Saturday, August 22, 2009

It just came to me..

"Image: Pixi dust by Neha"

Silence between the words
Commas between the lines,

Words between the pauses
Loving between the wanting

Islands between the streams
Living between existing

Shimmering between burning
Rising between falling

The poetry came to me
Just as I came to it


Every poem doesn't have to rhyme

" Image: Within or without by Neha"

Have you wondered at the endless sky
with its falling stars, sun, moon,
birds and clouds
Endless canvas splashed like a
child's strokes
Some day it rains
Some day is lightening
Some nights are studded
So full of sounds
Some silent as if life had paused.

A distant light
Real or a mirage of eyes
Someone somewhere must be yearning
For the could have should have would have.
Some rushing, some slowing, some just watching
Soft breeze brushing against your skin
Jasmine's fragrance stirring
the very being.
Do you see the beauty of the night
or get stunned by the mystery
in its endless arms,
Is the day scorching or soothing
to your inner voice.

Silence, sounds, light and dark.
Stars, sun, emptiness
firefly, butterfly or some ordinary guise
Embrace it all in your soul
Every poem doesn't have to rhyme
Within or without, life is as is
beauty , splendour , adrenaline or the mundane
Let sun shine or there be endless cloudy sky
Be the eternity and the infinity.Be
when you are not at mercy of any rhyme
you will find a song in every line.


Song of Myself

" Image: Eternity by Neha"

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you...

Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now....

Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait....

Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what
is that you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life...

What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me,
Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns,
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me,
Not asking the sky to come down to my good will,
Scattering it freely forever...

These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they
are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.

This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This the common air that bathes the globe...

With music strong I come, with my cornets and my drums,
I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for
conquer'd and slain persons.

Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit
in which they are won.

I beat and pound for the dead,
I blow through my embouchures my loudest and gayest for them.

Vivas to those who have fail'd!
And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea!
And to those themselves who sank in the sea!
And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes!
And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes

This is the meal equally set, this the meat for natural hunger,
It is for the wicked just same as the righteous, I make appointments
with all,
I will not have a single person slighted or left away,
The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited,
The heavy-lipp'd slave is invited, the venerealee is invited;
There shall be no difference between them and the rest.

exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten
million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait....

I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,
The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate
into new tongue.

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

I chant the chant of dilation or pride,
We have had ducking and deprecating about enough,
I show that size is only development.

Have you outstript the rest? are you the President?
It is a trifle, they will more than arrive there every one, and
still pass on.

I am he that walks with the tender and growing night,
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night...

I am not the poet of goodness only, I do not decline to be the poet
of wickedness also.

What blurt is this about virtue and about vice?
Evil propels me and reform of evil propels me, I stand indifferent,
My gait is no fault-finder's or rejecter's gait,
I moisten the roots of all that has grown.

I dote on myself, there is that lot of me and all so luscious,
Each moment and whatever happens thrills me with joy,
I cannot tell how my ankles bend, nor whence the cause of my
faintest wish,
Nor the cause of the friendship I emit, nor the cause of the
friendship I take again.

That I walk up my stoop, I pause to consider if it really be,
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics
of books.

To behold the day-break!
The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows,
The air tastes good to my palate.

I know I have the best of time and space, and was never measured and
never will be measured.

I tramp a perpetual journey, (come listen all!)
My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods,
No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,
I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,
I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,
But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,
My left hand hooking you round the waist,
My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road.

Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,
You must travel it for yourself.

It is not far, it is within reach,
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know,
Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land.

Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth,
Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go....

You are also asking me questions and I hear you,
I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself...

have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is,
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud,
And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth,
And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times,
And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero,
And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheel'd universe,
And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes....

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you...

- Walt Whitman

Note: Read the unabridged version of "Song of Myself" at

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Revolutionary Road

" Image: Quiet Revolution by Neha"

Joseph Conrad wrote in ‘an anarchist’... “On the whole, my idea is that he was much more of an anarchist than he confessed to me or to himself; and that, the special features of his case apart, he was very much like many other anarchists. Warm heart and weak head--that is the word of the riddle; and it is a fact that the bitterest contradictions and the deadliest conflicts of the world are carried on in every individual breast capable of feeling and passion” And so is the case with all revolutionary roads . I loved the Wheeler's revolutionary road for April Wheeler .For her dream to dream a dream. Loved it for Frank Wheeler for atleast opening to the possibility of touching that dream. After all hoping and wishing, all revolutions take resolution.What's your revolutionary road?

