Roots

Monday, May 29, 2017

Come :)

I know you have begun, rains. The ancient instincts you shelved in me tell me so. I know your dance will now commence. You shall flood us and stop the trains :) Oh rains, it feels so nice. You know? It has been sunny for so long. Ah. The sun felt nice too, on the back of my arms and the curve of my back. I have, like water, enjoyed the scorching. And now as I see, the season is turning. The earth has turned, the winds have turned, the clouds have turned and we have you here! Watch my lips. They too turn. Which way, you know. For your lips turn too as you watch me - slanting, upwards. 
I am ready, rains, for a new season, another season. I love the deaths I die each night and the lives I birth each morning. Watch my lips, they part. My grin is toppling. Don't try, you can't contain it. My throat gurgles. You know, now I am gonna laugh that full-faced, full-throated laughter of mine. My face would twist upwards to the sky and you could glimpse the virile presence my throat insists. My eve's apple would bang once on its wall and my face would arc back to its genesis. You would want to possess me then. But you know I exist nowhere but in moments. I am here, and I shall be gone. I shall be foregone and I shall come back. I am changing. I am the seasons. I am the woman who watches the droplets and I am the droplets that fall from the sky.
Watch how the electromagnetic fields of earth and existence rise on my body. You call them goosebumps. I call them nothing. Rains, wait no more. Come, come, make crazy love to me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Split-second Insights

"Shhh"
Said she
A black-bangled hand
Shaped the sound
A straight finger, a dangling thumb and four folded fingers
Said "shhh" to me
But her lips pouted another sound
...
What was that?
I closed my eyes
And cringed my ears
Then I could hear it
Distantly
Like a train jogging in the night
Or a wave crashing on an angry beach
"Come..."
She said with her lips
I opened my eyes in shocked comprehension
The knowledge was sudden and surprising
Like a childhood memory that I grasped so late
In a single shot it killed my naivety
And injected the power of  unknown, exciting opportunity
Opportunity that promised of danger and derision
Opportunity that smelled of exhilarating fulfillment
My heart stopped right then
At that moment
Cold fear like cold water flooded my inners
Oh, I was submerging
I shall soon sink!
Is this what they call, 'cold comprehension'?
But I was warm everywhere else
No hot
No, I was feverish everywhere else
My forehead vein made its presence known
Rightly splitting my head into equal halfs of the conundrum
Her nostrils were apathetically calm at the sight that I was
She breathed so evenly
While I was struggling for air
I dared to raise my eyes and meet her gaze
Oh, oh!
That murderous woman!
She was smiling
In the most sweetest, detached form possible
A smile that could have twinkled in the eyes
Only of the enlightened ones!
Oh, the contradictions you inhabit
And the choices you offer!
The way you play
The tests you set
When I smirk the satisfactory smirk of the puppeteer
You turn the gameboard
And there, I find myself
Twiddling breathlessly as a puppet
You horrible woman
You know I hate you
You know I love you so bloody passionately
You know I am your child
Your helpless, tantrum-sprouting child
Your crazed lover
And, rarely, in paucity
Your husband
Who stands firm and walks straight, holding your hand
Oh goddess!
I am trailing and fighting
To wear the crown that I crave
I am waiting for the day
That I shall stop writing poems
And be solely your master!!

- Chandni Girija
17-05-17

Monday, April 24, 2017

To hell with binaries!!

I stand with legs apart. Not just bcoz of the 'Hero' I'm balancing. Bcoz my balance is more important than my grace. 
I am comfortable in my skin. 
I am carefree.
I am confident. 
I am assertive. In words and voice and poise and presence.I am MASCULINE.

