Tuesday, May 31, 2005

More Meanderings And My Favourite Poem

I have always been drawn to beautiful language.And what better manifestation of that than Poetry. When I try to recollect when the fascination began ,I realise that it's been there for quite a while , right from when I was a school kid. Back then though, as far as I remember , I liked it because of the rhythm and the rhyme, and just because it was a little different and I understood it better than the other kids. A silly reason , but one that has sustained my interest over all these years ,long enough for me to begin to enjoy it for it's actual beauty and wonder it inspires in so many.

It always came easily to me. Poetry, that is. And I took to it all the more for that.I loved the metaphors and the meandering ,the eloquent descriptions that were meant, if only, to evoke vivid images in one's mind. I loved that I could get it when no one else seemed to it. Lol...I loved impressig my teachers..This one in particular especially...He was young and really handsome (your eyes are popping out..yeah I know...In madras...but he was) and spoke impeccable english in a deep baritone(which was good enough reason for me to fall in love with him - he turned out subsequently to be a womanising bastard...but hey you can't be perfect...lol) and we were all totally spell bound when he read out a poem. (lol...So mister Godfrey sir , if you ever read this...Thanks..You sparked my interest..).

(I remember reading Shelley and Walter Scott and all the nice ballad-y stuff , which had such nice rhyme schemes and everything, way back in 6th standard. In fact , some years I remember solely by the poems we did in class...How weird is that..lol..I never somehow took to indian poets until very much later..I guess 'cos translations did'nt really rhyme..lol..anyway, I got over that...Thankfully.)

Eventually , my liking for poetry ceased to have anything to do the person spouting it and became a more of a pride thing. Yeah , well , you see..since all of my friends were total geeks , and I guess in that respect I got left behind , they would be the ones explaining stuff to me. The math or the physics. And my way of helping them back , my means of restoring my image everytime I needed their help , was to explain language.

(Uhh...we needed each other's help 'cos in 11th and 12th we had such horrible teachers in school that it was better that we tried to figure things out by ourselves than to inflict the torture on ourselves ,and endanger our future thinking capabilities by letting them have anything to do with the injecting of any kind of information or ideas into our brain...)

Perhaps it was just that my friends had no patience with it. I don't know. They seemed to dislike it so much. English was a chore , just something to be gotten over with. And Poetry to them was the worst of it , It was something to be mugged up if need be and thought about just enough to answer questions such as "What do you think the poet means when he says..?" And even , then it would be me who would be frantically contacted the previous night (no one ever studies english except then dummies) before an exam to come up with answers to the obvious questions.

And I was the authority.Well ,that is to say, in my class, in school. Ok so you did'nt come to me when you could'nt figure out a math problem , but I was the official english tutor for the entire class. And that being the case , and my pride being at stake , I could and would never bullshit. I'd think about things , what they meant from different points of view and everything and give the geeks their fair exchange for all the times I needed their help. Maybe that was even why we became friends , at least at first it began as a symbiotic relationship. (Isn't that true vishnu??)

However, even after I left school and after my first year in college , when I was no longer obligated to read poetry , I found myself increasingly gravitating towards it. I cannot claim that my exposure is deep or even wide. But what I've read so far , has left me thinking , musing ,pondering for days on end. Just like other things I've read , I guess , only the difference being that this drew me on a more emotional level than the stuff in books.

Some poems have haunted me. And I can't help repeating the lines over and over again to myself, like the tune of a song that gets stuck in one's head.Because they have struck such a chord. Some have been so cynical as to have left me quite disturbed. Some, I've even found, can be a source of so much mirth. (like this poem I put up on one of my earlier posts by E.E cummings).

