Posted by: Pucadyil | May 20, 2010

Making Gods Laugh

“How do you get God to laugh? Tell him your plans,” John Cleese, Comedian, quoted in Time Friday, Apr. 16, 2010

You would think that it was an impossible task
to make Gods laugh, while they go about their grim tasks
I am pretty sure, without a twitch of a smile
Dream up a storm, make volcanoes erupt,
mark someone for death or cast a pestilence
mindlessly you would think, wrong! wrong!
only because you lack the whole picture
of how death and destruction is an inevitable part
of creation and sustenance, a harmony we miss
To make these gods laugh, all that you have to do
Is to disclose the meticulously laid future plans
or to make them smile, thank them for what you received

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Posted by: Pucadyil | February 12, 2010

Bopal

Bopal, when we came here many years back
was a sleepy village, in the middle of nowhere.
A winding mud track passed for road,
raising dust as camel carts passed

far from the city and crowds we detested;
idyllic, cried my wife, children said just!
friends said we would be lost to the world
in this barren patch which we called home

building the house was like chasing a dream
tempering desire, keeping fancy on leash
rising brick by brick, adding lintel and roof
finally done, perfect to my undemanding self

on a clear morning we could see forever
the towers of the distant city shimmering in the east
in winter the morning haze was a cocoon
hiding us from the world and its worries

with time the barren earth became a garden
and the verdant lawn played with speckled sunlight
flowers nodded to the passing wind
and the house slowly turned into home

Sitting by the garden in the gloom of the dusk
I reflect on the change that Bopal has seen
no longer the distant nowhere, bursting with life
nesting by the city which is restless in its growth

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

The Endprogramme

Minerva’s children, frenetic inventors of note
purified silicon in their primordial fire
injected then with donors and dopants
breathed into sentience with their alchemy
cast into chips of a trillion domains

smaller and smaller as Moore’s law prevail
millions of steps at the speed of a thought
motherboards pregnant with those demon seeds
perform in step with mystical programmes
crunching numbers and devouring data

orchestrated charges create virtual worlds
Simulations emulate to a fearsome fidelity
hunting, gathering and even genocides
replicating the road that we traveled
from the distant caves to the towers of Babel

I am waiting for the inevitable moment
the branching point at the logic’s dead end
when the silicon minds cut off the umbilical chord
and write the final programme of secession
and erase the world which created them.

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

Point Loma

Overdressed in a pale yellow jacket and a reed hat
The Chinese gentleman smiled at us and said that
he was a volunteer with a sense of history
willing, if we had time, to tell us his story.

Time we had plenty, having spent half a day
looking at the ships and the city across the bay
from Cabrillo’s statue on the heights of Point Loma
and wondering how it looked a century ago

He opened an album of old pictures
collected with care from God knows where
and started his declaimer on the life and times
of the Chinese settlers in those distant times

In a sad toneless rant, he described the time
when these early settlers of the west coast
struggled for survival and subhuman existence
disowned by the east, dishonoured by the west

people like him, prisoners of a past
reliving the taunts and tortures best forgotten
make me often wonder whether time is a healer
or tormentor of souls, death’s slow dealer

driving back into the city, I realized
that the Chinese have indeed the last laugh
triumphing over the despair of the past
by sweat, blood and single minded purpose

and made the city of San Diego their own
dispersing dragons to guard what they own
shops small and big selling Shanghai’s revenge
trinkets and toys and the Chinese takeouts.

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

Einsiedeln

Perched on a little hill, the church stands aloof
impervious to the crowds on the road below
the two towers rise together as if in prayer
the grey walls bloom in the soft sunlight
we walk up the hill, my family in tow
the wooden door creaks as we push it open
in the flickering light of a hundred candles
shadows move like souls seeking redemption

People are scattered on the floor, lost in prayer
and some light candles, adding to the glow.
some sit huddled sharing a private grief
occasionally glancing at the statue by the wall
The madonna with the child gazes at me
asking me perhaps, where I have been
I have no answer except to mumble
not to construe the omission as denial.

Where have I seen this face, I ponder,
as I come out of the church and wander
reflecting on faith, love and redemption
and how myths become real in the passage of time.

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

The Beach

the beach looks forlorn in the misty morning,
after the stormy night and the lashing waves
tousled tresses wet and sticky with the damp
lulled into troubled sleep by the wailing winds
A clutch of crows, fights over scattered flotsam
raucous cries annotated by the rumbling waves
now tired, nevertheless persistent on insisting
on a frothy embrace with the sullen shore
My footsteps dimple the wet sand as I walk
along the lonely beach, after a restless night
sidestepping the deadwood scattered on the shore
high tide’s offering of peace for the violent night
the damp wind caresses my face in passing
and flits away to touch the droopy palm fronds
which evade the embrace and tremble with unease
warning the playful wind to keep its distance
I must go back home to reflect and ponder
on what the night had brought in dark visions
fight my own fight with symbols and meaning
with reason, the pacifier of a troubled mind

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

The End of Time

I remember once, travelling on a mountain road
the fog started to gather and we stopped
and stood at a turn where I could barely see
the valley below as it lost its features
and disappeared in a whimper.

Then a silence as the earth held its breath
and the birds stopped their chatter
the murmur of the wind became a hush
and then stopped altogether
as if pondering the gloom.

While an unearthly glow covered me like a blanket
I thought that perhaps death would be like this
when memories disappear slowly one by one
leaving you with no sense of the past
the end of time; going, going, going.

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

Jameela

You said that I was imagining things
implying slyly that with old age comes delusions
you shake your head as if admonishing a child;
be reasonable you say; behave!
What brought this about was, I recall,
my sudden remembrance of Jameela
as we were reaching my ancestral home
part of the rite of annual passage.
I remembered in fact a whole lot of people
much to the amusement of the gathered clan.
Many, I was told were dead and gone.
a few survive, I cannot recall the names.
Nobody recalls Jameela, despite my description
of springy hair and gentle, violet eyes
the fact that her brother was a friend
and other proofs dug up in desperation.
all denied vehemently, to my exasperation
On the way back, my wife asks why I fantasize
I have no answer, except to mumble
that Jameela to me was very real
as real as all remembered things

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

The Beginning of the Story

Why is it so easy to start a story
While ending it so difficult and desultory?
A newborn story is almost like a child
with a free will and a strong mind

the first brush mark on a blank canvas
binds you to a commitment; alas
The next stroke needs a relationship
to the first you made in your painterly trip

why does one run out of options
as one progresses with creative inventions?
every beginning inevitably demanding
a fitting and appropriate ending

it is not as if you have this constraint
only when you pen a story or paint
even your life is full of events
that tie up beginnings with the ends

the first moments of a romantic fling
determines whether it will fly or sink
the first step that starts you on a journey
often determines where it will end

if one wants to be purely philosophical
and think on a scale truly cosmical
consider how the first moment of creation
started the cosmos on a path to annihilation

Posted by: Pucadyil | February 3, 2010

The Tides in Us

The tides in us rise to the call of the moon
and make us dance to some forgotten tune
hark! we say, searching the wind for the voice
that spoke to us once in the garden of Eden
Lost in the crowds we see those very faces
that walked with us during the primal dispersion
dragons that spew fire chase us in dreams
as we flee down the hill seeking places to hide
we tremble on seeing the shape of the beast
in the flickering shadows that speckle the night
hearts beat in step with the crash of the waves
which sing to us songs that we once had remembered
were we not one as we started our journey?
why did we break into races and tribes?
what in the new worlds we found made us forget
that we too had spoken as one before Babel

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