been replaced by artificial knowledge.

We have forgotten to live; the ghosts of millions slaughtered at the altar of greed, selfishness, ignorance and hatred have made us uneasy. We no longer communicate with nature; we have forgotten the language they speak. We no longer feel the land we live on; it is littered with ‘progress’.

We have forgotten the ancient stories; capitalism, consumerism and globalization have enveloped us.

That is what the internet tells me; that is what the internet represents. Perhaps there are other wholesome alternatives. The well that dries and drowns also quenches and satisfies.

Without a hint of irony, the beauty is that the internet also houses all of the lost and forgotten secrets of the natives. It is also a flowering symbol of man’s inspirational imagination and flawless creativity. The elders would have marveled at it, proudly.

The question is the same as it has always been. Where do you find the middle path? If we ventured forth with that awareness in mind, perhaps the world will never look the same again and neither will you.

Now Google that!