Limerick #1

Once upon a time, a genial Indian native

Flew down to the US without prerogative

When told it was he they wanted to frisk

He said *****************

(Where Asterisk = Expletive)

The Rains

( This is something I wrote when I was in high school, and which kept coming back to me... Thanks to Sanjukta for helping me dig this up. You are invaluable :-) )

I was standing in the desolate street, where the dark alleys seemed to lead unto eternal nothingness, and darkness enveloped everything, from the houses and the dreary shop-windows, to the mucky sidewalk and the gloomy pantechnicons parked beside them. Rain fell ceaselessly, the big drops splattering against walls and windows, splashing into streets and flowing with alacrity along them. I was absolutely drenched, and stood there transfixed, shivering and covered from head to toe with indignant goose-flesh.

I had set out to run some family errands and get a few things from the market, and then, as bad luck would have it, some friends of mine whom I met at the market decided to kidnap me and whisk me off to their place for a game of carom. By the time I had extricated myself from there, it was already ten, and the heavily overcast sky looked menacing, with the clouds hanging low. I had walked barely half a kilometer when the first ice-cold drops hit me.

I tried to analyze my pathetic situation. The streets were absolutely deserted. The houses seemed like dark punctuation marks in a bleak neighborhood. There were no passers-by whose umbrella I could share, no passing cars within whose cozy confines I could seek refuge. I was not particularly keen on putting an abrupt end to a peaceful family’s good night’s sleep, or to intrude upon an old couple’s reverie by the fireplace. Not finding a way out, I started to walk amidst this derelict surroundings towards my hometown.

Street after street went past, and the same gloomy retribution stared at me from rain-tainted window-panes, deserted patios and gloomy verandas. The wind was roaring, and rain was now falling at an angle and hitting me plumb on the face. The sound of falling rain, accompanied by the wailing gushes of wind, was rising to a fever pitch. Walking with resignation, I felt cold, sad and uncared for.

Suddenly, when I turned the corner, a sight met my eyes. A child of about five was being ushered inside a house by his father. The child kept running away from his father into the rain, and the father kept coaxing and bringing him back within safety’s reach. Ultimately, the father succeeded in putting his son inside the warmth and protection of the house, went in himself, and closed the door.

I was about to run and ask for help when the world shut itself out completely, and an image floated in front of my eyes. I was four. Me and my father were returning from a party. It was late at night, rain was pouring down with great gusto. I stepped out of the car, and immediately it was heaven. Blissful drops of rain poured down on me, and I felt like crying out for joy. My father grasped me firmly by the elbow and led me indoors, but I escaped his grasp and once again was back on the street. This continued to happen for some time, until finally my father managed to bundle me off inside the house, and with the closing of the door, the link with the joy and happiness that was pouring so abundantly outside was cut off.

As the present gradually came back into focus, I stood dazed on the slushy sidewalk. It was a different feeling, a whole new world of emotions that was welling up inside me. My heart jumped for joy, as rain fell onto me endlessly, each drop seeming like the very epitome of love and affection, the resounding caress of nature. After such a long time, it was heaven again, and this time I was not letting go. I slackened my pace, and walked on, relishing every instant, cherishing every moment of joy.

A car came by and stopped beside me. The window slid down to reveal Roy, my friend from the carom den.

“Hey! You’re sopping wet. I’m going home, let me drop you off”, he suggested. He was giving me a chance to come within the warmth and security of his car, from the seemingly hostile surroundings outside.

“No thanks. I prefer to walk”, said I. He seemed incredulous.

“You’re sure you don’t want a lift? You’ll get sick.” He seemed at a loss for words.

“I’m sure. Thanks anyway. Good night”, I said.

He drove away, and I resumed walking, feeling cold, benumbed, and miraculously happy and contented.

The Way Things Went....

The bus was extremely crowded from the very start. As I made my way through the barrage of shoulders, moist backs and legs, I regretted not taking lessons from a contortionist. I found a relatively empty spot near the middle and maneuvered myself towards it slowly. People climbed in steadily from the gates, and soon, pushed, shoved, manhandled and generally abused from all sides, I began to realize the sheer insignificance of my existence. I was already flustered and hot. All I could do is somehow keep myself vertical, and wait.

She boarded ten minutes later, and found a place in the driver’s cabin. I knew it was not possible for her to come towards me, and neither was it possible for me to cross the immense sea of sweaty and pissed-off travelers that separated us. She looked for me, her eyes darting past faces and finally locking with mine, and she smiled. I felt better, just like that. She was pretty then, in the sea of faces and limbs. I wondered how she managed to look good in that school uniform. I smiled back, and found ourselves conversing with each other, silently through our eyes.

Me – “This was such a bad idea”

Her - “There was no option really”

Me – “I know, but...”

