Fleeting Beauty

 

When Sun bows to Horizon,

And Sky is brilliantly hued,

Evening Light hitting Shard of Glass

Draws sparks like blood imbued.

 

No gem ever had such a gleam,

No ruby such life like class,

No diamond fine from any mine

Passed under any jewellers’ glass.

 

Such pure flame of fire blazed,

Licking through its glistening heart,

I simply stood in awe amazed,

Beholding God’s transcendental art.

 

How can any stone or metal compete

Guarded and buried deep in a vault?

Here in Nature’s gallery,

For those who see no fault,

God has scattered liberally

Beauty for all worthy of his salt.

 

My beauteous Shard of Glass I recall,

Stood atop a boundary wall;

Ever on guard in a cruel jagged row,

With contingents of siblings in tow;

Sternly doing his perilous duty,

Contemptuous of fleeting claims to beauty.

 

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Experiments with Verse Variations

 

The Red Planet

A ruby

Glittering bright –

In the star-spangled night

***

A ruby twinkles

Midst diamond stud black velvet

Warrior heaven guards 

 

Experiments with Haiku, Senryu

1. Woman’s Best Friend

Breeze on my face

New scent tickling his muzzle –

A perfect walk

 

2. Summer Heat

Blade of golden grass

Under boot buckled in brass

Trampled – hopeless, dying.

 

Scorching Sun,

Quivering yellowed grass –

Forest ablaze.

 

3. On Stage

knees jitterbugging,

sweat beading, hearts thumping while

in the wings waiting,

my son takes his bow on stage

happy confidence oozing

 

4. Outside

Stone boundary wall

Edged with glittering shards of glass

Field of grass beyond

Stretching, at the horizon

A line of office buildings

My world encompassed

A Glass of Milk was Spilled Today

Mothers are not angels come down to Earth. They are human beings doing the best they can for their children and families and half the time too worried about the future of their children to think straight. Don’t put them on a pedestal. Appreciate them for being humans with frailties. As one mother succinctly put it, “We are angels, just angry angels quite a lot of the time.”

A Glass of Milk was Spilled Today

 

A glass of milk was spilled one day.

Mother yelled and Sunny froze,

Knowing the drill, he waited

For the storm to close.

 

Anger though takes time waning,

For this event alas, kept recurring.

Clearly audible was her muttering,

About careless wastage – dire warning.

 

Forecasts faithfully foretold, such folly

Would surely make Sunny’s future unholy.

Then the Homeless and Hungry

Were invited in spirit to behold

How naughty Sunny wilfully

Their last meagre supper, floored!

 

Time at last cooled Mother’s temper,

Having vented some other skirmish here,

It was just a storm in a tea cup,

And the milk finally mopped up.

 

Sunny regretted in vain,

Guilt trip was his bane;

In his mind, jumbled, faint

Articulated a refrain:

“It was an accident.

Everyone, you too,

Have thus been rent.

How much did you

Then exclaim, regret,

Brow beat yourself

Over the head?

You’d be of the ilk:

A waste to cry

Over spilled milk.”

 

Their dog, a house pet

Tethered at bay,

Hoped the accident

Would play out his way.

Wished they’d let him

lap the milk up;

Such a tasty way

To clean the mess up.

 

A glass of milk was spilt again today.

Mother yelled and Sunny froze,

Knowing the drill, he waited

For the storm to come to a close.

 

Too many glasses had been spilt,

And Mother’s anger quickly built.

Sunny struggled with his own guilt;

Why did he keep gesticulating

While eating, his stories punctuating?

 

But this time mother’s mind, sane,

Articulated a humble refrain.

“What if I had caused the spilling?

Wouldn’t I be far more willing

To let go, without any milling?

I would quite easily myself  bilk:

What waste, crying over spilled milk.”

 

At that thought she smiled,

Shared with Sunny, quiet mild:

Her crazy reverse thought process.

Sunny amazed, was not in disgrace.

 

The dog wagged his tail eagerly;

His tongue lolled out happily.

