Monday, March 27, 2023

Aham Brahmasmi

Early this morning I wandered down to the shore, cloud clad & sunlit in gild and blue. Kites circled my crown at invisible heights. Whales sang in ocean depths at my feet & dolphins frolicked in breaking waves; giant rays glid in silent dark power in the whirlpools of my navel

Friday, November 18, 2022

Under the blanket


I only want to lie

Dark shroud

My only sky.


I am 

Creator, observer

Seer, doer.

Time races,

Pauses or slumbers.

Under this canopy,

Calm days, 

Stellar nights,



Sunset glows.

On my whim

Seasons flit

Storms rage

Lightenings hit.

Rain sings


Dancers fly, ji

Gravity defy.

Endless darks, or

dawn breaks

Insane trips,

down memory lane


It's enough

That this 

dark shroud is 

My cosmic sky

Monday, January 10, 2022

Kyoto Haikus

Dark forest paths, Amitava memories, trees torch our way

Floating fall leaves? Red baby Kois play, mount Kurama.

Icy autumn gusts, brown leaves rain down, a flock of sparrows.

Tossing orange peels, perched under tall conifers, making my own Momiji

Impending autumn, searching for my father's smile, I wander alone.

Tangerine clouds
Persimmons color ground
Wild geese fly high

Ink stained hills
Yellow quilts of ripe rice
Swollen Kamo

Dove clouds drape,
Deep Indigo hills
Vermilion Tori

Velvet green hills
Urban jungle speed past
Composing haikus

In autumn days
Why do fires still ablaze
Awaiting winter snow

Still, and intent
A stork gazing into Kamo
Seasons swirl by

Deepening dusk,
Chasing deers' sharp bark
A Buddha in red scarf

For No Reason

I've often wondered why we do things? Really & truly - Why? Are we creatures of habits driven by parameters of norm, mundane, & acceptable? Or do we all harbor a subdued, no tranquilized maniac of our own history - personal, social and deeply rooted/ embedded in the wildness of our animal states. Are the imposed norms only to keep the monster at bay - hidden, invisible, even unknown or at least, un-acknowledged?

I'm a perfectly normal person - by all visible standards, even to myself. But recently, I've discovered my monster- me. And after leading a mundane life of 62 years as a tiresomely married bored housewife, I discovered my yen in life - that joy which adds a glow to our face, a sparkle in our eyes and a spring to our steps. My friends at the coffee club have noticed & commented. With a little smirk " Are you having an affair??" What rubbish - At my Age?? Anyways, which man can keep a woman satisfied for long. No, no...I am wise. I've found my own love inside me - I've found my monster. That's enough. 

I'm a little surprised that I am telling you this - for what I've been doing is unthinkable, unspeakable - pure Evil and I've no reason for it - just cheap thrills at my age. So little of that left. I worry that my talking about this can get me into trouble - the worst amongst it All being I'll be made to stop. Can't even bear to think about it. I'll just have to make sure I don't get caught - it's been eight times so far and while it's all over the press, no one has a clue...the stories or theories are so wild. I'm aiming for ten... and then who knows?

So, why am I telling - because I've mastered a skill - a horrific, unbearable, but consummate skill of true artistry - and can an artist really exist without the life-sap of an audience, the appreciator? So with me.

So let me tell you from the beginning. I've grown heavy, ok just fat, as I've grown older. And you know, the mister is so vain - his wife should alwats look nice. I Do look nice - but it's not enough. Tell me which 60 year old can look like a 30 year old - not happening. Yet, nag, nag, nag, nag. Lose weight, don't waddle, don't eat so much - All the time! Yeah, yeah, yeah... If I don't eat, how will I keep my strength?? It's been unbearable since he retired. Fix the wifey is his new time-pass hobby. 

Anyways, to get way and get him out of my hair, I have started taking long walks at night - after dinner. We stay close to a cliff and the walk takes me along the Arabian Sea. Anyways, nothing happens at home - he likes playing on his phone with his social-media friends well into the night - or watching those sorry, sick videos - as if I don't know!! And I go for my walk.  