Yet, but, even more, beyond it, I am, so, ah, how do I put it...there's no single word. I am a WOMAN.
Before the laws were created of how the womb vessel should clatter and the seed carrier should clang, before the dawn of organised civilized clutter, I roared wildly over the raw horizon. Do you hear it? Untwine your veins and connect them to the chords of the ancient energy swirling in the winds of the universe. The voltage would blast you into dust. 
The, if you had the courage, to keep going, to know me, beyond my strong sinews, you would meet my smoothness - silky, thick, voluptuous. Murderous to all your senses, you would be shocked to meet another adjective. Yes, I am SENSUAL. 
Tell me, can you contain me? In a glance, in a role, in a relationship, into even a WORD? 
No, that single word is one billionth of me. And adjective? There's isn't one born to define me yet. Not even PHENOMENAL.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Talking with Pictures - 5

Silence is golden
And sunshine is silent
It steals upon you
Like still water
Water, still
Still, pond
Like still pond water
That you waded in
In your native village
And stood half-trunk out
Half in, legs still
Watching nothing
Just feeling
How the water cuts you
Into two worlds
The water world and the worldy world
But I am talking of water!
Sunshine, too
Cuts you
Into two worlds
- the lighted world and the dreary world
You watch your skin
Patching in shades
Colourfully singular, yet so, so wide
Brown if you are brown
Yellow if you are yellow
Unlike the wetness of water,
Here you are dry
Drier
Sunshine, like pond water
Gathers around you
And suddenly occupies you
Silently, suddenly
On your skin
And seeps inside
With its feel
Its very distinct feel
You know you are inside sunshine
As you are in water
Even if you are blinded
Or blind-folded
Sunshine also is moody
Softer, harsher
Intense, shallow
As the time of the day
And time of the year
These days are beckoning at summer
And I can truly feel sunshine
Occupying me
Furrowing my brows
But easing my smile lines
Baking me slightly
Under the outer wrappings of my clothes
Baking the little cracks
The little, finite cracks
Silently, seamlessly, selflessly
How royal, how graceful
How intangibly beautiful
Sunshine is!
You may find me tanned these days
But do stop to knock at my skin wall once
You will find me tougher, more robust.
These days I do not chose one over the other
Water over sunshine
Sunshine over water
But I find it more alluring
Sunshine, golden, silent and strong!

- चा. गि.
02-03-17

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Song of Fatigue

ये माघारी गं फुलणारी
घेऊन गोष्टींची उशी
यथार्ताशी करूनही लग्न
झाले मी अनवाणी
तुझ्या पांघरुणाचा अंधार आण
तुझा घाम, काखेचा वास आण
शिशिरात कात माझी फाटली
तुझ्या ऊबीचा विणकाम आण

- चा.गि.
25-12-16

तुटक्यात बोलणे - 2

She felt like men's cologne, the one that was popular in the 90s, what was it called - Brut! - alluring, yet with a rough, hard lingering aftertaste on nostrils. Yes, she even sounded - her feeling - like "Brut."

अर्ध चंद्र

स्तब्ध कळ्यांचा तो चंद्र
उगवलाय दूर आकाशात
त्याची अर्धता, पुसटशी
पूर्णतेच्या रेखिवपणाशी घेणं-न-देणं असलेली
कंपार्टमेंटच्या लायटी डाव्या डोळ्याला बोचतांनाही
खिडकीचा वारा उजव्या कानाशी वाद घालतानाही
त्याची मंद शांतता माझ्यातही शिरते
स्मर्नोफ वोडका सारखं
हळू हळू छातीत पसरते
माझ्या स्पंदनांनामधे आजून अंतर आणते
एके दिवशी हा अंतर इतकं लांबावणार
कि श्वास ही स्तब्ध होतील
तेव्हा पर्यंतची ही उघड चळवळ
हे शरीर
हा मेंदू
हे आयुष्य
तरंगांचा
कोटी रंगांचा
धडपड कशाची, कशाला?
नसण्याच्या, असण्याच्या भ्रांतीचा?
आहे, आहे, काहीच नाही
अगदीच काहीच नाही
न राहणार
काहीच
अगदी काहीच नाही
तो चंद्र कदाचित उरणार
कदाचित तो ही विरघळून जाणार
मात्र तो तृप्त आहे
परिपक्व
परिपूर्ण
आणि मीही.
:)

- चा.गि.
06-01-17

(वर्षाची पहिली कविता/First Poem of the Year 😊)