“Someone please read my mind,

Let me lap up the milk, be kind,

I’ll clean up the mess in a jiffy,

No need at all to be miffy.”

 

This time Mother did look to him,

And he did the job with superb vim.

Definition of Life by a Thirteen years old Girl

Definition of Life by a Thirteen years old Girl (1986)

Life is like riding a fast roller coaster which you can’t stop. The carriage you are sitting in passes through many experiences, which you may witness unless you knowingly ignore them. Some people have so trained themselves that they can blind themselves unconsciously.

These carriages mostly travel in groups. You call the inmates of the other carriages your family and friends. Sometimes a carriage may separate itself from your group and others may join you at some point on your ride. You can do what you want in your carriage and even influence the other carriages near you. According to what I’ve learnt – the less you are bothered by the experiences outside your carriage, the happier you stay. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore them and not take a lesson from them. Also remember every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so what you do in your carriage is sure to have an equal and opposite reaction.

When the time comes for death, your carriage may crash causing death by accident; or you may be pushed, then it would be murder; or you could jump and commit suicide. Or the carriage may speed down a slope and you may be thrown out and it would be known as a natural death. If you managed to stay in, you’d call it a close shave with death.

If you fell into another carriage you would start a new life and might remember something of your past life. The people who helped you into the new carriage are called your parents and you forever respect them. (Only forever never lasts. Sometimes you realise that your helpers helped you into a carriage for their own pleasure and now you have to go through a whole lot of experience, majority of which are nasty and quite unpalatable.)

Also remember you have to pay for your ride.

***********************************************

As an end note I’d like to comment on the above. I am quite amused by it as it is from the pen of a teen and thought it worth posting. Now in middle age, I seem to have come a full circle. The books and videos on spirituality I am exposed to these days make me equate the human body to the carriage. Ignoring everything outside your carriage and being aware only of what is happening inside your own carriage, would be something like meditation. Everything else still works out quite well for me. Except “respecting the parents” bit. Now the circle goes: respect (childhood) – disrespect and shocking behaviour (teens) – deep respect and gratitude (adulthood).

Why Education? (A parent’s viewpoint)

Why Education?

Why do I send my kids to school?

Am I blindly following society’s rule?

Do I have my sights set on a high income?

The pride, the prestige of in-campus recruitment…

Comments from friends and the neighbour:

“There goes Aditya and Ishan’s mother;”

“She’s so lucky,”

“How did she do it?”

“Those boys are gems!”

“She really slogged after them!”

“They owe it all to her…”

“Did u hear their income the very first year?”

Are these the ‘worthwhile’ reasons,

That drives me to keep my sons

Slogging at their books?

 

Yes, I expect my children to gain

A brighter future with a good education

Cementing their foundation.

I know that education does not guarantee

Swollen bank accounts

And a life of luxury.

It takes something quite else

To make a Dhirubhai Ambani

Or a Bill Gates.

What I do hope they will obtain

From all these years of School room pain,

Is a deep empathy for all creatures big and small,

Hearts filled with gratitude for life’s each blessing,

A spirit of generosity and the willingness to help any and all,

Even make a heart-warming difference to the world we live in.

 

What does Education mean to me?

An avenue to make my children aware

Of a life worth living passionately;

To hone the sensibility to admire

Mother Nature – her beauty always afire;

To encourage them to be curious and eager,

To explore and be a lifelong learner;

To cooperate and be a strong team player,

To lead by example even in grave danger;

To know right from wrong with clear perspective,

To harm no one and easily forgive;

To protect the weak and value the truth,

To work with discipline unmindful of fruit;

Even in the face of peer pressure stand steadfastly,

In every thought and action accept accountability.

 

Yes, these aren’t just clichéd phrases

I believe good character will take my sons places.

I don’t want them to be carbon copies

Of the highest ‘marks-men’ among their peers.

Manufactured out of school in tightly packed similar boxes;

Processed and packaged and graded

Like quality certified processed food;

The lowly graded, alas, fit only for local consumption;

Export quality tagged – awaiting the highest auction.

