Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Elusive Tranquillity

Beauty in its own world is impossible to capture...too big to contain...too wild to control. But every now and then it gives us a glimpse of a world beyond the sights and sounds of our daily ruckus. I have had so many of these moments which will forever remain in my mind. If only I could take the picture in my head and turn it into a photograph to be hung on the wall...the wall would be beautiful.

It was 3 am on a cold December morning when i had got off the bus on the highway in Jalandhar, hoping to find an auto that would take me to my university. I stood there for almost an hour waiting for something to come by, but nothing except travelers speeding past in their fancy cars. Just when i had considered walking the 20kms as the best idea...a tractor lorry happened to pass by. Never before had i been so happy to see a tractor before. I stuck my hand out and God bless that man for he stopped and let me hop on. For those who have never been on a tractor...there isn't much space for passengers. I sat on the metal part covering the humongous tires underneath...clutching my bag...as the tractor crawled along slowly. It went up a flyover...and then down....up another...and down...moving ever so slowly. The sound of the monstrous engine and the rattling of the lorry behind it were the only things i could hear. My legs went numb and my ass froze...as my feet constantly knocked into the side of the rotating tire. My nose started to become wet as the cold morning air found its way through my clothes and into my skin. I could barely keep my eyes open against the chilling wind. So there i was...exhausted...cold...frozen...tired....hungry....and not to mention sleepy....and then it happened....

As we passed through a part of the road where the lights weren't working...I looked up... and it captured my eye. In the distance...beyond the trees and the grasslands...beyond the houses and the buildings...the Full Moon...low in the night sky...surrounded by the stars. Beneath it...a freight train moving quietly along on the tracks...the sound of which was drowned out by the roar of the tractor engine. But for those few moments...everything went quiet. As I watched the train move along under this magnificent moon...everything became...perfect.

There was silence. Not the one where you don't hear anything...but silence of the type where you don't feel anything. The moon looked so peaceful floating in the sky...yet so alone...yet so peaceful...like a mother watching over her sleeping child. The train looked so peaceful as it moved without making a sound...yet so restrained...yet so sad...since it could never move away from its tracks. The chill was gone...so was the sleep...the exhaustion...the numbness. Watching that lonely train beneath the lonely moon took away everything that I thought was ugly...and in return...it gave me Beauty. The beauty of being lonely...the beauty of being quiet...the beauty of being alive. It was as if the strands of time had come together to form this knot where the moon...the sky...the train...the trees...the tractor...and I....were all present...prefectly. But as perfect as that union seemed...it was gone. The individual identities parted ways to go on with their lives as the roar of the engine came rushing into my ears...followed by the chill of the wind and the numbness in my legs.

For those few moments, life had painted a picture so perfect, that i could not help but be at peace. For those few moments ...I had found The Elusive Tranquility.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Guardian - Arrival

Red lightening flashed in his vertical feline pupils as she sat atop the mountain peak...on the edge overlooking the forest beneath. This wasn't normal lightening...it emerged from the land and rose into the night sky. The heavens were under siege...what madness was this? Thunder tore through the night sky...shaking the bark of the trees as the rain beat down upon this pure land...things were changing. The night sky had never seemed so treacherous before. Storms had come and storms had gone...but this one was different...this one had a stench about it...a canine stench.

He sat there like a sphinx observing the foliage below...his eyes fazed out to a distant realm...searching for answers. The paintings on the caves had foreseen this storm...but it was worse than he had ever imagined....he was not prepared...he had to be prepared...he must be. The thunder began to get louder...as the flashes of lightening ripped apart dark clouds...the rain exploding out from them...only to reveal traces of the moon. The full...red...moon. And then there was silence....it was time.

The Guardian rose slowly...the drops of water dripping down from his whiskers. His head bow low...his body rose slowly...first his front paws...followed by his 14 ft arching spine...and then his hind legs. The mammoth 16 ft long muscular tail...like an anaconda...which could have coiled and strangled an elephant. He was a beast like no other. With shiny white fur that gleamed the purest of souls... he stood out in the night sky. The rain curling around his thick muscular body...dripping from his coat of pearl white fur...it seemed to cleanse him...as if a sword was being cleansed before a battle. With pearly white sharp daggers for teeth...he could crush a skull so easily.