She gave me a half-apologetic smile, which changed into that special smile which she keeps just for me. I found the ache in my legs disappearing.

Time passed. More people boarded. It was getting difficult for me to keep balance, but I managed somehow. There was no longer a clear line of vision between us, but I could understand that she was mostly looking my way, as I kept catching glimpses of a pair of smiling and twinkling eyes every once in a while when the bus banked or braked.

We moved on, people boarded and got down, life went on in general. Sometimes, I could see her, always looking at my direction. Although few and far between, those moments served to keep me happy, and generally oblivious to the hell I was in. After what seemed like ages, the crowd thinned. I saw she had found herself a seat, and was sitting with her head craned, looking at me. There was something in those eyes which made me feel better, energized, and happy. Some more conversation.

Me – “Next time, we’re not taking this route or this transport.”

Her – “At least I can see you this way”

Me – “Yes, for a few seconds every couple of minutes.”

Her – “Not enough, I know.”

We locked eyes. I blew her a kiss, and then another. She made a face full of mock-outrage, admonishing me.

Her – “What the hell! This is public transport, after all.”

But I could see the pink glow in her cheeks transform into red. I was happy, and smiling.

In a while, the crowd was forgiving enough to let me inch my way towards her. I stood next to her. She looked up and smiled. She had beads of sweat on her forehead, and she was still the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.

Me – “The things I have to do for you!”

Her – “I love you.”

She gently kept her hand on mine. And everything was perfect again.

Few Lines For You

Sitting on the sand, under the glistening night sky, glowbirds between
the stars above, a small memory becomes an obsession. Reality becomes
dream. Thoughts and feelings turn into magnificent experiences, as
large and deep and dynamic as the sea in front. I gather my emotions
and experiences and try to weave a reality out of them, and stumble,
and stumble, and stumble again.... Night falls, I keep trying. I
summon every memory of love, happiness, melancholy and pensive
reflection into one single, all-encomapssing inertia. You.

You are the sand that I try to hold within my numb fingers, the wind
that caresses my hair, the water that comforts my battered and bruised
body, the music that plays softly in my ears when I sleep. You reside
within me. You are everything.

My Favorite Comedians - Steve Hughes

This lean, lanky comedy powerhouse from Australia once used to play drums for various heavy metal bands. His forays into standup exposed yet another intriguing part of his enigmatic personality. His brand of humour varies from crass, rude jokes to subtle references to serious issues like ethnic barriers and homosexuality.

High Points

With a tall and slender frame, a naturally expressive face with a bright eyes and a ready smile, Hughes is always a smash hit in live performances. Powered with a deep voice and command over myriad accents, Hughes has the gift of interacting with the audience and keeping them enthralled as he takes them through a delightful standup experience.

Favorite Steve Moments

(Introducing himself)
“I’m from Australia. I’ve an English father, Australian mother. Some English bloke said that makes me Welsh! (laughter) I don’t know what that means, but English people laugh so I just keep ****ing saying it!”

(Talking about the language of Welsh people)
“I don’t want to be rude, but it looks like some ****er tripped over carrying a box of scrabble!”

(About being into death metal and cooking while school)
“Well, I was an angry man, but you’ve got to eat!”

(Steve took cooking as a subject in school. When he is working in the kitchen, one of his mates show up)
Mate – “You cooking, Hughes? You gay, mate?”
SH – “Yes, I’m gay, mate. I’m analyzing cakes with thirty chicks and you ****wits are showering together!”

My Favorite Comedians - Pablo Francisco

This master of voices from South America takes the cake any day as far as entertaining standup performances are concerned. Veering seamlessly from slapstick to the very subtle, Pablo is a genius with great command over a variety of topics and a deep understanding of different cultures, which comes forth during his performances.

High Points

His “voices” are always a laugh. Be it Pablo impersonating “the Movie Previews Guy”, Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keanu Reaves or a fictional standup comedian from the interiors of Mexico, he never fails to amaze with his repertoire.

The unique thing about Pablo is that he can make a wide variety of sounds using his vocal chords and microphone techniques, which almost makes a kind of background score for his performances. The most amazing among these is his saxophone sound, which is so close to an actual saxophone that you might take it to be one with your eyes closed. Watch out, he is a genius at beatboxing as well.

Favorite Pablo Moments

(One liners on bumper stickers from a native Mexican comedian’s collection)
“Jesus saves, ‘cause he shops at Wal-Mart!”
“My other car is probably yours!”
“Guns don’t kill people, my cousin does!”

(Talking about women who have nice bodies and ugly faces)
“I love spaghetti, but it has SHIT on it!”

(Impersonating Casey Kasem, who is talking about William Hung)
“He is not from China, he’s from Singapore, ‘cause he sings really poor!”

Wings of Poesy

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