But the poetry I like best is the soulful, romantic kind. I'm a sucker for it and can lap it up in quantities that many people find quite nauseating. In the beginning ,I was'nt particularly discriminating. After a point though , you learn to see what makes a Poem brilliant , when in fact it maybe saying something quite similar to any one of your dime a dozen pop ballady things.(uh..Can't believe I actually mentioned both in the same sentence...Gods of poetry , please do not caste me into eternal hell...lol)

So, yeah I totally trip (A friend of mine would have me say "Get off to.."..lol) on Shakespeare , Byron , Yeats , Browning..The acknowledged and established greats. But if there was one poem , that I had to pick , that was my All Time Favourite...The one that really moved me , that I love , that I recite in my dreams because it haunts me so much , it would have to be "Tonight I can Write The Saddest Lines..." By Pablo Neruda...I've only read one compilation of his poetry...the one from which this poem comes. But I know I will probably love it all.

Anyway, I've been reading this poem a lot offlate for some reason. And I can't get over how beautiful it is. I don't know if you will see in it , what I do , or what loads of other people probably have...But there are so many things about this poem that I relate to so well...Anyway , no description of mine will do justice to it so I will just let you read it ,if you will..

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write for example, 'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to a pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.This is all.

In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain,but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.


Hmmm...I guess poetry is an oft repeated subject on my blog and I suppose I might have even mentioned the same things I've said here , in a previous post. Bear with me though , It's just a reflection of how "into" it , I am.

I just re-read this poem and I can't get over how awesome it is...Anyway , offlate I've taken up reading poetry again , I had stopped for a while in between...So , well , if you have any suggestions...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Tell Me Your Dreams??

There's this really old and popular song , if i'm not mistaken , sung by buddy holly ,that goes as follows:

Dream dream dream
Dream dream dream

Whenever I want you, in my arms
Whenever I need you and all your charms
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream
Dream dream dream

I can make you mine
Taste your lips of wine
Any time, night or day
Only trouble is, gee whiz
I'm dreaming my life away

I need you so ,that I could die
I love you so, and that is why
Whenever I want you
All I have to do is dream

This post has nothing to do with the song except the title...All I Have To Do Is Dream...and the fact that dreaming really seems to be my prinicpal past time or atleast my most favourite one off late.I know that they say that if you want your dreams to come true , don't spend so much time sleeping..(this holds for awake dreaming too..so maybe we should say if you want your dreams to come true , don't spend more than ten minutes dreaming everyday)

It can get pretty scary because , as time goes by instead of dreams becoming more of a reality....they seem to remain more unreal. And then like the song goes...you realise that..."Gee whiz, I'm dreaming my life away.."

So I decided that I would list out the things I want do in my life , so I don't lose sight of them ,however small, knowing that now is not the time to be thinking about it and then as soon as these god damn exams are over I will start to take notice.And I will use them as a reminder on every road I take , to see if that's the road I want to be on.

Why all the fuss you ask , the melodrama and all that jazz...well the thing is.....I'm graduating in a month (I think.)and I have no clue as to what I'm gonna be doing next.

You may ask ,in the hallowed words of Rachel of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, New York

"Yeah , what , so???"

I'm probably among the millions of seemingly aimless souls who will be awarded a degree (for no particular achievement) this year. Now, to be fair to myself , It ain't like I have nowhere to go...I have a couple of things lined up..But none of them seem anywhere close to where I'd imagined myself. In all this rush and preoccupation , I keep stopping to wonder if all the effort is worth it? If the direction i'm heading in , is the right one? And a myriad of other racking doubts that are bound to cloud one's mind when one is in the process of a "Transition".

So , I decided to stop a while , even if only to indulge myself , and think about all the things I really want to do.And make a list , so even if I end up making ends meat by doing paperwork or coming up with dumb ideas for people to buy..That will only be my preoccupation. And I will look at this list and this shall be what I will do with my life and what I want out of life. I guess a lot of things might get added or removed from the list as life goes on and I experience a lot more things but as of now ,This is it...I think ,These things will make me happy.

So ,here's what I came up with:

1) I want to learn to dance the salsa , the tango , swing , fox trot , cha cha cha...and go dancing every weekend.

2)I wanna learn to ski , I want to go parasailing , sky diving , water skiing , ice skating , bungee jumping ,white water rafting.

3)Explore India-villages and all-not just the touristy thing- Rajasthan,Orissa,Leh,Darjeeling-everywhere.

