Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

One of my favourite sonnets of all time. I wrap myself in every syllable, saying it aloud - oh, the musicality of it! And how the sentiment rings true to my mind. I can lose myself in how wonderfully poignant every word is... wishing all the while, that I may someday be able to love thus... unreservedly, with every fibre of my being. Sigh...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why I Write.

Something came up today to make me examine why I write. I realised it's because I can't contain my thoughts. They overflow from within me, the trifling lot of them. It isn't just my opinions or my thoughts on a particular subject (however unimportant) - it's everything that enters my mind. What I had for breakfast, why I couldn't wake up early like I planned, how my boss looked at me icily...I'd write about it all if I had the time. And if I thought someone would read. I don't know why that is - that I need to babble on about every little thing I see, every last realisation I have. I think I can safely say that it is not ego . I am under no illusion that I have a unique way of seeing things, processing the world around me, or that I have particularly revelatory thoughts - I've read enough to know that. And yet, I am desperate to be heard. As though in the transient occupation of another's consciousness I am somehow connected in the only way I know how to be - with words.

But it can't possibly be the only reason because as far back as I remember, I've written. Scribbles in little notebooks. Confessions in diaries. 'Poems' in penultimate pages of textbooks. Always trying to say something in my own way. And almost never really having anything particularly of consequence to say. On a bad day, I berate myself endlessly for ever bothering - I am capable of perceiving in myself a mediocrity so stunning in its suddenness and magnitude that it enfolds me like a cow in a twister and lifts me away to where everything seems to reverberate with the resounding notion of how very ordinary my writing is, and more pertinently, how very pointless it all is. Even if just for myself, even if just to indulge my own ridiculous need to vocalise everything.

On good days, I know exactly why I write. I don't have to have something profound to say. I don't need people to like it or relate. I am unfettered by fears of mediocrity. I write because I have to. Because I feel like a full cup, because my fascination, my sadness, my indifference, my exuberance, my melancholia have not space to reside within me and thus must overflow into as tasteful an expression of myself as I can manage. Because I accept my insatiable need to express my every perception of life and the world as it happens to me. Because writing is my solace, the only constant, the unconditional best friend. Because it inspires me to be my most honest self. Because it calms me. Because writing teaches me, and is patient with me and allows me to see and understand everything in my own way. Because I enjoy it and time flies when I do. Because for the briefest periods, it pours out of me. Because it is the only thing that can consume me entirely and engage my rather fickle attention. Because every thought I conceive in it's basic form begins to arrange itself in my head to form as beautiful, musical and coherent a sentence as it can. But most of all, I write because it is in the words that I see emerge, who I can be, my best self.

On my good days I know that these are reasons enough to write.

Today was not one of them. But I wrote. And I feel a little better. Maybe that's all that matters.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I have this little dream
Of us grey but far from old
beside a roaring fire
untouched by the cold
of our winter.

We smile and begin.
At ease, just listenin to the other
and to a rhythm plucked in 3 by 4s
by decrepit hands in perfect time
with soft, pale notes intently played
on the ebony piano in the corner.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Viva Hollandia!

That football fever has caught me up is no surprise. It happens every couple of years. Timed perfectly with the Euro and World Cup. I know the game well enough for someone that does not worship it year round. Dad does. My love for it is the accumulation of the crumbs of enthusiasm that dropped from his table over the years. I love the game in little, charged bursts - like wodka shots - not for regular consumption but simply marvelous when you do indulge.

That many predicted the Dutch would lose tonight has only made the victory sweeter. I've decided for the purpose of this tournament to adopt the dutch team as the recipient of my effervescent and untiring support (save for spain, which is my favourite team - but we have to see how in form they are ) seeing as how I am happily living in their country and ofcourse how well they played today.

It was a very charged match - today's. (and oddly enough I was watching it with a bunch of italian supporters) and Holland played brilliantly, creating nice openings, some very nice plays, well executed passes, a good defense and atleast 2 beautiful goals. The italian team, reigning world champs, scrambled to find their footing let alone form.

Watching a good side , the side I support, win was in itself a great start to the tournament and a lovely end to a tiring day. What ensued as a result was surprising but vastly memorable. The first sign we had of it was after the first goal when we heard a thundering and banging that seemed much more real than something emanating from the t.v .. we hopped out onto our balcony only to see about 400 other people in all the neighbouring buildings, on their respective balconies, cheering wildly as they flung triumphant orange (ofcourse) toilet paper off into the sky and watched it stream down, drumming and blowing conch-like horns loud enough to wake the dead. They yelled when they saw us, lifting their beer mugs to meet ours with imaginary clinks.

After that, we realised that every time holland missed a goal (and we did narrowly a couple of times) we could literally hear the collective groans of an entire neighbourhood if we muted our t.v.. A sense of camaraderie grew and when Holland finally won, never has my neighbourhood been so alive.. People honked their horns, rang bells, thumped balcony walls - even set off fireworks if they could lay their hands on some.. A brilliant feeling.. Reminded me of how madras erupts when we win at cricket..

Rotterdam in the horizon is pretty enough with it's twinkly lights but tonight with all the fireworks, it was spectacular.

I simply love how sport makes us feel so passionately.

P.S : A little ditty that's so catchy - they play it a lot on t.v these days 'cos it's about holland's chances in the Euro and it's gotten totally under my skin.. Don't know if you can make it out because the song is in typical dutch sing-a-long style.. but many references to the players and coach ..

Thursday, June 05, 2008

When the plane lands, I will be truly alone. No one will know who I am. No one knows where I am. There is some strange allure in choosing solitude.