Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Life as a newly born poet

Here it goes. My 6th poem has just been completed and is ready to hit the bull-board (this is how I refer to my company’s bulletin board in short) any time next week. The odds are high that it would be appreciated as much as my last poem, if not more. Incidentally, my last poem received only a single response, when I sent it to my friend for his expert opinion. In return, I got a Delivery Failure message saying “The recipient’s mailbox is full”. Though, I have nothing to worry about. There are peaks in a writer’s career, that I have already experienced, and then there are abysses as well. I have seen those days when my mailbox was overflowing with the mails of adulation, when one of my poem was put on the KM Board (Yeah, they do feel that my poem can be the best means of attracting people’s attention to an otherwise unnoticed notice board, just like Shahrukh Khan can do for Himani Navratna Tel). I have even heard rumors that I have been nominated, and am the strongest contender to receive the next MVP award as well as the SPOT award. Is it true that they have changed the names of these awards to “Most Valuable Poet” and “Star Poet Of Team”? The awards are a certainty as my PM is loudly vouching for me.

People often ask me about my very peculiar style of writing. Why is it that all my poems are always written in first person? Is it because I am a self-obsessed freak? Well, the answer is “No”. I am neither a self-obsessed egotist (Kudos to my memory for remembering the first word I had read in a book by Norman Lewis to improve my vocab 5 years back), nor an egomaniac. Even though I had the realization of my attractive charm way back in 1983, when the doctor looked at me and said “Sho Shweet”, I am still a very humble person. Even though during school days, my friends called me Einstein Junior (my powerful specs and receding hairline played some part in it), yet I have my feet very much grounded on earth. And though, people call me a star and a gem (maybe due to the 4 gems I wear on my fingers), I am still a very down-to-earth man. And the only reason I write my poems in first person is because I want to relate to the person I am writing about.

However, as the old adage goes, Fame comes with a heavy price tag. Once you become a poet, every one expects you to write a poem on him or her. The other day, my PM asked me to write a poem about her green dress. Now I am not that sort of writer who can write about just anything in this world. Poetry is something that comes straight from one’s heart. But I had to surrender under peer-pressure. After all, my appraisal activities are still incomplete. But with my heart not into the poem, the words didn’t come out. I had decided that the last line of the poem will be “The Lady in Green”. But what are the lines that would rhyme with it? After spending almost half an hour, the best lines that I could think of were –
“Two years back I was lean”
“In college, Prof Rao was my Dean.”
“I have to dust my room clean”
“I have been working for past 2 months like a machine.”

And I gave up. To hell with my appraisal.

Last weekend, I went to a nearby mall to purchase a new pair of pajamas. And as luck would have it, I wasn’t spared there as well. My celebrity status has really deprived me of all privacy I experienced until few weeks back. But now, they spot me wherever I go. For instance, I asked the salesperson standing at the counter:
“How much do these Pajamas cost?”
“Rs 800.”
“That’s too much. I would pay only Rs 100 for it.”
“Saab, free me hi le jao.” (“You can take it for free.”)

His reply was something I couldn’t take. I know that I am a celebrity. But that doesn’t mean that people would start giving me free gifts for no reason at all. Alright, he might have read my poems sitting with his family in front of the fire-place, and must have felt a new bond with his children, but offering me a pair of Pajamas for free was just too much.

The biggest problem a celebrity, like me, has to face is the fear of paparazzi. While shopping, I saw a man deliberately making his girl friend stand just in front of me and then taking a snap of her. As if, I don’t know that in actual he wanted a photograph of me, to sell it to the highest bidding newspaper.

But my worst experience was when all of a sudden, a person came to me posing to be an old friend.
“Vaibhav Mathur from St Mary’s Academy?”
“Yes. Do I know you?”
“Hey, I am Ankur from high school. Don’t you remember me?”
“Stay away Mister. And don’t call my name loud, or else there’ll be a stampede here.”

I had to quickly run away from the scene before they all recognized me and started asking for an autograph.