No, I don’t need them to score the highest in their classes,

Yet surviving each exam is like scaling peaks

And negotiating treacherous mountain passes.

The subjects they like are easy as you please,

But there are always others that do not tickle the imagination

And getting the passing grade could easily be a miss.

 

If character building be the aim

Why not consider exams and marks just a game?

When I look at their darling faces

And suffer their ‘projects within due date’ woes;

When I look into their notebooks and find

Question marks, “Late Submission!”

And sundry other comments inked in rose;

I should remember that Life is the journey:

It is enough they love to attend school and enjoy

Listening to their triumphs and travails of the day,

And marvel at all they learnt while at play.

What amazing object he and his partner discovered,

How many ‘bad words’ he learned this day;

How I react to his shocking words

May stay with him longer than his report-cards.

 

Education, I need not fear

Will start at the end of schooling;

It started when they were babes in arms

And will continue till Journey’s ending;

This period of schooling will however

Lay the foundation of how they perceive learning.

Difference between the Beggar Girl and I (1987)

We are both human beings

Same dark hair, same dark skins.

I maybe a few pounds heavier,

My hair more rich and glossier,

But if she had more to feed on,

Time to clean her hair and spend on,

Wouldn’t she be my exact ditto?

 

Aah ha! I’m literate, she’s not;

I am educated, she is not;

But this education is received

After spending a lot of energy and money;

And it is just a means to an end,

Which is to fill my tummy!

While here she is without having spent

Any of her energy and money,

Cooly moving from door to door

And filling her belly.

Not bothered about false pride

Or discourses on higher ideologies

It’s her job and she does it well.

 

You may say, “Education

Is not only for eating!

You learn to understand people,

And increase your knowledge about

The trials and triumphs of Humanity.”

Sure, I agree, but if you once,

Start on the spree, your knowledge

Keeps increasing and soon

Gets too heavy to carry.

Then doesn’t that little girl

Come out better off than me?

 

She may come from an unhappy home,

But so may I,

She may be an orphan,

But so may I.

The only difference is

I sleep in a safe, warm bed

And she on cold, hard stone.

This difference definitely defines

Which girl I’d rather be.

Prayer

Dear God,

In your arms keep us forever clasped,

May your Shining Light illume our path

And keep our minds on the Straight and True.

May your Grace enlighten our Hearts,

Forever ready to Forgive and Accept

Each one of our fellow Beings as your soldiers,

With the Goodness you have endowed in them.

Who Done In? (2011)

This farce was written a couple of years back for high school children in India. The names of the characters have meaning here. For instance ‘Ramu Kaka’ meaning ‘Ramu uncle’ is a common name associated with a house servant. The central protagonist’s name ‘Swami’ is a popular name from South India, means ‘Lord’.  The name ‘Maida’ means ‘flour’ in Hindi and is also a play on the meaning of ‘maid’ as in maid servant. There were 13 students in the class so 13 roles were written into this play, but more roles could easily be added.

Who Done In?

Scene 1

(Interior of a house. A table and chair can be seen. Ramu Kaka, a grey haired rickety old man is dusting. Bruce, a hefty muscle man with grey hair arranged in a single long plait down his back and dressed in a Karate uniform, is sitting at the table and eating.)

Narrator: The sun has risen once again on Mr. Mamikandan Swami’s household. Let me introduce him to you. He is a rich, cranky old man, quickly approaching his centenary. He has no family, but he does have a retinue of servants, who have served him faithfully for the last fifty years. Mr. Swami informed his faithful retainers long back, that he has left his property to be divided among them, when he passes on to his heavenly abode. Unfortunately time has been pushing these faithful retainers too towards “St. Peter’s Pearly Gates” and they are no longer faithfully patient.

The stooped old man is Rama Kaka, the quintessential servant and that hulk is Mr. Swamy’s vanity, his bodyguard Bruce Lee.

