Thursday, June 09, 2005


A quick one before I go:

Rain taps at my window
Sound and fury
Tonight, the gods make merry.

The Post

I’m not really sure if there’s a particular format or style for a blog. Some people I suppose, may use it like a diary, but I’m sure that very few people would want to read the nitty-gritty details of my daily life with such gems as, “I brushed my teeth three times today instead of the usual twice.” Though given the current obsession with reality shows, I can’t be sure.

Instead I suppose a blog is supposed to be more profound. Of course the profundity/profanity would depend on the writer I guess – you could write your blog to make it sound like a newspaper editorial (and I mean a respectable newspaper like The Hindu, or The New York Times) or you could make it a record of your random rants and ramblings (Check out some of the blogs listed on the sidebar).

Mine will probably tend towards the latter, though its classification is really left to you, Dear Reader. It will serve me as part podium, part cemetery for dead poems. I choose what parts of me to present here, but if you believe Poirot, talk to a person long enough and they will tell you what you need to know.

Skipping back a bit, on that note on writing and reality shows, I suppose I had better mention the Flux Factory, where in a living exhibit the very process of writing is showcased. I won’t spend more time on it here – the idea is interesting, though I believe it might not look deeply enough at the intricacies of creativity. Still, it will probably show some previously ignored aspects. For more details read here.

I suppose I can safely say that the monsoon has started. While it does not rain everyday, and we haven’t yet had one of those stretches when it rains for days continuously, we are getting the old sound and fury + assorted tears from Mother Nature with greater frequency. Memories of monsoons for me deal with my school days, as by this time school would have started. Muddy roads, with streams running down the sides; watching pieces of paper race down the gutter (this was in class 9 or 10, mind you); having my umbrella blown inside out by the wind. I remember one time during an English class, it started raining, and our principal, Suma Miss, who was also our English Drama teacher, stopped the lesson for a few minutes so that we could go the window and enjoy the first rain of the season. It was a small thing, but it’s one of the fondest memories I have of her.

Right now outside my window it’s the bluster without the precipitation. A few years ago in Delhi, while I was working on a summer project, we used to get the occasional respite from the 42C+ heat when a magnificent thunderstorm would hit the city. More of a lightning storm really, as we would get a fantastic display of what appeared to be cloud to cloud discharges, with very little sound. That was slightly more sinister somehow, as you now expected the lightning to creep up and tap you on the shoulder without warning. It was not a monsoon shower – it was probably the result of some low-pressure system that had crept in from the Mediterranean via the mountain passes. We really should keep an eye on those passes – everyone from the Aryans to Alexander to Mohammed of Ghauri/Ghazni seem to creep in that way. Still, I suppose the clouds can be given a season pass.

The mumble rumble outside my window finally delivered – the rain is coming in (well, not into the room, I closed the windows) at a steady rate. The current has also gone, but I’m typing this on the laptop, so I’ll finish this off before I go. More later. Adieu, my silent readers. I hope you have not joined the vast

addendum: Shortly afterward, the current returned for about 10 seconds and then went again - and apparently stayed gone till about ten in the morning. Plus, it rained all night. Finally around 10.20 am the current came back, but it also started pouring like Noah was in town and then animals were already piling in ten by ten.

On a parting note, I give you a haiku, of sorts:

Darkness passes fleeting across the land
Clouds; Their shadows
Fall like rain.

Quotable quotes

1. He has gone to join the majority – Petronius Arbiter (said of a man who had recently died)

2. I do honour the very flea of his dog - Ben Johnson

3. Dr Donne's verses are like the peace of God; they pass all understanding - King James VI of Scotland

4. "Will you walk into my parlour?" said a spider to a fly. - Mary Howitt

5. Man has his will - but woman has her way. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

6. Will no one free me of this turbulent priest? - Attrb King Henry II

7. Funny-peculiar or funny-ha-ha? - Ian Hay

8. Cave Canem - Beware of the dog - Petronius Arbiter

9. I have never a piece of toast/ Particularly long and wide,/ But fell upon the sanded floor,/ And always on the buttered side. – James Payn

10. All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer. – Robert Owen

11. We seek him here, we seek him there, / Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. / Is he in heaven? – Is he in hell? / That damned elusive Pimpernel? – Baroness Orczy

