Picture courtesy:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Red Ballons, the Wind, and I

She loves red.
Her childhood recollections are full of
the differently coloured balloons
she saw at the fairs and received as gifts.
The blue, little, wooden chairs in the nursery classes,
the building- blocks in all shades,
and the small, wooden rocking horse
painted in blue and majenta
contribute to her early world of colours.

Children in the kindergarten vied with each other
to rock on the horse but she dreamed
of having one such horse all for herself.
The blue tricycle was also a coveted item.
The ice- candy man, announcing himself
with the clacking of a metal piece tied to his cycle,
brought various colours of the delicacy
children were prohibited to buy,
may be due to the chemical colours.

Balloons were part of festivals.
The air- filled globes of fanciful hues,
with strings or slender sticks attached to hold them by,
gave the proud little owners a reason to feel regal.
The accidental bursting of them made these little monarchs
fall abruptly down from their momentary throne,
transmitting the pain of losing even to onlookers.

The modern day balloons don’t burst.
They escape into thin air and linger there, in view ,
reminding how once set free it is impossible to stop flight.
The losers don’t lose heart as the new spectacle of
the helium-filled balloons drifting and rising in the air
hardly let them brood and feel the loss.

It is wonderful to be atop the hill with
a bunch of balloons.
Like kites they struggle to break free
tugging at the strings as wind summons them.
It is a tremendous experience, unique and transforming,
to feel the power of the wind
through the stretching lines,
fighting hard against it and finally letting go
before the line cuts itself or the fingers that hold it.

Picture courtesy:http://creativewriting.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/prompt-4.jpg

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We have Come a Long Way

The waiting will soon be over.
Our flight will shortly be announced.
We will be on board in a while.
Our journey to the distant land is beginning.

My dream it had always been,
to visit London, the birth place of poets,
novelists, and other great people
who are part of my intellectual and aesthetic world.

Ever since I began reading,
it was my cherished dream
to learn and master English.
It might have been engendered by the behaviour
of my cousins who showed off their English speaking prowess
at annual family reunions, mocking their country bred,
simple counterparts including me who was sensitive
and conscious of their conceits and shallowness.

They laughed at people speaking
to each other or to their parents
in the foreign language they thought they alone understood.
Papa and grandma understood everything.
They had good education and vast reading,
good enough to keep a distance and not to interfere,
letting the vain ones wade their way in their fake paradise.
We were schooled before we began school
by our father and grandmother.
They guided us to our dreams.
Learning English was one of those,
though teaching it was never on the agenda.

Our learning eventually led us to teaching.
Both of us, my brother and I chose the same path.
I don’t believe in flaunting one’s skills, let alone linguistic.
The vanity and foolishness required for any such enterprise
get steadily decreased as one’s vista of learning broadens.

The land that shaped our destinies,
moulded our lives, gave shape to our fantasies,
seem much closer now that we are at the airport
and our flight is ready.
We start off with the hope that this visit will
enrich and empower us.
Anyway we have come a long way.