Wednesday 31 January 2007

Fun Things and a Lovely Coincidence

In 1981 (the year you were born)

Ronald Reagan becomes president of the US

Minutes after Ronald Reagan becomes president, Iran releases 52 American hostages that had been held captive for 444 days

President Reagan is shot in the chest by would be assassin John Hinkley

Space shuttle Columbia, the world's first reusable spacecraft, is sent into space

A suspended walkway in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapses, killing 113

A female former lover files a "palimony" suit against tennis star Billie Jean King

President Reagan appoints Sandra Day O'Connor to be the first woman on the Supreme Court

The Pac-Man video game is introduced in the US

Alicia Keys, Elijah Wood, Kelly Rowland, Anna Kournikova, and Britney Spears are born

Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series

Oakland Raiders win Superbowl XV

New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup

Raiders of the Lost Ark is the top grossing film

"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes spends the most time at the top of the US charts

MTV debuts on cable television, playing music videos 24 hours a day

Gimme a Break premieres


Orange Biriyani
once told me that 'Bette Davis Eyes' reminded her of me. Tee hee.

Monday 29 January 2007

Update: Stories at the Coffee Table

A message from the powers that be.



Stories at the Coffee Table costs a modest Rs 200. (That’s about US$ 4.50. For a quick conversion to other currencies, see XE.com Universal Currency Converter.)
As of this writing, there’s only one way to buy Stories at the Coffee Table: email us at editors at caferati dot com, with your mailing address. We’ll courier a copy to you, and you can pay cash on delivery (the purchase price + postage from New Delhi, India) when it reaches you.
We’re negotiating deals with distributers and booksellers as we speak. We will update this page with details soon.
(For regular updates, please link to http://www.caferati.com/caferati-creative/satct/buy/ )

Found: Love's Labours

Unisun Publications, in its 2007 anthology, is going to feature a section on my poems. Will keep all seven-and-a-half readers of this blog posted, on all developments, including formal launch of the book and how and where you can buy it, once it's out.

It's a strange realisation, this bizarre committment to posterity. Some of the poems that my publisher has chosen, were written during a difficult time. And it irks me to think that years and years from now, these poems will still exist in a strange present-continuous for those who read it.

To think I wrote one of those for someone I've never met. Liam, I will always remember the day I first read your poems, and wrote one for you. It's going into a big fat book. Thank you.

To think everytime I read another, I'll be reminded of that Sunday afternoon, listening to the radio, wishing I had a better fountain pen, writing on my brown paper. To think the owner of the original copy probably doesn't give a fornication about its importance, if only in my life.

To think every poem featured reeks of love, loss, heartache or hope. I can smell them, sometimes. Hope is the smell of milk tea, I remember. Love smelt of candle smoke and freshly spilt ink. Et cetera. Quite boring, really, if you're not into this sort of thing. Anyway, the upshot is, it's all happening. Love's labours were hiding in the hitherto static potential of a publisher.

Monday 22 January 2007

Stories at the Coffee Table

Here it is, finally. Please pick up a copy, and support some impoverished (and maybe some-not-so) writers. And if you're wondering about the uncharacteristic benevolence of a cynic, don't. It's not so uncharacteristic; I'm quite nice. But if you must know, one of my stories is in this book. If you're interested in picking up a copy, mail me at thewriterbites@gmail.com. I'll see if I can get a copy across to you. Okay? Okay.

A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work to make this happen. And besides being very grateful, I'm also very excited. So love us! Love me! Look at the cover! Judge it! Buy!

Update: I forgot to mention! JP, dear friend of Dog for a Day, is also in this here book. Not one, but two reasons to buy, ja?



Stories at the Coffee Table
Edited by Peter Griffin, Manisha Lakhe and Annie Zaidi
With a foreword by Nilanjana S Roy
Design and cover photograph by Hemant Suthar
A Caferati Publication

Wednesday 17 January 2007

Emily Dickenson, lend me your tears

The universal nature of poetry is never lacking.
When you laugh,
the world laughs with you;
when you cry,
you cry at home.

But a poem?
A poem is verseatile.
To it, a smile
is a smile, is a smile,
and a tear-
for love or loss or guile-
will wound its
syntax
for a while.

The universal nature of poetry is never lacking.
When you're choking with sorrow, your poem is hacking.

Tuesday 9 January 2007

Lies you can tell your children

For Deepthi and Mr. G

The sun, in fact, does set into the belly of a large fish.
It plays the flute through its ears
And always always hears your tears.

The moon, actually, has one exiled citizen.
The little prince who was banished from sight
Because he never brushed at night.

