Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shadows of the Past - now in Justbooks library

That exciting moment when your book is listed by your favourite library:



Yes, "Shadows of the Past and other stories" is now available at a Justbooks CLC branch near you.

(Photo credit: Justbooks, Banshankari)


Saturday, November 3, 2018

When you left

​You​​ left without saying Goodbye.
I waited, hoping you'd return, remembering.
Because the last time we met,
Years ago, 
I was the first to leave, 
And I had remembered. I had waved. 
A special farewell, just for you. 

And all through the night
It kept me awake: 
Why did you not say Goodbye?
Why was it so difficult?
You knew you were leaving.
I didn't. 

The acknowledgement was casual.
The kind people exchange when 
They pass each other by.

I waited. 
The evening retreated,
The guests flowed in and out,
Until they flowed in no more.

Then it came home to me.
You had never seen me the way I saw you.
The frequency, the wavelength,
All those clichés I'd used 
T o describe us, albeit to myself,
None of it was real.

Looking back, our conversations
So interesting and engrossing, to me,
Seem so fragile, so thin 
Like smoke, 
Rising, spreading, dissipating,
Thin ice, cracking, breaking,
Non existent now. 
I'd read too much between the lines.
Which had been nothing but vacuum.

So ridiculous, such a mockery.
I must have made a fine spectacle.
The support I offered
The sympathetic ear, the shoulder...
A fine spectacle indeed
If all that had meant nothing.

Perhaps I should just laugh
At my own foolishness-
Jumping to conclusions that never existed.
Perhaps I should forget,
Because it had been clearly 
All in my own mind, and 
Perhaps it is time to
Return to my land of solitude.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Book lover

​Whose book is this?
Asks the six-year-old
In a loud whisper,
Awe and respect in her words,
Her hands reverently caressing
The hard cover.

Whose book is this?
She says, looking around
At her mother and friends;
Then she looks around
At her own little friends.
Whose book is this?

Hers, replies the mother
Pointing to me.
The little girl's eyes rest on me
With newfound admiration.
She's known me a long time, but
Today she sees me with new eyes.

Can I see it? Again the polite whisper
As though the majestic book
Must not be disturbed, or
Awakened from its slumber.
Of course, I say, and she
Opens it carefully.

It's not a picture book,
She does not care.
She's not old enough to read it;
The six hundred page book
Does not intimidate her;
The tiny font does not deter her.

I watch her turn the pages
Slowly, lovingly, respectfully,
And when it is time to leave
She replaces it gently,
And smiles at me.
Today I see her with new eyes too.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Giveaway: my novel "Temple of Time" #ebook #Kindle


My novel, Temple of Time (in ebook format) can be purchased for FREE from Amazon until Sunday, October 7th. Download now. You can also read the first few pages, the synopsis and reviews from the links below.

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00U54HX3I
Amazon US and other countries: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U54HX3I

If you have friends who love reading ebooks, please share this with them.

To know more about the book, click here: http://navy-blue-jeans.blogspot.com/2015/03/temple-of-time.html

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"It's always the woman's fault"

It wasn't, by the way. Not even close.

It's like saying, the thunderstorm is a person's fault, or the flood is.

The problem with writing a blog in one's own name is that there is a limit to the stuff you can divulge. You ask yourself how desperately you want to tell the complete story and how badly you want to piss off someone. They might never see the blog, but then someone might and tongues, as we know so well, wag, especially when there is something juicy to wag about. Do I want to write, or do I want to fight?

It wasn't the woman's fault. Anyone with an ounce of common sense in them could see it. But the thing about rumours is that there need be no truth attached to it.There is a special channel by which rumours spread - and that is a path often shunned by common sense.

Someone said, when the shadow of the earth falls on the moon, poisonous substances will be released from your food.

The shadow falls all the time, across space. It just so happens that once in a while there is a satellite on its path - big enough to be visible from our home. They teach science in school. It's just a shadow. Harmless. Don't give in to superstition.

But no...

What if poison is actually released? What if it is true? We don't actually know, do we? What if,...

What if it is the woman's fault? What if she brought about the thunderstorm? The flood?

The tragedy is that she had been trying hard to be good. That's what irks me. She has sacrificed a great deal to be where she is. She wasn't managing somehow.

Nothing I said to the rumour-monger would change their opinion. They would spread the tale anyway. Because there was something so delectable about fresh gossip. About someone who was already in their radar. Someone who had been admired greatly at the start. Someone who seemed to have no failing. Someone who did not give away much about themselves. Controlled. Cultured. Nonetheless, ripe to be talked about. The more difficult it is to find something about them, the more delicious it becomes. And the ears that gather the news would be thrilled to spread it further.