(Back ground sounds of morning birds chirping, while the narrator speaks. Then music starts and Ramu Kaka starts dancing as he dusts. Sounds of a crash as Ramu Kaka falls down)

Ramu Kaka: Help Bruce Lee, help.

Bruce Lee: What is it, you old canker? Can’t you do nothing without my help?

(He helps Ramu Kaka up)

Ramu Kaka: Look at this layer of dust. By the time I finish cleaning this big old house, it will be time to start all over again. God have mercy on my creaking old bones. Ah those clever spiders. They’ve spun their web in those corners most difficult to reach. Bruce Lee, hey you great big mammoth! Come here and do something to earn your dinner! Body guard indeed! Haul that chair here and act sprightly now. I’m eighty seven and if you think I’m going to be scaling heights just to knock off some spiders, you’ve got another think coming!

Bruce Lee: Calm down old man. I may be younger than you but I am knocking on sixty too. Okay, hold the stool steady. If I fall on you, it will be Ramu Kaka sauce that Maida will be scraping off the floor!

(Bruce Lee climbs on the chair and dusts)

Narrator: Here comes Maida, the maid.

 (Maida, a plump grey haired woman in a maid’s apron, walks in with a cup of tea on a tray.)

Maida: Ah, the old roosters are at it again. Squabble–squabble, fight-fight. One would think you were children, the way you quarrel. Good Morning, you old buzzards!

Bruce Lee: Buzzard is the right word. Hovering over that poor old man, waiting for him to die! He should never have told us that we are his heirs…

Ramu Kaka: Poor old man? Poor old man?  I am the poor old man! He’s the rich miserly old man. Nothing poor about him! And he is the buzzard! He is growing rich at our expense. All we get for our sincerity and hard work is a little food in our bellies and a shelter over our heads. For anything we need, we’ve got to grovel at his feet. That’s my money in his bank I say!

Maida: Hush you old bag of bones. He’ll be here any moment now demanding his tea. (Mimicking) If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a trillion times, I want it on the dot of eight…. Well, I’ve laced his tea with arsenic.  Today’s the last day he’ll scream at me for his morning tea.

(She produces a wicked cackling laugh.)

Bruce Lee: Maida, what have you….?

Narrator: Lo and behold. Mr. Mamikandan Swami, the master of this house and our protagonist, cometh.

(Mr. Swami is a fat old man in a black wig and dressed very loudly in a Hawaiian print shirt and Bermudas and lots of gold chains and medallions. He walks in followed by his secretary, another grey haired, old man, who tries to stab Swamy with a pen once or twice, throughout the play, just as Swamy moves away. He is basically a ‘Yes man’, following Swamy around and nodding his head at whatever Swamy utters.)

Mr. Swami: Maida! Where’s my morning tea? If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a trillion times, I want it on the dot of eight!

Maida: Here you are Sir.

Bruce Lee: Wait Maida…!

(Maida offers the tea on a tray to Mr. Swami who barely takes a sip before putting it back on the tray.)

Mr. Swami: It’s too hot! Keep it till I get back from my drive. What is it Bruce old fellow? Just because I’m nice to all of you does not mean that I’ll let you take advantage of me.

Bruce Lee: The tea, the tea…

Mr. Swami: Go get your tea from the kitchen. (Aside) These people are all the same. Give them an inch and they’ll demand a mile…

(Mr. Swami walks out grumbling to himself. Maida stares after him then takes out a bottle from her pocket and looks at it.)

 

Maida: Oh no, the date has long expired.

Bruce Lee: Thank God, Maida. How could you?

Maida: Oh, very easily. I’m fed up. He’s never going to die and we are all going to be well settled in heaven before he kicks the bucket!

(She absently drinks the tea, chokes and falls down dead.)

Narrator: Thrifty Maida. Never wasted any food.

Bruce Lee: Maida, oh my God, Maida! We have to inform the master. We’ll tell him it was a heart attack. I’m sure Dr. Watson will agree. The good doctor’s grown so old, all she cares about is her comfort.