4)I want to spend 3 months (at least) in each of the following places :

- Paris : to haunt the cafes , camp at The Louvre , the Musee d'orsay and absorb French culture even if it's on a shoe string budget

-Florence and Rome : just to visit all the churches , see the frescoes and Michelangelo's sculptures

There are other places on my list. But the above mentioned cities are long dreamed about destinations.

5) I'd like to live in Europe for one simple reason and one reason only ('cos I love madras dearly ) . Because ,I'm told, in Europe, everyone slogs for ten months and vacations for two whole months, irrespective of whether you are a janitor or a high powered executive- They believe that life is for the living and work is for sustenance. (Hear Hear)

Or, I don't mind a job here that will afford me the same luxury and the same monetary benefits..lol

6) I'd like to be in a job that can afford to let me have a house by the sea...(tsunami regulations adhered to etc. ) where the biggest room in the house is the library.

6)And have lots and lots of books and CDs or DVDs or whatever manner of music storage we are gonna use in the future.

7)Speaking of music, I'd kill to learn to play the violin.

8)I want to learn to speak tamil ,because by god, it's my mother tongue and how will I convince my kids that they need to speak tamil when I'm living in a house by the sea in europe ,if I don't speak tamil myself.

9)I want to learn hindi and urdu to understand all the beautiful hindi lyrics of old hindi movies and faiz's poetry , which so far I have only read translations of.

10) Add spanish , italian and french to the list of languages for the following reasons

-Spanish-just so I can read Neruda's poems in their original.
-Italian-so I can understand Opera-I fell in love with italian after watching Life Is Beautiful..
-French-because I laboured for a year and a half over it and it's a beautiful language , and it will help me understand the menu where I live in europe..lol

11) I want to be able to read copiously- and still more

About all the learning part..That I should do sometime soon..It's difficult as you get older , I hear.

So for now , That's all I can come up with. For the most part I'd really like to travel every year and spend time absorbing culture and language of different places all over the world.

Anyway,these are my somewhat humble(?)dreams..I would love to hear that I'm not the only dreamer in this world...lol..So tell me your dreams..?..uh...corny...lol..well anyway...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

After Sunrise , After Sunset

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are two wonderful and refreshingly different movies that I had the pleasure of watching back to back a couple of days ago. And since both of them appealed vastly to my rather overwhelming sense of romance and yet managed to remain withing the realms of realism-I loved it.

Both of the movies in fact are just two-hour long conversations. But wow..what conversations. I don't mean that they are particularly profound , the kind of conversations that people never have. Not at all, they are the kind of things we can and maybe do talk about. But the beauty of it is , that these two strangers are able to have meaningful conversations and connect on such an intellectual basis (atleast seemingly- ofcourse Ethan Hawke is hot and Julie Delpy is absolutely a natural beauty) and be around each other with such ease-

So this is what I would call a thinking romantic's (is that contradictory ...no, romantics do think...I think..lol) dream come true movie- Why? Well , on the one hand you have the romance of two complete strangers meeting on a train and connecting with each other almost instantly - and yet as they are spending that evening they are both fully aware that what they have is transitory , they realise that they are stuck in a moment ,so to speak , which will pass eventually and they have to get back to reality-and reality is what they decide to hold at bay , just to experience the magic of the whole thing.

Anyway , if you have'nt seen both of the movie and if you are'nt a complete cynic of the highest order , you should definitely watch it..Unless your idea of a good movie means that it should have some/all of the below

-A wicked villain (ok maybe you could think of time as that..)
-A major conspiracy to kill the president/blow up america
-The F.B.I/ C.I.A/Cops
-lots of sex
-lots of bashing up of hero by villain and eventually vice versa
-a story line (this movie is completely in the moment...not much of a story- but in this case it is entirely perfect)
-A love triangle, with/without "yeh shaadi kabhi nahin hoga " type tantrums.

Before Sunset , is the sequel , and unlike the usual trend , not at all disappointing .Infact it's faithful to the original ,realistic and yet wonderfully romantic.Before Sunset is about what happens when the two of them happen to meet 9 years later.

