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a scratchpad for the greater things that I will write, eventually : )

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Art of storytelling

Stories are no less living than the ones who tell them. I say “tell” because in the days that I am writing about, people mostly told stories. Writing was considered as killing the essence, the free spirit that defined the beauty of a tale. This spirit dictates how it panes out, how it varies with a new teller, even with the same person every time it gets narrated, the place, crowd and such circumstances in which it is reenacted.

I came across a reference to the lost art of Urdu storytelling called dastangoi. What piqued my interest is the fact that Urdu is famous for the inimitable poetry ever written or ever will be. Dastangoi is a persian word, dastan meaning tale and with suffix goi it translates to “tell a tale”.

A dastan, like an epic has elements of adventure, bravery, beauty, romance, magic, treachery to name a few, but the plots are linear and usually predictable. The beauty of a tale is not in its outset, the events that follow or the conclusion, but in the imagery. For instance, illustrations of a war scene may involve how the hero makes entrance, the colour of the sky and the war-torn soil, the sounds of the running horses, clash of shining swords and the smell of spilt blood infusing a wave of bravado in the most disinterested soldier. No other language fits this requirement more than Urdu, which with its poetic inclinations allow the storyteller to embellish a trivial event, or say, to romanticize the look exchanged between the protagonists for hours. The language and astute usage of the rich words enables the teller to weave a mesmerizing maze that you won’t want to escape.

The history of dastangoi is as interesting as the art itself. Though many readers will question its authenticity, the great Urdu poets always looked at history with disdain. They wanted stories to continue evolving, with every new generation adding more illustrious sub plots, new ways of gilding the oft cited with mellifluous urdu harf.
In a way, the great tales are no different from life itself, it’s a pity that we think it’s the same tale that is being narrated over ages whereas life is beyond our control and we just need to bear with it as it unfolds.

Excellent link for further reading: dastangoi.blogspot.in

 

Polyamorous relationships

This article forwarded by friends who had a much heated debate on the issue, finds me at a loss on taking sides.

Polyamory, as I understand is to be in love (amour) with more than one person (poly). To makes things even more exciting, it doesn’t stop at the literal meaning but comes with the added clause that all people concerned (and in some cases I guess even the ones who are not concerned) need to give a consent for the existence of such a multifarious love.
Since I m ambivalent on this topic, I will start with what I like, and agree.

Monogamous relationships have proved themselves successful over ages by being repressive. It’s a much established fact that many married couples drag the relationship for the lack of initiative, and a concern for the repercussions of exit. Adding kids to the equation makes it even more valorous a task. Unmarried couples too have scruples about exit, there are deterrents like the image, friends, the daunting task of starting all over again to name a few. Polyamory presents a guilt free, ethical and an inclusive solution to the monogamous problem. It appears so logical a resolution to the age-old problem that you can’t help but admire the idea.

There are aspects of your personality and your inclinations that doesn’t resonate with your monogamous partner, finding an avenue to fulfill the needs that you long for while letting it be known what you are up to is a win-win situation. Though the article concentrates on fighting the sexual stigma of polyamory, I found the asexual defence given by one woman more radical, especially when I see it from the male perspective.

The take on jealousy is another aspect I agree with in this article. Jealousy in most of the cases stems from inferiority complexes, we tend to believe our loved ones have not only been able to detect our shortcomings, but also have found a solution in the form of another person or persons. Inferiority complexes make it imperative not to dissemble, we tend to conceal and avoid the real issue when confronted. Polyamory, being open about these other people and love for them, leaves no space for this cloak of self-pity. It will facilitate the people involved to bring it out on the table thereby solving the bigger part of the problem.

Having said all that in defence of the article, I feel this article doesn’t have a balanced approach. The flaws of monogamy that have been highlighted are on the extreme, ones that I personally cannot relate too. Most of us i.e. the target audience, are not abusive, cheating or outright incompatible with our partners. If we were, then the whole idea of obtaining a consent for pursuing other people while sticking to such a relationship that is beyond redemption would be pointless. One would rather choose to move on.

The article citing examples of exclusively young women makes one wonder if the author assumed polyamory will be readily accepted by the male of the species and will find resistance in the females. On the contrary, the whole premise on which polyamory is based on will not go well with men, letting your partner explore is the last thing they would agree to.

From a gender neutral perspective, the idea looks flawed because it is trying to solve a problem by randomly trying solutions outside the purview and still letting the original problem linger. If you are not able to shape your relationship as you desire with your monogamous partner, more relationships that you will get into will most probably have similar flaws. An aggregate of many flawed relationships doesn’t make a perfect one.

Jealousy, as I said before manifests itself in silences and nonchalance on part of your partner. It gets noticed only when you pay heed to the erratic behavior. With the advent of more people to the equation, there are not only more reasons to be jealous but less time to address the concerns.