Ramu Kaka: I always knew he would be the death of us. All these years he has been eating into our body and souls with his harsh words. His promises of riches are temptations of the devil. Maida is lucky to have escaped him.  She will be far happier in heaven after so many years of faithful, thankless service. God is always watching.

(Both walk of stage. Close curtains.)

Scene 2

(Some flower pots are placed at the back.)

Narrator:  OK, looks like today’s going to be an action packed day. Let’s move to the driveway in front of the house.

Mr. Swamy: Driver! Get my Rolls.

(Driver, a grey haired geriatric, walks in slowly with a walking stick)

Driver (aside): After fifty years of service he still can’t remember my name! I’m going to run him over, and that will be the end of him. Surely the world will thank me. I’ll state, he suddenly walked in front of the car. Shelly, the gardener, will corroborate my story.

(Driver starts walking in the wrong direction, Swamy points him in the right dirction)

Swamy: My car is that way, you fool. After fifty years of service, he still can’t remember where he parks my car.

Narrator: Oh ho, the driver wants to kill Swamy. Here he comes with Swamy’s pride and joy. He’s accelerating too fast, driving full tilt at the old man.

(Swamy walks to the middle of the drive way and stands hands akimbo, waiting for his car to stop before him. The secretary walks in front of Swamy with arms raised, gesturing to stop. Back ground sounds of a car brakes screeching are followed by a silly laugh from the Secretary who falls to the ground when the car barely manages to stop in time in front of him.)

Is this Swamy’s end? What’s the secretary doing? Doesn’t he realize the danger…? But the driver’s gone senile! He’s forgotten his intentions and has jammed on the brakes. Oh the secretary has been hit by the car but he is unhurt and is picking himself off the ground. The car has stopped but at what cost? The driver’s head hit the steering wheel and he has been knocked out. Shelly, the old gardener, is running forward to check the driver’s pulse. What’s the verdict?

Shelly: Shaab, shaab, he’s dead!

Mr. Swami: Did my poor beauty get scratched? Speeding like that on my drive way… Dead is he? He deserves it for treating my baby so carelessly. Call Dr. Watson.

(Shelly leaves calling loudly for Dr. Watson. Dr Watson appears with a walking stick and her medical bag and checks the driver’s pulse. The driver begins to regain consciousness only to collapse under Dr. Watson’s careless handling.)

Narrator: Ah, the driver is regaining consciousness or…

Dr. Watson: He’s dead. Yes, well… now I guess he’s really dead. Can’t do anything to help him. I’d better give you something to help your body cope with this trauma. After all you’re no longer a spring chicken. (She walks to the front of the stage where oversized thermacol or cardboard implements like a hammer, a wrench and a syringe are kept. She opens her medical box which is medium sized and acts as if she is taking the implements out of it one by one, showing them clearly to the audience. She picks the syringe the last.) I’ll get you now old man. If I don’t act now, I’ll soon be too old to enjoy the just fruits of my labor.

Narrator: Shame to lose such a well trained driver even if he’d gone a bit senile. Sad, he had only Dr. Watson’s tender mercies at hand.

Dr. Watson wants to give Swami an injection. But what is Shelly about? He’s going to drop that pot on Swamy… But Swamy has moved forward to take his injection and the pot has missed him. Good Lord, Shelly has overbalanced and fallen to his death!

(Back ground scream for Shelly as he falls from the balcony, which is a chair hidden behind a cardboard wall; followed by a gasp as the Dr. injects herself)

Is Swamy actually concerned about Shelly’s fall? Nope, he’s picking up the coin that fell out of Shelly’s pocket!

What’s happening to Dr. Watson? She missed injecting Swamy when he moved to pick up Shelly’s coin and pricked herself with the syringe instead. Heavens, what was in that syringe? Is she dead too?

Mr. Swamy: Oh no, not another one. You people are dropping around me like flies!

Guard: Saar, saar, what has happened? I saw everything and came running all the way from the gate to help you.

Mr. Swamy: You fool! If you saw everything, why do you ask?  And who asked you to leave the gate unattended? I’ll fire you, nincompoop, see if I don’t!

