Brain Damage

November 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Musing + Mulling, Verses + Vignettes | 8 Comments
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My fingers have been doing the polka dance all over the keyboard for the past ten minutes, in the vain hope that it would rouse my brain from its deep slumbers and write something. Unfortunately for them, my brain just about happens to be the most stubborn thing ever created.

I can hear it chiding now, but this time I am going to have my way.
*racks brains for something to write about*
Don’t be stupid, brain, I can’t possibly write about jumping monkeys on the moon. They don’t even exist, you silly bundle of nerves and neurons.

Oh no! Blasphemy! I repent!

Emily Dickinson, bless her, once said that the brain is ‘wider than the sky.’ (Never mind the fact that she would have redefined the whole geometry from a sky to a  subatomic particle had she happened to live in our times). Anyway, the point is, the human brain never fails to amaze me. On two levels: its sheer brilliance, and its utter stupidity. Extremes on the spectrum, but both equally amazing, you see.

My awe leads me to this unforgivable crime, oh, horror of all horrors, a poem composed in its honour.

It’s a bundle of nerves weighing barely three pounds
Yet actually wider than a sky on metaphorical grounds
Oh, it’s a wondrous little mechanism, all right
(Though, like a squeezed walnut, not exactly a pretty sight)

Old Freud, he couldn’t figure it out
Not that he was the only one about
Scourging the depths of the cup of the brain
Ended up only with a teaspoon in vain

But the riddle teases us right back
It’s nowhere as as easy as a MySpace hack
Like an old geezer put on public display
But who cares, MySpace sucks anyway

It’s best if you just give it a rest
Though we will never entirely tire of this quest
It seems the answer may elude us for a while
But we’ll get there by a long mile

I am now absolutely convinced of the feats of the human brain; for this, of course, is something only a talentless waste genius like me could produce. Shelley must be rolling in his grave. You made me do it, brain.

Oh Good Lord, my brain’s rebelling on me. I’m sorry for all the late night studying, please don’t leave me, okay? You’re all I’ve got.

On the Playground

July 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm | Posted in Verses + Vignettes, World + People + Events | 6 Comments
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The children are scattered all over the playground.

Two girls with fat ponytails sit on the steps. Their plastic dolls don’t blink or frown. They only smile. With their teeth showing. And when one of the girls yanks out a strand of hair, the doll doesn’t wince or protest. She just keeps on smiling.
The girls keep their play to themselves. They recite their doll’s dialogues in hushed voices. They have the dolls cry softly. Laugh delicately. Sing inaudibly.

Because the girls want to keep their World to themselves. They are careful not to let anybody else be a part of it. They don’t want them to shatter it, their world of silent shouts and whispered weddings.

The dolls don’t mind, because they don’t have one to do so.

Over there, by the swing, the children sway to and fro. They lurch forwards only to be instantly pulled backwards again. Whoosh. They rise higher and higher, chests heaving with each lurch, but just as they put out their fingers to reach out and touch the invisible wall, they are summoned backwards again. As though the Swing is determined to let them go only so far. The breeze cuts through their hair; or do the children cut through the breeze?

A queue of children await their turn on the swing, getting more impatient with each lurch.
The Swing knows.

A few girls huddle on a grassy patch, their self-willed skipping ropes resolutely refusing to be perfectly Skipped.

‘England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Inside, outside, inside, on!’

But the ropes don’t obey. They get caught up in the feet every time.
One, two, three, four. The Ropes refuse.

On the seesaw two kids play.
Up.
Down.

Up and Down are like two siblings who never seem to agree. They always fight and never seem to last long, because Up becomes Down and Down becomes Up.

The voices of the children drift over the lazy air.

‘Queenie, Queenie, who’s got the ball?
Are they short, or are they tall?’

The Queenie sees with her ears.

’Are they hairy, or are they bald?
You don’t know because you don’t have the ball!’

She turns around. And listens with her eyes.

The children play.

They don’t know that the swing that controls them is only another form of the society that they will live in as adults.
They don’t know that their precious stories will inevitably be splintered, modified, and crushed someday.
They don’t know that the ropes that rebel are nothing compared to those they will come to know when they grow older – the superficial, the ignorant, the narrow-minded tunnel visioned ropes of human beings.
And the seesaws are only a feeble reflection of the world they live in, riddled with inequalities and injustices, that crashes around them everyday.

They just play.

A boy with curly locks squashes ants on the porch.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed.
A girl fumbles with a yo-yo.
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.
The class bully intimidates the kids on the merry-go-round.
Chip chop, the old man is dead.

Immortality

June 29, 2008 at 1:55 am | Posted in Verses + Vignettes | 4 Comments
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Threads of thought uncoiling
Swirls of memories gathering
Like so many beads.
Shades flickering
Sounds disentangling

The glint of an eye
Searching.
The swish of wings
Of a bird in flight
Wandering.
The touch of a feather
Floating in the air and
Gently settling down on earth
Surrendering.

Like a drop of water that clings
On the end of a leaf
Glistening.
Like curls of smoke
That escape
Straying.
Like clouds that glide
On air
Drifting.

Mingling, fusing, merging
One by one
They will all be gone
And reborn
Returning.

Mahogany hues and emerald foliage
Born of the earth
Rising.
Into the starry canvases overhead
Infinitely stretching.
Driving down
Down
Into an endless spiral
Only to rise above again.

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