The stars are always watching you leave for school.
The hang around in the morning sky
And observe if you’ve kissed your parents goodbye.

Your father, each morning, pretends to go to work.
He’s really hiding in every telephone booth
Listening to determine if you’re telling the truth.

Your mother, each night, sings you a lullaby.
And each little boy wakes up with a start
Her song was a warning about breaking your heart.

Last year

Two thousand poems died of loneliness
Cold and wet at the busstop
Unable to find a rhyme for themselves
Tripped on poetical outcrop.

Five hundred and seventy were hit and run over
By drunk-and-driving coffee cups
Three hundred-odd asphyxiated
On inexcusable grammatical hiccups.

Two hundred and ten little poems
Were the runts of rhyming triplets.
They died and left their siblings-
Two hundred and ten little couplets.

Seventy-five died of opium,
Twenty-one of spurious ink,
Eight died of handmade paper,
One of an overdose of pink.

Monday 8 January 2007

Dreaming on the verge of strife*

Good news, festivities, hilarities and developments have kept me predominantly occupied and almost giggly.

On Sunday, Sharmon and I went to the beautiful new home of Pat and my son, Mr. Rustomji. They have a lovely place in Whitefield, and if not for the hilarious company of an old friend, I might not have survived the unexpectedly long drive. Pat cooked us a lovely meal, we went for a drive to their Lovely Project and enjoyed the disturbingly clean air.

Meanwhile, in what now seems to be not-so-fresh news, Kiran from Orange Biriyani is well on her way to Baby #2. I have resumed my seasonal duty of name-searching, which I thoroughly enjoy. Needless to say, I am unbelievably excited at the prospect of another neice/nephew. Even if it's one that I may not get to see as often as I like. I know I've said this before, but what I hate most about geography is distances.

More momentous news by way of Swetha's wedding came to me about an hour back. My dearest friend from the days when the Alphabet was just beginning to stop being a mystery and the canteen was an unaffordable formidable entity. I have offered to be her fiance's best man. And I'm already embarking on devious plans to get permission for leave.

And finally, something a little closer to my heart and more directly involved with my few but important resolutions for this pretentious bastard concept of New Years and New Beginnings. I'm finally getting something published. And most likely, very much in the near future. More details will be revealed when I think the time is right.

Oh! Also. The Saab and I have decided to move out of Dona Maria. Bigger, better, etc. We're very excited about it, and can't wait to see the few places we have shortlisted.

The quieter life suits me well. The startling fear of spending time with myself seems to be abating. My mind is not made of monsters anymore, and neither are my dreams. And I am grateful for the new-found peace. I hope it lasts.

As much of an afterthought as this may seem to be, I hope you have an interesting year. 'Happy' is passe, and if you're moderately intelligent, you will manage the 'successful', 'fruitful' and 'fun' by yourself. Make it interesting!

*Title credit: Frances Conford

Anniversary Song

When you left us, you forgot to turn off the lights.
And everyone saw.

Now the bed knows you’ve gone.
The mattress springs forth
Volleys of coir abuses,
The headboard stands
With head in hands,
And the pillows have all curled up and assumed
A foetal position.

The television is feeling cheated.
Now all alone in its two dimensional world,
It throws out garbled signals,
It vomits reality shows,
The audio comes and goes
And its reception will never be
Warm again.

Your toothbrush has wilted.
In a fit of peppermint rage,
It bit mine in the neck.
Now it’s become a lout,
And cleans the grout,
Maintaining illicit relations with my
Bathroom floor.

When you left us, you forgot to turn off the lights.
And everyone saw.
And everyone saw.

Friday 5 January 2007

Promise

Gadzooks!
Along with my head and all the large dishy chunks of sanity I used to be the proud owner of, I seem to have lost my appetite. Just imagine that. Food doesn’t interest me anymore. If this irksome phenomenon continues, I will literally be a mere shadow of my former self. And no, it’s not a good thing. Irrespective of all the assholes who giggle about my weight when they think I’m not looking, I prefer this to anything else.

In the very recent past, I’ve slowly started remembering what I used to be like. I feel greatly endeared by the prospect of falling back into the warm safe arms of reclusion. I’ve really enjoyed the fluff of the past year, also the frills and fancies and, err, whatnot. But I need to get out of it now or forever hold my peace. To accelerate and ease the process, trips to local gym, local pool, local music shop and Premier Book Store will be made at 1800 hrs, today. And after a brief meeting with True Friends (JP, I also have!), I will fall back into 2005.

This New Year, I resolve to go back to an older happier one. Or at least a murky meager semblance of it.