The whole idea seems to be driven by logical reasoning, a well thought out ethical solution to monogamy, and there in lies its undoing. Love is inherently impetuous in nature and any calculated way to solve it will undoubtedly fail. I would rather believe a solution to the problem will be to explore more with your partner, invest time and energy to discover common grounds, and hopefully newer skies to uplift the sagging love. This may sound idealistic, but looks more appealing compared to the immanent escapist attitude of polyamory.

As a concluding remark on the article, I would like to get the opinions of the readers. Feel free to be open about your views, be blunt if you like but have a good reason : )

Dancer and the knight

Yet another night to show off the body,
she stifles a yawn and puts on the gaudy.
Lurking eyes out in open vie for a better view,
Not much to look forward to,
it’s always the same motley crew.

She moves as if in a trance,
induced by overuse of derision,
in the monotonic stretch extending
till the last of the tables, the sleazy horizon.
They follow her naked breasts,
and when she bends,
out come the predictable gasps.

And there he is,
the one who looks with surprise,
a mirage is it, or
has she found her knight in disguise.
Why does he come alone,
what draws him here,
not the usual sad, she wonders,
nor is he one with much lust.
Those disinterested eyes
almost out of focus,
urge her to look into them
and be at an ineffable loss.

 

Tired of indulgence,
of betrayals and the innocuous penance,
he walks in yet again,
the reluctant sinner with self disdain.
It’s the same table,
familiar food, drinks and the people.
Would be a rut,
but for her sensationally bored eyes
concealing it seems a multitude of stories.

He looks at her lissome hips,
the sequined lime G-string,
nipple caps that go with tassels,
but those eyes, not a move he would miss.
And when they meet
moments pass without notice,
surreptitious embraces,
almost never at ease.

Frustrated with himself
more than the crowd,
for asking questions whose
answers he has already found.
He looks away, wishing to be at another place,
or if they could, leave this world with better grace.
Exhausted more with him than the dance,
not giving the answers that he may condone,
she looks away, wishing him forever gone,
or if with him she could live a life of no pretence.

A lifetime, once again…

 


Immersed in studies, 

I let her slip, walk away in the rain.

These cloud laced days evoke her frail beauty,

the strands of unwanted wisdom

and fleeting glory I would with ease trade,

for another chance, to see her

and live that rainy day once again.


Wise and ready to take on the world

with high spirits I hit the road, 

where feelings and emotions

were played with by the lovers aboard.

Its not the booze and the sex that reigned,

but the girl who was frivolously spurned,

that haunts me, oh those unshed tears

make me want to change, and

never be that person again.


When every new day seemed the same,

some started to question life, while

some appreciated the rote and the lame.

When the busy life started taking its toll,

and having fun was no more the call.

It was the tragic, the jolts out of comfort

that got us together even if all sombre,

the fond memories make me laugh again.


When intellect and reason, ennui

start waking the monsters

of futility that creep in, to think or not to be.

These crazy moments conjure the mysterious,

of wasted years with her, amorous neglect.

Burnt kisses that were almost bliss,

when we soared high in the smoke ships.

A lone drag it takes now to take me to that plane

of timeless moments, visions of her lisps,

the stupor makes me sane yet again.
 

Lying on the couch,

the empty coffee mug on the table

confounds me with the leisure thoughts.,

never wanted to be a man with many regrets.

I think of her kindness,

the mercies and a closure

of the many unpaid debts, 

bringing them to the fore.

She walks in askance, 

the lips doing their divine dance,

once again this forgiving smile forces me

to fall in love all over again.

 

Current affairs

The wise men, sly and feisty, preach with blinding flair,
laying down the rules of right and wrong, almost short of revelation.

The fools rise, not listening to a single word but shouting with inflated lungs,
striking down the schools of bright light and the forgotten songs.

Are we not the chosen ones they say, oh we are the sons of the new civilization.

The gods must have given up or are they laughing at the joke, that they but won’t share.

While we the sisyphi, with a sigh and feigning grit, play the game which we believe is almost fair.

Words

Dazzled by the beauty,

they are failed by the words.

Recovering and in pursuit,

they keep their feelings veiled by the words.

Romance they indulge in,

but are curtailed by the words.

Entranced in love,

they forget the roses but are bailed by the words.

Instead of happily ever after at the end,

they listen to the silence of the words.

Romeo and Juliet

sunsets, rainbows, moon and the likes
romantic they were but time just flies
juliet grieved, had a choice, but
it's always romeo who for no reason dies

times have changed, innocence passe,
juliets flirt, where they work
while romeos hunt, in the dark
love in abundance, just lacks elegance and class