What if it is her fault?

Actually, it is her fault. It must be. Everything had been so perfect. There is no other culprit. Then it must be. 

When the shadow enters, venomous creatures raise their heads... Once the shadow recedes, they crawl back to the hole they came from. It sounds true, so it must be.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Deliverance

​Adrift in the ocean
No sense of direction
A​​mong the waves
And the sky and solitude

Dawn has arrived. Ahoy!
Land has been sighted
The wind draws me closer
Mountains come to view

The sparkle of a brook
Slipping in and out
Signs of habitation
Smoke from ​the ​chimneys

My heart leaps out...
Only a matter of hours
For my deliverance
Patience, my heart...

To be safe, on firm earth
Free from the rocking sea...
Land, beloved land,
The destination, ultimate.

Suddenly the wind changes
It begins to blow out
Dragging me away
Farther from the land

And as I watch helpless
The brook vanishes
The mountains grow smaller
Land retreats, diminishes

My boat, rising and falling,
Driven far out into the sea...
A brief vision, a tiny possibility-
Now an unattained dream!

Between the lashing waves
And the apathetic sky...
Adrift in the ocean...
Once again-

Friday, July 20, 2018

Deep Side

Do you feel the lure of the Deep Side?
An irresistible yearning to explore the unseen?

The treacherous waters that others have crossed,
Over there, just an arm's length away; far, but near.

It's deep, it's dangerous, it looks ominous.
I'm safe, I'm protected, I'm content.

The Deep Side is for the Adventurers, the Explorers, the Brave.
I'm none of the above. Not now, anyway.

I'm safe where I am.
Here, in my world that's shallow, controlled and secure.

But that's never enough, is it?
Contentment is only temporary... We're never satisfied.

There's always the desire for something more, something exciting.
A thirst that no amount of money can quench.

The Deep Side dwells, calm and indifferent.
It beckons with its evident lack of interest.

It turns its back on me, callous,
In a way I cannot reciprocate.

What pulls you apart, from your safe nest?
What tugs at your heart, calls you a coward?

What new goals have you found to wreck your peace?
What unsatisfied longing gives you sleepless nights?

What is your Deep Side?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Every book is a memory...


I picked up The Day of the Jackal from one of the roadside second hand book sellers in Bangalore. The year was 1999 or 2000. M.G.Road, if I am not mistaken. One of those places where they spread the books on the footpath and as we walk past, we experience an irresistible urge to pick up everything lying face up. I stopped and looked at them - I knew these weren't original, most likely photostat copies, and yet I knew for a certainty that I will buy something that day. At least one. And I did. It was my first second-hand book.

Every time I think of or talk about or overhear someone discussing The Day of the Jackal, the movie or the book, that's what I remember. My first job in Trivandrum. My interview in Bangalore. Walking by M.G.Road with my father. Staying with friends who were either working or looking for a job. A book with a green cover. I am not sure if I still have that book. If I do, it would have yellowed, thumbed pages with the print no longer clear. In the first page, I would have scribbled my name and the date I bought it, followed by "M. G. Road." I didn't want to forget.

That's why I always note down the date and where I bought it, in every book I buy. I may remember some of it, but I may forget most. And I want to remember where I was, what I was going through, who I met, and why I chose this book.

The book seller waited patiently. He did not ask if I wanted this book or that. He could tell by the way my eyes were scanning the titles. When I found what I was looking for, he would know. Another person, who had stopped his hasty walk and was looking cursorily at the books, would not buy anything that day. I was the one likely to leave with a lighter purse. My eyes fell on Frederick Forsyth. Ever since my father told me about this anonymous shooter out to kill the French President Charles de Gaulle, I had been intrigued.

I looked up at the seller and pointed to the book. "How much?"

He quoted an amount I cannot recall now. But I remember thinking, photostat copies. Not worth the price. He waited for me to negotiate. "Okay," I said.

I don't regret spending that money at all. (It is possible that my Dad paid for it, but you get what I mean.)

Every book is a memory. A slice from our life. A few moments or days or weeks of time - from the instant we set our eyes on it, or hear about it, to the moment when we let it slip back to our past.

I read it in a crowded train. 
I saw it on her table.
I bought it from M. G. Road.
I gave it to my so-called friend and she never returned it. 
I borrowed it from a library I don't visit any more.
It was a gift.