On second thoughts, was he really Ankur Sabbarwal? My high school chuddy-buddy? Nah, can’t be. This world is full of poseurs and wannabes.
- Vaibhav Mathur

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Me DONE for this week

Under normal circumstances, I am not a voracious reader. After office hours, I don’t even care to read the front page of the newspaper (sometimes I even think that the sole purpose of the existence of newspapers is to sell them as raddi at the end of month). However, office hours are a totally different story. When it comes to reading the Leisure section of my company’s Bulletin Board during office hours, none can beat me. I am among those who think that one should spend quality time and effort in reading the BB, and should have 5 minutes of work breaks in between.

Coming back to the point, last week, while going through some of the hot topics on the BB, such as Aamir vs Shahrukh, I saw a post from a colleague of mine. The post was titled DONE or “Do One New Simple Thing Every Week”. The guy had made a high level plan to do something new each week.

Inspiration comes in many ways, and in my case, it was through this post. I thought “Why not me?” I should also try doing something else this weekend. So on Friday evening, I made up my mind and started thinking. Thinking and thinking and thinking. And the first thing this highly uninnovative mind saw after some more thinking (read 2 hours) was a DVD my roomie had purchased the previous day. So I told myself – “In past I have seen atleast 1 movie each week. But this is my golden chance to break all records and put myself through a test. Why not watch the complete DVD in one go. This is that something new for this week.

Now, I have seen lady luck stay away from some people throughout their lives. However, in my case, it was just the opposite. That particular evening, I, Vaibhav Mathur aka the biggest loser of all time (I don’t know whether they have this category in The Guiness Book or not else my name would surely have been there), kicked her with my very own feet adorned in newly bought Lee Cooper shoes (Price Rs 5800 after a discount of 5%).

When I took a closer look at the cover, the movies in the DVD included Dhol, Saawariya, Bhool Bhulaiyya, Dhamaal, No smoking and Johnny Gaddar. And I cursed God for not giving me X-ray vision so that I could have looked straight through the closet which had the DVD containing Dollar trilogy and Once Upon A Time trilogy, rather than the one outside the closet. But a man’s word is a man’s word. I had to go through the torture for next 15-18 hours.

So the long endless journey started at 6:30 am on Saturday morning. The first in queue was Dhol. Goodness me. How can people even give a remote thought to such an idiotic idea of film making? Let alone bringing it into execution.

Next in queue was Saawariya. Well, after watching this movie on big screen and spoiling my Diwali, I had made up my mind never to watch Bollywood cinema ever again in my life. Never had I thought after that day that there can be even a slight possibility of me going through that torture all over again. By the end of this movie, Mr headache started knocking on the doors of my forehead.

Next came Bhool Bhulaiyya. No words are enough to describe the movie. I was completely lost in the bhool bhulaiyya. And even more lost were the characters in it. But the most lost soul on planet earth seemed to be the director of the movie – Mr Priyadarshan, who didn’t have a clue at all what he had made.

Dhamaal – After watching the movie I realized I had seen it earlier as well, perhaps in the year 1988. Some more stress on my brain revealed that it was incidentally on the very same day my dad had brought home the Video cassette of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”.

No Smoking – I had heard a lot about this movie, how bad it is. And I had expected Mr Headache to start tearing each and every part of my brain during the next couple of hours. But to my surprise, it turned out to be otherwise. What I came to know after watching this movie is that abstract art is not understood by all.

Last but not the least – Johnny Gaddar. It made my day. Well, all is well that ends well.

So it was 9:30 pm. And what bad luck it is that even the pirated DVDs these days have movies in their fullest of lengths unlike those Golden years when 30 to 40 minutes portion from each movie was removed to make it fit into one VCD.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Death Should Wait

Fly like a bird in open skies,
See the world from highest of highs,
Lighting up some blind man's eyes,
Being the truth in a million lies,
Answer to all whats, hows and whys,
Sound of Eureka after thousand tries,
Each one of these is a special prize,
I want to receive, before this heart dies.

A cringing hungry beggar's bread,
A priceless tear from her eye she shed,
A little bud planted on flower bed,
Blooming into a rose so red,
Timeless knot in a broken thread,
Silence in the air after all has been said,
All of these things, I would be glad,
To know that I have been before I am dead.