I'm big for a woman now - when I was young my tall litheness was termed - elegant. Somehow I married this tiny mouse of a man - arranged marriage you know... families were well matched. I guess an evening walk will do me good.

I started enjoying my walks - the silence, the sound of the waves, crickets, the many moods of night - stars, the lights from fishing boats pencilled across the horizon. I suppose I should thank him - but No Way!!

The path is lit by a solar lights with motion detectors - and I walk in this pools of light between envelopes of deep darkness - minding my own business. It's funny watching my shadow shorten and stretch out - dark black against white LED floodlight - reminds me of the old B&W movies - I was drawn to the sinister even as a kid.
One day I saw this stranger sitting alone at the cliff - so still, calm, staring out into the ocean. Seemed so centered, replete, complete into his own self. Something drew me towards him. As I approached him I saw my shadow lumber and then loom & lengthen in high contrast over him. He must have sensed my presence, or its darkness. He turned - with a smile. 

Was it the smile? I'll never know. It was the gentlest sweetest smile - utterly guileless. It's etched into my memory. I don't know what came over me - I just lunged and pushed - with All my might. A crash a few seconds later - it was all over. Lethal


The genius of a human mind never fails to surprise me - sometimes this is also about my genius. Once an idea is discovered, it seems so obvious - prosaic even. But what luminous moment of clarity shapes its reality? And how does one remain tapped into that source - as a way of life. Endless such questions fill my last days on this earth - days that have seen many joys, equally of grief, wonderment, and dark depths of inner torture. Now all is silent, in grace and poise, even possibly in quiet anticipation for adventures that lie in the beyond. But before that I have my story to tell. No doubt you have read, heard much in the media - where I am painted a witch about to meet her deserved justice.

The idea occurred to me more than a decade back during our sabbatical year in Kyoto - the purest land of idyllic beauty surrounded by gentlest hills, and a clear flowing Kamo. The ways of the Japanese are strange and enchanting. I discovered the charms of their gardens, karmic grace of their temples, delicious flavours of their food, and kindest courtesy of their normal behaviour - even to the outsiders. However, some of their ways were strange too - amongst them, things like human placenta based lotions, horse and deer oils as anti-aging remedies! These ideas directly fed my imagination, germinating into Elixir - an organically processed, cold pressed oil, that would benefit from a variety of ailments to serious, life threatening diseases. I promoted its promise without specifying its only ingredient. Of course, it cost a lot - as much as a human life, really, besides the enormous effort of procuring, preparing and processing. It could be consumed orally - medically or a delicious nutty additive to food. It could be used as massage oil or skin care serum - with endless diverse possibilities for its imaginative and beneficial use. 

The positive reviews came pouring in, immediately after the release - in millions, literally. Scientists started trying to figure out the key ingredients - it was discovered that the composition was so close - to be almost identical - to a human source. Yet, none had the courage to identify the most obvious, correct answer. Elixir was my own genius creation for a disease free, always youthful, human race.

The raw material was not difficult to access. With increased life expectancy - a gift/curse of modern medicine, and the associated suffering of unbearably prolonged old ages, with unheard-of diseases, the demand for hospices has been on continual rise - to provide pain free and palliative care to those impatiently facing their much awaited end. I decided that this was where life was at its most redundant and it would be an act of compassion and mercy to help these suffering souls out of their bodily misery. 

Once the idea was in place - the rest was just work - relatively easy. Small notice on social support groups catering to those at their very end got me more takers than I could utilise - such tragic & desperate need of so many who had lived more than they wished. I suppose, the fact that their life & end would also benefit & serve the well being of human race was an added incentive that had them racing to my doors. I was very particular to only accept the really elderly and hopeless. A miracle could well save the terminal but young - and they would have their life ahead of them. 

I made sure to have prolonged,  personal last sessions that invariably brought peace, and ascertained that their end was quick and painless. 