टिमटिम लडकी

एक टिमटिम तिनका
आँखों में मेरी, तुम्हारी...
मेरी रेंगती,मिटती, बनती इमारत में
एक यह भी जुडा तिनका
झगमगता, सुनहरा, मीठा
दो पल गुजारे मैने बचपन के
तुम्हारे मासुमियात के साथ
दो पल झिझोरकर देखा
मेरी दबी, छुपी ममता को
सोचती हूँ आँखों में तुम्हारी
हसी इतनी विरल क्यों हैं
तुम्हारी भेद्यता को देखकर
अजीबसा दर्द होता हैं
हलकासा, मीठासा
फिर उसे भूल भी जाती हूँ
अपनी रेंगने, मिटने, बनने में खो जाती हूँ
और फिर कोई दिन तुम्हे
फिर देखती हूँ
छोटी बातों पे तुम्हारा हसना, शरमाना देखती हूँ
और छोटे छोटे, तिनकोवाले लड्डू
मेरी आँखों में भी फूटते हैं!

- चा.गि.
27-12-17

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

😜

शायर से ना पूछो
"कभी इश्क किया हैं?"
कलम तो फितरत ने थमायी
स्याही तो मोहब्बत ने बहायी!

- चा. गि.
24-01-17

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Half-holds

Things, ideas, people, dreams
Animals, music, art, moments
Food, movies, friendships, romance
Touch us
In places we leave open for them
Pores and micro-pores
That we do not moisturize away

We thirst for them
They water us
But never quenching!
For these pores
They have nerve-endings
That attach to holes
Holes in our souls
Hollow holes like blackholes
That suck and feed
And dissipate things
Reflecting back not even a wink of light

We tend to hold on to these things
Scavenging for matter
To fill the hollowness
We hold on
With a frail appendage we fashion out of need
An appendage like a hen's foot
That hangs out probably from our backs
Our mouths
Or pelvic zones

We set the appendage upto task
While both hands work on the steering
Steering what?
The 'main' matter of existence
The sustenance
The structure
The supposed purpose
The jobs
The somethings, something importants
The smirks of self-satisfaction
Of weighing decently on scale of achievements
And even dreams!
Dreams of proving something
Marking with dark colour-ed pins
The existence of personhood
On the gray map of human history
Of self-aggrandizement
Dreams of even saving the world!
Procuring in process a tax of street-names, awards and newsprint
We steer! We swivel, we turn, we drive!
Our eyes affixed on these goals?
No, our eyes unfixed and grazing
Our eyes throwing fleeting sideway glances
At the passing greens and blues
Our eyes looking backwards
Pining the bygone innocence and littlehood games
Our eyes turning inwards
Witnessing the dirt and chaos
But quickly turning away in cowardice
In cowardice, duplicity and the magnetic heaviness of 'busyness'
Our eyes somewhere, nowhere ...
(Honestly, where are our eyes?)

We set the appendage upto task
It grazes things
Touches them
Is touched
And even beckoned
It, sometimes, picks them up
The things
It holds onto them
But how?
Distracted by the steering
And weakened by the hollowing
It holds them
But halfly
Not owning
Not ingesting
And, but, yet
Not letting go!

Sometimes,
We even marry these things
And have kids with them
And other times,
We keep dreaming
Of marrying these things
One of these things
One day
Some day!

Thus, we flow
Like asynchronous, naively-built toys
And call the freakshow, 'life' and even the 'time of our lives!!'

Friday, November 18, 2016

गुजगोष्टी - 1

तो तसा दिसत हि असेन
काळा-कुट्टा
घनदाट
त्याचं काळंपण इतकं गुळगुळीत, सपाट, चकचकीत सापडेल
कि तुझा करडा प्रतिबिंब ही दिसेल त्याच्यावर.
जमिनीवर,
जगाच्या निष्फळ, विष्टासारखा सापडेल तुला.
एकदा उचल
उचल त्याला,
तुझ्या तर्जनी आणि अंगठ्यामध्ये दाबून पहा त्याला
मऊ सापडेल तुला.
जमिनीच्या तापमानामुळे थंड,भावनाशून्य असेल,
पण चावून बघ त्याला
तंतूमय सापडेल तुला.
त्याचा रस जिभेवरून कंठात गिळून बघ
चविष्ट सापडेल तुला.
मग थांबशील का?
कि पुन्हा एक चावा मारशील?
त्याच्या चवीचा प्रवास अखेरपर्यंत नेऊ वाटणार नाही तुला?
तू उभी होतीस,
हातांच्या घडी घालून
दुरुन त्याला पारखत
त्याला काळा समजत.
आता तुझ्या खोलीत जा
कंबरेवर हात ठेव
जीभ बाहेर काढ
आणि साक्ष दे तुझ्या प्रतिबिंबाला
जांभळा रेष सापडेल!!