A rising wave in deep blue sea,
Prince Charming of a girl's fantasy,
A butterfly, a spirit too free,
Endless shade under a banyan tree,
In midst of riot, a harmony,
A metaphor in the book of poetry,
All of these, I want to be,
Before they dig a grave and bury me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Dagger Stabbed Heart

She brought me to this world to leave me alone,
With no roof on my head, no place called home.
None to call me his or her, no distant kin.
They named me ‘The Unwanted’, ‘The son of a sin’.
Life could not have asked for a better start.
Born was the child with a dagger stabbed heart.

They stoned me as I moved from street to street,
To find some pride and hope, and bread to eat.
Countryside, towns, valleys, mountains I scaled,
Searching for a new life, but to no avail.
With a shared room and petty job at a mart,
I lived my life with a dagger stabbed heart.

She was an angel, an angel named Marie.
The only one who ever cared for me.
A touch of those hands, a look in those eyes,
Brought me new hope, a sense of pride.
I thought all my pains were now to depart,
When she fell in love with a dagger stabbed heart.

But how could God have been on my side.
She never came back after one fateful night.
This dead heart sank in the flood from these eyes.
“He murdered that angel” were people’s cries.
I was left with no hope, a soul too jarred,
And nothing more save a dagger stabbed heart.

Lying alone in a ten by ten cell,
With no regrets in life, and nothing to tell,
I wait for the sands of time to fall.
Five o’clock morning, I hear hangman’s call.
“It’s time for your body and soul to part.”
Dead Man Walking with a dagger stabbed heart.

PS: The theme of this poem is inspired from the song “Hazard” by Richard Marx.

Lady In Green

Another day in a life so mundane.
The same old streets leading to same old lanes.
Plastic people wrapped in fancy attire.
Falling to depths as they grow higher.
But something’s fresh today in air it seems.
There she turns up – The Lady in Green.

I watch her from a distance, as she walks along,
Swaying to the tune of some imaginary song.
Each step she takes is a new festive season.
She makes me a poet for more than one reason.
She’s charming no less than a princess or a queen.
Here she comes – The Lady in Green.

I think it’s the sun, I am very wrong though.
The shine I see is from her pink skin’s glow.
And the rays I see are her brown velvet hair.
She was born as an answer to a million prayers.
I think I met her earlier in a beautiful dream.
As she comes to me – The Lady in Green.

And as she reaches me, our eyes glue.
Her ocean eyes, I take a plunge in deep blue.
I take her hand, pray to the Divine,
And ask her the question, “Would you be mine?”
She nods, I thank God for this memorable scene.
Here I am with My Lady in Green.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Who am I?

I open my eyes
And rise from the bed.
I look in the mirror
And see a man half-dead.
I soak myself in bath
Yet come out dry,
As I try to recall
Who am I?

The suit in the closet
With a very fine crease.
I wear it on,
But with a lot of unease.
The shoes are shining,
And it’s a matching tie.
I look so perfect, but
Who am I?

I go to the church
To say my prayer.
I look for Jesus
Desperately in despair.
Oh Lord, cant You see
That this son of Thy,
Asks You a question
Who am I?

Some people say that
I am an angel of Christ.
While others fear me
Call me devil in disguise.
They pour their love on me
They avoid my eye.
But no one tells me
Who am I?

But when you come along,
A look in your eyes,
Clears the clouds
And opens the skies.
Those beautiful eyes
Tell me who I am
You are my love
And I am your man.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A lesser known Poet

It has almost been ten years now, since I last put pen on paper. Now don’t take it too literally. I agree that I haven’t touched either a pen or a sheet of paper in past 2 years I have spent in Software Industry. And thanks to MS-Word, xls and several other tools emerging from the gates of Gates-Factory in the recent past. These tools are helping our environment by replacing paper, ink, pencils and pens by floppies, CDs and microchips which are less harmful and self destructible in 5 seconds (the self-destructible part, I had seen in some movie, whose name MI memory is not able to recall right now). Another thing that MS-Word and its kin have been able to do is, save valuable amount of money spent by writers like me, who waste 1 notebook and 1 ballpoint pen, just to scribble a single page of ideas. Writers of my kind can now save valuable Rs 5 and valuable Rs 3, otherwise spent on a notepad and a pen respectively. Rather, they can use a PC, which is now a household commodity, costing as less as Rs 15000 only.