His ears twitched and his head snapped up towards the sky...as a bolt of light crashed from the sky and struck the ground in the distance straight ahead of him. The ground shuddered and a gust of air circled away from the place where the light had landed. It had arrived.

His spine curled upwards...as he gathered his strength in the core of his heart. From the pits of his body came a roar so loud...so frightening...it drowned out the thunder. A warning. Suddenly, there was a flame in his eyes...his pupils flared the brightest electric blue...his body tensed...as his muscles tightened...the blue aura rising from his body...sparks bouncing from his whiskers...the hind paws digging deep into the stone...the front paws aligned...and with the swiftness of lightening... he was off. Throwing up a trail of small pebbles as his claws dug deep into the mountain stone...he leaped of the cliff....falling through the night sky.

With a thud...he landed on the soft moist ground beneath the canopy. Cats always land on their feet. A low growl...and he was tearing through the underbrush ...appearing to be a flicker of light...as light as a feather...as powerful as a beast. The tail providing balance as he took steep turns...and jumped over trees and rocks with the elegance only a cat could possess. The ground shook beneath his massive body as it landed after each stride.

He charged in the direction of the light...with his pupils a stunning blue....his fur a glistening white...as he sped towards his visitor. The time had arrived when the purpose of his being would be tested. Created to be purest of all souls...bestowed as The Guardian of this sacred land...the protector...his moment had finally come. For all must serve their purpose when their time comes...this was his.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Of Music, Love and God

Jab gaaye raat me ambar se chandni
Toh raahi chalna tum bhi pashchim ki aur
Jahan nadiya me jagmagate hain dipak
Baansuri ke sang Kazi...Ishq me doobe Tagore
Kahin sitar ki tarang mein magan hai Mira
Kahin Brindavan ki chaaon me naache hai Kanahiya
Subah ki kirano ke sang koi pade Gurbani
Na woh hindu...na muslmaan...na sikh...na issai

Tablae ki dhunn mein khoye hue khwaab
Dhoond in plakon ke peeche soye hue raaz
Yeh surr nahi hain...hain yeh rooh ke khayal
Koi pukaare ishvar...toh koi pukare khuda
Koi dhoonde mandir...koi dhoonde dargah
Saadhu ka prabhu...Sufi ka Allah

Tu toh bas musafir hai yahan...
Hoton pe uske gun gungunata hi ja
Chalta hi ja...
Gaata hi ja...


Oh mountain, why do you stand so still?
Oh mountain...why do you stand so still?

I revel..I reveal...I dwell...I deal
Turn the stones and teach them how to feel
Over a million steps they have walked
Mine is a journey...there's is a pilgrimage
Silence is not impossible to sustain
Peace is not impossible to maintain
But faith is tested again and again.
In love...In fear...In happiness...In pain

Oh mountain why do you stand so still?
While they climb...crawl...sleep and freeze.

I touch...I feel...I breathe...I heal
If ever there was a time to speak
Scream your heart...Scream your soul
Be heard in this hour of need
15,000 died in the blink of an eye
Brothers, Sons, Fathers, Men
Some heads hung in shame, some laughing
As you stood there quietly... watching

Oh mountain why do you stand so still?
While they climb...tumble...fall and bleed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There are those who stare East with eyes widened...waiting for the Sun to rise so that they may come to life. They see the light falling on every object, animate and inanimate, as it changes in the light of the burning sun. They see the light, with their own two eyes.

Then there are those, who close their eyes and then 'feel' the sun rise beneath the eyelids. They observe the world with every sense, as their covered vision changes color from black to golden-red. Even they know that the sun is high...but they haven't even opened their eyes yet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


In the darkness of the moonless sky, he moved quietly...slowly...alert. With his back arched like a little black feline, he seemed to blend into the darkness. Silent, like a predator on his hunt...he approached the fence that separated him from his goal. Through the mask he wore, his eyes scanned the length of the barbed wire fence, searching for any signs of his enemy. Slowly, he removed the clippers from his waist belt, cautious not to disturb the rings of the grenades. He reached forward, with steady hands he placed the wire between the clippers and...SNAP!