-चांदनी गिरीजा
18-11-16

ता.क.: "प्रेमाचा रंग कदाचित जांभळा असावा"

Thursday, November 3, 2016

तुटणे

तुटणे हे वाईट नाही
तुटणे चांगले आहे
भरल्या पोटात किती भोकं आहेत
हे दाखवायला तुटणे गरजेचे
खंबीर पायात किती पोकळी आहे
हे दिसायला तुटणे गरजेचे
वारा, झोकेदार, आला कि
वाकणे गरजेचे
आणि वाकले नाही तर तुटणे गरजेचे
आत्मनिर्भरताच्या गर्विष्ठ थोबाड्यावर
बूट-पॉलिश लावायला
तुटणे गरजेचे
मग धुक्यात हरवणे गरजेचे
आणि धुक्यात कोरलेल्या वाटेत
धुक्यासारख्या तलावात स्वतःचे धूसर प्रतिबिंब सापडले,
मोकळ्या केसा-मोकळ्या दुस्तर विचारांचे,
तर त्यावर सगळ्याच बांधा तोडुन हसणे गरजेचे
तुटणे हे खूपच गरजेचे

- चा.गि. 03-11-16

तुटक्यात बोलणे - 1

गर्दीत हरलेल्या बाळाला आई दिसते तर ते एक दीर्घ श्वास घेतं, तसं एक श्वास मी घेतला.
हलकं वाटतंय.

Monday, October 24, 2016

सूरवास

रफीच्या गाण्यांना
आता थोडा तुझा गंध लागलाय.
चेंबूरच्या चांदण्याची
आपल्या पायवाटेच्या तालीची
दारुड्याच्या चालीची
आणि अम्माच्या सुरेख बंगल्याची
रेखाचित्रं त्यांना आता चिटकलेत.
ऐकतांना
आता
माझ्या मेंदूतल्या नाकाला
तुझा आभास होईनच.   

Sunday, October 9, 2016

विलक्षण

काळ जाऊदे रे मित्रा,
एक गोष्ट सांगेन तुला,
एका अशांत लाटेची
एका छोट्याश्या दगडाने
उठलेल्या तरंगाची
काळ जाऊदे रे मित्रा
एक गोष्ट सांगेन तुला,
माझ्या तळहाताच्या रेषांवर
उमटलेली एका मेहंदीच्या रेषेबद्दल
काळ जाऊदे रे मित्रा
शेंगदाणे खाताना,
आयुष्याचा वाटाणे झाल्याची
एक गोष्ट सांगेन तुला!

- चा.गि.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pink

I put my hand out
For some fresh air
I got a shard
A flying glass shard
From somewhere
From nowhere
And now it has left a wound
A sweet pink wound
On my arm.
I notice its pinkness
Stand out in the brown of my skin
When I eat
When I write
When I greet
When I reach
And when I lie down.
I notice it everytime
I caress it often
I remind it often
Not to die.
I do not want this one
To heal!
:)

- Chandni Girija
05-10-16

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Perennial

One small blip
Before my graph straightens forever
One small indulgence
Before I fast forever
One small raindrop
Before I drought forever
One small...
One small...
No use!
I should let go
Once and for all
They come and they go
Multi-hued ink clouds
And blot my paper
And also wisp away
And I am left virgin again!
Ha-ha-ha
Haha-haha-ha!
I am left virgin again
Colourless
Tasteless.
And so I flow
Minding my own course
Once and for all.
I follow my tail
Touching
Almost touching
Never touching
Not once
Not ever
Forever

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Morning Song

I'm here at R-City Mall, Ghatkopar. It's 10:48 AM. Here, it feels like 5 AM. Hardly any people apart from the staff. 