Anyway , since I love both of these movies so much, I thought I would pay a little tribute to them by putting up the poem (from Before Sunrise ) and the lyrics of the Waltz Song (from Before Sunset)

I love the poem although honestly, I don't understand certain bits of it, if anyone has any idea on what the first part means, the second is plain enough, but things like Limousine Eyelash?? is that to mean that they are reallly long?? And daydream delusion , does he mean that she is so perfect she seems unreal, like a dream that he conjured up??

Anyway here it is:

Daydream delusion
Limousine eyelash
Oh baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass
Look at those big eyes
See what you mean to me
Sweet-cakes and milkshakes
My delusion angel
My fantasy parade

I want you to know what I think
Don't want you to guess anymore
You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we're going
Lodged in life
Like branches in a river
Flowing downstream
Caught in the current
I'll carry you
You'll carry me
That's how it could be
Don't you know me?
Don't you know me by now?

Ok and this is the song that Julie sings to Ethan in Before Sunset- It's pretty ordinary as lyrics go but it fits that scene so well , it's in the context is what I mean. And it's beautiful and haunting the way she sings .
(Imagine a french accent as you read this...if you can..)

Let me sing you a waltz
Out of nowhere, out of my thoughts
Let me sing you a waltz
About this one night stand

You were for me that night
Everything I always dreamt of in life
But now you're gone
You are far gone
All the way to your island of rain

It was for you just a one night thing
But you were much more to me
Just so you know

I hear rumors about you
About all the bad things you do
But when we were together alone
You didn't seem like a player at all

I don't care what they say
I know what you meant for me that day
I just wanted another try
I just wanted another night
Even if it doesn't seem quite right
You meant for me much more
Than anyone I've met before

One single night with you Jesse
Is worth a thousand with anybody

I have no bitterness, my sweet
I'll never forget this one night thing
Even tomorrow, in another arms
My heart will stay yours until I die

Let me sing you a waltz
Out of nowhere, out of my blues
Let me sing you a waltz
About this lovely one night stand

P.S: ...One night stands- My friends and I were'nt quite sure if we are as much against them as we used to be before watching this movie....that is to say..one night stands with Ethan Hawke..lol

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Blah Blah Blah...

Trials exhausted , the final test came- Disastrous!!
The last lap , my lungs burned and then collapsed.
No steam , No will. Did I expect this?

I think I did, That's why I'm numb. But I'm also tired ,
as is my conscience. Of the guilt and time mis-spent.
I fill my days now, with renewed vigour. Dance , Music , Books ,Escape!

So don't ask me and I won't lie.

What I want to do , and what I may have to end up doing...

My sights are on that bright star , of which all I feel now is the promise of its light...


That said , onto more cheerful things. This post is gonna be rather fuzzy i'm afraid...It's been so long since I've written , I'm terrified that I've forgotten how.

Ever since my exams got over last week...and I officially became Freeeeeee....(Yay...)I've watched three really different movies...I say different not because I didn't immensely admire them , but because I'm not sure if everyone else will....I wanted to write a review for it , but I'm tired after spending a day doing nothing and an evening cooking (more about that little adventure later).

The movies I mean are
1)Sideways :which has unusually explicit sex scenes for a really classily(is that a word?) shot film (Among many other things).
2)Before Sunrise :Recommended to me nearly a year ago by a friend- refreshingly different film , but if you don't like simplicity and/or profundity , a slow screenplay and a certain sense of romance-don't watch!!!!
3)Spanglish: An adam sandler movie makes it hard to imagine that he's the same guy who starred in that excuse of a movie -Little Nicky!!!

I also managed to begin writing this really weird goofy spoof-story that was concocted on the spur of the moment and narrated to me ,one which I shall probably complete one of these days and put up here. Probably in two or three parts. It's turning out to be really long...

Am currently reading My Experiments With Truth (by M.K Gandhi , sillies) .But I think I'll save that for another post. So many impressions to write about. And my exhaustion might render it superficial if I tried to express it now.