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are:

April Wheeler:

"If being crazy means living life as if it matters then I don't care if we are completely insane "

" Tell me the truth, Frank, remember that? We used to live by it. And you know what's so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is however long they've lived without it. No one forgets the truth, Frank, they just get better at lying"

" I wanted IN. I just wanted us to live again"

Frank Wheeler:

" I want to feel things. Really feel them."

" Knowing what you've got, knowing what you need, knowing what you can do without - That's inventory control"

The Revolutionary Road script is available at
- Listen to the beautiful soundtrack at:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

" Image : Time Capsule by Neha"

Saw the Curious Case of Benjamin Button in an open air film festival yesterday with a big wide air screen on a beautiful starry night amidst helicopters passing above us like a buzzing firefly every once in a while, children giggling away in a distance and the beautiful sounds and smell of the night time all around. The setting was as perfect as it could be. I loved it. I loved it so much that I have to ( happily )add it to my list of all time favorite movies for its simple yet profound message and the moving characters. Benjamin Button is an adaptation of a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man born old and aging backwards. The story was first published in 1921 and according to good ol' wikipedia, it was anthologized in the collection " Tales of the Jazz Age". I didn't know the movie's connection to F Scott Fitzgerald until after I saw it but it doesn't surprise me as an avid lover of Fitzgerald's story telling , especially the Great Gatsby ( which was published in 1925 ) . And as soon I remember this...the last words of Great Gatsby flash by me - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past..the theme of timeless time being the intersection between Button and Gatsby ( though the movie adapation differs from the short story in many ways - the diversions only add to the story than taking away from it)

The story begins with an 81 year old Daisy ( Cate Blanchett) on her deathbed with her 37-year-old daughter Caroline ( Julia Ormond)in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina is approaching. Caroline tells daisy how much she is going to miss her, saying that one of her friends' never got a chance to say goodbye to her mother. Which happens so often - we think we are timeless or rather should say that we are not even aware of our mortal spans which sooner or later would end- in the process missing the chance to tell people how much they are loved. The picture of ailing Daisy on the bed and Caroline seems so familiar to me in the first few shots till it comes back ...the English Patient with an ailing man ( Ralph Fiennes) sharing his story with beautiful Hana ( played by younger Julia Ormond ) who was taking care of the English Patient. Another interesting overlap between Button and the English Patient being the backdrop of war...Benjamin Button is born as World War 1 is ending while the backdrop to the English Patient is World World war 2. And so - in the non linear story telling style of the English Patient ( as also Forrest Gump in some ways), the story unfolds taking us through Benjamin's beautiful life. Some of my favorite scenes of the movie are :

1) The story of blind clock maker Monsier Gateau who lost his son in the war :

“Mr. Cake” winds the clock, which chimes a glorious chime... Pushed by an angel, the second-hand begins its eternal journey...going around... Everyone cheers... until they realize the clock is going the wrong way... traveling backwards in time... A man shouts, “It’s running backwards!” MONSIEUR GATEAU I made it this way... so that perhaps, the boys who were lost in the war might stand and go home again...

2) On Accident or destiny :

Sometimes we're on a collision course, and we just don't know it. Whether it's by accident or by design, there's not a thing we can do about it. If only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn't broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn't broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn't stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would've crossed the street, and the taxi would've driven by. But life being what it is — a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control — that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.

3) The humming bird : While in the sea in the midst of war :

Benjamin’s quiet. When suddenly a HUMMINGBIRD comes flying across the water... It circles the wreath, the way Hummingbirds do... and then flies off...

Benjamin says : ...I’d never seen a hummingbird that far out to sea before...

( just before her own end ) Daisy nods. Caroline goes out of the room... It’s quiet. Daisy’s alone now... looking out the window... at the howling, hurricane... a hundred mile an hour fury... And fighting against the wind, trying to reach the window is a hummingbird... it almost makes it and is pushed back by the gale... but undaunted, its wings doing a figure eight... the symbol for infinity... it fights its way through the wind to the window... tapping at the window... and the hummingbird flies away... she watches it go... and after some moments she says...Goodnight Benjamin..

And she closes her eyes for the very last time... and it’s dark... where it’s peaceful, even safe...

4) Some people ( Benjamin's Last lines ) ( see )

“I figured out one thing. If you’re growing older or getting younger it really doesn’t make any
difference. Whichever way you’re going you have to make the most of what this is.”

Some people were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people — dance.

- The script is available at :