Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Indigo Blues - I


Gopis dancing to drum-beat in a garden of thousand roses
Mathura, the holy land
Where, behind bars a stormy night, the flautist cowherd was born

Murmuring brooks, whispering winds and ever-green pastures
Mathura, the holy land
The birth place of Radheshyaam, the butter-thief

Pious brahmins, purifying prayers & offerings of ever-abundant ghee
Mathura, the holy land
Womb to the Uncle-slayer, nemesis of Kaaliya the serpent demon

Crafty temples & serene villages house to saadhus & the temple-folk
Mathura, the holy land
Witness to avataar of Paarthasarathi - the blue-skinned Yaadava king

These were the pictures that came to my mind when I thought of Mathura, (or Gokula for that matter. They are just 21 kms apart anyway) the place associated to Lord Krishna’s birth. This is courtesy primarily to Amarchitrakatha (more on that another time). Hence expectations were sky-high when our tourist bus took the diversion from the Delhi-Agra highway for Mathura.

Next, “Experience”…

Friday, May 20, 2005


00:30 hrs - 29.Mar.05, Chennai

The couple stood at the edge of the beach. The foamy waves fast swept away the earth under their feet. The man and woman were in their mid 50s. They stood hand-in-hand their gaze fixed on something beyond the pitch black that surrounded them, something invisible to the naked eye.

A month ago, Singapore

The fish-eyes darted across the path. A dark mix of sweat and mascara accentuated the palpable fear on the face. Suddenly, sensing imminent danger the girl shot across the path and just as suddenly she stopped on her tracks. Her hands slowly extended skywards - as if she was pleading for mercy. In the next instance, the body writhed, paused and then collapsed under the folds of scarlet that covered her torso.

As the crowd rose to their feet and erupted in a thunderous applause, the girl ran to the woman and started to cry in joy. As the lady pressed her daughter closer and dug her face into the hairdo of jasmine, she reflected on the last two decades – the time it took her child to learn, choreograph and perform the particular form of Natyashastra at the international arena.

Sometime early March, Chennai

“The symptoms resemble those of the commonplace viral fever making diagnosis difficult until the final stage. In its final stage the disease causes rupture of blood vessels resulting in profuse bleeding through pores of the skin. Then, death is the only deliverance. ”

00:40 hrs - 29.Mar.05, Chennai

Tears rolled down the woman’s cheek, collected near her chin and lost itself in the vast ocean. The man tightened the hold on her hands. The deafening waves dampened the wailing sirens of the police cars in the distance.

They waited as the water started to rise.

The killer wave spared the Indian coast on the night of 28th March 2005. The alert was called off at 02:30 hrs, 29th March in Nagapattinam, Chennai and other coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.

Authors Note: Quite often people react uniquely and rather uncharacteristically to tragedies in their lives. More often than not, they try to inflict bodily harm unto themselves. The above narration is based on a true incident.