12. The quickest way to end a war is to lose it – George Orwell.

13. Candy / Is dandy / But liquor / Is quicker – Ogden Nash.

14. When Ah itches, Ah scratches – Ogden Nash

15. I am a conscientious man, when I throw rocks at seabirds I leave no tern unstoned – Ogden Nash

16. Any kiddie in school can love like a fool, But hating, my boy, is an art. – Ogden Nash

17. Beneath this slab / John Brown is stowed /He watched the ads/ And not the
road - Ogden Nash

18. The cow is of the bovine ilk / One end is moo, the other, milk. – Ogden Nash

19. It is very difficult to get up resentment towards persons whom one has never seen – Cardinal John Henry Newman

20. Stop the World, I Want to Get Off – Anthony Newby

21. It’s as large as life, and twice as natural – Lewis Carroll.

22. Peccavi – ‘I have sinned.’ – Message sent after conquest of Sindh – Charles James Napier

23. Nobody ever beats Wales at rugby, they just score more points – Graham Mourie

24. SIXTY HORSES WEDGED IN CHIMNEY – The story to fit this sensational headline has not turned up yet – J. B. Morton

25. This is adding insult to injuries – Edward Moore

26. I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me – (Winnie the Pooh) A.A. Milne

27. When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold – Prince Clement Metternich

28. Italy is a geographical expression – Prince Clement Metternich

29. Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped – Groucho Marx

30. Because it is there – George Leigh Mallory (When asked why he wished to climb Mt. Everest)

31. We hear war called murder. It is not – it is suicide – Ramsay Macdonald.

32. My dear child, you must believe in God in spite of what the clergy tell you - Attrb Benjamin Jowett

33. A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street –
Laurence J. Peter.

34. And so to bed – Samuel Pepys

35. Assassination is the extreme from of censorship – Shaw

36. If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find
something in them to hang him – Cardinal de Armand Jean du Plessis Richelieu

37. We called him Tortoise because he taught us - Lewis Carroll

38. “Contrariwise,”continued Tweedledee, “If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.” – LC

39. And some there be, which have no memorial – Apocrypha

40. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore – Apocrypha

41. To see a World in a Grain of Sand, / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold
Infinity in the palm of your hand, / And Eternity in an hour – William Blake

42. Bore: A person who talks when you wish him to listen – Ambrose Bierce.

43. Do as we say, and not as we do – Giovanni Boccaccio

44. Aut Caesar aut nihil – Emperor or nothing – Cesare Borgia.

45. The great Unwashed – Attrb Lord Henry Brougham

46. I am still an atheist, thank God – Attrb Luis Bunuel

47. An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard only one
side of the case; God has written all the books. – Samuel Butler

48. I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy – Samuel Butler

49. We think as we do, mainly because other people think so – Samuel Butler

50. I’ve arrived, and to prove it, I’m here – Max Bygraves

51. And a woman is just a woman but a good cigar is a smoke – Rudyard Kipling

52. But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: / “It’s clever, but is it Art?” -
Rudyard Kipling

53. A man of infinite-resource-and-sagacity – Rudyard Kipling

54. Mad, bad, and dangerous to know – Lady Caroline Lamb (said of Byron)

55. Is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man? – Frederich Wilhelm Nietzsche

56. Ils ne passeront pas. They shall not pass – General Robert Nivelle (Statement at Battle of Verdun, 1916)

57. Laws were made to be broken – Christopher North

58. That grand old man – Sir Stafford Northcote (of Gladstone)

59. Die, my dear Doctor, that’s the last thing I shall do. – Attrb Viscount Palmerston

60. How could they tell? (on hearing that US President Calvin Coolidge had died)
– Dorothy Parker

61. Festina lente – Hasten slowly – Suetonius

62. There is no alternative – Margaret Thatcher

63. J’accuse - I accuse – Emile Zola (Dreyfus Affair)

64. Consummatum est – It is finished – Vulgate

65. I expect that Woman will be the last thing civilized by Man – George Meredith

66. Don’t give up the ship – James Lawrence

67. One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I’ll
never know. – Groucho Marx

68. He has occasional flashes of silence , that make his conversation perfectly
delightful – Sydney Smith

69. Some folks are wise, and some are otherwise – Tobias George Smollett

70. Who’s your fat friend? – Beau Brummel (said of the Prince of Wales, 1813)

71. You know, of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are now extinct – W Somerset Maugham

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Flame in the Forest

Born in the heat of the fire
Burning with immortal flame
Spirit wild and flying free
A will no human hand can tame.

The Night, he has his mark on you
The Sun your eyes does claim
Burning bright with undying fire
In the darkness with so green a flame!

In the darkness through the shadows
Glint those fangs of curving white
From within those paws of velvet
Gleam those sharpest claws so bright!

Painted strokes of Nature's brush
So smooth and glossy the fur does shine
Moving slightly in the breeze
Twitch those gleaming whiskers so fine

Slinking past in shadows grey
Like a rustle in the leaves
Roaring at the chase ahead
A flying shadow in the breeze!