Without wavering from the point anymore, I would like you to understand the figurative meaning of what I said earlier regarding putting pen on paper. It was in Standard 8th, that I last composed a poem. I can call it as my masterpiece, as it received a standing ovation from each and every classmate of mine present in the room. It was composed as a part of home-assignment given to me by Sister Agatha, my English teacher. The poem that I had penned was titled “My favorite movie”, and was an ode to DDLJ, that was released previous year. The first lines of the poem went something like this:

“Raj was a boy who lived in London,
He fell in love with a girl named Simran.”

That was in 1997. I usually am not very good in remembering dates (you can find the proof in my history grades, or you can ask my ex-girlfriend who broke off with me on the her birthday.). However, I can remember the year 1997, because that year, I had marginally escaped failing in English. When reprimanded by my parents, I put the blame on Sister Agatha for her lack of knowledge of literature, poetry and art (cinema included).

So that was the end of the beginning of a new era of poetry. A poet was killed as soon as he was born. And soon in his thoughts, literature and art was replaced by science and mathematics. Probability replaced poetry, electronics replaced essays and arithmetic replaced art. The likes of Picasso, Shakespeare and Milton had to make way for Newton, Pythagoras and Rutherford. And like every other kid in the block, my second ambition in life also changed to becoming a rocket scientist rather than a poet. (No need to mention that the first ambition in life of each kid in each block of India is to become Tendulkar.)

Now you must be wondering, what inspired me to put pen on paper again after 10 long years. Well, most recently, I happened to see the Leisure section of my company’s bulletin board. Under normal circumstances, I am among those who avoid reading BB, as it is normally full of avoidable topics like “I hate Canteen Food” or “I put an injured bird on staircase, but when I came back it had disappeared”. However, that day the circumstances were, by no means, normal, as I had seen a stray dog in the company premises. I had to post the incident on BB by any means, in order to start a meaningful discussion. And as I opened the Leisure section of the BB, the first thing I saw was a beautiful poem, written by a person whose name I would not mention in this article, because I am too busy for such trivia, with project going live next week and still 5 programs to be tested. So I went down the memory lane to those days of yore, when a poet in the making was lost in the trivia of science, maths and Tendulkar worship.

So, my dear friends!!! I promise you all that very soon, you will see a beautiful poem from me. And the poem is going to be much much better than the one I wrote in standard 8th, not because my style of writing has changed, but because my taste in cinema has moved towards more sophisticated and meaningful movies like RGV ki Aag.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

God wasn't there

Almighty God, what brings You here
After a long twenty years gap?
What is it that You want from me now,
That You stand on my doorstep?

You were there when I was rich with plenty,
When life was sans a blemish.
One fine day, when riches were gone,
With them You also vanished.

Where were You that fateful day
when You left me alone in strife?
Where were You on the doomsday
When he shot a bullet in my wife?

Where were You those dark mornings
When there wasn’t a sunshine for me?
Where were You those gloomy nights
When stars and moon I couldn’t see?

You were gone when I wanted You the most,
When none was by my side.
And now You come back when tables are turned,
When its my turn to throw the dice.

Now that I seek vengeance for the sins
The vendetta for that slaughter.
Now that I’ve got a chance to even up
With the blood of his daughter.
Now that he’s crying for forgiveness,
he is down on his knees.
I live that doomsday each moment of my life
And You ask me to forgive him please!!

I sharpen my knife to pierce her chest
And with that single stroke, his heart.
But something pulls me back instead.
I cut those knots apart.

He thanks me for my kindness.
You wonder why such a thing I do.
Its neither Your wrath, nor You I fear Almighty
Its because I am more God-fearing than You.

(Heavily inspired from a poem of same name found in my trash bin)