Speaking of which ,Exhaustion I mean , I valiantly tried my hand at making pasta today - penne actually. It did'nt turn out exactly the way it was supposed to , (but that's 'cos I was trying to cut down on cheese content) but it was reallly nice , atleast that's what my brother said...And he , I might mention , is your discerning connoiseur of cuisine , one who has no qualms about letting me know , in no uncertain terms , if something i've made is repulsive or even slightly short of his rather high expectations.

Anyway, after an evening of shopping for ingredients and slaving away in the kitchen for two hours , my gourmet meal was ready. Penne with a light white cream sauce , Baked potatoes and sour cream , steamed and tossed vegetables and cheese garlic bread.

Not bad no? For a first time, trying so many things at once! Mom tried to dissuade me from anything too elaborate.She kept insisting that I neednt have to take so much effort.(This was a belated Mother's Day gift!)

But I had decided I would and By jove, I was going to. I think what she was really afraid of was that in the process of making this meal , I would turn the kitchen upside down. Well, I didnt- Using about 25 different vessels and not doing the dishes after wards does'nt count as that no?

If you're wondering what the whole "No?" thing is about...It's a really adorable french affectation , or supposedly french affectation that I picked up from my french prof a couple of years ago and forgot after I completed my language credit requirement . Along with the rest of my french.

I picked it up again after watching "Before Sunrise"- Btw, if you watch the movie , pay attention to the poem in it...the milkshake poem, you'll know what I mean if you watch it , It's beautiful.

Anyway, getting back to my cooking , I called pretty much everyone I could to tell them I had cooked. And surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) all the guys reacted in the following way:

1) What?????......You cook??????? Since When????
2) Sneha , don't Bullshit me , you don't know how to cook!!

I re-iterate that I bloody well do

3) So , umm...do u cook well???

No--I'm just boasting in the hopes of enticing you into a eating a lousy meal 'cos that would just make my sadistic pathetic life a little happier and I could hate you for it!!!!

4) Ok...then I'm coming tomorrow, you can cook for me!!

My entire life is at your service..sure , anytime , just name the menu and i'll name the price!

5) yeah...uhhh...so what time...

Do your mothers not feed you??

I told this to 6 guys and all of them reacted more or less like this....and two of them are mere acquaintances so it's not even like anybody can say that maybe they know me too well or something such thing!

Anyway,so if you get held up by traffic on your way to work or play , tomorrow afternoon , by a string of people clammering for more--Don't blame me-I can't help that I'm a good cook!!

Lol...the secret of being a good cook at twenty: Refuse to learn how to make dal , chawal , roti , sabzi!! That way , if you are a girl , you will not get cajoled /coerced into cooking daily ,thus causing burnout and making it an enormously loathsome exercise , whose drudgery has to be endured for the rest of one's life (unless one is really lucky enough to marry a nice chef who doesnt mind bringing leftover home)-

This is a policy my best friend meera and I have adopted and found to be invaluable. She has many wonderful qualities but does'nt know the front end of a stove from the back end. You ask her though...if she can cook and she will , without batting an eyelid , confidently affirm that she does. Ask her what her repertoire consists of and you will hear the following:

a) Brownie
b) Pineapple upside down cake
c) Muffins


So, she comes through as someone who can make oh-so-complicated stuff..so everyone assumes she can do all the routine stuff..

Well in short she and I are the Marie Antoinettes of this world , offering our family and friends cake instead of bread or pasta instead of saambaar saadam. And since they will not have cake/pasta everyday (thankfully), we plead helplessness for their lack in taste and escape the "You're 20 and you need to learn to cook , not just to fend for yourself but when you get married what will happen ?" dialogue.

On that note..I think I better toodle off to bed-though the night is young , the morning beckons and the rambling must stop before it gets to painful....

I don't think I better write quite so late at night...

(lol...am giggling my head off , just realised that in a trivial , childish way , the previous sentence rhymes and couple of more sentences previous to that rhyme as well...I think...The night is intoxicating.What is it about the still air and the crescent moon that makes me so hiiighhh....

It's such a beautiful night. It really is .And I have a strong feeling I'm gonna regret posting all of this in the morning...)