Im the first customer in the food court. After being nayed at four or five kiosks, I finally get coffee at 'Malgudi - Simply South.' They have a decent menu - chettinad, neer dosa, parotta, appam, etc. (apart from the usual idli-dosha items); authentic south Indian breakfast and meal delicacies. I'm given my coffee in a green, banana leaf imprinted paper cup and two tissues (for Rs. 40 - ouch!). And I am sipping this coffee and writing this post.

It is 10:58 AM and 20 more have entered the food court. These are families and couples. I don't see any loners like me. The bustle has begun :)

What prompted me to write was the quietness of the place when I had entered it. The staff were busy in their chores readying the mall for its busy day (today is Sunday!) - cleaning, taking up their guard positions, readying counters for serving and some even sipping their first cuppa in plastic disposable cups (I would have preferred that!). 
I like the morning bustle, when the day prepares itself for the day. It is interesting to watch the beginnings. People are fresh, bathed, groomed; their eyes are bright even if slightly betraying the fading touches of sleep. The rhythm has begun. Nothing has happened yet to mar it or alter it in any way. I am reminded of the morning shots in movies, the 80s Malayali movies. The first shot shows the rising sun or luxuriously spread, green rice fields or birds chirping in the trees or butterflies fidgeting around plants or gorgeous monochromatics at the sandy river bank. The second shot would pan from bottom to top and still at the house - a small, neat structure, a modern bungalow or a sprawling ancestral building (taravadu), depending on the social rank of the characters being portrayed. I loved these scenes. The drama would gradually unfold from these openings. Someone would be hurt, loved, nurtured, enamoured, disillusioned, birthed or even killed in the chain of events that followed. And then would come the night. The director would indicate this through the night jar and a zoom-out shot featuring the moon and wispy, inconsequential clouds. No matter what, the house would go to sleep. 
Same happens with our days, isn't it? The cycle continues. And we roll along, don't we? I roll along too. The way I rolled in the rotating rings at Essel World - clasped safely, I did complete 360° circles as the ring rolled on the ground. Whoa that was one ride!
Yet, it is nice to step out of the ring sometimes and simply watch. Merge with surroundings, become a non-entity, a non-identity, where no one knows me and no one bothers about me. 

It is 11:32 AM. I approximate 50 people in the food court. It has become noisier with talking and clanging of plates, spoons and ladels. Crossword must have opened. I have fulfilled my duty of handing over my chetan's BOSE earphones to his colleague. They will now safely reach London and my cousin will enjoy healthy-sounding music. I must complete my whim of the bookstore visit and return home soon. Amma and to-do tasks are waiting.
 
 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

सकाळचा चंद्र

निशा कशी जलमय होती
आता सकाळ असा दुष्काळी
जणू
मी तरंगत होते
एका भव्य लाटेवर
मग
निद्रेतच छटा कशा बदलत गेले
गडद...
मग फिकट
शेवटी
डोळे उघडल्यावर
निव्वळ, अनवाणी, पांढरा!
मी तीरावर येऊन पोहोचले!
कळलंच नाही!!
जमिनीवर पाय टेकलेत
आणि आता मी चालतीये
खिश्यात हात घालून
दोन-तीनदा माघे वळून पाहते
आता हसू येतंय
माझ्याच प्रलयावर!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

आकृत्या

माझे डोळे मधाळ आहेत
तपकिरी
प्रकाशाचा थेम्ब पडताच
निखरून उठतात
मी चालतेय
आणि मला आकृत्या दिसतायेत
चौकटी
वर्तुळ
लहान, मोठे
मी त्रिकोण
चालतांना पाहते
मावतच नाही
कुठल्याच आकृतीत
आता ओढ हि कुठे वाटते?
ओढ वाटली तरी
ओढ ओढून तरी कुठे घेते?
मग आकृतींचांही ओढ वाटत नाही
कसला चौकट? कसला वर्तुळ?
आणि कसला त्रिकोण?!
वाकुन पाहते स्वतःकढे
मला धूर दिसतं
स्पष्ट, रंगहीन, मोहक
हम्म...
हेच नाही का खरं?
हेच नाही का बरं?
कुठंही मावुन
मावत नाही
माझ्यात ही मावुन
मावत नाही
मी आहे
अगदीच आहे
तरी मी नाहीये
मी वाहतिये
- चांदनी गिरीजा