Guard: No Saar. I’ve had enough. I will fire on you.

(Back ground noise of a pistol being cocked, the sound of the bullet, ricocheting off metal, a long drawn out comical scream from the guard as he dies.)

Narrator: Guard proceeds to draw his gun and fire on Mr. Swami but the bullet has ricocheted off a medallion around Mr. Swami’s neck and of all things, has hit the guard. Exit guard. Poor chump. God rest his soul.

Mr. Swamy: Not him too. Who’s going to clean this mess? (He looks at his secretary who waves his hand, mouthing ‘No, no’. Swamy shakes his head.) No.. You are incapable of the simplest thing. Now I’ll have to go to the trouble of hiring new servants…

(Ramu Kaka and Bruce Lee come out of the house and are shocked to see all the dead bodies lying around.)

Mr Swamy: Ah good you’re here. See to these bodies, will you.

Bruce Lee: Boss what happened? Everybody … dead? How can this be possible?

Ramu Kaka: He’s eaten all of them. Can’t you see? He gobbled up their souls until nothing was left. But I won’t let him get the best of us. I shall be the end of this demon.

Bruce Lee: Ramu Kaka, nooo…

(Ramu Kaka picks up a rock and hurls it at Mr. Swamy. Background sound of the effort of hurling the rock and Bruce’s scream followed by a comical scream for the Secretary. Bruce Lee steps protectively in front of Mr. Swamy and is hit by the rock. He collapses on top of the secretary who dies. Seeing this Ramu Kaka gets a heart attack and dies.)

Ramu Kaka: Lee my friend… I’m behind you.

Mr. Swamy: Of all the silly things. Well, at least Bruce was useful in the end, though I can never understand such foolishness. I guess I’ll have to call the police. They’ll help me.

Narrator: There’s more action happening here than in a 20-20 match. Mr. Swamy is calling the police on his cellphone and they have very promptly appeared.

(Detective 3 runs across the stage with his pistol extended, searching under rocks and behind flower pots.)

Detective 1: My God! This looks like a war zone with bodies everywhere. Did the old man go mad and kill his servants?

Detective 2: As the last man standing, in this land of geriatrics, he has to be our man. Mr. Swamy, you are under arrest for the murder of eight people.

Mr. Swamy: What? No! I didn’t do anything… Secretary, tell them I’m innocent. Secretary? Secretary? When did you die?

(Bruce Lee groans, sits up, looks around and groans louder.)

Mr. Swamy: Wait. It was him. He killed everyone because he wanted to become my sole heir. I had to knock him out with that rock.

Bruce Lee: What? Groan.. My head!

Detective 1: Both of you need to come with us while we complete our investigations.

Mr. Swamy: I’ll explain the matter to you clearly. This man I hired as my bodyguard killed all my servants and then attempted to kill me so that he would inherit my property. Arrest him!

Bruce Lee: Groan.

Detective 2: He doesn’t look too good. We need an ambulance here.

Detective 1: Mr. Swamy, please come with me. I need to take your statement.

Mr. Swamy: I’m not going anywhere. Do you think I am a fool to leave my house open to you people to walk in and out without so much as a ‘by your leave’? You can take my statement right here. I am completely innocent and I can prove it. These people just dropped dead. If anybody is guilty, it must be that behemoth I hired to be my body guard. Fine job of protecting he’s doing, lying in the dust. Get up man and admit to your sins! Tell them I’m innocent! I’m innocent …

(Mr. Swamy has a heart attack. Detective 1 catches him as he collapses. Swamy’s black wig falls off to show that he is actually completely white haired.)

Detective 1: Quick, we need to get them both to a hospital.

(Both patients are taken away by the cops.

Background sore of ‘Dhan te Nan’ plays. All the dead drop their wigs and rise and dance with uncoordinated movements to the music. The narrator joins their dance and comes forward to shake hands with them when the music ends. The dead start looking and moving more youthfully.)

Narrator: Hello there. Welcome to the land of the dead!

Driver: Who are you? How can you see us?