How can any of this be considered, wrong or evil - I fail to understand. Yet, here I am - facing my end - found guilty by a society of humans. I know that my life was well lived and served so many well - both in life and death. I only hope this idea will live on - even if subversively till the masses are educated, compassionate and enlightened enough to legally mandate that the dead too shall serve the living.

A Tale from Edava

I live on a cliff, in a little house, of a small village called Edava, near the southern coastal tip of India. Here, time usually chugs at a lethargic, languorous, sweaty pace of its midday summer heat. Roosters' call awakens our village to the coolness of each morning, while packs of dogs roam the empty shorelines ferreting out a rat or an occasional mongoose. Gods, spirits and ghosts mingle equally in our days and join us regularly in our festivities or are sometimes appeased with a tempting bribe to stop from pestering us. 

Like that time, two monsoons ago, when an unseasonal storm raged through the two small streets of our village - only. The skies became black,  waves galloped endlessly as wild horses, while the palms carried on their sword fights against the skies. Everyone knew, but wouldn't utter, that it was the rage in the heart of the old Nambiar who had died - leaving behind that beautiful, young, wench of a wife - who loved his young and dashing driver. Of course, he must've have known the risk when he brought home his new bride - but when has man's desires not blinded him to the folly of his hopes or futility of his dreams? In this case of siring an heir - Ha! At his age - the Fool!! People say that this effort killed him in bed - and that the witch keeled over in mirth, trying to cover her naked bosom. Oh the wicked, wicked ways of the young!

So as I was saying, that strange storm shook the village even as the old man Nambiar's corpse lay on the palanquin, being prepared for the final rites. Finally, the old brahmin priest was called and began, with the his ten young novices, the rituals of persuasions and negotiations with Nambiar's spirit. They lit auspicious lamps with ghee, burnt plates of camphor and recited long gutteral chants that are unbearable to the musical sensitivity of the spirit world. They also flung coconut-jaggery payasam over the cliff, cooked in ghee and cardamoms - a favourite of old Nambiar - and he finally left. We All saw that whirlwind of a wild storm flying away into the sea, carrying with it - the roof, the corpse tied to the palenquin, and that poor, handsome driver in his white liveries - who had driven his young wife mad with lust.

Such things occur somewhat regularly here in Edava - so people don't really care much. They just shook their heads, and returned to their shady spots under the palms, chewing on little twigs, and dozed under clear, hot blue skies, while crows cawed once again and dogs ambled out again in search of a cat or perhaps a rat.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Less is Always More

Recently I had an occasion to revisit our time in Metz, about six years ago. I had joined the local community pool to faithfully continue my 1km lap swimming - which I started when I turned 30. I am 62 now.

As was my nature, my daily swimmings were acts of constant vigilance and improvement - each stroke should be better, each lap faster, each turn at the wall - smoother. I was constantly trying to better myself and it worked. While most swimmers were older, heavier, disgruntled and carried out their time in the pool with dogged determination to survive, live, be healthier, my time in the pool was an act of love and pure enjoyment. I have loved water since I was a child. It took my 27 minutes to swim the distance, give or take about 30 seconds.

Yet, at the back of my mind was always this irksome thought - what about play? I was never bored, but was that because of all this focused trying? What would happen if I remained merely present and swam - because I liked to. So that one day I decided to try just that.

I swam that day without effort, without checking the large wall clock at each lap, with out trying for a better speed, or a sleeker stroke. I swam in effortless awareness of water, myself and my breath - silence and - bubbling out, up and down, up and down. Just that much.. nothing more to do - glide up and down like a Koi Carp.

When I was done - I glanced up and found that I had swum the fastest ever - for me. By 4 minutes!! I couldn't believe that this had really happened. 

I've carried a memory of this at the back of my mind - as I swam, did my evening walks, and even here in Kyoto, where I use Google app to walk the most I can and also the fastest. I wonder why I have never repeated that experiment or been guided by it, in my future activities. Maybe I like competing against myself, maybe it's easier to cave in to habits? Actually, I think it's because it's far easier To Do the Most we can - than To Do Nothing - just Be Water and Flow, with ease, and with the tide.