"OUCH!! What the hell was that?" came a little screech! Astonished and frightened he fell backwards and reached for his gun...the adrenaline flooding his veins...he searched left to right for his enemy. "Why did you do that? Do you have any idea how much that hurts? It's gonna take weeks for me to heal." The "me" in the words surprised him. Finding no one around...he slowly whispered "Who are you? Show yourself!" The voice replied, "You just cut me and now you're asking who I am? Are you blind?" The voice was full of mischief. His eyes widened in disbelief as he commanded, "Who are you? Come out now!!"

With the compassion of a mother and the peacefulness of a saint, the voice replied:
"Sit my child and I will tell you a tale.
Of brothers by blood, who laughed and played."

A chill went down his spine...the voice seemed to touch him somewhere...somewhere deep. Entranced by the tranquillity that had flooded his senses...he sat crossed legged on the cold, wet grass...listening patiently.

"One was strong and the other was wild
Both were young and full of life
But a child's' mind is a funny thing
You can never know the thoughts it thinks
Over some dirt began a quarrel
Soon blood was shed and so were morals
When rage had enough of its pitiful share of fun
A crack in the mirror had slowly begun
So on a map they drew a line
That side is yours...This side is mine."

He could now feel his heart melting...as the words began to sink into his mind. His breath was calm...cool...slow. The voice was pleasant...soothing old forgotten wounds...taming the animal in his mind. He asked in the mellow tone of a child, "Who...who are you?"

"I am this fence, before you now
I am the mother, the children created somehow
Like a guardian I stand for nights and days
Through rain or snow...dust or haze
Keeping apart, two brother from moral wounds
I am the L.O.C. which stands before you.
Cute me not...for only you will bleed
I am blind...but the chaos I see
Return my child to the home you've left behind
And let me stand here...till the end of time."

The voice died away, as if returning to its peaceful slumber. He sat there on the grass...his eyes closed...his head slumped...his mind in a far off place. For the first time in many years, he sat there...in peace...under a moonless sky.

Childhood Streets

Butterfly wings and paper rocks
Things that remind me of my infant past
When the world was colored blue and red
Through the streets the ice cream man had led
Chasing kites and blinking fireflies
Bleeding knees and innocent fights
A time when sand castles were homes
A garden lined with little gnomes

A chuckled laugh and a teasing smile
Takes me back through a million miles
Those streets have changed, and so have I
New faces have come as the old ones died
But I still remember the burning summer sun
When summer came and winter returned
Through the seasons the streets remained
Giving me the childhood I dream today

A child today....a child tomorrow
A child when I am drowned in sorrow
A child to be when the laughter starts
A child of today...a child of the past.


Stay still for a while
Taste the air...its saline
Breathe in the scents
Grip it tightly...feel the sand
As it slips away slowly
Remember the moments that you were lonely
A smile is your right...take it
This life is your right...make it
Through the past you have come
Oh my child...
What have you become?

Getting sweeter by the day
Drowning out the sorrows
Living today, not for tomorrow
A faint reflection of your scars
Leaves them behind...far...so far
Walking on and on...into the sun
Oh my child...
What have you become?

You have become...Beautiful.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Grace Potter and Joe Satriani cover Cortez the Killer

The original song is by Neil Young...but Grace Potter sings its so brilliantly...with so much emotion. To top it off, the trumpet and Joe Satriani on the guitar....the song is stuck in my head.

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
And a palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
Through the halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the world.

And his subjects
gathered 'round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood
straight and strong
Oh look around
So that others could go on.

And I know she's living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can't remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.

Ain't No Time - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

An enchanting voice...a lovely song...i always close my eyes and be at peace.

Well there ain't no time to let that gun be shy baby
There ain't no time to live up to the lies baby
There ain't no time to let the well run dry baby
There's far too many things to do
Before the day is through

Well there ain't no way of pushing back the clock baby
There ain't no way to make the bad man stop baby
There ain't no time to holler out until your face turns blue
Because there's far too many things to do
Before the day is through
Well there ain't no time

Purple mountain's majesty has turned all black and blue
The shots that fired up the hill
They're headed right for you baby
There ain't not time to look me in the eye
Or ask me what i'm doing
There's far too many things to do
Before the war is through
There ain't no time