Narrator: I am a ghost too, silly. Of course I can see you. I was Swamy’s uncle and the owner of this property. Swamy killed me sixty years ago to get his hands on my property. I have been waiting for this day for sixty years.

Maida: Well, don’t keep us in suspense. Tell us what’s going to happen now. I thought I would be in heaven.

Narrator: I am still here because I refused to go to heaven without teaching my nephew a lesson. You haven’t ascended because of the evil thoughts you have been harboring towards your master. But don’t worry, your time will come. In the meantime, we are all equals; enjoy the luxuries of this house as you never did while you were alive. Soon we are going to have a visitor, who is going to keep us entertained. Ah, here he comes.

(Mr. Swamy walks in.)

Mr. Swamy: I died! Of all the infernal luck. That body guard of mine has ended up with all my property! Why did I have to die of a heart attack now?

Narrator: How long were you expecting to live, my dear?

Mr. Swamy: Uncle! Have you been living here all this time?

Narrator: Yep. How could I leave you behind?

Mr. Swamy: Well, I’ve at least enjoyed life for the past sixty years…

Narrator: Sorry to disillusion you, but in reality you have been condemned to a lonely life filled with your own suspicions. It’s not wealth that brings happiness but family and friends. When you killed me, you destroyed your soul and with that, any chance of a happy life. Look what awaits you now.

(Mr. Swamy looks around and finds that his dead servants have surrounded him. They pounce on him and trounce him soundly. Bruce Lee walks in.)

Shelly: Can he see us too?

Driver: No, he isn’t dead like us.

Ramu Kaka: Be quiet, he’s addressing us.

Bruce Lee: It’s time for goodbye, my friends. You may already know that I have inherited all the property but I can’t live here without you. I am going to donate this house for the use of the homeless, the sick and the needy. (Swamy sits up and says “What? What was that?) I suppose all of you have already ascended to heaven. Where ever you are I pray that you are happy. Goodbye.

(Bruce Lee leaves the stage.)

Ramu Kaka (to the departing Bruce Lee): God bless you.

(Background sounds of rushing wind and gentle rumble of thunder)

Narrator (peacefully): Ah it’s time for me to go. See you soon friends.

(Narrator backs out of the stage.)

Ramu Kaka (joyfully): My time has come too.

(Ramu Kaka backs out of the stage followed by the others. Mr. Swamy turns around, scratches his head and sits down.)

Mr. Swamy (wailing into the silence after the wind): God, when will you call me? God?

(Curtains)

 

An Ode to the Beginning

Fate (Feb 1989)

When sleep steals over half the world

And my body rests in slumberous repose;

I then wander into my private land:

My dream land.

 

A land of sweet dreams,

Ecstatic hopes and fantasies;

Where castles may be built of air

But each stone is laid with love and care.

 

Each steeple I build there touches the sky;

Each bird I hear sings harmoniously;

Each flower there bears a smile;

My heart is at last quiet happy.

 

So I lie on my bed,

Think in rapture and sigh;

What does not suit me,

I erase and supply.

 

Then suddenly with thunder rolling

And lightening flashing;

(Not that she needs moral support)

Fate appears at my side.

 

Fatimah, Nemesis, Kismet …

How many names she has!

Just as many ways and methods

She employs to wreck my dreamland.

 

With flowing black hair

And silver eyes flashing;

Quiet calmly she descends,

Right into my wandering.

 

I shrink back in fear

And watch her diabolical eyes

Reflect the colour

And glory of my land.

 

She surveys the vistas before her

With malicious delight;

Then raises her sceptre and ruthlessly

Sweeps everything down with careless might!

 

In one fell swoop my crystal domes are shattered;

My steeples all bent and pointing towards hell;

The flowers have all dried and clouds

Hang heavy in the sky!

 

Instead of my fantasies now

I gaze at a laughing face.

Her diamond chip eyes shining with glee;

While I struggle in vain to set my dreams free.

 

Fate, She must be a beautiful siren

To get away with this disgrace!